Staff & Faculty

MCR teachers are qualified specialists in early childhood and elementary education. We are proud of the retention rate of our staff, which adds continuity to our school community. Each classroom follows a team-teaching approach with two professionally trained American Montessori Society (AMS) instructors who guide the children through the carefully prepared environment.

  • Mary Boden Anderson

    Head of School

    Mary serves as Head of School and has been active in Montessori education for over thirty years. As one of the original founders of Montessori Children’s Room, her goal is to assure a top-quality education for each child who attends MCR. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from College of St. Mary in 1976 and holds an active Nebraska teaching certificate. Her Montessori teacher certification includes Primary level (three to six year old), Elementary I (six to nine year old), and Elementary II (nine to twelve year old). All levels of training are certified and endorsed by the American Montessori Society (AMS.) Mary has been actively involved in each level of teaching over the thirty one years since the school began. Mary is the author of the booklet, The Outdoor Classroom, and has been a featured speaker at several national Montessori conferences across the country.

  • Mary Stormberg

    School Administrator

    In her role as school administrator, Mary oversees the day-to-day school operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Public Administration from University of Nebraska at Omaha. Mary obtained an Administrator Paraprofessional certificate from MECA-Seton in Chicago. Mary joined the school in 1992.

  • Patti Braack

    Elementary II Fourth-Sixth Grade

    Patti holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and a Bachelor of Education degree in Elementary Education from the University of Calgary, Canada. She holds an active Nebraska teaching certificate, as well as Elementary I and II teacher certificates from Mid-American Montessori Teacher Training and American Montessori Society In addition to teaching for five years in the public school system, Patti has fourteen years of Montessori teaching experience. Patti has been at MCR Elementary since 2009.

  • Stephanie Porta

    Paraprofessional Elementary II

    Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Wayne State College, an active Nebraska Teaching Certificate, and both Elementary 1 & 2 Montessori certifications from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute and American Montessori Society. Stephanie returning to MCR after three years of staying home with her son. Prior to that, Miss Stephanie work for MCR for six years in both E1 & E2.

  • Kris Walkley

    Elementary I First-Third Grade

    Kris teaches in the Elementary I (first-third grade) Classroom. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from UNO and an active Nebraska Teaching Certificate. Kris also obtained her Elementary I Montessori teaching certification from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training School and American Montessori Society. She taught Kindergarten in Omaha Public Schools for several years and with Montessori Downtown Parent Coop. Miss Kris taught the Primary level students at MCR before moving into Elementary 1. She joined the school in 1998.

  • Kate Jones

    Elementary I First-Third Grade

    She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University and holds an active Nebraska Teaching Certificate. Kate also received her Primary Montessori Certification from Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center of Evanston, IL. She is currently completing her Elementary I Montessori certification from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute and American Montessori Society. Kate taught for 6 years in Chicago Public Montessori School in a Primary classroom. This is Kate's first year teaching at MCR.

  • Christina Burghardt

    Primary Classroom A

    Christina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Wayne State College and has completed post graduate coursework at Dana College. Miss Christina received her Primary teaching certification from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training and American Montessori Society and holds an active Nebraska teaching certificate. Christina worked as an education specialist for Alpha School for five years.

  • Alex Mainelli

    Primary Classroom A-

    Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Nebraska Omaha. She is currently completing her internship year for her Montessori Primary Training to receive her Montessori endorsement from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute and American Montessori Society. This is Alex's second year at MCR.

  • Becky Britt

    Paraprofessional Elementary 1

    Becky holds a Bachelor of Science degree in English Literature from Creighton University. Miss Becky received her Primary level Montessori certification from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training and American Montessori Society. Becky is also a licensed massage therapist and certified infant massage instructor. Becky joined the school in 2008.

  • Diana Cupich

    Primary Classroom B

    Diana holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a Primary level Montessori teaching certificate from the College of St. Mary and American Montessori Society. Miss Diana has worked in Montessori education for over thirty plus years and has been with the school since its infancy in 1983.

  • Sandi Monaco

    Primary Classroom B

    Sandi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan. She served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for 4 years and was the education coordinator at St. Paul's in Rochester, Michigan. Sandi received her Primary Montessori certification from Mid-American Montessori Teacher Training Institute and American Montessori Society. Sandi joined MCR in 2015.

  • Jailyn Hagaman

    Primary Classroom C

    Jailyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from Doane College. She received her Primary Montessori certification from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute and American Montessori Society. MS. Jailyn joined MCR in 2013 with several years of Montessori experience.

  • Nikki Zabawa

    Primary Classroom C

    Nikki received her Primary level Montessori certification from The Montessori Academy in Kansas City in 1982. Nikki has worked in Montessori classrooms for 25 years in both Kansas and Nebraska and comes to MCR with a wealth of information to share. Nikki joined MCR in 2013.

  • Courtney Stormberg

    Primary Classroom D

    Courtney holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Sciences from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Courtney studied Montessori Primary Education from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute. Courtney attended MCR as a child and previously worked at a Montessori school in Nashville, Tennessee before joining MCR this year.

  • Kandi Petznick

    Primary Classroom D

    Kandi is currently completing her Bachelors degree in early childhood education from the University of Nebraska Omaha and has begun her Primary Montessori certification from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute and American Montessori Society. Kandi joined the school in 2014 as a team member of our after school program.

  • Chantal Samuel

    French Instructor

    Chantal is our French teacher who works with the children on a weekly basis. She holds a Primary level Montessori teaching certificate from Great Plains Montessori Teacher Training and American Montessori Society. Chantal also holds a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature from the University of Haifa in Israel. Miss Chantal follows the AIM methodology, which promotes rapid language acquisition through the use of gestures, theater, music and carefully chosen vocabulary. She joined the school in 1999.

  • Sarah Newman

    Elementary Outdoor Classroom

    Sarah is the garden teacher for the elementary students. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Botany from Connecticut College and a Masters Degree in landscape architecture with an emphasis in environmental planning from University of California Berkeley. Sarah is a Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Sarah joined the school in 2009

  • Margy Simons

    Kitchen Manager

    After 22 years in the corporate world, Margy followed her culinary passion to the kitchen of MCR. Since 2009, Margy has been preparing healthy, nutritional lunches using a variety of ingredients from the school garden. Margy attended Peru State College and recently completed the Live Well Omaha Kids Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment in Child Care program.