Jennifer is a veteran Montessori educator with 25 years of teaching and administrative experience. Not only does she possess a BS in Public Safety Administration, she holds Montessori certifications that span from Infant/Toddler through Elementary. Her teaching experiences include ages from infancy through middle school. She has served as a teacher trainer, intern supervisor, educational director, executive director, and AMS/SACS-AdvancEd accreditation team member.
Rachel left the public school system with the hope of finding something better, and she believes that Montessori is the answer. “I remember my first day in the classroom as Marcia’s assistant, and I was truly amazed by the children’s capabilities and personalities. My students were bright, intelligent, respectful, caring, and humorous! I knew this is where I belonged and felt as though I could make a difference.” Rachel believes that Montessori education is a priceless gift and places strong value on her Montessori classroom experience.
Marcia’s career has always been in education. She became interested in becoming a Montessori teacher through observing and volunteering at her daughters’ Early Childhood classroom in Winchester, Kentucky. “Like many of the families I currently tour at MSL, I was amazed by the order and peacefulness of the children as they went about their work with such dignity, concentration, and attention to detail. Still today, when I observe in a Montessori classroom, it is reaffirming and emotionally moving experience for me. Bringing our touring families into the classroom to observe the children at work is one of the most exciting parts of my job.”
Trista and her family moved back to their native Kentucky in 2016. She earned a Masters of Fine Art in Graphic Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition to her position at MSL, Trista runs her own design business, which brings a wide variety of skills in and of itself. As a parent of four MSL students and a long time Montessori advocate, it is her goal to represent MSL as the wonderful school she as a parent chose to entrust with her children.
Pam is a Kentucky native and has lived here most of her life. She attended the University of Kentucky and began her teaching career in as a public school teacher in Lexington. She has a variety of professional experience having taught in both traditional and Montessori classrooms. As a Lower Elementary teacher, Pam loves the calm and peaceful nature of a Montessori classroom. “I love seeing children making choices for themselves, having the freedom to develop at their own pace and developing responsibility. I love that although the Montessori method originated over 100 years ago, modern brain research validates it.
Emily and her family moved from California back to Louisville in 2013. Most of Emily’s free time is spent with her two children and husband, being outdoors, traveling, and just being together. She has been a Montessori teacher since 2004. Emily was drawn to Montessori education because of the element of peace and character education. “When I first observed the 3-6 year olds resolving conflicts peacefully and showing grace and courtesy to one another and the adults, I was excited to learn more. I hope to instill in the children I teach that they can make the world a better, more peaceful place."
Suzanne fell in love with teaching while an ESL teacher in Thailand. She learned a lot about education, worldviews and other cultures from her Thai co-teachers, the students and travelling to the surrounding countries. She eventually felt the pull to move back to the states and found Montessori education. The philosophies and inclusiveness of Montessori she has since learned has proven to her she made the right decision.
Eliza graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. She worked as an environmental scientist before an opportunity arose in a Montessori elementary school in Georgetown. Eliza found Montessori education to be a culmination of so many of the things she loves to learn and to teach and it is offered in a way that inspires and guides young minds to meet their greatest potential.
J.J. is a 34-year-old resident of Shelbyville, KY. Married to Samantha for six years, they have a 7 year-old son named Ari and 2 year-old Cyrus. J.J.’s introduction to the Montessori way of schooling was when his son enrolled. He fell in LOVE with the Montessori School of Louisville due to the unique experiences it provides for both students and teachers. Currently pursuing his teaching degree with a focus on High School History, J.J. looks forward to helping the students and staff in any way he can with the hopes of igniting in each of them the same passion and love that he and his family have for MSL.
Lisa graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Spanish. As a mother of 2, Lisa was first introduced to Montessori education while researching preschools for her son. “The minute I walked into the Montessori school, I was amazed! I wanted to touch and explore. All I could think was, why isn''t everyone doing this?" Lisa feels that Montessori has made her a better mother and a better person. She wants to continue to learn and to share the Montessori philosophy.
Shabnam believes that the first step to creating a better world is building a solid foundation in early childhood. She finds the Montessori approach to education one that enables children to become well-rounded individuals who contribute to the world around them. “I greatly enjoy accompanying children in this process and watching them grow and develop along the way.” Shabnam came to Montessori School of Louisville four years ago, first as a music and piano teacher and has been the lead teacher in Dogwood ever since.
After graduating with a Master’s in Music Performance from Temple University, Darcey worked as an orchestral percussionist in orchestras such as the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Sarasota Opera, and the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra to name a few. Darcey herself is a former Montessori graduate marvels at neuroscience’s support of Montessori’s observations from over a century ago and has found peace and motivation in her career as a teacher in this philosophy, believing it benefits the lives of many.
Michelle and family moved to Louisville from Savannah Georgia in 2011. She has two children; one is in college and one a student here at MSL. Michelle enjoys reading, traveling to new places, and especially loves the beach.
Omar and his wife, Erika, have two sons, Octane and Ozil. Octane is currently enrolled in the Magnolia upper elementary classroom and Ozil is enrolled in the Tulip Poplar lower elementary classroom. As a family, the Hinojosas enjoy hiking, fly fishing, skiing, and spending as much time exploring the outdoors as possible. Omar is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and currently works as a consultant at Taylor Advisors. He joined the MSL Board of Directors because he believes in the purpose of a Montessori education and supports the quality and vision of the Montessori School of Louisville program.
Todd Kiziminski is the Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Atria Senior Living, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for producing measured human capital results across all department business units, as well as, talent acquisition strategies across Atria’s portfolio in alignment with the overall Human Resources strategy.
Heather Cunningham currently serves as the Senior Director of Admissions for all Sullivan University. She has a MBA from Sullivan University and is a member of the Junior League of Louisville and the KACC. She has presented at several national conferences on employee engagement and the marketing and recruitment strategies. Heather has a passion for education and has become very interested in Montessori programs and the value that MSL brings to the Louisville community. Heather resides in Jeffersonville, Indiana with her husband Brad and their dog Lola.
Sue and her husband, Greg, are strong supporters of the Montessori method and helped found the Montessori School of Louisville to provide a Montessori elementary education for their two children. Sue received her MBA from Case Western Reserve University and is currently employed at Brown-Forman as the integration and finance leader. Sue has served as a past Board president and now chairs the Development committee. Additionally, Sue is the Vice President of the Boys and Girls Haven Board of Directors and a member of the 2019 Leadership Louisville Bingham Fellow class.
Bob and his wife Lori have eight children, ranging in age from 6 to 21. Bob and Lori believe that Montessori education has created in their children a love of learning and the ability to approach learning with confidence and independence. Bob is a product of Montessori Education, having attended Mercy Montessori in Cincinnati through grade 3. As a graduate of Xavier University, Bob has been a Neuroradiologist at Baptist Health Care in Louisville for over 20 years.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Rebecca served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon in the early ‘90s. She lived in New York City for nearly twenty years, before moving back to Louisville to teach at Atherton High School. Although a teacher in a traditional school, Rebecca joined the board in 2012 after her daughter’s first year in the Toddler Program at MSL. Of her decision to become an MSL board member, Rebecca says, “During my daughter’s first year, I have been so impressed by the passion of this school community, and MSL brings a unique perspective to Louisville.
William “Bill” Brown is a senior level healthcare executive with an MBA from Iona College. He has held CEO positions at 9 hospitals in Kentucky, Chicago, New York City and the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Bill has a commitment to youth development, family and children’s services, healthcare, arts and economic development with extensive Board Leadership experience to include Home of the Innocents, Kentucky Art and Crafts Foundation, and The Louisville Ballet, to name a few. He considers Louisville his home. Bill and his wife and business partner, Mickey, work as a team at MB Brown Strategy Group and are both active community volunteers.
After working for a large public accounting firm and a commodity trading advisor, Lori was looking for a small organization where she could be involved in many aspects of the business. She joined Montessori School of Louisville at the founding in 2006 as a volunteer and later as a board member and parent. She has now returned to the board after spending over 10 years as the Director of Finance. Her favorite part of working at MSL was having many students smile and greet her with, "Hi, Ms. Lori!" in the halls each day.