Beth is the founder and Executive Director of MacDonald Montessori. She started in March 1986. "The Infant and Toddler centers and Preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy have been a constant source of inspiration to me and the life of Macdonald Montessori School. The educator 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.”
Beth MacDonald, Executive Director
Kari joined MacDonald Montessori School in February of 2019. She has been in the field of education and family support services since 1992. Kari has a Montessori certification for preschoolers, a Bachelor’s of Science in early childhood education and a graduate certificate in infant studies. She has previous experience working with all age groups in early childhood education as a teacher in multiple different educational organizations.
Kari Austin, Pedagogical Coordinator
Paige joined MacDonald Montessori School in May of 2013. She has worked as a classroom teacher with infants and toddlers. In 2021, Paige became the director of MMS. She oversees payroll, billing, employee benefits and overall organization of our school.
Paige MacDonald, Director
Lori joined MacDonald Montessori School in September of 2007. After working as a classroom teacher in the toddler and preschool programs and on the collaboration team at MMS, Lori joined the administration team as program coordinator. In 2021, Lori became pedagogical director working to support educators in developing classroom environments and materials, in project work, in documenting the learning, and in promoting partnerships with families. She has previous experience working with all ages of children in various childcare settings, and has studied child psychology at the University of Minnesota.
Lori ScottRussell, Pedagogical Director
Liz joined MacDonald Montessori School in September of 1999. After working as a classroom teacher with infants, toddlers and preschool aged children. Liz became school coordinator in 2009. She works directly with parents, oversees enrollment, licensing, staffing and overall organization of our school.
Liz Watzl, School Coordinator
Karen joined MacDonald Montessori School in 2007. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in ceramics. She has worked as a classroom teacher in the toddler and preschool programs, as well as on the collaboration Team at MMS. In 2016, she became the expressive languages coordinator working to strengthen the use of expressive materials used by children and adults and supporting the teachers in all nine classrooms. Karen has previous experience working with children as an Early Childhood teacher at the YMCA.
Karen Potyondy, Studio Coordinator
Lyn joined MacDonald Montessori School in August of 2019. Lyn has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with a minor in business from Purdue University and a Masters of Management degree with a concentration in sustainable business from Aquinas College in Michigan. Lyn has previous experience working with children of all ages as a paraprofessional, a teacher, and as a home-based facilitator for Head Start.
Lyn Wolf, Infants
Brianna joined MacDonald Montessori School in October of 2018. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal music education (K-12) from Minnesota State University-Mankato, Brianna has previous experience working with children infant - preschool as an early childhood music enrichment specialist. Brianna also holds a Montessori training certificate from the North American Montessori Training Center.
Brianna Kurkowski, Toddlers
Elena joined MacDonald Montessori School in July of 2022. After working for several years as a cosmetologist and becoming a mother, she decided she would enjoy the rewards of teaching and working with children. Elena is especially interested in learning about child development and about the Reggio and Montessori pedagogical approaches.
Elena Ecklund, Toddlers
Nicole joined MacDonald Montessori School in June of 2016. Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts degree in child psychology from the University of Minnesota in addition to her Montessori Training Certificate from North American Montessori Center. Nicole has previous experience as a teacher working with children of all ages.
Nicole Bredenberg, Toddlers
Bailey joined MacDonald Montessori School in November of 2018. Prior to joining our community, Bailey worked as an assistant at a school age care program, as a Literacy tutor, and as an assistant testing coordinator at North Branch Area Public Schools. Bailey has a Bachelor of Science degree in English, with a literature emphasis and a professional writing minor from University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Bailey also holds a Montessori training certificate from the North American Montessori Training Center.
Bailey Milligan, Preschool
Aasha Sheek, Infants
Sheely joined MacDonald Montessori School in June of 2022. She attended Metro State University and is working towards becoming a licensed teacher. Sheely has previous experience woking with middle school aged children. She also has experience working working with children as a babysitter.
Sheely Vang, Toddlers
Ben joined Macdonald Montessori School in September of 2021. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in marketing and an Associate’s degree in business management. Ben has experience working with children through coaching youth basketball and as a 2nd grade student teacher.
Ben Lister, Collaboration Team
Abby Lutz, Support
Anna joined MacDonald Montessori School in June of 2013. She has worked with all the age groups of children at MMS as a member of the collaboration team and as a classroom teacher. Anna graduated from Cornell College with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 2006 and has previously taught music in public and charter schools in Chicago and Minneapolis. Anna also holds a Masters of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education.
Anna Wieser, Preschool
Olive joined MacDonald Montessori School in December of 2021. After attending a performing arts high school, Olive received her liberal arts degree from Minneapolis Community Technical College and worked as Southwest Super Summer program teaching a variety of classes and ages. Olive is working towards becoming a life coach.
Olive Pomare, Preschool
Brenan joined MacDonald Montessori School in May of 2021. She has a bachelor’s degree in theology and intercultural studies from Bethany Global University and has previous experience working with children as both a nanny and as an assistant teacher at a previous Montessori School.
Brenan Dobbs, Toddlers
Robyn joined MacDonald Montessori in August of 1999.She has experience working with infants through preschool age children. Robyn has a Bachelors of Arts in child development and early childhood Studies.
Robyn Spicer, Infants
Lizzie joined MacDonald Montessori School in October of 2022. Lizzie has previous experience working in a childcare setting with infants through preschool and working as a nanny.
Lizzie Wahl, Preschool
Julia joined MacDonald Montessori School in June of 2018 as a support teacher in the summers working with all the age groups. She also has experience working with preschool and school aged children as an intern at the Minnesota Children’s Theater.
Julia ScottRussell, Preschool
Lindsey joined MacDonald Montessori School in October of 2021. Lindsey’s has a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre arts from Simpson College and a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Minnesota State University - Mankato. A local actor, theater artist, and teaching artist Lindsay toured with the Missoula’s Children’s Theater as well as several years nannying and babysitting.
Lindsey Oetken, Infants
Marissa joined MacDonald Montessori School in March of 2022. She has 15 plus years of experience babysitting along with working in different child care centers and being the mother of a four year old. Marisa is currently looking to go to school to become an ultrasound technician.
Marissa Walther, Toddlers
Ashton joined MacDonald Montessori School in January 2023. She has an Associates degree in communication studies from Normandale Community College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in communication studies with a minor in Advocacy. Ashton has experience working with children as an after school youth instructor. She is also the founder of a non-profit community program that empowers BIPOC youth in the Twin Cities through varying art practices and through opportunities to engage in open conversation. Ashton has studied music and dance since age 5 and is a multidisciplinary artist.
Ashton Valentines, Collaboration Team
Veronica joined MacDonald Montessori School in July of 2021. Veronica has an Associate’s Degree in early childhood development from Minneapolis Community Technical College. She has previous experience working with children as an aide and as an assistant teacher at a previous child care center. She also has a background working for CA State Parks in a variety of roles.
Veronica Howell, Preschool
Nou Chee joined MacDonald Montessori School in September of 2021. She received her degree in education and professional studies from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Nou Chee worked for two years in special education at an elementary school. During her time there she helped students aged 3-10 years.
Nou Chee Her, Infants
Aleena joined Macdonald Montessori School in May of 2017. Aleena has a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from the University of Minnesota. Prior to working at MMS , Aleena worked with children from infant through preschool age in various settings including nature preschool programs, after school programs, and nannying.
Aleena Choudhry, Infants
Tara joined MacDonald Montessori School in January of 2015. She is a graduate of the College of Visual Arts with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in the teaching artists program with an emphasis on illustration. Tara has worked with Preschoolers and Toddlers and as a studio teacher supporting the expressive languages.
Tara Jones, Preschool
Brittany joined MacDonald Montessori School in March of 2015. Brittany has a Bachelor of Science in art education from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She also holds a Montessori training certificate from the North American Montessori Training Center and has experience working with children ages 3-12 as a preschool and kindergarten teacher and a private art lesson instructor.
Brittany Hauser, Collaboration Team
Leah joined the MacDonald Montessori School in June of 2009. With a background 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.
Leah Golden, Support
Medha joined MacDonald Montessori School in March 2023. They have experience working with children and adults as a caregiver in residential programs and day program. Medha has also worked on community farms and is passionate about fostering curiosity and a love of the outdoors in both children and adults. They grew up between the U.S. and India attending Montessori and alternative school themselves.
Medha Faust-Nagar, Toddlers
Olivia joined MacDonald Montessori School in November of 2021. After graduating from high school, she nannied for three years and did temp nannying before starting at MMS. Olivia is working on becoming an elementary school teacher and has experience working with children aged 0-12 years.
Olivia Hafner, Toddlers
Mary Ouk, Infants
Mayra joined MacDonald Montessori School in January 2023. After graduating from high school, she has been pursuing her goal of working with children. Mayra is working towards getting her CDA(Child Development Associate). She has been working in child care since 2022, primarily with infants. Mayra also has previous experience working with children as a volunteer Sunday school teacher and as a volunteer at the children’s museum.
Mayra Guarneros, Infants
Renee joined MacDonald Montessori School in December of 2022. She has experience working in children care centers with infants and toddlers and being a mother. Renee is currently going to school to become an esthetician.
Renee Alisigwe, Support
Brittany Lawrence, Preschool
Ula Tonko, Support
Alli joined MacDonald Montessori School in February of 2023. Alli has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and media/women’s & gender studies from DePaul University and is interested in pressuring a Masters degree in education in the future. Alli has previous experience working with children as a substitute teacher in Chicago Public Schools (Pre-K-High School).
Alli Pace, Preschool
Josah Taylor, Infants
Keni'ya Travis, Support
Mai Almansoury, Infants
Jilli Schotters, Support