Meet Our Miniapple Int’l Montessori Early Childhood Education Instructors in Oakdale, Minneapolis, & Roseville, MN

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

Udi, Administrator
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 Resource Manager
I have been in Human Resources over 30 years. I love what I do. I especially like working for Miniapple because of the wonderful children and great staff. I grew up on the east coast, and moved to Duluth while in high school. I have two grown children and am married to a wonderful man. We have two mini Schnauzers who go everywhere with us. I enjoying reading, gardening, and walking and biking on the beach at Hilton Head in S. Carolina. I am anxiously awaiting grandchildren someday so that they can be a part of Miniapple.

Shari, Office Manager
I have always had a passion for problem solving and small business management. 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, I would have enjoyed emailing my neighborhood friends to come join me in a mock board meeting. With a solid background performing day to day management in public accounting, non-profit, and my own businesses, and a keen eye for keeping things running smoothly, I enjoy the opportunity to bring that experience and knowledge to Miniapple. In my spare time, I enjoy keeping up with family activities, horses, camping, sewing & clothing design, and pretty much anything outdoors.

Estelle, Administrative Assistant
EstelleAfter obtaining a MN teaching license in pre-k/parent education/early childhood family education, I worked in local early childhood programs before joining Miniapple as Udi’s assistant in 1996. Most of my free time is devoted to helping Shelties in need with Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, and I enjoy spending time with my own Shelties and watching my nephews play soccer. Consistent with Miniapple’s global approach, I am from the Netherlands, though I’m now a U.S. citizen.


Robin, Music & Movement Educator
RobinI am a music educator and teaching artist, dance caller and song leader. As a Minnesota State Arts Board Roster Artist, I have been working in public schools for over 10 years as an artist-in-residence, sharing my love of traditional song and dance. I started teaching Music & Movement classes at Miniapple in 2014. I play several instruments including banjo, autoharp, ukulele, dulcimer, and piano. I’m looking forward to continuing the tradition of joyful music and movement at the Miniapple Montessori Schools!


Lee, Director
My family came to Miniapple in 2004 when my oldest daughter started preschool, and now I feel right at home as an employee. I have a BA from the University of MN in Counseling and Deaf Studies. For 20 years, I was a supervisor of group home staff for disabled and mentally ill adults. I enjoy going to movies, concerts, camping, reading, and horseback riding with my husband and our daughters, both Miniapple graduates. I live in SE Minneapolis and love working in my neighborhood!


Danielle, Assistant Director
Minieapolis- DanielleAfter graduating from the University of Minnesota, I spent 1.5 years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, working with children in libraries. After that wonderful experience, I decided I wanted to work with children full time and joined Miniapple in 2004 as the School-Age coordinator for the summer program, before being promoted to assistant Director. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading and going to shows with my husband, Chuck.


Wangmo, Children’s House
I was born in India as a Tibetan refugee. I graduated from school in Dheradun, India, got a job in a Tibetan school, and taught there for 4 years. In 1992, I moved to Nepal and on October 22, 1997, I flew from Nepal to Minnesota. I received my AMI certificate in 2002 and really enjoy working with children. I have been with Miniapple since 2002.



Erica, Children’s House
I have been with Miniapple since 2006. I earned my B.A. in psychology, my Montessori Credential and my Masters of Education in 2009. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, traveling and spending time outdoors with my husband and our children, Gus and Claire, who also attend Miniapple. I am excited to begin a new year working alongside the amazing Miniapple staff, children, and families!



Mia, Children’s House
I was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and attended a Montessori school through age 12. I graduated from the University of Illinois, and spent two years in AmeriCorps as an after-school teacher and coordinator. I received my AMS certificate through the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Chicago and joined Miniapple in 2013. I love swing dancing, sewing, and spending time with my family, friends, and boyfriend.


Jil, Children’s House
I am originally from Ohio, but have lived in Minneapolis since 1998. My M.A. is in Education and I earned my A.M.I. at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in 2007, before joining Miniapple in 2013. I have been to 30 countries and lived extensively in 3 of them. I served in the Peace Corps, and I am fluent in Romanian. My two daughters are also Montessorians! I enjoy gardening, knitting, cribbage, and reading.


Maria, Children’s House
I was born and raised in the Midwest. I attended Luther College, a small liberal arts school in Iowa, graduating with a degree in German and Theater/Dance. I was able to study abroad, teach children’s dance, and perform.  I joined Miniapple in 1998 as an assistant and completed my Montessori training the following year. I enjoyed 9 years teaching at Miniapple before moving to Kansas City and Chicago, where I continued to teach in Montessori. In my free time I enjoy knitting, reading and running. My husband, son and I are thrilled to be back, close to friends and family. I am also very happy to be back in the Miniapple community!

Reshma, Toddler House
I was born in India and have a Master’s Degree in Home Economics with a major in Food and Nutrition. I have traveled to Moscow and Japan with my husband. I enjoy cooking and being with my two lovely sons and husband. I have been with Miniapple since 1997.




Julianna, Toddler House
I was born in Maplewood, NJ and studied public health and developmental psychology at Macalester College in MN. I studied abroad in South Africa, Vietnam, and Brazil, and have traveled to Costa Rica, France, Germany, Holland, and England. Before joining Miniapple in 2013, I worked in traditional childcare settings and in a Montessori toddler program, and I spent a year in the AmeriCorps Pre-K program of Minneapolis. Public Schools. I enjoy biking, running, working on my garden, and playing guitar.


Nicole, Infant Community
I grew up in Forest Lake. My daughter, who is a Miniapple student, is my world! All my free time is spent with her. We love to go to parks, read, paint/color, and cuddle and watch movies. I have worked with infants and toddlers since 2003, and have been with Miniapple since 2011.





Lisa, Director
I was born in Fridley and grew up in Brooklyn Park. I now live in Forest Lake and I love it there. I started with Miniapple in April of 1994 as the Toddler Coordinator for 18 years, before assuming the Director role in 2012. I still love it here at Miniapple!

Cindy, Assistant Director
I was born and raised in Wadena, MN. I graduated from Moorhead State with a BS in Elementary Education. Since graduating in 1987, I have been working with children. I started working for Miniapple in 1999. I live in Shoreview and have 3 children who are all Miniapple graduates.




Vanessa, Children’s House
I grew up in Stillwater, MN. I still live there with my husband, our children (who are Miniapple students), and our 2 dogs, Sophie and Oliver. I have been working with children for the past 11 years. I worked 8 years for the Stillwater School District and then joined Miniapple in 2005. I attended St. Paul College where I studied Early Childhood Development. I received my Montessori teacher training certificate from St. Catherine University. I have been with Miniapple since 2005.



Jaci, Children’s House
I was born and raised in Coon Rapids, MN and attended a Montessori program myself from ages 2½-6. I enjoy working with children and completed my Montessori training at the St. Catherine University. I have been with Miniapple since 2008. Recently I moved to White Bear Lake with my husband, Nick, and our cat and we enjoy living in the city.




Aisha, Children’s House
I was born and raised in Karachi Pakistan. I came to America in 1991 and I now live in New Brighton. I completed the AMI Montessori Primary Training from the International Montessori Training Center of MN in 2010 and really enjoy working with children. I have been working with children since 2003 and joined Miniapple in 2013. In my free time, I enjoy reading, gardening, and sewing.



Marie, Infant Community
I am originally from France and moved to the U. S. when I was 14 years old. I speak French and Spanish fluently. I have always loved working with children. I started working for Miniapple in 2009 in the Toddler House at the Oakdale location, and then transferred to Roseville as the Head Infant Teacher when the second baby room opened. I also teach the French language program at Miniapple. In my spare time, I love to draw, paint, travel, and watch movies.



Teri, Infant Community
I grew up in Wyoming, MN and now live in Blaine with my husband, two children and three dogs. I joined Miniapple’s infant staff in 2013 and became a lead teacher of Infant House in 2014. I love being with children every chance I get. In my spare time I enjoy crafting and photography, and I participate in animal rescue as often as I can.




Michelle, Toddler House
I am from Minneapolis, and have three sons. My background is in Child Development with additional training in infant sign language, nutrition and health & safety I have been working with infant & toddlers since 1998, and joined Miniapple in 2010.





Sarah, Toddler House
I grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota called Bagley. I have a degree in Child Psychology and have been working with children since I was still one myself. I attended the U of M and started in the Infant House at Miniapple in 2010, and now am the lead teacher in Toddler House.





Deb, Director
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.




Manny, Assistant Director
Manny has a long history with Miniapple! She is a Miniapple alumna who began working for Miniapple in 1999 while in high school. Manny has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education from the University of MN. In her free time, she enjoys bowling and spending time with her husband Matt, and their two children, both Miniapple students.



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 (a Miniapple graduate and a current Miniapple student), 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; one is a Miniapple graduate and one is a current Miniapple student.




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 student), 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 with salary requirement to


1125 5th St. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Director: Lee Hibbard


1875 W. Perimeter Drive
Roseville, MN 55113
Director: Lisa Szulga


780 Helmo Ave N.
Oakdale, MN 55128
Director: Deb Sack