Teachers are the heart of Family Star.
Of our 40 teachers, more than half have worked at Family Star for longer than 10 years. The longevity of our staff is both a testament to the work environment at our school and a key element of our quality program.
We also have a highly diverse staff of teachers and teacher’s assistants. Our 13 lead teachers represent eight different countries of origin. Their multi-cultural experiences contribute greatly to our world-class learning environments. Some of our lead teachers have graduate degrees, and all of them have Montessori teacher certification in the age level in which they work. Below are just a few of the Family Star teachers who could become part of your child’s life
Nadia Ojeda is an IC Lead Teacher who has worked at Family Star since 1999. She was born in Mexico and received her Montessori certification from The Montessori Institute in Denver. Nadia earned her Associated Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2010, helped in part by scholarships from Family Star. Nadia’s own children have attended Family Star and she “loves that she gets to see children grow and develop and accomplish things independently.”
Deborah Covill is a Nido Lead Teacher who has worked at Family Star since 2009. She was born in North Carolina and received her Montessori certification for Assistance to Infancy from the Montessori Institute in Denver. Deborah received a Bachelor of Social Work degree from North Carolina University and a Master of Education degree from Loyola University. What she values most about our school is “the emphasis on educating the human potential of all people – children, families and staff.”
Yuliya Apostolova is a Nido Lead Teacher who has worked at Family Star since 2007. She was born in Bulgaria, where she earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She received her Montessori certification at The Montessori Institute in Denver and is grateful to Family Star for helping her realize her wish to learn about the Montessori philosophy. Yuliya loves working at Family Star because she “has learned how to not only be a teacher, but also to see what is inside the child; how to recognize the child’s needs and emotions; and how to create a relationship with each family.”
Alma Amador is an IC Lead Teacher who has worked at Family Star since 1996. She was born in Honduras and received her Montessori certification at The Montessori Institute in Denver. Alma loves working at Family Star because “they give me the opportunity to grow professionally. I love working with children and believe that Family Star provides the best for our children and families.”
Kari Morse is an IC Lead Teacher who has worked at Family Star since 2003. She was born in Japan and received her Montessori certification at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder. Kari is currently working on a Bachelor’s degree in human development at Metropolitan State College of Denver. She loves working at Family Star because “of the family atmosphere and the early intervention services we provide for our children and families.”
Mindy Williams is a Primary Lead Teacher at our Northwest center who has worked at Family Star since 2013. She is from Leetwood, KS and earned her degree in Elementary Education at the University of Missouri at Kansas City prior to earning her American Montessori Institute Primary certification. Her favorite part of teaching at Family Star is, “the opportunity to work with children with such a wide range of diverse backgrounds and experiences.”
Marcella Martinez is an IC Lead Teacher at our Northwest center who has worked at Family Star since 2002. She is from Denver, CO and received her certification at the Montessori Institute. She loves working at Family Star because, “there’s a great family atmosphere. We provide so many services to our children and families and strive to address everyone’s unique needs.”
Nicola Podboy is a Primary Lead Teacher at our Northeast center who has worked at Family Star since 2015. She grew up in Boulder, CO and received her Montessori certification in Chennai, India. Her two favorite aspects of working at Family Star are the top-notch materials we have, as well as our increasingly diverse student body, “all of the materials that we have available for our children and teachers are great and I love that we have such a diverse group of kids, with the potential to become even more diverse as our program grows.”
Graciela Romero is an IC Lead Teacher at our Northeast center who has worked at Family Star since 1993. She is from Mexico and is one of our bilingual educators. Graciela earned her AMI certification in Denver and absolutely loves working at Family Star, “it’s impossible to choose just one thing that I like, everything is great.”
Courtney Mingee is a Primary Lead Teacher at our Northeast center who has worked at Family Star since 2014. She is from Watertown, NY and earned her AMI Primary certification in Denver, CO. Courtney loves watching the children learn and grow, but she has a special place in her heart for connecting with families, “I’ve been through much of what some of our parents are going through now and I love sharing experiences with them. I feel honored to authentically support our parents and relate to them on a deeper level.”