Maria Pate, E1 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 an 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 the job for their own personal satisfaction rather than to receive praise from parents and/or teachers.”
Rebecca Jagusch, E1 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 an 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, E1 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.
Lauren T, E1 Support Teacher
We are excited to have Ms. Lauren back on campus with us. She has 8 years of experience teaching Montessori. Lauren studied early childhood development, elementary education, and Montessori while in higher education. She admires how the Montessori philosophy encompasses social, emotional, and practical life skills in addition to academics. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys skating with her family, running with her dog, Gouda, beekeeping in Moapa, and kickboxing. Her talent as an educator does not go unnoticed and we are so thankful to have her on campus.
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 of 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.”
Marian Rusche, E2 Co-Teacher
A certified Montessori teacher in Lower Elementary, Marian joined the FMS teaching staff in 2011. Marian holds a B.A. in English and Anthropology from Emory University and has previously taught English for grades 9-12. She also has twelve years of experience as a professional writer, editor, and 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.”
Adrien Berryessa, E2 Support Teacher
Adrien has been a part of the Foothills Montessori family since 2008 when she enrolled her twins in preschool. She served as room mom for E2 and on the PTO for several years. Adrien started a Girl Scout Troop at Foothills and has been leading that for 10 years now. She loves to teach and is looking forward to getting Montessori certified in the near future. Adrien graduated with a BS in behavioral science and a minor in anthropology. She loves the foundation that Montessori gives to children and believes it fosters a true love of learning. After watching her own children thrive from a Montessori education she is thrilled to be a part of this school.
April Dane, E4 Head Teacher, Elementary Grade Level Head
April arrived at FMS in 2003, with over 15 years of 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 an 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 FMS’ original teachers, Melissa Martin joined our team in 2001 with 10 years teaching experience. She holds a BS in Elementary Education with a Minor in Music. Melissa began her journey as a primary teacher, followed by 13 years in lower elementary, and 2 year as a music teacher for ages 3-12. Melissa is Montessori certified in lower elementary, and holds level 1 and level 2 Orff Music Certifications. Melissa’s discerning eye and sharp mind elevates and inspires her students to be the best that they can be.
Kristen Lavachek, E4 Co-Teacher
Kristen has been a Montessori teacher for 13 years and is looking forward to continuing her journey at FMS. She was born and raised in Las Vegas, but moved to Seattle for a few years. In 2007, she was initially introduced to the Montessori philosophy and spent 6 wonderful years learning a new way to look at and love children. In 2013, she moved back to Las Vegas, being fortunate to continue teaching within a Montessori environment. Her favorite part of Montessori currently is watching her 3 year old son blossom in his Montessori classroom! When she isn’t at school, she enjoys movie & game nights with her family, puzzles, reading US History and mystery/suspense books, and going to Disneyland! We are so excited to have her on the E4 team!