Polly Christensen

Directress, Catechist, and Elementary Composition Guide

Polly Christensen founded St. Francis Montessori with her husband, Joe, in 2009, with the support of many members of the Irving community.  After attending Our Lady of Corpus Christi for her undergraduate,  she received her Masters in English from the University of Dallas in 2007. In 2007, she completed her Association Montessori Internationale certification for ages 3-6. In 2010, she completed her certification for Level 1 in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. In 2013, she received her Level 2 certification and in 2015, her Level 3 certification.  

 

She continues to be the Directress, as well as a Catechist in the Level 2 Atrium and teaches composition to the SFM Elementary children ages 6-12 years old.   She also prays daily with the Elementary children.  

 

Polly and Joe have five children, with one on the way.   The oldest graduated at 12 years old from Saint Francis and they youngest will join as soon as he is old enough. 

 

She feels her life is abundantly blessed by the joy, love, and wonder that she sees daily by being with the children at St. Francis and in her own home.

Kathleen Voormolen

Primary Casa Guide

Kathleen Voormolen is a primary guide at St. Francis Montessori, as well as a Catechist in a Level 2 Atrium at her parish. She came from South Africa with her husband and left her career in the food industry to follow her 2 children, Andrew and Claire, into the Montessori world. Kathleen realized in her work in an adolescent community how essential the foundation formed in the primary years is. She loves seeing the children’s wonder as they discover the beauty of this world and the love of the Good Shepherd.

Carole Morris

Lower Elementary Guide

Carole Morris is a graduate of the University of Dallas with a BA in Elementary Education and holds a Texas Teacher’s certificate with specializations in English and Math. She attended Montessori training at Shelton in Dallas for the summers 2018-2019 in order to complete her Elementary Montessori training. Before having children, she worked as an elementary teacher for the Diocese of Dallas. She first encountered the Montessori Method almost 20 years ago when her oldest were very young. She was immediately attracted to the unique materials and the respect for the goodness of the child. All but two (out of 10) of her children have had the opportunity to learn in either a Montessori classroom or Atrium of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She spent 17 years homeschooling her children and has taught in several co-ops, primarily in the subjects of Math, Science, and Language Arts. Her four youngest children currently attend St. Francis and she is blessed to be part of this community.

Jennifer Spurgin

Upper Elementary Guide

Bio coming soon!

Maggie Schmitt

Primary Casa Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Hanna Gleason

Lower Elementary Assistant, Administrative Assistant, and Atrium Assistant

Amanda Hudson

Primary Casita Guide

Amanda Hudson is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and holds an MA in English from the University of Dallas. After working with young children for several years, she discovered Montessori and has never looked back. She completed her AMI primary diploma in 2018 and is currently training as a Level 1 catechist with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She never tires of entering into the children’s innate sense of wonder and their joy of discovery.

Megan Schmitt

Lower Elementary Guide

Megan Schmitt is the Lower Elementary co-guide with Carole Morris. Megan received a bachelor’s degree from the Univeristy of Texas at Austin in Child Development and Family Studies. During her college career, Megan worked for the University’s child care program and did her student teaching at the University’s lab school. Following college, Megan worked for Early Childhood Intervention of Tarrant County, a job that was rewarding and educational. Upon having children, Megan stayed home and ran an in-home childcare as well as taught preschool for a local church. Megan and her husband, Steve, decided to homeschool their children in the Catholic faith. After 20 years of being a stay-at-home parent and educating her own children, the opportunity to pursue the dream of becoming a Montessorian was presented! This year will allow for the completion of that certification. Megan’s two youngest children also attend St. Francis Montessori.

Melissa Yale

Upper Elementary Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Kristin Diguette

Primary Casita Assistant and Atrium Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Berenice San Juan

Spanish

Bio coming soon!

Bio coming soon!

Ellen Mirus

Latin

Bio coming soon!

Jen Dreisbach

Financial Manager

Bio coming soon!

Andrea Frank

Catechist

Andrea Frank serves as a Catechist for all three ages of the Atrium.  She studied English at UD (B.A. & M.A.) and is trained in the three levels of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  She is also a Formation Leader for Level 1. Andrea has seven children and all that are old enough have attended SFM’s Montessori and Catechesis program.  She appreciates the understanding of the beautiful mystery of the child that she has received through exposure to Montessori education, and is particularly grateful for the rich experience of children’s spiritual lives—which illuminates our life in the church at all ages!—received through CGS. Being with the children in the atrium each semester is a great joy. She enjoys very much serving in the atrium and working in the community of SFM’s faculty, staff, and families.

Nece Zipper

Catechist

Nece Zipper serves as a Level 3 Catechist and is certified to guide all three levels of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She graduated from Baylor University with a BA in 1999. Over the years, she has started multiple parish atria as well as a home atrium. Currently, she is serving in a Level 2 atrium at St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington. Nece has four children, one of whom graduated from SFM in 2017 and is currently homeschooled as well as assisting in the SFM atria; her younger three are enrolled in SFM casas. She enjoys working with the older children as they complete the CGS formation and also loves the material making process and preparation of the environment.

Maria Bascom

Catechist

Maria Bascom serves as a Level I catechist. She received her BA in theology at UD in 2008. This is her third year as a guide for Level I, and she looks forward to becoming certified in Levels II and III. Having thoroughly enjoyed diving deeper into the academic side of theology during college, she discovered a new frontier once she started having children and searched for a program that would enhance their domestic church. She first heard of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd from her sister-in-law Andrea Frank and quickly came to appreciate its beauty and its balanced cultivation of a contemplative and active spirituality. She has six children, the five oldest of whom attend Atrium at SFM, and is most grateful to be a part of this community

Laura Landry

Catechist

Laura Landry serves as a Level 2 Catechist. She graduated from the University of Dallas with a BA in Psychology. She worked several years at the Pines Catholic Camp, moved to Alaska to start up a new Catholic summer camp, and then spent 6 years in parish youth ministry (working primarily with 5th-8th grade students). During her time as a youth minister, she was introduced to and fell in love with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She has a toddler and a baby on the way, and looks forward when her children can experience the beauty of CGS

Claire Heyne

Atrium Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Marnie Parmenter

Records

Bio coming soon!

Tamara Kuykendall

Catechist

Tamara Kuykendall serves as a catechist for all three levels of the Atrium. She is a graduate of the University of Dallas with a BA in English and a Master of Theology degree. She is also certified to guide all three levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Her passion is child education, in particular the formation of children in the Catholic faith. She taught theology for 4 years on the high school and junior high level. She later discovered the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and promptly fell in love with it in the way it recognizes and fosters the unique religious gifts possessed by the young child. She is a mother of 5 children, the oldest three attended St. Francis Montessori and all who are of age currently attend the Atrium programs.

Laura Sercer

Catechist

Laura Sercer serves as a Catechist for Level 1, Co-guide for Level 2, and Atrium Coordinator. She graduated from the University of Dallas with a BA in English. While assisting in an elementary classroom, she began training to guide Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at SFM. Laura taught Level 1 first in Irving and then down in Austin.  Finally she returned to Irving and now teaches at St. Francis Montessori. She is happy to be back at the place where her journey began. She has been teaching at SFM for three years, and has a son and daughter who currently attend SFM.

Kelley Chaplin

Catechist

Kelley Chaplin serves as a catechist in the Level 1 Atrium.  After graduating from the University of Dallas, Kelley worked in the mortgage industry until the birth of her eldest child.  After seeing the beauty of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at work in her children, she pursued training and is now certified to guide Level 1 and Level 2 Atriums.  One of Kelley’s children has graduated from SFM, another is currently thriving in the elementary program, and her youngest hopes to follow his siblings there.

Libby Upham

Catechist

Bio coming soon!

Kelly Diaz

Atrium Assistant

Bio coming soon!

Lucy Vaughan

Atrium Assistant

Bio coming soon!