BETH MACDONALD

executive director

Beth is the founder and Executive Director of MacDonald Montessori. She started in March 1986. "The Infant Toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy have been a constant source of inspiration to me during most of the 25 year life of MacDonald Montessori School. The educators from Reggio Emilia, in particular Amelia Gambetti and the other educators in our country inspired by this approach have supported us in our journey to envision a deeper, richer, more powerful image of children, parents and teachers. The collaboration of all three of these protagonists-children, parents and teachers have created a school that welcomes, encourages and sustains love, learning and creativity. I am grateful for the 25 years and for the every day experiences of this school."

KARI AUSTIN

preschool

Kari started working at MacDonald Montessori School in March of 2019. Her family has recently relocated to the Twin Cities. She is excited to become a part of the MacDonald Montessori family.  Kari has been in the field of education and family support services since 1992. Over the years, she received a Montessori certification for preschoolers, a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and a graduate certificate in Infant Studies. Kari enjoys being a life-long learner as well as reading novels, kayaking and hiking.

ALEENA CHROUDRY

infants

Aleena graduated from The University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.  She started her journey at MacDonald Montessori in May 2017. Prior to MacDonald Montessori, she worked at the University of Minnesota Child Development Center. Aleena has worked with young children in various settings including nature preschool programs, after school programs, and nannying. She has experience working with children from infancy through preschool. Outside of work, she enjoys running, yoga, spending time with her family, and being outdoors.

LEAH GOLDEN

support

Leah started her journey at MacDonald Montessori in June of 2009. Leah's background is in Child Development from St. Paul College. She has experience working with children from infancy through school age and has worked in all of the age groups at MacDonald Montessori School. Outside of work, Leah enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. 

ROLLIE IMOTO

school age

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MIKAYLA KENDALL

support

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BRIANNA KURKOWSKI

preschool

Brianna started working at MacDonald Montessori School in October of 2018. She has a background in music, including a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Music Education (K-12) and numerous years of music teaching experiences as an early childhood music enrichment specialist. Brianna lives in Roseville, MN with her husband, dog, two cats and too many aquariums. 

ANNA MARTIN

toddlers

Anna Martin Joined MacDonald Montessori School in February 2020. Anna has a BA in Psychology from Bethel University. Anna’s previous experience working with children comes from leading a summer program for children in grades k-8, as a homework tutor, and as a big sister to younger siblings! Anna enjoys watercolor painting and engaging in all aspects of psychological research. 

BAILEY MILLIGAN

preschool

Bailey joined MacDonald Montessori School in November of 2018. Prior to joining our community, Bailey work as an Assistant at a school age care program, as a Literacy tutor, and as an Assistant Testing Coordinator. Bailey has a Bachelor of Science in English, with a Literature Emphasis and a Professional Writing Minor from University of Wisconsin, River Falls. 

JONI REYNOLDS

program coordinator

Joni joined MacDonald Montessori in June of 1999 after receiving a bachelors degree in Mass Communications, with an emphasis in Advertising and a minor in Graphic Design. She began working in an infant classroom and later worked with toddlers and preschoolers. After 10 years working directly with children, Joni joined the Administrative team and is currently a Program Coordinator, supporting the entire school and classroom teams in project work, developing classroom environment and materials, documentation, and promoting partnership with families.  Joni lives in Eden Prairie with her husband and two daughters. 

CAITLYN RUEN

preschool

Caitlyn has been working at MacDonald Montessori School since 2015. Caitlyn has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Macalester College and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Teaching at the University of St. Catherine’s. Caitlyn also holds a Montessori Teaching Certificate from The North American Montessori Training Center. She lives in St. Paul with her husband, two children, and two cats. 

ERIN STONE

infants

Erin Stone began working at MacDonald Montessori in February 2020. Erin has a BA in Environmental Studies with a Minor in French and Francophone Studies from Earlham College in Richmond IN. Previously, Erin has worked with children as an outdoor camp instructor, leading actives such as archery, nature hikes and kayaking. She has also worked as a Conservation Education Intern where she assisted and lead school groups on themed based walks in the Conservancy, conducted visits with children in grades 3-5 regarding environmental awareness and volunteered in elementary classrooms assisting in lessons on farming and food. 

KRIS TAYLOR

infants

Kris joined MacDonald Montessori School in October of 2018. He and his family moved to Saint Paul from Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to joining the MMS Team, Kris worked for Clemson University's College of Education. He earned an MEd in counselor education and BA in history and philosophy from Clemson. Kris enjoys reading, exploring the Twin Cities with his family, and trying out the many area restaurants. 

ANNA WIESER

support

Anna graduated from Cornell College with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 2006 and taught music in public and charter schools in Chicago and Minneapolis prior to joining the MMS community in 2013 as a member of the Collaboration Team. I love singing songs, playing the ukulele, cooking and exploring the outdoors with children of all ages. 

LIZ WATZL

school coordinator

Liz has worked at MacDonald Montessori School since September 1999. Liz has worked as a classroom teacher with Infants, Toddlers and Preschool aged children. Currently, Liz is the School Coordinator, she works directly with parents. Liz oversees enrollment, licensing, staffing and overall organization of our school.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

DEDE BARR

preschool

Dede Barr began her teaching at MacDonald Montessori in March of 2016. Dede has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota. Dede has experience working with children of all ages as an instructor at several Twin Cities Art Centers. Dede believes working with children is the best way to make a difference and appreciates all their creativity, energy, and curiosity. Outside of work, Dede enjoys working on her own art and playing ultimate frisbee.

AMY CLARK

support

Amy joined MacDonald Montessori School in July of 2018. She has been teaching since 2003 including Language Arts and art to students K-8th. She has a BA in Liberal Arts from Metropolitan University and a Masters in Education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Amy is also a professional artist and shows her work at the AZ Gallery in Lowertown, Saint Paul. When not at work Amy love reading, riding bike and spending time with family and friends. 

BRITTANY HAUSER

preschool

Brittany has been teaching at MacDonald Montessori School since March of 2015.  Brittany has a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Brittany has also completed a Preschool Montessori Training program through North American Montessori Training Center. Brittany has experience working with children ages 3-12 as a preschool and Kindergarten teacher and also as a Private Art Lesson instructor.  When not at work, Brittany enjoys painting, renovating old furniture, and spending time with her family and dog.

MACKENZIE JANSEN

infants

Mackenzie started at MacDonald Montessori School in June 2019. Mackenzie has previous experience with children ages newborn through school age as a photographers assistant, a Worship and Church Leader, and as a Nanny.  When not working, Mackenzie enjoys listening to music, singing and learning to play the guitar.

SHALA KOLLER-BENSON

support

Shala joined MacDonald Montessori School in April 2020. She has some college credits in Education and aspires to continue her education to get a Child Development Associate Certificate. Shala has always loved working with children and has previously worked as a Nanny and as an Aide at a childcare center. She enjoys creating art and painting and enjoys spending time with her daughter and family.

BRADY MACDONALD

support

Brady attended MacDonald Montessori as a child and began as an employee in June of 2017. He currently is attending college and is interested in studying Law. He enjoys working with all the children at MacDonald Montessori. 

JASMINE MCBRIDE

support

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BELLE PERRA

infants

Belle joined the MMS community in June of 2016. Before coming to MacDonald Montessori School, Belle worked as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school and as a primary care giver at a childcare center.  Belle has also worked as a program coordinator for a group home serving individuals, children and adults, with disabilities. Outside of work, Belle is a Viking’s fan and enjoys spending time watching football games with friends and family. 

MARLEY RICHIE

support

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LORI SCOTTRUSSELL

program coordinator

Lori joined MacDonald Montessori School in September of 2007. Lori has worked with Infants, Toddlers and Preschool aged children. Currently, Lori is a member of the Administration Team and part of a Pedagogical Team that supports classroom educators in project work, documentation, and in promoting partnerships with families. Prior to working at MacDonald Montessori School, Lori has 22 years experiences working in early childhood education. She has studied Child Development at the University of Minnesota and lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband and children. 

AMY STRUNK

infants

Amy has been at MacDonald Montessori since 2011.  Working with children is her greatest passion!  She has worked with all ages but her favorite has always been with the infants and toddlers.  She has three amazing boys and her family really enjoys spending time in the great outdoors - biking, kayaking or jogging. Getting to know the children and their families puts a smile on her face everyday!

CAITLYN TRUHLER

toddlers

Caitlyn graduated from The University of Iowa with a Bachelors Degree in English and has been working at MacDonald Montessori since June 2017. She has experience working with children from infancy through high school as a nanny, city recreation leader, and special education basketball coach. In her spare time she enjoys reading novels, cooking, playing disc golf, and hanging out at the lake with her husband, Travis. 

LYN WOLF

infants

Lyn joined the MacDonald Montessori School community in July of 2019. She recently moved to Saint Paul from Saint Joseph, MI. She has over 20 years of experience in education from preschool to higher education. She has a BA in Communications from Purdue University and Masters in Sustainability from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI. But her real education came from raising 6 children. She enjoys reading, movies, playing games and exploring nature. 

RUTH ABEND

infants

Ruth began working at MacDonald Montessori in 2013 and has primarily worked with infants. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from the College of Visual Arts.  One of Ruth’s favorite groups to photograph is infants, and she is eager to explore all different sorts of art materials with them. Currently she reside in Saint Paul with her fiancé Forrest, and their fur-baby, Sheldon. 

NICOLE BREDENBERG

toddlers

Nicole joined MacDonald Montessori School in August 2016. Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota and is working towards getting her Montessori Training Certificate from North American Montessori Center.  Nicole has previous experience as a teacher working with children of all ages, her favorite age being toddlers. When not at work, Nicole likes to read and spend time outdoors.

EM DUNN

support

Em started working at MacDonald Montessori School in February of 2018. She has a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from the College of Saint Rose in New York. Emily has experience working with children ages 2 years through 8th grade as a nanny, a camp counselor, and as a substitute Art teacher. She is excited to bring her creative, out of the box thinking to the preschool classrooms. Em lives in Saint Paul with her husband and in her free time she loves to play games and video games. She also works as a Freelance Artist and Writer and as a Special Effects Makeup Artist.

GINA HELDBERG

toddlers

Gina joined the MMS community in October 2009 and has primarily worked with toddlers. She has a B.F.A in Photography from the Art Institute in Minneapolis and enjoys exploring all artistic medias, particularly painting and drawing. When in college Gina was employed as a nanny by a wonderful family and fell in love with teaching and caring for children. Gina enjoys spending time with her family on the weekends. 

TARA JONES

preschool

Tara lives in St. Paul. She is a graduate of the College of Visual Arts with a BFA degree in the Teaching Artists program with an emphasis on Illustration. Tara joined MacDonald Montessori in January of 2015. Tara has worked with toddlers through preschool, and as a studio teacher supporting all three preschool classrooms (River, Reflection, and Tree Top) with the children’s and teacher’s use of materials and project work.

HANNAH KUDUK

toddlers

Hannah started at MacDonald Montessori in March of 2019. Hannah has been working in childcare consistently for nine years, and has loved every moment! Growing up with an in-home daycare in her household, Hannah has been nurturing her passion for childcare from a young age, and her greatest joy is involving children in creative and expressive activities. Her childcare experience ranges from many years of nannying, to directing students in musical theatre productions, to household managing for a family in Hawaii. Hannah is currently studying holistic health, and when she is not with children, you can find her cooking, writing, traveling, and participating in the Twin Cities theatre community.

PAIGE MACDONALD

administrative assistant

Paige has worked at MacDonald Montessori School since May of 2013.  Paige has worked with Infants and Toddlers primarily.  Currently, Paige is an administrative assistant and also works with the Pedagogical Team to support the classrooms.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family as well as riding her horse and hiking with her dog and boyfriend.  She also loves Disney movies, Marvel, anime and reading books.

MALORIE MCCOLLEY

toddlers

Malorie joined the MMS community in June of 2019, and has worked with primarily toddlers in various settings since 2009.  She went to the University of St. Thomas for psychology and has always had a passion to work with children. Outside of work, Malorie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, and traveling. 

KAREN POTYONDY

expressive language coordinator

Karen joined MacDonald Montessori School in August of 2007. Karen has worked with Infants, Toddlers and Preschool aged children. Currently, Karen is the Studio Coordinator working to strengthen the use of materials used by children and adults and supporting the teachers in all nine classrooms. She is a graduate from University of River Falls with a degree in Psychology and a Minor in Art. She lives in Cottage Grove with her husband and two children.

JOJO ROACH

toddlers

Jojo Roach joined MacDonald Montessori School in December 2019. Jojo has a Bachelor of Arts in International Trade from Anhui Polytechnic University in Wuhu, Anhui, China. Jojo has previous experience with children as a Chinese Language teacher at an International School in the Twin Cities area. Outside of work Jojo enjoys cooking, writing and camping. Jojo lives in the St. Paul area with her husband and son. 

ROBYN SPICER

infants

Robyn joined the MMS community in August 1999 and has worked with infants - preschool age children. She has 18 years of experience working in the field of early childhood with an educational background in Child Development and Early Childhood Studies.  She resides in Saint Paul with her husband Scott, son Jonah and two Birman cats, Zsu Zsu and Itty.

SAM STUDWELL

support

Samantha began working at MacDonald Montessori in April of 2016. She graduated from Saint Catherine University in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in English and Art History. Sam also holds a Montessori training certificate from North American Montessori Training Center. She has worked with children of all ages for over ten years, doing everything from being a nanny to in home behavioral therapy. 

JESS VETTER

preschool

Jess joined MacDonald Montessori School in August 2019. Jess has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communications and English from the University of St. Thomas. Jess has previous experience with children ages 1-15 as an English teacher and Tutor. Also as an Assistant Teacher at a Montessori School and a Teacher at a creative engineering camp using Legos. Jess lives in Minneapolis. 

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