Faculty

School Administration

Mr. Jeff Whitehead, Co-founder, Head of School and Director
Mr. Jeff holds a bachelors degree in Physical Education, Theatre Education and Secondary Education from Brigham Young University. He continued his graduate studies in Educational Psychology and Secondary Education at Southern Utah University and University of Nevada Las Vegas. He has a Montessori teacher training for ages 6-9 and is currently completing the teacher certificate requirements for ages 9-12. Mr. Jeff is the co- teacher in the Middle School Program and loves to present workshops on the “Montessori curriculum”. He enjoys golf, travel and cooking. He is married to Valerie Whitehead, has 10 children, and 15 grandchildren.

Ms. Valerie Whitehead, Co-founder and Director
Ms. Valerie hails from a ranch in Montana and attended BYU, Idaho. She has Montessori teacher certification for children, ages 3 to 12 and has taught since 1982. She is currently the President for the Utah Montessori Council and is a presenter at Montessori conventions. She taught at the Children’s House in St. George from 1982-1989 and then went on to co-found the Montessori Children’s Club in Taylorsville. In 1999, she founded Montessori at Riverton. She serves on the board for Private School coalition and Vouchers for Choice. Ms. Valerie enjoys skiing, cooking, spending time with her children and grandchildren, and visiting Montana.
Middle School Teachers

Mr. Jeff Whitehead, Co-founder, Head of School, Director and Lead Teacher
Mr. Jeff holds a bachelors degree in Physical Education, Theatre Education and Secondary Education from Brigham Young University. He continued his graduate studies in Educational Psychology and Secondary Education at Southern Utah University and University of Nevada Las Vegas. He has a Montessori teacher training for ages 6-9 and is currently completing the teacher certificate requirements for ages 9-12. Mr. Jeff is the co- teacher in the Middle School Program and loves to present workshops on the “Montessori curriculum”. He enjoys golf, travel and cooking. He is married to Valerie Whitehead, has 10 children, and 15 grandchildren.
 

Mr. Cal Ostler, Science & Mathematical Specialist
Mr. Cal was born and raised in Utah graduating from Skyline High School in 1974 and marrying his high school sweetheart Kim Campbell in January of 1975. Mr. Cal and Ms. Kim have been married ever since and are the proud parents of 4 children and 9 grandchildren. He has a wide range of experiences and education and is well versed in the natural sciences, medical sciences, forensic sciences as well as his core competencies in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology. Mr. Cal joined Montessori at Riverton in the spring of 2013.
 
Elementary II Teachers

Ms. Valerie Whitehead, Co-founder, Director and Lead Teacher
Ms. Valerie hails from a ranch in Montana and attended BYU, Idaho. She has Montessori teacher certification for children, ages 3 to 12 and has taught since 1982. She is currently the President for the Utah Montessori Council and is a presenter at Montessori conventions. She taught at the Children’s House in St. George from 1982-1989 and then went on to co-found the Montessori Children’s Club in Taylorsville. In 1999, she founded Montessori at Riverton. She serves on the board for Private School coalition and Vouchers for Choice. Ms. Valerie enjoys skiing, cooking, spending time with her children and grandchildren, and visiting Montana.

Ms. Darcy Jensen, Assistant Teacher
Ms. Darcy is fourth of six children having four brothers and one sister. Family is her number one priority and dreams to be a fulltime mother in the future. One of her passions is to dance which she has been pursuing since fifth grade and now through collage. She has accomplished her first year at Brigham Young University-Idaho and will be returning there come January. Currently, she is studying to become a teacher in the Early Childhood Education program. She is hoping to find someone that she truly loves who she can settle down with. Darcy has a deep love for children and is very excited and grateful for the opportunity to assist in the Montessori teaching program.

 
Elementary I Teachers


Ms. Dawn Wiebold, Elementary One Lead Teacher
Ms. Dawn was born and raised in Amana, Iowa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in both History and German from Cornell College and a Master of Arts degree in German Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Obtaining her Secondary Education Teaching Certification from Iowa State University, Dawn taught both World History and German to high school students at Urbandale High School for four years. In the year 2000 she and her husband moved out west to Denver. There, she discovered the Montessori teaching approach while working with early childhood students at the Montessori School at Lone Tree in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Now calling Utah home, Dawn has been working at Montessori at Riverton since 2007. She happily teaches in the Elementary One class. Dawn earned her Montessori Elementary Teaching Credential from Westminster College’s Institute for Montessori Innovation (an AMS approved and MACTE accredited program) in June 2013. Outside of school, Dawn enjoys reading, traveling, running, oil painting, and hiking summits and slot canyons.

Early Childhood Teachers

Ms. Rosemary Dickes, Co-Lead 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. Holly Nash, Co-Lead Teacher
Ms. Holly is from New England and loves the ocean. School brought her out west quite some time ago and she has her bachelor's in health. Her husband is an Archaeologist and they have two children. Holly is very excited to continue her education and is working on a credential in Montessori and a Masters of Education. She and her family love to hike, watch movies together, and travel.

Ms. Venessa VanDerVeur, Teacher
Ms. Venessa loves teaching and learning with children as they both gain life experiences from each other. She is thrilled to be a part of Montessori at Riverton being that her first introduction comes from attending as a student Ms. Valerie's school herself in earlier years. She is close to her family, has a love for animals and loves to expand her wings into the world of education. Some of her hobbies include photography, arts/crafts, and staying active in any way she can. She currently resides in Sandy and loves how friendly the people are along with having a beautiful area to live in.
 
Toddler School Teachers

Ms. Venessa VanDerVeur, Teacher
Ms. Venessa loves teaching and learning with children as they both gain life experiences from each other. She is thrilled to be a part of Montessori at Riverton being that her first introduction comes from attending as a student Ms. Valerie's school herself in earlier years. She is close to her family, has a love for animals and loves to expand her wings into the world of education. Some of her hobbies include photography, arts/crafts, and staying active in any way she can. She currently resides in Sandy and loves how friendly the people are along with having a beautiful area to live in.  
Specialists

Ms. Sheny, Choral & Music Specialist
Ms. Sheny was born and raised in Shelly, ID on a potato farm. She grew up moving pipe, during harvest time and having fun snowmobiling in the winter during the off season. She moved to Utah to attend LDS Business College where she met her husband. They now have 3 beautiful daughters. They moved to Monterey, CA and enjoyed living on the beach. They have recently moved to Utah. Sheny loves being a “Military wife” and enjoys supporting her husband and so many others in the fight for freedom. Sheny attended LDS Business College while working for IKON Office Solutions being the sole support and analyst for over 200 plus service technicians in ID, MT, UT, WY, Nothern CA, and MN. In her spare time, she Sheny has been known to dance for over 13 years. Her expertise includes ballet, clogging, baton, jazz and drill. She has a great love for music. She enjoys playing the piano & clarinet and singing. This love for music and movement is now shared with all the children at Montessori at Riverton.

Ms. Shirene Edwards, Recreational Dance & Movement Specialist
Ms. Shirene has lived in Utah for over 7 years now and thoroughly enjoys this beautiful state. She is married to a hard working military husband whom together they have a little girl with a boy on the way. This October she will be completing her Bachelors' Degree in Health Care Administration. Shirene is currently the practice manager for Broadway Eye Clinic and loves the vision health industry especially as it pertains to childhood learning disabilities and general public health. Shirene has danced with many professional teams including the Boise Tate Maneline Dancers and participated in winning 2 National Dance titles. She has been trained and has taught many different styles of dance including ballet, modern, jazz, clogging, and contemporary. She has had the pleasure of teaching every age group for the past 15 years with half of those years teaching K-2nd grade performance teams. She is excited to work with the Montessori at Riverton staff to create a positive experience with music and dance.
 
Facilitators:

Ms. Steph Otter, Student Facilitator
Ms. Steph is from Green River, Wyoming. Having left her wonderful town for college she has lived in Salt Lake City for the past three years while attending Salt Lake Community College. Having worked in a special education program as a paraprofessional she now holds an Associates of Science in Pre Teacher Education. Loving to work with students of all ages and backgrounds Ms. Steph is now pursuing her bachelor's degree in special education. This past summer she recently married her best friend and is enjoying her new life. Some of her hobbies include being outdoors hiking, running, and camping. During her free time she loves to return back home to Wyoming to visit with family and friends. She is excited to be working at the Montessori school this school year!
 
Ms. Rachel Dickes, Student Facilitator
Ms. Rachel is 24 years old, born and raised in Utah, and is number 12 in a family of 13. She grew up mowing lawns and cleaning yards and is no stranger to hard work. Traveling is one of her highlights and takes the chance whenever possible. She graduated from Riverton High and then attended two years at Salt Lake community college. Ms. Rachel loves working with children as well as learning from them. Last year she loved working as a teacher's aid in the Toddler classroom at Montessori at Riverton and will be adventuring into being a facilitator this year.
 
   
 

 

 

 

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