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Montessori family night

The Team

Rose Park Elementary

Maria Plancarte

Maria Plancarte

Maria Plancarte was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a recent graduate from the University of Utah. She is spending her first year teaching at Rose Park Elementary where she is a lead teacher in an Early Childhood/Kindergarten Montessori classroom. Maria comes from a family of five and has a very cute dog named Chico. She enjoys doing many things, among them are bike riding, hiking, and trying new foods. She is so grateful to be a part of the partnership between the University of Utah and Rose Park, and is looking forward to a fabulous year in her beautiful new Montessori classroom!

Jessica Domenick

Jessica Domenick

Jessica Domenick has lived in New Jersey, Illinois, and California, but Utah is her favorite place to call home. She lives with her fiancĂ© John and their dog Bill. She loves to cook, read, exercise, play board games and spend time outside with her family. 

In 2011, Jessica received a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Westminster College and this summer, Jessica began Montessori training this summer also at Westminster College. She appreciates the Montessori philosophy and method because it supports the natural development of children. This is her first year teaching Early Childhood Montessori.

She has taught first grade at Rose Park Elementary for the past five years and loves the school and its wonderful community. Jessica values building lasting relationships with her students and their families. She enjoys working with young children because they are so eager to learn and her favorite subjects to teach are reading and writing.

Elizabeth Academy

Lizzie Dalton

Lizzie Dalton

Lizzie has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Special Education from the University of Utah, with a minor in Spanish. She completed her MACTE recognized MEPI (Montessori Education Programs International) Elementary Montessori credential through the Institute for Guided Studies, as well as additional elementary Montessori coursework through the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College.

Lizzie has been involved in special education for 10 years through service, teaching in inclusive elementary schools, and providing private services for families with children with special needs. Lizzie loves to dance. She trained through the University of Utah, the Virginia Tanner teacher workshop, and other programs throughout her life. She also loves to hike, run, cook, and spend time with her husband and her daughters, Alice and Emma. Lizzie joined the Elizabeth Academy staff in 2007.

Mandy Fuhrimann

Mandy Fuhrimann

Mandy is the Special Education Director over Early Childhood, Emerging, and Infant Toddler at Elizabeth Academy as well as Special Education Director at the Early Childhood Academy, overseeing the Carson Smith Scholarship at both locations. She is also now adjunct faculty in the Education department at Westminster College. She has a Master's Degree in Special Education, Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation and an AMS Early Childhood Montessori credential from the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Academy staff in 2012, she worked for two years as an adaptive physical education instructor and for three years as a special educator for the Gilbert Unified School District in Gilbert, Arizona, and at Highland High School. Mandy also has experience teaching in an inclusive preschool classroom at the Garfield Learning Center. She has worked as a volunteer with the National Ability Center, the Kiwanis Felt Community Recreation Center, the Highland Cove Retirement Center, and Evergreen Junior High. Mandy also has experience coaching soccer and basketball, and was an NJCAA Women's Basketball Academic All-American in 1995. She enjoys physical activities such as sports, running, boating, and competing in races and triathlons. Mandy and her husband Josh have four children.

Jessica Rawlings

Jessica Rawlings

Jessica Rawlings completed her NCME Montessori Early Childhood credential at the Dayspring Education Center in St George, Utah, and her Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts/Dance with a minor in Teaching English at Southern Utah University. She has been an Early Childhood teacher since 1999. Jessica is also trained as a dance instructor for preschool age children and has taught ballet to students of all ages. Jessica joined the Elizabeth Academy team in 2013, and now serves as the Early Childhood Program Director as well as teaching in the classroom. Jessica is working toward earning a Master of Education degree from Westminster College, and is a member of adjunct faculty there.

Jessica was raised in St. George, Utah and has two children, a fabulous husband, and two energetic cats. She loves dancing, hiking, reading books of all sorts, movies and theater, and sunsets.

 

 

Jess Rudd

Jess Rudd

Jessica completed her Master of Education degree and Montessori AMS Early Childhood credential through the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Early Elementary Education from the University of Utah. Prior to joining the Elizabeth Academy staff, Jessica was an Early Childhood teacher at Dancing Moose Montessori School.

Teaching children has always been a passion of hers, and she wanted to find a more hands-on approach that followed the needs of each individual child instead of pursuing a career in traditional education. This is why Montessori education is so important to her. She teaches it, lives by it, and wants to share this type of education with the entire community.

 Montessori Mentor and Consultant

Teresa Noble

Teresa Noble

Teresa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of South Carolina.  Her Montessori Early Childhood credential was granted by Montessori Education Programs, International.  She is retired from the public schools of South Carolina, with 28 years of service.  Teresa has designed language materials for Alison's Montessori, a Montessori materials company.  She consults with Alison's, evaluating, and designing Early Childhood materials.  She serves as Education Director, Program Director, Instructor, and Supervisor for The Institute for Guided Studies, headquartered in Camden, SC and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education.  She provides private consulting for Early Childhood and Primary Montessori institutions.

 Montessori Mentor and Consultant

Nancy Lindeman

Nancy Lindeman

Nancy currently serves as the Director for the Institute for Montessori Innovation (IMI) at Westminster College in SLC, UT.  She teaches and directs in this Montessori teacher education program.  Nancy began her career in education in 1978 as a Special Educator and continues to be actively involved in the field of Special Education.  She has written course text for the Montessori Inclusive Education courses on the Infant-Toddler, Early Childhood and Elementary level of teacher training.  Nancy holds Montessori EC, Elementary I & II and administrators level certifications.  She founded Maria Montessori Academy, a Utah public charter school, in North Ogden, UT in 2010.  She was the director at MMA for 4 years before coming to Westminster College. Nancy also has a MA in Educational Leadership.  She loves to travel, play with her grandchildren, read and visit Montessori schools.

 Project Leadership

Mary Burbank

Mary D. Burbank

Mary D. Burbank is the Assistant Dean for Teacher Education and Director of the Urban Institute for Teacher Education in the College of Education at the University of Utah. She holds the rank of Clinical Professor where she has been a faculty member since 1994.

In addition to her work with secondary preservice teachers, her teaching, research, and service interests include the identification of pathways to higher education for under-represented students and families. She has worked in collaboration with Colleges, Departments, Districts, and Community Stakeholders for over 20 years.

Gail Williamsen

Gail S. Williamsen

Executive Director - Elizabeth Academy

Gail Williamsen, along with her husband Thom, founded the Elizabeth Academy in 2008. Gail was born and raised in Salt Lake City and attended public schools, graduating from Highland High School. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Utah in English and her Master's Degree in Education from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. 


 

Jennifer Spikner

Jennifer Spikner

Head of School - Elizabeth Academy

Jennifer Spikner has worked in the field of education since 1987. She has held a number of roles including classroom teacher, teacher trainer, and administrator. She is currently the Head of School at Elizabeth Academy, an inclusive Montessori school in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jennifer is on the faculty of the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College where she teaches courses for lower elementary teachers.

 

Web Team

Noni Rice - Webmaster

Kimberly Howard - Web Editor

Caroline Spikner - Videography

Jim Logue - College of Education IT Manager

Contact us:

Get REAL!
Mary D. Burbank, Assistant Dean, Director
Urban Institute for Teacher Education
College of Education
University of Utah
Mary.burbank@utah.edu

 

Last Updated: 7/12/17