Ms. Penn - Lead Toddler Teacher
​Ms. Penn has a background in healthcare having worked as a certified nursing assistant caring for medically fragile children.
Most recently she owned and operated her own successful daycare center for five years.
Ms. Penn is currently attending the North AMerican Montessori center, pursuing a Montessori degree, specializing in the birth to 3 program.
Living in the PNW, she enjoys all the beauty the area has to offer. 

​​​Ms. Jones- Teacher Transitional Preschool (NAMC)
Miss Jones is new to the Monroe community and already loves it here. After joining the MMS Staff in 2017 and obtaining her Montessori certification, she is starting her first year as a lead teacher in the transitional preschool room.

Miss Jones previously worked as a nanny for 4 years. She thoroughly enjoys watching children learn and grow through play, and is eager to help her students become confident, curious and kind lifelong learners.

In her free time, Miss Jones loves to bake and try new recipes, spending time with her family and friends, and exploring new places around the world.

Mrs. Fisher- Assistant Preschool Teacher

​​​​​Mrs. Walla -  Preschool Teacher (NAMC)
Mrs. Walla received her BA in History from Gonzaga University followed by a year of post-baccalaureate study in Speech & Hearing Science at Portland State University.

She has 4 years professional experience working with children and led our transition preschool classroom in the 2017 summer school program. She has been a MMS staff member since June 2017 and is currently team-teaching with Ms. Sargent.

Ms. Lott- Lead Toddler Before and After care/ Assistant Toddler Teacher

Mrs. Kisela - Upper Elementary Teacher (NAMC)

Mrs. Kisela earned her Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Washington and has her Montessori certification in upper elementary.  All three of her children attended Monroe Montessori School from preschool through sixth grade.

Mrs. Kisela has worked for fifteen years teaching upper elementary, lower elementary and kindergarten classrooms at MMS, and is currently the sole lead teacher in the 3rd -5th grade elementary classroom. When not in the classroom, Mrs. Kisela enjoys tole painting, music, and zip-lining! 

Mrs. Merrill - Lower Elementary Teacher (AMI)​ 
Mrs. Merrill received her B.S. in elementary education from Utah State University, and her M.ED in Montessori education from Loyola University.  She joins us from Portland, Oregon as an experienced and excited teacher for our lower elementary class. 

Her passion for teaching led her to teach English in both Korea and Norway and to pursue the Montessori method in educating children.  Mrs. Merrill is eager to join our team of passionate educators, and looks forward to guiding the students in lower elementary in becoming lifelong learners.  

​Ms. Baerg - Toddler Teacher
​1. I am passionate about the growth of toddlers and love sharing in their delight.
​2. I love the Montessori method.
3. I am a mother of two.
​4. I enjoy cooking and the outdoors.
5. I enjoy teaching cultural cooking to elementary students after school.

Mrs. Gleaves- Kindergarten Teacher (AMS)
Mrs. Gleaves has been associated with Monroe Montessori since September of 1984, when her oldest son started pre-school.  She has actually been ‘teaching’ since about age 9, when she taught her two youngest sisters to read.  She has a strong affinity for language; words, rhymes, whimsical thoughts, as exemplified by the likes of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein.

She enjoys sharing the ‘magic’ of science while encouraging excitement and curiosity. She likes to plant the seeds of questioning, hypothesizing and “what do you think?” brainstorming, as well as demonstrating ways one can “find out”.  She strongly believes that young children can rise to high expectations and respond well to consistency and natural consequences.

Mrs. Gleaves spends untold hours of free time attempting to improve at the art of dressage. She continues to marvel at the parallels between the teachings of the classical dressage masters regarding the training of the horse, and Maria Montessori’s teachings regarding her methods of educating young humans.

Staff Bio's

As Director, I am proud of the exceptional teachers we have at Monroe Montessori School. Please feel free to contact me. My office hours are 8:00 - 4:30.

Individual Attention • Inspiring Curriculum • Dedicated Staff • Since 1978

West Campus 

Mrs. Parsons-Preschool Teacher (AMS)
​​Having grown up in the mountains of Colorado instilled a love for the natural environment in Mrs. Parsons. She attended the University of Washington where she earned a BS degree in Biology.

She recently completed her MEIPN Montessori teaching certification, and is looking forward to being the lead teacher in our 4 day half day preschool program.

In her spare time she enjoys working in her garden, practicing yoga and spending time with her children.

Mrs. Schwartz- Assistant Preschool Teacher

Mrs. Watkins - Assistant Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Watkins started with Monroe Montessori School in September of 2015. Prior to her employment at MMS, she worked for 11 years in healthcare administration. She previously assisted at a parent led preschool co-op and valued the experience of helping children learn and discover.
Mrs. Watkins loves being part of the MMS teaching staff and helping children to reach their true potential through the Montessori Method. She is also passionate about her family, music, multimedia, crafting and jewelry making. 
​​​​​Ms. Sargent -  Preschool Teacher (NAMC)
Ms. Sargent received her BA in Biology from Earlham College and her MA in teaching from Willamette University. After receiving her Montessori training in 2013, she has worked as a lead teacher in a multi age classroom.

Ms. Sargent is thrilled to bring her academic knowledge and love of learning, science and nature to Monroe Montessori school.

"Children are born with wings.

Teachers help them fly!"

Mrs. Moody - Preschool Teacher (AMS)
Mrs. Moody has been part of the Montessori community since 1992. She graduated from Central Washington University in 1996 with an undergraduate degrees in Psychology, Family Studies and Child Development. She received her Montessori Certification from Seattle University in 1997. Mrs. Moody's favorite thing to do as a teacher is teaching children how to read! The look in their eyes the first time they read a word is priceless. They are so proud and feel so accomplished. She loves the individualized learning that the Montessori method offers. It helps each child reach their potential through hands on exploration of materials. She also embraces different learning styles to help each child become a successful learner. Children's curiosity should always be encouraged and welcomed. Her son flourished through Montessori Elementary at our school and he took many of those life skills with him on to higher education.
In her spare time, Mrs. Moody enjoys gardening, camping, and spending time in her family cherry orchard in Wenatchee. She loves making homemade jams and pies, and carries this over into her classroom, providing many cooking opportunities for the children. Everything from homemade tortillas, homemade applesauce to holiday Yule logs, children love to be in the kitchen and so does Mrs. Moody. 
Mrs. Hendin- Preschool Teacher (NAMC) 

Mrs. Hendin is a dedicated educator with a BA in Early Childhood Education from Whittier College and over 16 years of teaching experience. 

She looks forward to help her preschoolers develop independence through materials and real life examples.  

Mrs. Dean- Preschool Coordinator (AMS)
Mrs. Dean’s interest in learning about the development of the child stated with the birth of her own two boys 41 years ago. When she decided to send my children to Monroe Montessori School it was the beginning of her love and appreciation for the Montessori Method; a lifelong journey of learning and growing.

After assisting in the Montessori preschool classroom for a number of years, Mrs. Dean decided to get her Montessori certification to become a lead Montessori teacher. She became a lead preschool Montessori teacher in 1996 and has been actively teaching at MMS ever since then.  

Mrs. Dean believes in the protection of things considered worth caring for-stewardship. She feels a deep sense of responsibility to be a steward to the children enrolled in our school. She holds this stewardship not as a responsibility, but an honor.

In her free time, Mrs. Dean dreams of one day writing a children’s book involving scarlet runner beans and the botany that goes with them, teepees and children dreaming of what they would like to be then they grow up. I wonder if this idea will ever become a reality.

Mrs. Cavalcante- Assistant Preschool Teacher

​​​​Ms. Walker - Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher (WA State Teaching Certificate)
Ms. Walker is pleased to be in her fourth year of working at Monroe Montessori School. She attended Arizona State University earning her BA in Elementary Education.  She previously taught public school in the Riverview School District before starting her own family. When the opportunity presented itself for her two daughters to attend MMS, she found herself on a new career path, learning all about the Montessori method.

​​​Mrs. Lembke- Assistant Preschool Teacher
Mrs. Lembke graduated from Western Governors University with a BS in Business Management and is currently finishing her Bachelor of Science in Special Education. 

She has an extensive volunteer and employment history working with children, and is thrilled to join MMS and help grow the minds of the preschoolers in the A1 classroom.

Mrs. Ringstad - Lead  Toddler Teacher



Director: Thea Heineman

Office Phone: (360) 794-4622

Office Hours: 8:00 - 4:30


​Ext. 12 A1 Tristi Moody- 
Ext. 13 A2 Kristin Baerg-

Ext. 14 A4 Cami Jones
Ext. 15 B1 Ginny Gleaves- 

Ext. 16 B2 Kirsten Harris - 

Ext. 17 B3 Sarah Hendin 

Ext. 22 C1 Kaia Walla -

                  Erin Sargent -

Ext. 19 C2 Ann Kisela-

Ext. 20 C3 Crystal Merrill -

Enrichment Teachers

Art Education: Tone McCreary  (student art examples on ArtSonia)

Music Education: Lisa Hanson

Spanish Instruction Elementary: Thea Heineman
Physical Education K-6: 

After School Enrichment Programs

Thea Heineman

Before School Care/After School Care

Allison Frye - Main Campus

Ramona Lott - West Campus

Clubhouse Care

Allison Frye