BLOOM PRIMARY LEADS

Highly Qualified

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VALERIE MERRITT

Primary Lead Guide (Kindergarten/1st grade)

Valerie was born and raised in beautiful Southern West Virginia. It was there that she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Concord University. Valerie then moved across the country for love and put down roots in Helena in early 2009. Her experience ranges from substitute teaching in the Helena School District to serving craft beer at the Blackfoot to owning a downtown boutique. When she’s not guiding children, she enjoys floating rivers with her husband, daughter, and dog, as well as gardening, crafting, and dreaming of home improvement schemes. Valerie joined Bloom Montessori School in August of 2018 as the After Care Lead and in December of 2019 she began working as a Primary Lead.

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MARISSA BRADFORD

Primary Lead Guide

My name is Marissa Bradford. I’m originally from Mexico City.  I have been living in the United States for 21 years - the past 4 of those years in Helena.  I started my teaching journey in early childhood education in 2015 at Montessori Island School in Livingston MT.  After that I taught at Sunshine South School in Walpole, Massachusetts, then for 3 1/2 years, I taught at Mountainside Montessori here in Helena.  I really enjoy teaching, learning, working and being around children. I guess it comes from my parents who were elementary school teachers for 41 years in Mexico City.  As a mother of 2 beautiful teenage daughters and my full-of-life 6-year-old son, I definitely love my career.  In my free time I love spending time with my husband and kids, walking, listening to music, going to concerts and cooking good food with my husband.

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SELENA ENGLISH

Primary Lead Guide

Selena is a Primary lead with us here at Bloom Montessori school.  She has been working with us for several years, taking some time off to spend with her son and her husband Tyler after the birth of Andrew in February of 2017. Since January of 2019 Selena has been leading a primary classroom and finishing her Montessori certification through NAMC.  

Selena has lived in Helena her entire life, and discovered her love for teaching and working with kids through Grandstreet Theatre where she worked as a theatre school assistant all through high school. She graduated from Capital High School in 2016 and started working at Bloom as an after care assistant that fall. Selena continues to work at Grandstreet on different productions throughout the year as a teacher, stage manager, and actress. Selena is eager and thrilled to further her experience and growth as a Montessori Teacher with us here at Bloom Montessori!

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RAQUEL COTE

Primary Lead Guide

Raquel was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  After high school she moved to Asuncion Paraguay with her family,  where she frequented first the Universidad de Asuncion and then Instituto de Bellas Artes where she pursued the career of graphic design. After two years in school, she had the opportunity to move to Italy. Raquel lived there for 7 years and met her son’s dad and ex husband (he is from Helena, Mt). Before they moved to Helena they lived in different states, including Georgia, Florida, Ohio,  Illinois and Colorado. She started her career in Early Childhood Education in 2012, completing many hours of training and certifications. Also she is fluent in Spanish and Italian.  Today Raquel is very excited to be part of Bloom Montessori.

 

BLOOM PRIMARY ASSISTANTS

Engaged and Supportive

LAUREN HEALY

Primary Assistant

Lauren was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and was raised in many different places including South Korea and Alaska because her father was in the Army. Early experiences with teachers led her to form a diligent approach and passion for teaching children. She received her education in Virginia, where she attended Southside Virginia Community College and received an Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences, continuing on to Longwood University, where she received her Bachelors in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology. Now based in Helena, she is excited to study the Montessori model for teaching. In her free time Lauren enjoys going on hikes with her boyfriend and being outdoors

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MARIA ALLEN

Primary Spanish Assistant

Maria was born and raised in Mexico. Her First-grade teacher was so impactful in her life that she started a lifelong desire to be a teacher and care for young children. She attended college in Mexico and completed her studies in Professional Diploma in Childhood Development. While teaching, she continued studies and later received her Bachelor Degree in Education. Her teaching experience includes work with special needs, kindergarten, and elementary school children for 12 years. 

She met her husband while he was vacationing in Mexico and she was teaching. The following year they married in Mexico and moved in 2007 to Helena. She lives here with her husband and step-son. Since moving here, she translated to Spanish the Certified Nursing Exam used by Montana and other states. 

Maria joined Bloom Montessori School in Spring of 2019 and she loves and enjoys so much working every day with children.

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HALEY MANSKA

Primary Assistant

Biography and picture coming soon!

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