Upper Elementary Staff


Rebekah Atmadja, E5 Lead Teacher

Rebekah comes to us with a myriad of teaching experiences and talents. She has earned her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on teaching reading, and she is currently pursuing her National Board certification. She has been a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and K-8 STEM teacher. She loves learning through hands-on activities because she believes they create a more meaningful learning experience. A fun fact about Ms. Rebekah is that she was born in Switzerland, grew up in Japan, taught in Indonesia, married a Chinese Indonesian, and has now landed in Las Vegas.

Kristen Lavachek, E5 Co-Teacher

Kristen joined us in 2021 with 13 years of Montessori experience.  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 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 E5 team!

Faith Smith, E5 Co-Teacher

Teaching is Faith’s calling. She has a myriad of experiences in education and has taught preschool up through 9th grade. Her favorite subjects to teach are history and English language arts. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Pennsylvania State University and has her elementary teaching certification. When she isn’t teaching, she is spending time with her family.


Taylor Badua-Kono, E6 Co-Teacher

Taylor joined the FMS staff in Fall 2019.  She holds a BA in Integrated Studies, the equivalent of an Elementary Teaching Degree. Her focus for the past couple of years has been on developing curriculum for Odyssey Charter School and helping to run Skyhawks, an after school athletic program. With a focus in Language Arts, Taylor brings a love of reading to her position and has a special fondness for young adult literature and creative writing.  The hands-on approach to teaching in the Montessori classroom has special appeal to Taylor, as she recognizes the power of understanding concepts from a concrete perspective and building on a foundation of tangible experiences. Taylor is a sports enthusiast, both in watching professional sports (she’s an LA Dodgers fan) and in playing basketball, softball, and volleyball.

Kirsten, E6 Teacher

Ms. Kirsten holds both a Nevada State teaching license and an Arizona State teaching license. She graduated from North Arizona University in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Kirsten got her start working in daycares and then as a special needs paraprofessional at the high school level in the Vail Unified School District in Tucan, Arizona. After finishing her student teaching during the pandemic, Kirsten went to teach middle school specials for two years. She started as an Art teacher and then transitioned to STEM the following year. Kirsten has a passion for children and science. She enjoys incorporating teamwork and hands-on learning as much as possible into her lessons.

Krista Speigner, E6 Co-Teacher

Teaching is a task of love for Krista. Each day, she feels she learns along with the children and, having been a Montessori student herself finds that one truly doesn’t ever stop that love of learning once it is found. She has her Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Montessori Education. She has taught in a Montessori classroom for over 7 years and has 2 years of Montessori Administration experience. A true Montessorian, she is always listening and observing. She is passionate about cultivating an environment where people can feel safe to be themselves. In her free time, you can find her reading, biking, or camping with her family.