Children's Garden Montessori School


Each classroom at Children’s Garden is lead by a team of teachers, most of whom hold AMS or AMI Montessori teaching credentials. Children’s Garden sometimes serves as a student teaching site for students from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, in Boulder, Colorado.

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, Amy Laugesen

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 Haveri, Lorraine Carter


Kirsten Haveri began teaching at Children’s Garden in 2015, after finishing her AMS Early Childhood certification. She loved working in the toddler classroom so much, she returned to MECR in the summer of 2016 to work on her AMS Infant-Toddler certification.  She also holds a BA in Early Childhood Education Studies. When she is not teaching, Kirsten loves to hike, run and do Zumba.

Lorraine Carter is new to teaching at Children’s Garden, but not new to working with toddlers.  She holds AMS Infant-Toddler Certification and has been teaching toddlers for over 20 years.  She worked up in Estes Park and later Lyons for many years before traveling to Costa Rica to help establish a Montessori school there.

Ward Hobbs Primary Class: Claire Jackson, Vida West, Emily Filippini

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.

Emily Filippini first came to Children’s Garden as a parent in 2006. Previously she had worked at Montessori School of Denver, and is AMS certified in Early Childhood Education as well as Lower Elementary.

440 Classroom – Michelle Bower, Kimberly Gomez, Dale Keppler

Michelle Bower came to Children’s Garden 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 Childhool Level.  She enjoys reading, cooking, and walking her dogs.

Kimberly Gomez recently started at Children’s Garden after taking the Early Childhood Training through the Montessori Casa International training program here in Denver.  She has a BA in Behavioral Science and extensive experience teaching early childhood education.

Dale Keppler is also relatively new to Children’s Garden.  With a Masters of Arts in Teaching, Dale has taken two Montessori Early Childhood Trainings.


Extended Primary – Vida West and Michelle Bower

Vida West – see Ward Hobbs Primary Class

Michelle Bower – see 440 Classroom

Support Teachers – Ruth O’Connell

Ruth O’Connell began teaching at Children’s Garden in 2006 lead teacher.  She holds an AMS Early Childhood credential.  She is the proud grandmother of 4 grandchildren, all who have spent time at the school either as summer camp participants or as enrolled students.