Administrative Team

Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan

Robyn-2Founder & Executive Director

Robyn was born and grew up in New Zealand. Robyn's mother still lives in New Zealand and Robyn travels there a few times a year to spend time with her and other family members and close friends. Before she married Robyn was a Public School elementary teacher and taught in New  Zealand and British Columbia, Canada. She is married to Robert Buchanan. They have four children - Jordyn and his wife Laura who live in New York, Jemmyn and his wife Stephanie and Marisa and her husband Dave all of whom live in Salt Lake County and KereAna who lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Robyn obtained her Montessori credential through Montessori World Education Institute. Robyn loves to travel and has been fortunate to travel extensively. She loves to read, attend the theatre, spend time at the beach,  swim, walk, go to Zumba and spend time with family and friends. Her greatest joy is spending time with her grandchildren - AnaMarie and Belladova (Dovie) who are students at MCS. What Robyn likes best about working at our school is the joyfulness of the children and her relationship with her peers. A little known fact about Robyn is that she is a descendent of Te Wharepouri, a Maori chief.

Bob Buchanan

Buchanan BobOwner

Bob Buchanan is the co-owner of the Montessori Community School and is married to Robyn. Bob was born and raised in Venice, Utah. He has a Ph.D. in Geography and taught Urban Planning as an adjunct professor at the University. For many years he was a private consultant as an urban planner for many communities in Utah, and later worked in the same field for Salt Lake City. Bob retired from his position as the Director of Economic Development for West Valley City a few years ago. His latest interest is gardening and he has an enormous vegetable garden and small orchard in Venice where his spends many hours every week.

Britney Peterson

School DirectorPeterson Britney

Britney developed her love of Montessori as a high school student when she worked with Lower Elementary students in an after-school program. Since then she has been trained and certified in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary through the National Center for Montessori Education, and later received her AMS certification in both levels. She has taught in the classroom at the Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary levels. Britney has also worked as the Assistant Director and Training Advisor of the Southern Utah Montessori Teacher Training Center and as the Assistant Director of Dayspring Montessori in St. George, Utah. Her favorite part of her job is sharing the beauty of Montessori with other adults, namely parents and teachers. She and her three children, who have also attended MCS, love baseball. Britney enjoys hiking, river rafting, cooking, reading, and Sunday adventures with her boys. Little known fact about Britney: she spent a year teaching and traveling in Guatemala.

Brandi Allen

Allen-Brandi-1Assistant Director and Head of Specialties

Since 1989, Brandi Allen has taught children and adults in many settings. Being a teacher in diverse conditions has taught Brandi that there is a connection of humanity in all of us. Brandi discovered Montessori education in 1990 and fell in love with the philosophy, which she feels is a form of education that focuses on the intrinsic desire that children have to learn and where the prepared environment sets the foundation for learning. Brandi was an extended day teacher for Robyn and Bob at 2nd Avenue Montessori School starting in 1990. She has been a classroom teacher in Early Childhood and Lower Elementary classrooms and has been involved in other facets with Upper Elementary and Middle School. Brandi has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Utah and a Master in Education from Westminster College. She has her AMS Montessori Lower and Upper Elementary Certification. Brandi and her husband Earl, have three children - Nate, Emilia, and Oliver with whom  they love to enjoy the outdoors.

Margaret Mc Donald

McDonald-Margaret-1Elementary Teacher/Director of Curriculum/ Director of Operations 

Margaret Mc Donald has been at MCS since 1994. Her role and responsibilities at MCS have evolved over the years; she started teaching in an Early Childhood classroom, helped grow the Elementary program, wrote the MCS peace curriculum and was instrumental in establishing and advising the Middle School program. Margaret received her Montessori teaching credentials for Early Childhood, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary from the London Montessori Center in Dublin, Ireland and has been  teaching students between the ages of 2.5 to 14 years old since 1990. Margaret, who was born in Ireland, has lived in Florida and Colorado before moving to Utah. In her free time Margaret likes to bake, garden, knit, read, and run. 

Ramira Alamilla

Alamilla-RamiraDirector of Admissions & Accreditation

Ramira has been with MCS since 2009, when her own children started in the Early Childhood program. She felt shaped by her own Montessori experience from 2.5 to 6 years old, wanted the same experience for her children, and chose MCS for its vision and long-term opportunities for an authentic Montessori education. Ramira has a Master’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in education. She served as Associate Head of School at MCS from 2011-2018. When her children graduated from Upper Elementary she went part-time and became Director of Admissions and Accreditation. She enjoys sharing the unique features of the MCS programs and community with prospective parents. In her free time Ramira enjoys hiking, photography, painting, reading, writing, dancing, swimming, and spending time with her family.

Nanette Cenaruzabeitia

Cenaruzabeitia-Nanette-1Director of Staff Development

Nanette Cenaruzabeitia was born in Salt Lake City and has lived here all her life. Her husband, Felix, has recently retired. Nanette has three children who also live in Salt Lake City. Jim is a pharmacy technician, Maria is working in medical billing, and Alecia who graduated from Westminster College. All three of her children attended Montessori schools – Alecia was one of the first elementary school students at Montessori Community School when it was known as Tenth East. In her free time, Nanette likes to read murder mysteries with mayhem! She also enjoys spending time with her family. Nanette was trained and certified in Montessori at the Early Childhood level in 1983 from Little Way Montessori in Washington State and completed her Infant and Toddler certification through the Institute for Guided Studies. She enjoys working with children and hopes to do so for many years to come! Little known fact about Nanette: Her maiden name is Fenn.

Marisa Granado

Granado-Marisa-1Business Manager

Marisa has lived in Salt Lake City throughout most of her life. She is the chosen child of Robyn and Bob and has been working with their Montessori Schools on and off for many years. In 2011 she completed two Bachelor’s Degrees at Westminster College in Social Science and Environmental Studies, which included a study abroad program in Costa Rica. She loves traveling and has explored many countries, as well as the majority of the United States. Marisa enjoys spending time with her family, her husband, and her child, AnaMarie, who attends MCS. One little known fact about Marisa is she plays Classical piano. 

Candace Wiseman

Office Administrative Assistant/ Director of Extended Day

Candace loves working with students and parents at MCS She assists daily in the main office, helps direct and support the Extended Day program and staff, and directs MCS camps during the summer and school holiday breaks. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Candace received her bachelor's degree from Georgia State University, and moved to Salt Lake City in 2011 after falling in love with the beautiful mountains on what was supposed to be a quick vacation. She obtained her Early Childhood Montessori Certification in the summer of 2019, after working for 3 years in the Sequoias Classroom.  Prior to working at MCS, Candace worked at nonprofit organizations in the Salt Lake Valley reuniting children and their families who were recovering from addiction and trauma. In her time outside of the classroom she enjoys cooking, volunteering with local nonprofits in the Salt Lake community, hiking with her dog Behr, and going to local farmers markets and festivals.

Sabine Bell

Office Administrative Assistant

Sabine has always been an outgoing person and loves people. She and her husband Nate have been married since Fall 2018, and have one daughter named Adaline. Sabine grew up in a Montessori home school environment and has always been drawn to the beautiful way it helps children to grow into themselves. She has lived in Europe, visiting Maria Montessori's birthplace, and has plans of returning as soon as possible to learn to love new people and explore new places. Her mother became a teacher at MCS, and Sabine joined her here after returning from her mission in Kansas.

Carley Hines

carleyhinesBehavioral and Special Needs Consultant

Carley Hines is a teacher, mother, and future Montessorian.  Having been on the parent side, she is now very excited to be joining the staff as a Montessori Intern and Special Needs resource for the teachers and families at MCS.  

Carley was born and raised in Utah.  She loves music, travel and lots of playtime with her family. Her and her husband own a business that they’ve grown the years through many different jobs and schooling.  Carley earned her BA from Westminster College in Marketing and went on to work in that field for a few years, holding different positions in management.  During her undergraduate she was part of the service learning scholar program where she was a literacy tutor at title 1 schools and always loved it. That experience is what made her decide to go back to school in 2011 to pursue a Master’s degree.  Carley received a Master’s of Arts in Teaching in both general and special education. She then taught at Washington Elementary in Salt Lake City until having her daughter. She has been back at Westminster supervising teacher candidates in the Mild/Moderate special education program.  To her, it has been an encouraging experience to be on multiple sides of education - as a student, teacher, parent and supervisor in both general and special education. Carley feels strongly that education should be accessible to all children; and feels grateful to be able to offer support in any way that she can to MCS families.

Jemmyn Buchanan

Jemmyn-BuchananIT & Marketing Manager

Jemmyn is in charge of marketing the Montessori Community School of Salt Lake City. He also manages the technology which powers the school and assists with the facilities and operations of the school. Jemmyn grew up taking things apart. When he was six years old he took the family television apart and after some fairly intense internal dialog within the family, he had to figure out how to put it back together. Since then he has continued to have a curiosity about how things work and he has also continued to take things apart. Jemmyn is the CEO of Tiki Multimedia, LLC; a full marketing and production company which creates audio, video, web, print, design and marketing plans for numerous nonprofits and small businesses. While many of his skills are self-taught, he possesses multiple certifications in the field of technology and digital production.

Jordan Newbould

IT InternJordan

Jordan was born in Bountiful, Utah and went to Viewmont High School. Before attending Viewmont, he lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for 5 years. He graduated a term early and moved down to Salt Lake City in 2015. Jordan started at Salt Lake Community College in 2016 and completed his General Education requirements in spring of 2018. During his third semester at Salt Lake Community College, Jordan was able to become a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Jordan is currently a full-time student at the University of Utah studying Information Systems on a scholarship and working towards his Bachelor's degree. Jordan was referred to the job by his father, Cody who has been a long time friend of the current IT manager, Jemmyn. Cody has also inspired Jordan's current career path of Information System. Jordan is excited to proactively lead with a job aligned with his goals and prepare himself for professional development in his career.

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