Rosie Bushbaum, E2 Head Teacher
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.”
Vickie Winkel, E2 Co-Teacher
Since 2006, FMS has had the pleasure of having Vickie on staff teaching in our Lower Elementary division. She came to FMS with 4 years teaching experience and has brought a clarity of mind and love of learning to every student she works with. Vickie holds a BS and MA, as well as Lower Elementary certification from the prestigious Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR). She enjoys hiking, music, reading and quilting. Says Vickie: “I love the opportunity to individualize the curriculum for each child based on their strengths, interests and needs. I believe the Montessori method helps foster a love of learning that will serve the child well throughout their life.”
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.”
Nina Jacobi, E3 Head Teacher, Elementary Grade Level Head
With 7 years in the education field, Nina came to FMS in 2003. She holds a M.Ed in Montessori Education; her thesis was an analysis of how the Montessori method meets the criteria for brain-based education. Nina is Montessori certified for Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary. Nina’s wide angle scope on the overall development levels of her incoming primary students, she has the extra view of what her students will encounter as they move from her classroom into an Upper Elementary class. Nina’s love for learning is seen in her eyes and by her ever-ready smile. As she says, “The gift of Montessori is the ability to blend creative projects, manipulatives and personal interests at each child’s academic level, allowing a child to perform at a different level for each subject. This inspires a lifelong love of learning.”
Maria Pate, E3 Spanish Immersion/Co-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.”
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 Barcelona, Spain. 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.
Robyn King, E3 Support Teacher
In 2014 Robyn joined the FMS teaching staff. She has a BA in Theatre, a MAT in Elementary E., and is in the process of completing her Montessori Certification. Robyn worked at the Manhattan Children’s Theatre in New York, NY on two productions, including a world premiere adaptation of the Velveteen Rabbit. She spent multiple summers volunteering at Camp Exclamation Point in Vermont, a weeklong low or no cost overnight camp for rural farming families. Robyn is intrigued by the Montessori method of “following the child” in their academic pursuits and providing individualized lessons. It is striking to her how the child’s progress is measured against their own abilities and that the ultimate reward for the child is the feeling of cultivating their own thirst for knowledge, using the skills that a Montessori education provides.
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 learning.”
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.
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