MCMS is proud of its exceptional faculty and staff. These individuals are an essential link between the child and the educational philosophy, the learning materials and the prepared environment. The Montessori method relies on dedicated, trained guides who, through observation, continuously strive to know each child as an individual, and work well within the school community of teachers and families. Our teaching and administrative staff reflect these attributes, bringing a diverse educational background and a long term commitment to MCMS.


Toddler Community

Guide: Samantha M.

Program Assistant: Clarissa S.

Clarissa

Clarissa moved here from Michigan with her husband and they are now living in Madison to be closer to family. Clarissa graduated from Calvin University with an Interdisciplinary degree in Social Work, Sociology, and Congregational Ministry Studies. Clarissa worked previously in an After School Program for a community-based organization in Michigan and worked with toddlers during her time in Haiti as a summer intern with Haiti Foundation Against Poverty. She is excited to assist in the Toddler Classroom this year as well as lead After School Club! Clarissa is passionate about advocacy for women, youth empowerment, and self-care. She loves to travel, hike, and try new restaurants.


Children’s House

Guide: Anna M.

Anna has lived in Madison most of her life. She graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in early childhood education, and later attended the Midwest Montessori Institute in Milwaukee, where she received her AMI primary certification in 1991. She taught for several years in Janesville before returning to Madison and MCMS in 1993; she has been teaching here ever since. Anna and her husband have three children who have all graduated from MCMS. She and her family like to explore different Wisconsin parks where they enjoy hiking, biking, and camping.

Program Assistant: Kim W.

Kim grew up in Madison and received her assistant and lead teacher qualifications from MATC. In the winter of 2013, she obtained her AMI Montessori assistant certificate after completing a rigorous training course through the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. Kim has used her various talents on staff at MCMS since 1992. After working with toddlers for three years, Kim began working with the Children’s House After School program for many years. She has since found her home assisting in the Children’s House program. Kim feels very fortunate to be part of such a wonderful school community for so long and is excited to continue working and growing at MCMS. Both of her children have completed the Children’s House program here, and are now young adults. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, scrapbooking, camping and spending time with her family.

Guide: Meghan R.

Meghan grew up in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and discovered the Montessori method while subbing as an aide in a Montessori classroom after college. She moved to Madison after earning a PhD in English, with a specialization in Victorian children’s literature. Meghan then taught writing and literature for several years at Madison College. After volunteering with young children, she rediscovered her interest in early childhood education and the Montessori method. In 2017, she earned her AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Center of Minnesota and returned to Madison the next year to be closer to family. Since training, Meghan has worked in private and public Montessori schools as an aide, assistant, virtual teacher, and lead guide. She loves reading and drawing and enjoys exploring nature with her husband and daughter. Meghan and her daughter are so excited to join the MCMS community.

Program Assistant: Karen W.

Karen has lived in Madison her whole life. She graduated from UW-Stevens Point with a degree in English education and later attended UW-Superior for elementary and early childhood education degrees. Karen began working as a substitute teacher in school districts around Madison and discovered a passion for younger students. She is very excited to work in the Children’s House at MCMS. In her free time, she enjoys reading, attending theater, baking sweet treats, and playing with her twin nieces.

Guide: Tracy K.

Tracy was raised in Madison and graduated from UW-Madison with a double major in psychology and sociology. Post-graduation, she worked in Chicago as a counselor and intake/discharge specialist in inpatient psychiatric settings. After discovering Montessori through a childhood friend, Tracy felt the calling of this peaceful, respectful, joyful method of education, and decided to pursue a new career. Tracy currently holds primary certification diplomas from both AMS (Seton Montessori Institute) and AMI (Montessori Institute of Milwaukee). She was a Children’s House lead guide and fulfilled Educational Director responsibilities at a Montessori school in Illinois for eight years. In 2011, Tracy moved back to Madison along with her family. Tracy and her husband have two daughters who are alumnae of MCMS. She is thrilled to be part of the MCMS staff and is honored to be partnering with young children, together discovering the world around them. In her free time, Tracy enjoys biking and rediscovering the magic of Madison with her family.

Program Assistant: Lua Y.

Lua and her husband, Hadi, have three children at MCMS. Lua is originally from Nebraska, but has lived in Madison for the past 12 years. She has always been drawn to working with children, which inspired her to earn her bachelor’s degree in education from Prescott College in Arizona, with an emphasis in experiential methods. Lua has been working with children and youth ever since graduating, including her experiences in after school programs, as well as providing in-home child care while being at home with her youngest son. Lua loves to travel, stargaze, hike, bike, canoe and camp. She loves the outdoors and enjoys being a part of the MCMS community.


Lower Elementary

Guide: Marisol G.

Marisol has worked in the MCMS elementary program since 2009, first as an assistant in both lower and upper elementary, and now as a lower elementary guide after completing her AMI 6-12 diploma program from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in 2021. Marisol has a B.S. in educational studies from Edgewood College, and finds that her work in the classroom is a great opportunity to apply the skills she has gained through her schooling. She has chosen education as her career because she has always been grateful for her own educational experiences, and wants to give back to a school community. Marisol is fluent in Spanish and English.

Guide: Hsinpei H.

Hsinpei (shin-PAY) was born and raised in Taiwan, and speaks both English and Mandarin fluently. She moved to Wisconsin two years ago after receiving both her AMI Primary and Elementary training, followed by a master’s degree in education. She has worked in lower elementary and primary classrooms, in both public and private Montessori school settings, before joining the MCMS community. Hsinpei enjoys traveling, dancing, doing arts and crafts, hiking, and spending time with her family. Both she and her toddler son are so excited to join MCMS!

Program Assistant: Laura S.

Laura attended UW-Stout in Menomonie, receiving her bachelor’s in early childhood education. She moved on to UW-Eau Claire where she was certified in elementary education. After her daughter was born, Laura became interested in Montessori education. While working as an office manager at a Montessori school in Houston, Texas, she enrolled her daughter in the same school beginning at the age of 18 months. When her family moved to Madison, Laura sought out a Montessori school where her daughter could continue and they found themselves at MCMS. Laura has served the MCMS community for years in a variety of different roles, and joined Lower Elementary as Program Assistant in 2019.


Upper Elementary

Guide: Baylen W.

Baylen grew up attending Montessori schools in south-central Wisconsin. He received a Cello Performance degree from the University of Minnesota, but soon after expanded his interest in teaching beyond music. He received his AMI elementary certification at the Montessori Center of Minnesota and a Masters of Education from St. Catherine’s University. Baylen has taught at a variety of institutions both in the Midwest and the Washington D.C. Metro area. He loves to run, hike, and play all sorts of card, dice, and board games.

Program Assistant: Rachel M.

 

Rachel is originally from Sparta, WI but has lived on Madison’s Northside since graduating from UW-Madison with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Rachel discovered and fell in love with Montessori education when on a whim she spent an afternoon observing her sister’s classroom. She completed her AMI elementary training at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota as well as her Master’s degree through St. Catherine University. Rachel has served as an assistant and lead guide in Montessori primary and elementary environments for the past six years, at private and public schools in the Madison area. She enjoys reading and gardening, and spending time with her partner Alex, daughter Diana, and two cats.


Adolescent Program

Guide: Scott M.

Scott has been with Madison Community Montessori School since 2006. He is originally from northern Michigan where he earned degrees in business management and in forestry at Michigan Technological University. After five years of working in the greater Detroit area, Scott came to Wisconsin in 1999 to earn a master’s degree in environmental education at UW-Stevens Point. Afterward, he worked at Nature’s Classroom Institute, where he thoroughly enjoyed working with Montessori adolescents in this environmental education program. Interacting with these adolescents inspired him to pursue his own Montessori adolescent orientation, which he completed after his first year at MCMS. Scott continues to enjoy his time with adolescents as they begin finding their place in the larger world. In his free time, he enjoys running, biking, camping, hiking, and exploring the outdoors of Wisconsin with his family.

Guide: Ross C.

Ross grew up in Middleton, WI, attended UW-Stevens Point as an undergrad, and received his Master’s in Education from Edgewood College. Through positions at REAP Food Group, Dane County Humane Society, and surrounding school districts, Ross has worked with and educated hundreds of students, teaching many topics including environmental studies and STEM education. Ross joined the MCMS community as an Adolescent Guide in 2019, and has enjoyed putting all of his combined skills and talents to work in the Montessori classroom. In his free time, Ross loves gardening, hiking, and playing outside with his wife, daughter and pups.


Specialists and After School

Fitness & Wellness: Marcy D.

Marcy is originally from Georgia and has been living in the Madison/Middleton area since 2005. She graduated from Emory University with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She has done training in Montessori sports to prepare for her role as Fitness and Wellness Specialist. Marcy and her husband have 2 children enrolled at MCMS and 2 dogs. Marcy is thrilled to help young minds and bodies develop an appreciation and understanding for the love of movement. In her free time, Marcy enjoys spending time with her family hiking, cooking, and reading.

Art: Andy D.

Andy has always been drawn to creative pursuits, earning his B.A. in art education from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota before starting his career teaching art and a variety of other subjects at a K-12 private school. Andy obtained his special education license from Edgewood College in 2011 and taught special education in area public schools for several years before choosing to stay home with his two sons. Andy is excited to learn more about Montessori education and is passionate about lifelong learning. Andy is also a professional visual artist and CrossFit trainer and coach, and enjoys spending time with his family.

Literacy: Gail G.

Gail grew up in downstate Illinois and earned her B.A. in English with a minor in theater. Ever since then, Gail has moved between the worlds of education and theater. Gail taught English for two years in Estonia after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. Inspired by living and teaching abroad, Gail earned her master’s degree in education/TESOL from Temple University, teaching English to international students, immigrants, and refugees ranging from ages 8 to 80. Gail also trained at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in California, and has performed and taught theater professionally throughout North America. After becoming fascinated by Montessori and enrolling their young daughter in a local AMI toddler program, Gail jumped into the Montessori world professionally, earning her AMI elementary diploma and serving as an elementary guide in public and private Montessori schools. Gail has had a special interest in literacy for many years and is a Certified Academic Language Practitioner (CALP), with training through the Children’s Dyslexia Center.

Spanish/Children’s House Full Day: Leonora D.P.

Leonora is originally from Colombia, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in rural education and worked as a teacher for 10 years. After coming to the United States, she earned a certificate in early childhood education, and attended an AMI Montessori Children’s House summer course. She just completed her AMI Montessori elementary diploma from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. Leonora has two children, who are also at MCMS, and enjoys spending time with her family and serving her community. She is fluent in English and Spanish.

Children’s House After School: Robyn M.

Robyn

Robyn grew up outside of New York City and has a deep appreciation for different cultures and diversity. She lived in the Princeton, NJ area for nearly 12 years before discovering Middleton in 2014. Robyn holds a bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York, and was previously employed by the Middleton/Cross Plains Area School District. As the parent of two children, Robyn has extensive experience with speech & language, sensory occupational therapy techniques and different learning styles. She enjoys charities and causes that support all families; her belief system lines up strongly with the mission here at MCMS. Robyn has an 8th grader in the Adolescent program at MCMS, and another child in the MCPASD school district.

After School Club: Clarissa S.

Clarissa

Clarissa moved here from Michigan with her husband and they are now living in Madison to be closer to family. Clarissa graduated from Calvin University with an Interdisciplinary degree in Social Work, Sociology, and Congregational Ministry Studies. Clarissa worked previously in an After School Program for a community-based organization in Michigan and worked with toddlers during her time in Haiti as a summer intern with Haiti Foundation Against Poverty. She is excited to assist in the Toddler Classroom this year as well as lead After School Club! Clarissa is passionate about advocacy for women, youth empowerment, and self-care. She loves to travel, hike, and try new restaurants.


Administration

Director of Education: Kate S.

Kate has been with MCMS since 2014. Before moving to Madison, she graduated from Lake Forest College with a degree in English and her AMI elementary certification from the Montessori Institute in Milwaukee, followed by a master’s degree in education from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. Kate joined MCMS as a lower elementary guide before moving to the upper elementary classroom. Kate is passionate about AMI Montessori education and ensuring students and families of all backgrounds are welcomed and thrive in the classroom. When she’s not at MCMS, Kate enjoys exploring the Madison area, cooking, playing trivia, and spending time with her family.

Director of Finance & Operations: Chad L.

For 15 years, Chad has been at the forefront of operations management in start-ups and family businesses – developing and optimizing processes, maintaining financial growth, and ensuring that company-wide efficiency is a reality. He understands the complexities of running a business and has a passion for providing top-level customer service. Chad joined MCMS in 2018 after managing one of the largest swim facilities in the greater-Phoenix, AZ area, where he managed a staff of 75 and over 2,700 swimmers each week. He is a Wisconsin native, having grown up in the Fox Cities. A graduate of UW-Milwaukee, Chad, his wife Meghan and their three children are thrilled to return to their roots here in the Midwest.

School Support Assistant: Meghan S.

Meghan has been with MCMS since 1993, first as a Children’s House Guide and now as part of the administrative team. She attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota where she earned a B.A. in studio art. She received her AMI primary certification from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in 1991, studying with Chulanganee Fernando, who herself was trained by Maria Montessori in Sri Lanka. After teaching for several years in Minnesota, Meghan moved back to Baraboo, Wisconsin to be closer to family and was fortunate enough to discover MCMS! Meghan has a special interest in the many ways that the Montessori Method can be applied to enrich the lives of our elders with dementia, and obtained her certification in Montessori for Aging and Dementia through AMI in August of 2017.

Administrative Assistant: Amanda V.

Amanda was raised in northern Wisconsin, and earned a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Edgewood College in Madison. She continued on to study secondary education in the post-baccalaureate program, where she became interested in progressive education. Amanda received her AMI primary certification from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, and in addition to her administrative duties, also serves as Guide for the Summer Montessori Children’s House program. She enjoys writing, cooking, kayaking, and painting. Amanda and her husband live in Madison with their son, Luca, who also attends MCMS.

Interim Head of School: Erin F.

Erin came to MCMS as Interim Head in 2020, but her connections to the school stretch back to 2007 when she and her husband discovered Montessori education for their oldest child. Now parent of two MCMS graduates and one current MCMS student, her dedication to the values and mission of the school have only grown over time. Over the past decade, Erin has served as a member and past Chair of the Board of Trustees and close advisor to the Head of School on management matters. Erin has a B.A. in History and received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2005. She has worked in employment law, estate planning, health insurance, and corporate compliance positions over her career, and is passionate about organizational leadership. In addition to MCMS, she has worked with other nonprofits in areas of policy, governance, and advocacy. She loves musical theater, hiking in the mountains, trivia, and her morning cup of dark coffee.

Head of School Emeritus: Dorothy Z.

Dorothy received her bachelor’s in education in 1957 and taught fourth grade in public schools until 1960. In 1970, Dorothy was introduced to the Montessori method of education while living in the Netherlands for one year where her four children attended a Montessori school. Inspired and intrigued by what she observed during that year, Dorothy was convinced that she wanted her future teaching career to focus on the Montessori method of education. In 1977, she enrolled in the Midwest Montessori Institute in Milwaukee and received her AMI primary certificate in 1978, which launched her long career at Madison Community Montessori School. Dorothy was a primary guide until 1990 when she “retired” from the classroom and devoted her full attention to administration. Dorothy retired as Head of School in 2006, but enjoys her present role as a Board member emeritus, where she can remain in touch with the school’s excellent administration and staff as well as the wonderful children and community of parents. She is also thrilled to be a witness to her fulfilled dream of a permanent home for MCMS in a beautiful indoor and outdoor environment.