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St. Sophia

WHY SOPHIA?

The name Sophia comes from the Greek word for "wisdom" and for St. Sophia, the mother of three martyrs - Faith, Hope, and Charity. 

St. Sophia, pray for us

Mission and Vison
Good Sheperd

MISSION

Sophia Montessori Academy is dedicated to serving children and families by inspiring a deep love of the Faith, to assist them in becoming problem solvers, critical thinkers, and fearless leaders. This is accomplished through a rigorous academic, classically-based curriculum following Dr. Montessori’s method of education. Our mission is to bring the children into relationship with Christ through a way of life based in Truth, Beauty, and Goodness as we lead them to their full God-given potential.

 

Our approach is founded on the reality of Christ as the Good Shepherd. Religious

education is fostered specifically through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and supported through Divine Liturgy and daily prayer. 

 

Sophia Montessori Academy received its Catholic school proclamation from Archbishop Aquila in June 2022.

Sophia Montessori Academy is dedicated to offering children an outstanding education where they can discover the wonder of God through the Byzantine Catholic faith, where they have the opportunity to acquire a strong love for learning, and where they can grow to their full potential through academic excellence and service using the Montessori method of education.

Chickens

VISION

Who We Are

WHO WE ARE

We are passionate and dedicated Catholic teachers looking to offer the best education for children and support to families. Our goal is to guide children to their full God-given potential. Together we form a highly effective team using collaborating, respect, and forming strong partnerships with our community. 
We thrive to offer an authentic Montessori education deeply rooted in the Byzantine Catholic faith. We are continually engaged in our own growth through professional development and spiritual formation.

STAFF

Pauline

Ms. Pauline Meert

DIRECTOR

Pauline was born in France and moved to the US with her family in 1999. She always had a great love for working with children. When she was sixteen a priest friend mentioned the word Montessori and the rest is history! She received her international Montessori diploma from Montessori Centre International in 2008. She later came across the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and was deeply moved by the beauty of it all. She completed her Master’s degree in Montessori education from St. Catherine University in 2014. Her biggest dream came true in 2018 with the founding of SMA. Pauline has a deep passion for Montessori education and loves to share it with others. When she is not in the classroom she enjoys swing dancing, sewing, reading, and spending her time with friends and family. She is a parishioner of Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church. 

Megan Luby

Ms. Megan Luby

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Megan was born and raised in the Kansas City area and graduated from Benedictine College in May of 2022. During her time at Benedictine she developed a deep love for the Montessori Method and classical education. Megan has a deep interest in the human person and graduated with a degree in Psychology. She enjoys reading, cooking, being outside, and spending time with her friends. Megan is very excited to be a part of SMA and is looking forward to being close to the mountains!

Meghan DeLauro

Ms. Meghan DeLauro

MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT 

Meghan has deep roots in the Denver Catholic community, attending small Catholic schools as a child. She attended Metropolitan State University of Denver and completed her education licensure. She taught middle school language arts and has been involved in charitable and education nonprofit organization development for the last six years. A recent graduate of the Denver Biblical School she continues to enjoy her study of scripture. She lives in Littleton with her husband and six children.

Julianna Rodriguez

Ms. Julianna Rodriguez

PRIMARY LEAD GUIDE

Julianna was born in Littleton, Colorado but also spent several years living in Orlando, Florida. She is a recent graduate of Colorado Christian University, where she studied Scripture and English. During her college years, she encountered the Catholic faith and was received into the Church. Through working at SMA, she has discovered the beauty of Montessori education along with her love for teaching young children. In her free time she enjoys exploring the outdoors, reading lots of books, writing, and learning languages. She and her husband are parishioners at Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church. Julianna is thrilled to receive her Montessori training this summer and continue to be a part of the SMA community!

Meghan Massey

Ms. Meghan Massey

PRIMARY LEAD GUIDE

Meghan was born and raised in Helotes, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University in 2016 with a degree in International Studies and Arabic. She served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Navy and learned to be a military leader as an Electrical Engineering Officer and Gunnery Officer on Littoral Combat Ships. She has been a teacher in Jordan and Spain for the littlest ones teaching English and fell in love with Montessori’s methods in the past few years. She worked on super yachts and lived in the Bahamas homeschooling two elementary school boys using Maria’s methods and a Bible curriculum she had studied on her own. While there, she took on tutoring a few Bahamian children as well for fun. She is working towards her Master’s degree in Montessori Education from St. Catherine’s University and is excited to be a part of SMA!

Erika Stasiulewicz

Ms. Erika Stasiulewicz

ELEMENTARY LEAD GUIDE

Erika was born in Kansas, and while she has lived in many different states, Colorado is her favorite. After leaving high school, she spent 5 years in the United States Marine Corps before attending the University of Colorado Denver. She received her Montessori Diploma from Authentic Institute of Montessori in 2020 and is currently completing her Montessori Lower Elementary Certification at Montessori Education Center of The Rockies. Erika is a mother of three children ages 1.5, 4, and 5, and she is motivated by them to be the best mother and teacher she can be. She is very passionate about Montessori, and she sees the beauty of it at home as well as at school every day. When she isn't in the classroom, she is with her children, hiking, working in their garden, or reading. She is a parishioner at Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church.

Emily Reiter

Ms. Emily Reiter

MONTESSORI AIDE

Emily is excited to be moving to Denver from Irving, Texas where she previously worked as an Assistant in the primary classroom at Saint Francis Montessori. She graduated from the University of Dallas with a degree in Politics and a concentration in Ethics. Having cared and tutored for her own family as well as other children, she has been instilled with a deep love for the creative and unique mind of every child. Emily came upon the desire to work with children through Montessori because of her family’s involvement and because of an education course she took at the University of Dallas that examined the beauty of the Montessori method. Three of her twelve siblings, Nathan, Meghan, and Genevieve currently attend Montessori in Irving and she is excited to keep learning and growing more in virtue through work. In her free time she enjoys to play volleyball, guitar, board games and hang out with friends! She is also excited to attend the Catholic Churches in Denver and learn more about the Byzantine tradition.

Ella Kasubke

Ms. Ella Kasubke

MONTESSORI AIDE

Ella was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, but later moved to Atchison, Kansas to study at Benedictine College. During her senior year of college, she encountered Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, where she fell in love with the atrium and the humanity of Montessori education. After graduating from BC in 2022, she spent a year teaching in the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, Kansas as a middle school Theology teacher. Her love and passion for authentic, Catholic education has led her to Sophia Montessori Academy. She is so excited to move to Denver to be a part of this community! She loves the Catholic faith, reading, cooking, baking, and traveling with her family and friends.

Monica Lederhos

Ms. Monica Lederhos

SUPPORT & AFTER CARE LEAD

Monica is a Colorado native from where she credits her love of mountains and the outdoors. She graduated with a BA in Marketing and minors in Theology and Education. During her time in college, she stumbled upon a Montessori class where she fell in love with the Montessori teaching style. She hopes to further her understanding of Montessori and become a certified teacher in the near future. She loves coffee, traveling, a good book, and pretty much anything that brings people together. She cannot wait to be in a classroom and instill a love of learning in the next generation.

Employment Opportunities

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Be a part of a team of guides not only dedicated to teaching children in the Montessori Method but also in helping them reach their God-given full potential.

 

While we are fully staffed for the 24-25 school year, we are always looking for substitute teachers and potential hires for the future. You are welcome to send us your resume at info@sophiamontessori.com

“It is possible to see a clear analogy between the mission of the Shepherd of the Church and that of the prudent and generous Montessori directress - who with tenderness and love knows how to discover and bring to light the most hidden virtues and capacities of the child.”

Pope Saint John the XXII

Board of Directors

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sophia Montessori Academy has been blessed with an incredible team of people

on our Board of Advisors.

They are dedicated to Byzantine Catholic Montessori Education, to our students and families, and to the future of Sophia Montessori Academy.

Pauline

Pauline Meert

PRESIDENT, TREASURER, FOUNDER

Pauline was born in France and moved to the US with her family in 1999. She always had a great love for working with children. When she was sixteen a priest friend mentioned the word Montessori and the rest is history! She received her international Montessori diploma from Montessori Centre International in 2008. She later came across the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and was deeply moved by the beauty of it all. She completed her Master’s degree in Montessori education from St. Catherine University in 2014. Her biggest dream came true in 2018 with the founding of SMA. Pauline has a deep passion for Montessori education and loves to share it with others. When she is not in the classroom she enjoys swing dancing, sewing, reading, and spending her time with friends and family. She is a parishioner of Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church. 

Patty

Patty Cisle

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Patty Cisle is the Director of Evangelization at Good Shepherd Catholic Parish. Prior to that role, she was in Catholic education for 24 years, including 17 years as assistant principal at Good Shepherd Catholic School. It was there that she learned firsthand about Montessori education. Patty is married to Jim  and is the mother of three grown children. Her interests include gardening, cooking, and hiking.

Rudy

Rudy Andras

BOARD MEMBER

Rudy Andras started learning about Montessori in 2014. Through his studies, he found Irene and Pauline who were presenting Montessori workshops at the time. Since then, he has been a faithful support of the vision and mission of SMA, received his Montessori training from the Montessori Institute of San Diego, and is strong advocate for Montessori in Denver. He is an economist. Rudy is a grandfather extraordinaire, bringing his passion for Montessori to his grandchildren.

Father Joel

Father Joel Barstad

CHAPLAIN, BOARD MEMBER

Father Joel was ordained to the priesthood in October 2018. After serving on the staff of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, from 2019 to 2022, Father Joel has returned to Denver to continue his priestly ministry. Father Joel and Pani Leslie have raised seven children and take delight in their grandchildren, whose number is steadily growing

Joey

Joseph Orrino

BOARD MEMBER

Joe Orrino is a former Sophia dad. He is a practicing attorney and focuses on representing nonprofits of all sizes, assisting with formation, governance, transactions, and development. Joe earned his Juris Doctor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and his Bachelor's at Benedictine College in Kansas. He and his wife, Emily, have three kids. They live in Littleton, where they are members of St. Mary Catholic Parish.

Father Michael

Very Rev. Michael P. O'Loughlin

FOUNDER

Fr. Michael holds a Masters of Divinity from Sts. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA. Father is the Vocation’s Director and Co-Director of Youth and Young Adults for the Eparchy of Phoenix. Father is the Byzantine host of Catholic Stuff You Should Know Podcast, the largest Catholic podcast in the world Catholicstuffpodcast.com. He regularly appears on many different Catholic media outlets bringing deeper understanding of

Byzantine Catholicism.

History

HISTORY

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