Our School

Mapleton Montessori, founded in 1979 by sisters Dede Coogan Beardsley and Patty Coogan, offers a stimulating environment where children can develop and grow holistically – intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially – through work and play in our bright and spacious classrooms and garden setting. Our academic year and summer camps provide a year-round Montessori program with full-time and part-time flexible schedules and Montessori-trained faculty dedicated to fostering a life-long love of learning in children.


All lead faculty members are Montessori-trained by either the Association Montessori Internationale or the American Montessori Society. Core faculty are supported by two assistants per class as well.

Dede Coogan Beardsley

Dede, co-founder and director of Mapleton Montessori School, holds a B.A. in English and French from Dickinson College. She has been involved in Montessori education for over 40 years since first being introduced to the Montessori method while working as a nanny in Paris. Dede first assisted at the Bilingual Montessori School in Paris, then completed her Montessori AMI training at the Montessori Training Center of New Jersey, where she studied with Lakshmi Kripalani, one of Maria Montessori’s translators and protégées. Dede continues to be amazed by how successfully the Montessori method encourages children to be self-directed and engaged in their work.

Ashley Garber

Ashley, originally from Virginia, trained at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder after obtaining a degree in psychology from the College of Charleston, South Carolina, and studying elementary education at Northern Arizona University. When Ashley isn’t working with children at Mapleton Montessori, she enjoys hiking, skiing, camping, and taking advantage of Colorado’s outdoor lifestyle.

Terri Todd

Terri, after obtaining her degree in Environmental Studies from Utah State University, attended the Washington Montessori Institute in Washington, D.C., where she studied with trainers who received their instruction under Maria Montessori.  A veteran of Mapleton Montessori for almost 30 years, Terri has also taught at other Montessori schools in both Wyoming and Colorado. Terri enjoys weaving her love of art, gardening and HeartMath into her daily classroom lessons.

Susan Leibfritz

Susan, who holds a degree in English from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, trained at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder.  In her years of teaching, she continues to be enthralled by children’s joyful buzz of work and activity in Montessori classrooms.  Susan enjoys teaching children about ethical stewardship of nature and about caring for themselves through good nutrition, exercise and laughter.