Lower Elementary Staff


Rosie Bushbaum, E2 Head Teacher, Elementary Grade Level Head

Rosie has been a member of the FMS teaching staff since 2003. She came to FMS with over 13 years of teaching experience and began her career at FMS teaching on the Primary side of our school. Rosie has a BS in Education and has earned her Montessori Certification for both Primary (3-6-year-olds) and for Lower Elementary (6-9-year-olds).  She earned her Lower Elementary certification from the prestigious Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR). In 2012, FMS was fortunate to have Rosie move from a Lead position in the Primary classroom and take a Lead position in a Lower Elementary classroom. She brings a calm and knowledgeable presence to every encounter she has, and she enjoys “learning something new each day.” Her favorite things about Montessori is “mixed ages in the classroom and guiding the children to discover, explore, learn and resolve things on their own rather than providing them with the answers.”

Marian Rusche, E2 Co-Teacher

A certified Montessori teacher in Lower Elementary, Marian joined the FMS teaching staff in 2011.  Marian holds a B.A. in English and Anthropology from Emory University and has previously taught English for grades 9-12.  She also has twelve years of experience as a professional writer, editor, and photographer.  Marian’s quiet and studious approach towards her students gives them a clear pathway for learning.  She combines the best in a teacher who is an active listener and someone skilled in having the student discover the underlying meaning of their activities. Marian reflects, “I love the way Montessori encourages children to explore their own interests and in that process, to find that learning is its own reward.”

Brenda Montoya, E2 Support Teacher

In 2003, Brenda began her teaching career at FMS. Brenda spent a few years teaching on the Primary side of FMS and then found her calling working with Lower Elementary students. Brenda brings an easy going yet highly detailed approach to her teaching and leaves lasting impressions upon her students. Brenda holds her Montessori Certification in Lower Elementary. Says Brenda: “Montessori education allows a child to explore their interests. As their interests change they are able to change their focus; this keeps them continually interested in learning more.”


Maria Pate, E3 Head Teacher

In 2006, Maria brought her Spanish flair and enthusiasm to FMS. She inspires her students to learn their lessons in Spanish by naturally immersing them in the second language. Maria came to FMS with four years of teaching experience. She holds an MA in Education (foreign language emphasis) and an MA in Linguistics, in addition to Montessori certification. Maria says: “One of the things that I love about Montessori is how a student becomes independent. He or she will do the job for their own personal satisfaction rather than to receive praise from parents and/or teachers.”

Rebecca Jagusch, E3 Co-Teacher

In the Fall of 2015 FMS had the privilege of adding Rebecca to our Lower Elementary teaching team. Rebecca began her teaching career over 20 years ago as a preschool teacher in a traditional setting. She earned a BS in Secondary Education and was inspired to learn the Montessori method after seeing her daughter blossom during her time in a Montessori Kindergarten class. Rebecca now holds Montessori teaching credentials for Primary and Elementary aged children and is working towards her Montessori Master’s degree. Over the years, Rebecca has come to see the profound influence that the Montessori method has on creating an opportunity for everyone to find their own window into their education. Rebecca comments, “It is such a hands-on, multisensory method of teaching, that I have experienced its positive impact first hand.”

Yasnay Figueredo, E3 Support Teacher/Spanish Immersion

With over 19 years of teaching experience, ranging from early childhood to the university level, Yasnay joined the FMS teaching staff in 2013. She holds a BA in Education and is originally from Cuba. She loves participating in community events and researching about nutrition. “My favorite thing about Montessori is the rigorous individualized instruction. I enjoy teaching in a warm, open and structured environment that fosters the children’s independent grown,” Yasnay says.

Angela Drew, E3 Support Teacher, Art Specialist

Angela has been an FMS staff member since 2004. She came to FMS with three years of teaching experience and a BA in Fine Arts. She wears two hats in her binary roles as Art Specialist and as the E3 Support Teacher. In all of her interactions, Angela brings a keen eye for details and a ready and positive attitude to support and help foster the academic growth of her students.


April Dane, E4 Head Teacher

April arrived at FMS in 2003, with over 15 years of teaching experience. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction. She is Montessori certified for Lower Elementary (6-9-year-olds) and she also holds a Literacy Endorsement. April’s ready smile and warm demeanor is matched by her depth of knowledge and her keen eye for observation. Her favorite things about Montessori is that “the Culture Curriculum gives children an understanding and compassion for all people. The Montessori classrooms allow children to work at different levels, while freedom of choice creates enthusiasm for learning.”

Melissa Martin, E4 Co-Teacher

One of FMS’ original teachers, Melissa Martin joined our team in 2001 with 10 years teaching experience.  She holds a BS in Elementary Education with a Minor in Music.  Melissa began her journey as a primary teacher, followed by 13 years in lower elementary, and 2 year as a music teacher for ages 3-12.  Melissa is Montessori certified in lower elementary, and holds level 1 and level 2 Orff Music Certifications. Melissa’s discerning eye and sharp mind elevates and inspires her students to be the best that they can be.

Jeni Evensen, E4 Support Teacher

Jeni holds a BA in English and is currently pursuing her MA in Education.  FMS is delighted to have Jeni return to FMS as a full time staff member in the lower elementary program as she has accrued over 10 years of Montessori teaching experience at the primary, lower elementary, and upper elementary levels. Jeni also holds primary Montessori certification. Jeni’s love of the Montessori process has been evident as her 3 children attended FMS, and has watched them grow and develop into curious students and independent citizens.  Jeni is an avid hiker and traveler.  She has hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim and has followed her other passion for studying art history by visiting beautiful areas in Europe and Asia.  Her baking skills are well known among the FMS community.