About Us

Pat Barton, Director/ Children's House Teacher


Ms. Pat has been working in Montessori classrooms since 2000 and excited to be returning to Desert Shadows. She received her American Montessori Society Early Childhood Full Credential from CMTE/NY in 2002. Since then, she has taught just about every age student, from primary to student teachers.
Ms. Pat loves learning. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a certificate in Integrated Arts from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Montessori Early Childhood Education from Ottawa University. Before becoming a Montessori teacher, Pat worked as a writer and editor. Pat’s wonderful family includes her husband and two adult children.

Aydee Tamez, Children's House Teacher


Ms Aydee was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, where she earned a bachelor degree in Law and Social Studies from “Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon." She is bilingual and bicultural; she is married and a mother of three teenagers. Ms Aydee started working with children 10 years ago in McAllen, TX, where she was a preschool co-teacher at First United Methodist Church. After that she moved to Indiana where she worked at St. Mary’s of the Knobs Catholic School first as a PK teacher then she began teaching  Spanish to children from Kindergarten through 6 Grade. She  taught at International Lavalette Montessori Institute”for 4 years as a lead teacher before she moved to Arizona. She joined our school as a lead teacher at the start of the school year of 2014.

She enjoys working with young children and seeing their proud faces when they complete a work by themselves. She believes that the Montessori Method is an amazing way to provide the child with an appropriate environment to learn at their own pace which helps them to internalize the information in a natural way. Her favorite Montessori quote is: “The child can only develop fully by means of experience in his environment. We call such experience WORK”

Katelynn Billiard, Toddler Community Teacher


Ms Katelynn completed her AMS toddler training in 2018. She has been a part of our staff for 4 years. 

About Us

Deana Mishler, Office Manager, Children's House Assistant


Ms Deana is an assistant teacher in the Children's House class, she is also our Office Manager.  She is married and a mother to 4 teenagers. Before coming to Desert Shadows Montessori Ms Deana was a stay-at-home mom, and had the opportunity to  volunteer, and work closely with her children and their classmates at their school. Ms Deana has a passion and desire to work with children and is looking forward to a fun and educational second year at DSM.
"I enjoy coming to school everyday and seeing the children's smiles. They are my motivation!"

Laniec Lavelle, Assistant


Laneic "Neicy" Lavalle has been working in the child care field for over 6 years now. It’s her passion and belief that a child’s early years are crucial and preschool should be filled with educators to foster and encourage growth and development. She feels it is so rewarding to see children learn and enjoys it! Along with teaching she obtained her Bachelors from Grand Canyon University and served in the Military Reserves. She enjoys using her free time doing competitive ballroom dancing, writing/reading and attempting to cook. She looks forward to experiencing many amazing milestone with you and your child this year!    

Shea Isley, Children's House Assistant, Barbara Wells, Toddler Community Assistant