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. 

Pauline Meert

Founder, School Director, Lead Teacher, Secretary, Treasurer

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. 


Emma Hecker

Administrative Assistant

Emma was born and raised in Colorado and is the third oldest of eight children. After graduating high school, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain for a year, where she developed a deep appreciation for the richness of culture and faith. After her year in Spain, she attended Franciscan University of Steubenville for two years and had the opportunity to travel further when she spent a semester at Franciscan's campus in Austria. Upon her return to Colorado, she found Sophia Montessori Academy and developed a deep appreciation for Montessori education founded upon the Catholic faith. She is now a great advocate and loves sharing about our school with others. When she is not working with children or traveling, she enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with family and friends. She is a parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Littleton.


Julianna Sweeting

Assistant Teacher

Julianna was born in Littleton, Colorado but also spent several years of her childhood in Orlando, Florida. She is a recent graduate of Colorado Christian University and is so excited to be a part of SMA. She has spent time teaching English in Tunisia, where she discovered her love for teaching and for being involved in the lives of children. During her college years, she pursued her deep love for the Catholic faith, discipleship, and studying the Scriptures. Some of her favorite things are exploring the outdoors, reading lots of books, writing, and learning languages. 


Mari Dietz

Teacher Aide, Marketing Director

Mari was born in Blaine, Minnesota. She is thrilled to be a part of Sophia Montessori Academy for her 2nd year. She graduated from Ave Maria University in Naples, FL in 2020 and returned to Colorado. She grew up going to Montessori school and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with her mom who has been a Montessori teacher for over 30 years. She is excited to be back in Colorado and in her free time, she loves to hike, climb, play volleyball, and be outside as much as possible. 


Katie Hiller

Teacher Aide

Katie was born in Pocatello, Idaho and just moved to Denver. This last spring she graduated from Corban University in Salem, Oregon and is so excited to be a part of the team here at Sophia Montessori. She is passionate about her Catholic faith, the stars, and all things outdoors. She loves peanut butter and learning new things and she can’t wait to grow with the Sophia family.


Father Brian Escobedo


Fr. Brian Escobedo was ordained to the Presbyterate by Bishop Gerald Dino on June 9, 2013 following his graduation from Sts Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA. In September 2019 became the Pastor of Holy Protection in Denver. He and his wife, Pani Janet, have been married over 41 years and have three grown children and three grandchildren. Both Pani and Father Brian are USAF retirees. Fr. Brian can be reached at

“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

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