Zirwa Mian, Lower Elementary
Degree: Biology, UAFS
What I love about our school: The flexibility of the curriculum; each student works and learns at their own pace for optimal growth
What I love about working with children: I learn so much from them. Our students are very forgiving. Building connections and hearing their stories makes me want to come to work each day!
Outside of school: I love to travel and discover new places; and coffee shop hopping
My family: I live with my parents
Favorite quote: “To infinity and beyond.” – Buzz Lightyear
Luna and Mercury
Luna came to the school as a pregnant, foster cat from 3 Girls Animal Rescue. She fit in so well that after two of her kittens were adopted, we decided to adopt Luna along with Mercury, her third kitten.
Hsin-Lei Huang (Annie Yu), Primary
Journalism, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
What I love about our school: Our school is full of love, care and respect. Because of the three-year cycle, all of the teachers get to know their students closely. We are not just a school, more like a big family.
What I love about working with children: I love all of my students. I do my best to help them learn and supply them what they need at school. I love seeing their faces everyday and they know I am always there for them.
Outside of school: I enjoy traveling, singing, fishing, and bowling.
My family: Linus, my husband, and I have been married for 20 years. We both came from Taiwan. We have three boys – Tobey, Hugo, and Leo. They were all Montessori students. Neko, our five year old ginger cat sleeps with me every night.
Favorite quote: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi
Lily Glaze, Primary
Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Central Arkansas
What I love about our school: I love the atmosphere the most. Everyone here is so kind and supportive.
What I love about working with children: Working with children is amazing! I love getting to see how creative and imaginative they are and watching them grow as people.
Outside of school: I love to read, watch movies, go hiking, and make very specific playlists for every occasion.
My family: Maxwell, my wonderful partner of almost 5 years now! We have so many pets – 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 hamsters, and 4 mice. I love my fur babies!
Favorite quote: “Be so completely yourself that everyone else feels safe to be themselves too.” – Heidi Coker
Autumn Patton, Upper Elementary
Early Childhood Education, UAFS
What I love about our school: I love that our school is small because we have a very close-knit community that feels like a family. Being in a small school really gives you the chance to get to know the students and their families on a deeper level, and it allows you to build lasting relationships that continue even after the students grow up and move on to new adventures.
What I love about working with children: My favorite part of working with children is watching them grow up and getting to be a part of their learning experience. Being in a Montessori school gives me the opportunity to work with students for three years in a row. Seeing their growth in learning and figuring out who they are as a human is a gift in and of itself.
Outside of school: I enjoy going on hiking trails, reading sci-fi fantasy fiction, doing puzzles, painting, and playing my ukulele.
My family: I live with my two sibling cats – Tiger and Gremlin, as well as my boa named Bellatrix. I have a long-term boyfriend named Noe.
Favorite quote: “Just keep swimming.” – Finding Nemo
Christie Fancher, Upper Elementary
Early Childhood Education, ATU
What I love about our school: I love the Montessori curriculum and the small, family-like atmosphere of our school.
What I love about working with children: I love seeing children make connections and figure out things. It is inspiring to see them engaged and interested in learning.
Outside of school: I love playing or watching sporting events. I also love drawing, crafting, movies and gaming.
My family: My husband, Michael, and I have been married for 23 years. We have one daughter – Brooklynn, who is 19. We all live with our two Pomeranians – Kodi and Ozzy.
Favorite quote: “I aim to misbehave.” – Serenity
Cindy Core, Primary
Child Development Associate, National Credentialing Program
What I love about our school: I love that we have the ability to form relationships with our families during their time here.
What I love about working with children: The best thing about working with children is guiding them on their Montessori journey and seeing their “aha moments” when they happen.
Outside of school: I enjoy attending church, reading, and quilting.
My family: I was married to my high school sweetheart for thirty years until he died in 2008. We have one son, Jonathan.
Favorite quote: “Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whichever state I may be in, therein to be content.” – Helen Keller
Sarah Boone, Primary
Degree: English, University of Arkansas
What I love about our school: I love the size of our school community. It allows me to personally get to know many of the children and their families.
What I love about working with children: We get to experience so many firsts in learning, especially in primary. The pure joy and sense of wonderment the children have when they learn something new is contagious.
Outside of school: For fun I enjoy photography and ballet
My family: I am married to Daniel Boone and we have two daughters – Emerson (5) and Everly (3). We also have one cranky cat at home named Ears.
Favorite quote: “Best Wishes, Warmest Regards.”
Cristy Clamser, School Administrator
Broadcasting, State University of New York College at Buffalo
What I love about our school: I love the relationship of expectation and trust we have together. It only grows as the child does, and allows for a healthy and fun, family dynamic.
What I love about working with children: I love now and have always loved the intelligence of children. Watching them think for themselves is thrilling. Not many adults or schools allow them to do that.
Outside of school: I enjoy adventures, especially when someone else plans them. Dinners with lots of conversation and laughter, spending time with hard working teenagers, and then coming home to a book and quiet.
My family: Lots of family coast to coast, but the closest are my own two Montessori girls: Adelina, 22, and Josephine, 16. Josie is still at home and we have three cats – Cadet, Kingston, and Oscar.
Favorite quote: “You can be effective or self-righteous. Pick one.” – Anna Maravelas
Katlyn Best, Lower Elementary
Degree: Childhood Education – P-4, UAFS
What I love about our school: We have a tight-knit community feel with families, and within our staff. We make all of our decisions with the children’s interests in mind first.
What I love about working with children: I love our students and that we get to spend three years with each of them. They each make a huge impact on my life and it’s inspiring to me that they love being at school and learning.
Outside of school: I love spending time outdoors in nature and fresh air. My husband and I spend a lot of time at the lake, riding our side by side, and just exploring. In my downtime, I enjoy reading, crafting, and shopping!
My family: I married my husband, Levi, in 2015, and we have three dogs – Lulu, a 13-year-old chiweenie; Brit, a 13-year-old jack Russell; and Buck, an 8-year-old chocolate lab.
Favorite quote: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Maya Angelou
Jessica Hayes, Head of School
Biology, University of the Ozarks
Public History (MA), University of Arkansas at Little Rock
What I love about our school: I love the size of our school. It is large enough that children have many friends to play with, but small enough that we get to really know our families during their time with us.
What I love about working with children: Children are so much more capable than adults often allow them to be. I love watching them conquer a challenge for the first time and seeing their eyes light up. Our students are also just a lot of fun and I enjoy spending time with them.
Outside of school: I love yoga, travelling, reading, and eating at really good restaurants. Reading is probably my greatest passion and always has been. There is nothing like getting so lost in a story that when it ends it haunts your thoughts for days.
My family: I have two daughters – Julia, 17, who spent 12 years in our school as a student; and Jamison, 12, who is in year 10 of being a Montessori student. We live with our two cats – Teddy Ruxpin and Baxter – and two Boston Terriers – Norman Bates and Neville Longbottom.
Favorite quote: “Nothing is impossible. Possible just takes time.” – Dr. Merritt Moore, quantum physicist and professional ballerina