Montessori School at Lone Tree Staff 

Office & Kitchen Staff

LORI KALISCH

LORI KALISCH

Director & Head of School

Lori Kalisch Bio

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 currently am the Directress in the SW classroom where I teach every Monday.

“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, got married, and bought our home in Lone Tree. 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 have a great husband, two children whom I did not birth, but I consider my own. I also have two fur babies; a chocolate lab named Daphney and a black lab named Sophie.

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!

MELISSA GRAHAM

MELISSA GRAHAM

Assistant Director & Business Manager

Melissa Graham Bio

I have been working with children and in administration for over 25 years.  I have been at MSLT since 2016. I have a BS in Elementary Education and also my Director Qualification. My husband and I have lived in Colorado for almost 30 years. Our daughter has her own boarding ranch in Wellington, CO with over 30 horses.  She will be getting married next year.  Our son attends school at ACC for Automotive Technology and is currently a mechanic at Ferrari Denver. 

I love being a part of the Montessori family!

SHARON BRUNER

SHARON BRUNER

Chef

Sharon Bruner Bio

Hello. My name is Sharon Bruner. I am originally from Lafayette Louisiana but moved here in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina.

I earned my culinary arts degree in 1998 in Louisiana and have over 20 years of culinary experience. I have been with Montessori since October of 2018 and immediately fell in love with the children and staff.
In my time off, I enjoy experimenting with recipes.  I also love to read cookbooks.  Most of all I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my cat Zilch.

NorthWest Classroom

ANDI LUCERO

ANDI LUCERO

Directress/Kindergarten

Andi Lucero Bio

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.

 
PEGGY MCCARTHY

PEGGY MCCARTHY

Assistant

Peggy McCarthy Bio

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.

Coming Soon

Assistant

Bio

NorthEast Classroom

CATHY GRODAHL

CATHY GRODAHL

Directress

Cathy Grodahl Bio

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.

MARIE LAURE LALLOUET

MARIE LAURE LALLOUET

Assistant/Pre Kindergarten

Marie Laure Bio

Hi ! My name is Marie and I am originally from France. I moved to the US, in the beautiful state of Colorado, in 2020 thanks to my husband’s job opportunity.

After working 10 years as pharmacy assistant in France I just wanted to reconnect with my first passion, working surrounded by kids, that’s why I joined MSLT in 2022.

Outside of work, I enjoy cooking, sewing, reading and I especially love hiking since we are in Colorado. With my husband we also enjoy traveling and exploring all the United States.

Coming Soon

Assistant

Coming Soon.

SouthEast Classroom

DAWN FINNEGAN

DAWN FINNEGAN

Directress/Pre Kindergarten

Dawn Finnegan Bio

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.

LISA PLACE

LISA PLACE

Assistant/Kindergarten

Lisa Place Bio

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.

KIKI ALTAMIRANO

KIKI ALTAMIRANO

Assistant

Kiki Altamirano Bio

Hey y’all! My name is Kiki. I’m originally from Miami,FL however I claim Texas as my home state. I started my early education journey in Orlando as a volunteer at an all inclusive preschool. After meeting my husband we moved to Texas where I started working at a Montessori school as an assistant guide with 18 month-3 year olds and fell in love with the montessori method. After having my daughter we moved to Hawaii. There I was able to incorporate the montessori philosophy into our home.

After three years we moved to Colorado, where I joined the MSLT team and could not be more thrilled to work side by side with such amazing teachers. 

Personally, I have been married for 5 glorious years and have two kids who are 4 and 4 months. As a family we enjoy seeing new sights and exploring. While we love seeing new places, my favorite spot is our back porch, playing new yard games or relaxing on our back deck watching the goats climb on anything possible. 

I am incredibly grateful to be a part of MSLT and look forward to this school year!

SouthWest Classroom

RACHEL PEREZ

RACHEL PEREZ

Directress/Kindergarten

Rachel Perez Bio

Ms. Rachel started her Montessori journey at Lone tree Montessori when she was two years old
and has now been working with children in the Montessori setting for 18 years. Rachel attended
Metro University and achieved a Bachelor’s in Human Development with a Minor in Early
Childhood. After receiving her teaching license, she soon went to gain her Montessori
certification and Director qualification. Ms. Rachel has had her own classroom for eight years
and enjoys watching children grow and learn. Her favorite values that Montessori provides
include cultural knowledge, independence, exploration, watching children of different ages and
backgrounds come together to learn and share, and the ability to be yourself. For fun Ms.
Rachel enjoys spending time with her two daughters, hiking, traveling, spending time with
friends and family, and doing crafts.

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to
learn.”-Maria Montessori

ARIEL MUELLER

ARIEL MUELLER

Lead Assistant/Kindergarten

Ariel Mueller Bio
Hello there, my name is Ariel.
I have been working with children for several years.
Previously, I worked at a Douglas County public school for eight years.
I’ve been a member of the MSLT family since October of 2018.
Wow, it seems like just yesterday!
 
My favorite things to do are watch True Crime documentaries/listen to podcasts, play with my German Shepherd/Aussie Cattle dog mix, Atticus (such a good boy), and decorate for Halloween (my favorite holiday)!
MARTHA BUEHNER

MARTHA BUEHNER

Assistant

Martha Buehner Bio
Hello! My name is Martha Buehner. I was born in Los Angeles, CA. My family moved to El Paso, TX when I was about 6 years old. I attended the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where I majored in Criminal Justice and performed with their Dinner Theater group . Years later I attended El Paso Community College where I received my Travel Industry/Agent certification.

After working at a travel agency and several years in retail, I landed a job in a daycare facility. I taught preschool there for 4 years and fell in love with that age group. The rest is history!

I met my husband in El Paso and after we got married, we moved to the Dallas area. In 1994 we moved to the beautiful state of Colorado. I never want to leave! I have been at MSLT since 1996. I started as an All Day assistant and made the change to mornings 1 1/2 years later. I love the Montessori philosophy!

My husband and I have been married for almost 29 years. I’m a stepmom and a step grandma! I love camping, fishing, animals, singing and paper crafting. Nothing makes me happier than being with my husband, my family and my dog Kyra and cat Peaches. I love watching pro sports and I’m a Denver Broncos fanatic!

Full Day Staff

VIKKI MAST

VIKKI MAST

NE Full Day Lead Teacher

Vikki Bio

Hey All,
I’m Miss Vikki and I have been with MSLT since October 2017.

I’m no stranger to working with children as I have spent numerous years volunteering in classrooms and coaching soccer.

I have a 24 year old daughter that is the absolute love of my life.

I was born in NY but have been a Colorado girl since I was eight.

I’m an avid sports fan and enjoy being active.

KAELA RIVERA

KAELA RIVERA

NW Assistant

Kaela Bio

Hi my name is Kaela.  I’ve been with MSLT since January 2022. My love of kids started when I babysat my neighbor’s kids during summers. I would hangout with them every other week, mostly on weekends.  Since then, I have worked in daycare centers. In my free time I love taking film photography, reading poetry and paddle boarding.

DEBBIE CSE'CS

DEBBIE CSE'CS

SE Assistant

Debbie Bio
My name is Deborah Cse’cs, and I am a Highlands Ranch resident.  New to Colorado, I am originally from California.  I grew up in a suburb of LA County, and spent my young adult years on the Central Coast (Pismo Beach) where my parents reside.
I was married to my husband Joe 25 years ago, and we share 6 adult children and 12 grandchildren.  My life has been joyful and full, taking care of our home, and children.  In addition to this, I’ve directed a non profit organization which hosted events for our military service men, women, and families.  I was also an owner of a retail fashion boutique in the Temecula Promenade Mall for a number of years.
It was a big step leaving California to come to Colorado, but I’ve fallen in love with this beautiful state over the last 2 years!  We have an amazing group of family and friends here, and I’m very thankful for that!
I’ve come to realize over the last 25 years, it takes a village to raise a tribe!  I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of the Montessori family; They have welcomed me with open arms!  My hope is to serve your children and this community in love, with gratitude, every day I’m given!
I look forward to this coming year.
“Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭
NAVYA GEORGE

NAVYA GEORGE

SW Assistant

Navya Bio
Hello,My name is Navya George, I am from India. I have been volunteering at MSLT since March 2022. I love to learn, play and spend time with kids.
I did my Masters in Clinical Psychology and was previously working in a deaddiction center in Kerala, India.
My hobbies include gardening, fishkeeping and hiking.
KATE ZIEGLER

KATE ZIEGLER

Afternoon Assistant

Kate Bio
My name is Kate and I have lived in Colorado my entire life. I started volunteering at a peer support group in 2020 for teenagers and young people, which started my journey of loving kids.
I absolutely love the outdoors, rock climbing, hiking and working out.