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Meet The Teachers

Tara Collins

Head of School

Tara Collins

Hello World! It’s me, Tara Collins!

Who am I?

First off I am the “Trophy Wife” (laughing out loud to myself as I type this) to Paul Collins and Mother to 4 beautiful children who are funny, caring, loving, silly … who are we kidding sometimes those kids are sassy too! Oh, I also am the owner of Royal Montessori Academy! Whew, that’s a lot of jobs! Paul and I have three daughters and then all the stars were aligned and our 4th child was a son. I love being a mother and wife. Those two jobs are something I will never take for granted and I hold near and dear to my heart. I am always conscious of my responsibilities to my family and constantly strive to be the best for them.

Together Paul and I own Overhead Solutions, Inc., a local roofing company that we started from the ground up January of 2010. We are so proud of how our hard work has paid off. Together we are a dream team…or at least in our world we are!

Now let’s talk about how Royal Montessori Academy came about!

First off in the wee stages of creating this school, the name was going to be Montessori Academy. Boring right? Then one day my youngest daughter Sofia asked me to read her a book. Of course she chose a “Sofia the First” book to read to her. All you parents of girls out there know who “Sofia the First” is. As I was reading to her in our home office the character in the book kept referring to her “Royal” school. Just a few short pages in I knew that the word “Royal” had to be involved in this business. I immediately looked online to see if the name was available and it was! From that moment forward we were nothing short of “Royal.”

I started Royal Montessori Academy (okay I am changing it to RMA for short) for a few key reasons. One of them was my daughter Stella. She was enrolled into a Preschool and every day I would drop her off she would cry so hard and was so unhappy. My heart couldn’t handle it. I was lying in bed one night talking to my husband trying to figure out what was triggering her to be so unhappy. Long story short was I had to make a change. I NEEDED to make a change for her. So I went off and explored many other Preschools and thought we would just make a move that way. After I explored within our city I didn’t find the environment I was yearning for her. I just wanted something that spoke to her. Bright, colorful, fun and most of all HAPPY! Shouldn’t the halls be filled with color and Bob Marley or the Laurie Berkner Band playing in the background? That was it, I decided. I am going to build my own school. Can I do that? Can a mother who wants more for her child just make more for her? The answer is YES she can!

I live in Suamico and knew I wanted the new school to be close to my home in the Howard area. So I met with a builder in our area who to get this ball rolling! I didn’t have anything in hand but my ideas. Scared out of my mind that they would think I am some looney mother. I will never forget this morning. I was sick as a dog the 24 hours prior but I got my hinder out of bed put myself together and went in there feeling only 50% and gave it my all. I told them all about how I wanted to make a change, my ideas, my visions and then asked for them to help me do it! Now looking back I am 100% sure they thought I was a looney mother but none the less they helped me move forward by getting some building budgets together. Just some rough numbers were thrown around to build a brand new facility in the area I wanted and I don’t know if it was the sickness or the shock but I nearly fell off my rocker. I just knew I couldn’t afford to build a new school. I was feeling like it was the end of the road for me. I felt like the idea that is so great in my head wouldn’t ever be a reality. Cue the perfect comeback movie music here… they said hang on just one second let me make a call. With that one phone call he said to me, “I know of a vacant building for you to look at.” I couldn’t believe it. I looked at the building and that was it. I knew this was the home for RMA. Just a little facelift and the building would be perfect. Okay so I have an idea, vision and building. Now all I needed was money and an amazing staff. That sounds easy…right?

Business plans. Business plans. I needed to write a business plan before I ask a bank for money? Oh, crap. I had never done that before but that sure wasn’t going to stop me. Try not to judge too harshly about my upcoming parent neglect but I had worked that Friday morning until Sunday at midnight every waking moment on this business plan. I wanted it to be perfect. It had to be perfect. Well the outcome was just about perfect. I had thought of everything and included everything…except my contact information. A little embarrassing when I met with the bank and didn’t have any of that included or a card on me. Fortifi bank was what I needed. I needed to find a bank who would believe in the vision of this school and they sure did. Turns out that Fortifi understood just what I was looking for as a parent and believed in me. I was just about doing cartwheels after this meeting. I hope you are still with me now we have the idea, vision, building AND money! Things were just rolling.

I put my surgical gloves on and started the facelift of the building. Our building had been vacant for 4 years so it needed some cosmetic work. Paint and flooring everywhere. I spend hours looking thought Pinterest boards and on websites for ideas on how the school should look. No one picture expressed what I was looking for so I started my idea board and meshed them all together. We have an environment that is bright, fun, colorful and calming in all the right areas. We spent one whole month dedicated to painting every area in this building and the next redoing all the floors. Over 27,000 square feet! My husband and so many members of my family came to help out in whatever way they could! Soon enough the renovation was complete. Now all I needed was teachers and materials.

I needed teachers but most importantly a counterpart for the business end of the business. I knew there was one person I wanted, no had to have on my team. It was Mrs. Jeanine James! Mrs. James is a Toddler teacher who has taught my 3 daughters and we just loved her! Some of you parents may have been there where you have a teacher that you could just kidnap from the school and beg them to live in your house and help you raise your kids, that’s her. She is a potty training guru and has this amazing understanding of children and how they operate. I went on the hunt and came out dragging my very own Mrs. James! She has proven to be an amazing asset and I am so thankful for her! She not only can keep up with the kids but can keep up with me. She is the other half of me at RMA. Next we knew we needed a true "Montessorian" to come in and fine tune all the Montessori details of the classrooms. One name came to mind for Mrs. James and that was Mrs. Kauffman. Mrs. Kauffman is a "Montessorian" through and through. She help me enhance the Montessori curriculum and get all the right materials for the classrooms. Together it’s amazing to collaborate and bring this Montessori curriculum up to date with what is relevant in our world now and how we can benefit from the changes in the world since Maria Montessori was alive. As I hire teachers and staff for our school I am constantly raising the bar. I refuse to lower the bar. These are our children and this is the person spending the majority of their day with them. They need to be the best. I can honestly stay with 100% certainty that every person that joins our staff brings something amazing to the table and has a passion for teaching. I want to provide a place of employment for them that they can retire from. 

In a nutshell that is how RMA started. Since then we have continued every day to make this place the best in our area. Push the boundaries with preschool education and bring the children an amazing curriculum within an amazing school. I always tell the staff at RMA “I will always set you up for success.” I believe in this a thousand fold. I want to set the teachers up for success which will in turn set the students up for success and so on.

Now let’s talk about this parent group you may be thinking about joining…

We are AWESOME! You know how you have a vision for your kids to be in an amazing learning environment with other amazing kids? Those awesome kids come from awesome parents. This parent group is like none other that I have seen with my own two eyes. These parents are so involved and invested in their children’s education and experience at RMA. I feel such an amazing connection with this group. I have laughed with many, cried with some and loved their kids with all. I had never given this part of the school much thought. I honestly thought I would work in the office and be out of sight out of mind. Boy was I wrong. I am so excited to see these parents and students every day and help in any way I can. When you are running late for work and need to get your child to their class in a hot second to make it to work on time I am the first one at the door swooping up that child saying “Bye Dad and Mom! You go I’ve got this.” I feel so passionately that any way I can help and make a student’s transition into their school day easier I will do. I try to be creative in giving them a special task that can take some of their attention away from being sad that Mom and Dad are leaving and let them do something special. This part of the job fills my heart up completely.

For those parents that have taken the plunge with me on this journey already, THANK YOU! Saying verbally that I appreciate you doesn’t even come close to how much appreciation I have for your business. All your kind words about the school and referrals don’t go unnoticed. Just recently we had our first field trip as a school and as I stood there watching the children climb in and out of a large mouth display at the Children’s Museum of Green Bay I was overcome with emotion. I cried and then Mrs. James cried. I cannot believe I, a mom who wanted more for her kids, made this idea in my head a reality. We did it.

I have told every parent to come through these doors the same thing; I speak Mom. I am a parent just like you. I learned so much though this process and probably the most important thing I learned is that what we feel in our guts as parents is never wrong. It is our instinct to protect our children and want the best for them. I learned that I am not as looney as I thought, I am just a Mom who wouldn’t accept that what we had out there was the best that there was for my children.

UPDATE: We are on to building #2!! WOW! I cannot believe after 12 months of opening RMA I would have purchased another location for the East side of Green Bay. I am floored but beyond humbled and excited.

Daily I am just thankful, grateful and amazed at how much I LOVE this school, the families and the students. I never knew I would have felt this way about this - or I would have done it sooner! The emails, texts, chats and kind words you parents share with me is like adding fuel to a fire. It is so rewarding and I am thankful for all of you. You notice the small things. You notice the hard work.

RMA East opened September 1, 2015 and is just as beautiful as RMA West! I kept all the amazing colors, curriculum and most importantly standard for both locations. Come check out our East Campus too! 

I won't let you down!

Thanks for reading my bio...or blog-ish.

Nicole Boucher

Controller, West & East Campus

Nicole Boucher

My name is Nicole Boucher. I am a Green Bay native and love spending time with my family, which includes my husband, Jason, and two children, Ava and Mason. In my free time, I have a passion for learning and personal development. I studied accounting at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and graduated in May 2007. I started my career in public accounting and earned my certified public accountant (CPA) credentials. After leaving public accounting, I have strengthened my business knowledge through accounting leadership roles in local public and private organizations. In 2017, I graduated from Leadership Green Bay, which was an amazing opportunity for me to grow personally and professionally, while learning so much about our amazing Green Bay community!

I am very blessed to have joined the RMA team in 2017 as Controller. In my role, I am responsible for the monetary and accounting functions of the school. My goal each day is to be a financial partner for the teachers and parents. I am a strong believer in the Montessori philosophy and the mission of Royal Montessori Academy. I look forward to meeting each of you!

Jeanine James

School Administrator, West & East Campus

Jeanine James

My name is Jeanine James. I am 32 years old and was born in California, I am married to my best friend, Richard, and have 3 beautiful daughters JazzLynn, Kahlee and Chloe’. I am the youngest of 4 children. I moved to Green Bay when my oldest daughter was born to be by my siblings and for my daughter to be near her cousins, also giving my daughter the opportunity at a slower life that California didn’t offer. While growing up I was always around children, whether it be playing with the neighborhood children or babysitting for families. This is where my love of teaching children stemmed from! Children have always brought a smile to my face as I have theirs.

I decided when my oldest daughter was old enough to attend Pre-School that I wanted to be by her side and share her day with her but also still be employed. Montessori was the Pre-School that I chose and then also started working there. I started as an assistant in 2003 and became a teacher for the seven (7) years. I specialize in teaching the Toddler age 18 months through 3 years old. One of my joys at this age is their eagerness to learn and want to know and try everything! I also have the pleasure of working closely with the parents and sharing their child’s growth. The relationships with the parents are just as important to those with the children for me. It’s a team effort and I am honored to be part of each families team. The passion that I had in the beginning for teaching these young children and watching their faces light up when they have learned something new or have accomplished a task on their own still gives me joy each day! Montessori isn’t just a curriculum but rather a way of life. Montessori has taught me many things and has made my life richer.

I will be one of Royal Montessori Academy’s Transitional Toddler teachers. This is a very important classroom that we are integrating into the Montessori curriculum. This classroom's purpose is to bridge the gap between the Toddler classroom and the Pre-School classroom. Our classroom materials will be a mix of both classrooms and really prep those children that are almost ready for Pre-School materials.

I have a strong passion for learning myself and continue to work on my education so I can be the best teacher and Administrator for your families. Continuing education is one of many things our entire staff has in common; we all strive for more and want to learn more to bring that back to the children.

I cannot wait to share my experience with Montessori while working with your children and watching them grow!

Jean Brown

Assistant Administrator, East Campus

Jean Brown

Hello, my name is Jean Brown. I am excited to be joining the Royal Montessori Academy team this year!

My family consists of my loving husband Bill of 28 years, two beautiful grown up daughters Kendra and Amanda and completing my family is my loyal puppy Oakley. In my spare time I enjoy long walks or just spending quality time with my family and puppy. I also enjoy working in my gardens and making arrangements with the flowers from my gardens.

I earned my certification as a Preschool/Kindergarten Montessori Teacher from North American Montessori Center. I also come to Royal Montessori Academy with 14 years of experience in teaching and assistant administrating from Celebration Academy. I enjoy working with children and watching them grow.

I feel blessed to continue the journey with staff, students and their families in my Assistant Administrator role at Royal Montessori Academy!

I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.

Lauren Rowe

Assistant School Administrator, West & East Campus

Lauren Rowe

Hello, I am Lauren Rowe! I am so excited to be here at RMA! I grew up in Helena Montana and moved to Green Bay in 2012 where I finished my bachelor’s degree at UW-Green Bay. I am married to my wonderful husband Josh and we have a little boy, Coulson. We also have two dogs that keep us very busy.

I have always loved working with children and knew that was what I would eventually do for a career. I have worked with all age groups. Being a former teacher, I love being able to step into a classroom and see the children learning and exploring in the Montessori setting. Now I get to step into the role of Assistant Administrator and help with many different aspects of Royal Montessori Academy. I get to wear many hats in the day and I really like doing that, no two days are the same. I really enjoy helping everyone out when they need something. Being able to answer teaching questions or parents’ questions makes all days go by very quickly!

Everyone has been so kind welcoming me to Royal Montessori! I am looking forward to what the future has in store for myself and my family here!

Michelle Lindeen

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Michelle Lindeen

Hi Everyone!

My name is Michelle Lindeen. I am so motivated and extremely happy to be joining the teaching staff at Royal Montessori Academy.

Just a little background about myself... I've been married to my husband, John, for the last 22 + years. He is currently the Manager of Operations at Lambeau Field and the Manager of Operations for all parking connected with the Veterans' Memorial Complex. Together we have one son, Logan, who is currently beginning his degree program in Graphic Design.

Due to my husband's 17 years in the Marine Corps, we moved around a bit before settling in Green Bay in 2004 when he got assigned to recruiting duty. We continue to love Green Bay and hope to make it our forever home.

Early in my life, I knew I wanted to work with people. I was initially interested in nursing, until my mom was diagnosed early in her life with terminal brain cancer, and my dad had quadruple by-pass heart surgery in the same year. Spending an overwhelming amount of time in hospitals and seeing everyone go through so much was very emotionally taxing. It was then, I decided I could still touch lives and make a difference by focusing on the importance of teaching.

I started my college career in Elementary Education and later changed to Communication Disorders when classes were flooded with an over-abundance of Education majors like myself making it difficult to get classes and complete a degree program on time. My dad had spent his entire working career as a Speech Pathologist/Audiologist and was very influential in my decision. I finally received my Bachelor of Arts degree through the School of Education In Communication Disorders with a focus on Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology from the University of Wisconsin - EauClaire.

I've found through experience, I love working with children the most, and have been blessed to have 7 1/2 years working as a preschool teacher thus far.

Aside from being around children, I'm happiest when I'm spending time with my family - sometimes simply doing absolutely nothing. I also love movies, attending G.B. Gamblers hockey games, and anything and everything to do with Christmas. I enjoy traveling, whether it be for a day trip, a weekend, or something much grander. My favorite places thus far have been Barcelona, Spain, the Biltmore Estates in Asheville, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., The Luray Caverns in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. My dream is to tour all of Europe some day. I also have fun entertaining, dabbling in interior design, cooking, and baking. Amongst my family and friends, I'm often referred to as "the Cake Lady".

I look forward to becoming an involved part of the Royal Montessori Academy Family and getting to know all of you and your children. Thank you so much for your warm welcome.

Bethany Heslip

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Bethany Heslip

Hello, my name is Bethany Heslip and I am so excited to be apart of the Royal Montessori Academy family and work alongside Mrs. Zeh in the Toddler Classroom. I graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 2010 with a BS in Family and Consumer Science and minored in Psychology. I’ve worked professionally with children for eight years and feel very privileged to be joining this amazing team of teachers and to facilitate growth and learning for your children.

I’m originally from Fargo, ND but Green and Gold run thick through my families veins and we made the move to Green Bay when I was in elementary school to become the Cheeseheads we are today! Currently, my husband Tyler, daughter Vera and I live in Suamico, WI with our two cats Oliver and Rosie. In my free time, I love to do arts and crafts and go thrifting.

Shannon Parmentier

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Shannon Parmentier

Hello parents, families, and the wonderful Royal Montessori Academy community! My name is Shannon Parmentier. I am originally from Marshfield, Wisconsin, but I have enjoyed being a “cheesehead” here in Green Bay since 2014.

I received my Bachelor’s degree in ‘Family and Consumer Science-Family Life Education’ from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2011. Go Pointers! I have enjoyed working with children since my college years, which includes: being a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, volunteering at an elementary school, interning at a family resource center, and completing two years of service with AmeriCorps. One of my fondest memories of working with children was when I was an AmeriCorps member. I had the enjoyment of participating in a duathlon with many of the students I mentored throughout the year. The relationships I formed with these students proved to me that teaching children would be in my future again.

In my free time, my husband and I like to be active outdoors. We enjoy tennis, basketball, volleyball, and biking. We also enjoy daily walks with our energetic goldendoodle puppy named Lui. He will soon be taking on a new role of "big brother", as my husband and I are currently awaiting the arrival of our first child, due early July 2020!

I look forward to another great school year here at Royal Montessori Academy!

Saloni Agarwal

Preschool Teacher, West Campus

Saloni Agarwal

My name is Saloni Agarwal, I have lived in the Green Bay area for the last 9 years with my two daughters and my wonderful husband.

I have taught kids and young adults since 2004. In all these years of working with kids, it never gets old to see them " get it". As a teacher I strive to inculcate a love for learning in the children.Having taught a Montessori classroom for several years now, I can confidently say that there is no other job I'd rather do.

Apart from work, I love hanging out with my family, traveling, hiking and reading.

Looking forward getting to know each one of you and your beautiful children this coming year.

Kori Pantalone

Preschool Teacher, West Campus

Kori Pantalone

Hello Royal Montessori Families! I am honored to FINALLY work as a full time Pre School Teacher here at the West Campus! I have been at Royal for just under three years now, serving as the children's Before School and After School Teacher, as well as the occasional sub.

Here are some fun details about me! I grew up right outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Green Bay with my Dad, Sister, and Boyfriend three and a half years ago! I had just graduated from St. Norbert College with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, so working with the kids will allow me the opportunity to watch how their social and intellectual selves change throughout the course of the school year.

I am excited to see the kids I already know, and get to know the new kids throughout my time as a Pre School Teacher here at Royal!

Irina Lanich

Preschool Teacher, West Campus

Irina Lanich

Hello Everyone-

My name is Irina Lanich, and I am a new addition to Royal Montessori Academy. I am especially grateful and happy to join this school because of the great teachers I know serve here who have withstood the test of time and have proven to be the best of best in serving children.

I hold Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood, American Montessori Society Degree, have completed 15 credits toward Title I K-12 Reading Teacher. I am a mother of two sons who have gone through Montessori program during their early childhood and elementary years. As a family, we love getting together with our friends camping and fishing.

I have been in educational field working with students of all ages for nearly 17 years; eleven out those years had been dedicated to serving in a role of Montessori teacher bringing Montessori method to a diverse population of children and their families.
In a recent years, I have carried and applied Montessori approach outside of Montessori grounds, and was amazed to see how still relevant, valid and effective it is to this day in achieving academic success regardless of the age!

Along with Maria Montessori's discovery of ability of young children to learn and necessity of educating them, I side with Montessori approach to educate young children. Together with Montessori principles, I believe and practice helping children discover their potential within prepared classroom environment that reflects her philosophy, filled with creative ethos of Montessori materials, teacher's care, student's inquiry. I prepare classroom environment that is resplendent with abundant quality literature whether it is to be in a form of assigned reading books or recreational paradigm of reading that I believe to be a foundational pillar of all learning across all disciplines; classroom that promotes and sustains emergent literacy paving the way for acquiring 21st century skills, multiple intelligences, self-efficacy that in turn contributes to building child's character.

I look forward to working together in providing the best possible care for children with great emphasis on quality education and cooperative community of life-long learners.

Mackenzie Lambert

Preschool Teacher, West Campus

Mackenzie Lambert

Hello and welcome to my teacher profile page. My name is MacKenzie Lambert and I am thrilled to be part of the Royal Montessori Academy Family.

From an early age I have always had a passion for working with children. In 2014 I earned my degree in both Elementary Education and Elementary Special Education from Silver Lake College.

Prior to joining the Royal Montessori Academy team, I have worked with children in many different settings. I worked in the surrounding districts as a Pre-K-12 substitute teacher. I nannied for twins in China where I taught basic English and daily living skills. I also had the opportunity to work with children with Autism using Applied Behavior Analysis. In the summer I am a volunteer coach for Miracle League.

As for my interests I have a variety. I love to read, travel, spend time with my friends and family, attend concerts, and go camping. Thank you for visiting my page. I can’t wait to work with you and your family.

Kelsey Marcks

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Kelsey Marcks

Hello Royal Montessori Families,

My name is Kelsey Marcks. I am excited to be teaching at the Royal Montessori Academy. I grew up in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin with my parents and two sisters, one of which is my twin.

I attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and have received a bachelor degree in Human Development and Psychology. I am so excited to apply what I have learned to my new classroom!

After graduating college I decided to stay in the Green Bay area and I now live in the wonderful village of Howard with my husband Eric. In my free time, I am normally very active. I participate in softball, volleyball, golf, and snowboarding. I also like to bike, rollerblade and go for walks/runs. But if I am not playing a sport or just being active you might see me watching sports, being crafty, and hanging out with family and friends.

Teaching children, watching them grow, and seeing them smile is such a blessing in a teacher’s life. I am excited to get to know all of you and help your child grow and become their own independent person.

Janet Burns

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Janet Burns

Hello Families of RMA,

My name is Janet Burns and I would like to share a bit about myself. Let me begin with how excited I am to have the opportunity to teach and guide your child! To see the strides and growth in a toddler is amazing. I look forward to developing your child’s knowledge, social skills, and independence using the Montessori method. I love the way children at this age absorb and learn from everything they see, smell, hear, touch, and taste!
 
My teaching career at RMA began in 2016 at the East campus working in a toddler classroom alongside Mrs. James. Here I learned many valuable tools to ensure your child will be successful as they grow in a Montessori classroom. A year later I transferred to the West campus to continue teaching toddlers and build relationships with the wonderful families, as together we develop the confidence and independence in each child.

For over 40 years I have been working with children of all ages. The excitement of learning and experiencing things for the first time is such a rewarding experience with toddlers. I feel the world is an open book and I am here to turn the pages for your toddler and help them grow.
I have raised 4 children who are now all successful adults. I have 3 sons and 1 daughter who resides in Wisconsin, Arizona, and Oregon.

We have always been a very active family, so now that my children have grown this allows me time to pursue my love to travel. Together with my husband Paul, we plan to visit all 50 states.  We also enjoy spending weekends at the cabin, hanging out on the pontoon, snowshoeing, kayaking, photography, and cheering on the Packers and the Badgers.

A special gift that I once received shares the message “It Takes a Big Heart to Shape Little Minds”
My heart overflows when I know that I have made a positive impact on a child and touched their heart while teaching them to be a successful toddler. I look forward to sharing these experiences with you and your precious toddler!
 



Karina Radue

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Karina Radue

My name is Karina Radue and I have been teaching at Royal Montessori Academy since September of 2014 and have loved every minute of it. I graduated from UWGB in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Psychology and also received my Infant/Toddler Montessori certificate in 2017. I love being able to expand my education and learn more about the Montessori method and how to best use it in my classroom every day.

I have worked with children since I was a teenager with teaching Sunday School, helping with sports clinics, babysitting, as well as being a line therapist for autistic children. My favorite part of working with children and being a teacher is seeing their confidence and independence grow as they learn the many things they are capable off.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching all the Wisconsin sports teams, as well as cooking and baking. I also enjoy playing basketball, and volleyball when the opportunity arises.

I love being a part of the Royal Montessori Academy team and sharing my passion for teaching children.

Teresa Nussbaum

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Teresa Nussbaum

Hello, I am Mrs. Nussbaum! I have taught Pre-School in the Green Bay area for more than two decades bringing energy, patience and compassion into the classroom every day! I have a genuine and natural rapport with children and strive to build their self-confidence with gentle guidance and encouragement. My lesson plans are both educational and fun, based in the Montessori environment where the child learns through active discovery rather than passive reception.

I earned my Early Childhood Degree with honors in 1987 and my Montessori teaching credentials in 1991. I regularly attend Early Childhood conferences and workshops and observe in various Early Childhood settings. I understand what matters most to parents when choosing a Pre-School for their child. I am a mother a two boys myself. Safety and quality care are my top priorities!

Growing up in a military household I have lived around the world. I enjoy learning about other cultures and cuisines. In my free time I have taught Sunday school for three years, assisted in the art room at a local elementary school, been involved with Cub Scouts, involved as a flag football coach and volunteered for one school year with the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program. I also enjoy hiking, bird watching, gardening among other pastimes.

I feel blessed to have been with Royal Montessori Academy since the very beginning! The facility, teachers and owners all have the same vision and passion for Montessori Education that I do! It's an honor to be a part of what I believe is the most sought after Montessori program in our area!

Stephanie Washington

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Stephanie Washington

Hello Parents! My name is Stephanie Washington. I have been working in the early childhood field for 10 years! I have 4 years experience in Montessori teaching and I also went to NWTC to and received my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.

I have lived in the Green Bay area for most of my life. I have two sons, Myles 5 and Austin 3 years old. In my free time I love to scrapbook, read, camping and go for walks with my family.

I have always known I wanted to be in the education field, but when I started co-teaching in a Toddler Classroom alongside Mrs. Nussbaum & Mrs. James I knew I definitely found my niche!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach your young children. I am excited to dive into this new school year and share the joy in learning with you! 

Brittanie Curtis

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Brittanie Curtis

Bio coming soon ... 

Ashley Zeh

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Ashley Zeh

Hello, my name is Ashley Zeh! I live in a small town outside of Green Bay with my son, Kayden. I began teaching Preschool in the Green Bay area in 2008, after earning my Bachelor’s degree in Family Life Education from UW Stevens Point. Since graduating, I have also attended and completed trainings in Sign Language, Multiple Intelligences, International Baccalaureate, Conscious Discipline and Zoo Phonics, to name a few. I love to learn new things and feel that’s an important part of being an educator; the more I learn, the more I can bring back to the classroom.

Having a child myself, I understand how important it is to find a Preschool program that provides a safe, comforting and enthusiastic environment for your child, as well as a welcoming environment for the parent! I believe all children start out with an intense desire to learn and by providing them with a secure and comfortable environment, I am better able to foster this learning.

Every child has interests and abilities that are unique to them and by allowing children to express themselves through work and play, I am able to gain a real understanding of the strengths and personalities of each child. I feel that teaching and learning should be fun for all those involved in the process; teachers, parents and students alike.

I can’t wait to share my love and passion for teaching with you and your children, here at Royal Montessori Academy!

Ashley Andrejeski

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Ashley Andrejeski

Hello, my name is Ashley Andrejeski. I live in Appleton with my husband Thomas, our beautiful daughter Harriet Louise, and our two dogs, Remmington and Mia. I have been a teacher with Royal Montessori Academy for three years now and love the atmosphere and my coworkers that I work with.

I attended Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and received a duel major in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education in December of 2015. My career in the education field has allowed me to work both in a childcare setting as well as within the public school setting. I have also had the privilege to work with Pierce County Birth to Three as their program coordinator, service coordinator, and teacher prior to joining RMA. I enjoy working with children and love being able to see them grow and thrive into the individuals they are going to be later in life.

In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and close friends, watch movies, paint, and go up to my family’s cottage in Townsend, Wisconsin. I am excited to continue my journey at Royal Montessori Academy and am eager to meet you and your child and help them grow into their own unique person.

Amber Jelinsky

Toddler Teacher, West Campus

Amber Jelinsky

Hello! My name is Amber Jelinsky. I live in Green Bay with my husband and our two crazy boys, Harrison (5) and Luca (3). We enjoy time in our backyard when the weather permits, and also love to do DIY projects around the house.

I have been working in the field for the past 8 years and have always had a passion for teaching children. Since joining the team at RMA, that passion has grown and I just love being able to see a child become confident as they find their independence within the classroom!

Ashtin Schmechel

Preschool Teacher, West Campus

Ashtin Schmechel

Hello, I am Miss Schmechel and I’m thrilled to be your child’s preschool teacher! What I love most about teaching is making learning fun. We are going to achieve learning this year in ways that are exciting, hands-on and geared to your child’s interests. I look forward to welcoming our friends and families in the classroom and growing together this year. It is a magical time to be a preschooler!

A little bit about me… I grew up in East De Pere, WI and graduated with Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from St. Norbert College. I began my teaching career in Chicago, IL where I taught four years in a two’s and three’s classroom located in Old Town of Chicago. In May 2019, I moved back to De Pere, WI where I resided at RMA.

When I am not at preschool or furthering my studies I enjoy being outdoors. In the summer I love going to my lake house on Maiden Lake. The lake house looks like a log cabin made from Lincoln Logs! My family and I love to fish, wakeboard, cook over the bonfire and look at the stars. In the winter I enjoy reading books, going to Packer games, snowboarding, ice fishing and snowmobiling. However, what I really want you to know about me is that I am a very good listener and we are going to have an awesome school year! Thank you for taking the time to learn about me.

Danielle Garceau

Preschool Teacher, West Campus

Danielle Garceau

I am Ms. Danielle Garceau (Gar-so) and I am honored and excited to be your child’s preschool teacher! I come with a wide range of professional and educational experiences and am thrilled to be joining Royal Montessori Academy!

I earned my Bachelors from Hillsdale College, where I majored in Mathematics and specialized in Early Childhood Education and Spanish. Since then, I have worked with every age between infant and high school through jobs, volunteerism, tutoring, and coaching. Professionally I have been a mathematics teacher, kindergarten teacher, preschool teacher, and behavior technician for children with autism. Throughout my career journey, I have learned much about myself and found what age group I am best suited for - here in preschool!

I attended high school here in the Green Bay area at Bay Port. After college, I spent four years exploring the beautiful landscapes of Colorado and just recently moved back to be able to spend more time with family. In my free time, I love anything active and creative! I am an avid hiker and athlete and love sharing those activities with my 3-year-old pup Kimmie! I played softball in college at the NCAA Division II level and continue to play slowpitch and coach fastpitch today. I also own a side business through Etsy by painting and burning custom wood signs.

I look forward to working with you and your child!

Paula Maxon

Preschool Teacher, West Campus

Paula Maxon

Hello Families!

My name is Paula Maxon. I want to share with you a little bit about my educational background. I received my Associates degree from NWTC in Early Childhood Education in 2009. I then continued my education and received my Bachelor of Education from UW-Oshkosh in 2013. Then in January 2016 I finished my Master of Education from Concordia University of Portland, OR.

I started my career with Early Childhood Education in Milwaukee, WI in 2004. Upon moving to Green Bay, I continued my career in Early Childhood Education.

I have two children of my own. My son is in the US Navy as a Nuclear Engineer. My daughter is at UW-Eau Claire in the BSN program.

My hobbies include scrapbooking and sewing. I love the outdoors. I enjoy spending my evening outside and my weekends outside, doing just anything.

Growing up I moved a lot because of my parents both being in the military. Making friends was something I did a lot. I am thankful for that skill set. I understand the connection children need with their friends, teachers and their environment. Parents, teachers and the environment teach children. That is why I chose the path to become a teacher.

I am a lifelong learner myself. I am always learning new information as well as wanting to learn new skills to help myself and others around me. Communication is key to the success of any students learning.

I look forward to working with each of the students within my classroom as well as working with the staff at Royal Montessori Academy.

Brittney Baierl

Preschool Teacher, West Campus

Brittney Baierl

Hello! It is a tremendous honor to have the privilege of caring and teaching your child! I began my career as a float among childcare classrooms. Then I moved into my own classroom of toddlers! I have taught 2&3 year olds for a little more than ten years. Together our main focus was growing and learning, while figuring out this (sometimes crazy) world around us. I was also fortunate in having experience working with a great after school program where I was able to gain experience with so many school agers! I have my associates degree in Early Childhood Education from NWTC and multiple more child related certificates. I enjoy being educated as much as I enjoy teaching the littles!

I have lived in Green Bay all my life, with many trips outside the state growing up. Traveling is still important to me and I’m lucky enough to be able to seek new adventures with my long time boyfriend, Oscar. Together we love cooking (or me spending time in the kitchen as he cooks), attending concerts (it’s so cool seeing so many various artists with different styles of music, so much talent!) and attending farmers's markets. Oscar is the proud dad of a daughter and son who I absolutely adore!

In my spare time you can find me thinking of new home improvement projects, planning playdates for my niece and Oscar’s children, or curled up with a favorite book.

This will be my second year with my RMA family and I look forward to learning with your child this year. Thank you for this amazing opportunity!

Leilani Kaufmann

Kindergarten Teacher, West Campus

Leilani Kaufmann

Hell RMA Families!

I am Leilani Kaufmann. An AMS (American Montessori Society) certified primary directress/teacher. I attended classes and received my certification from the Seton Montessori Institute, Clarendon Hills, IL. I am celebrating 20 years of experience in the field of Montessori education this fall!

I enjoy spending my free time with my husband Kyle and our 9 year old son Gordon who has also attended Montessori programs from the age of 3 months thru Kindergarten graduation.

Montessori has blessed our lives in so many ways! I can't wait to embark on our journey of learning and growing together this year!

Bonnie Jost

Kindergarten Teacher, West Campus

Bonnie Jost

Coming soon...

Tracy Sette

Substitute Teacher, West & East Campus

Tracy Sette

Hello RMA families!

My name is Tracy Sette and I am very excited to be one of the teachers at Royal Montessori Academy!

My love of children started at a very young age. I grew up in an in-home daycare and started helping my mom early on. I loved always having playmates around and even as a kid I spent the most time with the babies.

I have a bachelor’s degree from UW-Green Bay in Psychology and Human Development. When my son was born I decided to stay home, leave my job and watch children out of my home. I loved the three years I spent as a home care provider, but after a move to a new neighborhood I made the difficult decision to return to work. I consider myself very blessed to have found RMA and to be able to continue as a caregiver.

I love spending my spare time with my family and friends enjoying farmer’s markets, festivals, and bonfires. I love going to see live music, particularly my husband (he is a bass and guitar player) and our musician friends perform. I also enjoy reading, cooking, traveling (I especially enjoyed Ireland and Germany), and snuggling with my petite Golden-doodle, Jameson.

Sendi Abundiz

Toddler Teacher, East Campus

Sendi Abundiz

Hello my name is Sendi Abundiz and I have the privilege of being a part of Royal Montessori Academy.

I have an Early Childhood Education background. I am super excited to start my new journey with your child. I love working with children and my goal is to teach each child through imagination, creativity and play.

As a parent, I understand how important it is to leave your child in a loving, safe and educational environment.

During my free time I volunteer at my church helping our Hispanic community. I enjoy spending time with my family going fishing, camping, biking and anything that includes the outdoors. I am looking forward to a fantastic leaning adventure with the children.

Taylor Blaha

Toddler Teacher, East Campus

Taylor Blaha

Coming soon! 

Sara Bieda

Toddler Teacher, East Campus

Sara Bieda

Hello RMA Families!

Let me introduce myself...I am Mrs. Bieda! I was born and raised in Ashwaubenon, and attended Bellin College where I became a radiologic technologist. While I waited for a radiographer position to open at a pediatric hospital, I took, what I thought would be, a temporary position as a nanny. It was then that I discovered my desire to teach children. Year after year, I pushed my plan to work in radiology further away, and continued to follow my heart with teaching. During my time as a nanny, I worked with large families, and discovered the immense benefits of the Montessori multiage concept. I focused on creating lesson plans that drove children to want to learn from themselves and others around them. When I started a family of my own, I wanted my children to be challenged to learn in an environment that was going to naturally encourage them be the best possible version of themselves. That is what brought me to Royal Montessori Academy, and where I’m following my dream of teaching.

I currently reside in Ashwaubenon with my incredible husband and our three young boys, Beckham, Callahan, and Holland. We also have a goldendoodle named Murray! Together we enjoy spending time at our family cottage, relaxing in our backyard, hanging out with our families, watching the Green Bay Packers and NCAA basketball, going to the farmer's market, and enjoying each little moment we share together.

I’ve always had an appreciation for a challenge, a love for learning, and a desire to better myself. Being a teacher gives me these opportunities every day. Each student is unique, and not like any other, and this challenges me to find the best way to connect with them. Children see the world in a way that adults often cannot, and I am so thankful to be reminded of their perspective each day. It may be my job to teach students, but what I am learning from them every day is so much more. I love being a teacher because my students inspire me to be a better listener, a better friend, a better coworker, a better teammate, a better mom, a better wife, a better teacher, and a better me.


As a mom myself, I know the feeling of leaving your children in someone else’s care, and that is why I strive to build a connection with not only your child, but your entire family. I want you to know that when you leave your child in my care, I will make sure they are safe and loved, and that they are challenged to be the best version of themselves. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I fully believe that. I am so excited for the opportunity to be a part of your village!

Katie Vogt

Toddler Teacher, East Campus

Katie Vogt

Hello RMA families,

My name is Katie Vogt. I grew up in De Pere, WI and now reside in Suamico, WI with my wonderful husband, Eric, our son Jackson (2 years old) and we recently welcomed a baby girl, Ava, into our family. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and doing anything outdoors. My favorite outdoor hobbies are gardening, hiking and fishing. My husband and I spend a lot of time on our patio relaxing when Wisconsin weather permits…once winter hits, it's Packer season! I also love live music and will catch a concert whenever I get the opportunity.

I have been teaching at Royal Montessori Academy in the toddler program for 3 years. I have enjoyed helping students learn and grow and been so proud watching them move onto preschool. Before joining Royal Montessori's team, I worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders for 6 years. That career taught me so many valuable skills… most importantly patience! Being able to help kids with special needs become more independent and develop new skills has been extremely important to me and very rewarding. I love watching kids learn and experience new things. I am so thrilled to have joined the RMA team and to be continuing my passion to teach children.

I am looking forward to meeting each of you and becoming a positive impact on your child’s life!

Mallory Woelfel

Preschool & Kindergarten Teacher, East Campus

Mallory Woelfel

Hello! Let me start by telling you how extremely grateful I am each day to be apart of the RMA family! I was lucky enough to join the team when the East campus opened it's doors in 2015 and haven't looked back since!

I was born and raised in Green Bay and have not veered far from, I love that I can call this place my hometown! I attended UWGB and earned my degree in education, with a double certification in early childhood/elementary and middle school education. While attending UWGB, I was lucky enough to do part of my student teaching in Cuernavaca, Mexico for 12 weeks where I taught 4th grade English. It was an experience I will not soon forget, and cherish forever! My other half of my student teaching was spent in Red Smith's 4K classroom! Throughout my education I became interested in the Montessori teaching approach and philosophy, and saw how positively a child could be impacted by this method. I am currently working towards earning a Montessori diploma in early childhood through North American Montessori Center, as my goal is to always do better for your children! I love working with kids and being an educator - it is my true passion!

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, camping, being a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, cozying up with a good book, traveling, cooking, attending packer games, going to concerts, and checking projects off my home renovation list!

I look forward to the opportunity in being apart of your child's learning as they begin their education journey!

Alyssa Kropp

Preschool & Kindergarten Teacher, East Campus

Alyssa Kropp

Hello! My name is Alyssa Kropp as of August 1st! I just got married! (Calling me Ms. Moeller though will be just fine!). This is my fourth year here at RMA! I love teaching here! We have amazing students, parents, and co-teachers! I am a 2016 graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. Along with my four years here at RMA, I have many field hours working in Green Bay and the surrounding areas! I have worked with students of all elementary ages and in all subjects. Math being my favorite!

I am from Seymour, Wisconsin and it will be my forever home. I come from a farming family and so does my husband Cody! If I am not teaching or at the farm, you can find me enjoying my free time! I enjoy riding my Harley, sewing, shooting trap, gardening, and spending time with my siblings.

Nkau Kong

Preschool Teacher, East Campus

Nkau Kong

Hello Families!

I am Mrs. Kong. My husband Benjamin & I are blessed with 2 wonderful children ( Telvin & Jada). We love spending time together and do mini vacations. We are big Packers fans!!!!

I have been with RMA since 2017 and love it here with amazing teachers and students. As an educator, I am always amazed how much I learned daily from these children. This makes me realized this is why I love doing what I do.

I graduated with my Early Childhood Education Leadership. Throughout my experiences and education, I have worked in many different programs and ages from infant to kindergarten.

Thank you very much for your time and allowing me to be a part of your child’s education and life!

Heather Schoen

Preschool Teacher, East Campus

Heather Schoen

Hello Everyone!

My name is Heather Schoen. I was born and raised in Suamico and currently still reside there. I am thankful for the opportunity of working at Royal Montessori Academy for the past five years. I’ve always enjoyed working with young children, so I knew this environment was best for myself. I work currently in the toddler program and love every minute of it. Their personalities brighten my day as well as keeping me on my toes!

I received a double major in Psychology and Human Development in 2014 at UWGB. Being an advocate for children has always been extremely important in my lifetime, especially because young children look up to us. Watching them learn, grow, and succeed makes my job even more special.

In my free time I enjoy being with my family and friends. I welcomed my first child April 13th, 2020, his name is Emmett and I could not imagine life without him. I look forward to another great school year. I cannot wait to meet you all!

Katie Gerczak

Preschool Teacher, East Campus

Katie Gerczak

Hello, my name is Katie Gerczak. I’m super excited to join the Royal Montessori Academy team. I am a graduate of University Wisconsin - Stevens Point with a degree in Family Life Education.

I was born and raised outside Green Bay WI. I recently moved back after living in Stevens Point for nearly 9 years. I am happy to be back home and for all that Green Bay has to offer.

Prior to working at RMA I have worked a variety of jobs with children and families. I worked with UW-Extension Portage County as a home visitor and Nutrition Educator and After School Site Director.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. Being a true Wisconsin girl I try to enjoy all the seasons Wisconsin has to offer. I love to hike, kayak, bonfires, and snowshoeing. I also love football, traveling and being crafty.

I am so excited to be given this opportunity to teach the young children at RMA.

Mallory Tremble

Preschool Teacher, East Campus

Mallory Tremble

Hello! My name is Mallory Tremble.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay in December 2016 with a bachelors in elementary education and a minor in human development. I completed my 18 weeks of student teaching at Aldo Leopold. The next few years after graduating were spent subbing in several area districts and then directing an after school program at a local elementary school. I have spent a lot of time in various schools and seeing many ways to approach student learning. Which leads me to my new role as a preschool teacher at RMA! I am very excited to expand my learning and experiences and bring all of the skills and tools Ihave to offer to the East Side campus!

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, we love to go mini golfing and for bike rides along the fox river trail. I also really enjoy cozying up with a good book! I have lived in Green Bay my entire life, recently moving from the East side to the West side as I just bought my first home! I have a son, Brayden and boyfriend Matt. We also have two rescue dogs, Fester and Ernie.

I look forward to meeting all of the families and your children!

Roxanne Matzke

Substitute Teacher, West & East Campus

Roxanne Matzke

Hello RMA Families! I am so thrilled to be a part of this amazing school since they first opened. I have the privilege of being an infant/toddler teacher at this school.

They joy teaching this age brings to my life is not measurable. I truly love watching the students light up with their first smiles to the first steps they take in our environment.

My goal in the classroom is to make sure your child is well cared for physically, emotionally and academically.

Thank you for allowing me to be on this journey with you and the joy to watch your children grow.