Our student-to-faculty ratio ranges from 5:1 to 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

interim head of school

Liza is honored to be the Interim Head of School for DMS for the 2022-2023 School Year. Liza joined the DMS Team in 2019 and has worked in Early Childhood Education for just shy of a decade. A midwest transplant, Liza came to Santa Fe after getting her BA from University of Michigan and working across the country in both the arts and sustainable agriculture. Liza holds her Montessori Primary Certification through NAMC, has experience both in the classroom and administration, is a trained yoga instructor, and a former small food grower and business owner. When not at school, you can find Liza keeping busy with her two sons, dog, partner, and indefatigable desire to craft and bake.

Erin Cherry

facilitating administrator

Erin is serving as an administrator for her second year, after two years of teaching primary students at DMS. A graduate of UCLA, she taught elementary-aged art programs throughout California for five years, worked in costuming for film and television, and founded + ran a successful graphic design business. Outside of work, she enjoys baking, oil painting, and renovating her mountain home with her husband, two dogs, and three cats.


Frances Serrano

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.

augusta durham

pinon classroom facilitator

Augusta has a BA in Gender Studies from the University of Texas & a Master’s in Montessori Education from Loyola University. She has worked in Montessori schools since 2015, and has her Certification from the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies. Augusta is passionate about working alongside children to create a community that supports every child’s needs.


Abbie Foley

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.

Adam Ferguson

Upper Elementary Classroom facilitator

Over the past 14 years, Adam has worked with street children and taught English in schools all over India, and lived and worked in southern France as an English teacher, childcare provider, and working artist. Adam is a certified holistic nutritionist and has worked as the head cook/nutritionist for a pre-school in Albuquerque where he implemented more healthy, whole food, plant-based nutrition for the community. His interests range from art, music, nutrition, and geography to nature, and he has recently returned to school for creative writing. In his free time, Adam enjoys being in nature, reading, meditation, cooking, traveling and spending time with family. 

Specialty Teachers

Dani Acosta

art teacher, aftercare teacher

Dani is a Miami-raised, Colombian-native art historian. They focus on decolonialized artistic processes & preservation of global native histories. After receiving a BA in Art History from the University of Florida, they have been closely involved with community enrichment and Art outreach programs and have been an art teacher at centers of Juvenile Detention and Rehabilitation. Outside of work, Dani is exploring Santa Fe and looking for the best food spots!

Jaclyn Behringer

aftercare teacher

Jaclyn believes that everyone is forever both teacher and student, and especially loves learning from the children in her life.  She has found herself in teaching roles since she was a teenager, as a swim instructor, rock climbing instructor, and tutor, and is passionate about giving children a safe space to explore and express themselves.  Currently, Jaclyn teaches a children’s yoga and movement class at the LaFarge branch of the Santa Fe Public Library, and facilitates a playful, exploratory environment in the Aftercare program at Desert Montessori.

Judith Mace

Spanish Teacher, Nature Teacher

Judith’s passion for the Spanish language begin in 1995, when she studied abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico and in Malaga, Spain, and taught ESL in Venezuela. She holds a BA as well as a Masters in Education with emphasis to teach foreign language. She holds an AMI Montessori Certification and over 20 years of experience teaching Spanish. Judith enjoys hikes with her dog, gardening, meditiation, and traveling.