Born on the East Coast, Mike migrated to the Great Pacific Northwest before he had gray hairs. With a background in Psychology, Montessori Elementary teaching experience, and his Montessori Adolescent Program Certification through the Hershey Farm School, Mike helped create CMMS with 6 brave families. For more than a decade he has been teaching at CMMS, learning and growing along with the school, students and community.
With a diverse range of life experiences, from a social work focused AmeriCorps Program, to working at the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Memphis, TN, Mike works hard to help students see not only the reality they are living in, but also the reality they can create. His reality, so he thinks, consists of two lovely daughters and an extremely caring partner. Together they like to laugh, play and be merry.
After working with many age groups in a range of educational settings from literary enhancement to environmental education and stewardship, Gwen found her home in the Montessori model and with this age group. Gwen’s passion for adolescent education came from realizing that so many of the dilemmas adults continue to engage in are rooted in their adolescent development. She hopes to help guide adolescents into knowing themselves more fully, and how to better engage in conflict and relationship building with themselves and others. Meanwhile her students continually teach her how to live more deliberately, compassionately, and how to be a better advocate.
Originally from the sun and sand of San Diego, Gwen moved to the mountains and trees of the NW because of the access to the outdoors. She received her BA from the Evergreen State College with an emphasis in Environmental Studies and Education, and her Montessori Adolescent Program Certification through the Hershey Farm School. This will be her 6th year at CMMS and she couldn’t be more happy to be engaged in this important work. When she’s not hanging out with teenagers at Cascades, Gwen enjoys the essentials of leading a Bellingham lifestyle: hiking, doing yoga, and recycling.
Kelly originates from a small town in Maine called Carrabassett Valley. She has travelled far and wide to find her home in the Pacific Northwest and purposeful work in education through the Montessori philosophy. Kelly has always loved working with adolescents and believes that meaningful education is driven by students finding their purpose and engaging in the world they are in through interdisciplinary study. Thus, when she heard of the work done at Cascades, she was delighted to become part of the amazing work and team of people that had created an amazing community.
Kelly has a background in Sociology and received her M.Ed. in Environmental Education from Western Washington University with certificates in Nonprofit Administration and Northwest Natural History at North Cascades Institute. Prior to enrollment in graduate work, Kelly taught in Massachusetts, Spain, and with the Peace Corps in El Salvador. Kelly has loved finding her home in Bellingham and enjoys spending her free time skiing, hiking, canoeing, adventuring, and crafting.