Montessori School at Lone Tree Staff
Office & Kitchen Staff
Director & Head of School
My name is Lori Kalisch and I am the Head of School. Before becoming the Director, I was the Directress in the southwest classroom for almost 20 years. I recently celebrated by 25th year work anniversary with a very grateful heart.
“Following my heart” brought me to The Montessori School at Lone Tree in 1998. I did not know a lot about Montessori when I started, but I fell in love with the Montessori pedagogy! In 1999 I took my training at The Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, built my home in Lone Tree, planned a wedding, and adopted my first dog, Sam. It was a busy and blessed year for sure! I earned my Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society in 2000, as well as my Director Qualification from The Department of Human Services Office of Early Childhood Education in 2009.
I was born in Chicago but moved to Colorado Springs when I was about 10 years old. I graduated from St. Mary’s High School and attended Regis University on a basketball scholarship. When I graduated, I decided to remain in the Denver Metro area and started working with at-risk youth.
I live in Lone Tree with my fur baby, Sophie. She is a black lab. We recently lost her sister, Daphney from old age. We are both praying for the right time to rescue a new brother or sister. While working at MSLT I fostered one of my students for a year. That was very unexpected, but such a blessing in disguise. Her name is Shylo and she lives in Colorado Springs now. I am still her "Mimi".
During my free time, I love to read, go on walks, watch movies, and laugh. I wrote a children’s book that I hope to have published someday. It is based on what I have experienced as a Montessori Directress. I have a strong faith and I feel honored to teach the children, every day! I might be biased, but I believe Dr. Maria Montessori was a genius and I am thankful to be called a Montessorian!
Hello. My name is Sharon Bruner. I am originally from Lafayette Louisiana but moved here in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina.
I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico and moved to Denver, Colorado in 2017. I’ve been working at MSLT since September of 2018. I began my journey in the Full Day program and moved to an assistant in the NW classroom a year later. I’ve grown to love the philosophy very much and I’m eager to begin my journey as a directress. Previously I had worked at a Montessori school in New Mexico as a full time substitute teacher.
I studied at the University of New Mexico majoring in English and minoring in Italian. I am receiving my Montessori Credential through NAMC.
Outside of work I enjoy rock concerts, camping, hiking and trying new restaurants with my fiancé. I’m a dog mom to a rescue pup named Sierra. I’m also a part time editor for a Private Investigating firm based out of 3 states.
Before moving to Highlands Ranch, I spent thirteen years in Dallas, TX and Colorado Springs, CO as a PK teacher.
I began my career at Montessori at Lonetree in the summer of 1995 as the full day coordinator. After twenty plus years in the full day, I moved to be a morning assistant in the NW classroom. MSLT is such a beautiful, loving, nurturing school and I am blessed to be working with your children. I have an Early Learning Teacher Credential.
My husband Lew and myself have been married for over fifty years. We have three wonderful children & three grandchildren whom all attended MSLT.
My favorite things are being with my family, gospel music and shopping.
Hello! My name is Cathy Grodahl and I am originally from England. In my previous career, I worked in the world of advertising in London for 20 odd years. I met my American husband, Andy, in England, where we were married and had a daughter (now a junior). In 2005, we relocated to the USA. This summer, we moved from Lone Tree to the Parker area. I have been teaching at MSLT since August of 2020.
My first experience with the Montessori Method was when my daughter attended a wonderful Montessori school. I was so taken with this way of teaching, I knew that was where my future lay! I started as a volunteer at her school and decided to get certified. I gained my International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy at Montessori Casa in Denver. I have now been teaching for 11 years.
Apart from spending time with my family and rescue dog Coco, my interests are travelling, cooking, painting and gardening. I particularly like doing arts and crafts with children.
Hi! My name is Dawn Finnegan and I have worked for MSLT since June 2013. My first experience with Montessori was when I came and observed Lori K. in her classroom. I was hooked! I fell in love with Montessori and I wanted to be part of it. Taking a leap of faith, I quit my full time job to work part time at MSLT in the summer program, with no guarantee of a job after the summer. At the end of summer I was put on the sub list and for 6 months I subbed in various capacities (classroom, office, full day, and the kitchen). In January, I was offered a full time assistant position. I have always felt and known that MSLT was where I was meant to be. It just took a leap of faith! I am now the Directress of the Southeast Classroom and have my Associate Early Childhood Credential.
When I am not at MSLT I am spending time with my hubby, Scott. We love going to Rockies games, supporting our nephew at his lacrosse games, spending time with our niece, reading, going to movies, traveling and spending time with friends and family. We are so lucky to have all of our family in Colorado!
I feel so blessed to be at MSLT and surrounded by all these wonderful co-workers and children. I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Hi Ya’ll! I’m Lisa Place and I relocated to Colorado from Georgia in 2013. I first became acquainted with Montessori in high school as a tutor for children with dyslexia. My two children attended a Montessori school in Macon, Georgia at which time I was an active parent and substitute teacher. I then completed the Montessori Foundations (Assistant) training through Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI) and have taught at the primary level since 1997. In addition, I graduated from Florida State University with a BS degree in Criminology and have worked with several child abuse prevention and advocacy programs. My husband, Robert and I have been married since 1988. Our daughter is a surgical resident in Salt Lake City and our son is an engineer in St. Louis, Missouri. I truly believe their success is rooted in a love for learning which was fostered by their Montessori education.
Being outdoors is a passion and I can usually be found hiking or snowshoeing on the weekends. I also enjoy reading and traveling/exploring Colorado.
I have been with MSLT since 2017 and I am thrilled to be an Assistant in the SE Classroom. Guiding, loving and supporting your children fills me with much joy.
Hi, I’m Haley Henderson. I grew up in a Navy family and spent most of my childhood
near the ocean from California and Hawaii to Virginia. In 2007, my family made the
move to Monument, Colorado, where I attended high school. After high school I
moved to Denver and have lived in and around Denver ever since.
I found Montessori in 2016 when my wise mother suggested I read The Absorbent Mind
by Dr. Maria Montessori. The words instantly spoke to me. What a gift to find an avenue
of education that spoke to both being human and the spirit. A unique philosophy that
works to develop the whole child. By the time I finished the book, I was in. I went on to
complete my American Montessori Society Credential in 2017 at Montessori Education
Center of the Rockies. Before coming to Montessori School at Lone Tree, I spent the past
7 years teaching at Montessori schools in the Denver metro area. I have completed my
90 hr YTT for kids and family yoga. In the classroom I love to follow the child and honor
Maria Montessori’s process of observation, allowing me to see what’s next for each
individual child. Art and creativity are an important factor to my classroom, I love to
encourage exploration of different mediums such as paint, collage, oil pastels, etc.
When it comes to large group activities with the children, I spend most of that time
teaching them yoga, mindfulness, and how to express themselves through singing and
I have the pleasure of being a mother to one rowdy and joyful 5-year-old boy, Rowan.
In the summer Rowan and I spend our time hiking, swimming, or hitting golf balls. We
love to travel and spend time with family. In my free time, you’ll find me golfing or at the
Hello! My name is Oliv. I am a Colorado native, I love skiing, hiking and camping, and being in
nature. I am an artist and I aim to live life creatively and curiously. While earning my bachelor’s
degree from the University of Northern Colorado I gained valuable experience working in early
childhood education. I believe in fostering a nurturing and engaging environment where each
child’s unique curiosity and abilities are celebrated. I strive to create an atmosphere that
promotes independence, exploration, and a love for learning. Through hands-on activities and
personalized attention, I aim to inspire young minds to grow, develop, and thrive in a supportive
community. I’m excited to be a part of your child’s journey towards self-discovery and academic
Full Day Staff
South Full Day Coordinator
NW Full Day Assistant
Hi there! My name is Rian and I love working with the young ones! I strive every day to be a good male role model for the kids outside of their home-life :). I grew up the oldest of three brothers and was always helping my mom when she worked in childcare. Outside of work I enjoy building model kits and skating, along with spending time with friends as often as I can.
Full Day Assistant
Hi!!! I’m Kiley! Before working at Montessori I worked as a nanny and a babysitter and that is how I fell in love with working with kids. I worked at Montessori the summers of 2022 and 2023 and enjoyed it so much that I now work in the full day program. I am a senior in high school and I hope to continue my education in college after I graduate. Outside of school and work I love hanging out with my friends and family and anything to do with the outdoors!
Full Day Assistant
Hi! I’m Ayden. I attended MSLT for preschool and it made such a huge impact on me that I came back as a teacher. I love spending time with the kids. I like to do photography, hike, and hang out with my friends.