Elementary II teacher Justin Garber is a man of many talents: guitar, front lawn soccer, potato sack races, andguiding elementary students to reach their potential and beyond in ways they never imagined.

Before finding his way to Montessori education and Mountain Shadows, Justin ran restaurants in Charleston, S.C. Wanting more from life he helped his wife Ashley run a 13-week rock climbing program for a lower elementary classroom and found his calling. Montessori training and a master’s degree in education later, he has found his home at Mountain Shadows.

Describe yourself in a nutshell: An adventure-seeking student of life who always has music playing in the background.
Hometown: Winchester, Va.

How did you land in Boulder? I found an abundance of Montessori opportunities in a four-season playground.

Your guilty pleasure is: Live music

The item ALWAYS in your refrigerator: Bacon!

Your favorite book/movie as a child was: Home Alone.

People would be surprised if they knew: That I drove across the country for three months when I was 20 years old and lived out of my car.

What’s on your playlist? Widespread Panic, The Band, Grateful Dead, Neill Young,Your most unusual job held: I sold meat door to door in Winchester, which is what made realize that I needed to go to college.

Ski or snowboard? Snowboard!

What is your “Montessori Moment”? Every year when we come back from our class trip I get to see how the children hold their heads a little higher, are more mature, and experienced. On the trips I see how respectful they are. One year I had a sixth grade student who didn’t want to go on the trip and during her graduation speech said that it was the greatest part of her Montessori experience.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 2.12.54 PMYou never turn down: A dinner invitation.

If you were a Montessori material, what would you be and why? The Timeline of Life so that I would have the knowledge from the beginning of life on Earth to present day.

What do you wish more people knew about Montessori elementary education? That the children work really, really hard.

What do you like to do in your free time? I attend concerts, play musics, spend time with friends and family.

How is running an elementary classroom like running a restaurant? In both you need to managing people, except in Montessori these people listen!

What is your favorite restaurant, where, and why? Locally, Japango because you can have all you can eat quality sushi. Out of town, anywhere you can get all you can eat crab legs.

What is your favorite vacation destination? Paris for the history and beauty.

The best advise ever given to you?  My grandmother tells me to this day, “Never trade the thrill of a moment for a lifetime of misery.”

There’s a snow day tomorrow- what will you do? Sleep in!

Meet Justin Garber, E2 Teacher