Catherine Mathews

Catherine MathewsTeacher

Catherine's passion for Montessori began when her oldest child was five while she teaching her own children at home. She found the Montessori method reaching her children in ways other programs simply couldn't and didn't. After seven years of Montessori based homeschooling they enrolled in school she began teaching professionally. Cathie received her Montessori Early Childhood training from the Institute for Guided Studies (IGS) and has been teaching in both Early Childhood and Early Elementary Montessori classrooms since 2009. She is keenly interested in the success of each student by searching out their needs and striving to meet them with their perfect "work".

Ruby Chouldjian

Chouldjian RubyTeacher

Ruby Chouldjian was born in Tehran, Iran, although her ancestry is Armenian. She traveled to many places, including India, Kuwait, Austria, Italy, Cyprus and Germany before coming to the U.S. in 1987. Her husband Mike is a mechanic (Range Rover Specialist) and they have two boys, their older son Michael (and his wife Armineh) and their younger son Albert. Ruby obtained her Montessori Certification through the Montessori World Education Institute (MWEI), Utah Montessori Teachers Education Program (UMTEP), Early Childhood Language Course and the Children with Special Needs Course from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS). Ruby started teaching in 1997 at Willow Creek Montessori and joined the Montessori Community School in 2000. Her favorite aspect of Montessori philosophy is the independence and visual hands-on that it provides. She likes to read in her spare time. Little known fact about Ruby: she loves to sing!

Kayla Grimm

Kayla GrimmAssistant Teacher

Kayla is new to Montessori Community School but she is already excited to work with the students, families, and staff. She grew up in Nevada and moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah. Kayla got her degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences this past May. In her free time she likes to read, hike, and spend time with family. She is looking forward to watching the students grow, develop, and learn new things.

Ana Maria Mejia

Mejia AnaMariaTeacher

Ana Maria grew up in Panama. She earned her degree in Science of Education and her first Montessori Certification by the Pan American Montessori Society (PAMS) before moving to Texas in 2003. Prior to coming to Montessori Community School in August 2012, she taught at The Hill Country Montessori School in Boerne, Texas and The Montessori Corner School at Princeton Meadows, New Jersey. In 2008, she earned her second certification by the American Montessori Society (AMS). She has been essential to facilitate our Dual Language Programs with her Spanish and Portuguese language skills. Thru out her career Ana Maria has been a guide to her Students, Colleagues and School Administrators, she is a natural leader and enjoys inspiring young and adults to follow the Montessori Method of education.

Karey Smith

Smith KareyWillows Teacher

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 awhile 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!!

Lorena Gomez-Alvarez

Gomez-Alvarez LorenaTeacher

Lorena was born in Mexico City. In June of 1990 she received her credential in Early Childhood Montessori through AMI (Association Montessori Internationale). She taught in a Mexico City Montessori school for four years. During that time, Lorena also studied and earned a bachelor's degree in business. In 1997 Lorena moved to Provo, Utah to study in an ESL program. The following year she returned to Mexico and completed a degree program in education. In 2003, Lorena began working at the Montessori Community School and in 2005 helped originate the dual-language program at the Second Avenue school. A little known fact about Lorena is that she swims almost every day at the Steiner Aquatic Center and in 2005 she met her husband-to-be while swimming in the pool.

Cinthya Barajas

Barajas CinthyaTeacher

Cinthya Barajas was born in Baja, Mexico. She worked as an ESL teacher at a private school for 6 years in which she taught students from 1st though 6th grade. While teaching, she attended the University of Baja where she obtained her degree for teaching English in elementary schools. She moved to Salt Lake City in February 2001 and continued her education at Salt Lake Community College for an introduction to Utah Schools. She joined the MCS staff in 2007 and received her Early Childhood Montessori credential through the North American Montessori Center (NAMC). She really enjoys being part of children’s educational development which is extremely rewarding. She truly believes that learning should be fun and a memorable experience, and therefore activities, songs, and manipulative materials should be used to reinforce and develop the children’s learning capabilities. 

Anita Ermish

Support Teacher

Anita was born and raised on Long Island, NY and is the youngest of seven children. Early on, her family life involved the care and enjoyment of her many nieces and nephews. Her passion for art and beautiful things was evident at a young age. After receiving a AS degree, she attended The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and worked in Graphic Design.  She has lived in New York, Boston, Phoenix and Salt Lake City while raising her three wonderful children.  She owned and operated a vintage furniture shop in Sugarhouse and recently received a BS in Psychology at Westminster College.  She is honored to be part of the Montessori Community School to help guide and nurture the values of love, respect and perseverance in the Early Childhood classrooms.  Anita enjoys baking, cooking, gardening, dancing, art and spending time with her family and friends.

Candace Leikam

Support Teacher

Candace is excited to be joining the Montessori Community School this year. She spent the last few years helping children and their families recover from addiction and trauma at a private daycare in downtown Salt Lake. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Candace received her bachelor's degrees 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. In her time outside of the classroom she enjoys reading, hiking with her dog Behr, going to local farmers markets, and festivals.

Annie Hays

 Early Childhood Teacher

Annie Hays simply adores children and loves to ignite the joy of learning in others. She is currently a student at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in Human Development, and hopes to be an Early Childhood Teacher someday. Annie grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, and I loves living on the Wasatch Front. In her free time Annie enjoys singing, playing the piano, running, and spending time with loved ones.