Meet Our Staff

“Happy, engaged, and inspired staff, are an essential ingredient to a successful children’s environment.”


Ms. Carey

Head of School

Carey holds a Masters in Montessori Educational Leadership and is proud to support the efforts of the great teachers and staff that make GFMA what it is today. She began her Montessori journey more than 15 years ago, following the birth of her first child. While raising her own five children, she continued with formal Montessori training and guidance from AMS-certified teachers; and received her Montessori Teaching Diplomas for children ages 0-3, 3-6, and 6-9 years.

In addition to several published articles, she was selected to present a workshop at the Montessori Foundation’s 19th Annual International Montessori Conference on the topic of ‘Rebuilding a World-class Montessori school’. Ms. Carey remains involved with multiple professional organizations working with Childcare and Child Development, both traditional and Montessori methods on a national level, and meets with other Montessorians and Childcare experts to discuss programming & curriculum development, family-school relationships, professional development, and whole school management. She has remained committed to the values and mission of the school for more than a decade, along with a dedicated group of amazing staff & teachers.

Having her own children ‘grow-up Montessori’ since birth, all of whom have successfully transitioned into schools that continue to foster their strengths while challenging them and preparing them for future success in college and beyond, Carey understands the unique challenges of being a parent and seeking out ‘the best’ for one’s own child. She is a strong proponent of School Choice and encourages all parents to take an active role in their children’s education, including finding an educational environment that is ‘the right fit’ for each of their children.

With a team of amazing and talented, dedicated teachers, Carey provides the support, training, encouragement, and most importantly, the autonomy, for them to be able to do what they do best — guiding the child and partnering with parents like you to foster a bright future.

Ms. Trisha

Childcare Director

Ms. Trisha has been a welcome addition, keeping everyone informed, organized and happy since joining GFMA in 2016. A graduate of UND, Miss Trisha had extensive coursework in Elementary Education before realizing that the public sector in education was not the direction she wanted to go. As a people person who enjoys connecting and learning in non-traditional ways, Miss Trisha found herself drawn to the hospitality industry and worked for many years overseeing staffing, daily management, and customer relations. Her many years experience as a manager of the Hilton Garden Inn and the CanadInn provided Miss Trisha with valuable experience working not only with guests and staff, but also safety and health regulations that foster healthy environments for people of all ages. Miss Trisha is happy to return to the education field where she can apply the level of professionalism only gained through experience, as well as work with both children and adults as they grow in supportive learning environments. The Montessori Method has captured her heart, and she continues her professional development in the fields of Early Childhood and Montessori Administration.

Ms. Shelly

Children’s House - Preschool Director & Montessori Lead

Ms. Shelly has been a part of the GFMA/Little Scholar Ship Family for more than 25 years. It is an understatement to say she has had a profound impact on the children in our community — teaching, guiding and helping them to be their best and having a positive impact on their futures. Shelly previously worked at the YMCA after attending UND for Elementary Education. Shelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in Visual Arts, and acquired her Montessori Teaching Diploma in 2001. She participates in ongoing Montessori training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies for both professional development and to mentor others, and enjoys remaining actively involved with the Montessori community nationwide. An avid volunteer, she has developed numerous skills volunteering with the Boy Scouts, and continues active volunteer work with Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. Shelly can also be found helping her husband with his business at Pro-Tec Powder Coating.

Ms. Julie

Children’s House – Montessori Co-Lead

Ms. Julie, from Houston, TX, attended the Children’s House as a young child. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a teacher and we were happy to have her join the GFMA team in 2017. She received both Montessori credentials from the American Montessori Society (AMS) training center in Houston, TX and the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) training center in London, England, in early childhood for ages 3-6. She spends several early mornings a week teaching high schoolers scripture study at her church. Julie loves living in Grand Forks with her husband, Derek. Together with their Basset Hound, Eugene, they enjoy walking the downtown area and going to the dog park. Miss Julie loves discovering new restaurants and finding cool items at thrift stores. She has a passion for retro furniture, especially big lamps.

Ms. Katie

Nido Community – Montessori Lead Teacher

Ms. Katie graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Development, with a minor in Psychology from North Dakota State University. Prior to joining Grand Forks Montessori Academy in 2015, Katie assisted young children with developmental disabilities with fine motor, social and life skills at the North Dakota Autism Center in Fargo. In addition, she enjoyed helping with various summer camps for school-aged kids through the NDSU 4-H Youth Development Center. Ms. Katie received her Montessori Teacher Certification in 2018 for children Birth-3, from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
Katie grew up in Grand Forks, in a large and musical family. During her free time, she enjoys playing piano, reading, being outdoors, traveling and spending time with her husband, family and friends. Working with children has always come naturally. She delights in seeing children achieve developmental milestones, and looks forward to watching her own child reach those milestones beginning in 2019!

Ms. Mare

Substitute Teacher (ND licensed: K-12)

Since 2017, Miss Mare has brought us a unique skill set. With degrees in Elementary Education, Music Education, and a background in Spanish language education, Miss Mare has taught at preschool, elementary, and high school levels in both the private and public school sectors. She loves the theatre and has directed student productions for 20 years. Miss Mare is also a fantastic seamstress, lending her skills to the classroom and special activities. Professional, diplomatic, and well-liked by all, Ms. Mare knows how to balance and enjoy life; sharing her enthusiasm for learning with all.

Welcome to the team!

Assistant Caregivers
Welcome Kayla! We look forward to sharing more about our newest team members!

“Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.”

— Maria Montessori

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