Socorro “Coco” Peralta, Lead Teacher
I was born in Mexico City, I moved with my husband to San Antonio, TX. in 1996, and relocated with my family to Colorado in 2012. I decided to stay at home to spend time with my kids before they went to school. I have three boys, 17, 15 and 9 years old. I have a B.D. in Food Engineering. During this time with my boys, I started a daycare business at home. This is how I found my new vocation, being a teacher.
I had the opportunity to teach Spanish to first, second and third graders as a volunteer at DCS Montessori Charter School where I fell in love with the Montessori teaching philosophy and decided to take my training to become a Certified Directress at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. I finished my practicum as a Co-Teacher at Montessori School of Aurora and I worked as a Lead Teacher at Montessori del Mundo.
I am very excited for this opportunity to work as a lead teacher at DC Montessori after working here as an Educational Assistant for several years. In my free time, I enjoy reading and spending time with my husband and kids watching movies and Soccer games.
Kathy Hedeen, Educational Assistant
I have been a part of the DCS Montessori team for two years. Prior to that I was at Little Blessings Parents Day Out in Castle Rock for 10 years. I have cared for and taught children 18 months to kindergarten. I have been a lead classroom teacher as well as a specials teacher focusing on movement and healthy habits. I love the Montessori philosophy and concepts and plan to further my education and training in it.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Food Science and Communication from the University of Minnesota. Three years ago I acquired my Early Childhood Education Group Leader credentials from Arapahoe Community College. I am also a certified Taekwondo instructor with the American Taekwondo Association. I specialize in instructing primary aged children and worked at Karate for Kids in Castle Rock for over a decade.
Along with martial arts and teaching, my other passions include hiking, biking, racquetball, and reading. I love to travel and have two teenaged children who attend Castle View High School. Growing up in a military family we lived in many places, but I can truly say I love Colorado and call it home. My husband and I have one son who lives in Los Angeles. In 2011 we became grandparents and now have two adorable granddaughters, Lillian and Alexandra. Traveling to LA has become our favorite destination!
Kathie Oswald, Educational Assistant
Denise Glenn, Lead Teacher
Originally from New York, I earned my Bachelors Degree in English Literature and Education from Ithaca College. I was introduced to Montessori’s work as an undergraduate and knew immediately that I was aligned philosophically. In 1991, after assisting in primary and elementary environments in Ithaca, I moved to Colorado. I taught at a private Montessori school in Lakewood from 1991-2014. I received an AMS Primary Credential in 1993 from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and have my Colorado Director Qualification. I was honored to be a presenter at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference.
I joined the staff at DCSM in 2015 as an Educational Assistant in Ms. Debbie’s class and am thrilled to continue my career as a Primary Lead in 2016. It is a joy to share my passion for Montessori in this thriving community! My daughter attended Montessori preschool through sixth grade. Her experience supported her academic success, instilled a love of learning and cultivated a passion for Montessori education. She is currently pursuing her Colorado state teaching license in Early Childhood Education and plans to become a Montessori infant/toddler guide. I love seeing her continue to grow and learn.
When I am not working with the children, I am usually taking in our beautiful Colorado landscapes. I enjoy every season and am as happy walking in the snow as soaking up the sunshine! I enjoy reading, gardening and spending time with my family and beloved pets.
Stephany Bell, Educational Assistant
I am currently pursuing a degree in Speech Therapy and Minoring in Early Childhood. Working with children has been a passion of mine since my mom had an in-home daycare when I was just a child. Being an educational assistant at DCS has and continues to be an incredible opportunity to pursue that passion while learning and growing more each day. Primary students particularly are a delight to me, because they are at such a fun age and I cherish the moments where they find who they are and thrive in such a great learning environment. My experience with children was first established as a Children’s Program assistant at my church over the last four years and as a Preschool assistant at a child development center for the last year. I am originally from Southern California but have since grown to love living here in colorful Colorado. I especially love the great outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and cooking.
Morgan Warren, Educational Assistant
I was born in Toronto, Canada but raised in Boulder, Colorado. I am one of the few who is lucky enough to call this great state my home for the majority of my life. My first experience working with children was when I was a nanny for a two-year-old in Germany at the age of 19, I did this for 6 months and realized that this was going to be something I was extremely passionate about. I graduated from MSU Denver in 2014 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Elementary Education, with a hope of looking at education from a policy standpoint. I have had the pleasure of working in Montessori classrooms for the past two years, at both Centennial Montessori and Jarrow Montessori, with daycare experience before that. I love watching the children learn and grow, and through a Montessori classroom, the learning is so incredible that I am constantly in awe of what I do every day. When I’m not in the classroom I am either enjoying the great outdoors with my friends and family or trying my hand at design work through 3D modeling.
Lindsay Etter, Lead Teacher
I was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and moved to the beautiful state of Colorado in 2008. In 2006 I obtained a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Regina. I have spent more than 10 years working with children in various educational settings. I discovered my passion for the Montessori philosophy when I began working at DCS Montessori in 2010 as an educational assistant. The following year I received my Primary Montessori Teaching Credential from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (AMS). I have had the privilege of working at DCSM as a Primary Lead Teacher for the past 4 years. In 2015 I was DCS Montessori’s Apple Award Recipient for the Primary level.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing and watching soccer, running, yoga, and traveling (which is usually back to my hometown in Canada). My days are full as I have a 4-year-old son (who attends DCSM) and a 1-year-old daughter. My husband and children are such a blessing in my life!
I am grateful to work at DCSM and to have the opportunity to be a part of your children’s lives!
Vacant, Educational Assistant
Janet Hayes, Educational Assistant
Hello, I’m Janet Hayes and I am a Colorado Native. My previous background before working at DCS Montessori was in Health Care Administration, and then working as a Radiology Technologist. After many hours of volunteering at the school, I began working at the school as a Child Care Assistant in the Cougars Den. The following year I started working as an Education Assistant in Ms. Lindsay’s class. This will be my 3rd year with Ms. Lindsay. My daughter, Lexi Hayes has been attending DCS Montessori since the age of 3 and is now in the DCS Montessori Middle School. My husband and I have always adored the Montessori philosophy and we knew this was the school we wanted to her to attend when she was an infant. With my longtime love for Montessori, I feel so blessed to be able to work with the children at DCS Montessori and watch them grow.
In my free time when I am not spending quality time with my family and friends I enjoy reading, gardening, knitting, and yoga. It is very likely that I will be found with my nose glued to my Kindle or my hands in the dirt when the time allows me to.
Shannon Kittle, Lead Teacher
I was born and raised in California and attended California State University San Marcos where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts. I then received my AMI Primary certification from the Montessori Institute of San Diego in 2010 and moved to Colorado. I have been teaching Primary for the four years but spent the last school year working with Lower Elementary students in Ms. Lara’s classroom. I’m so excited to again be working with DCS Montessori Primary students!
Being from California I’m kind of a beach girl, but I’m finding that the four seasons of Colorado suit me! I love being outside enjoying the weather, riding my bike or catching a Rockies game. I love music and have been playing handbells since I was 7 years old and direct the youth handbell choir at my church.
Greta Colson, Educational Assistant
I am an Educational assistant in Ms. Shannon’s class and I enjoy working with children. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria where I got my Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Masters in Early Childhood and Primary Education. I worked there for over 13 years for an American International School and had the privilege to teach children from over 30 nations. After I gave birth to my children and moved to the United States with my family I began to look for a school that has a different approach toward the kids and this is how I started reading more about the Montessori philosophy and fell in love with it. I’m so glad that my children are able to be part of the DCS Montessori family. When I am not in school I love to spend time with my husband Alan and two children outdoors and exploring the world around us.
Lisa Polanco, Educational Assistant
Debbie Miller, Lead Teacher
I am a married mother of 3 daughters and have lived in Colorado since 2001. My husband, Tom is a banker and brewery owner and my daughters are Morgan, who attends the University of Oregon, Nickie, who attends CU Boulder, and Hannah, who attends Rock Canyon High School. I graduated from Wittenberg University in Ohio with a degree in Education and taught fifth grade, third grade, and kindergarten/pre-kindergarten for 7 years while living in the Chicago area. After my first daughter was born, I decided to become a stay-home mom. When all my girls were in school full time I worked as a certified yoga instructor and also part-time in retail. I eventually realized that my heart was in teaching children and I started working at DCSM as a Primary Assistant in 2012. I loved working in Montessori so much that I took the teacher training course at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and currently hold an American Montessori Society Early Childhood credential and a Colorado Teaching license in Early Childhood.
When not in the classroom, I’m usually outside somewhere! I love to go hiking and camping in Colorado and spending time at the beach in Florida. I love to read, walk my dogs and just enjoy my family & life in general!
Glory Arndt, Educational Assistant
My family and I have been living in the Castle Rock area for 12 years now. I am excited about being on staff now and am working on getting my teaching certificate. I am actually very domestic . . . love cooking, reading and taking care of our home. I grew up in Southern California and moved here to Colorado in 1990. I met and married my husband in 1991 and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. Although I love the beach, I never learned to surf and living in Colorado I have not learned to ski.
Jessica Castro, Educational Assistant
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois I attended Augustana College and Governors State University, graduating with a B.A. with an emphasis in Child Development and Early Elementary Education. I moved to Castle Rock, Colorado in 1980 where I obtained my Child Care Director’s license and became the Director of a large child care center. I was introduced to Montessori education at the Montessori School of Douglas County where, beginning in 1995, I was a Primary classroom assistant and substitute teacher as well as the Director/Coordinator of their yearly Summer Program. In 1998 I joined DCS Montessori School in the spring of its inaugural year as a Primary classroom assistant and the Director/Coordinator of its first Summer Program. After completion of the three year American Montessori Internationale (AMI) Primary Director’s training course, I accepted a teaching position at DCS Montessori School where I have remained with the exception of one year as a Primary teacher at the International Montessori Children’s House in Denver, Colorado. In 2003 I was nominated for the Douglas County School District’s Thank A Teacher program. In 2014, I was DCS Montessori’s Apple Award recipient.
I continue to re-visit Chicago whenever possible where I still have family. I have been married since 1979 and my husband and I enjoy world travel, reading books and hiking and playing with our dog, Bouncer. When not teaching or traveling I like baking and gardening.
Patty Moore, Educational Assistant
Chrissy Howell, Educational Assistant