Bright Water Staff Directory
Director, Bright Water Elementary: Ann Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Marie Johnson has worked extensively in the field of public education with a special interest in closing the achievement gap for students of color. Ann is currently a Turnaround Program Specialist with the Minneapolis Public Schools, working with High Priority schools in the district to improve instruction and school culture. Ann has held leadership positions in Charter School administration including Director of Student and Family Services and Interim School Director at KIPP WAYS Academy and School Leader at The Academy of North Minneapolis. Ann began her career as a primary Montessori teacher for Minneapolis Public Schools. She has taught in various public, private and charter schools in Minneapolis, Charlotte, Atlanta, and spent a year teaching English to 3 and 4 year olds in Abu Dhabi. Ann holds a BA in Early Childhood Education from Clark Atlanta University and Master of Literacy Education from Hamline University. She has completed a fast track Primary Montessori training through the Minneapolis Public Schools and a summer-long elementary Montessori training in Sarasota, Florida. Ann has additional certificates in Cultural Dynamics and Cognitive Coaching Training. She has served on several boards, including the MN National Association of Multi-Cultural Education. Ann is the mother of eight children, one step, four biological and three adopted. She and her husband spend their free time playing with their youngest grandchild who is three years old.
Director, Bright Water Montessori: Hannah Hoover Nelson, email@example.com
Hannah Hoover Nelson comes to us from her position as Executive Director of Child Garden Montessori, where she oversees a staff of 60 and manages all aspects of school business. Before Child Garden, Hannah was Director of Small World Learning Center, where she founded the school-age and private Kindergarten programs; Business Manager at the Learning Experience in Brooklyn Park; and Accounting Assistant at West Bank School of Music. Hannah came to her career in school administration from a teaching background. She spent 7 years as a lead preschool teacher at Kids Care connection, and was named Best Teacher by Plymouth Magazine in 2005. She also spent two years as a Toddler teacher at Crossview Early Childcare Center in Edina. Hannah's education includes a 2-year degree in Early Childhood Education from Anoka Technical College, a BS in Accounting from the University of St Catherine's, and she has completed the AMI Assistant's training course at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. Hannah has already determined that her bike commute from Robbinsdale is just 11 minutes, and plans to enroll her daughter in Children's House in the fall.
Ka Xiong, Office Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiffany Dunn, Operations Manager, email@example.com
Katie Laird, Health & Wellness Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Quanda Arch, Family Engagement Coordinator, email@example.com
Shingi Nwokocha, Preschool Business Manger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Krista Lucas, Toddler Guide, email@example.com
Krista joined Bright Water in 2012 working in the Children’s House. She began the Assistants to Infancy training at the Montessori Institute in Denver, CO, in 2013. She is teaching the toddler community and will complete the training in 2014. Her favorite part of working with children is learning their unique personalities and seeing them grow and develop.
Sharon Dunbar, Toddler Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon has been at Bright Water for 10 years and loves it here. She has been living in the community for 28 years enjoying the children she works with. She started at Bright Water when it was located on 37th Freemont and Emerson Ave. She is very proud to have the opportunity of being around the toddlers and getting to know them and the people she works with.
Gloria Panora, Toddler Assistant,
CHILDREN'S HOUSE 1
Natalie Friesen, Children’s House Lead Guide, email@example.com
Consuelo Ortiz, Children’s House Aide, firstname.lastname@example.org
Consuelo is from Honduras. She came to this country in 1983. She has four handsome boys and 9 beautiful grandkids. She is a professional seamstress and a fashion designer. She went to school 12 years and became a secretary; later on she studied for her Bachelors. In 1988 she went to Montessori training school to get the training for teacher’s assistant and they offered her a job with the toddler community as a teacher assistant and worked there at Corner Stone for 1 year. She moved from there due to the distance and she found work at Bright Water and has worked there for 3 years as an assistant.
CHILDREN'S HOUSE 2
Veronica Vital, Children’s House Lead Guide, email@example.com
Veronica grew up in Mexico and attended the BUSP University of Puebla, Mexico. She taught English to Middle School age children, kindergarteners and adult education. Veronica moved to Minnesota in 1994 to study and work as an assistant in a Montessori environment. She fell in love with the Montessori Method right away that decided to take the Montessori education course. She worked in another Montessori school for 13 years as a guide and this will be her second year in Bright Water. She lives in Brooklyn Park with her husband and three energetic boys. Besides teaching Veronica loves cooking, reading and going on nature walks.
Jacquelyn Randleman, Children’s House Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacquelyn is a graduate of Metro State University where she received her BA degree in Human Relations. Jacquelyn is Montessori certified and has worked at Bright Water Montessori since its opening in 2004. She loves art and having a good belly laugh.
Gloria E. Mejia, Children’s House Aide, email@example.com
Gloria is from El Salvador. She has lived in the USA for 16 years. She is married and has 3 kids. She and her husband are pastors in their church. She enjoys working in Children’s House 2.
CHILDREN'S HOUSE 3
Denise Morris, Children's House Lead Guide, firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Morris is a dedicated and motivated educator, with over 15 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education and administration. In the Children House Denise sees children learning concepts about language and math that give them a true foundation for success. She believes that Montessori children emerged from Primary with problem solving skills, an ability to care for themselves and the environment, plus a love for learning. She writes, “The relationship between the guide and the child transformed my thinking about how children should be educated.”
Denise has extensive training in Montessori. She attended both Santa Monica Montessori Training in 2001 and the Montessori Center of Minnesota in 2014. Prior to training, Denise worked as a teacher, director, and community organizer in a variety of educational settings. She is excited to merge the old and new experiences and newly acquired training with the talents and passions of fellow educators at Bright Water Montessori School.
Queen, Children's House Assistant, email@example.com
Sahro Salal, Children’s House Aide, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sahro is from Somalia. She came to the U.S.A. November 2008, and has been working at Bright Water for six years. She loves helping children and the school.
EAGLE'S NEST (Lower Elementary Grades 1 to 3)
Peter Avirom, Elementary Guide, email@example.com
Born and raised in NYC, Peter moved to the land of ice and snow in 1992. He’s lived here ever since except for 2 years in Japan and 2 years in Taiwan. Since he was 8 years old, Peter has wanted to be a teacher, an author, Batman, and starting center for the New York Knicks. Not much has changed since then. He’s been teaching since 1992 and has worked with students age 1-adult. He speaks Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, and a few words of Hebrew. In his spare time he enjoys Sports, Games, Improv, Chess, and learning new things. He started working at Bright Water as an E2 assistant in August 2012 while completing his AMI Primary training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota.
David Wenell, Paraprofessional/Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
David grew up on an Iowa farm, but has lived in Eau Claire, Chicago, Rural Iowa, Vancouver (British Columbia), and Minneapolis. David has a degree in English education and a Masters in youth and camping ministry. He has worked is schools, camps, churches, as a stay-at-home parent, and as a writer. David enjoys the outdoors, music, gardening, reading, and writing. He also has two children who attend Bright Water.
TROUT CREEK (Lower Elementary Grades 1 to 3)
Rose Dorer, Elementary Guide, email@example.com
Rose has taught in Bright Water School in the E1 level for the past 3 years. Previously she taught in a St. Paul public Montessori school for 19 years at E1 and E2 levels and as curriculum coordinator for 6 years. In addition to teaching children, Rose has taught adults in Montessori teacher Education as St. Catherine University and at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Rose earned her Montessori certification for Early Childhood from Michigan Montessori Center and Elementary certification from Bergamo, Italy. She holds a MA from St. Catherine University for Education of Children at Risk.
Ayo Henderson, Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ayo is entering his 9th year at Bright Water Montessori. He is a certified Montessori assistant at the primary level and has worked at all levels at Bright Water. He lives in North Minneapolis and has a great commitment to the students and families in the community. This will be his second year in Trout Creek.
FOX DEN (Lower Elementary Grades 1 to 3)
Megan Andrews, Elementary Guide, email@example.com
Megan Andrews was a Montessori student as a child. She attended Madison Central Montessori in Madison, Wisconsin as a Children's House student. Megan is a graduate of St. Catherine's University where she received her BA in English. She also completed her MA in Education and Montessori Certifications (CH, EI, and E2) at St. Catherine's. Having taught at all three levels, she found EI to be her favorite! Megan started the Fox Den classroom six years ago and is happy to be back for her sixth year at Bright Water.
Laura Magana, Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura is in her third year at Bright Water and second year in Fox Den. During her first year at Bright Water, he was a Children's House aide. She enjoys children of all ages. Laura loves to hike and spend time with her husband Chris.
Adam Zahller, Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, email@example.com
Adam Zahller is in his first year at Bright Water Elementary, where he works as an E1 classroom assistant and as the E2 music instructor through El Sistema Minnesota. He has recently relocated to Minneapolis from Lincoln, NE, where he worked as a paraprofessional at a public middle school from 2013-15. As an accomplished professional composer, his concert works have been performed in cities across the United States and Europe. As a singer and multi-instrumentalist, he performs with various groups in the area. Understanding educational outreach to be a natural outgrowth of his artistic practice, he has brought workshops in contemporary music to schools in Nebraska and Minnesota. He holds a B.Mus. from the Chapman Conservatory, and and M.A. in music composition from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
FROG POND (Lower Elementary Grades 1 to 3)
Rhonda LeSage, Lower Elementary Guide, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Rhonda LeSage’s second year as a Guide in Frog Pond. She grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and earned her BS degree from Western Michigan University in 1989. For nearly 10 years, she worked with adults with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. In 1996, she made a career track change and worked as a Children’s House Assistant in a private Montessori school in Kalamazoo. Her husband’s career soon swept them away to Louisiana where she worked for over 3 years in E1 while acquiring her Lower Elementary Montessori credentials from Houston Montessori Training Center. In 2000, husband Mark’s career then brought them to the Twin Cities where Rhonda taught in a private Montessori school in Anoka until the day before their first child was born. After staying home with the children (2) for almost 13 years, Rhonda returned to the classroom at BWE, her first public charter experience. Rhonda’s passion is to visit all of the national parks. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, crocheting, reading, gardening, scrap booking, genealogy, cooking, and snuggling with her 2 cats and 2 Guinea pigs.
Janaya Sundberg, Lower Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, email@example.com
Courtney Carlisle, Lower Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
GRAY WOLVES (Upper Elementary Grades 4 to 6)
Angela Wroblewski, Elementary Guide, email@example.com
Angela has spent over 16 years as a Montessori teacher in private as well as public charter Montessori schools at both the lower and upper elementary levels. She obtained her B.A. from University of St. Thomas with majors in both Education and Spanish. It was during this time that Angela took on the Summer Coordinator position for an afterschool and summer program in Minneapolis. After the invitation of a friend, Angela founded a Montessori Elementary school (1st-6th grade) in Blaine, returned to the University of St. Catherine's to complete her Montessori training and M.A. while teaching and sharing administration duties. Taking the opportunity to be the Director of Montessori Education committee and intern administrator at Bluffview Montessori School in Winona, Angela simultaneously completed her Principal's license through St. Mary's University of MN while teaching at the E2 level. At Bluffview Angela gained greater experience with closing the achievement gap during the process of writing and implementing a school improvement plan. Wanting further experience with Montessori charter schools, she took an E2 level teaching position at World Learner School in Chaska and became involved with the board and finance committee. Feeling called to a new challenge, Angela accepted a position last year to begin an E2 level at Great River School in St. Paul. Currently, Angela lives in Chaska with her husband and 5 children.
Bonnie Frieden, Upper Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bonnie is a new transplant to Minnesota, coming from California, where she worked for the past two years in outdoor education. She has worked in various summer schools and camps and has previously been an assistant in a Montessori preschool classroom. She is excited to see what the upper elementary level is all about and to be a part of the Bright Water community! In her free time, she enjoys reading, knitting, and all things outdoors.
Taylor Johnson, Upper Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, email@example.com
Golden Gophers (Upper Elementary Grades 4 to 6)
Anne Schuerger, Elementary Guide, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne is from the Chicago area. She grew up in the 1960s and was lucky to go through school at a time when education was enchanted by the race to put a human on the moon. It was also a time when teachers were encouraged to collaborate in open classrooms. Anne had the same two teachers for 4th, 5th and 6th grades, and can trace her love of math and science to their inspiring lessons and the freedom to learn at her own pace. Anne later went on to study electrical engineering in college and worked in computers and robotics. When her sons were young and she saw a Montessori classroom for the first time, Anne felt at home and knew it was what she wanted for her family. Her family moved to Italy for a year in 1998 so she could complete the Montessori elementary teacher training in Bergamo. Anne taught at JJ Hill in St Paul and then Lake Country School in Minneapolis until 2006. She joined the founding board of Bright Water Elementary in 2007 and served through 2011. Anne has volunteered the past few years in the computer lab, working with the 3rd through 6th graders, and is excited to be returning to the classroom.
Tracey Fluegel, Upper Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, email@example.com
Pairrion Gilbert, Upper Elementary Paraprofessional/Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Annie Hickman, Special Education Teacher, email@example.com
Annie has been at Bright Water for 4 years. She is a Special Education Teacher with a background in autism. She worked in Public Schools for 9 years and was trained in Montessori in 2010.
Taylor Rub, Elementary Special Education Teacher, firstname.lastname@example.org
Taylor is a Special Education teacher licensed in learning disabilities and emotional and behavioral disorders. She has experience teaching in a variety of settings including Minneapolis Public Schools and last year in Grey Wolves. Taylor is from rural Nebraska and a graduate of Hamline University and will be finishing her Master’s of teaching in Culture and Learning this fall. She has a special interest in outdoor activities and Mandarin Chinese.
ELEMENTARY SUPPORT STAFF
Gregory Pickett, Elementary Bridges Coordinator and Building Substitute
Gregory Pickett is from Chicago, IL. and has lived in Minnesota for a year. With a background in spoken word poetry and performing arts, Greg has worked with children of all ages specifically facilitating poetry workshops. As the Before and after Care Program Coordinator, he hopes to bring poetry and other exciting clubs to the Bright Water community.
Audrey Spiess, Reading Specialist, email@example.com
Audrey has a B.A. in psychology and a master’s degree in education. She also holds a teaching certificate in reading and writing. She has ten years of classroom teaching experience: seven years with the Minneapolis Public Schools, and three with the New York City Public Schools. She has worked the past three years doing reading in interventions. She is a long time resident of North Minneapolis, and is committed to the community.
Elizabeth Badillo Moorman, Math and Social Justice Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth was a founding Board Member of Bright Water Montessori Preschool in 2003 and became an employee in 2006, working as a part-time fundraiser. When Bright Water started its Elementary program in 2008, she was promoted to Assistant Director. This year, Elizabeth is the lead teacher in one of our Upper Elementary classrooms. Elizabeth has earned diplomas from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) for both the Primary (ages 3-6) and Elementary (ages 6-12) levels. Elizabeth has four children between the ages of 10 and 20. The youngest, Gabriel, is a student at Bright Water.
Siobhan Lockhart, Food Service Coordinator, email@example.com
Siobhan is beginning her 3rd year as Bright Water’s Food Service Coordinator. She is mom to Aoife (Trout Creek) and Hugh (Upper Elementary). Past jobs/careers include high school French & German teacher, ESL teacher, Peace Corps Volunteer, Bartender, Factory Worker, and Catering Coordinator. She enjoys camping, hiking, knitting, and BW students. She believes that the best food is made with love and natural ingredients.
Sherry Davis, Food Service Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Delano, Food Service Assistant and Maintenance, email@example.com
Bill has been employed part-time at Bright Water in the lunch room also as the school "maintenance guy" since October of 2014. He is also the primary chauffeur for his 7th grader, Charlie, who attended Bright Water until 3rd grade. Bill says that "Bright Water gave my son a great education and he's flourishing as a student as a direct result of being inspired to learn and appreciate all people." Before Bright Water Bill hung his hat at the Freewheel and Maple Grove bicycle shops, Trader Joe's, the Target corporation central operations center (training administrator), and 20 years as a federal agent in Washington, D.C. In his copious spare time you can find Bill trying to avoid chores around the house and yard but failing miserably. In the past year he has been able to bolt out of the house to go ski, bike, rock climb, or run for entire minutes at a time! Bill loves to travel with his family and is always planning the next adventure.
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