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Faculty

Sarah Hattemer – Primary Directress

Education:

  • B. A. in Women’s Studies/History from College of Mt. St. Joseph
  • American Montessori Society teaching credential from Xavier University

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Montessori Directress at NKMA since 2011
  • Four years of teaching a 3 – 6 year old class at St. Ursula Villa in Cincinnati, OH
  • Instructional Assistant at Sands Montessori in Cincinnati, OH

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…that we don’t ask the child to fit into the curriculum instead we adjust the curriculum to follow the child.

Brett Sweeney  Primary Directress


Education:

  • B.S. in Montessori Education from Xavier University
  • American Montessori Society teaching credential from Xavier University

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Student Teaching experience at Xavier University Montessori Lab School and Sands Montessori
  • Fluent in Spanish
  • Education Intern at the Cincinnati Nature Center
  • Certified to teach Yoga by the Yoga Alliance

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…the way it fosters discovery, creativity and independence within a community–children are provided with a beautiful environment that allows them to dive into learning headfirst with minimal pressure and direct instruction.  Thus, learning becomes exciting, and the independent child develops his or her passion for learning naturally.  Scientific studies have shown that children all learn differently, and the Montessori method celebrates each child’s individuality by providing him or her with unique opportunities to learn and grow within the classroom community.  Although each child is on his or her own individual path, they honor each other by working together to create a peaceful classroom community: this practice at such a young age establishes the foundation for making the world a more peaceful, beautiful place.

Mollie Dwyer Primary Directress

Education:

  • B.A. in English from Xavier University
  • M. Ed. in Montessori Education from Xavier University
  • American Montessori Society teaching credential from Xavier University

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Five years of teaching  3 – 6 year olds at NKMA!

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…being able to follow each child and create work that is both interesting and inviting for my students.

Amanda Weise – Primary Directress

Education:

  • B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton
  • American Montessori Society teaching credential from Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Primary Directress at NKMA since 2012
  • Intern and Co-Directress at Chai Tots Early Childhood Center
  • Teaching Assistant at Imagine Tomorrow Development Center

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…the focus on respecting and honoring the child. When I began to study the method more closely I was so impressed by the amount of observation that Maria Montessori utilized to create this theory.  Through watching children we can understand their needs and their talents. Maria Montessori gave us many wonderful tools to understand children and aide them in their development.

Greta Weber – Primary Directress

Education:

  • Bachelor’s of Science in Family Relations Child Development
  • American Montessori Society teaching credential from the Columbus Montessori Center

Work Experience and Accomplishment:

  • Taught 3-6 year olds since 2003 at NKMA!
  • Eight years of teaching 3 -6 year olds at Villa Madonna Montessori
  • Ten years of teaching 3 – 6 year olds at Maple Knoll Montessori
  • Orton-Gillingham certified

What I like most about the Montessori Method is….is the freedom the children have to choose and explore areas of interest in order to learn new information. This concept follows them their entire life.

Soo Yoon – Primary Directress

Education:

  • M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Xavier University
  • American Montessori Society teaching credential from Xavier University

Work Experience and Accomplishment:

  • Seven years of teaching 3 – 6 year olds in Montessori environments at Villa Madonna Montessori in Northern Kentucky, KY
  • One year of teaching 3 -6 year olds in Montessori environments at Park View Montessori in Chicago, IL
  • Two years working as a librarian in Chung-Ang University Hospital in Seoul, Korea
  • Recipient of Raymond McCoy Award from Xavier University in recognition of outstanding in academic achievement, character, and teaching potential

What I like most about the Montessori Method is… the idea of “guiding” as opposed to teaching and treating children with respect. They’re guided in their learning, and not forced to learn certain things all at the same time. To me, it seems to be a much more natural method of learning.

Ana Noll – Lower Elementary Directress

Education:

  • B.S. in Social Work from Xavier
  • M. Ed. in Montessori Education from Xavier University
  • American Montessori Society teaching credential from Xavier University

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Lower elementary directress at NKMA since 2011!
  • Three years at Prince of Peace Montessori School
  • AmeriCorps volunteer – literacy support and conflict resolution facilitator

What I like most about the Montessori Method is… that it supports the development of true discipline in the child by allowing the experience of choice within reasonable boundaries.  Children are respected as individuals, and are able to work towards their personal potential. I love that children are excited and happy to come to school, and I love that what I am teaching them meets and exceeds educational standards.  I love that current brain research and developmental theory supports what we are doing in our Montessori classroom.

Adam Diamond – Upper Elementary Director

Education:
  • B.A. from Brandeis University in English and American Literature
  • M.Ed. from Xavier University in Montessori Education in Elementary I and II with AMS certification
Experience:
  • Six years experience of teaching Upper Elementary Montessori students in North Carolina

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…it makes sense.  Put simply, if the goal of childhood education is to help a child to grow and develop into her/his best self, then it only makes sense for the child to be at the center of the process, for the curriculum and environment and preparation to be centered around what she/he needs. Montessori is child-centered, encouraging creativity, passion for learning, independence, collaboration.  The philosophy is bent upon ensuring that the whole child – academic, emotional, spiritual, social – is nurtured.

Lori Sendelbach – Academic Support Specialist

Education:

  • M. Ed. in the Teaching of Foreign Languages from New York University
  • AMS teaching credential from the Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Orton-Gillingham training
  • Worked five years as a private tutor for children with a variety of learning differences

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…how the child is honored as a precious being.  Emotional, academic, social, and spiritual development are facilitated inherently in the montessori classroom.  The multi-age groupings  allow children to learn and support one another fostering confidence and a strong sense of community.  Freedom of choice combined with the work of a Montessori Directress makes for an elegant system of education that works for the child, society, and eventually towards the improvement of human civilization.

Lissa Ray – Specials Directress (Music Specialist)

Education: 

  • B.S. in Music Education from Western Michigan University
  • M.S. in Elementary Education from Indiana University
  • Three Levels of Orff Schulwerk Certification
  • Education through Movement Certification
  • Permanent Ohio Teaching Certificate, Elementary Education, and Music Education

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Has taught music for over 30 years
  • Taught Kindergarten through Fourth Grade Music at Sycamore Community School District
  • Teaches pre-school music at Northminster Children’s Co-op
  • Children’s Music Director & Handbell Director at Northminster Presbyterian Church

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…that the children are engaged with learning in a peaceful, positive, meaningful way. I love the happiness and independence the children exhibit every day. I love the support, kindness, and caring the children show to each other.

Michele Tensing – Aftercare Directress

Education:

  • Attended Sands Montessori and Clark Montessori in Cincinnati Public Schools
  • Working towards a degree in Social Work from Northern Kentucky University

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Worked at NKMA since 2012
  • Experience working with children in a variety of settings

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…is the adaptation of materials to fit the child and the freedom of movement within the classroom.

Melissa Davison – Lunch Service Coordinator & Aftercare Directress

Education:

  • Master’s of Arts in Teaching  from Northern Kentucky University
  • Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Miami University

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Five years of experience teaching reading and language arts to children in grades 7th – 12th
  • Special Events Ministry Coordinator at The Vineyard Church

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…that it fosters individualism, builds self-esteem, and teaches resilience & respect for others.  I also appreciate that children can take ownership of their work by teaching others.

Lena Maerz – Lunch Service Coordinator & Aftercare Directress

Education:

  • Holds a German Equivalent to a four year degree in the United States

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Kindergarten Teacher in Germany for 16 years

What I like most about the Montessori Method is… it respects the unique individuality of each child by believing in the worthiness, value, and importance of children.

Heather Tomes – Lunch Service Coordinator & Aftercare Directress

Education:

  • B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Northern Kentucky University

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Variety of clinical experiences at both public and private schools during her college education
  • Returning to work full time at NKMA after filling a long term substitute position

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…how the approach guides children to feel in control in any given situation, and works to build children up to be well-rounded, respectful citizens in the community through the discovery of their own creativity and abilities, naturally in their own timing. It is very inspiring to see children from 3 years old up through the elementary program displaying strong independence, confidence, and showing a true love for learning anything and everything. It rekindles a fire within myself every day I work with children.

Student Teachers

NKMA works with two Montessori Teacher Training Programs in the Greater Cincinnati area. Most semesters we have a student teacher assigned to our school from the either of these programs. Mentoring and supervising fledgling teachers is a passion of the NKMA staff. We believe in the Montessori philosophy and are committed to doing our part in continuing the honored tradition of Dr. Maria Montessori.

“We must help the child act, think and will for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practiced to perfection only when working with children.” –Maria