Our Faculty

Our Faculty

We are committed to having qualified and experienced teachers.  All of our lead teachers have Bachelors degrees and/or 3 years teaching experience, as well as having Montessori Teaching Certifications.

School Administration

Ms. Emily Aune, Director

Ms. Emily has a diverse professional background with expertise in real estate, finance and special needs education.  She has owned and/or run businesses ranging from florist to property management, and brings a wealth of knowledge to Montessori at Riverton.

One of her hardest but most rewarding positions was working with special needs children at the Carmen B. Pingree school for children with autism.  She is married to Josh, they have 3 young boys you will see bouncing around the school.


Ms. Rachael Beard, Office Manager



Middle School


Mr. Mark Atkinson, Teacher

Mr. A is an avid learner.  He has his CCAF degree in finance and spent 8 years serving our country in the United States Air Force.  He spent the last 3 years in Japan where he went to Airman Leadership School and trained young airman just entering the USAF (17-19 year olds).

He received his Montessori training from Montessori Innovations in Riverton UT, 2014.  He is currently enrolled at Western Governors University, studying Education.  Mr. A loves the outdoors and fitness. He loves learning and plans on going to “school” forever.  Mr. A has 4 children, one cat and one dog.

Ms. Hillary Glasser, Assistant Teacher
Ms. Hillary enjoys working with children and believes that instruction doesn’t consist of lecturing, but offering every student a rich, rewarding, and unique learning experience. Her passion is inspiring and challenging students to push the boundaries of their imagination and reach for their dreams.

Ms. Hilary holds Associate degrees in Business and Psychology and pursued a degree in English with a focus on pre-law.  In her free time, Ms. Hilary enjoys equestrian sports, reading history, as well as fiction, cooking, learning new crafts, and camping with her husband and family.

Elementary II


Ms. Alison Atkinson, Director Elementary, Teacher, Art specialist

Ms. Alison holds a bachelors degree in Educational Studies from Western Governors University and is working towards her Masters degree in Education.

She owned and taught preschool at 'Butterflies, Dreams & Fairytales' from 2001-2004 and has taught private and group Art lessons for the last 20 years.  She just returned from Tokyo Japan, where she lived, and taught at Excel English for two years.  She loves art, music and fitness.  She is married to Mark Atkinson and has 4 children, one cat and one dog.  

Ms. Allyssa Merkley, Assistant Teacher

Elementary I


Ms. Debbie Ayala Teacher



Linda Merkley.jpg

Ms. Linda Merkley, Director Early Childhood, Teacher

Miss Linda learned about Montessori education many years ago when she decided to enroll her own young children.  She loved the philosophy and decided to pursue her Montessori certification.  She received her training and certification from Dayspring Montessori Teacher Education Center through AMS and began her own school in 1999.  She has taught for 16 years and loves everything about the education possibilities Maria Montessori discovered.  She loves to continue learning herself, and is usually taking a class somewhere or developing new skills.

Early Childhood


Ms. Catie Rynearson, Teacher

Catie completed her Early Childhood Montessori credential through NAMC in 2008. She worked as a teacher assistant for three years before completing her certification. She since then has been a lead teacher the past four years. Catie is also certified in child development, family science, and social work.

Catie has grown up in Utah, loves being with her husband and family, enjoys volunteering every year at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and loves football and sports.


Ms. Rosemary Dickes, Assistant Teacher

Ms. Rosemary was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo. where she attended Florissant Valley Community College for two years, majoring in Fine Arts.  She and her husband have 13 biological children and 2 adopted grandchildren.  The two grandchildren have been attending Montessori at Riverton going on six years.  Working as a substitute was the impetus to achieve certification as a Paraprofessional in 2008 through the Institute for Guided Studies in Camden, SC.

Rosemary is known for her expertise and love of nature & gardening.  She often spends her early mornings with her hands in the dirt, planting flowers at the school grounds.  She has deep love for children and much experience in working with children of all ages.

Ms. Linda Merkley, Director Early Childhood, Teacher

Bio available under Elementary 1


Ms. Jodie Dugan,  Teacher



Knute Ljungberg, Assistant Teacher


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Mr. Christian Evans, Student Facilitator

Student at UVU, studying business. Graduated from Riverton High School in 2014. Christian loves working with kids and helping out anywhere he can.


Ms. Sara DeWitt, Reading Specialist

Sara studied English at BYU and currently works for a financial wealth company as a writer and editor. She also teaches reading at home and at our school. She enjoys reading, writing, cleaning, decorating, running, playing games, and doing anything with her family. She has four kids who make life fun, and an amazing husband. Miss Sara thinks life should always be a party- with balloons.

Mr. Josh Aune, STEM and Computer Specialist

Josh has long had a deep curiosity and need to create, driving him to learn about the world around him and create things.  He works in the computing industry where he started by designing and building several super computer systems which debuted in the top 10 in the world followed by a successful storage start up.  Josh maintains our IT systems and teaches the computer club.

Ms. Alison Atkinson, Art and Music Specialist

Bio available under Elementary II.  Ms. Alison also teaches our Art and Music clubs.

Mr. Mark Atkinson, Adventure and Team Building Specialist

Bio available under Middle School.  Mr. A also teaches our Adventure club.