The Learning Circle
Montessori School's
mission is to encourage
children to become
lifelong learners with
an enthusiastic love for
learning and respect
for self and others.

Faculty & Staff

Christine Phillips, Associate Head of School and Head Teacher, joined The Learning Circle in the fall of 2007. Christine took her training at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and the Montana Montessori Teacher Education Center and was awarded the Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society in 2010. She just received the NAEYC recognized Directors Credential from the year-long program at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership in the summer of 2015. Her background includes teaching experiential and natural science, leading Outward Bound courses, teaching English in Chiapas, Mexico, and running cross-cultural trainings for international students. She is trained in the special learning needs of young children from the All Kinds of Minds Institute and is certified in Montessori Applied to Children at Risk from the Shelton School in Dallas, TX. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts and graduate work at the School for International Training. She is on the faculty of the Montana Montessori Teacher Education Institute.

Heather Blood, Teacher, joined The Learning Circle in the fall of 2009. She's completed three years of coursework toward an elementary education degree at Montana State University and she took Montessori teacher training at the Montessori Teacher Education Center in Kalispell. Heather received her early childhood American Montessori Society credential in June 2011. In addition to being a parent and having a daughter who attended Montessori school, Heather came to The Learning Circle with a year of experience teaching in an early childhood Montessori program.

Jenna Fallaw, Teacher, joined The Learning Circle in the fall of 2011. She received her Pan American (3-6) Montessori early childhood credential from the Caspari Montessori Institute in 2003. In addition to her Montessori teaching experience, Jenna also has experience in science, outdoor and experiential education curriculum development and implementation in a variety of settings. She has served as president of both Montana Montessori Educators' Association and the Caspari Montessori Institute Alumni Association and volunteered as a board member for various community organizations. Jenna has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island.

Necia Erickson, Assistant Teacher, joined the staff at Learning Circle for the Fall of 2013. It is a great fit - a place to combine a love for learning, teaching, culture, and children (and their books). Necia has an Associates Degrees in Elementary Education and Photographic Communications from Northwest College and has used them both in many ways, including substitute teaching, working at other Early Learning Centers, and carrying for children for a range of families, including non-English speaking children and infant twins. Photography has also been a catalyst for much travel, including work for non-profits, helping them convey stories from Africa, Ecuador, and Eastern Europe to their donors. This summer, she taught a photography workshop to former street kids in Ecuador and is now working on a B.S. in Psychology. She wants to continue to develop her therapeutic Visual Storytelling workshops, utilizing photography as a therapeutic art form.

Cindy Hinson, Assistant Teacher, started with Learning Circle in the winter of 2014 as a substitute teacher and worked as an assistant teacher during the Summer Session. Her education includes three and a half years of Elementary Education coursework with minors in Native American Studies and History at MSU. Her experience working with young children began at age 11 as a babysitter, and she has been a nanny for numerous families in the Bozeman area. She also spends time at the Country Bookshelf, where she has been the Children's Book Specialist for four years.

Maryellen Nagorski, Aide, joined Learning Circle in the fall of 2013. Maryellen has been a Registered Nurse since 1981, with areas of expertise in pediatric oncology, hospice and emergency medicine. She also earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Fish and Wildlife from Montana State University in 1999. She has been a naturalist with the Nature Conservancy, education coordinator with the Montana Raptor Conservation Center and birding educator with the Bozeman Adult Education program. She has been a private pilot since 2005.

Administration   |   Faculty & Staff


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