Our Staff

Katie Joca

Executive Director

I am honored to be the Executive Director of JMS. I have a passion working young children and have volunteered with various youth programs whether its coaching youth sports, teaching 4H programs, or as Girl Scout Leader and Manger. Most recently, I was Director of small preschool on Kodiak Island. I received my communications degree from Goucher College and have completed early education requirements from Marymount University and Kodiak College. My goals are to help grow and sustain enrollment while creating and sustaining community partnerships. I grew up in Maine and married into the Coast Guard family. The Coast Guard sends us all over the country and have lived in FL, RI and AK. My husband I have two daughters ages 5 and 8. My hobbies include cooking, gardening, hiking and always looking for an adventure.

Cindy Walsh

Upper Primary Lead Guide

Cindy was born and raised in Juneau and graduated from JDHS; she has three children and one new daughter-in-law. Cindy worked in retail for thirteen years and was in the original group that set up and opened the Juneau Fred Meyer store in 1984. She loves fashion and adding accessories to outfits, in fact one of her hobbies is designing and making jewelry. Cindy also worked as a substitute for the Juneau School District and then moved to the district office. Her family moved to Washington, where she worked as a medical transcriptionist at a physical therapy office. She began her schooling in the medical field, but found that she missed working with children and completed her degree in Early Childhood Developement. Cindy moved back to Juneau to care for her mother who has Parkinson's. We were thrilled when she accepted the job to work at JMS. Cindy is energetic, happy and always smiling. You'll find Cindy cooking with the children, chasing and being chased on the playground, trying to hula hoop and giving and receiving hugs when needed.

Marleni Mojica

Teaching Assistant

Coming Soon!

Elise Sorum-Birk

Outdoor Education

A former lead classroom assistant, Elise completed her AMI Primary training in Portland Oregon in June of 2013. Upon her graduation she returned to Juneau where she is now the lead teacher in the Downstairs Casa classroom. She grew up in Valdez and has fond memories of her own childhood in Alaska and loves the outdoors and looks forward to experiencing the outdoors with the children in her classroom here.

Emily Osborn

Lower Primary Lead Guide

Born and raised in Sacramento, California Emily found her way up to Juneau in 2004. A short time later she stumbled upon JMS and the Montessori theory and never looked back. Over the past 10 years she has worked for JMS in every capacity and in every classroom. In 2009 she received her Montessori Diploma from the Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon and returned in Juneau to teach in the downstairs casa. In 2011 she made the very difficult decision to resign from the lead teaching position to pursue her studies at the University of Alaska Southeast to complete her undergraduate work. It has been a long road, but she is incredibly happy and proud that she is just 5 short semesters away from receiving her BA in Elementary Education. Although she plans to dedicate her career to Montessori education and theory, she is grateful for the knowledge and opportunities her degree will contribute to her career. Last year she had her first child, Alexander, who is now in the toddler room. He has shown her how to be even more patience and understanding and he continues to push her to become the best person and teacher that she can be. She looks forward to meeting and getting to know all of the new families of Juneau Montessori!

Eva Marks

Teaching Assistant

Eva Marks is a teacher assistant and has been with JMS for a few years off and on. Eva just recently returned back in April, after living in Kake, Alaska with her daughter who is now two. Before Eva had her daughter she worked with JMS as the lead teacher assistant for two years. When not working Eva likes to be in the outdoors with her daughter: going fishing, hunting and hiking or traveling.

Kassandra Hearn

Administrative Assistant

Kassandra was born in Chicago, Illinois, and due to having a father with a career that took him all over the country, has moved around many places. After graduating high school in Frederick, Maryland, she went to Honduras to teach English in an orphanage for 6 months. When she returned to the states, she began school at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, changing her major many times but settling on special and early childhood education. She followed her family up to Alaska in 2011 and began working at Reach. She moved onto work as a Case manager at Juneau Youth Services and then began a family of her own and took some time off to raise her son. She is very excited to be here, especially with her son, Noah, starting in the toddler room.

Aubree Lewis

Teaching Assistant

Aubree was born and raised in Juneau, graduating from JDHS last year. She has been babysitting since she was in middle school, has worked in 2 daycares as well as working part time at Spunky Sprouts to keep an eye on her foster sister. Now Aubree is working at JMS, which she loves coming to every day. Aubree enjoys going to the movies, going shopping, singing, visiting her dad and family in Seattle, going on trips during the summer and playing sports such as bowling, volleyball and softball. She earned her high school diploma through the Transitions Program at JDHS. She loves working here because she loves to see the kids smile.

Molly Briggs

Toddler Teaching Staff

Growing up in Maine, Molly has always been fond of the outdoors and fresh seafood; naturally, she was drawn to the great state of Alaska! Since moving to Juneau in 2014, she has taught photography and become a passionate naturalist. Her secondary schooling was spent studying international business, Chinese and visual journalism; however, a lot of her free time and part-time jobs have involved children. Children have been apart of her world and a huge part of her heart since she can remember. From after school care to swim lessons to outdoor education she has been working her way to teaching in a classroom. Although a windy road, she is beyond honored to be co-leading the toddler classroom at Juneau Montessori School.

Sharon Dodd (Berenize)

Toddler Teaching Staff

I am originally from Peru and Spanish is my native language. I have lived in Juneau for six years. I love animals almost has much as I love kids. I have three children, two of them attend the local elementary school and one attends at JMS. I am happy to be a part of the JMS community and to have the opportunity to teach and learn along side of your children.

Miranda Martin

Teaching Assistant Upstairs Classroom

Monique Gettier

Afternoon Teaching Staff

I have worked at JMS for about one year and have renewed by Child Development Associates (CDA) during this time. I currently enjoy helping the children with transitions, outside recess, rest-time, aftercare and in the classroom when needed. I was not born in Alaska but have lived in either Juneau or Anchorage for most of my life. I have three kids, two teens and Stella who attends JMS with me. On the weekends you most likely will find myself and my family enjoy the Juneau outdoors.

Kimberly Jenkins

Toddler Room Assistant

Stephanie Cutshall

Afternoon Teaching Staff