We, the staff of Miniapple International Montessori, follow the teachings of Maria Montessori by embracing the uniqueness and potential of each child. As the role of an adult, we strive to create an environment which nurtures the development of the young minds through compassion, respect, creativity and trust. Our commitment is to guide the children in a safe, warm, secure and happy learning environment, which requires us to be prepared, present, whole and accountable.
“Our two girls, ages 2 and 4, have been fortunate enough to attend Miniapple Montessori since they were born. In addition to the Montessori teaching style, one of the factors that drew us to Miniapple was the teacher tenure. Anytime you have teachers in a child care/development environment with 10-15+ years experience with the same organization, then you know that the ownership is focused on taking care of their talent as well as that of their students. Ultimately, our girls are the ones who have decided that Miniapple is their home. They look forward to playing with their friends and have a warm and caring relationship with their teachers. As a parent, it is comforting to know that our girls are receiving high quality care, and we have truly enjoyed the experience with our Miniapple family.” – Greg Poul
After completing A.M.I. teacher training in Sri Lanka over 30 years ago, I came to the U.S. on vacation; then to be hired as a teacher-director of a local Montessori school. Our intention was to go back home once my husband finished his business degree at the U of M. One thing led to another, and we bought the school and opened two more! Mithula and I have 3 daughters and one son, all Miniapple alumni, and a grandson and granddaughter who are current Miniapple students. Apart from cooking, gardening, scrap booking, and community service, I do what I love to do; giving children the best at home and school. “The apple of my eye.”
Tricia, Human Resources Manager
Tricia has been in Human Resources over 30 years, with Miniapple since 2013. She loves the work, and especially likes working for Miniapple because of the wonderful children and great staff. Tricia grew up on the east coast, and moved to Duluth while in high school. She has two grown children and is married to a wonderful man. They have two mini Schnauzers who go everywhere with them. Tricia enjoys reading, gardening, and walking and biking on the beach at Hilton Head in S. Carolina.
Shari, Office Manager
Shari has always had a passion for problem solving and small business management, and joined the Miniapple team in 2014. As a child, playing office included setting up a complete set of books, designing office space, inventory management, and if it had been the norm at that time, Shari would have been emailing her neighborhood friends to join her in a mock board meeting. With a solid background in day to day management in public accounting, non-profit, and my own businesses, and a keen eye for keeping things running smoothly, Shari enjoys the opportunity to bring that experience and knowledge to Miniapple. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her grandson (a Miniapple student), horses, camping, sewing and clothing design, and anything outdoors.
Estelle, Administrative Assistant
After obtaining a MN teaching license in pre-k/parent education/early childhood family education, Estelle worked in local early childhood programs before joining Miniapple in 1996. Most of her free time is devoted to helping Shelties in need with Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, and she enjoys spending time with her own Shelties and watching her nephews play soccer. Consistent with Miniapple’s global approach, Estelle is from the Netherlands, though she is now a U.S. citizen.
Robin, Music & Movement Educator
Robin is a music educator and teaching artist, dance caller and song leader. As a Minnesota State Arts Board Roster Artist, she has been working in public schools for over 10 years as an artist-in-residence, sharing her love of traditional song and dance. She started teaching Music & Movement classes at Miniapple in 2014. Robin plays several instruments including banjo, autoharp, ukulele, dulcimer, and piano. She looks forward to continuing the tradition of joyful music and movement at the Miniapple Montessori Schools!
Lee’s family came to Miniapple in 2004 when her oldest daughter started preschool, and now Lee feels right at home as an employee. She has a B.A. from the U of MN in Counseling and Deaf Studies. Lee was staff supervisor for a group home for disabled and mentally ill adults for 20 years. She enjoys movies, concerts, camping, reading, and horseback riding with her husband and their daughters, both Miniapple graduates. She lives in SE Minneapolis and loves working in her neighborhood!
Lindsay, Assistant Director
Lindsay is from Owatonna, MN. After graduating from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Theatrical Directing, she joined Miniapple in 2015. She has participated in 52 productions via acting, costume design, set building & directing. Lindsay loves to read, write, canoe, travel, play the piano, and run. She has worked with children for many years in the classroom, as a nanny, and on stage, and looks forward to continuing that work here at Miniapple.
Wangmo, Children’s House
Wangmo was born in India as a Tibetan refugee. She graduated from school in Dheradun, India, got a job in a Tibetan school, and taught there for 4 years. In 1992, she moved to Nepal and on October 22, 1997, she flew from Nepal to Minnesota. Wangmo received her AMI certificate in 2002 and really enjoys working with children. She has been with Miniapple since 2002.
Erica, Children’s House
Erica has been with Miniapple since 2006. She earned a B.A. in psychology, her Montessori Credential and her Masters of Education in 2009. In her free time, Erica enjoys gardening, traveling and spending time outdoors with her husband and their 3 children who also attend Miniapple. Erica is excited to begin a new year working alongside the amazing Miniapple staff, children, and families!
Mia, Children’s House
Miawas born in Bloomington, Indiana, and attended a Montessori school through age 12. She graduated from the University of Illinois, and spent two years in AmeriCorps as an after-school teacher and coordinator. Mia received her AMS certificate through the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Chicago and joined Miniapple in 2013. Mia loves swing dancing, sewing, and spending time with family, friends, and her husband.
Molly, Children’s House
Born and raised in Iowa, Molly lived most of her life in Kansas City where she obtained a B.A. and Montessori certification. She joined the Miniapple team in 2015. This is her 6th year as a Montessori educator and she couldn’t be happier! Molly loves to be active outdoors with her dog, Indiana. She enjoys playing video games with friends, and can often be found with her nose in a book.
Yeng, Children’s House
Yeng was born in Chonburi, Thailand and raised in California. She earned her B.A. and the Early Childhood Education Director credential from Metropolitan State University in Denver before completing her Montessori teacher certification and Master of Arts in Montessori Leadership. Yeng believes that behind every great student, there is a great mentor that helped him or her to reach his or her highest potential. In her spare time, Yeng enjoys baking, hiking, biking, and listening to music.
Reshma, Toddler House
Reshma was born in India and has a Master’s Degree in Home Economics with a major in Food & Nutrition. She has traveled to Moscow and Japan. Reshma enjoys cooking and being with her two lovely sons and husband. She has been with Miniapple since 1997.
Miranda, Toddler House
Miranda is originally from Andover, MN. After working as a nanny for several years, she joined Miniapple in 2016. Miranda studied at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and looks forward to pursuing the Infant/Toddler Montessori credential. In her spare time, she enjoys hosting barbecues for friends and colleagues.
Monica, Infant Community
Monica obtained her Associate Degree in Child Development from Rasmussen College and worked in local early childhood programs for several years before joining Miniapple in 2016. In her free time, Monica enjoys spending time with her family.
Lisa was born in Fridley and grew up in Brooklyn Park. She now live in Forest Lake and loves it there. Lisa started with Miniapple in April of 1994 as the Toddler Coordinator for 18 years, before assuming the Director role in 2012. She still loves it here at Miniapple!
Cindy, Assistant Director
Cindy was born and raised in Wadena, MN. She graduated from Moorhead State with a BS in Elementary Education. Since graduating in 1987, she has been working with children, and joined the Miniapple team in 1999. Cindy lives in Shoreview and has 3 children who are all Miniapple graduates.
Aisha, Children’s House
Aisha was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. She came to America in 1991 and now lives in New Brighton. Aisha completed the AMI Montessori Primary Training from the International Montessori Training Center of MN in 2010 and really enjoys working with children. She has been working with children since 2003 and joined Miniapple in 2013. In her free time, Aisha enjoys reading, gardening, and sewing.
Emily, Children’s House
Emily moved home to MN and joined the Miniapple community in 2015 after a year of living and teaching in Boise, ID. She earned her AMS Teaching Certificate from St. Catherine University. Working with children comes naturally to Emily. She has worked in preschools or as a nanny since 2002! In her free time, Emily and her husband enjoy bicycling, hiking, traveling and cooking.
Joshua, Children’s House
Joshua was born and raised in South Korea and moved to MN in 2002 before joining Miniapple in 2015. He has a BA in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Children Youth Family Ministry from Luther Seminary and AMI Primary Certification from the Montessori Training Center of MN. Joshua has various teaching experiences in church, community and Montessori schools. He enjoys music and games with children, and is very excited to be at Miniapple as a Lead Montessori Guide!
Marie, Infant Community
Marie is originally from France and moved to the U. S. when she was 14 years old. She speaks French and Spanish fluently. She has always loved working with children. Marie started working for Miniapple in 2009 in the Toddler House at the Oakdale location, and then transferred to Roseville as the Infant Teacher when the 2nd baby room opened. Marie also teaches the French language program at Miniapple. In her spare time, she loves to draw, paint, travel, and watch movies.
Jessica, Infant Community
Jessica was born and raised in Crystal, MN and now lis in White Bear Lake with her husband and their cat. Jessica earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education for the University of MN in 2015 and joined Miniapple shortly thereafter. Before coming to Miniapple, she worked in various child care settings with various ages. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys playing and watching hockey, exploring crafts, and camping with her husband, friends and family.
Michelle, Toddler House
Michelle is from Minneapolis, and has three sons. Her background is in Child Development with additional training in infant sign language, nutrition and health & safety. Michelle has been working with infant & toddlers since 1998, and joined Miniapple in 2010.
Sarah, Toddler House
Sarah grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota called Bagley. She has a degree in Child Psychology and has been working with children since she was still one herself. Sarah attended the U of M and started in the Infant House at Miniapple in 2010, and now is the lead teacher in Toddler House. Sarah’s daughter is also a Miniapple student.
Ista, Activities Director
Ista grew up in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Minneapolis with her family when she was 7. She loves working with children and getting to know them and coordinates Miniapple’s afternoon program. Ista graduated from Bemidji State University with a B.A. in Education and joined the Miniapple staff in 2014. In her free time, Ista likes to knit and explore cosmetics.
Deb is our director. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and has been with Miniapple since it first opened in Minneapolis in 1990. Deb and her husband, Keith, enjoy camping and biking with their son, Lucas, a Miniapple graduate.
Christina, Assistant Director
Christina grew up in northern California and moved to MN in 2012. She has been working in early childhood since 2005 and joined the Miniapple team in 2013. Christina graduated from the U of MN in 2016 with a degree in Human Resources Development. She enjoys spending time with her family and being a mother to her two teenage sons, Dylan and Tyler. In her free time, she enjoys biking, traveling, volunteering at her children’s school and gardening.
Margaret, Children’s House
Margaret is originally from Texas and moved north in 1999. She began working at Miniapple in 2000. Margaret completed her Montessori training in 1996. She is another one of our scrapbookers and with her husband, Randy, she enjoys riding snowmobiles and motorcycles.
Marie, Children’s House
Marie has been with Miniapple since 1993. Marie completed her Montessori training in 2000. She was born and raised in Quebec, Canada. Marie and her husband, Craig, have two daughters, both graduates of the Miniapple program who went on to become part of our teaching staff! Their family enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking and canoeing. In addition to teaching in Children’s House, Marie teaches our French language program at Miniapple.
Monica, Children’s House
Monica was born in Colombia. She joined Miniapple in 2002 and then completed her Montessori training in 2004. Along with being a mother to two children who are both Miniapple graduates, she enjoys stamping. In addition to teaching in Children’s House, Monica teaches our Spanish language program at Miniapple.
Prarthana, Children’s House
Prarthana is originally from India. She completed her Montessori training in 2005 and joined Miniapple in 2006. She enjoys spending time with her family and being a mother two wonderful boys who are both Miniapple graduates.
Maria, Toddler House
Maria grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her Child Development Associate in 2007 with an infant/toddler emphasis, and will complete the Infant/Toddler Montessori course in the fall of 2013. Maria joined Miniapple in 2009. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, Gracyella (a Miniapple graduate), reading books, poetry, and listening to music.
Sara, Toddler House
Sara has worked at Miniapple since 1996. In addition to her great experience, Sara completed the Infant/Toddler Montessori Course in 2005. Sara enjoys scrapbooking with her co-workers and sewing. Her family likes to go fishing and biking together.
Mary, Infant Community
Mary grew up in New Ulm and graduated from the University of MN – Mankato with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a specialty in Early Childhood. Mary enjoys spending time with her two boys (Miniapple graduates) and husband, her grandson (a Miniapple student), going to the cabin, and biking. She also enjoys sewing and scrapbooking. Mary has been at Miniapple since 1995.
Tara, Activities Director
Tara has been with Miniapple since 1996. She has worked at all three locations and coordinates our afternoon program. She creates mosaics in her free time and loves the theater. Tara enjoys the company of her cat, Ernie. She enjoys caring for Miniapple’s chickens and getting the children excited about the wildlife that we see daily in our woods and ponds at Miniapple.
If you are interested in joining our Miniapple team of dedicated early childhood professionals, please email your resume to [email protected]