The Desert Willow Classroom

Wendy Clary - Lead 3-6 Teacher

 Ms. Wendy was born in Brooklyn, New York. She later relocated here to New Mexico where she met her husband and started substituting for APS. She was eventually introduced to the Montessori Method and fell in love. Ms. Wendy received her National Center for Montessori Education (NCME) Primary Certification in Los Alamos, New Mexico. She is also a current member of the American Montessori Society (AMS), The Montessori Foundation, The New Mexico Montessori Network, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Ms. Wendy has two daughters, a dog, and is a grandmother of four. In her free time, she enjoys leisurely reading, interior decorating, and fashion design. 

Donna Garcia - 3-6 Assistant Teacher

Ms. Donna is from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. She graduated from Bernalillo High School and has lived here in Albuquerque for a little over twenty years. She has been working at MVM since 2013 and absolutely loves it! Prior to working for MVM, Ms. Donna ran an in-home daycare for six years. The Montessori Philosophy was very new to her, but with good practice and help from other staff members she has come to find she can easily use her Montessori knowledge not only at school, but in other areas of her life. Ms. Donna’s leisure activities include anything to do with the outdoors. She especially loves camping and barbequing with her family.   

The Juniper Classroom

Donna Pearce - Lead 3-6 Teacher

Ms. Donna is originally from the east coast, but most recently came to us from Academy Montessori. Ms. Donna has been a Montessori teacher for over 15 years. She received her training through The National Center for Montessori Education.

Ms. Donna enjoys working with children and helping them reach their full potential and achieve a life long love of learning. She has been married for 31 years, has three children, and three perfect grandchildren. 

Rosalba Jimenez - Assistant 3-6 Teacher

Ms. Rosalba is originally from Costa Rica   she moved to the United States twenty years ago. While in Costa Rica Ms. Rosalba earned her degree in sociology. After her move to the U.S. Ms. Rosalba began working at Montessori of the Rio Grande, where she worked for 10 years starting as an aftercare teacher then as a toddler teacher assistant. Ms. Rosalba then switched to Academy Montessori where she was a teacher assistant in the 3-6 program. She loves working with the children and said "I I enjoy the children, they make me happy!"

Ms. Thari (Konara) Karunaratne - Assistant 3-6 Teacher

Ms. Thari is originally from Sri Lanka, she moved to Albuquerque nineteen years ago. Ms. Thari  began  studying in the Faculty (school) of Law at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. She then married and moved to the United States. Ms. Thari was a stay at home mom for 10 years. In 2010 she began working at Academy Montessori, received her 45 hr. certificate from UNM,  and is currently enrolled in CNM to complete her Early Childhood Development Certificate. Ms. Thari loves working with the children in the Montessori environment where they are encouraged to be independent learners.

In her free time, Ms. Thari enjoys dancing, reading, and home decorating. She is married and has two daughters, ages 10 and 17.  

The Pinon Pine Room

Renee Sedillo - Lead 2-4 Teacher

 Ms. Renee was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received her 3-6 certificate from the World Wide Montessori online training program. She also has her certificate in Early Care, Education and family support. Ms. Renee has been working for over 18 years as an assistant and lead teacher in toddler and 3-6 environments and absolutely loves it. She and her husband have been married for twenty years and have two wonderful sons. Both of her children attended Montessori schools and are now excelling academically. In her spare time, you can find Ms. Renee volunteering at her church. 

Tami Sexton - Assistant 2-4 Teacher

 Ms. Tami was born in Lovington, New Mexico but has been living in Albuquerque ever since she can remember. Children have always had a very special place in her heart. She greatly enjoys taking care of them as well as the elderly. Ms. Tami is new to Montessori but hopes to use her kind, nurturing personality to lead the toddlers on their path to success. In her free time, Ms. Tami enjoys taking early morning walks and meeting new people. 

Rebeca Riley - Assistant 2-4 Teacher

Ms. Rebeca was born and raised in Santiago, Chile. After high school Ms. Rebeca studied and worked as a dental assistant in Panama City, Republic of Panama. She moved to New Mexico in 1998.  Ms. Rebeca began her Montessori work at Montessori of the Rio Grande as an assistant teacher in the toddler program for 8 years. She has taken several early childhood continuing education classes. 

Ms. Rebeca also comes to us from Academy Montessori, where she worked for the last 2 years. 

In her free time, Ms. Rebeca enjoys gardening and landscaping, working out, bicycling, and camping in the Carson National Forest. 


Susan Lucas - Front Desk

 Ms. Susan was born and raised in Farmington, NM. Susan holds a B.S. degree from UNM in elementary education. Ms. Susan has been teaching for the last 17 years. She taught in a public elementary school in Shiprock, NM for five years. She moved to Colorado and taught in a traditional preschool  for seven years.  Ms. Susan moved to a Montessori school where she earned her Montessori credential from NAMC and was a lead 3-6 year old Montessori teacher for the last 5 years.  Ms. Susan also holds a Colorado Early Childhood Level 4 credential,  A New Mexico elementary teaching license, and a Colorado large center directors license. Ms. Susan is married and has two adult children. In her spare time she loves to travel, garden, shop for antiques, research her genealogy, and create family scrapbooks.

Wendy Clary - Director & School Board

Renee Sedillo - School Board

Aftercare Classroom

Pinon Room (2-4 year olds) - Aftercare Teacher

Thari Karunaratne - Combined Juniper and Desert Willow Rooms (3-6 year olds) - Aftercare Teacher


Afternoon Enrichment Instructors

Monday - Art & Cooking

Ms. Thari

Tuesday - Spanish

 Ms. Rebeca

Wednesday - P.E. Enrichment

Lead teachers guide children through organized sports and games that are appropriate to the children's developmental stages. Working on gross motor skills and development is an important part of Montessori education. 

Thursday - Dance & Movement

Ms. Thari

3rd Thursday of the Month - Storytime

Ms. Laura

Ms. Laura comes to us every  3rd Thursday of the Month from Cherry Hills Library.

Friday - Music Enrichment

Michelle Smith

Ms. Michelle has been teaching Elementary Music for over 14 years. She graduated with her bachelors of Music degree from Wayland Baptist University and has been teaching preschool music for 5 years. She has her 45 hour early childhood certificate plus numerous early childhood education training certificates. Ms. Michelle is married and has one daughter. When she is not teaching private voice and piano lessons, she enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at her church.