CMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2020-2021
Jacquelyn “Jackie” has worked in Montessori for over 15 years. She has worked with students and families from prenatal education through Elementary. Jacquelyn has her AMI Montessori certificate in Assistants to Infancy (0 to 3 education) from The Montessori Institute in Denver, BA in Statistics and Mathematics from Rutgers University, Rutgers College, and M.Ed. in Education, specializing in Montessori Education, from Xavier University. She has taught in Nido, Toddler, Primary, and Elementary classrooms, consulted in classrooms of all ages, managed Montessori schools worked as a mentor for new teachers and assistants, and created Parent and Teacher Education workshops on a variety of topics. She has worked in Montessori schools and at Montessori training centers around the country.
Jacquelyn has done research in Montessori and early childhood education and plans to continue and expand her work. She is currently an active Board Member for the Colorado Montessori Association and enjoys supporting Montessori initiatives. Jacquelyn spends time in the summer working with The Montessori Institute in Denver and expanding Montessori education for all.
Jacquelyn has been living in the Parker area for over 10 years. She enjoys many of the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer including camping, hiking, and snowshoeing.
Crystal has worked with children and families in Montessori environments for over 15 years. Crystal is the head of school and owner of Treehouse Montessori located in Fort Collins. She has been a compassionate teacher, assistant, student, administrator, director, head of school and owner since 2011.
Crystal has been collaborating with Colorado State University (CSU) for the past 7 years to create pathways for future teachers through her school. She enjoys her lectures with the Human Development and Family Studies department, her partnerships with education professors, as well as hosting practicum students and students teaching internships through TMS.
Crystal also sits as a community member on the Poudre School District family and consumer science board. Her contribution on the PSD board is advocating for the child, inspiring students who want to become teachers and guidance on creating pathways for high school students to become teachers.
As the Vice President of Colorado Montessori Association board of directors, she finds true passion in creating partnerships with all members and unifying the Montessori voice in Colorado.
Crystal believes in creating opportunities for people to follow their dreams and find their best self. Her career mission is to spread kindness, build genuine relationships with all, strive to be a better leader, and awaken her thought and purpose.
She holds her primary credential from North American Montessori Center and plans to retain her AMI primary credential through Great Work, Inc. Crystal also has her state of Colorado Directors License for Early Childhood Education and a Graphic Design degree.
When Crystal is not wearing every hat as head of school and managing her business, she loves cooking, gardening and being in the outdoors loving the beautiful scenery that Colorado has to offer. Lately, her thing has been restoring old furniture and wood working. Crystal and her husband, currently have no children but are in the process of adopting. They couldn’t be more excited to adopt and have been looking forward to being parents for a very long time. They are currently fur parents to their dogs Chaco and Reeko but are eager to raise a tiny human together.
Seth designs and organizes school-based support, training, and program development for Montessori schools in the Rocky Mountain Region. Prior to joining NCMPS, Seth worked in public charter Montessori schools in Arizona, Colorado, and New Zealand as an elementary teacher, instructional leader, dean of students, and principal.
Throughout his career, Seth has been active in the Montessori movement as a conference presenter, and lecturer, and field consultant for Montessori training centers. He is Montessori credentialed (AMS 6-12, AMI 12-18), is a state-licensed teacher and principal, and holds an MAEd from the Center for Contemporary Montessori Programs at St. Catherine University.
Seth is a Montessori parent and passionate Montessori advocate, and blogs about Montessori education at Finding Our Center – Reaching Out.
Member At Large
Robin has been part of the Montessori community for over 20 years. She started as a Montessori child herself, worked as a primary assistant for two summers where her two little sisters attended. This is where she really found her passion for the Montessori philosophy.
After completing her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education at Western Oregon University and receiving her Oregon teaching license, she continued her passion working with children and received her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Primary Diploma from Montessori Northwest. Shortly after, she completed her M.Ed in Montessori Education from Loyola University in 2008.
After completing her AMI Primary diploma, Robin decided to pack up her rainboots in Oregon for sunny weather and worked in a public Montessori school for 10 years in Phoenix, Arizona. During this time, she worked in a Primary classroom for 8 years and worked on the administration team for two years where she oversaw 8 primary classrooms, provided professional developments, coaching, and interventions for children in need.
Being a lifelong learner, Robin took on additional responsibilities at the school, specifically the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) facilitator. This opportunity allowed her to expand her knowledge on providing intervention to students, along with working with a variety of specialists to provide academic and behavior intervention for primary through adolescent students.
Having taken on this role, it lead Robin to her next chapter of Montessori training, Inclusive Education with Silvia Dubovoy and Janet McDonell at Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2015. From her knowledge of working on the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) team, she created her own Strengths Based Tracking system that allowed Montessorians to use their observation techniques while bridging traditional education language to ensure that specialists and teachers were working collaboratively to guarantee that children were receiving preventive intervention.
She continued to consult on the Inclusive Education course for an additional two summers, presenting information on how Heads of School, teachers, and parents can work with multi-disciplinary teams and use a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) approach. She also completed her Administration credential in 2018.
Robin is excited to be a part of the Colorado Montessori Association Board and lending her experience in the public sector and being part of the Great Work, Inc team that launched the AMI Primary and Adolescent Trainings, along with bringing workshops, webinars, and professional developments that continue to strengthen the Montessori community in Colorado. Her continued passion to bring high fidelity Montessori to underprivileged communities continues to be at the core of her work at Great Work, Inc. She is inspired every day to recruit future teachers from diverse backgrounds that reflect our global majority, along with different socioeconomic backgrounds, religion, age, and gender identities.
Member at Large
Tatenda Muchiriri was born in Zimbabwe and discovered his love of Montessori when he moved to China where he had the opportunity to work with children for seven years before moving to Boulder, Colorado in 2015.
Tatenda is passionate about Montessori philosophy and received his American Montessori Society Infant/Toddler and Early Childhood credential through the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. He was privileged to be part of the AMS Emerging Leaders Fellowship 2nd cohort 2018. He is also a Moonshot EdVenture 2020 fellow and currently a full-time board member of Colorado Montessori Association.
Tatenda is a co-founder of Flame Lily Wildflower School, an Early Childhood School serving 3–6-year-old in Aurora and Denver. Flame Lily Wildflower Schools is a Montessori school that uses culturally relevant pedagogy and an anti-bias, anti-racist curriculum.
When he is not working with young children, he is usually reading a good book or trying a new recipe. He loves traveling to different places and learning about people’s cultures and food.
Member at Large
Michelle Rugel is a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumna and received her M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Baltimore. She was trained as an AMI Elementary guide (ages 6-12) by Dr. Kay Baker at the Washington Montessori Institute.
Michelle taught in an elementary classroom in Chicago and helped to organize a new Montessori environment in Switzerland before moving to Puebla, Mexico for her AMI Primary training (ages 3-6) under Coral Ruiz.
From 2014 to 2016, she served as a primary guide at the Montessori Academy Bangkok International School in Thailand before moving to Colorado in 2017 where she completed her AMI Assistants to Infancy training (ages 0-3) with Judi Orion in Denver.
She was the former founder and owner of a Montessori materials-making company before she sold the company in 2020. Michelle is also the founder and Head of School of Hiatt Farms Montessori School, a bilingual Montessori farm school in Loveland, Colorado which serves children ages 8 weeks to 6 years old.
She is currently completing a certificate in School Management and Leadership through Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and Business School. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and three (almost, baby #3 due in September) beautiful children.
Members may become involved in any aspect of CMA work. This is your organization and we welcome your suggestions, your ideas, and your experience. Let us know if you are available to assist with any of the following tasks by contacting CMA.
- Advocacy and Policy: Monitoring and interpreting current and proposed state regulations that affect Montessori practice.
- Events: Coordinating speakers, locations, registrations, and food.
- Membership: Processing registrations and outreach to new members
- Public/Private Coalition: Promoting relationships between the two sectors
If you’d like to contact CMA, email us at: [email protected]
Martha is the Founding and Executive Director of Mountain Montessori. She has a BS in Biology from Le Moyne College and an Early Childhood Directorship from the State of Colorado. Her Montessori training for Primary Level was completed through Montessori Educational Programs International (www.mepiforum.org) in 1995. Martha’s internship was a full year at Vail Valley Montessori School in Minturn, Colorado. Martha obtained her Masters of Education in Montessori at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN in 2010.
Martha has been a member of the Board of Directors for Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI) for 4 years. Presently she is serving as the President of MEPI.
Prior to coming to Mountain Montessori in 2004 as a founding teacher, Martha helped co-found Montessori Children’s House in Edwards, Colorado, and Eagle Montessori in Eagle, Colorado. Martha has 5 children who are Montessori educated. Most of her free time is spent enjoying their soccer games, volleyball games, and telemark competitions. Martha also loves to run, hike, and read.
Kathryn has been involved in Montessori education since 1972 and has AMI and AMS training at the primary level. She and her late husband founded Mt. Sopris Montessori School in Carbondale, CO, in 1980, and co-directed it for twenty years. From 2001 – 2004 she and her husband lived and worked in Montessori schools in Philadelphia. Upon returning to Colorado, Kathryn served at head of school at Children’s Garden Montessori School in Denver.
Currently, Kathryn is an adjunct professor for The Institute for Educational Studies at Endicott College, and an instructor for the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, where she is the coordinator for the Administrator Course. She is a graduate of TIES at Endicott College, and her Master’s Thesis won the AMS award for best Montessori-focused Master’s Thesis in 2008.
Rachel is one of the founding members of the Colorado Montessori Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee in the capacity of Secretary. She also oversees the CMA Director’s Network, sits on the CMA Private/Public Coalition Committee, and oversees the monthly publishing of CMA’s newsletter.
In addition to holding her BA in Education Administration, AMS Primary Certification through the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, CDHS Director’s Credential, and a Level IV Credential, Rachel is co-founder and President/CEO of The Montessori Children’s House of Denver, an accredited private school established in 1991. After 25 years, The Montessori Children’s House of Denver now spans three campuses and serves 250 students from 12 months through middle school.
A Montessori student herself, and coming from a Montessori family, Rachel is deeply committed to the Montessori Method of education as a means to help every child fulfill their unique individual potential, and is equally committed to uniting the Montessori community in Colorado.
Directory of Founding Schools
Colorado Montessori Association Founding Schools & Organization
Each of these schools and organizations gave a generous donation to the Colorado Montessori Association in order to ensure a successful foundation for the association. We are so grateful to be in partnership with such a motivated and dedicated community. Please be sure to click on the links below and learn more about each founding partner.