CMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2023-2024
Lynne Casebeer is the current President of the Colorado Montessori Association (CMA). She is also the Co-owner and Director of Sidewalk’s End Montessori School in Colorado Springs, a primary program catering to 66 students aged 3-6. Lynne’s journey into Montessori started as part of the pioneering parent group that introduced the first public Montessori program in Colorado Springs at Buena Vista Elementary School in School District 11.
Her educational background includes a BA in Psychology from The Colorado College, and she obtained her AMS Early Childhood Certificate through Montessori Education of the Rockies in 2007. In 2010, Lynne embarked on the adventure of establishing Sidewalk’s End, a testament to her commitment to Montessori education. With enthusiasm, Lynne looks forward to further involvement in the vibrant Colorado Montessori community.
Teng-Chien Yu, originally from Taiwan, is a distinguished AMI Primary Trainer. He commenced his career as a licensed Clinical Social Worker, working within elementary school communities. It was in this role that he discovered his passion for Montessori education. His journey in Montessori has seen him serve as a guide for 0-3-year-olds and Children’s House students in the US, Taiwan, and China.
Teng-Chien’s dedication extends to teacher training, where he is a passionate mentor. He is also deeply interested in promoting social justice in the context of early childhood education. With a rich and diverse background, he brings a unique perspective to Montessori pedagogy and its impact on the world.
Maeve Fields has been working with children for over thirty years and has had the privilege of caring for hundreds of children in that time. She has a B.A in early childhood education, an A.M.S Montessori Teaching Credential and a Masters Degree in Leadership.
She has worked as a business consultant for many different businesses across multiple sectors including childcare, transportation and logistics, real estate and auto repair.
She is currently the Early Childhood Director at Jarrow Montessori School in Boulder, Colorado.
Maeve spent her early years in community theater and these skills have proven to be invaluable in the training videos and course content she has created. Her years as a sous chef in some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area have made her an excellent home cook. In her spare time Maeve likes to road bike, hike, swim and travel.
Araceli del Carmen O’Clair
Araceli del Carmen O’Clair is a seasoned educator with two decades of experience. As a proud Latina deeply connected to her cultural roots, she cherishes her bilingual and bicultural identity, which allows her to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. Her leadership journey began at a young age when she assisted her immigrant parents in running the family business. Over the years, her leadership has evolved and is now firmly grounded in dignity and nurturing human potential.
Currently, Araceli leads Denver Public School’s network of Montessori schools, and her 9-year tenure as the principal of a dual language Montessori school provided her with a profound understanding of the complexities involved in Montessori education within the public sector. As a first-generation college graduate, she holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Studies from Worcester State University, followed by a Master’s Degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education from the University of Colorado.
Araceli’s commitment to Montessori education and social justice is unwavering, and she actively contributes to developing leaders for Montessori schools worldwide. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of Montessori education.
Member at Large
Laura Alexander’s Montessori journey began when she followed her own children into Montessori education. Intrigued by the math materials and the allure of the golden beads, she started as a substitute in the Early Childhood classroom at her children’s school. Over the years, Laura’s dedication to Montessori grew, leading her to become an Early Childhood assistant and complete the Elementary I-II training at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR). Her journey has seen her take on various roles, including instructor, field consultant, seminar assistant, and supervising teacher at the training center.
For a significant portion of her career, Laura taught upper elementary for 12 years at the Montessori School of Evergreen before transitioning to an administrative role as the Middle School Division Head. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, where she passionately fosters the growth and discovery of adult learners at all stages of their Montessori journey.
Member at Large
Rachel Averch is one of the founding members of the Colorado Montessori Association (CMA) and holds the esteemed position of a board elder. In 2022, she returned to serve on the CMA Board of Directors, showcasing her unwavering dedication to Montessori education in Colorado. Rachel’s educational journey has equipped her with a BA in Education Administration and AMS Primary Certification through the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. Her credentials further include a CDHS Director’s Credential and a Level IV Credential.
Rachel’s commitment to Montessori education extends to her role as the co-founder and President/CEO of The Montessori Children’s House of Denver, a prestigious accredited private school that she established in 1991. This institution has thrived over 31 years, expanding to three campuses and serving 275 students, ranging from 12 months old to middle school. With a personal connection to Montessori education as a former Montessori student and a strong legacy, Rachel is driven to ensure that every child can fulfill their unique potential through the Montessori Method.
Acting Executive Director
Katy Mattis is a dedicated Montessori professional with a wealth of experience spanning various educational settings. She has been an Elementary Montessori guide, an instructional leader, and a principal in private, charter, and magnet Montessori programs. Katy’s passion lies in ensuring that leaders and teachers have the best tools and resources to support their work with children. For over a decade, she contributed to the educational landscape of Denver Public Schools, serving as a teacher, Montessori instructional coach, and principal at a Montessori magnet school.
Katy’s qualifications are extensive, including AMI diplomas in both Assistants to Infancy and Elementary education, an M.Ed in Montessori Education from Loyola College, as well as Colorado state teacher and principal licenses. Currently residing in Colorado with her family, Katy is not just an educational professional but also a proud mother of two children who attend public Montessori schools. She is deeply committed to making the strength and beauty of Montessori education accessible to all.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.