Administration

Ms. Melissa

Co-Founder, Administrative Director, Early Childhood Assistant Teacher

A former Montessori student, Ms. Melissa graduated high school in Bigfork, MT, then instantly jumped on the opportunity to live in and travel much of western Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean where she reveled in the beauty that differing people and cultures bring to life.  Ten years later, home and establishing roots called her back to the United States where she met and married her husband, Kelly.  Blessed with the opportunity to be the parents of four young boys, one of which born with Down syndrome, her passion for children and their right to a happy, healthy life grew exponentially and led to the creation of Grasslands Montessori Academy.  Currently enrolled in a Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Training course and enjoying her internship year in the classroom, Ms. Melissa looks forward to continuing her education in child development and advocacy with a firm belief that people can make a difference and that children have a voice which deserves to be heard.  Her hobbies include cooking, mountain biking, football season (Go Broncos!), and playing with her children.


Ms. Valerie

Co-Founder, Director of Education, Early Childhood Lead Teacher

Ms. Valerie describes herself as a "passionate lifelong Montessorian." The decision to embark on her Montessori journey was made more than 30 years ago and she values it as one of her greatest life changing decisions. A pioneer in her time, Valerie brought the Early Childhood Program to Taylorsville, Utah in 1990 when she co-founded Montessori Children 's Club. Then, in 1998, along with her husband and sweetheart, she co-founded Montessori at Riverton, which, continuing in her legacy, introduced the Elementary and Middle School Programs to Northern Utah setting the school apart as being one of two Montessori centers to offer the upper levels of education in the state. Always celebrating opportunities to bring Montessori to children, North Dakota and its recent population influx inspired her decision to sell the school in Utah and head north. We welcome her strong voice in opportunity and education for children, and her passion to teach Montessori to this area.

Ms. Valerie holds a Montessori certificate in the Early Childhood and the Elementary 6 - 9 programs through AMS and has been a Lead Teacher in the classroom at each level of Montessori, from Toddlers to Middle School. She has served on several boards, including the Coalition for Private Schools, Vouchers for Choice, and the Utah Montessori Council where she has served as President for the last seven years. In 2007, Ms. Valerie co-founded a MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) accredited training center through The Institute for Guided Studies. A strong believer in giving back to the community, Ms. Valerie often is seen sharing her gifts as a guest speaker and presenter at Montessori conferences.
Ms. Valerie is the mother of six children and has 23 grandchildren. She enjoys reading, traveling, and snow skiing.

Early Childhood

Ms. Valerie

Co-Founder, Director of Education, Early Childhood Lead Teacher

Ms. Melissa

Co-Founder, Administrative Director, Early Childhood Assistant Teacher

Ms. Irina

Early Childhood Assistant Teacher, Extended Care Program Specialist

Ms. Catalina

Early Childhood Assistant Teacher

My name is Catalina Heidt, but you can call me Cat.  I am 20 years old and have worked with children for five years starting first by volunteering at my local church, helping in the daycare. My goal is to assist Ms. Valerie in her goals for the Early Childhood classroom and to help her educate your children the best I can.  It's always been a dream of mine to become a kindergarten teacher, one dream I hope to be accomplishing soon as I continue to work toward my A.A. in Childhood Education!  Feel free to ask questions if you have any, and I look forward to meeting all of you!


Toddler


Ms. Xiomara Uribe

Toddler Class Lead Teacher

Ms. Xiomara was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. She was raised in a big family along with her parents, three older brothers, and her paternal grandparents.  At the age of one her family moved to the continental U.S.  Sticking to their native roots she was brought up in a bilingual home where Spanish was her first language and English was secondary.  To support this her mom implemented only speaking Spanish at home and English only out of the home.  At the age of five, her family moved back to Puerto Rico where she lived until the age of 19.  It was then that the "oilfield dream" brought her and her family to Dickinson, ND.

Almost seven years later, Ms. Xiomara has developed a special love for Dickinson and feels very happy and fortunate to have been given the opportunity of living in a little town full of so much diversity and cultural richness.  That is truly what she enjoys the most of Dickinson, ND.

She is now happily married and has a beautiful and healthy two year old daughter.  Ms. Xiomara loves to spend time with her family as well as cooking for them and creating memories along with her loved ones.
Ms. Xiomara is very inspired by how Maria Montessori believed in our children.  One of her favorite quotes from Montessori is, "Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future".

Ms. BreaAnn Odom

Toddler Class Assistant Teacher
Although she has always been a natural teacher and leader, this will be BreaAnn's first year working as an Assistant Toddler Teacher in a school setting. BreaAnn is the youngest of 11 kids, and has always enjoyed spending time with her siblings and any of her 28 nieces/ nephews. BreaAnn grew up in Mandan ND, then moved to Utah during her middle school years. She enjoys going to the park, playing games and any spare time with her 2 kids. She enjoys music, dancing, and cooking. She's always had a love of learning and nurturing others. While living in Utah, she worked as a Licensed Massage Therapist Apprentice for 5 years, and prior to that worked in a Care Center for disabled adults and youth as a Direct Support Professional. She has a big heart and loves to keep things light with her bubbly personality and playful sense of humor. She's looking forward to learning from those she works with as well as being able to contribute her skills and personal experiences in all areas of her profession.

 

 

Specialists/Enrichment

Ms. Jesikah

Paraprofessional

Ms. Irina

Extended Care Program Specialist, Early Childhood Assistant Teacher

Ms. Mercedes

Extended Care Program Assistant

Ms. Maren

Extended Care Program Assistant

Ms. Amber

Extended Care Program Assistant

Ms.