Kate began her Montessori journey at the age of 3, attending a Montessori school in her hometown. She pursued a career path toward becoming an educator and graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse with a major in Early Childhood through Middle Childhood Education. In her education studies, she rediscovered the Montessori philosophy. Kate completed her American Montessori Society Early Childhood certification from Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, Illinois. For the past nine years, Kate has been a lead Primary Montessori teacher in private, public, and charter school settings. Kate is passionate about creating a classroom experience that is individualized for each child and allows children to follow their natural desire to learn. She is excited to be a part of the Adeline Montessori staff and support the children on their path to independence.
Kate enjoys time with her daughter, who also attends Adeline Montessori, and her husband. They spend lots of time outside and visiting local parks.
Ashley Steurer is a graduate of Xavier University, where she found the Montessori Method for the first time. When Ashley stumbled upon the Montessori Method, she fell in love with the idea of educating the whole child, not just teaching to read and write but to prepare them to make a difference as adults and to learn to live in peace with all people. While at Xavier, she received her Bachelor of Science in Montessori Education and obtained her American Montessori Society Primary (Preschool/ Kindergarten) certification, as well as her State of Ohio teaching license (P – 3, Reading P – 3). She received her AMS Elementary I (Grades 1-3) and AMS Elementary II (Grades 4-6) Montessori Certification from Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute in Nebraska. Ashley also has her Orton-Gillingham Licensure to aid children with dyslexia in learning to read and is a teacher trainer at the Global Montessori Educators Institute.
Ashley recently relocated to Wisconsin and is excited to join the Adeline Montessori staff and families.
Kristin Polk is a summa cum laude graduate of UW-Milwaukee, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary and Middle-Level Education with a Minor in Language Arts. She brings 17 years of experience teaching multi-age, third grade, and fourth grade in the fully inclusive and 1:1 technology-device New Berlin Public School District. She has been a proud parent and community member of a Montessori environment for eight years and has taught as an assistant in a Lower Elementary Montessori classroom for one year. She has completed her Paraprofessional Montessori Training and is currently enrolled in a teaching program to earn her certification as a Lower Elementary Montessori guide. Kristin believes every child is a unique individual with unique learning abilities and needs. She fosters a calm, respectful, and safe learning environment by building supportive alliances with students and their families.
While not in the classroom, Kristin enjoys spending quality time with her family. Her favorite pastimes include taking road trips, reading, singing along to Disney or Broadway musicals, and doing projects around the house. Kristin and her husband are excited to have their two children join the Adeline Montessori learning community!
Life is good, every day, for Mindi Eineichner, who is in her fifth year teaching Upper Elementary after realizing her long-time dream of being a Montessori teacher. Mindi Eineichner was born and grew up in northern Wisconsin. She attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Alabama at Birmingham to gain both a B.S. and an M.S in Biomedical Engineering, respectively. Before finding her passion in a Montessori classroom, Mindi worked for 17 years at a medical device company helping educate physicians, nurses, and co-workers on implantable device technology, including pacemakers and defibrillators.
Mindi lives in Waukesha with her wife, daughter, two dogs, and three cats. Mindi’s hobbies are cooking/baking, gardening, walking her dogs, being surrounded by trees, bonfires, puzzles, and traveling.
Lauren Huyke holds a lifetime teaching license for the state of Wisconsin in grades 1-9 and is currently enrolled in Secondary I & II training through the Global Montessori Educators Institute. She grew up in Waukesha and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Carroll College in 2004. Shortly after graduation, Lauren was introduced to the Montessori philosophy and went on to spend the last 16 years working in academic administration and teaching at a Montessori school.
She is committed to teaching children where they are academically, socially, and emotionally to help them become who they want to be and feels the child-centered approach to Montessori education has the potential to be successful for all learners.
Outside of the classroom, Lauren loves watching movies and playing video games with her husband and their three children. She also enjoys spending time with her dog and the family rabbit, Eddie, will join her in Elementary II.
Specialist – Music
Heather Caldwell is excited to join us this fall from her previous position at Montessori School of Waukesha. Heather began her Montessori journey as a Music Specialist at MSOW, teaching both Strings and General Music. As she witnessed the profound impact of her youngest son’s Montessori education, she decided to obtain her credentials as a Montessori Guide. She enrolled in the Master of Montessori Education program at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls, and for the last two years has been teaching in the Lower Elementary Classroom.
Heather is thrilled to unite her passions of Montessori and Music this year! In addition to her Montessori training, Heather brings with her six years of experience in Strings instruction with Greater Milwaukee El Sistema, and many, many more with her private students and family. She was trained in Suzuki Violin Method at the Aber Suzuki Institute at UW-Stevens Point, and has attended Every Child Can and Early Childhood Overview at the American Suzuki Institute. She has also studied with Dr. Sanford and Judy Jones, innovators in Montessori Movement and Music. Heather is an advocate for kinesthetic learning, which reinforces the Montessori concept of “the hand teaches the brain”. She believes that children need to be allowed freedom of movement within the constraint of the prepared environment and a trained Montessori Guide. Heather is excited to bring sensorial awareness and acuity to the youngest of our learners, and to integrate Music into the Math, History, Art, Science, Practical Life, and Geometry curricula. Ms. Heather’s enthusiastic yet practical approach to Music and Strings has encouraged her students to continue their pursuit of instrumental and academic Music far beyond their required in-class time. She plays Violin, Viola, and Cello almost daily, as well as the occasional Guitar, String Bass, Woodwind, and enough Piano to get by in a pinch 😉
Having proudly served in the United States Air Force, Heather studied for three years at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, California. She gained fluency in the German and Russian languages post-Cold War, and later returned to DLI to study Arabic languages during Operation Desert Storm. After her service, Heather moved to the Milwaukee area to further her education. She now also holds a BA in Criminology and Law with a minor in Biology from Marquette University, where she also studied at Marquette University Law School. She is also in the completion stages of her practicum & degree in the UWRF Master of Montessori Education program. She is currently riding out the COVID-19 situation before returning to UWRF to complete either her Upper Elementary credentials or Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in Montessori studies. In her “spare time”, she enjoys growing things, documentaries, science, audiobooks, cooking, but mainly, spending time with her five children.
Leia de Oliveira
Specialist – Spanish
Leia de Oliveira was born in Brazil. She moved to the United States such a long time ago that she’s already lived here more than she lived in her home country. Leia is studying Education at UW-Milwaukee and is on the cusp of completion. She’s worked for the Boys and Girls Club for 8 years in a program that allowed her to work in public schools helping kids catch up with their reading levels. She knew then that teaching is her calling. In 2018, Leia was introduced to Montessori and has now joined Adeline Montessori School. She speaks Portuguese, English, and Spanish fluently, and is very excited to share that knowledge with the students. She’s very excited to join Adeline and continue learning Montessori methods of education. “It will be my pleasure to work with the children at Adeline and getting to know each and every one of them!”
Leis has 2 children who are entering college in the next few months. Isabella (Bella) is 21 years old, and Joshua (JJ or Josh) is 18 years old.
Specialist – Art & Physical Education
A student of life, with a passion for learning and teaching every single day, Mike Richter has spent 13 joyful years as an educator in a Montessori environment. During the years of his teaching experience, Mike has been a physical education specialist & afterschool coordinator (12 years), director of enrichment (3 years), summer program coordinator (3 years), and art teacher (2 years). Mike earned an Associate of Arts degree and Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Mike also holds a paraprofessional training certificate, is trained in Transgender Education, responsive trauma, and by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Diabetes management. Mike’s philosophy in the classroom is a three-pronged approach – help the child realize their potential, help the child stay safe, and most importantly – have fun!
Mike is an avid aquarist and maintains many fish tanks at his home. A jack of all trades, he enjoys woodworking, crafting, painting, making and playing music, jigsaw puzzles, fishing, playing competitive slow-pitch softball, golfing, laughing with friends, and watching every Wisconsin based sports team. Mike is excited for his next chapter of teaching, and working with the team at Adeline Montessori School.