Staff

Administration

The Maslow Academy of Applied Learning (MAAL) is an independent community school directed by a talented team of administrators who are passionate about learning.

Bright Beginnings is a separate infant and toddler program within the school. It provides loving, individualized education for children from six weeks of age through to three-years-old.

Maslow Academy teaches children at the preschool and elementary level. It provides the same kind of experiential and applied learning for children from two-and-a-half years of age to nine-years-old, and includes children up to twelve years of age in the after-school program.

The administration team is actively creating an environment in which all children are encouraged to reach their peak potential through high-quality facilities and masterful teachers.

The administrators are actively providing the Montrose community with a choice in education where children can progress at their individual developmental levels.

Administrators

Mrs. Chrissy Simmons

Executive Director

Mrs. Chrissy Simmons is the Executive Director of Maslow Academy of Applied Learning and Bright Beginnings.

I was born in Montrose and lived here most of my childhood, moving away to Durango for my teenage years. I feel very privileged to have grown up in Colorado and on the Western Slope. There is nothing like the beautiful mountains and clean air to help a child grow up strong! That is why, after living for many years away, I have brought my son and husband back to live in my hometown. I am very glad to live here again and to share this amazing place with my family.

More About Mrs. Chrissy Simmons

I have a degree in Hospitality Administration from Metropolitan State College of Denver. My first career was managing restaurants and corporate training. I’ve lived in Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver, transferring around with a company I worked for since college.

After my son was born, I realized that I wanted a more rewarding career; one that I’d dreamed about since I was a little girl. In 2001, I went back to college where I received my Master’s degree in Elementary Education from University of Phoenix. Most recently, I received my Colorado Principal License from Adams State University and completed the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program at the University of Colorado Denver.

I began my career by teaching kindergarten. I taught kindergarten in Tucson, Arizona for six years. During the summer, I taught first and second grade summer school for English language learners. After I moved back to Montrose, I taught fifth grade in the Montrose school district for 2 years.

In 2011, I became a part of the Bright Beginnings and Maslow Academy family, teaching multi-age kindergarten through second grade.

In 2011, I became a part of the Bright Beginnings and Maslow Academy family, teaching multi-age kindergarten through second grade.

In my spare time, I can usually be found with my wonderful family, riding bikes, enjoying sporting events, or cooking together. My son is amazing and I especially like to watch him play sports. He currently attends the United States Merchant Marine Academy, plays college football, and aspires to be a pilot in the Navy or Marines.

Please feel free to contact me at chrissy@maslowacademy.com.

Mrs. Chrissy Simmons

Executive Director
About Mrs. Chrissy Simmons
Mrs. Chrissy Simmons is the Executive Director of Maslow Academy of Applied Learning and Bright Beginnings.

I was born in Montrose and lived here most of my childhood, moving away to Durango for my teenage years. I feel very privileged to have grown up in Colorado and on the Western Slope. There is nothing like the beautiful mountains and clean air to help a child grow up strong! That is why, after living for many years away, I have brought my son and husband back to live in my hometown. I am very glad to live here again and to share this amazing place with my family.

I have a degree in Hospitality Administration from Metropolitan State College of Denver. My first career was managing restaurants and corporate training. I’ve lived in Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver, transferring around with a company I worked for since college.

After my son was born, I realized that I wanted a more rewarding career; one that I’d dreamed about since I was a little girl. In 2001, I went back to college where I received my Master’s degree in Elementary Education from University of Phoenix. Most recently, I received my Colorado Principal License from Adams State University and completed the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program at the University of Colorado Denver.

I began my career by teaching kindergarten. I taught kindergarten in Tucson, Arizona for six years. During the summer, I taught first and second grade summer school for English language learners. After I moved back to Montrose, I taught fifth grade in the Montrose school district for 2 years.

In 2011, I became a part of the Bright Beginnings and Maslow Academy family, teaching multi-age kindergarten through second grade.

In 2011, I became a part of the Bright Beginnings and Maslow Academy family, teaching multi-age kindergarten through second grade.

In my spare time, I can usually be found with my wonderful family, riding bikes, enjoying sporting events, or cooking together. My son is amazing and I especially like to watch him play sports. He currently attends the United States Merchant Marine Academy, plays college football, and aspires to be a pilot in the Navy or Marines.

Please feel free to contact me at chrissy@maslowacademy.com.

Mrs. Tania Ziegler

Assistant Director
About Ms. Tania Ziegler
Hello! My name is Tania Ziegler. I have been working with children for over 9 years now and I love every minute of it. I have two children of my own.

Before joining the Bright Beginnings team, my husband and I were stationed overseas in Okinawa, Japan. My husband was in the Air Force and I worked at the Child Development Center on base. It was definitely different, but I did miss Colorado a lot.

I am so happy to be back, and I am glad that I get to have fun playing and learning with your children every day!

Mrs. Leann Distel

Assistant Director
About Ms. Leann Distel
My name is Leann Distel and I am an Assistant Director at Maslow Academy. I have worked in the preschool setting since 2006. I have my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, my Montessori Early Childhood Diploma, and my Large Center Director’s License. My passion in life is to give each child the foundation they need to be successful in whatever they choose to do. I love watching children grow and learn. My husband and I have lived in Montrose, CO for most of our lives. Together we have two girls, ages 11 and 8. We enjoy camping, watching movies, and cooking together. I am very excited to meet each of you!

Mrs. Daisy Chell

Infant Toddler Supervisor | Classroom Teacher
About Ms. Daisy Chell
Daisy Chell first began working with children in 2003 at a preschool and at a daycare center in Cañon City, CO.

She graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2007. Daisy then went to the Philippines to serve for 10 years as a missionary. While in the Philippines, she worked at an orphanage for 5 years caring for abused and abandoned children. Then she worked at a pregnancy clinic for 2 years providing prenatal care and education for impoverished women.

After that, Daisy spent 3 years in the Philippines teaching preschool at an international school for the children of missionaries. Daisy then moved back to Colorado in 2017, settling in Montrose to be near family.

Early in 2018, Daisy was hired to join the staff at Maslow Academy and Bright Beginnings. During her time here at Maslow, Daisy has been the leader in three different toddler rooms as well as in the infant room. With continued education and training, she joined the administration team and took on the role of Infant/Toddler Supervisor in 2019.

Ms. Daisy is so thankful for the many years she has been given to work with young people. She delights in the everyday victories that the children around her achieve: taking a first step, mastering finger-painting, singing Twinkle Twinkle, counting to 10, writing their name, tying their shoe. Ms. Daisy is excited to continue to provide quality care and education to this community.

When Daisy is not at work, she enjoys good food, all movies, and traveling to new places. She is blessed to have close relationships with her parents, siblings/siblings-in-laws, nieces, a nephew, and beloved friends.

Infant and Toddler

Teachers

Ms. Ashley Nare

Ms. Mariana Cisneros

Ms. Devan Woods

Ms. Myrya Cisneros

Ms. Makayla Nieto

Ms. Berenice Chavez

Ms. Amy Sandoval

Ms. Claire Felix

Ms. Tiffany Walker

Mariah Teacher

Ms. Mariah Loco

Preschool & Kindergarten

Teachers

Ms. Shayli Hart

Ms. Jemletta Padua

Ms. Julia Duffle

Ms. Erika Estrada

Ms. Leeann Hampton

Ms. Erica Aragon

Multi-Age Elementary

Teachers

Ms. Tanya Hawk

Mrs. Melissa Senecal

Ms. Stephanie Brink

Extracurricular

Teachers

Ms. Robyn Smith

After-School Teacher | Spanish Teacher | Art Teacher | Summer Program Coordinator

I love kids of all ages and have enjoyed teaching them in several different states and countries for more than 34 years. Planning, creating, decorating, teaching, and writing all bring joy to my heart. When I get to combine those and working with children, why, it is just magical!

My husband and I have raised three kids, a rabbit, several hamsters, rats, cats, and one dog in our 30 years of marriage. We love to travel and enjoyed dragging our homeschooled children around the country. Yes, those are their words: “dragging”… We liked to call it “having an adventure”. However, I also believe an adventure is what we have each day that we get out of bed.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to have daily adventures with your children during the Covid “no school” days and Summer Camp.

Now, I am excited to be teaching Spanish, Art, and running the After-School Program. It will be an adventure!

Ms. Kate Florian

Dance and Drama Class Teacher

Nutritional

Staff

Ms. Taylor Munroe

Kitchen Manager

Hello! My name is Ms. Taylor and I am the kitchen manager at Bright Beginnings and Maslow Academy. I was born in Montrose and have lived here my whole life.

I have always held an interest in nutrition and food, and have finally found a place where I can put my passion for children and healthy eating together. I am married to a wonderful husband and together we have a beautiful daughter, Jazmyne.

When I am not working, I spend my time with family and friends. I am a driven, hard-working person and I take pride in my role at Bright Beginnings and Maslow Academy. I love being a part of this amazing school and making a difference in children’s lives.

I am assisted by Ms. Patsy, Ms. Ivett, and Ms. Kim.

Ms. Patsy Gallegos

Kitchen Staff

Ms. Ivett Segura

Kitchen Staff

Ms. Kim Duncan

Kitchen Staff and Substitute