MS. BONNIE SHEARER
Head of School
Ms. Bonnie is an Army Brat who is originally from Indiana, but lived much of her life in the South. She has a B.A. in English and History. Ms. Bonnie has been in Montessori in various capacities since the late 90s. Her experience as an assistant in every level from infant to middle school has helped to inspire a deep love of the Montessori method and the life-long gifts it gives children. Her time as an AMI Primary guide gave her valuable insight to what a powerful effect a director and administrator can have on the day to day activities of a classroom. Time away from Montessori as a small business owner gave her a new set of skills while confirming that Montessori was where she was called to be. Her dedication to the child’s experience and AMI pedagogy guides every decision she makes as director and administrator of St. Peter’s. Ms. Bonnie lives in Glendale/Peoria with her husband, teenage stepson, son, a sweet rescue mutt, and a rescue sulcata tortoise. Her son began the Primary program with St. Peter’s in the Fall of 2018. When she isn’t daydreaming about travel, she enjoys reading about pediatric neuroscience, peaceful parenting, and natural living. She has basic Spanish skills and hopes to improve them over the next few years.
MS. LEIGH HANSEN
Elementary Guide: Eels
Ms. Hansen moved to Arizona in 2016 from Minnesota, where she lived most of her life. Ms. Hansen has a Masters degree in Education, an AMS certification for Elementary, and 25 years experience teaching in Montessori schools. She moved to Arizona to be closer to family, and she and her dog are enjoying the warm winters and many outdoor activities here. In her free time she enjoys swimming, canoeing, music, gardening, crafts, and reading. She is very happy to have found St. Peter's with its wonderful students and supportive parents and staff.
MS. JAZMIN MALDONADO
Classroom Aide: Eels
Ms. Jazmin is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in education. She attended the AMI Assistant Training Course in the Fall of 2016, and began AMI Elementary Teacher training in the Fall of 2018 in preparation for taking over the Elementary classroom in the 2020-2021 school year. She will graduate from the Elementary Guide program in December 2019. She enjoys reading, painting, and swimming with her beautiful daughter, who is a St. Peter’s alumna. She is fluent in Spanish.
MS. MELISSA MILLER
Primary Guide: Angelfish
Ms. Melissa moved from South Carolina to Arizona in 2010 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in English Education. She taught at the high school level in traditional schools and later worked as a police dispatcher. The birth of her son, who now attends St. Peter's, inspired her to explore the work of Dr. Montessori and ignited a passion to help guide young children. She received her AMI diploma from the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies in June 2018. Ms. Melissa joined the staff at St. Peter's that same year, after making a wonderful impression during her student teaching in the Angelfish classroom. Ms. Melissa enjoys reading, thrift store shopping, travel, and sewing.
MS. GLADYS MONTGOMERY
Classroom Aide: Angelfish
Ms. Montgomery worked in the Isaac School District administration for 10 years before finding St. Peter’s. She has become passionate about the Montessori method after seeing the difference it’s made in the lives of her two children, who attend St. Peter’s. She resigned her position with the school district in order to work for St. Peter’s and possibly pursue AMI training in the future. She took AMI Assistant’s training in the Fall of 2017. She is the fluent Spanish-speaking aide for the Angelfish classroom.
MS. LAURA EMRICK
Primary Guide: Betta Fish
Ms. Laura moved with her family from California to Arizona as a young child and grew up in the East Valley. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from NAU. It was during her time in Flagstaff, AZ that she was introduced to the work of Dr. Montessori while working at a local Montessori charter school. After moving back to the Phoenix area to help open a local business with a family friend, Ms. Laura decided to follow her passion in the Montessori method and began training at the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies, where she graduated with her Primary diploma in May 2019. Ms. Laura visited St. Peter’s in the Fall of 2018 as a student teacher, and was impressed with the guiding environment and welcoming community. She is pleased to now be a part of the St. Peter’s family. Ms. Laura loves to explore the arts, travel to new places, and spend time in the outdoors with her dog.
MS. WHITNEY JANUSEWSKI
Classroom Aide: Betta Fish
Ms. Whitney is a born and raised Arizona native. Education runs in her family, and she is continuing the tradition by perusing her her bachelor’s degree in Education at NAU. She graduated from EMCC's early childhood education program in May 2019 . She will complete the AMI Assistant Course in the Fall of 2019. She is happy to be part of the St. Peter’s team and is excited to see where it takes her. She loves spending time with family and loves to try new cuisines. She is the fluent Spanish-speaking aide in the Betta Fish classroom.
MS. DEBRA QUICK
Ms. Quick joined the staff at St. Peter's Montessori in 2014. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education. She loves mathematics, and has worked as a math tutor and a substitute teacher in public schools. She is currently working as a Pastoral Assistant for Children's Ministry at St. Peter's Church, a position she's held since 2012. Ms. Quick is the mother of three adult--or nearly adult--children. Other interests include building homes with Habitat for Humanity, crochet, calligraphy and puzzles.
MS. SELENA GUZMAN
Ms. Guzman joined the staff of St. Peter's Montessori School in 2012 as a classroom aide. She also serves as the Pastoral Associate for Children's Ministries at the church. Selena has worked with children for over ten years and has three boys and two girls of her own. Three of her children currently attend St. Peter's Montessori School. In her (very little) spare time she enjoys reading.
MS. OXSANA BURKS
Ms. Burks moved to Phoenix from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia in 2007. While in Russia, Ms. Burks was a Registered Nurse specializing in Physical Therapy. Originally working at the RePete Boutique, she joined the staff at St. Peter's Montessori School in 2010 as a classroom aide with Ms. Mashood, and has been involved in the school in different capacities since then, working in every classroom over the years. In addition to being a nurse and aesthetician, Ms. Burks is also a Realtor. In her free time she enjoys traveling, the theatre, and spending time with her two cats: Micky and Willy Wonka. She is a strong advocate of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. She is fluent in Russian.
REV. DR. AMY E. JACOBER
Pastor Amy has been serving in ministry for nearly 25 years. She has an MDiv and PhD in Theology with particular interest in practical theology. Her interest in St. Peter's Montessori began with her three children attending beginning in 2012. She is invested in the faith formation and scriptural teaching from our youngest to most experienced students. Outside of chapel, she is a professor of Theology & Youth Ministry as well as multiple pastoral duties. She loves time with her family and can be found hiking, cooking, or playing board games around the family table.
MS. CHRISTINA JAIME
Lunch and Naptime Aide
Ms. Jaime is a military spouse who is originally from California but has lived in Arizona most of her life. She joined the staff of St. Peter’s Montessori School in 2018 to practice conversational Spanish with the children. Working with kids has been such a blessing; she has had almost 10 years’ experience with her six nephews, two nieces, and two boys of her own. In her spare time she enjoys doing arts and crafts and working on new science experiments with her husband and two sons. She is fluent in Spanish.