Lower Elementary Staff


Rosie Bushbaum, E2 Head Teacher, Elementary Grade Level Head

Rosie has been a member of the FMS teaching staff since 2003. She came to FMS with over 13 years teaching experience and began her career at FMS teaching on the Primary side of our school. Rosie has a BS in Education and has earned her Montessori Certification for both Primary (3-6 year olds) and for Lower Elementary (6-9 year olds).  She earned her Lower Elementary certification from the prestigious Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR). In 2012, FMS was fortunate to have Rosie move from a Lead position in the Primary classroom and take a Lead position in a Lower Elementary classroom. She brings a calm and knowledgeable presence to every encounter she has, and she enjoys “learning something new each day.” Her favorite things about Montessori is “mixed ages in the classroom and guiding the children to discover, explore, learn and resolve things on their own rather than providing them with the answers.”

Kerri Burks, E2 Co-Teacher

Kerri brought a wealth of experience in working with children when she became a substitute teacher at FMS in 2015. In the fall of 2016, Kerri permanently joined the FMS team as the E2 Co-Teacher. She is fully certified to teach Montessori in a Lower Elementary classroom. Kerri’s early career focused on working with hospitalized children and adolescents. She holds a MA in Education with emphasis in the Hospitalized Child and Early Childhood, and a BA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Kerri is passionate about child development and guiding children’s learning by building on their strengths and curiosity. Kerri’s warmth and optimism, coupled with her attentive and reflective approach, inspires students to pursue their interests and reach for their potential. She loves the Montessori philosophy because “it embraces the whole child, meets children where they are, and fosters critical thinking and collaboration.” She enjoys being active outdoors while hiking, gardening, and playing sports.

Brenda Montoya, E2 Support Teacher

In 2003, Brenda began her teaching career at FMS. Brenda spent a few years teaching on the Primary side of FMS, and then found her calling working with Lower Elementary students. Brenda brings an easy going yet highly detailed approach to her teaching and leaves lasting impressions upon her students. Brenda holds her Montessori Certification in Lower Elementary. Says Brenda: “Montessori education allows a child to explore their interests. As their interests change they are able to change their focus; this keeps them continually interested in learning more.”


Maria Pate, E3 Head Teacher

In 2006, Maria brought her Spanish flair and enthusiasm to FMS. She inspires her students to learn their lessons in Spanish by naturally immersing them in the second language. Maria came to FMS with four years of teaching experience. She holds a MA in Education (foreign language emphasis) and an MA in Linguistics, in addition to Montessori certification. Maria says: “One of the things that I love about Montessori is how a student becomes independent. He or she will do  job for their own personal satisfaction rather than to receive praise from parents and/or teachers.”

Rebecca Jagusch, E3 Co-Teacher

In the Fall of 2015 FMS had the privilege of adding Rebecca to our Lower Elementary teaching team. Rebecca began her teaching career over 20 years ago as a preschool teacher in a traditional setting. She earned a BS in Secondary Education and was inspired to learn the Montessori method after seeing her daughter blossom during her time in a Montessori Kindergarten class. Rebecca now holds Montessori teaching credentials for Primary and Elementary aged children and is working towards her Montessori Master’s degree. Over the years, Rebecca has come to see the profound influence that the Montessori method has on creating opportunity for everyone to find their own window into their education. Rebecca comments, “It is such a hands-on, multisensory method of teaching, that I have experienced its positive impact first hand.”

Yasnay Figueredo, E3 Support Teacher/Spanish Immersion

With over 19 years of teaching experience, ranging from early childhood to the university level, Yasnay joined the FMS teaching staff in 2013. She holds a BA in Education and is originally from Cuba. She loves participating in community events and researching about nutrition. “My favorite thing about Montessori is the rigorous individualized instruction. I enjoy teaching in a warm, open and structured environment that fosters the children’s independent grown,” Yasnay says.

Marian Rusche, E3 Support Teacher

A certified Montessori teacher in Lower Elementary, Marian joined the FMS teaching staff in 2011.  Marian had 6 years of teaching experience before joining the FMS faculty. She holds a BA in English and Anthropology; she is also experienced as a writer, editor, and professional photographer.  Marian’s quiet and studious approach towards her students gives them a clear pathway for learning.  She combines the best in a teacher who is an active listener and someone skilled in having the student discover the underlying meaning of their activities. Marian reflects, “I love the way Montessori encourages children to explore their own interests and in that process, to find that learning is its own reward.”


April Dane, E4 Head Teacher

April arrived at FMS in 2003, with over 15 years teaching experience. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction. She is Montessori certified for Lower Elementary (6-9 year olds) and she also holds a Literacy Endorsement. April’s ready smile and warm demeanor is matched by her depth of knowledge and her keen eye for observation. Her favorite things about Montessori is that “the Culture Curriculum gives children understanding and compassion for all people. The Montessori classrooms allow children to work at different levels, while freedom of choice creates enthusiasm for learning.”

Melissa Martin, E4 Co-Teacher

One of the original FMS teachers, Melissa came to FMS in 2001 with over 10 years experience in education. She holds a BS in Elementary Education with a Minor in Music. Melissa is Montessori certified in Lower Elementary (6-9 year olds) and also has an Orff Music Certification, Level 1. Melissa’s discerning eye and sharp mind elevates and inspires her students to be the best that they can be. She enjoys reading, music and embroidery. Melissa observes, “I love seeing children have ‘aha moments’ and experience their love of learnin

Angela Drew, E4 Support Teacher, Art Specialist

Angela has been an FMS staff member since 2004. She came to FMS with three years of teaching experience and a BA in Fine Arts. She wears two hats in her binary roles as Art Specialist and as the E4 Support Teacher. In all of her interactions, Angela brings a keen eye for details and a ready and positive attitude to support and help foster the academic growth of her students.