Meet our Teachers and Caregivers

Meet our Teachers and Caregivers

Owner and Director

Cynthia Bennett

A native of Quebec, Canada and fluent in French, Cynthia moved to the U.S. as a teenager and has dedicated over 30 years to the care and education of young children. In 1985, after completing a 2-year intensive training & internship, she received her Montessori Teaching Diploma from the Pan-American Montessori Society.

After working for a decade in various Montessori schools in the U.S. and having fallen in love with the natural beauty of the Northwest, she opened her first school, Giving Tree Montessori for Infants and Toddlers here in Bozeman in 1996.

Later she opened the Montessori Children’s House in 2011, named in honor of Maria Montessori's first school in Rome. She expanded the facility to meet the ever-growing needs of Bozeman’s young families. The new expansion includes three additional classrooms, a larger playground and a full kitchen, all designed and built with the needs of the young child in mind.

Cynthia is dedicated to providing the Montessori way of education for the youngest ages from 6-weeks to 3-years old. She’s experienced first-hand how this approach allows the innate intelligence of young children to expand and develop right along with their joy, self-confidence and self-esteem.

Through the years, Cynthia has learned to cultivate and channel the abundant energy, enormous learning potential, curiosity and wonder that these little ones naturally possess and she passes this knowledge along to her teachers.

She has always had a deep love for children and is a mother of five of her own, four boys and a girl. She loves ice skating and cross-country skiing and also enjoys scrap booking, ballroom dancing and ballet.

Maria Montessori taught that the motto of a young child is, help me to do it myself. Cynthia's goal is to provide the best possible situation for children to fulfill this vital need. She invites you to visit and discover the wonders of early childhood education through the Montessori way.

Our Infant Teachers

Catherine Purcell, Lead Infant Teacher

Catherine has been working with children since 2018. She shares with our little ones her kindness and patience every day. We appreciate how she works with each one to make sure they are learning and growing.

Lauren Crawford, Assistant Infant Teacher

Lauren is currently working on a degree in Elementary Education through MSU. Her love of children is evident in the classroom. She is so empathetic and the children naturally relax around her calm energy. She first started working with children back in 2015 and her experience shows.

Our Toddler Teachers

Betsy Meyer, Lead Toddler Teacher

Betsy has worked with children since 2005 and has been with us since 2016. She has great patience and an amazing gift to communicate with children individually. She studied the Montessori Method and enjoys teaching in a Montessori Environment. Betsy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She is also mother to a wonderful boy. We are grateful for her ongoing dedication and thoughtfulness.

Hannah Rients, Assistant Toddler Teacher

Hannah has worked with children in multiple roles for the past several years. She is currently working on a degree in Elementary Education from MSU. Her appreciation for children shows in how she interacts with them and how much they enjoy spending time with her.

Our Pre-Primary Teachers

Sarah Laird, Lead Pre-Primary Teacher

Sarah is working on a degree in Sociology from MSU. She has been working with children since 2019 and is really enjoying the experience. Currently, she is actively pursuing her Montessori teaching certificate. The children appreciate her energy and enthusiasm and are always excited to have her around.

Emily Trudgeon, Assistant Pre-Primary Teacher

Emily has a degree in history and education. She has been working children since 2014. The children love to share stories and show her what they are working on whenever she is around. She has a way of speaking with the children that seems to make them listen without being loud or harsh.

Our Office Staff

Bridget Hansard, Administrative Assistant and Substitute

Bridget joined our staff in 2017. Part of her time is devoted to care for our infants. She worked as a caretaker for both children and seniors. Her loving and caring personality make her well suited for working with children. In her spare time, she enjoys her many grandchildren and large extended family. She has a Master’s Degree in Arts.

Orenda Talbott, Bookkeeper and Substitute

Orenda is compassionate and loving with children and she sees working here as the perfect opportunity to spend time with children as well as working in the office. She has a BA in Music and experience working with children of all ages.

All members of our staff are required to have current First Aid, CPR/AED certification and have child care education classes every year.