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 administration for close to 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 is in college at CSU and barrel races for their rodeo team.  She also runs her own horse boarding facility in Wellington. Our son attends school at ACC for Automotive Technology.    I love being a part of the Montessori family!

SHARON BRUNER

SHARON BRUNER

Chef/All Day Staff

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

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.

SANJU MALIK

SANJU MALIK

Assistant Directress/Pre Kindergarten

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.

PREETHI JAMALPUR

PREETHI JAMALPUR

Assistant

Preethi Jamalpur Bio
Hello! My name is Preethi Jamalpur. I was born and raised in Hyderabad, India and completed my Masters in Business Administration from Osmania University. I moved to Colorado in 2010 and have been working in early childhood learning since 2019. I like being with kids and being a part of their curiosity to learn.

I'm a mother of 2 boys, ages 14 (8th grader) and 10 (5th grade) and a 2month old Puppy, Yogi.
I love doing henna, painting and cooking.

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/Pre Kindergarten

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.

Michelle Gregory

Michelle Gregory

Assistant

Michelle Gregory Bio
Hello! My name is Michelle Gregory and I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I previously taught ESL online to students in China before transitioning to in-person teaching at MSLT. I started with MSLT in 2021 and I couldn’t be more excited to expand on my teaching experience.

I’m a true Colorado native who enjoys doing all the typical outdoorsy activities: camping, hiking and four wheeling in the summer and skiing/snowboarding in the winter. I am a huge Colorado sports fan and I love attending Broncos, Avalanche and Rockies games.

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 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 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 with Miss Dawn and Miss Ella.  Guiding, loving and supporting your children fills me with much joy.

ELLA BATTALOVA

ELLA BATTALOVA

Assistant

Ella Battalova Bio
Hi! My name is Ella. I was born and raised in Russia and moved to the US with my family in 2014.

In 2015 I started working as an assistant at Boulder Montessori School. After being there for 3 years, I joined MSLT. Now I am an assistant with the wonderful team in the South East classroom and happy to serve such amazing children.

I earned my Masters in Education and Montessori Certification for 3-6 in 2016.

I love spending time with my family, reading and traveling.

SouthWest Classroom

ARIEL MUELLER

ARIEL MUELLER

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!

NEHA KARAMBELKAR

NEHA KARAMBELKAR

Assistant

Neha Karambelkar Bio
Hello, my name is Neha Karambelkar. In 2019, I moved to Colorado from Arkansas. In Arkansas, I was worked in the Little Rock School District as a Pre-Kindergarten Assistant Teacher. Once in Colorado, I worked in a child care center as a Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Assistant Teacher. I joined MSLT in December of 2021. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, traveling, watching TV and spending time with my family.

All Day Staff

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 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.

Coming Soon

Assistant

Coming Soon
ado mountains with my dog Nella.

Coming Soon

Assistant

Coming Soon