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 SchoolBekke Howell holds a Master’s Degree in Education, has AMI training at the infant-toddler level,  Montessori Center International (MCI) training at the primary level, and Colorado State Director credentials.  She is the mother of two graduates of Children’s Garden, and joined the staff in 2006.

Associate Director and Admissions Head – Jamie Boes has been with Children’s Garden for over 30 years, as a Montessori classroom teacher, studio teacher, summer camp director, and administrator.  She has AMS Early Childhood and Director credentials. Her daughter, now a teacher herself, fondly credits Children’s Garden for her unquenchable thirst for learning.

Office AdministratorCatherine Ramey 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 since 2009 and with Children’s Garden since 2006.

Amy Laugesen, our artist residence, works with the children in the studio one week per month with clay.  She has worked with the school for many years, and is an active ceramics and installation artist in the Denver area.

The Toddler Program Teachers

Kristen Blomgren, Rose Jorden, and Rachel Regan …photos and information coming soon!

The Primary Program Teachers


Claire Jackson was born and raised in Denver and attended the University of San Diego. She holds an elementary teaching certificate and a MACTE Certification for Early Childhood. 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.

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.

Coco Turnipseed has worked at Children’s Garden on and off since 2002 in the Toddler and Primay classrooms.  An alum of the school, she has a Master’s Degree in Education and a deep understanding of Montessori Curriculum.  Her child also is an alum of CGMS.


Vida West has worked at Children’s Garden since 2005.  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.



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.

Support Staff

Beverly Jackson, Irina Mitchell, Allison Ramey… photos and details coming soon!

Nurse Liason

Nancy Kadlec has been a Child Care Health Consultant since March of 2005 when her daughter was in preschool and her school asked her to be their Consultant. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to make this a business and started NBK Consulting. L.L.C. Currently she is consulting for pre-schools, child care centers, charter schools, home day cares and summer camps.

Board of Directors

The following serve on our Board of Directors:  Anika Williams (President), Maren Hayes (Secretary), Sarah Indyk (Treasurer), Bobbie Hobbs, Jaala Sheldon, Kara Vinton, Judy Ward, and Caity Barton.