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 2013. 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.
Christie Cooper has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Indiana University. Since graduation she has taught art courses to children and adults at the Waldron Arts Center. Christie joined the faculty at BMS in 2013 and finished her Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Certification in 2017. She served as an assistant in the Magnolia for three years before joining the Hickory classroom. Christie enjoys making ceramic work in her studio, spending time in nature, and working with children.
Mary Beth O’Brien
Mary Beth began her involvement with BMS in 2009 when her son started preschool as a “youngest grouper” in the Hickory classroom. She came on board the teaching staff when her daughter was a Hickory kindergartener. She enjoys preparing an environment that nurtures students’ curiosity, social development and sense of wonder. Her background in summer camp administration and recreation programming provide her with creative ways to spark a love of learning and joy. She enjoys reading, walking, music, writing and lots of time with family and friends.
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 is currently working on getting a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University. Anna adores this amazing and supportive community of parents, children and educators, and is happy to be residing in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana.
Kate Drake graduated from IU Bloomington in 2013 with a degree in Sustainable Design, a multidisciplinary major through the Individualized Major Program, which allowed her to combine her passion for ecological and sociological sustainability with her interest in architecture, landscape design and natural building methods. Her minors included Public and Environmental Affairs, Art History and Studio Art. Kat enjoys spending her time outside hiking in the woods and working in the garden. Kat finds the organic, independent learning environment at Montessori captivating and beautiful. The children are inspiring and such a joy to work with.
Kimberly Perry has her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently working towards her Master’s Degree at Indiana University in Speech and Hearing Pathology. She has been trained and certified as a Conscious Discipline leader. Kimmi has been working in a preschool setting for over 6 years. In her spare time, Kimmi enjoys hiking, fishing and camping. She is a proud parent of two boys, who also attend BMS. If she's not outside with her children, you can find her at the gym circuit training. Kimmi is very excited to be working with each one of the children in the classroom.
Donalee joined us in the fall of 2020. She is completing her Montessori certification.
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.
“It is a great blessing to teach using a method that is dynamic, time tested, respects the individual, and is a powerful force for positive social change.” — April Waxler, Lead-Teacher Sweet Gum Classroom
Our Sweet Gum Class Lead-Teacher April Waxler, has been featured in Trillium Montessori’s Blog – Classroom Showcase.
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 joined the BMS faculty in 2017 and is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Library Sciences at Ivy Tech. Providing access to information and services is an invaluable aspect of learning, and she hopes to help guide those who are curious to their answers. Lyndsey also serves as the Lead Teacher for BMS’s After Care program. Prior to becoming the Lead Teacher for the After Care program, she supported the lower and upper elementary Spanish classes and assisted in After Care. Her previous position allowed her to build relationships with the Hickory, Maple, Walnut, and Sycamore classes on a daily basis. She is excited to continue to build upon those friendships and get to know even more of the wonderful BMS community. In her free time, she is striving to improve her baking and gardening skills. She can usually be found reading, doing yoga, playing games with friends, and listening to music.
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.
The Maple Class is one of our two lower elementary (6-9) classrooms.
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.
The Walnut Class is one of our two lower elementary (6-9) classrooms.
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 daughters, 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.
The Sycamore Class is our 9-12 classroom. Children may attend class 8:15-3:15, five days a week.
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.
Matt Metzler started working at BMS in the summer of 2017. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated English/Language Arts Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After graduating in 2014, Matt lived in Oxford and worked at a Montessori school there for three years, first as an employee of their Extended Day program and then as a co-lead teacher in their Lower Elementary classroom. During that time, he also received his Montessori certification for ages 6-9 from the North American Montessori Center. Matt enjoys writing, reading novels and playing racquetball.
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 daughters, 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.
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.
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, and snake, or working in the classroom, she can be found relaxing at home or trying a new restaurant.
Teacher, Spanish 6-12
Evan is a long-time Bloomington resident and has been a teacher in the Maple room since 2014. He has degrees in Spanish language and sociology from IU Bloomington. Prior to starting at BMS, he served as an assistant teacher in a high school and tutored children in ENL (English as a New Language). Evan loves to sing and play guitar, and he’s a big fan of puzzle and strategy games. On weekends he is often found biking on the B-Line or reading at a cafe.