Early Childhood Teachers

Ruby Chouldjian

Chouldjian-Ruby-1Teacher - Aspens

Ruby Chouldjian was born in Tehran, although her ancestry is Armenian. She traveled to many places, including Russia, Armenia, India, Kuwait, Bahrain, Austria, Italy and Germany before coming to the U.S. in 1987. Her husband Mike is a mechanic (Range Rover Specialist) and they have two sons, 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, Arts, Music, and 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. Ruby enjoys reading in her spare time and spending time with her grandchildren Amelia and Eva.

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!!

Cinthya Barajas

Barajas-Cynthia-2Teacher - Sequoias

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

Ermish-Anita-1Teacher - Magnolias

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 an 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 preserve drew rance in the Early Childhood classrooms.  Anita enjoys baking, cooking, gardening, dancing, art and spending time with her family and friends.

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 Montessori philosophy for young children. She a holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Education from the University of Utah, and is currently working with the Center of Guided Montessori Studies to receive her Early Childhood teaching credential in Montessori Studies, predicted to graduate in December 2018. Annie lives in Salt Lake with her husband and hedgehog, and enjoys spending time exploring the city with her loved ones. 

Catherine Mathews

IX2A7086c-1Teacher - Sequoias

Catherine Mathews was born and spent most of her life in Utah.  She was introduced to Montessori philosophy when her children were young and fell in love with this beautiful education for life. Cathie has been involved in Montessori environments since 2002. She received her Early Childhood Certification through Institute of Guided Studies and joined the MCS staff in 2017. Cathie has taught in Early Childhood and Early Elementary Montessori environments and has enjoyed both. She feels passionate about assisting children in becoming independent learners with an inner drive for discovery in all aspects of their lives. Cathie’s greatest love is her family. She and her husband, Brian, are the parents of 2 girls and 3 boys. She feels the best gig in her life is that of being a grandparent!

Christina Economy

Name Dual Language Teacher - Magnolias

Christina was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She received her Bachelor of Arts from CSU Long Beach in 2011. She and her husband moved from Southern California to Salt Lake City in 2016. They share a  love for natural spaces and outdoor activities, which is what brought them to Utah. (She is currently attending the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College and will be receiving her Early Childhood Credential in June of 2019). Her love for children and desire to contribute to their education is what led Christina to Montessori Community School. Her favorite aspect of the Montessori environment is being a part of a welcoming environment that fosters the child’s love for learning. She has a passion for sewing, arts, travel, and ceramics. In her free time, Christina enjoys hiking or biking with her husband and beloved dog. She also enjoys skiing, climbing, gardening, cooking, and camping. A little known fact is that Christina and her husband had a year long traveling honeymoon; and some of their travels took them through four South American countries.

Kayla Jones

Grimm-Kayla-1Assistant Teacher - Aspens

Kayla is looking forward to another fun year at Montessori Community School and she is 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 in 2017. She is currently working with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies to become a certified Montessori Guide. 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.

Kristine Withem

Withem-KristineSupport/Extended Day Teacher - Aspens

Kristine Withem is a Support and Extended Day Teacher for the Aspens class just joining us this school year. She is originally from San Diego, CA, but has spent the last three years in Muncie, Indiana where she received an Associates Degree (in Early Childhood Education) and is working towards her Bachelor' at Ball State University. Kristine hopes to graduate from Ball State in the coming Spring as she completes her degree online in Early Childhood and Special Education. She has wanted to be a teacher since she was a little girl, and is thrilled to be pursuing her passion in the Montessori environment. In her free time, she enjoys to do crafts, travel-- especially road trips to places she has never seen before, and occasionally watch Netflix. Kristine really enjoys the outdoors, and is looking forward to exploring the terrain here in Salt Lake City, hiking and possibly skiing/snowboarding.

Jeannette Beltran

Beltran-Jeannette-1Support/Extended Day Teacher - Willows

Jeannette recently moved to Utah from the East Coast and is excited to join the Montessori Community School team. After nine years in the technology industry working as an editor and writer, Jeannette discovered her passion for education in 2015, when she began working with children. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, writing, and spending time with her twins.

Alisalee Bowyer

IX2A9367c-1Support/Extended Day Teacher - Magnolias

Alisalee was born here in Salt Lake City, UT. She has had the opportunity to live in Guatemala, Ohio, and travel extensively around Germany. She has a passion for life and it’s many opportunities finding humor and joy in almost every situation. She has an affinity for laughter and will go out of her way to help those around her feel joy and smile. Alisalee has two beautiful elementary aged children of her own and she loves to be able to spend special time with each of them. It is important to Alisalee to be able to balance time for herself with her children and her day-to-day life. Alisalee finds this freeing time through dance, music, movies, and snagging an ice-cold Pepsi.

Adrianna Begay

Begay-Adrianna-1Support/Extended Day Teacher - Sequoias

Adrianna Begay was born in Chinle, Arizona. She moved to Salt Lake City in 2016. In 2016 she worked with the Special Education program in the Salt Lake School District and in 2015 she worked as a Long Term Substitute in a Public School on the Navajo Nation. Adrianna came to Montessori in 2018 and fell in love with the Montessori Philosophy. Adrianna enjoys exploring Utah and looks forward to other adventures!

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