Faculty and Staff

Anah Sison

Anah SisonLead Teacher - Primary CR8

Ms. Anah Sison is the Lead Teacher for Classroom 8.

Ashley Bleicher

Ashley BleicherSustainability/Gardening Teacher

Ashley Bleicher is Desert Garden's sustainability and gardening teacher.

Ayisha Moss

Ayisha MossMusic Education - Violin Teacher

Violinist Ayisha Moss received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Violin Performance at Arizona State University.

Carlos Encinas

Carlos EncinasAdjunct Teacher - MYHS

Mr. Carlos Encinas teaches Science and Design classes for MYHS.

Cathy Mowbray

Cathy MowbraySpanish Teacher

Ms. Cathy Mowbray teaches Spanish to the Elementary and MYHS programs.

Christine Helm

Christine HelmCo-Lead Teacher – UE CR10

Ms. Christine Helm is a Lead Teacher for Upper Elementary and hails from the sunny islands of the Philippines.

Crystal Lindquist

Crystal LindquistLife Skills Team - Master Social Worker

Crystal Lindquist is part of our Life Skills team at Desert Garden.

Denise Henry

Denise Henry Lead Teacher – LE CR9

Ms. Denise Henry has been with Desert Garden Montessori since 2011.

Dr. G. Kerr Whitfield

Dr. G. Kerr WhitfieldAdjunct Teacher - MYHS

Dr. G. Kerr Whitfield teaches MYHS science at Desert Garden.

Dr. Jagdish Dave

Dr. Jagdish DavePeace Education & Counseling

Dr. Jagdish P. Dave’, Ph.D., Psy.D. has had a rich educational, experiential and professional background in Eastern and Western cultures.

Dr. Joseph Millea

Dr. Joseph MilleaMusic Education - General Music and Band Teacher

Dr. Joe Millea teaches music and band to the elementary and MYHS students at Desert Garden.

Freddy Cante

Freddy CanteMedia & Digital Arts

Mr. Freddy Cante has had a love for the creative arts from an early age, whether it be design, photography or filmmaking.

Garry John

Garry JohnMYHS Math Teacher

Mr. Garry John attended Imperial College in London where he majored in Chemistry and Mathematics.

Gautham Bala

Gautham BalaLife Skills Team - Master Social Worker

Mr. Gautham Bala is part of the Life Skills Team at Desert Garden.

Hillary Stewart

Hillary StewartLead Teacher – Toddler CR5

Ms. Hillary Stewart is the Lead Teacher for Classroom 5.

Janelle Medders

Janelle MeddersLead Teacher - Early Toddler CR3

Ms. Janelle Medders is the Lead Teacher of Classroom 3.

Jill Carson

Jill CarsonCo-Lead Teacher – LE CR11

Ms. Jill Carson is Montessori certified in Primary 3–6 and Lower Elementary 6-9.

Justin Walters

Justin WaltersMYHS I/S Teacher

Mr. Justin Walters is an Arizona State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Health.

Karen Snyder

Karen SnyderCo-Lead Teacher - UE CR10

Ms. Karen Snyder is a Co-Lead Teacher for Upper Elementary and is from New Jersey.

Katie Booth

Katie BoothLead Teacher – Primary CR1

Ms. Katie Booth is the Lead Teacher in Classroom 1.

Kinnari Pandya

Kinnari PandyaLead Teacher – Infant CR4

Ms. Kinnari Pandya has been the Lead Teacher for the Infant Program since 2007.

Linda Christensen

Linda ChristensenLife Skills Team - Reading Support Specialist

Ms. Linda Christensen is the Reading Support Specialist on the Life Skills Team at Desert Garden.

Linda Mercier

Linda MercierOrganic Kitchen Chef

Ms. Linda Mercier started with Desert Garden in 1999.

Nicole Kohlbecker

Nicole Kohlbecker MYHS Math and Science Teacher

Ms. Nicole Kohlbecker is a math and science MYHS teacher and has been an educator for 16 years.

Maria Gamez

Maria Gamez Lead Teacher – Toddler CR6

Ms. Maria Gamez is the Lead Teacher for Classroom 6 and is originally from Mexico.

Patty Griffin

Patty Griffin MYHS Director

Patty Griffin has a rich background in the educational publishing and technology market.

Peggy Shupp

Peggy Shupp Lead Teacher – Primary CR7

Ms. Peggy Shupp is starting her 27th year of teaching, her 19th at Desert Garden Montessori.

Rosemary Jones

Rosemary Jones Co-Lead Teacher – LE CR11

Since 2004, Ms. Rosemary has been working here at DGM with 6-9 year olds.

Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones MYHS Art Teacher & PE/Music Lead Teacher

To come.

Tessa Musel

Tessa Musel Lead Teacher – Primary CR2

Ms. Tessa Musel is beginning her 5th year as primary Lead Teacher in classroom 2.

Valerie Wessel

Valerie WesselOrganic Kitchen Manager

Valerie Wessel began working at Desert Garden Montessori in 2013.