Willows Teachers

Amanda Bywaters

Assistant Teacher - Willows

Amanda is a native Oregonian and grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She was fortunate to work in the school district she attended as a child and focused on the area of Special Education for the Lake Oswego School district for 17 years, even working with some of her former teachers. Amanda, her husband and two children decided to change scenery and move to Utah in November 2020. As lovers of the outdoors, they are all thriving here. Going on family hikes, skiing, enjoying local farmers markets and exploring new places are their favorite things to do together. Amanda also enjoys photography, making jewelry and crafting. Amanda is inspired by the Montessori philosophy and is excited to be part of the Montessori team. 

Karey Smith

Smith-Karey-1Teacher - Willows

Karey Smith was born in Lehi and is the oldest of five girls. She was an "Army Brat" and traveled all over until her family settled in New Jersey. She lived in England for a while and then returned to the U.S. to complete her Montessori Infant and Toddler training in Princeton, New Jersey. She then moved to Utah for her Early Childhood Education Montessori training. She has been working in Montessori since the age of 16! She loves to read, listen to music, watch movies, cross-stitch and spend time with her family. Little known fact about Karey: her sisters are all named with K's – Krissy, Krisha, Kendra, and Kimberly. Her mom's name is Karen. Her dad's name: Bob!!

Annie Hays

Teacher - Willows

Annie Hays has been teaching at MCS since 2015. She has worked in the Toddler and Early Childhood programs, inspired by the way the Montessori philosophy shows respect for young children. She previously worked with children ages 0-5 at the YWCA, a women’s domestic violence shelter. Annie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development from the University of Utah, as well as a Early Childhood Teaching Credential from the Center of Guided Montessori Studies. She lives in Salt Lake with her husband and puppy, and enjoys spending time exploring the city with her loved ones.

Kara Rasmussen

Assistant & Extended Day Teacher - Willows

Kara loves learning new things. Her older sister Annie Hays has taught her a lot about the Montessori method. Kara loves the respect that it gives to each child from the moment they are born. Kara was so happy there was a position open in the extended day program so she could have the opportunity to be in this magical world. Kara also loves to spend time outdoors and make new friends.

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