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Sam Jenson

Elementary 1 & 2 Teacher

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Ms. Sam graduated from Holmen High School and got her bachelor's degree in k-6 education with a social studies emphasis at Winona State University. After graduating, Ms. Sam started working at a Montessori charter school in Minnesota. She earned her Montessori certification through The Center for Guided Montessori Studies throughout those six years of teaching. After Montessori training, she obtained her Master's Degree in Montessori Education at St. Catherine University. Ms. Sam loves being a mom to two little girls, Blake and Payton. She enjoys being outdoors and cuddling with her cats, LeRoy, Gilbert, and Mowgli. 

Alexa Quam

4-Year-Old Children's House Teacher

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Ms. Q grew up in Holmen, WI and after graduating she attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she earned a bachelor's degree in early/middle childhood education. Ms. Q worked at a Montessori charter school in Wisconsin for six years. During those six years of teaching she completed her Montessori training and has enjoyed being a lead Children's House teacher. Ms. Q loves spending her time enjoying the river, gardening, and caring for her furry and feathered friends!

Ms. McLain
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Ms. McLain is a Viterbo University nursing student. She is going into her fourth year and looking forward to another year in La Crosse. She is originally from Helena, Montana where she grew up in the mountains surrounded by great friends and family. Ms. McLain has worked at a Montessori school in her hometown for 4 years and absolutely adores the Montessori method and working with children. Ms. McLain is excited to to be returning to Great River Montessori for her second year! 

Educational Assistant

Ms. Gayle
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Educational Assistant

Ms. Gayle is thrilled to work as a teacher's aide this school year! After taking some time off to stay at home with her kids, she decided to go back to school to get certified to be a teacher's aide. She was lucky enough to get an opportunity to work at the Montessori as a substitute over the summer, and she absolutely loved it! When she is not working, she likes to spend time as a family hiking, traveling, and going down to the river. She has been married to her husband, Nick, for ten years, and they have four kids( three of which have been students at Great River Montessori) Caiden, Charlotte, Chase, and Cambel, and one dog named Cooper.

Ms. Ali
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3-Year-Old Children's House Teacher

Ms. Ali has a background in environmental education and outreach. She spent two years as an Americorps member in Alaska before heading to Wisconsin, where she fell in love with the Driftless area. Outside work, she loves being in nature, creating art with her friends, and reading comic books and poetry. Ms. Ali loves exploring the world through art, science, and social connections, especially through students' perspectives.

Ms. Colby
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Educational Assistant

Ms. Colby grew up in Onalaska, WI and graduated from Aquinas Highschool in 2019. She has been working at Great River Montessori for over three years now. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and doing outdoor activities. She can't wait to see what the upcoming year will bring! 

Ms. Beth
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Educational Assistant

Ms. Beth recently moved to the area from Rochester, MN, with her husband Dave, and lives on Brice Prairie. While in Rochester, Ms. Beth enjoyed a 37-year career at IBM. After retiring in 2017, she joined the Minnesota Children's Museum Rochester location as the Operations and Experience Manager and became Executive Director in 2018. She successfully led a capital campaign that re-imagined the museum as its own entity at a new location and opened Spark in August 2020. After retiring as the Executive Director, Ms. Beth joined Americorps through the Minnesota Reading Corps and tutored K-3 students in reading at Jefferson Elementary for the 2021-22 school year. She is also the proud parent to three adult daughters who attended the public Montessori school in Rochester, where her eight-year-old grandson will be in his last year of E1.  

Ms. Jessica

Educational Assistant

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Ms. Jessica graduated from Central High School in La Crosse where she loved
playing sports, especially softball and basketball. She is now 20 years old and just graduated from Western TC in August of this year with a Certificate Degree as a Teacher's Assistant. She likes spending time on the river and hanging out with her four dogs. Along with working at GRM she works as a respite provider for three kids with special needs in LaCrosse. Jessica looks forward to getting to meet all the kids at the Great Montessori School.

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