Jennifer was born into a Montessori home and has been involved in Montessori her whole life. She has worked in several classrooms as a Montessori Aide over the years. Jennifer worked for Mesa Public Schools for many years running and maintaining their auditoriums, while training students in theatre basics. Jennifer taught Drama and stagecraft classes at Heritage Academy for 16 years. During that time she trained students to run sound and lighting, equipment as well as basic carpentry skills, costuming, time management, and cooperation. Jennifer's children have been in Montessori schools for the last 13 years. She considers the years involved in Montessori as a big part of what has shaped her love of learning. She is excited to be a part of Lehi Montessori's future.
Assistant Executive Director
My family has been a part of this Montessori community for several years now and we love learning here! My roots in education began over 20 years ago as a classroom teacher for Mesa Public Schools. While teaching for MPS, I was able to continue my education and received a Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University, as well as endorsements for Reading, Early Childhood Education, and English as a Second Language. I love being able to work with all of your children in such a beautiful and peaceful school.
Upper Elementary Teacher
Skye Jones has been teaching Upper Elementary at Lehi Montessori since Fall of 2019. She was born and raised here in Mesa, and her family is very involved with the school. She has an A.A. in Theatre from Mesa Community College, a B.A. in Theatre and Drama from Grand Canyon University, a Montessori Certification for Upper Elementary from North American Montessori Center (NAMC) and is currently training with the American Montessori Society (AMS) for a certification in ages 6-12 (Lower and Upper Elementary). She began her career in education at Heritage Academy as a Beginning Stagecraft Teacher shortly after graduating from Heritage. Since then, she has worked with students in multiple roles at Westwood High School, Actor’s Youth Theatre, Montessori House, BASIS Chandler South Primary, and BASIS Phoenix South Primary. Throughout her years of teaching, she has found that students who are the most successful have had a love of learning instilled in them. Because of this, her desire is to guide each student to find their own love of learning on their education journey.
Lower Elementary Teacher
Kindergarten and Preschool Teacher
Alissa Irish loves learning! She’s spent the majority of her life teaching and learning together with kids. She has volunteered for over 13 years in classrooms and presented art masterpiece presentations to elementary classes. She especially loves creating, coloring, upcycling, children’s art, and picture books. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and family- four daughters, one son, 2 dogs, and 8 chickens. She loves hiking, bike rides, 60 degree temperatures, and nature- especially leaves and trees. She is excited to join the learning adventure at Lehi Montessori this year in the Preschool/ Kindergarten realm.
Kindergarten and Preschool Aide
My name is Heather Budd and I am excited to start at Lehi Montessori. I received my B.A. from Arizona State University. I have been teaching and working with students for over 25 years. My experience ranges from high school students to preschool aged students.
We are an ASU family. I have been married to my college Sun Devil sweetheart for 27 years. Our two sons attend ASU and you might see us walking our two dogs in their ASU gear. We enjoy traveling, biking, hiking, and playing board games together. I especially like to swim, take pictures and read.
My name is Samantha Johnson and I am excited to begin at Montessori! I graduated from Heritage Academy in May 2023 as well as Rio Salado College with an Associate in Arts. In the coming years I will work to earn my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at the NAU Chandler Gilbert Community College. I appreciated the opportunities I had to be a teacher’s assistant during high school and enjoyed working in various classrooms. In school I specifically liked learning languages, especially Spanish. I've always loved music and the arts and have spent my life pursuing piano and dance. I also enjoy reading and writing when I get the chance.
Laura Safsten graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelors in Choral Music Education and Music Theatre Performance. She loves spending time getting to know all the kids, and build their confidence as they contribute to the creative process. Laura also believes in utilizing music games as a tool to help solidify concepts they are learning in the classroom. Before teaching at Lehi Montessori, she was a show choir director at Red Mountain High School for 8 years and a choreographer for numerous high school Broadway productions throughout the valley. Her other interests include performing improv comedy and making fun vacation memories with her husband and 5 kids.
Hi, my name is Sam Jones, and I'm excited to come teach P.E. here at Lehi Montessori! While receiving my B.A. in Art, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University, I spent my summer semesters working with upper elementary, middle school, and high school students in workshops to create interactive art projects, video games, and video projects. For the past several years, I have also developed a passion for fitness and am currently in the process of receiving my personal training certification from The National Academy of Sports Medicine. I hope to share the knowledge I have cultivated over the past several years and get the kids excited about physical fitness and exercise.