Meet Our Staff

School Administration

Head of School

Michael Girodo (

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

Kelly Carpenter (

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, friends’ 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.


Lower Elementary Classroom

Lead Teacher

Georgie Reigel (

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

Stephen Lugo (

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.


Upper Primary – Kindergarten Classroom

Lead Teacher

Kirra Dyer

Kirra Dyer joined MVMCS briefly in 2022 when she worked to support teachers and students with intervention for literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional learning. After a short break, she is excited to be back and digging deeper into Montessori philosophies.

Kirra has a Ba. Education K-12. During her teaching career, she continued to study, and gained a Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education – International Baccalaureate (PYP), and became an Accredited Growth Coach for schools.

For several years she taught in the Outdoor Education realm before moving into the classroom. She has taught all grades from K-12 in literacy and numeracy. She was a Science coordinator for 5 years in one school and 3 years in her next school. She also taught in a Waldorf Steiner school for a year, and a remote Australian Aboriginal school for 4 years. She is passionate about developing productive and kind citizens of the world through inquiry and holistic education.

Outside of the classroom Kirra volunteers with Mesa County Search & Rescue and loves all things outdoors along with recreational sports such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and paddling. For a bit of quiet time, she loves to get lost in a great book.

Co-Lead Teacher

Julia Hodges

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 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 – Floating Sub

tara missman

Tara moved to Grand Junction about 10 years ago in pursuit of happiness. She loves being in the area for all of the natural beauty the Western Slope provides. As a business manager, turned owner, Tara has learned that the only way to career success is through hard work, research, perseverance, and dedication.

Now she has taken on the largest role of her life: her daughter. Being passionate about her daughter’s education, Tara has found an interest in child development. Particularly within the Montessori method.

She joins MVM with a desire to assist in building a strong foundation for children to thrive. Using her skills and knowledge from seminars, books, and real-world experience, she is excited to be a part of fostering an environment where children can learn in a safe, nurturing, impactful way.


Lower Primary Classroom

Lead Teachers

Kellsie Chase

Ms. Kellise is coming to us from Hope Montessori in Colorado Springs., where she has been a lead teacher there for over 5 years. Kellsie has done her Montessori Primary teacher training in St. Louis and has been on her Montessori journey since 2008. She is looking forward to joining the MVM team and enjoying all the Grand Valley has to offer.

When she is not working she enjoys going on adventures with her boyfriend and her fur baby. She wants to thank you for entrusting her with your children.

Ashlie Samson

Ashlie is a recent graduate of CMU with her AA degree in Early Childhood Education. She joins MVMCS this year after working as a Lead Preschool Teacher with the city of Grand Junction. This is where she did her student teaching also in the 3-5-year-old classroom. Ashlie has extensive experience working with D51 in their Special Education classrooms.

When Ashlie is not at work you can find her riding her bike, skiing in the winter, and taking walks with her two fur babies. She also enjoys every moment she can spend with her three children, who are all on the east coast in school.

Ashlie is thrilled to be joining the MVM family and looks forward to getting to know all the amazing families.