Primary Guides – Kalamazoo

 Emma Young | e-mail Emma

Emma received her AMI primary diploma from The Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in the spring of 2014. Emma has been involved in The Montessori School community since the fall of 2011 as a teacher’s assistant at both campuses. She received her Bachelor of Arts from WMU, exploring every medium she could get her hands on. She especially loves printmaking and finding ways to make art accessible to all people. Emma was a Montessori child herself from the ages of 3 to 12. This experience has led her to become a life long learner, lover of the arts, and an advocate for the child. Emma loves gardening, spending time with animals, reading, and cooking.


 Anne Kooy | e-mail Anne

Anne has been a part of our Montessori community since she was a student here at age 4! A Montessori foundation instilled in her a love of learning and caring for others. She has received both primary and elementary AMI diplomas, and has earned her Master’s in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Maryland. She enjoys composing music on the piano and guitar, as well as singing songs at any opportunity she is given. Anne is also a lover of books. She loves all genres, but prefers a hard cover to an e-book version.


Primary Guides – Richland

 Jenny Madden | e-mail Jenny

Jenny is a graduate of the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Training Institute. She has an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Kellogg Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. A nature and outdoor enthusiast, she enjoys collecting rocks on the shores of Lake Michigan and spending time running outdoors in the beauty and splendor of the countryside. She recently completed her second marathon.


 Lauren Grinnell-Ackerman | e-mail Lauren

Lauren received her primary AMI diploma in the spring of 2016 at Montessori Northwest Training Center in Portland, OR. She has been with The Montessori School since fall 2013 as an assistant teacher in the primary classrooms at the Kalamazoo campus. She received her Bachelors of Science in Child and Family Development from WMU, and her Master’s in Montessori Education at Loyola University Maryland in the summer of 2016. She enjoys spending time in nature with her partner, Ryan, camping, and traveling the country to experience the natural world of the national parks. She also enjoys staying at home and spending time exploring Michigan’s coast! When she isn’t traveling she enjoys reading, cooking, and creating artwork.


Interested in a tour or meeting some of our staff? Contact us today!

Elementary Guides

Kim Masanja  | e-mail Kim

Kim joined The Montessori School as an assistant primary teacher in the fall of 2010 and began as Lead Lower Elementary Guide in 2014. She received her Bachelor in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University with minors in early elementary education and social studies. In 2012 she completed her elementary AMI Montessori certification from Washington Montessori Institute and earned a Master’s degree in Montessori education from Loyola University in Maryland.  She enjoys scrapbooking, photography, reading, going to the beach, and spending time with her family and friends.


Anne Wester | e-mail Anne

A Kalamazoo native, Anne graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She earned her masters in education from St. Catherine University (née- College of St. Catherine-Center for Contemporary Montessori Programs), and has an Elementary I and II certificate from the American Montessori Society. Anne taught at Northglade Montessori Magnet School from 1999-2010. Anne and her husband, Steve, have a daughter, Jane, who is a TMS alum. The three of them enjoy an active lifestyle-camping, paddling, skiing, and biking. In fact, Anne just completed her 8th bike ride across the state of Iowa!


Jocelyn Clark | e-mail Jocelyn

Jocelyn has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a concentration in Sociology from Kalamazoo College. She started at the Montessori School in 1991 in a childcare position as a way to earn money while working on a Master’s degree in Criminology at Western Michigan University. She loved her work here so much she changed directions educationally and earned a Michigan Teaching Certificate after re-entering Kalamazoo College. She attended the Washington Montessori Institute to earn her Montessori Certification and Loyola University in Baltimore for her Master’s in Education.


To schedule a tour and meet some of our staff, contact us today!

Additional Staff

Ann Pilzner, Head of School | e-mail Ann

Susan Atkinson, Business Manager | e-mail Susan

Melanie Hitchcock, Admissions Coordinator | e-mail Melanie

Sandy Panse, Assistant to the Business Manager| e-mail Sandy

Becky Blazek, Elementary Coordinator, Licensing Coordinator | e-mail Becky

Hal Hobson, Music Specialist | e-mail Hal

Reese Hughes, Elementary Reading Specialist | e-mail Reese

Leah Blazek, Elementary After School Coordinator | e-mail Leah

Sierra Koon, Richland After School Coordinator | e-mail Sierra


To schedule a tour and meet some of our staff, contact us today!