Yesenia Quintero, P2 Head/Spanish Immersion Teacher

Yesenia (aka Jessie) has been at FMS for seven years and an educator for 12. She holds an AA in liberal arts and has taken additional coursework in child development. She is Montessori certified for primary. She is fully bilingual and is a Spanish Immersion teacher. She enjoys hiking, decorating and reading. Her favorite things about Montessori include the “home-like environment, mixed-age group classes, hands-on learning, and the order and harmony of the classrooms.”

Brianna Palmer, P3 Co-Teacher

Brianna has been at FMS for two years. She has seven years of experience teaching in early childhood education and six years of experience with the Montessori method. She has an associate’s in infant/toddler child development. She has a North American Montessori Certificate for preschool and is an active member of NAEYC, AMS and Nevada Registry. Brianna enjoys snowboarding, hiking and lying by the beach. “I enjoy watching the child connect and work with every piece of material,” says Brianna. “The inner peace they develop and their willingness to help fellow classmates warms my heart. It amazes me every day to see how far in-depth we can go into a particular topic.”

Ana Julia Burns, P1 Support/Dual Language Program Teacher
Ana has been at FMS for two years, and has two years of teaching experience. She comes from the beautiful country of Costa Rica and holds a BS in nursing, Licensure of Nursing, and Nurse Doctorate. She enjoys all outdoor activities. “I love the Montessori curriculum and working with children and my peers,” says Ana. “I am excited about sharing the Spanish language and culture with my students.”


Melissa Eckes, P2 Head, Primary Grade Level Head

Melissa hails from Wisconsin and has 21 years of Montessori teaching experience. She has a BA in English, a MA in education and is Montessori certified. She enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, cooking and reading. Her favorite thing about Montessori and teaching is “the level of respect given to the students and igniting the spark of interest in the world around them.”

Diana Marquina, P2 Support Teacher

Diana has been at FMS for eight years and has eight years of experience in education. She is Montessori certified for primary. She loves to go for walks and to dance and read. Diana says, “I love children and to be able to work with them every day is the most amazing experience for me. I love the Montessori philosophy.”

Nancy Crow, P2 Support Teacher

Nancy has been at FMS for three years and has six years of teaching experience. She holds a BA in communication studies and an early childhood credential from the American Montessori Society. Her hobbies include yoga and art. Nancy’s favorite thing about Montessori is “watching a child develop the ability to listen deeply and concentrate on a presented concept. It is immensely gratifying to be able to ‘follow the child’ through their discovery process and be able to support and encourage them through it. I’m also motivated by the Montessori commitment of developing the whole person including their sense of self and their ability to interact with other people. Acknowledgement of peace as a key theme of Montessori education is also one of my favorite aspects of teaching children.”


Maryam Khadivi, P3 Head Teacher

This is Maryam’s second year at FMS. She has 13 years of experience in education. She has a BS in chemistry and holds a Montessori certification from the London Teacher Training College. Her hobbies include walking and dancing. She loves “to see academic and social growth, and to build self-confidence and independence in children.”

Michele Gorton, P3 Co-Teacher

Michele Gorton has been at FMS for two years. She has 18 years of experience teaching pre-k and kindergarten and holds a BS in elementary education. Michele is Montessori certified through NAMC and has over 100 hours of continuing educational training hours. She is an active member of Nevada Registry. She enjoys traveling, laying on the beach, skiing, bike riding, reading and hanging out with her family. Michele’s favorite part of Montessori is being involved with the children through their amazing learning process.



Kat Klehm, P4 Head Teacher

Katherine has spent three years at FMS and has eight years of experience in education. She holds a BA in psychology and is Montessori certified for primary. She has also done senior level course work for special education and speech pathology and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She enjoys running, singing, wakeboarding and cooking. Says Kat: “The Montessori philosophy allows me, as an educator, to follow the child and teach to the individual needs of each of my students. We observe the individual child closely and follow them in their interests to create a unique educational journey.”

Alisa Peck, P4 Co-Teacher

Alisa has been at FMS for nine years and has 19 years of experience in education. She has a degree in child development and enjoys fitness and yoga. Says Alisa: “I love working with primary-age children for a three-year cycle.”

Pauline Well, P4 Support Teacher

Pauline has been at FMS for seven years and has 10 years of experience in education. She has a BA in journalism with a minor in English. Pauline taught English abroad for three years with the Japanese Exchange Teaching Program. She enjoys traveling, hiking and cycling. Her daughter Mia has been a student at FMS since she was three. Says Pauline, “Mia has had a wonderful experience & loves Foothills!” Pauline’s favorite thing about Montessori is “seeing a child with joy and pride on their face after completing a work, and then seeing that same child three years later helping a younger friend with a work.”

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