The Staff

As the educational director of the classroom, the Montessori teacher, (referred to as directress or director), through careful observation, responds to the child discovering his/her own needs and assists each to satisfy those needs. “The first duty of an educator is not to stir up life, but leave it free to develop.”

At Chesterton Montessori our focus is the development of the whole child, to the fullest potential, as an intellectual, physical, social, and emotional human being. The director allows each child to go forward as far as he/she can, linking the child and the prepared environment, together for purposeful activity. The educator does not have pre-established goals. He or she builds goals in the measure that he or she listens to children’s inner needs. The authentic educator is not a leader of children, he or she follows them. Respect comes before materials, before the school routine, before the presentations. The directress guides the child; not trains him.


Jen Aitchison
Art Instructor

Michelle Bellar
Full Day Toddler Assistant

Lisa Berke
Early Childhood Assistant

Carol Biel
Upper Elementary Language Specialist

Terry Cavallo
Owner and Educational Director

Miriam Christensen
Music Instructor

Jennifer Gumz
Early Childhood Directress

Dana Dalton
Spalding Instructor and Lower Elementary Assistant


Connie Helminski
Four Day Toddler Directress

Carol Hokanson
Early Childhood Assistant

Autumn Israelite
Extended Day Directress

Katie Haughtington
Upper Elementary Directress


Nan Michalak
Early Childhood Assistant

Beth Moran
Early Childhood and Extended Day Assistant

Sheila Oberlander
Full Day Toddler Directress

Vessa Julovich
Administrative Assistant


Suzanna Perrell
Lower Elementary Directress

Hilary Richard
Bookkeeper

Diana Richardson
Upper Elementary Mentor

Eliz Sukovich
Four Day Toddler Assistant and Childcare Room Opener


Kathy Taylor
Speech Pathologist

Karen Wixted
Four Day Toddler Assistant

Brooke Ferrand
Lower Elementary Assistant

Madelyn Klimek
Childcare Room Closer


Marie Cunningham
Early Childhood Directress


“To aid life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the basic task of the educator.”