Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan

Head of School - Owner

Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan was born and grew up in New Zealand. Robyn's mother, Patricia Eriwata, still lives in New Zealand while Robyn and Pamela, her two daughters, live in the United States and her son, John, lives in Australia. Robyn tries to visit home frequently to spend time with her mother, their family and close friends. Before she married Robyn was an elementary public school teacher in New Zealand and British Columbia, Canada. She is married to Robert Buchanan and has four children, Jordyn - who lives in New York City with his wife Laura - Jemmyn and Marisa, and her husband David, who live in Salt Lake City, and KereAna, her youngest daughter, who currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Jemmyn works as the Marketing/IT manager at the school. Robyn's sister, Pamela, works in administration part of the year. Robyn obtained her Montessori credential from MWEI (Montessori World Education Institute). Robyn loves to travel and has traveled extensively. She loves to read, attend the theatre, spend as much time as possible at the beach, swim, walk and participate in Zumba, and spend time with family and friends. What Robyn likes best about being the Head of School is the joyfulness of the children and her relationship with the staff and school community. Little known fact about Robyn: she is a descendant 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

Peterson BritneyAssociate Head of School - Staff Development

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. 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 also attend MCS, moved to the area just recently and are enjoying all the wonderful outdoor adventures that Salt Lake has to offer. Britney enjoys rock climbing and rappelling, hiking, cooking, reading, and Sunday adventures with her boys. Little known fact about Britney: she spent a year teaching and traveling in Guatemala.

Ramira Alamilla

Alamilla RamiraAssociate Head of School - Operations and Admissions

Ramira was born in Los Angeles, California, where she attended Montessori school from 2½ to 6 years of age. That experience shaped her love of learning, exploring and reading, and her deep respect for teachers, which is why she is grateful that her children, who are triplets, have the opportunity to attend Montessori Community School. Prior to joining the MCS staff, Ramira was a college counselor at Judge Memorial High School since 2001. She enjoyed helping students through important decision-making times and helping them organize their applications to college. Outside of work, she loves reading, writing, independent films, live music, African dancing, and travel, and she's looking forward to the day when she can get back to those interests, though she enjoys introducing her children to them little by little. A little known fact about Ramira: she danced in the Ballet Folklorico for one year in college and her favorite dance was the "Jarabe Tapatio" - the Mexican hat dance.

Margaret Mc Donald

McDonald MargaretUpper Elementary Teacher/Director of Curriculum 

Margaret Mc Donald has been at MCS since 1994. Margaret received her Montessori teaching credentials for Early Childhood, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary from the London Montessori Center in Dublin, Ireland. For the past 24 years she has been teaching students between the ages of 2½ to 14 years old. Margaret, who was born in Ireland, came to the States in 1990 and lived in Florida and Colorado before moving to Utah. In her free time Margaret likes to bake, garden, knit read and run. 

Nanette Cenaruzabeitia

Nanette CenaruzabeitiaStaff 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.

Ashlee Haslam

Haslam AshleeOffice and Admissions Manager - Administrative Assistant

Ashlee's enchantments derive from the numerous experiences she has joined and absorbed. She harbors great love and respect for nature. Her boho-gone-classy style is representative of her heart's desire to be immersed in the outdoors and cling to the energy nature freely offers. Her penchant for exploration, history and cultures has riveted her trail throughout the world. To name a few: she has danced under Stonehenge, perfumed by gypsies on a rickety train between Slovakia and Hungary, fallen in love with Michelangelo's David in Italy, gone Zorbing and hang-gliding in the Swiss Alps, and raced ATVs through the mud of Jamaica. She grew comfortable with different cultures at the young of age five when she lived in Guatemala and later Hungary for a time. However, the inflections of life and its adventures mean nothing without her adored husband and lively daughter whom she cherishes above all. Ashlee is extremely artistic and has an eye for creating masterpieces, whether its furniture arranging, painting, cooking, horticulture or landscape design; everything she touches blossoms. She thrived as she attained her Bachelor's of Science from the University of Utah in Recreation Therapy, and enjoys both witnessing and helping people reach goals and succeed. Above all things, she believes in loving others and acceptance. She is thrilled to be working with the Montessori youth and considers the teaching and learning here another one of her experiences to which she has joined and absorbs into her enchanting essence. 

Kim Brown

Finance Administrator

Kim was born in Utah but has lived all over the country. Through her travels she has fallen in love with Utah and is happy to call it her home. Kim recently completed her bachelor's degree in Business and Accounting with a Human Resource emphasis. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and spending time with her family and loved ones. Kim loves being a part of our wonderful school community and feels that it is an honor to play a small part in shaping our students futures.

Crystal Wells

Crystal WellsAdministrative Assistant

Crystal is a natural-minded, easy going mother to a four year boy named Noah, who attends MCS in the Willows class. She loves yoga, travel, art, music, animals, cooking and baking, and spending time outdoors. Having previously lived in both Arizona and Nevada, she is thrilled to experience the beautiful landscape Salt Lake City offers. Crystal has always been fascinated by Montessori philosophy and is so grateful to be apart of this incredible community.

Jemmyn Buchanan

JemmynBIT/ Marketing/ Facilities 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 posseses multiple certifications in the field of technology and digital production.

Brandon Farnsworth

IT Technician

Brandon loves learning how technology operates.  He enjoys disassembling and reassembling things to see how and why they work.  At the age of 16 he decided to save up all of his money and purchase parts for his dream computer, and since then he has wanted to discover new technologies he is not familiar with.  He was interested in the IT Intern position at Montessori after starting his schooling at Salt Lake Community College to be certified as a Computer Support Specialist.  Working with electronics and being able to help those around him are things that bring him great joy.