Emily Yoder, Lead Teacher and Kindergarten Teacher
"What the child wants to do is to master his environment, finding therein the means for his development."
--Maria Montessori

Emily holds a Master in Education with Honors from St. Catherine University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado in Social Science with Honors in History. She received her Early Childhood credential from National Center for Montessori Education. Emily joined Gateway in 2013 to establish the Parent/Child class, then in 2014 moved into the Preschool Classroom. She currently is Kindergarten Directress. 

"I believe education begins at birth.  Children absorb their surroundings and are fascinated with exploring the world.  Their natural curiosity leads to moments of pure wonderment as they make a new discovery.  This process is amazing to witness.  We encourage theirindependence and self-confidence by offering lessons and materials to allow the child to develop an enthusiasm for learning that will last a lifetime."

Anayeli Vazquez, Lead Teacher and Spanish Teacher
"Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future." - Maria Montessori
"The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences." -Maria Montessori

Anayeli or Nelly holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors in Contemplative Psychology and Visual Arts with a minor in Art Therapy from Naropa University. She attained her MontessoriEarly Childhood Credential from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in 2011. Anayeli has been at Gateway since 2010.  She is bi-lingual and leads our Spanish program. 

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. Einstein Said, "it is the supreme art of the teacher to awake joy in creative expression and knowledge". A Montessori environment is developmentally appropriately designed and prepared to provide children with opportunities for choice, decision making, problem solving, independence, and responsibility. As a teacher supported by the Montessori principles and materials, it is my duty to aid the student with the ability , motivation and attitude to succeed. I am inspired to make this my life mission. I am a painter and photographer, and encourage my students to explore and express themselves with different mediums of art, language and music. I truly enjoy teaching and have come to see it not as a job or a career but as a passion. Making a difference in the lives of my students is very important to me.

"Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment." - Maria Montessori

Tessa Dawson, Lead Teacher
"Think left and think right and think lowand think high. Oh, the thinks you can think if only you try!" --Dr. Seuss

Tessa holds a Bachelor of Arts in French with a Minor in Geology from the University of Colorado. She came to Gateway in the Summer of 2015 with several years experience as a Tutor and Nanny. Tessa has a love of Montessori born from her own childhood Montessori experience. Tessa received her Montessori Early Childhood Credential from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in 2017. 

 "I love working and interacting with children because they remind me every day of the importance of curiosity - curiosity to visit new places, curiosity to meet new people, and curiosity to never stop learning."


Catherine Bruning, Afternoon Lead Teacher

"The child should live in an environment of beauty." -- Maria Montessori

Catherine holds a Montessori Early Childhood from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. She has worked with Gateway since the summer of 2016 and dreams of one day opening her own Montessori school.

"I believe this quote greatly demonstrates my views on children in the Montessori community for many reasons. The greatest connection I have with this quote is my belief that children can grow in any environment but in order to prosper and thrive as they should, they must be surrounded by such beauty as that of what we are expecting to grow within them. Children are creatures of beauty as are flowers in a garden, if we expect them to grow we must provide the best possible environment for them to do so. I have wanted to work with children for a long time, the inner workings of their fresh minds and the expansion thereof has always drawn me to this work. I find it fascinating how their minds problem solve and gradually establish a sense of self discipline and independence in such a short periods of time. To be able to be part of their growth and daily progress is truly an honor in my eyes."

Kate Langyher, Afternoon Assistant Teacher

After receiving her BA in Creative Writing and Literature with minors in Psychology and Peace and Conflict Studies, Kate joined our classroom as an Assistant Teacher in 2017. She believes the relationship between social and emotional development and intellectual learning should be deeply connected and encouraged together in the classroom. This creates a secure environment for a child to discover their interests and explore new possibilities. 

Kate is currently earning an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature with a concentration in Literacy Studies at Naropa University. She loves to read and write and cherishes the opportunity to share this with the children. 

Leanna Peng, Assistant Teacher
"Let us leave the life free to develop within the limits of the good, and let us observe this inner life developing. This is the whole of our mission."  --Maria Montessori 

Leanna grew up in China and earned a B.A. in Accounting from Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics. With a dream of having her own bilingual childcare center, she came to the U.S. to study Child Development and enhance her English skills. She got her certificate of Child Development from Merrit College in California and earned her Large Center Director Certification from the State of Colorado in 2018. In the past 6 years, Leanna has worked with children from age 6 weeks old to 5 years old, all coming from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. 

"I truly believe that children are like flowers in the garden, which all have their unique characteristics. Therefore, it is my goal to become an insightful gardener who sees uniqueness and potential in them and fully unfold their true beauty.