Faculty

Our student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1. This enables us to meet the needs of each child by carefully observing and adjusting the learning environment to maximize skill development and enthusiasm for learning.

Front Office

Liza M Frolkis

Administrative Director

Liza is moving into administration after six years in early childhood education. Liza holds her Montessori Primary Certification through NAMC and was one of DMS’ Primary Leads for the last two years. She has experience both in the classroom and office, is a trained yoga instructor, and a former small food grower and business owner. When she’s not at work, Liza enjoys spending time with her family.

Erin Cherry

Administrative Facilitator | Art Teacher

Erin is moving into administration and art education after two years of teaching primary students at DMS. Before moving to Santa Fe, Erin taught elementary art in California for 3 years and ran a graphic design business. Outside of the school, she enjoys baking, painting, and renovating her mountain home with her husband, puppy, and three cats.

Primary

Frances Serrano

Primary Directory | roadrunner Classroom Lead

Frances was the Director at the SER Child Development Center and an Early Interventionist & Case Manager with New Vistas. She has a degree in Early Childhood Development, is a parent of six children, and has served the Santa Fe Early Childhood community for over twenty-five years in various capacities including teaching at SFCC and First Presbyterian Child Development Center.

DeAnn Meadows

roadrunner Classroom Facilitator

DeAnn has her Early Childhood Development Certificate and Associates in Arts of Early Childhood Education. She has worked in the Early Childhood Development field for over eight years. She is native to New Mexico and resides outside Santa Fe with her husband and their son.

samantha vazquez

los pollitos classroom lead

Sam has worked as a teacher from early childhood to adult education for the last 7 years. After studying  Poetics and Cultural Theory at New York University, Sam was an art teacher in the neurodivergent community, an ESL teacher to migrants in New York, and an educator of permaculture in South Florida for children. Sam also worked as a horticulturalist and farm worker at organic farms in Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, and Miami, Fl. Besides teaching, they are a cultural worker, a student in an ethnobotany program, and enjoy watching old films and foraging in nature. 

daniela merediz

los pollitos classroom facilitator

Daniela was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She worked as a cooking instructor, tutor, nanny, and preschool teacher for the past 5 years in Florida, supporting safe, healthy, and nurturing learning environments in children of various cultural backgrounds and academic capabilities. In her free time, Daniela enjoys cooking, hiking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Cecelia Romero-Likes

aspens classroom lead

In addition to degrees in early childhood education & counseling and educational psychology, Cecelia has worked with children as an educator, program director, and camp director for over ten years. Cecelia is passionate about creating an inclusive classroom and school environment for the whole family, and exposing students to perspectives they may not be familiar with.

samantha shepherd

aspens classroom facilitator

Samantha has 6 years of experience working in educational settings. She has a degree in Psychology from Loyola University and has worked as a primary and secondary school English teacher in both Thailand and Portugal. She has also worked as a behavior therapist in a center for Autism. Samantha’s experience in diverse classroom settings have helped inform her approach to teaching. In her free time she enjoys making art and traveling.

Darcy Davis-flagler

pinon Classroom Lead

Darcy moved to Santa Fe from the Tampa area of Florida in 2020. While in Florida, Darcy worked as a K-6 teacher at a school for the neurodiverse community. Darcy is also a trained CNA, has a BA in Journalism, and holds certifications in infant and special populations massage therapy.

Greg Sammis

pinon Classroom Facilitator

Greg graduated college with a degree in film and broadcasting from Saint Francis College in Brooklyn. He moved to New Mexico last year with his family and is brand new to Montessori education! Greg has experience teaching every grade level from early childhood through high school. He is a professional guitar player, actor, and woodworker who in his free time loves to watch sports, movies, read, and spend time with his family.

Elementary

Abbie Foley

Elementary Director | Lower Elementary Classroom Lead

Abbie has 7 years of experience working with Lower Elementary students, and her Montessori Teaching Certificate from NAMC. After studying American Ethnic Studies and Anthropology at Willamette University, Abbie returned to her home state of Montana to run a small business. She has been teaching at Desert Montessori since 2017, leading with compassion and her love of learning.

Lucy Keehn

Upper Elementary Classroom Lead

Lucy has 5 years of experience working in education and has a Masters of Elementary Education from Prescott College. Since graduating with a B.A. in Geology, Lucy has worked both as an educator and as a scientist. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, gardening and pottery.

Specialty Teachers

Brian Nelson

Music Teacher

A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Brian has studied a variety of instruments and musical styles for over 25 years. In more than 15 years of teaching, Brian has worked in a variety of educational situations, including directing summer camps at the Swallow Hill Music School in Denver. In addition to teaching and playing music, Brian is the Artistic Director of the Queen Bee Music Association.

Monica Belford

Full-time Spanish Immersion Teacher

After 16 years in the Pacific Northwest, Monica is excited to return to Santa Fe with her husband and their 2 kids. Raised in a bilingual household, Monica holds a B.A. in Art History and a certificate in Elementary Education. She has worked with students in both private and public schools including as a Spanish immersion teacher. In her free time, Monica enjoys spending time with her family in the outdoors, baking, doing yoga and reading.