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

Business Manager

Melissa Graham Bio

My husband & I have lived in Colorado for over 25 years.  Our daughter is in college and is on the rodeo team at CSU.  Our son is a senior in high school.  I have a degree in elementary education and also my director qualification.  I have been working in administration since college graduation.  I have been at MSLT since 2016.  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.

Northeast Classroom

CATHY GRODAHL

CATHY GRODAHL

Directress

Cathy Grodahl Bio

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 21 years.  I met my American husband, Andy, in England, where we were married and had a daughter.   In 2005, we re-located to the town of Erie in beautiful Colorado.  In may 2020, we moved to Lone Tree due to my husband’s job.

My first experience with Montessori was when my daughter attended Blue Mountain Montessori in Erie.  I was so taken with this method of teaching, I knew that was where my future lay!  I started as a volunteer at Blue Mountain and decided to get certified.  I gained my International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy at Montessori Casa in Denver.  I have now been teaching for 9 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.

I am so excited to be part of the team here.  I very much look forward to meeting you and your children!

SANJU MALIK

SANJU MALIK

Assistant Directress

Sanju Malik Bio

Hi! My name is Sanju Malik. I am originally from India. I received my Bachelors degree in Arts from HP University and I then went on to complete my diploma in Early Childhood Education in 1999 from India. My family and I moved to Colorado from Kansas in 2010 and since then my family and I have made Colorado our home. I started as a volunteer in my children’s Montessori classroom and my urge to start helping children started from here. I received my International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy from Montessori Casa International in 2017; and have also received my Early Childhood Education Director’s Certification in 2017. I have 3+ years of experience teaching under the Montessori school system.

I’m also the mother of 2 children; my daughter is in 6th grade and my son is currently in 4th grade.

I enjoy nature, travelling, and spending time with my family on the weekend.

ARIEL MUELLER

ARIEL MUELLER

Assistant

Ariel Mueller Bio
I have been working with kids all my life, whether as a babysitter, camp counselor, or school volunteer. I recently worked at a Douglas County elementary school for seven years before coming to Montessori.
 
Colorado has been my home for 22 years, and I love it here.
 
In my spare time, I like to read, play with my dogs Genevieve and Atticus, draw, and take leisurely walks through parks.

Northwest Classroom

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Assistant

Bio

Coming Soon!

Hannah Lollar

Assistant

ANDI LUCERO

ANDI LUCERO

Lead Teacher

Andi Lucero Bio

Hello! My name is Andi and I have been with MSLT since the end of September 2018. I was a substitute teacher at a Montessori School in New Mexico, where I attended the University of New Mexico. The love I found substituting at this school has brought me back to working with children here in Colorado! I moved out to Colorado February of 2017 and have enjoyed living here so much. My hobbies include: reading and writing non-fiction stories, freelance editing, true-crime podcasts, brushing up on my Italian,  going on hikes with my boyfriend and dog, enjoying some college football and cheering on the Broncos any chance I get!

LINA HONG

LINA HONG

Assistant

Lina Hong Bio

Hello! My name is Lina Hong. 
I was born and raised in Colorado and I will always call it home. Before coming to MSLT, I was a CNA. My passion has always been to make a difference and leave a positive impact. I wanted to broaden my horizons and my journey has brought me here! I have truly loved every moment of Montessori and I am so excited for what the future holds.
In my free time, I love spending time with friends, family, and my dog Boba!

Southeast Classroom

DAWN FINNEGAN

DAWN FINNEGAN

Directress

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

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 for the past 20 years.  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 recently celebrated our 30th anniversary.  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.

This is my first year at MSLT and I am thrilled to be an Assistant in the SE Classroom with Miss Dawn and Miss Martha.  Guiding, loving and supporting your children fills me with much joy.

Southwest Classroom

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!

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Lead Assistant

Bio
Coming Soon!
MARTHA BUEHNER

MARTHA BUEHNER

Assistant

Martha Buehner Bio

Hello!  My name is Martha Buehner and I have been with MSLT since 1996.  I started in the Full Day Program and became a morning assistant a year and a half later.  Before moving to Colorado, I was a preschool teacher at a daycare in El Paso, Texas for 4 years.  I was also the substitute teacher for the El Paso School District for 2 years.  I currently teach Spanish in all 4 of the classrooms as well.

I attended the University of Texas at El Paso and was a Criminal Justice major.  While there, I was part of the Drama Program and performed in Dinner Theater.  I also completed my certificate as a travel agent years later.  After leaving college and working in retail for over 15 years, I realized how much I missed working with children.  As luck would have it, I found The Montessori School at Lone Tree and fell in love with the philosophy.  Being part of your child’s journey and working with amazing staff, I feel at “home” again.

I am a California native, but I spent my childhood in Texas.  I’ve been married for 23 years.  I am a step-mom and a step-grandma!  I love scrapbooking, camping, singing, and I love to travel.  Major Denver Broncos fanatic!  Nothing makes me happier than my husband, family, friends, and my pets.

All Day Staff

PEGGY MCCARTHY

PEGGY MCCARTHY

Full Day Coordinator

Peggy McCarthy Bio

I started my career at The Montessori School at Lone Tree in the summer of 1995.  Before moving to Highlands Ranch, I spent 13 years as a Pre-K teacher in Texas and Colorado Springs.

My job at MSLT is working with the Pre-K students and the Full Day students.  I have a Colorado Early Childhood Teacher certification, along with a current medication administration certificate.

I have been married for 47 years.  I have 3 children and 3 grandchildren who all attended MSLT.  In my spare time I enjoy being with my family and shopping.

VIKKI MAST

VIKKI MAST

Assistant

Vikki Mast 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 21 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.

MELANIE SALINAS

MELANIE SALINAS

Assistant

Melanie Salinas Bio
Hello my name is Melanie!

I was born in Chicago but I was raised in Colorado and I absolutely love it here. I have been working around children for about five years now and I wouldn’t change a thing about that!

When I’m not at Montessori I enjoy traveling, hiking, swimming, and most importantly spending time with my friends and family.