Individual Attention • Inspiring Curriculum • Dedicated Staff • Since 1978

Ms. Penn - Lead Toddler Teacher (NAMC)
​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 certified by the North American Montessori center. Specializing in the Birth to 3 year old program.
Living in the PNW, she enjoys all the beauty the area has to offer. 

West Campus 

Mrs. Parsons-Preschool Teacher (AMS)
​​Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, Mrs. Parsons acquired a love and appreciation of nature. She attended the University of Washington where she earned a BS degree in biology. 

She recently completed her MEIPN Montessori teacher certification and is excited to be the lead teacher in our 4 day half day preschool program. ​Mrs. Parsons strives to create a peaceful classroom setting where all students feel accepted and successful.

​In her free time, she enjoys working in the garden, practicing yoga and spending time with her family.
Mrs. Muller - Lower Elementary Teacher (AMS)​ 
Mrs. Muller holds a BA in Education, is Montessori trained through MEIPN as a 3-6 teacher and holds Montessori certification for both the lower and upper classroom levels. She  recently completed a MA degree in Mathematics (K-6) and has 20 years experience teaching in public and private Montessori schools.

Besides her passion for teaching and inspiring students, Mrs. Muller also loves to be outside  with her family boating, hiking, camping and digging for dinosaur fossils!


"Children are born with wings.

Teachers help them fly!"

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 lead teacher in the 3rd -5th grade elementary classroom. When not in the classroom, Mrs. Kisela enjoys tole painting, music, and zip-lining! 

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 degree 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. 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.

​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.



Director: Thea Heineman

Office Phone: (360) 794-4622

Office Hours: 8:00 - 4:30


​Ext. 12 A1 Tristi Moody- 

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

Ext. 16 B2 Kirsten Harris - 

Ext. 17 B3 Annie Chi -

Ext. 22 C1 Melissa Lehan  -

Ext. 19 C2 Ann Kisela-

Ext. 20 C3 Polly Muller -

Enrichment Teachers

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

Music Education: Lisa Hanson

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

After School Enrichment Programs

Thea Heineman

Before School Care/After School Care

Allison Frye - Main Campus

Ramona Lott - West Campus

Clubhouse Care

Allison Frye


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

Mrs. Thompson 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, Mrs. Thompson loves to bake and try new recipes, spending time with her family and friends, and exploring new places around the world.

​​​​Mrs. Hansen - Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher (AMS)
Mrs. Hansen has spent the last 15 years teaching in a Montessori classroom. She received her AMS certification for the early childhood level in 2004 and has predominantly worked as a Lead Teacher. 

She lives in Lake Stevens and loves being a mom and spending time with family and friends. In her free time she enjoys sewing, quilting, knitting, playing the flute, or exploring the next art project on Pinterest with her young daughter.

Mrs. Hansen is excited to be a part of MMS,  working with Mrs. Muller,  and be a guide for the children in lower elementary on their path to becoming considerate, independent learners. 

​​​​​Mrs. Fisher - Assistant Preschool Teacher
Mrs. Fisher previously served four years on the board for the Sky Valley Co-op, and is the proud mother of two boys. 

​She loves being part of the MMS teaching staff, watching the children in her classroom learn how to become independent learners,  and is enthusiastic about positive parenting.

​In her free time, Mrs Fisher enjoys all things outdoors, especially rock-climbing, skiing and hiking.

​​​​​Ms. Sargent - Upper Elementary Assistant (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, and is currently assisting Mrs. Kisela in Upper Elementary.

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

​​​​​Mrs. Chi -  Preschool Teacher 
Mrs. Chi received her AMS certification  in 2014 and has worked as a lead teacher for 6 years. Prior to that, she worked in banking for 13 years while raising her children who are now 19 and 22. She was born and raised in Duvall, and has lived in Monroe for 20 years.

She enjoys family time, camping, hiking, and trips to Long Beach. Cooking is her main hobby, and volunteer work, specifically with the homeless community, is a passion.

She is excited to bring her enthusiasm for learning to the MMS classroom.

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

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

Mrs. Watkins - Assistant Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Watkins started teaching at 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. 
​​​​​​Mrs. Schwartz -  Assistant Preschool Teacher
Mrs. Schwartz has previously worked as an assistant teacher in a Montessori school in Michigan, and loved it.  She is excited to work as an assistant in Mrs. Parsons class this year.

She loves working with children and watching their faces light up with excitement as they discover and lean new concepts.

In her spare time, Mrs. Schwartz loves to spend time with her family, run, craft, and read.

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

​​​​​Ms. Lehan -  Preschool Teacher 
Ms . Lehan received her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Washington.
She has been passionate about the Montessori method since attending a Montessori school as a child, and has almost 30 years experience both teaching and mentoring fellow educators.

Her favorite classroom subjects are practical life, science, and teaching the monthly curriculum units.  

Ms. Lehan got involved in volunteer work at Monroe Montessori when her daughter was a student here, and currently a Preschool lead teacher. She has been a part of the Monroe community for over 20 years, and enjoys gardening, crafts, traveling, spending time with her family, and watching football. 

​​​​​​Mrs. Wheeler -  Assistant Preschool Teacher 
Mrs. Wheeler received her degree from Trinity Lutheran College and has several years experience in the education field. 

She is passionate about inspiring and encouraging children toward success, and is thrilled to assist Ms. Lehan using her positivity to enhance the classroom environment.