Our Hickory Class is an early childhood education classroom specifically oriented toward families that require only half-time care. The options for this classroom of 3-6 yr. olds are the morning session (8:15-11:15) or afternoon session (12:15-3:15) five days per week.
There is also an optional lunch available at an extra fee. Space is limited so please sign up early.
Robyn joined the BMS faculty in 2012. She completed her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Indiana University and has been in Bloomington ever since. She earned a Child Development Associate’s degree from Ivy Tech and completed her Montessori Early Childhood teaching certification. Robyn enjoys spending time with her own three children, and with all of the children in the classroom.
Molly has been a part of the BMS community since 2014. She completed her undergraduate degree in Family and Consumer Sciences at The University of Kentucky followed by her Montessori Early Childhood teaching certification from Montessori Opportunities. She has taught at both the preschool and infant/toddler age levels for over 10 years while raising her own two children. She enjoys music, cooking, and exploring nature with her family.
Jai Holt has a passion for connecting students of all ages to nature. She spent 3 years as an apprentice with the Vermont Wilderness School where she learned wilderness survival, naturalist and leadership skills. As an apprentice, Jai taught home school students during the school year, facilitated workshops for adults and spent summers teaching camps that provided immersive nature experiences. She has also worked locally with 4-6 years olds during Little Turtles Camp at Wild Nature Project. Jai’s passion for nature started at a young age and reminds her of the importance of valuing even the youngest students’ unique gifts and contribution to the community.Jai holds a B.S. in Business Economics from University of Louisville and a M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana. Jai enjoys spending time with her 2 daughters, gardening, hiking, camping, learning new skills, attending women’s group, and caring for her 2 cats and 5 chickens.
The Magnolia Early Childhood classroom offers an all-day program for children between the ages of 3-6. The program includes a morning and an afternoon work period along with 4 outdoor times, lunch, rest time and 2 group meetings. During the work periods, teachers give children individual and small group lessons in Practical Life, Sensorial, Art, Mathematics, Language, Science and Geography. During the daily group meetings children participate in discussions, songs, games, stories and presentations. Montessori children are encouraged to solve problems independently, to guide their own education by following their interests and to do purposeful work, with an emphasis on freedom of movement. We give children the opportunity to learn in a beautifully prepared classroom with teachers who are trained to foster independence, leading to an optimal, peaceful, learning environment.
Anna Wegerson is thrilled to be teaching at BMS as a lead in the Magnolia Classroom, where she has taught since 2015. Anna hails from Chicago, IL, where she attended Montessori from the age of three up through 8th grade. She holds a BA in Theatre from Earlham College, and received her certification in Montessori Early Childhood Education from Seton Montessori Institute in 2013. She completed her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University in 2021. Anna adores this amazing and supportive community of parents, children and educators, and is happy to be residing in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana.
Kimmi Perry is has her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education. She is currently obtaining her Master’s Degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences at Indiana University. She has been trained and certified as a Conscious Discipline leader, which emphasizes the social/emotional support of the child. Kimmi has been working in a preschool setting for over 10 years. She is a proud parent of two boys, who also attend BMS. Kimmi is very excited to be working with each one of the students in the classroom.
Donalee Attardo graduated from Purdue University in 1996 with a PhD in Linguistics. She was an academic technologist at Purdue University for many years before becoming an administrator in information technology at Purdue University and then the University of Minnesota. In 2019, she returned to Indiana and moved to Bloomington to be near her family. Her grandson Liam is a student in the Walnut lower elementary classroom this year. Donalee has been a Montessori assistant teacher for two years and has taken several courses on Montessori philosophy, curriculum, and child development. Donalee loves working with the students and the fabulous teachers in the Magnolia classroom! She also studies yoga, loves to read, enjoys cooking vegetarian meals, and spending time with grandchildren and her cats.
Olivia joined the BMS faculty in 2019. She was born and raised in Bloomington and has studied sociology at Earlham College and Indiana University. Prior to Montessori, Olivia enjoyed working with children at various camps and after-school programs. Outside of work, Olivia enjoys spending time in nature, with animals, painting, and writing.
Sweet Gum Class
The Sweet Gum Early Childhood classroom offers an all-day program for children between the ages of 3-6. The program includes a morning and an afternoon work period along with 4 outdoor times, lunch, rest time and 2 group meetings. During the work periods, teachers give children individual and small group lessons in Practical Life, Sensorial, Art, Mathematics, Language, Science and Geography. During the daily group meetings children participate in discussions, songs, games, stories and presentations. Montessori children are encouraged to solve problems independently, to guide their own education by following their interests and to do purposeful work, with an emphasis on freedom of movement. We give children the opportunity to learn in a beautifully prepared classroom with teachers who are trained to foster independence, leading to an optimal, peaceful, learning environment.
April has a B.A. degree in Early Childhood Education with a Kindergarten teaching endorsement. Development theorists Jean Piaget and Edouard Seguin were inspirational to her as a teacher. When her oldest son was a toddler, she joined the faculty at Bloomington Montessori and was amazed to witness developmental theory successfully applied in a classroom. It was a transformative experience. April moved to Virginia the following year and attended Montessori teacher training courses at the North Carolina Center for Montessori Teacher Education.
April was born in Bloomington and happily returned to raise her family. She lives in a historic mid-century neighborhood with her husband Jay, dog Manni, daughter Sophie and son Teddy. She also has an adult son, Nikita who lives nearby. April has a great love of art and nature. She enjoys collecting and playing vintage records, going for walks around town, and riding her bicycle.
Lyndsey Taylor is an assistant teacher in the Sweetgum classroom, and has worked at BMS since 2017. She has her Bachelor’s degree in General Studies and an Associate’s degree in Library Sciences. Providing access to books and information is an invaluable aspect of learning, and she hopes to use her library background to help guide those who are curious to their answers and interests. She loves working with the children and teachers in the Sweetgum classroom, and the community they build together year after year. In her free time, she can be found playing board games with friends, practicing guitar, or tending to her numerous house plants.
Terri has been an assistant teacher in the Sweetgum class since 1993. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University in 1991. She and her husband Greg have three children, Lindsey, Caitlyn and Andrew. Terri enjoys reading, sewing, and crossstitching. Her family enjoys decorating their yard and home for Halloween and Christmas. Terri loves working with young children because of the joy they experience in the everyday moments.
Nancy graduated from IU Bloomington in 2022 with a Philosophy BA. Originally from Upstate New York and graduating from a Massachusetts high school, her work here in Bloomington provides children with cultural access to education concerning diversity within the United States. During her childhood, Nancy was a girl scout, traveling around her own local community and a number of other countries to conduct service projects for the local communities she visited and to learn about sustainability, leadership, and understanding across cultures. Most notably traveling to India in high school, she attended a leadership conference at WAAGS (World Association of Girl Scouts) Sangam World Center in Pune while working with preschoolers in a Tara Mobile Cresce nearby to create murals. Then a year later she visited Haiti working directly with the local community to provide medical supply kits, education on the materials (and even some medical care to the children).
Now, Nancy is excited to both learn and teach with the Sweet Gum Class, helping create a caring, mutually respectful, and curious environment for the next generation of leaders and creators.
Alice is from Springfield, Illinois and graduated from Illinois State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. During college she worked at the local Barnes and Noble as the lead bookseller in the children’s department, where she led story times and helped plan midnight book release parties. She moved to Bloomington in 2012 with her husband and dog to be closer to her big sister and niece. Before coming to BMS she taught Kindergarten at a local school for four years. She recently completed graduate work at IU in Early Childhood, and is pursuing Montessori certification for the Lower Elementary classroom. In her free time she loves to knit, read, play board games, and hang out with her husband and dog.
Jacob Bailey has been teaching at BMS since the fall of 2002. He has his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University and has various other teacher training certifications, most of which are science based. He completed his Montessori 6-9 Lead Teacher training from the Columbus Montessori Center/COMET in Columbus, Ohio. Jacob previously served as the Lead Teacher in Walnut for 13 years. Jacob was born in Bloomington and is raising his children surrounded by a large and loving extended family. Both of his boys attended BMS from ages 3-12. His oldest is starting college and the youngest is starting high school. Jacob loves teaching in the school and finds joy in even the smallest parts of our days at BMS.
Kellie Havert is originally from Lake Forest, CA and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education, with an emphasis in science, from Northern Arizona University in 2016. Upon graduation, she moved to Bloomington to accompany her husband as he works on a PhD at IU. Kellie has been a teacher at BMS since 2018. Kellie brings to the classroom a love of animals and volunteers at the animal shelter. When not caring for her dog, two cats, bearded dragon, leopard gecko, and snake, or working in the classroom, she can be found relaxing at home or trying a new restaurant.
Eve Loftman Cusack
Eve has a B.A. in Sociology from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Special Education from the University of New Orleans. As a Teach For America corps member, Eve taught public school kindergarten for four years outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. She then served as the educational consultant at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans for two years until Hurricane Katrina brought her and her husband back to Bloomington. Eve joined the BMS teaching staff in 2006 and served as the lead teacher of the Hickory early childhood classroom until spring of 2017. She then began her Montessori elementary (6-12) training and became the lead teacher of the Walnut 6-9 classroom in the fall of 2017.
Eve attended BMS from 1979 to 1987, when she graduated from the upper elementary (9-12) classroom. She lives on a small farmstead with her husband, Sam, who is also a teacher at BMS, their two children, and Eve’s parents.
McKenzie Holmgren has been teaching at BMS since the fall of 2015. She graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a concentration in psychology and counseling. She also minored in interpersonal relations. McKenzie has always had a passion for the performing arts, being involved in show choir and color guard. She is currently involved in an adult show choir here in town. She moved from Noblesville to Bloomington in 2015 to be with her now husband. They now have a home here in Bloomington together. McKenzie loves the community here at BMS, working with each child for three years, and getting to know the families so well.
Jacinta has a B.Ed in Economics. She spent the past 12 years teaching. She taught in a traditional school for 9 years before moving to a core Montessori school in Lagos, Nigeria for 4 years. Jacinta loves children, which helped her decide to study education. “When the opportunity came for a Teacher Exchange program, I was excited and left Nigeria to move to the United States. I hope this experience makes me a better teacher and I can also help the community in the best way I can.” In her free time, Jacinta enjoys baking and listening to music.
The Sycamore upper elementary class is based primarily on inquiry, research and discovery, and writing. Our curriculum includes writing for both quantity and quality. Writing for quantity affords students opportunity, diversity, habit development, and the nurturing of a “renaissance” mind. Writing for quality allows students to fully explore deeply developed ideas as well as develop expertise on a particular subject. A curriculum based on research, using primary and secondary sources, and writing is so appropriate for this age because children who can investigate, think about, and write about the world can begin to make sense of that world and grow into very effective adults who can find their unique place in it.
Sam Cusack has been a teacher at Bloomington Montessori since 2007, first in the Sweet Gum and Magnolia classrooms and then, since 2014, in the Sycamore classroom. Sam graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in economics and has an Associate’s degree from The Culinary Institute of America. He is married to BMS teacher Eve Cusack, and they have two children, one who graduated from the Sycamore class in 2018 and one who is currently in the Sycamore class. Sam enjoys cooking, birdwatching, and performing in musicals and plays for Cardinal Stage Company.
Deanna Gwin is excited to be a new teacher in the Sycamore class at Bloomington Montessori School. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Secondary Education with a focus on English and Language Arts. Deanna taught at Greenwood Middle School before heading to South Korea to teach ESL for three years. She then moved to Shanghai, China where she taught kindergarten and first grade for seven years. After coming back to America in 2016 with her two children, she taught Language Arts at Edgewood High School and kindergarten at the Bloomington Project School. She enjoys going to concerts, bowling, and traveling in her free time.
The Willow Class is our 9-12 classroom. Children may attend class 8:15-3:15, five days a week.
The Willow upper elementary class is based primarily on inquiry, research and discovery, and writing. Our curriculum includes writing for both quantity and quality. Writing for quantity affords students opportunity, diversity, habit development, and the nurturing of a “renaissance” mind. Writing for quality allows students to fully explore deeply developed ideas as well as develop expertise on a particular subject. A curriculum based on research, using primary and secondary sources, and writing is so appropriate for this age because children who can investigate, think about, and write about the world can begin to make sense of that world and grow into very effective adults who can find their unique place in it.
Nick received his Bachelor’s degree from IU Bloomington in 2013, majoring in Environmental Management, and both his Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary Certifications from the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, IL. He has worked as an environmental educator in Northern Indiana, teaching children of all ages, and served for four years as the Lead Upper Elementary Teacher at a Montessori charter school in Northwest Indiana. Nick brings to the classroom a love of hiking, experiential science, and educating students about the outdoors. He enjoys sports as well as biking, camping, and spending time with family and friends.