"No man exists who
was not made by the
child who once he
was." - Dr. Maria
Meet our Staff
Black Mountain Science Academy is a privately owned Montessori preschool  and
Elementary providing a unique environment for stimulation of the sciences.  The
Science Academy program builds on the standard conventions of the Montessori
Method by coupling them with the fascinating world of science.

Barbara Sue Bolin - Chief Executive Officer/Elementary/Preschool Teacher

Barbara has her Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Center
in the Preschool/kindergarten and Lower Elementary Montessori Teacher Training
Program.  Barbara also has a BA degree in Bacteriology from Miami University. With
this degree and over 50 years of laboratory and management experience in the
fields of bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasitology, immunology and research
and development she brings an excitement and enthusiasm for science that she
wants to impart on the minds of the young preschooler.  She is excited about making
science fun for the children.  

During the course of her scientific career Barbara was instrumental in pioneering
development of the world’s first diagnostic test procedure for screening the world’s
blood supply for the Hepatitis B virus.  

At the local level, she was the first researcher to isolate the rare and deadly amoeba,
Naegleria fowleri from Arizona water supplies.  In response to the anthrax
bioterrorism attack in 2001, Barbara lead the development of one of the countries
few private testing labs capable of offering a complete line of laboratory services for
bioterrorism. In addition to these professional accomplishments, she has had a
lifelong love of children and the Montessori method of education.  She has been a
Montessori advocate for many years.

Rebecca Grim - Director/Toddler Lead Teacher

Rebecca comes to the school with fourteen years of practical Montessori experience
both as an instructor and director/administrator.  Rebecca became very much
interested in the new Montessori experience during numerous discussions with the
school founder, Barbara Bolin.  She is married with three children; Benjamin, Victoria
and Zachary.  Benjamin and Victoria attended a Montessori School from pre-school
through 3rd grade.  Zachary is in 3rd grade.  After graduating from Glendale High
School in 1991, Rebecca attended Apollo College where she received her degree as
a Medical Assistant.  Public school education was not providing the educational
foundation she felt necessary for her family.  It was after working as a Medical
Assistant for 10 years that she started her Montessori career.  Mrs. Grim has formal
training in Early Childhood Development.  During her tenure as an instructor and
director for a previous Montessori School, she worked in the Preschool class as well
as operating an after school program. This is Rebecca's seventh year working as our

Heather Karsten- Elementary Teacher

Heather Karsten has been a teacher for 22 years. She has a Bachelor's degree in
Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Multicultural-Bilingual Education from
Northern Arizona University. Heather also has her AMS elementary 6-12 certification.
She taught in the public school system for several years then decided to focus her
attention on the principles of the Montessori philosophy. Heather is married and has
3 children who attended a Montessori school. Heather is currently working on her
Doctorate degree.

Amanda St. Clair- Elementary Teacher

Andrea Madrigal- Lead Preschool Teacher

Andrea graduated from Dysart High School in 2013. This is Andrea's 5th year at
BMSA. She is one of four children and enjoys helping take care of her siblings. She
also enjoys volunteering in the community as part of the Kiwanis organization. She
completed 2 yrs of classroom training under Ms. Marjorie and is now attending NAMC
to receive her certification in the 3-6 Montessori classroom.

Jaime Williams- Lead Preschool Teacher

Jaime Williams moved to Arizona in 2007. She graduated from Ottawa University in
2016 with a BS in Psychology. She received her Montessori certification in 2010.
She has a
15yr old son.. In her free time she enjoys running.

Betty Jo Gregolynskyj- Art Teacher

Betty Jo will be teaching art this year. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Art
Education (K-12) from Nazareth College of Rochester, New York. In 2001, Betty Jo
began teaching Creating Art and Art History. She currently teaches art at 3 schools
in the valley. She is also a docent at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Jamie Stokes-Lead Toddler Teacher

Rachel Ballowe-Assistant Toddler Teacher

Judy Von Gunten- Spanish Teacher

Coach Ron Von Gunten- PE Teacher
Children possess an
unusual sensitivity and
intellectual ability to absorb
and learn from their
environment that is unlike
that of the adult both in
quality and capacity.