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Lisa Dieso – Toddler Directress


  • BS Montessori Education from Xavier University
  • M.Ed Education Administration from Xavier University
  • 3-6 Credential from Xavier University

Work Experience:

  • Adjunct Faculty at Xavier University
  • Faculty with GCCME
  • Multiple years of experience teaching in the 3-6 environments in NY, MD, OH, & KY
  • Administrator with Julia Brown Montessori Schools
  • Associate Director at NKMA
  • Administrative Coordinator at Virginia Montessori Teacher Education Center
  • Member of People to People Ambassador Trip to Cuba

What do I like most about the Montessori Method . . . .What’s not to like about Montessori – it’s a child-centered, individualized curriculum with multi-age classrooms that allow children to work at their own pace and enjoy learning with hands on materials.

Melissa Davison – Toddler Assistant Directress


  • GCCME Infant/Toddler Montessori Teacher program (Graduation June 2016)
  • 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.

Chelsey Irvin – Toddler Assistant


  • Santa Monica College for Early Childhood Intervention
  • Northern Kentucky University for Bachelors in Early Education

Work Experience:

  • Toddler Associate Teacher – The Center for Early Education & Giggles and Grass Stains

What I like most about the Montessori Method is . . . I love teaching the Montessori because it takes the child’s education outside of the classroom; teaching them to care for themselves, their environment and others. Montessori sees the child just not as a miniature person but as an able bodied capable person.

Sarah Hattemer – Primary Directress


  • 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
  • Chairperson of the Cincinnati Montessori Society Annual Conference

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


  • 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.

Bonnie Davis  Primary Directress


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

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Six years of teaching  3 – 6 year olds at Nativity Montessori in Maysville, KY

What I like most about the Montessori Method is…how it allows children to work at their own comfort level and progress through the curriculum at their own individual pace.

Greta Weber – Primary Directress


  • 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.

Ana Noll – Lower Elementary Directress


  • 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.

Michelle Tensing – Lower Elementary Assistant


  • Attended Montessori school from preschool-12th grade
  • Holds 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.

Adam Diamond – Upper Elementary Director

  • 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
  • A decade 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.

Lissa Ray – Specials Directress (Music Specialist)


  • 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.

Chad Turner – Specials Director (Art Specialist)


  • BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design
  • Associates degree in graphic design from Medina County Career Center

Work Experience and Accomplishments:

  • Baker Hunt Arts Center
  • Holmes High School – After School Art Teacher
  • CE teacher at Cincinnati Art Academy
  • Director of the Duveneck Arts Festival
  • Director of Design for OutReels Film Festival
  • Designed the 2012 Planned Parenthood campaign
  • Designed the 2013 Kentucky state Christmas tree
  • Publishing a children’s book completely written and illustrated himself in 2016

What do I like most about the Montessori Method . . . There is so much that I love about this school, but the one thing that sticks out the most are the students. They always have fun and love to be there and that makes for a great environment to learn in.

Lena Maerz – Lunch Service Coordinator & Aftercare Directress


  • 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.


Intern 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 Montessori