...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


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

With over 20 years of experience in both traditional and Montessori education settings, Maria found a home at JMS for over 10 years.  One of her special interests is to continue learning about children with special needs so she can better help them. She enjoyed being part of the Orton Gillingham Program as well as ADHD courses, as it is important for her to stay up-to-date on anything related to child development.


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
AMI Guide

B.S. in Education

Masters in Education 

AMI Certified

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
AMI Guide

AMI Certified

B.S. Elementary Education

Emphasis in Early Childhood Education from SUNY Geneseo

Masters in Education from Loyola University, Maryland

Megan's third child is enrolled in our Children's House program at JMS. 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, their ability to empathize and their ability to be inclusive.  


Nada Al-Khouja

Bachelor’s Degree in Child Education
University of Damascus

For the past 20 years, Nada has worked with Montessori and traditional schools. In addition, she managed a daycare center for five years. Nada continues to strive to keep learning and further her education about children.

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


Mindi Dahl
Assistant Teacher

B.S. in Elementary Education

Masters in Educational Leadership: Education Administration Specialty

Mindi is a dog lover! She likes her kids too! She really enjoys their sporting events and taking them camping.  On the weekends you can find her in the garden, during the week you can find her in JMS' 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 in the Shakopee school district.

Glenda loves to read, travel, and go camping.


Emily Leskee
Assistant Head of School Enrichment Coordinator

BFA in Art Education

Masters of Educational Technology

Emily is the mother of three children; two who attend JMS. She has a passion for teaching which shows in her decade of experience in art education. Emily incorporates the Montessori lifestyle into her home and workplace and is thrilled to be immersed in the authentic Montessori environment at JMS is known so well for.


Pamela Longtine
Assistant Teacher

B.S. in Early Childhood Education

Pamela graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Art. Previously, 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

BA in University Studies: Interior Design and Early Childhood Education

Certified Lactation Counselor


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. She has studied various methods of education and lead her own Preschool classroom after graduating from MSUM. Her passion for education sparked from working for 4 years through North Dakota Reading Corps as a Literacy Aide. She is very excited to be immersed in the Montessori method and to be part of the JMS Community.

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


Ka Xiong
Administrative Assistant

Hmong, Lao & Thai

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

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

Photos taken by Kara Olson Photography