Let us introduce ourselves
The Montessori teacher guides the flow of activities in the environment and serves as a resource and catalyst for learning. Most of the time the teacher assists children individually, helping them to establish independence and self-initiative.
Primary teacher and art teacher Jill Schurman is the founder of our school. She had the vision! Jill is a native New Yorker and attended the high school of Music and Art. She received an associates degree in design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and majored in Early Childhood Development at Georgia State University. She worked for a time in the clothing design business. She holds an AMI certificate from the training school in Atlanta, Georgia. She also founded a school in Atlanta with several other teachers from her training class.
Primary teacher Barbara Turner grew up in southern California. She moved to Idaho in 1971 with her family. Barbara has a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Idaho and holds a current K-8 teaching credential from the state of Idaho. She has attended the University of Washington and Westminster College for Early Childhood education. She has taught every grade level from preschool through 8th grade in her long teaching career. Barbara is the co-founder of the Snake River Montessori School and both of her boys have attended Montessori schools. She holds an AMS teaching credential in Early Childhood. She took her AMS training in Dallas, Texas.
Primary teacher Joanie Griffin grew up in Idaho Falls. She began as a parent and was so intrigued that she applied for an aide position. She began in Extended Day and moved from there to the classroom as an aide for Cathie Duncan. She took over the class when Miss Cathie left and took her AMS training from the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center. She holds an AMS teaching credential in Early Childhood. She is also a nationally certified massage therapist. Joanie has one daughter who is attending SRMS and one daughter who has graduated from SRMS.
Primary teacher Kelly King was born in Pocatello. She was raised in Blackfoot and has lived in Idaho Falls for most of her adult life. She has an associate degree from Ricks College and a Bachelor's degree in education from Brigham Young University. After working as a classroom aide for 9 years, Kelly received her AMS Early Childhood credentials from Caspari Montessori Institute in Montana in 2008. Kelly's first love is music and she performs often with her family.
Primary teacher Hollie Jordan grew up in Montana. She moved to Idaho Falls in the summer of 2012. Hollie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with minors in Early Childhood and Psychology from University of Montana. She received her AMS Early Childhood credentials from the Caspari Montessori Institute in Livingston, Montana. Hollie spent 6 years as a lead Montessori teacher in Bozeman, MT before joining the staff of SRMS.
Elementary I teacher Hope Cox grew up in Idaho Falls. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Montana. Hope received her AMS credentials from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado. She interned with Catriona Milgate for one year and then took over the classroom when Catriona left.
Elementary I teacher Pam Taylor grew up in Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. Pam taught eight years in middle school before moving to Idaho Falls. Pam began her association with the school as a parent and then a substitute. Her son is an SRMS graduate. She received her AMS credentials from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado. She has been teaching at SRMS since 1998.
Elementary I teacher, Heidi McJunkin was born and raised in the Malibu/Topanga area of sunny California. She moved to Logan, UT after gigh school where she received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education at Utah State University. She received her AMS credentials from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Bolder, CO in 2012. She has taught middle school math in HOustan, TX and adult technology classes through out Idaho. She has been involved with SRMS as a substitute teacher and aide for four years and is currently co teaching with Mrs. Taylor. She is married and has one daughter who is currently attending SRMS.
Elementary II teacher Carolyn Neblett has lived in Idaho Falls since 1961. She comes to SRMS from District 91. She worked as the "Space Shuttle Lady" teaching students about space in a mocked up bus. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. She received her AMS credential from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York. She has been teaching at SRMS since 2005.
Elementary II teacher Starr Mikkelson grew up in southern California. She attended Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. She received her Elementary I and Elementary II credentials from the Maria Montessori Training Center in San Diego, California. Starr taught for 7 years at Dayspring Montessori in St. George, Utah before relocating to Idaho Falls. She has a daughter who attends SRMS. She has been teaching at SRMS since 2006.
Administrative Director Margaret Hanson received her Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from the University of Manoa, Hawaii in 1981. She also attended graduate school at Idaho State University with work toward her administrative certification. She received her Management Course at the College of New Rochelle in New York in 2003. She oversaw the construction of the present school site. She has been the director since 2001. Her two sons graduated from SRMS.
A Word about AMS
Dr. Maria Montessori did not patent any of her materials. Any school can call themselves a Montessori school without any training. It is important to investigate schools before enrolling your child. The American Montessori Society (AMS) is the national organization that certifies teachers, training institutions and schools. Our school is affiliated with this organization. Our teachers are certified through AMS and we are working toward school accreditation as well. Currently, there are no training schools or AMS accredited schools in the state of Idaho.