Sally Welder, Owner/Administrator - Sally attended Gonzaga University and received her B.S. in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She completed her Montessori Early Childhood training and received her certificate in June of 1972. Sally taught at the Flathead Montessori School until 1977. Sally and Terry began the Kalispell Montessori Center in 1977 and they have been co-administrators since that time. Sally has done additional graduate work in the field of education and business management at the University of Montana. Sally has been treasurer of the Flathead Child Care Association, instrumental in forming the Montana Montessori Educators Organization and a past president to Glacier National Park Associates. In 1993, Terry and Sally were hosts to the American Montessori Society heads of school retreat in Whitefish. Most recently, she has been studying various computer capabilities for business and education. Sally is also the director of our teacher education program and an evaluator for the Montessori Accreditation Council on Teacher Education (MACTE).
Jean Presnell, Office Manager/Administrator- Jean has worked with children in the Flathead Valley for over twenty years- and always with a smile. She was born and raised in Oregon, but moved to Kalispell in 1975 to begin a family of her own. Fortunately, in the summer of 1999, Jean began working at Woodland Montessori and has loved it here ever since.
Jean has two beautiful daughters and four wonderful grandchildren who are the light of her life.
Angela Hong, Early Childhood Teacher - Like many teachers, Angela followed her children into Montessori. Impressed with the community and the philosophy, she joined the staff in 2004. Angela completed the Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Program and tested in 2007. She received her undergraduate degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and her Masters at the University of Oregon. Her degrees are in architecture, with an emphasis on children’s spaces and sustainability. She also received a minor in psychology and for the past two years has enjoyed facilitating the positive discipline class here on this campus.
Angela has two boys who love Montessori as much as she does.
Crystal Hutchisson, Early Childhood Teacher - Crystal Hutchisson, long-time Montana resident, currently lives with her husband, three kids and a dog in Columbia Falls. She attended the University of Montana to pursue a career in accounting, and then worked for many years as an office manager; however, she found this line of work terribly dry and uninteresting. She then moved on as a substitute teacher for School District Six where she found her true calling: children. This later led to a position at Children’s House Montessori School. She quickly became intrigued with the Montessori philosophy and wanted to know more. She completed the Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Program in 2002 and has enjoyed fulfilling her passion ever since. Crystal has been a teacher at WMS since 2006. She looks forward to fully engaging her future students’ natural and individual learning potential.
Ginni Sibley, Early Childhood Teacher - Children have always been a part of Ginni’s life and work. She began studying child care and home economics in high school. She completed her Associates degree in early childhood education from Western Montana College and her early childhood certification from the Montana Montessori Teacher Education Institute. Ginni has worked with Head Start, Bear Paw Parent Co-op, and the "Curious Minds" teacher lab at Western Montana College, where she observed and worked with children in the Reggio Emillia method of education. Ginni has been a teacher on this campus since 2001. She has four children and five grandchildren.
Kara Kress, Early Childhood Teacher - holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2000) and AMS Early Childhood Montessori Certification. After many years working in various children’s programs, she began teaching at Woodland Montessori in 2005. Following a break from 2007-2010, she has returned to the classroom and now also enjoys being a Montessori parent.
Katy Meyers, Music Teacher - Katy has a B. A. in social work from Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia. She received her Pre-Primary (Early Childhood) Credential in June 1980, and had been a Montessori Directress teaching in Lemont, Pennsylvania before coming here in August 1982 to join our staff. Katy has worked with Human Resources to create organizational meetings about the Montessori Philosophy. Katy is also trained to administer the Gesell Developmental Examination. In the summers of 1991, 1994, and 1996 she attended the Orff Music Workshop at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and was awarded the Level III certificate. In 1992 Katy was a Montana exchange teacher in Japan and has shared it with her classes since then! In 1997 she attended the International Montessori Congress in Uppsala, Sweden and the National Orff-Schulwerk convention in Seattle.
Katy has worked on this campus for twenty-five years and one year at the head of the Somers Campus classroom. She will dedicate her time as the music teacher this year and continue as a teacher education instructor.