Tess Karlan (She/Her)

Primary 1 Lead Guide
My name is Tess Karlan and this will be the start of my 9th year in a Montessori classroom and my 3rd year as a Lead Guide in the Thunderbird classroom at Athena. What I value most about being a Montessori Guide is providing a quality one-on-one learning experience for each child and nurturing each child’s natural drive to discover and achieve.
My Montessori journey began in Austin, Texas while attending The Montessori Center during my toddler and primary years. Growing up, my mother was also a Montessori teacher. I was fortunate to live in a household with Montessori influence and values throughout my childhood.
After graduating high school, I headed west to Arizona where I attended Prescott College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Agroecology. After college, I was given the opportunity to come full circle and return to the Montessori Center working as an Assistant. I found it extremely rewarding to rejoin the Montessori community I was once a part of as a child. This influenced me to return to school and become certified in Montessori Early Childhood Education.
With plans already in place to move to Bozeman, Montana, I learned that there was a Montessori training program nestled into the mountains of this small town. It felt meant to be. Upon moving there, I quickly learned how strong the Montessori community was and it seemed like the perfect place to establish myself as a Lead Montessori Guide.
After four years in Montana, I got married and moved to Iowa to be closer to my husband’s family. I was lucky to work at an incredible Montessori school there, however, Austin was still calling my name and I was ready to be back. Athena was a school I was immediately drawn to. Upon meeting the amazing community already established, I saw a shared passion for Montessori and knew this was the place for me.