Duna Strachan, BS AMS MEd
Duna founded Soaring Wings in 1987. She received a BS in Wildlife Biology from Arizona State University and was in the midst of a Master’s degree in Environmental Zoology when parenthood suddenly drew her attention to the world of Montessori. Duna found that her science background lent itself to the science-based Montessori method and enabled her to be a “Renaissance woman”, dabbling in art, music, geography, literature and math as well as science. Duna holds Montessori credentials at the Infant/Toddler and Early Childhood levels and received her masters degree in Montessori education from St. Catherine University. She was founding president of the Utah Montessori Council and founding member of the UMC Council of Elders. She coordinates the annual state teacher conference, hosts teacher training workshops and serves as faculty and consultant for teacher training programs in Utah, California, Florida and Colorado. She is Director of the Infant & Toddler program at Capital College in Vancouver, Canada and adjunct faculty at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. She serves on the advisory boards of the UMC and the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. Duna lives in Park Meadows with her husband, best friend, and administrator, Bruce King. Her two Montessori children, Lina and Leith, are grown but the family still enjoys frequent boating expeditions. As Executive Director of Soaring Wings, Duna oversees classroom quality, curriculum integrity, faculty development and community projects aimed at continual improvement and growth of the school.
Lina Singleton, BS AMS HHC
School Director/Holistic Health Coach/Early Childhood Teacher/Parent Infant Teacher
Lina grew up in Park City and has been involved in Montessori since she was 2 1/2 years old. She has watched her parents, Duna Strachan and Bruce King, transform the school from a single small classroom in their Park Meadows home to what it is today. Lina graduated from the University of Utah in 2004 with a BS in Communication and holds an American Montessori Society Early Childhood teaching credential. Lina also works as a Holistic Health Coach, with a focus on children and their families. Lina & her husband Lee, along with their third generation Montessorians Finley & Mara, love to travel & spend as much time as possible on Lake Mead. As Director of Soaring Wings, Lina oversees classroom quality, curriculum integrity, faculty development and community projects aimed at continual improvement and growth of the school. As a Health Coach, Lina leads workshops on nutrition, offers individual health and nutrition coaching to parents, teachers and families, and maintains a healthy school environment.
Carmen Olivera, BA AMS Intern
Carmen grew up in Arequipa, Peru. She studied psychology in Catholic University of Santa Maria and graduated in 2010 and came to Park City to work and explore America. She met her husband here in park city and together they have a bubbly two-year-old daughter. Carmen likes to dance, eat and cook Peruvian food, and especially enjoys spending time with her daughter.
Leah Linebarger, BS AMS MEd
Leah has a BS degree in Social Science from Westminster College and holds an American Montessori Society Infant/Toddler teaching credential. She attended a Montessori school as a child in Texas, loves the outdoors and is an avid runner.
Tama De’Angelo, BS AMS EMT MEd
Toddler Teacher/Music Teacher/Emergency Medical Technician
Tama grew up in Orem, Utah. After spending ten years in Park City she moved to Heber City where she currently resides with her loving husband, James, beautiful 2-year-old son, Oliver, and friendly dog, Sidney. She earned her BS degree in Biology from the University of Utah and spent several seasons working for the Forest Service as a Biological Sciences Technician conducting wildlife surveys in the Uinta Mountains. Tama holds an American Montessori Society Infant/Toddler teaching credential and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification. She received her masters degree in Montessori education from St. Catherine University. In her spare time she enjoys sharing her passion for the outdoors with her family, camping, hiking, skiing/snowboarding, running, biking and attending outdoor music concerts.
Araceli (Ari) Alba, BS AMS
Ari was born in San Juan, Argentina and moved to Utah as a child up and grew up Murray. She went to Macalester College to study Biology and then returned to Utah to study and finish her BS degree in Psychology at the University of Utah. She speaks fluent Spanish and worked for nine years with children on the autism spectrum at the Carmen B. Pingree School for Autism and then helped to start up the Bridges Program at Kids on the Move in Orem. She holds an AMS credential at the Infant/Toddler level from the Montessori Teacher Training Center in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ari loves everything outdoors and is an avid snowboarder, downhill mountain biker, climber and hiker.
Natalija Djunic BS AMS MEd
Early Childhood Teacher
Natalija grew up in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (today Serbia). She received Bachelor of Laws from University of Belgrade Faculty of Law. With a great ambition to succeed she worked hard in the legal field until war in the Balkans forced her and her husband to leave. In the US she lived in San Francisco and New York City before moving to Park City. While in NYC she worked at the West Village Nursery School – a cooperative school where all five of her children attended. In the summer of 2013 she moved with her family to Park City, UT where she discovered the Montessori method after enrolling her youngest at Soaring Wings. Natalija completed the American Montessori Society Early Childhood Teacher training program and the Master of Montessori Education Program at Westminster College.
Cassie Vultaggio BA AMS MEd
Early Childhood Teacher
Cassie was born and raised in Park City. She moved to Santa Barbara in 2000 to be near the ocean. This is where she met her husband and attended UC Santa Barbara. Cassie earned her BA in English, her secondary teaching credential, and her Master’s in Education. She taught high school English & Journalism for four years and is fluent in Spanish. She gave birth to her first child before she decided to trade the beach for the mountains and return to Utah to be closer to family. She has since had another baby, and her children helped to shift her educational focus to early childhood development. Cassie is currently enrolled in the Westminster Montessori Institute working toward acquiring American Montessori Society Early Childhood credential Cassie loves yoga and spending time with her family. Her children are both Soaring Wings Montessorians!
Molly McDowell, BA AMS
Early Childhood Teacher
Molly grew up in Orinda, California and graduated in 2009 from Northern Arizona University with a BA in Applied Anthropology. She held a horticulture internship at the Arboretum at Flagstaff, restoring native plants and educating school field trips, and also began assisting at a Flagstaff Montessori charter. Molly then spent two seasons in Vail, Colorado following her passion for skiing and teaching ski school. The last couple of years she has spent her time in Seattle and Snoqualmie Pass, Washington raising her daughter Emmylou and watching her husband John suffer through law school.
Molly is excited to settle into a new mountain environment and to advance her teaching skills. She is enrolled in the American Montessori Society Early Childhood Teacher training program and the Master of Montessori Education Program at Westminster College.
Michelle Aldrich, BS AMS MEd
Elementary Teacher/Administrative Assistant
Michelle graduated Cum Laude with a BS degree in Social Work from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She is an accredited children’s educator and supervised the children’s programs at Deer Valley for five years before coming to Soaring Wings with high recommendations and holds an American Montessori Society Elementary teaching credential and received her masters degree in Montessori education from St. Catherine University. Michelle is an outdoorswoman who enjoys bike touring and traveling in the out-of-doors. She lives in Woodland with her husband Jim, and Montessori children Tobianna and Lily.
Leticia (Leti) Burns, BA AMS
Elementary Teacher/Spanish Specialist
Leti grew up in Asuncion, Paraguay. She received a BA degree in Business Administration from Universidad Americana. She is fluent in Spanish and holds an American Montessori Society teaching credential at the lower elementary level from Westminster College. She loves the outdoors, travel and family and lives in Park City with her husband Kerry and daughter Sophie Maria.
Lori Whistler, BS AMS
Lori has a BS in Business Education from Brigham Young University and is enrolled in the American Montessori Society Elementary Teacher training program and the Master of Montessori Education Program at Westminster College. She is also fluent in Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys working on arts and crafts with her son, Peyton. She, Petyon and her husband, Brett, live in Heber City.
Amy Warren, BA AMS
Elementary Teacher/Administrative Assistant/Language Specialist
Amy is a Park City native; she attended the University of Utah and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Spanish. While working on her BA she studied in both Spain and Chile. After graduating, she worked for a major airline for a few years before meeting her husband and moving to Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, Amy began volunteering to tutor homeless students. She decided she wanted to start teaching and obtained her teaching credential from CalState LA. After teaching in Los Angeles, Amy and her family moved to Portland where she started working with a start up public charter Montessori school. There she worked in both upper and lower elementary classrooms. After her first year at that school she decided to take additional training and obtained her American Montessori Society elementary teaching credential. After being away from Park City for nearly ten years, she decided it was time to return to her home town of Park City and work with people she had know her whole life. Amy enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. She loves yoga and spending time outdoors.
Shannon Dixon, BS
Shannon is a small town girl who grew up in northern California. After graduating from Santa Clara University with a BS in Sociology, she worked in a variety of programs for people with disabilities. She recently moved to Utah from the eastern Sierras in California and now lives in Coalville with her husband and two stepsons. Shannon loves being outdoors and is very much enjoying all the recreation in the area. She is also responsible for maintaining the beautiful gardens around our school.
Denise Martin, BS
Denise holds a BS in Geology from the University of New Mexico. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved with her family to Clearfield, Utah. She also lived in Moab, Utah where she developed a love for the outdoors. She has three awesome children and an adventurous husband named Tim. She spends her free time rafting rivers in Idaho or hiking the magnificent canyons of Utah.
Bruce W King, BS AMS MEd
Bruce left a successful 15-year career in engineering to take the AMS Montessori teacher training and establish the elementary program in 1993. He lent his talents in science, math and scouting to the popular elementary traditions of weekly field trips, family camp outs, a fascination with science and dissecting all things mechanical. Bruce holds a Masters of Education degree from the University of Utah as well as the BS he completed at Arizona State University while courting his soul mate, Duna Strachan.
Our friend Andrew Kutt, author, composer and founder of the Oneness Family School in Maryland, keeps in touch and comes often to our local Montessori gatherings lending his wisdom and talent. Since Montessori schools around the world vary in their affiliations and backgrounds, we have come to identify “authentic” qualities that we all strive for….Continue Reading...