Directress & Teacher:









Jean Chorbajian

Jean received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from Iowa State University. She has worked in research at the Geophysical Institute in College, Alaska and worked on her doctorate in Applied Mathematics and Physics at the University of Alaska.

After the birth of her first daughter, Jean learned about Montessori as her daughter attended a school in Pittsburgh. When the family moved to Toledo and found there were no Montessori schools, Jean took Montessori training from Dr. Helen Billings and opened her own Montessori school. She operated that school for 15 years before moving to Colorado. Jean loves to see the children learning so many things that will help them in their later school years- especially mathematics.


Preschool Lead Teacher:

Mignon Mead-Shikaly



Keara Gallagher has a natural talent in working with and relating to children in unique and creative ways. She maintains a caring, compassionate and fun-filled attitude throughout the day while connecting with children on a personal level and helping them express themselves in effective and powerful ways. She loves the longevity and versatility of the Montessori materials and philosophies. Keara has received her Montessori Certificate from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.



Coordinator &
Preschool Teacher:

Beth Weekley






Beth Weekley was educated by Montessori preschool classroom since she was a toddler and as a preschooler she attended her mom's Montessori school. After graduating with a Masters in Medical Physics and a Masters in Mathematics, she has continued to assist Jean with all aspects of her school. Beth worked for nearly 10 years as a software engineer in the Medical industry and at NCAR in Boulder. Just before her son Owen was born Beth completed the Montessori Infant/Toddler training. Beth opened a home Montessori Infant/Toddler program, Petunia Montessori, after learning her son has a lung disease that was treated with 24/7 supplemental oxygen 2. Since January 2013 she has moved her toddler program into a classroom at Montessori Academy. Beth enjoys being part of the children's early learning years.

Toddler Teacher:

Karen Michalski








Karen Michalski is originally from New Jersey and moved to Colorado in 2000. She has worked as an Elementary/Special Education Teacher in the intermediate grades before becoming a stay at home mom in 2006. She then donated her time and efforts to local and non-profit moms group organizations, serving in many group roles. Her journey towards becoming involved in Montessori professionally, began when her own family had to make the pre school decision. Through her experience with her children and assisting at Petunia Montessori and now Montessori Academy, she is impassioned to further her knowledge of Montessori. Karen holds a Colorado Early Childhood Teaching License and plans to earn the Infant/Toddler Montessori credential, later this year. Karen is thrilled that she and her daughter are part of the Montessori Academy family. She and her husband live in Erie and enjoy spending time together sharing in whatever their two girls are doing.

Toddler Teacher:








Ann Meijer is a native of Sweden. She has experience in many different areas. The Montessori philosophy was an early part of her life. Her three younger siblings went to a Montessori school and she, as a teenager, helped out in a Montessori school.
When her own children started attending a Montessori school Ann started studying Montessori at St. Nicholas Montessori school in London, where she has a degree for the age group 2,5-7 years. While in Sweden, she among other things, started a Montessori School Co-Op where she was the Director. Not only does she have many years of Montessori experience but she also has a degree in Intensive care Nursing and an experience from work as a Neurosurgery intensive care nurse.
The last three years Ann has enjoyed working with and supporting the “Toddlers” and their eager to learn.
In her spare time she enjoys the outdoor, skiing and golfing and riding the motorcycle.


Music Teacher:



Ms. Amy Haywood, singer, storyteller, writer, and mother of two, grew up in Asia and sang in bands throughout high school. She worked summers in an orphanage in Viet Nam which sparked a lifelong devotion to young children. Amy obtained a BA in education and a second BA in English Literature at Guilford College with a minor in Music. She has been teaching Musicare since 1987. In 1999, Amy and four other Musicare instructors created, Camp Oonie Koonie Cha, an early childhood music camp in Winston-Salem. Musicare and Camp OKC, nourish Amy's profound interest in children. In addition to educating children, Amy conducted workshops for teachers through Smart Start in North Carolina, and she was a key note presenter at the South Carolina early childhood educators conference. Amy and her music partner, Claire Valine have won two Parents' Choice Awards for children's music recordings. They have five works.
Amy resides and teaches in Boulder, Colorado. She is working on publishing "Miss Ellie", the story from her "Rockin in the Rabbit Hole" cd".
Amy is available for, assemblies, special occasions and classroom enrichment. Email her at:


Music Teacher:

Jeff Kagan


Jeff Kagan has been sharing nature-based music with kids and parents for over a decade. He currently makes his music and his home in Boulder, Colorado. His concerts and classes are generally science and nature focused and themes include Colorado wildlife, energy conservation, safety in the woods and love the of great outdoors. Jeff loves to write his music while hiking on the trails!


Preschool Spanish