Each classroom at Children’s Garden is lead by a team of teachers, all who are either certified AMS/AMI Montessorians or who hold degrees in Early Childhood Education. CGMS sometimes serves as a student teaching site for Montessori interns from local Montessori training programs.
Head of School – holds a Master’s Degree in Education, has AMI training at the infant-toddler level, and Montessori Center International (MCI) training at the primary level. She is the mother of two graduates of Children’s Garden, and joined the staff in 2006.
Director of Admissions – has worked at Children’s Garden for over 20 years, serving as a Montessori teacher, studio teacher, summer camp director and now as Director of Admission. She has an AMS Early Childhood credential. Her daughter, now a college student, fondly credits Children’s Garden for her unquenchable thirst for learning.
Office Administrator – came to Children’s Garden first as a parent, with a lengthy background in dental office management. After volunteering as a parent for years, she began working at the school in 2004. Her responsibilities include her favorite and very important, “toddler greeter.”
Zach’s Place – Studio
Angelina Lloyd is our studio teacher. She holds an AMS Early Childhood credential and NAMTA Early Childhood Credential and is an active artist. Her graduate degree is in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Human Growth and Development and the educational philosophies of Reggio-Emilia, Italy. She has been in the studio for six years, and with Children’s Garden from 2006.
Amy Laugesen, our artist residence, works with the children in the studio one day a week with clay. She has been with the school for four years, and is an active ceramics and installation artist in the Denver area.
The Toddler Class Teachers
Kirsten Goode began teaching at Children’s Garden in 2015, after finishing her AMS Early Childhood certificate. In 2016, after falling in love with the toddler program and philosophy, she returned to MECR to complete her AMS Infant-Toddler certificate. She also holds a BA in Early Childhood Educational Studies, Psychology, and Women’s Studies.
Kelly Tyrer joined CGMS in 2017. She has AMS Early Childhood certification and a Colorado teaching certificate. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Counseling
Ward Hobbs Primary Class
Claire Jackson was born and raised in Denver and attended the University of San Diego. She holds an elementary teaching certificate. She has taught preschool, Kindergarten, first grade literacy and ESL (K-5th grand) for 10 years in California and Colorado. She came to Children’s Garden as a parent in 2012 when her son started in the toddler class. Her husband also attended Children’s Garden as a child, and she is honored to be a part of this special community as a parent and a teacher in the WHAM class.
Vida West has worked at Children’s Garden since 2005, and is in the WHAM primary classroom in the mornings, and in Extended Primary in the afternoon. She is AMS Early Childhood Credential, and also holds a Colorado elementary education license. Both of her children attended Children’s Garden from toddlers through Extended Primary.
Coco Turnipseed attended CGMS as a young child, returning as a teacher in January 2001. With a Master’s Degree in Education, Coco has worked in every classroom in the school. Additionally, she is the mother of a CGMS graduate. *Coco teaches in both Ward Hobbs and the 440 Classrooms.
Michelle Bower came to CGMS with over 16 years experience when she began teaching here in 2015. Born and raised in South Africa, Michelle holds an AMS credential at the Early Childhood Level.
Dale Keppler started at CGMS in January 2016. With a Masters of Arts in Teaching, Dale has taken two Montessori Early Childhood Trainings. When not at work, she enjoys hiking in the mountains with her dog.
Vida West and Michelle Bower are the Extended Primary teachers. Their bios are found above in Ward Hobbs and 440 Classroom, where they teach in the morning.
Fara Bowler – The parent of four CGMS graduates, Fara Bowler is a faculty member and Director of the Clinical Education Center and Simulation at the University of Colorado College of Nursing. She brings clinical expertise as an adult nurse practitioner and registered nurse practicing in areas of primary care, cardiac electrophysiology, and the medical intensive care unit. She has been involved in a SAMSA training grant focusing on the integration of SBIRT (Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment) incorporating high-fidelity simulation.
Board of Directors
The following serve on our Board of Directors: Hilary Haynes (President), Jennifer Johnson (Secretary), Jenny Holtze (Treasurer), Bobbie Hobbs, Emily Hobbs-Wright, Jim Salenblatt, Jaala Sheldon, Kara Vinton, Judy Ward, and Anika Williams.