The child is both a hope and promise for mankind.

MARIA MONTESSORI

Faculty & Staff

The Montessori School of Washington Park employs dedicated teachers who are trained and certified in child development and the Montessori method. Our instructors are from all around the world including Spain and Scotland, and many speak more than one language. Teachers utilize this multilingualism in classroom instruction to increase cultural understanding. We encourage you to attend an Open House and meet our outstanding staff!

Administration

Mary Purfield

Executive Director
Mary joined the Montessori School of Washington Park in 2006. She is a Colorado native and received her degree in English from Colorado State University. Mary worked in both publishing and wine importing. She wanted to have a purpose again, and what better way then becoming involved in the education of children. Mary received her Colorado Director Certification in 2010. Mary holds her International Montessori Teaching Diploma at the Primary level. Mary comes from a very large family and is a proud aunt to 14 nieces and nephews. Mary loves to garden, cook and spend time with friends and family.
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Danielle Porras

Assistant Director
Danielle is a born and bred Coloradoan. Danielle attended college at Colorado State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. After graduating, Danielle worked as a nanny and Early Childhood Education teacher working with children of all ages. She found that working with children is her passion and this path (though a challenging one) is the best way to spend her life. Danielle received her Colorado Director Certification in May 2018 and found MSWP not long after. She is excited to learn even more about Montessori and administration in Early Childhood Education. Danielle is thrilled to be a part of MSWP! Outside of work, Danielle enjoys attending sporting events (Broncos games in particular), trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends, family, and her dogs!

Classroom Staff

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Analisa Morel

Lead Teacher Primary 1
Ana grew up in Mexico where she attended Montessori schools. She has always loved the Montessori approach and how intentional it is towards early childhood development. She moved to the US for college and received a BA in English (creative writing) from Dakota Wesleyan University. Since then has spent time traveling around the world, from working in a farm in Maui to teaching English in Nicaragua, Mexico and Rwanda. She has found meaning in teaching children and takes joy in the process of learning.
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Holland Dozier

Assistant Teacher Primary 1
Holland grew up in Mississippi but moved to Colorado in 2018. After moving to Denver, Holland started working in childcare the same year, he has spent most of his time working in the Denver Public School system supporting multiple classrooms with an emphasis on high-needs children. Prior to DPS and MSWP, Holland has experience mentoring at risk youth and young adults facing challenges with homelessness and addiction. Being fascinated by MSWP’s philosophy he decided that he wanted to have first hand experience working with children in the Montessori world. Holland is dedicated to providing a positive, progressive and empathetic learning environment for children of all ages Outside of the classroom, Holland spends most of his time skateboarding, mentoring, drawing, playing guitar and hanging out with his dog.
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Dana Hamby

Lead Teacher Primary 2 (AMS)
Dana has worked with children for many years, but feels most inspired by and committed to the Montessori model and community. Dana holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of Maryland and has a background working in the non-profit sector. A career-changer, Dana made the decision to pursue a more fulfilling life dedicated to serving young children. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Towson University, where she taught in two early childhood classrooms. Upon moving to Colorado, she discovered the incredible Montessori School of Washington Park (MSWP) community; here, she was amazed to find that the Montessori philosophy was fully aligned with her beliefs about education and guiding the young child. Dana received her Primary Teacher Training from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. Her family recently welcomed a son, and she is thrilled for him to begin his own Montessori journey. When not in the classroom, Dana enjoys being a life-long learner, staying active, escaping to the mountains, and spending time with her family.
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Rosa Igelsias

Assistant Teacher Primary 2 & Spanish Guide
Rosa is from Madrid, Spain and came to the USA in 1991. She is married and has two daughters, Elena 21 years old and Sonia 19 years old, both are in college at the moment. Rosa started working at MSWP in 1991 teaching Spanish and left in 1992 when her first daughter was born, and came back to MSWP in 2002. She got her BA degree in art history from The University Complutense in Madrid, Spain. She has attended numerous Montessori workshops over the years and loves and understands the philosophy.
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Tiffani Allen

Lead Teacher Primary 3
Since age 18, Tiffani has worked in many different early learning centers, but her first introduction to Montessori came when she worked at a Montessori school in 2008. She was astonished by how much more capable the children were at that school and revered it as something set apart from any of the other schools she had worked at. After completing her degree in English Literature at the University of Colorado Denver, she taught English in Japan for three years, primarily to children from three to six years old. Upon returning to Colorado, her path lead her back to Montessori. She loves being a part of this community and learns so much from the children each day. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her friends, have dinner parties, ride her bike, and would prefer to be petting all domesticated animals at all times (she loves wild animals too).
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Leah Rouse

Assistant Teacher Primary 3
I grew up on Oahu, Hawaii and have lived in Denver for 13 years with my three sons, Holden, Elliot, and Donovan. I’m currently completing my BA in Early Childhood Education at MSU and passionate about working with children and helping families. My other passions include enjoying the beautiful Colorado mountains, live music, cooking, and traveling. I have always been interested in pursuing a career in Montessori education and grateful to begin those steps here at MSWP.
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Kristy Hughes

Lead Teacher Primary 4
Kristy has been on the Montessori path her whole life. As a child she attended a Montessori school in Davis, California. As a parent, both of her daughters were in a Montessori school through elementary school, and now her youngest has begun a Montessori middle school. And finally, as a profession, Kristy is a licensed pre-K through 3 grade teacher, but once again felt drawn to the Montessori philosophy. Kristy believes that through Montessori a child can find not only endless joy in learning, but also love of community and independence. In her spare time Kristy enjoys spending time with her family in nature, reading and doing crafts.
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Julie Byron

Assistant Teacher Primary 4
Julie adores working with children of all ages and is thrilled to be a part of the MSWP community. Julie’s interest in Montessori began with her three daughters, now young adults, who were fortunate enough to attend a Montessori school in Denver from age 3 through 5th grade. Julie has worked in Early Childhood Education for over ten years. She also continues to teach for a local company that is dedicated to encouraging children to explore and learn about food. She looks forward to sharing her passion for healthy food and cooking with the children at MSWP. In her spare time, Julie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing tennis and reading.
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Olivia Haws

Lead Toddler Teacher
Olivia has experience teaching all ages, but especially loves working with the youngest. Originally from Florida, she graduated with a human services degree focusing on child and youth development. After teaching elementary school for three years, she moved to Washington DC, where she worked at a museum-based preschool and found her love of teaching early childhood. After moving to Denver, she discovered the Montessori approach and immediately appreciated the respect, independence and life skills it offers every child from the beginning of life. She recently completed her 0-3 AMI training at The Montessori Institute in Denver and is pursuing a Masters in Montessori Education through Loyola University in Baltimore. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading and traveling.
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Jaelin Harris

Assistant Toddler Teacher
Jaelin was born and raised in Denver, CO. She began working with middle school students at a nonprofit summer program for five years before turning to early childhood education. After teaching Primary aged students for two years, she became interested in child development in their younger years. Jaelin is excited to learn more about Montessori and how to best support children at the toddler age. Outside of work, Jaelin enjoys painting, gardening, and spending time with her husband and dog, Nomeki.

Join us on the Montessori journey!

Call 303-722-7708 for more information or click below to schedule a tour!