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.
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 with her amazing partner and their dog, skiing, hiking, canoeing, adventuring, reading, and crafting.
Lauren grew up creekin' and camping in the hills of Tennessee, and a childhood spent playing outside instilled a deep-rooted love for learning about the natural world. This led her to a B.S. in Biology from the University of Tampa and a realization that her true calling was cultivating that lifelong sense of wonder in others. Subsequent education work with the National Park Service in Colorado launched Lauren’s migration to the West Coast, and she earned her M.Ed. in Environmental Education from Western Washington University with certificates in Northwest Natural History and Nonprofit Administration from North Cascades Institute.
Lauren has long resonated with holistic, place-based education and believes everyone should have access to opportunities to know themselves, community, and place in a deep way. She is thrilled to have found a way to continue this work through the Montessori philosophy in a town near and dear to her heart. When she’s not working, you’ll most likely find Lauren mountain biking, hiking, climbing, skiing, or curled up with a good book and her pup, Arroyo.