Jodi Anderson, Upper Elementary Teacher
It is an honor to be a member of the DCS Montessori family as both a lead teacher and a parent. Along with earning professional teaching licenses in Colorado, Missouri, Iowa and Alaska, I’m a believer in the Montessori educational philosophy and have seen the positive experience it can be for children and their families. Together we will continue to achieve great things in our school and community.
Since 2006, I have served on the team at DCS in many capacities. These include assistant teacher, pioneer middle school teacher, librarian assistant and finance office assistant. Being able to see the many facets of DCS has allowed me to appreciate it more.
My youngest, Ben, attends school at DCSM. He loves it and is thrilled to be here. His siblings are grown and making their unique contributions to the world. Sarah is a teacher in Texas and Jake is completing his college degree at UCCS while also serving in the Air Force Reserves.
In my free time I enjoy adventure time with my family, writing novels, reading and spending as much time as possible exploring the Colorado mountains.
Sherry Castro, Educational Assistant
email coming soon
I am thrilled to be joining the DCS Montessori community. Teaching is such an exciting journey and I’m looking forward to learning, fun and adventures. I am a native of Colorado. I have a BA degree from Colorado State University and a Post Graduate Certification in Education from Liverpool University in England. I have taught bilingual, gifted and talented, and third, fourth and fifth grades. Most of my years teaching have been in multi-age classrooms. I love the joy and thoughtfulness that teaching brings. Learning is a life long pursuit.
I enjoy creativity and conversations. I’ve had a lot of fun teaching Shakespeare to elementary students. I like studying languages, art and cultures. I’m excited for the new school year to begin.
Email: (coming soon)
Chrys Globelnik, Educational Assistant
Andrea Traut Dreier, Upper Elementary Teacher
Hi, I am Andrea Dreier, and I was born and raised in Colorado. I graduated from Colorado College in 1990, with a BA in
Psychology. After college I spent time working as the Senior Counselor at a short-term residential treatment facility for teenage boys in Denver County. Following that, I focused on being a Mom, and lived in Vancouver, Canada, and the Washington DC area before settling back in Castle Rock. I have had the pleasure of working at DCS for over 5 years. I’ve spent time in Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary, and am currently an Upper Elementary teacher. Having had experience at all three levels, I am happy to be in Upper Elementary where I have a good sense of where the children are coming from when they enter 4th grade, and what to prepare them for when entering Middle School. I hold a Montessori Lower Elementary certification, Montessori Upper Elementary certification, as well as a Colorado State Teaching License for grades K-6.
I am a parent of graduated students of DCS Montessori. My oldest son attended DCS Montessori and is now a student in college. I am extremely happy to report that the transition for him from Montessori to traditional school was seamless. I also have three daughters and a son who have transitioned to their neighborhood High School and all of them love going to school! I enjoy spending time with my children, my husband, family and friends, reading, traveling, camping, and skiing.
Troy Legaard, Educational Assistant
Originally from Minnesota, my family moved to Colorado when I was in Middle School. I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.S. in Finance. I have spent most of my career in Finance/management positions and also operated my own business for ten years. I lived in Northern California for five years before being recruited to Colorado Springs which is where I met my wife and where our daughter was born. We moved to Castle Rock and we were looking for a school for our daughter. I took the tour and instantly fell in love with Montessori. My daughter, Jessica started at DCS Montessori as a P3 and is now in eighth grade.
Through the years DCS Montessori has felt so much like home to me that I began doing a lot of classroom volunteering and knew that this is where I needed to be all day, every day. I can’t wait for the new school year to begin and be working in Upper Elementary and with your children!
Ryoko Fusatani, Upper Elementary Teacher
My name is Ryoko Fusatani and I was born in Osaka, Japan. I came to the U.S. as a member of a foreign exchange program during my undergraduate days. I have a B.A. in English, and studied anthropology in a graduate program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Soon after I had my first son, I started teaching at a Japanese school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
My family moved to Colorado in 1998, and I started teaching for a pre-K class as a lead teacher, and then substitute teaching almost every day for preschool to 12th grade throughout Douglas County School District for 7 years. Between January 2010 and May 2012, I enjoyed working as a lead teacher and an assistant to Ms. Roda Pajela in Lower Elementary here at DCS Montessori. Starting in August 2012, I taught along with Ms. Karen Aschenbrenner in her Upper Elementary Classroom. I received my Montessori Upper Elementary Certification in the spring of 2012. It was truly amazing to see how Montessori education opened so many opportunities to learn for many children.
My family lives in Castle Pines Village. My oldest son is studying psychology at graduate level at Regis University. My second son graduated from Rock Canyon High School and is pursuing premedical/engineering program at Kansas State University. Our family loves to travel worldwide and learn about different cultures.
Leana Lopez, Educational Assistant
I am honored to be a part of Ms. Ryoko’s classroom and a part of such an amazing team at DCS Montessori. In the past, I worked for over six years at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. I have over 12 years of experience in fundraising and special events and am fond of all of the annual DCS Montessori events. I have a passion for learning and it has been my dream to work with students.
I am originally from Tampa, Florida and that is where most of my family is located. My husband, daughter and I recently moved to Castle Rock and I absolutely adore being outdoors with our three dogs and also enjoy participating in family activities. My daughter is enjoying her time in Ms. Jodi’s class. I am originally from Nicaragua and I speak fluent Spanish, English and conversational French. I received my BA from the University of Colorado Downtown Campus and graduated with honors with a degree in communications. I am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Montessori Education from Xavier University.
Samhee Shim, Upper Elementary Teacher
Hi, my name is Samhee (pronounced SAHM-HE) Shim and I’m originally from Pusan, Korea. I have a Master’s degree in Education from Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH and have taught for 20+ years including teaching English and Korean from Early Childhood to Adult groups in Japan, Korea, and the United States.
Teaching the different age groups have helped me be a better teacher in terms of managing the classroom. I have both the Montessori primary certificate (3-6 yrs.) as well as the Montessori elementary (6 – 12 yrs.) certificate. I currently hold a Colorado state teaching license endorsed in four different areas – Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, English in Secondary Education and ESL (English as Second Language). I have also held an OH state teaching license as well as a CA state teaching license.
I became a teacher because of the positive influences from my own childhood teachers. I love teaching and enjoy my job immensely! I live with my husband, Greg, who is also Montessori credentialed, my daughter, Samera, who is a student at DCS Montessori, and our cat Goldie. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, reading, and spending time with my family and friends.
Brenda Kjar, Educational Assistant
Hello, my name is Brenda Kjar and I’ve lived in Colorado since 1980, happy to call it home.
As my father was an officer in the Air Force, most of my growing up years were spent near bases in Germany and on the gulf coast of Mississippi. Before coming to DCS Montessori, I worked as a Customer Service Supervisor at United Airlines. At the time, I loved my job, but resigned after 10 years when my twin daughters were born. I am married with a son, age 25, and my twin daughters are now age 19. All of my children attended DCS Montessori, my son starting the year it opened.
I knew when I found DCS that the Montessori philosophy/method was a good fit for my children, and as it turns out, for me as well. I’ve been an educational assistant since 2001, starting first in Primary, and now working in Upper Elementary. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be in the classroom, and part of this Montessori way of learning. I never tire of seeing the positive effect this method generates in children. When not at school, I enjoy time with my family and friends, reading, gardening, and cooking.