About City Garden

Our Values, History, & Team

Mission & Vision

City Garden Montessori School exists to redefine education, reimagine community, and reinvigorate our world.

The City Garden Story

City Garden began in 1995 as a small, preschool of a few children. Today, we serve 275 children from ages 3 to 14.

Board of Directors

City Garden is supported by deeply engaged board and committee members. Learn more about their work and service by clicking below.

Meet the Team

City Garden has a dynamic team of guides and administrators. Get to know our team, and find out how to connect with them!

Mission & Vision

City Garden exists to redefine education by developing the whole child in an excellent, inclusive, Montessori school; to reimagine community by creating spaces and systems that help to restore our collective humanity; and to reinvigorate our world by creating a culture in which individuals and communities thrive without disparities or barriers to success.

In the process of nurturing our students to be competent, creative, lifelong learners who practice compassion, respect, nonviolence and sustainability, we will strengthen families, the neighborhoods we serve, and the City of St. Louis as a whole.

The City Garden Story

City Garden Montessori School was founded by Trish Curtis and Mary Mitchell in 1995, with an intent to provide high-quality early educational experiences to children in the City of St. Louis for a very affordable price.

In January of 2006, seeing a need for more quality schooling options in the City of St. Louis, parents led efforts to pursue the expansion of City Garden to include an elementary program.  A Charter Planning Committee was formed and led the work of creating a charter school. The elementary expansion of City Garden Montessori School built upon what was established at the preschool, cultivating a nurturing, intimate atmosphere and implementing an interactive learning approach that honors each child individually.

In Fall 2008, City Garden Montessori School opened its charter school with 53 students in grades kindergarten through third grade. City Garden’s charter school is a neighborhood school, serving children and families in the Botanical Heights, Forest Park Southeast, Shaw, and portions of the Southwest Garden and Tiffany neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis. The school currently serves 275 students ages 3 to 14, in preschool through eighth grade.

City Garden’s vision has always been to introduce children to the idea of being change makers in our world. The Montessori approach, hands-on and individualized, helps to instill a firm understanding of respect for oneself and others. The school’s curriculum has a multi-cultural focus, making connections with children, cultures and environments around the world. Cultivating what Howard Gardner calls the “naturalist intelligence,” children’s natural wonder at the world is harnessed into a ecological awareness and a capacity for scientific observation. City Garden students and graduates are compassionate, well-rounded, confident human beings who are eager to learn and who excel in many areas.

Our hope has been, and continues to be, that City Garden school will be a community school—a space for members of the surrounding neighborhoods to gather, learn and get to know each other, a school in which families and community members feel a sense of ownership and pride, and a place that will be a source of hope and vitality for our community. We aim to cultivate compassionate and critically thinking young people who will make a difference in our world.

Our Sponsor - Saint Louis University

City Garden Montessori  School could never be the type of school and community gathering place that we are without the support of our partners, our friends, and our sponsor, Saint Louis University.

Saint Louis University’s commitment to urban community education is manifested in the involvement of its students, faculty, and staff in various forms of public schooling.

The University has an extensive history of collaboration with St. Louis’ public schools, and continually seeks to assist the St. Louis Public School District, neighboring public school districts, the City of St. Louis, and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as appropriate to advance student learning. Toward that goal the University has committed to sponsorship of public charter schools.

Community Leadership Through Sponsorship

The success of a charter school – and, therefore, the successes of its students – is closely tied to the integrity of the sponsor and quality of sponsor oversight. As a leader in the education and certification of St. Louis’ teachers and administrators, and as a comprehensive research institution committed to empirically-based improvement efforts in urban public education, Saint Louis University is uniquely poised to serve the St. Louis community as a sponsor.

Serving as a sponsor further engages the University’s faculty, staff, and students in the St. Louis community, and further evidences the University’s leadership commitment to public schooling, innovation in education, and community development.

The Decision to Sponsor

Over the past several years a number of groups have requested that Saint Louis University consider charter school sponsorship. Recognizing the extent of such a challenge, the University has approached sponsorship cautiously and with due diligence. University constituents have consulted with officials from the St. Louis Public School District, regional and national charter school associations, and faculty and staff at other colleges and universities serving as charter school sponsors in and outside of Missouri.

Faculty and staff from throughout the University are encouraged to lend their insight, experience, and expertise to the institutional sponsorship effort.

Scope of Sponsorship

While the need for high-performing public schools is significant, Saint Louis University recognizes that its role as a sponsor of charter schools is both supported and bounded by its institutional mission as well as human and financial resources.Accordingly, faculty and staff have focused their efforts on sponsorship of a very small number of schools whose leadership, missions, and curricula present a “good fit” with the people and programs of the University. Sponsored schools are characterized by:

• a strong local board of trustees (non-profit), formed in response to demonstrated local need
• an educational mission consistent with Saint Louis University’s mission and values
• a location close to campus to meet the distinct needs of students residing in neighborhoods near and adjacent to the University
• a rigorous curriculum design responsive to the school’s mission and the needs of the community
• opportunities for University faculty, staff, and student involvement throughout its operations

These parameters exclude a majority of charter school applicants; the University is not seeking to sponsor a vast network of charter schools.

Financial Implications of Sponsorship

Missouri’s charter school laws provide that “the expenses associated with sponsorship of charter schools” be reimbursed to sponsors on a per-student basis, up to an annual maximum amount (RSMo 160-400). Accordingly, as enrollments at the schools sponsored by the University grow to their potential as designed, and as our relationships with sponsored schools mature to include increased involvement of University faculty, staff, and students in the charter schools, our sponsorship should evolve to be a revenue-neutral educational initiative.

Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
State Accountability Report Card

State and federal law require the development of report cards at the state, district, and building level. Specific data includes: enrollment, attendance, percent students eligible for free/reduced-price lunch, staffing ratios, teacher  experience, average teacher and administrator salaries, expenditures/student, Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) results, students in gifted education program, and percent english language learners.

To access City Garden Montessori School’s 2019 State Accountability Report Card:
1. Visit the DESE website: https://tinyurl.com/y46r9gjv
2. Select 2019 as School Year
3. Select City Garden Montessori as District
4. Select City Garden Montessori as School
5. Select View Report

Meet the Team

Early Childhood Education Center Administration

Crystal Isom

Principal

crystal.isom@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Lauren Zhao

Building Operations Manager

lauren.zhao@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Amy Willems

Instructional Coordinator

amy.willems@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Cathy Bain

Director of Special Services

cathy@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Elizabeth Richardson

Administrative Assistant

elizabeth.richardson@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Caitlyn Overstreet

Nurse

nurse@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Mary Swofford

Food Service Coordinator

mary.swofford@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Casey Owen

Buildings & Grounds Technician

casey.owen@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Preschool & Kindergarten Teams

Shannon Adams

Lead Guide - Primary 1

shannon.adams@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Amy Hughes Braden

Assistant Guide - Primary 1

amy.braden@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Hilary Fischman

Lead Guide - Primary 2

hilary@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Scout Sale

Assistant Guide - Primary 2

scout.sale@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Young Kim

Lead Guide - Primary 3

young.kim@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Taylor Williams

Assistant Guide - Primary 3

taylor.williams@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Celeste Ocaña

Lead Guide - Primary 4

celeste.ocana@citygardenschool.org

She/They

Pamala Powers

Assistant Guide - Primary 4

pamala.powers@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Sarah Johnston

Lead Guide - Primary 5

sarah.johnston@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Joyce Turner

Assistant Guide - Primary 5

joyce.turner@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Emily Peters

Lead Guide - Primary 6

emily.peters@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Dennia Butler

Assistant Guide - Primary 6

dennia.butler@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Carmen Beliz

Lead Guide - Kindergarten 1

carmen.beliz@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Erin King

Assistant Guide - Kindergarten 1

erin.king@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Travis Woolsey

Lead Guide - Kindergarten 2

travis.woolsey@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Chelsea Beaven

Assistant Guide - Kindergarten 2

chelsea.beaven@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Emilie Moroney

Lead Guide - Kindergarten 3

emilie.moroney@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Krista Trent

Assistant Guide - Kindergarten 3

krista.trent@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Special Services, School Support, & Specials

Garrick Mueller

Special Education Instructor

garrick.mueller@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Brittany Grant

Family Support Coordinator

brittany.grant@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Alanna Buechele

Paraprofessional

alanna.buechele@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Chris Powers

Paraprofessional

chris.powers@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Abigail Hodges

School Support Specialist

abigail.hodges@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Zenia Skinner

Paraprofessional

zenia.skinner@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Morgan Potje

School Support Specialist

morgan.potje@citygardenschool.org

They/Them

Amirah El-Amin

School Support Specialist

amirah.el-amin@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Taylor Arman

School Support Specialist

taylor.arman@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Karen Egel

School Support Specialist

karen.egel@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Sophia Stanley

School Support Specialist

sophia.stanley@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Eva Millsap

School Support Specialist

eva.millsap@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Jean Stallings

Before/After Care Assistant

info@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Gladys McKissic

Before/After Care Assistant

info@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Joe Lafasciano

School Support/P.E. Instructor

joe.lafasciano@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Lynn Brown

Music Instructor

lynn.brown@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Elementary and Adolescent Education Center Administration

Pat Garrett

Interim Principal

pat@citygardenschool.org

He/Him/His

Sharmouel Mosley

Building Operations Manager

sharmouel@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Amy Denother

Instructional Coordinator

amy@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Cathy Bain

Director of Special Services

cathy@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Dr. Tabitha Harrell

Leader in Residence

dr.harrell@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Angela Wright

Administrative Assistant

angela.wright@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Caitlyn Overstreet

Nurse

nurse@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Mary Swofford

Food Service Coordinator

mary.swofford@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Casey Owen

Buildings & Grounds Technician

casey.owen@citygardenschool.org

He/Him/His

Lower Elementary (1st ,2nd, & 3rd Grade)

Becky Broshears

Lead Guide - Lower Elementary 1

becky.broshears@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Hannah Horton

Assistant Guide - Lower Elementary 1

hannah.horton@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Danielle Combs

Lead Guide - Lower Elementary 2

danielle@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Deanna Graham

Assistant Guide - Lower Elementary 2

deanna.graham@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Olli Lehmann

Lead Guide - Lower Elementary 3

ollie@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Lindsay Petermeier

Assistant Guide - Lower Elementary 3

lindsay.petermeier@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Anne Lacey

Lead Guide- Lower Elementary 4

anne@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Keona Borroum

Assistant Guide - Lower Elementary 4

keona.borroum@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Katie Keller

Lead Guide - Lower Elementary 5

katie.keller@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Amanda Gilliom

Assistant Guide - Lower Elementary 5

amanda.gilliom@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Areta May

Lead Guide - Lower Elementary 6

areta.may@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Leigh Cleggett

Assistant Guide - Lower Elementary 6

leigh.cleggett@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Barb Martinez

Lead Guide - Lower Elementary 7

barbara.martinez@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Kim Erickson

Assistant Guide - Lower Elementary 7

kim.erickson@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Rasmi Sporny

Lead Guide - Lower Elementary 8

rasmi.sporney@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Audrey Yancey

Assistant Guide - Lower Elementary 8

audrey.yancey@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Upper Elementary (4th ,5th, & 6th Grade)

Caitlin Carney

Lead Guide - Upper Elementary 1

caitlin.carney@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Carol Haukap

Assistant Guide - Upper Elementary 1

carol.haukap@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Matt Jaworski

Lead Guide - Upper Elementary 2

matt@citygardenschool.org

He/Him/His

Maisha Harlan

Assistant Guide - Upper Elementary 2

maisha.harlan@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Jean Turney

Lead Guide - Upper Elementary 3

jean.turney@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Andrew Guest

Assistant Guide - Upper Elementary 3

andrew.guest@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Juliette Sage

Lead Guide - Upper Elementary 4

juliette.sage@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Junior High Team

Bill Heisse

Lead Guide - Math & Science

william.heisse@citygardenschool.org

He/Him/His

Heading

Sam Larson

Assistant Guide - Math & Science

sam.larson@citygardenschool.org

He/Him/HIs

Heading

Gloria Haukap

Lead Guide - Lang. Arts & Social Studies

gloria.haukap@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Heading

Tyra Booker

Assistant Guide - Lang. Arts & Social Studies

tyra.booker@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Heading

Special Services

Jeanne Eveld

Special Education Instructor

jeanne@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Britta Bernert

Special Education Instructor

britta.bernert@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Nikki Day

Special Education Instructor

nikki.day@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Janel Rhoda

Special Education Instructor

janel.rhoda@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Anne Beney

Reading Specialist

Anne.Beney@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

Normanda Lee

Paraprofessional

normanda.lee@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Erin Winfert

Paraprofessional

erin.winfert@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Joe Shipp

Paraprofessional

joe.shipp@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Alie Kowelman

Paraprofessional

alie.kowelman@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Catie Strauss

Paraprofessional

catie.strauss@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Christine Rose

Speech-Language Pathologist

christine.rose@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Carlie West

Psyche Examiner

cwest@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

School Support & Specials

Katherine Ingersoll

Family Support Coordinator

katherine.ingersoll@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Chris Stevenson

Behavior Specialist & Aftercare Coordinator

chris@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Rachel Cramsey

BJC Therapist

rachel.cramsey@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Nick Diener

SEL Facilitator/Specialist

nick.diener@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Norman Williams

School Support Specialist

norman@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Destiney Wittenauer

School Support Specialist

destiney.wittenauer@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Madison Cockrum

School Support Specialist

madison.cockrum@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Kendra Whitley

School Support Specialist

kendra.whitley@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Brandee Johnson

School Support Specialist

brandee.johnson@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Kaitlin Tarini

Before/After Care Support

info@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Mesho Morrow

Before/After Care Support

mesho.morrow@citygardenschool.org

He/Him

Tricia Hackworth

School Support Specialist

tricia.hackworth@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Kelsey Hansen

Food Service Assistant

kelsey.hansen@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Kori Seals

Before/After Care Support

info@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Trisha Anderson

Athletics Director & P.E. Instructor

trisha@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Lauren Denney

Outdoor Education Instructor

lauren.denney@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Juliet Salih

Spanish Instructor

juliet@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Angel Jackson

Art Instructor & School Support

angel.jackson@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Administrative Network Team

Christie Huck

CEO/Executive Director

christie@citygardenschool.org

She/Her/Hers

David Blank

Chief Operating Officer

david@citygardenschool.org

He/Him/His

Cassidy Flynn

Chief Communications Officer

cassidy.flynn@citygardenschool.org

He/Him/His

Mike Flohr

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

mike.flohr@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Tyeshia Smith

Director of Admission/School Social Worker

admissions@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Michelle Marshall

Director of Talent and Culture

michelle.marshall@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Tiffany Whitlock

Business Office Manager

tiff@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Lynn deLearie

Development Associate

lynn.delearie@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Christine Vinarcsik

Development and Executive Assistant

christine.vinarcsik@citygardenschool.org

She/Her

Deb Fox

Administrative Coordinator

debra@citygardenschool.org

She/Her