Our Staff

Head of School—Amy Malik

Amy has spent sixteen years working in Montessori education and was a Montessori child until the age of eight. During college, she realized an intention to work with children in an alternative pedagogy. At this point, Montessori re-entered Amy’s life, and she began working as a Primary assistant in a Denver-area Montessori school. In 2003, she received her AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego, where she started and directed a new demonstration classroom for the teacher training program. She has a wide variety of experience working in Montessori as a classroom guide, an administrator and as a Positive Discipline™ consultant. Amy lives in Golden and enjoys practicing yoga, mountain biking, camping and spending time outdoors with her family.

Director of Community Integration—Claire Wolcott 

Claire is a YCC Guide, mother of 3, Montessorian, and marathoner. Montessori has been a recurring theme in Claire’s life from noticing the different environment of the Montessori preschool her sister attended, to analyzing it as a student studying Early Childhood education at University of Maryland. The spiritual experience of observing a work cycle in Arlington Montessori House was a turning point in her life. After working in a primary classroom for 2+ years she moved her family to Denver, Colorado to attend Judi Orion's Assistant to Infancy AMI training. Since receiving her AtoI certification she opened a YCC program at Bergamo Academy in Denver and provided an in home Montessori environment for her 2 son's as well as provided part time in home care of several other Montessori children. Claire serves her children's school community by volunteering in the classroom and attending most of the schools community building functions. In addition, for the past year served served on a local school board as a parent representative. As a Montessorian, and Marathon runner she believes that the most important part of the race is in the preparation and training. Claire looks forward to doing Great Work.

Business and Operations Manager—Stephanie Woodward

Stephanie’s involvement in Education began in 2004 when she began working in the Charter School environment. She has done all administrative duties from enrollment, aiding in classrooms, website set-up, licensing to financials and much more. Stephanie earned her Psychology Degree in 2003 from Metropolitan State College of Denver and then followed up with her Masters Degree in 2013. She is always in support of community and helping others and will do what it takes to get the job done, such as advocating for others. There are a lot of activities she enjoys such as skiing, walking, reading, movies, traveling, spending time with her family and friends and learning new things. Stephanie has been married to her husband for 24 years, they have one daughter who is 18 and have lived in the mountains of Evergreen for the last 22 years.

Administrator—Ashley Hudson

Ashley is a Colorado native as well as a Montessori child and has joined GWMS as an Administrator. She first recognized her love of learning and the Montessori philosophy at the age of 10 and has continued to grow that love by working at a private Montessori School as first an aide and assistant, and later as a Director. She is fluent in both Spanish and English after serving in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 2010-2012 and realized that Montessori is the best educational philosophy for following the nature of the child and turning education into a more practical and hands-on approach that truly engages learners. She is ready for the challenge of creating a new school with the goal of "Montessori for All". Ashley loves spending time with her husband, Matt, and their two dogs, as well as officiate volleyball when she is not at Great Work. She looks forward to meeting everyone this year and becoming a part of the GWMS community.


Dean of Students—Nicholas Ferguson 

Nick holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and an AMS Elementary Montessori credential. His Montessori journey began in his home state of Texas with a transformative observation of a primary Montessori environment, where he spent two years as an assistant. In 2013, he fulfilled a lifelong intention to move to Colorado, where he transitioned to work with elementary-age children and helped to open a brand new elementary Montessori program. Nick's intention as a Montessorian is to embrace every child’s sense of wonder at the universe, to foster their sense of purpose within it, and to promote social justice through the lens of school-based Restorative Practices. He is thrilled to be a part of GWMS and to help build a community of children, families, and colleagues with a shared vision. He lives in Denver and enjoys playing music, rock climbing, camping and cooking.

YCC Guide—Lesley Romero Lefkowitz

As an educator and mother to two daughters, Lesley is passionate about helping children reach their optimal potential. A California native, Lesley attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. After moving to Denver with her husband, Lesley began her Montessori journey at the Montessori Academy of Colorado and quickly knew that this was part of her calling in life. She trained and graduated from The Montessori Institute in Denver as an AMI Assistants to Infancy guide. With over a decade of Montessori experience, her intention is to respect each child and meet their individual needs, while also empowering them during this crucial time in their development. She seeks to inspire and support families to build their child’s foundation for lifelong learning and to lift up the community of Great Work Montessori. She believes so much in this: “Free the child’s potential, and you will transform the world.” (Maria Montessori) Outside of the school setting, you can find Lesley motivating women and men to be the best versions of themselves as a Lagree Fitness Coach at Fierce45. She is also passionate about diversity/cultures, self-expression, and connection of the mind, body and soul with the self and others through quality time with her family, Lagree fitness, music, dance, yoga, meditation, art, women’s groups, and traveling.


Primary Guide—Claire Droge

Claire is originally from Hawaii and grew up with five siblings on the big island of Hawaii. As an undergraduate she began her studies at USF studying Psychology. Upon graduation she began working with victims of domestic violence and researching P.T.S.D. She also worked as a tutor at Sylvan Learning Center in Hawaii. In her spare times she volunteered with underprivileged children. She researched learning programs as a way to better aid children developmentally and decided to study Montessori. She studied Montessori in La Jolla at MISD where she received her AMI Primary degree in June of 2003. She fell in love with Montessori and went on to obtain her Masters from Loyola University in Maryland. She started teaching Montessori in Boston but really missed the warm weather and moved back to California where she taught for 14 years. She has been teaching at the Primary level for 12 years now, with two years experience in the Elementary level. She has also worked as Director in a Montessori school in Fallbrook, CA. and has been a mentor to other teachers in San Diego. She is fascinated with how children learn and develop and is dedicated to the growth of children. Miss Claire is excited to join the team of Great Work Montessori and looks forward to working with the staff as well as the parents and children. She loves Hawaii and tries to visit her family once a year. She has five brothers and sisters, four of which still live in Hawaii. She now has ten nieces and nephews! She loves cooking and exercising and believes that what we put on and into our bodies is really important. She also enjoys reading and loves to do and see new things.


Primary Guide—Amanda Clarke

Amanda has been inspired by many great teachers, from Mrs. Ruth Denny at Asbury Elementary in Denver to Mrs. Laurie Gonzalez to Dr. Susan Merrifield in university. Though she didn’t know it at the time, she was a Montessori student in a traditional school setting and these teachers were the bright exceptions in her education. Luckily, it is never too late to learn. Amanda was guided to Montessori education by her mentor teacher during her first years of teaching in Colorado. Montessori practice supported her love of learning and her calling to support that love in her students through experiential learning. Since 2001, Amanda has been both a Montessori teacher and a Montessori parent. Amanda earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Lesley University in 1997 and completed her AMI Primary training in 2015. Before teaching, she worked in bookstores and public libraries and still holds a passion for reading. Travel has played an enormous part in her learning but she calls Colorado home base. She also loves to be with family and friends, hike with her dog, go to plays and musical performances, and garden.

Primary Guide—Jennifer Day

Jennifer's Bio


Elementary Guide—Ekaterina Jorgensen

Ekaterina’s path to Montessori began with early career foundations in art and music, instructing every age group from preschool through college. Her Montessori journey began as an art instructor in a Pre-K through High School public Montessori community in Denver, Colorado. Her desire to know more and more about this way of life and learning guided her in the direction of the Montessori elementary classroom the very next year. She soon decided to undertake the rigorous 6-12 elementary AMI teacher training in San Diego, California with Kay Baker in 2013. This experience combined with her application within the classroom was so rewarding, she went on to attain her Masters in Montessori Education at University of Hartford, CT in 2017. Ekaterina is committed to her role in the classroom as an ""enlightened generalist” and melds her personal life with her professional life with her hobbies and interests. Crocheting, sewing, painting, as well as gardening and playing the ukulele are some her favorite pastimes. She loves the outdoors and so do her chickens. She and her husband still reside in Denver with their three sons and dog.

Elementary Guide—Rachel Feres

Rachel has always been passionate about education and human development. She worked in a variety of educational settings, including Boston Public Schools as an AmeriCorps volunteer and in affordable housing communities as an after school program developer, before becoming a Montessori guide. Rachel holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from George Mason University as well as a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Loyola University Maryland. She completed her AMI Montessori training at the Washington Montessori Institute in Columbia, Maryland. After working in public and private Montessori schools in the DC area for several years, Rachel moved to Denver where she lives with her husband and stepson. Outside of work, Rachel loves to read, hike, and try out the latest tech gadgets and software.


Gender Inclusion Liaison—Steve Stoddard

Steve (preferred pronouns are they/them/their) is an Elementary Assistant as well as GWMS’ Gender Inclusion Liaison. They graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona where they received a Bachelor’s of Science in Parks and Recreation Management, as well as a Minor in Music. The majority of their work experience has been working with diverse populations of children outside as summer camp counselor and an environmental educator. They have a passion for alternative education methods and values that promote equity, education, and awareness. Steve’s commitment to GWMS is to allow individuals to freely express themselves however they please without judgement. They are at GWMS as a resource for our wonderful community to better understand Gender Identity and Expression. It has been a lifelong dream of theirs to move to Colorado. As a result, you can find them in the mountains, rivers, and forests anytime they are not in the classroom. They want to welcome you to our beautiful community at GWMS and encourage you to never stop exploring.

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