...the teacher’s task is first to nourish and assist, to watch, encourage, guide, induce, rather than to interfere, prescribe or restrict.
— Dr. Maria Montessori



Maria Libra
AMI Guide

AMI Certified

English + Spanish

With over 20 years of experience in both traditional and Montessori education settings, Maria found a home at JMS for over 15 years.

Maria enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, spending time with her family and sharing her Spanish language and culture with the students & their families. 


Kasey Meyer
AMI Guide

AMI Certified

Kasey has been at JMS since 2010. She loves to paint, do arts & crafts, and spend time with family & friends. She's an avid reader, enjoying historical fiction. In the summer you'll find her tending to her community garden.



Taryn Rice
Director of Education AMI Guide

AMI Certified

B.S. in Education

Masters in Education 

Taryn loves to be outdoors.  Lake life is her life on the weekends. Camping, campfires & live music are her loves. She has a beautiful niece and nephew whom she adores.





Megan Wylie
Assistant Director of Education AMI Guide

AMI Certified

B.S. Elementary Education

Masters in Education

Megan came to JMS from Seattle and with prior experience as an AMI Guide, she noticed quickly that JMS is not just about the children but the whole family. Her passion for Montessori started prior to having children and now sees how it has built her children's confidence, empathy, and their ability to be inclusive.  


Nada Al-Khouja

B.S. in Education

English + Arabic

For the past 20 years, Nada has worked with children in a Montessori and traditional setting.

Nada has a wonderful husband and four amazing children. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her family, cook, and entertain guests.


Mindi Dahl
Assistant Teacher

B.S. in Elementary Education

Masters in Educational Leadership: Education Administration Specialty

Mindi is a dog lover and likes her kids too! She really enjoys cheering on her children at their sporting events and camping with her family.  On the weekends you can find her in the garden.



Glenda Dykema
Assistant Teacher

Glenda lives in Shakopee with her husband and two children.

Before joining to JMS, Glenda spent 12 years working as a substitute teacher.t.

Glenda loves to read, travel, and go camping.


Emily Leskee
Program Director

BFA in Art Education

Masters of Educational Technology

Emily is the mother of three Montessori children. She has a passion for teaching which shows in her decade of experience in art education.

Emily loves spending time with her family, being outdoors, and photography.


Pamela Longtine
Assistant Teacher

B.S. in Early Childhood Education

Pamela holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Art. Before coming to JMS, Pamela worked as an Americorps Reading Tutor in Minneapolis public schools. That experience confirmed her love of teaching young children and inspired her to become a teacher. In 2017, Pamela was the recipient of a traditional arts grant to create programs for children about fiddle music for schools and libraries.

In Pamela's free time, she loves to garden, bike, and play fiddle music. 


Beth Lucero
Assistant Teacher

B.S. in Early Childhood Education

Beth is an active mom of 5 Montessori children. In Beth’s free time, she loves reading, knitting, and gardening.


Anna Wilson
Assistant Teacher

B.A. in University Studies: Interior Design and Early Childhood Education

Certified Lactation Counselor

English + French

Anna loves being a "forever learner", always open to her growth and how she can positively influence those around her. She is passionate about character building and our positive impact on the world & those around us.

In her spare time she loves being in nature, cooking, baking, playing games, and photography.


Ka Xiong
Office Manager

English + Hmong, Lao & Thai

Ka is the mother of four, very busy, children. She loves art and drawing portraits.  Born in Laos, Ka speaks Hmong, Lao & Thai!

Ka has been working in Montessori environments for five years and is passionate about the Montessori method.

Photos taken by Kara Olson Photography