After pursuing my degree in psychology at the University of New Mexico, I have been passionately curious about education. I’m particularly interested in the inner workings of the early childhood experience, such as developmental milestones and effective educational techniques.
I now have over eight years of first-hand experience in how students learn best, including how to organize the classroom, and the ways in which school support structures are crucial for each child’s educational success.
I have served as a support staff, a lead teacher, an assistant director, and acting director at two different preschools. At St. Mark’s Montessori School, I look forward to continuing good working relationships with the staff, students, and families here.
I will focus on my responsibilities as director with care, intention, and understanding. I want to lay a foundation where our students can blossom, and feel at home in their learning environment.
“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.” - Maria Montessori
I look forward to serving the community of St. Mark’s Montessori School, and leading the school into a new chapter of student achievement.
I started being interested in child development when my daughter was two years old - I wanted to be able to guide my child on her needs and her development. I got my first class in Early Childhood Education at Central New Mexico Community College in summer 2018 and finished my certificate as an Early Childhood Educator in May 2019. I started working with toddlers in January 2019 became an early Pre-K lead teacher in 2020. Since then, every day has been a new learning experience while working with children as I try to be a guide for their needs and learning.
Primary Lead Guide
Ms. Laura (she/her) is a keystone of our St. Mark’s Montessori School family. She has been a Montessori teacher for 14 years, both as a Lead Montessori Guide with St. Mark’s Montessori School since its inception in 2013 and as an Assistant Montessori Guide at St. Timothy’s Montessori School from 2008-2013. Ms. Laura obtained her MACTE /AMS Associate Early Childhood Credential in 2013. She was the Lead Guide in our Toddler Classroom for many years before moving to the position of Lead Primary Guide in 2019.
Ms. Laura has a special knack for creating a beautifully prepared Montessori classroom environment and is proudly providing an authentic Montessori experience to our Primary students. When you step into Ms. Laura’s classroom you will likely find a calm and peaceful energy. Her patience and caring nature with the children are remarkable and her students often report that she is quite “funny”.
Ms. Laura is the mother of four children and two grandchildren whom she travels to visit during her free time. Ms. Laura enjoys spending time with her dog Lilly, family and friends. Attending music concerts, shopping at Dollar Tree, and thrift stores.
Ms. Atlantis (she/her) is joining our Primary Program this year as an Assistant Montessori Guide. She brings a passion for early childhood education and Montessori philosophy as well as a long history of working in schools and childcare centers.
Ms. Atlantis is a native New Mexican who enjoys writing poetry, film photography, and listening to vinyl records. In addition to her full-time position with our school, she is pursuing her Primary Lead Teacher Montessori Certification from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
My name is Kathia Munoz, I’m new to SMMS. I've been working in Early Child Development for almost 3 years. I'm originally from Mexico but I've been living in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 14 years now. I want to become a Guide at some point and keep growing in this amazing field. I’m bilingual (Spanish-English). I'm looking forward to working with all these wonderful and smart kids.
Primary Assistant/ Aftercare teacher
Pre-Primary Lead Guide
Ms. Melanie (she/her) is joining our Primary Program this year as an Assistant Montessori Guide after spending the 2021-22 school year as our school's substitute teacher. She brings not only a familiar face to the students and staff, but a long history of experience in a variety of childcare settings including as a nanny and with the St. Mark's church children's program.
Ms. Melanie is a graduate of the Albuquerque Academy and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pitzer College in International and Intercultural Studies, as well as Master of Business Administration from Strayer University. She also brings with her the invaluable experience of motherhood as a proud mom of a teenaged daughter.
Teacher Kelly (she/her) is joining our St. Mark’s Montessori School teaching family this year as a Primary Aftercare Teacher. She is a native of New Mexico and theater enthusiast who is currently attending Central New Mexico Community College to study both Theater and English.
Pre-Primary Assistant/ Aftercare teacher
I was born and raised here in Albuquerque and am a proud New Mexican. However, I spent part of my childhood in Colorado; growing up snowboarding, hiking and traveling. I am a graduate of UNM with a BA in history, and although I’ve never used my degree professionally I sincerely value preserving and learning from the past. I think photography is a great medium for preservation and appreciation so I spend my free time at the botanic garden and hiking in the foothills with my digital camera and a long lens, capturing the natural beauty of my home. My 2.5 year old daughter, Zelda, is the absolute light of my life and she inspires me every day to be the best version of myself. I have found my purpose in both encouraging her growth and learning and in sharing the beauty of nature through photography.
Toddler Lead Guide
Ms. Morgan (she/they) is our Lead Toddler Montessori Guide. Ms. Morgan began with our school in 2020 as an Assistant Montessori Guide in our Primary Program, followed by the Lead Toddler Guide in our 2021 Summer Program. Ms. Morgan has also led a variety of Enrichments at our school including music, movement, art, and foreign language. She has been our Lead Toddler Montessori Guide since 2022.
Ms. Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in University Studies with focuses in special education and psychology from the University of New Mexico. Additionally, she has earned her Infant/Toddler Montessori Certification from the North American Montessori Center. Ms. Morgan brings seven years of experience working with children and is passionate about early childhood education and the Montessori Method.
Ms. Morgan was born and raised in New Orleans and moved to Albuquerque to study at UNM. She had always wanted to become a teacher, but was inspired to become a Montessori Guide after working with Ms. Laura. When she is not at school, she enjoys reading and spending time with her two small dogs, Jacques and François .
Ms. Madeline (she/her) will be an Assistant Montessori Guide in our Toddler Classroom. She has successfully held many different positions at SMMS. She began as an Assistant Guide and Aftercare Teacher in our Toddler Classroom in 2019 followed by our Administrative Assistant and Floater Teacher in 2021. She has also served as the Interim Lead Toddler Guide and Summer Program Lead Primary Guide in 2022.
Ms. Madeline is a native New Mexican who attended Montessori school from preschool through middle school, graduating from Albuquerque High School in 2018. In addition to her full-time position with our school, she is also a student at Central New Mexico Community College, pursuing study in her interests areas of cosmetology and early childhood education. She has the “special something” that the students of every age respond to and is skilled with both the Toddler and Primary students.
Toddler Assistant / Aftercare teacher
Ms. Ash graduated from Freedom High School in 2017 and has studied psychology, biology and various arts at Central New Mexico Community College and is currently pursuing a certificate in master gardening. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys spending time hiking with her two dogs
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Sylvia Miller-Mutia (she/her) serves as part time assisting priest at St. Mark’s with a focus on outreach, evangelism, and family ministry. She has previously served as Rector of St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Albuquerque, NM (2015-2018), Assistant Rector at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, CA (2010-2015) and Pastoral Associate for Youth & Families at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Belvedere, CA (2002-2009). She is married to Donnel (grief counselor, couples coach, artist, best dad ever), and they have three awesome kids: Lucia, Johanna, and Alex.
Sylvia holds a BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Utah, an MA in Liturgy and the Arts from Pacific School of Religion, and Certificates of Anglican Studies and Theological Studies from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA. As a priest, dancer, and mother of three, she is passionate about inviting people of all ages to join in seeking the divine through worship, prayer, and practice that is embodied, sacramental, participatory, and inter-generational. Creation, creativity, and connection with family and friends are the gifts by which God nourishes, stretches and sustains her. You can learn more about Sylvia and explore various resources she’s created to support your spiritual growth at www.mothersylvia.com.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
David (he/him) grew up in Hannibal, Missouri. He attended the University of Kansas and lived in Kansas City, New York City, and Santa Fe before settling in Albuquerque. He has worked as an architect, interior designer, writer, waiter, bartender, male nanny (“manny”), and a church musician.
David was ordained as a Vocational Deacon in June of 2017 and is happy to serve at St. Mark’s – a parish filled with diverse and wonderful people. As a married gay man, David knows how organized religion has made many people feel unwelcome at church or unworthy of God’s love. It is David’s mission to spread the true message of the Gospel: – that God’s mercy and love are available to everyone – regardless of how they identify, where they have been, or what they have done. David finds it especially important to impart these principles to youth. Through his position as our Director of Christian Education, David works to make sure every young person knows they are a blessed child of God and loved for exactly who they are.
Having needed help through difficult times, David knows what being a part of a loving, supportive, spiritual community has done for him. He wants everyone to understand they can have the same experience.