Meet Our Staff

School Administration

Head of School

Michael Girodo (M.GIRODO@mvmcharter.org)

Michael is inspired and honored by the opportunity to serve as Head of School for Monument View Montessori Charter School. He is incredibly excited to be joining such a committed and passionate community of educators, board members, and parents who have put so much heart and soul into creating this amazing school.

Michael is a long-time believer in the Charter School movement. Much like the Montessori movement whose aim is to nurture the development of the whole child, the Charter School movement aims to bring high-quality educational offerings to diverse groups of children throughout the country.

Prior to coming to the Grand Valley, Michael resided in Steamboat Springs where he was the Head of School at Steamboat Montessori. Before that, he was Head of School at Jarrow Montessori in Boulder – Colorado’s first Montessori school. Michael holds a Primary Montessori teaching degree, as well as a Master’s in Education and BA in Psychology from Naropa University. Michael has been working in the field of holistic and alternative education for over 30 years.

Michael is equally excited to be joining the Grand Valley community and looks forward to exploring all the beauty and splendor of the surrounding region. He is joined on this awesome adventure by his wife, Joan.

Office Manager

devyn Elliott (d.elliott@mvmcharter.org)

Devyn is so thrilled to serve as the Office Manager at Monument View Montessori, and one of her primary goals is to foster relationships with parents, caregivers, and students. Having earned a B.A. in Communication Studies, Devyn recognizes the importance of strong communication between school and families as a way to build trust and community engagement.

Devyn has spent the past 15 years working with children and families in some capacity, whether it be as an assistant teacher in a Montessori preschool, a private nanny, or as the mother of her own two children. Her time spent in the Montessori preschool in Seattle, WA, transformed the way she viewed education and taught her to trust the capabilities of even the youngest child. In her new role as Office Manager, Devyn is excited to bring her eye for detail and organization to this Montessori community. She is honored to provide support to the Head of School and teachers, as we all aim to bring the highest quality, public Montessori education to the Grand Valley.

Lower Elementary Classroom

Lead Teacher

Georgie Reigel (g.reigel@mvmcharter.org)

Georgie Reigel is the Lead Lower Elementary guide. She joined the MVMCS staff in 2017 and holds an American Montessori Society (AMS) credential in Elementary I from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

Prior to joining the faculty, Georgie was a dance educator for 20+ years, teaching at several universities, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in Georgia and Michigan.  She received her BS Ed in Dance Education from the University of Georgia and an MA in Leadership from Shorter University.

Although dance was her first love, Montessori has continually held a special place in her heart. Georgie was fortunate to have grown up in a household that embraced the Montessori approach. Her mother was a long-time primary teacher, and Georgie is proud to follow in her footsteps, sharing her passion for guiding, supporting, and encouraging the whole child so they can thrive independently in an environment that has a place for everyone.

When she is not teaching she enjoys spending time with her husband Ben and their three children-Caroline, Charlie and Livia.

Assistant Teacher

Kelly Carpenter (k.carpenter@mvmcharter.org)

Kelly graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Textile Science, Apparel Design, and Merchandising. This served her well for decades of work and as a creative outlet, but it left her discontented. After moving to Grand Junction with her husband in 2015 and having a daughter, she was finally able to focus on a more fulfilling career: Parenthood. 

Countless parenting and early childhood education books later, she was drawn to the Montessori method. She has seen its effectiveness with her daughter, friend’s children who are almost adults, and now in the classroom. Watching children practice and learn a new skill is an amazing process to witness, and Kelly is grateful to be a part of it. She is excited to learn with your children and contribute to their development and education.

Kindergarten Classroom

Lead Teacher

Jordan Lovelace (J.lovelace@mvmcharter.org)

Jordan Lovelace is the Lead Kindergarten guide.  She joined MVMCS in 2021 as the Kindergarten assistant and moved into a full-time Kindergarten Lead position in 2022. Jordan holds an Elementary Education degree with an endorsement in English as a Second Language.

Prior to teaching at MVMCS, Jordan taught First Grade and Kindergarten at a small, private inner-city school in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2021, she moved to Grand Junction with her husband Austin and their one-year-old daughter Audrey so they could be close to family.

Jordan comes from a family of Montessori guides and is excited to follow in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother. The Montessori approach allows her to guide each child’s social and academic learning in a way that helps children become their authentic selves and develop a familial bond with their peers. Jordan finds joy in being a part of each child’s development and building relationships with their families.

Outside of the classroom, Jordan enjoys reading, spending time with friends over a cup of coffee, hosting game nights, and being outdoors.

Assistant Teacher

Stephen Lugo (s.lugo@mvmcharter.org)

Stephen feels privileged by the opportunity to join the MVMCS staff as the Kindergarten Assistant, as well as excited to work with the MVMCS team, students and family. 

Before MVMCS, Stephen was a K-5 Significant Behavioral Needs Paraprofessional for 2.5 years and completed 96 hours as a Significant Support Needs Paraprofessional. He attended Dickinson State University (ND) and Minnesota State University Moorhead, majoring in Elementary Education, and is hoping to soon get his degree and certification. 

Although the Montessori philosophy and methods are new to Stephen, he holds a receptive mind and is passionate about positively supporting students while giving them the knowledge and abilities they need to support themselves.

Primary Classroom

Lead Teacher

Julia Hodges (J.hodges@mvmcharter.org)

Julia is beyond excited to be teaching at Monument View Montessori as the Lead Primary Guide. She holds an American Montessori Institute (AMI) certificate in Primary (Ages 3-6) from the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies.

In 2021, Julia moved from Georgia to Colorado with her boyfriend, Ryan, to further pursue her teaching aspirations. While living in Georgia, she attended Kennesaw State University for two years studying dance, and attended the University of Georgia for two years studying Early Childhood Education and Child Life Studies.

Julia’s first introduction to Montessori was as a child. Her mother was a music teacher at a small private Montessori school in Georgia, so she herself had the benefit of a Montessori education. She attended from kindergarten through the sixth grade, this is where her love for Dr. Montessori’s philosophy began.

Assistant Teacher

delaney castronovo (d.castronovo@mvmcharter.org)

Delaney Castronovo is an Assistant Teacher joining MVMCS this school year. Originally from the Denver area, Delaney moved to Grand Junction to study English Education at Colorado Mesa University. Throughout college, Delaney took on many leadership roles including working within the dormitories as a Senior Resident Assistant as well as interning at a local middle school.

After graduating in 2021, Delaney decided to continue living in Grand Junction simply because of her love of the area. She enjoys exploring around town for coffee shops, thrifting, and an occasional hike when the weather cools down. Delaney grew up watching her mom work as an English teacher, thinking that one day she may also follow that path. She began to learn the importance and sheer responsibility teachers hold within the classroom. Once she was out of school, Delaney wanted to gain more insight and knowledge about the best teaching practices. She started tutoring young students through an after-school program, as well as nannying for different families.

Moving forward, Delaney wants to help create a safe environment for all students to learn at their own pace. She believes that learning is synonymous with curiosity, and each student is capable of greatness if given the chance to try.

 

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