Lower Elementary 1
Bio to come
Lower Elementary 1
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 16 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 nine years and has taught two years as a trained assistant in a Lower Elementary Montessori classroom. Recently, she enrolled in a training center and has completed the academic portion towards becoming a certified 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 in the Adeline Montessori learning community!
Lower/Upper Elementary 2
Angelica Ortiz has had a strong passion for teaching since she was in grade school, As soon as she graduated high school, she immediately started working in child care, Angelica worked at a local after-school center with children of all ages. While working at the after-school program Angelica also pursued and completed her online schooling for early childhood education. While homeschooling her own daughter, she fell in love with the structure of Montessori teaching. Angelica loves the idea of letting a child learn freely and setting up each child to be the best version of themselves while preparing them to be successful adults in the future. She looks forward to helping each child thrive to their best potential while creating a safe, healthy, and loving learning space.
While out of the classroom, Angelica enjoys family time the most with her husband and their daughter. She also enjoys cooking, baking, barbecues with the family, bonfires, bike rides, and going to local festivals.
Upper Elementary 1
& Middle School
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.
Upper Elementary 1
& Middle School
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.
Upper Elementary 1
& Middle School
Sarah Johanek found the Montessori philosophy after graduating from Carroll University with bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Education, as well as a Religious Studies minor. She has spent the last 4 years assisting and observing in classrooms at all levels of the Montessori curriculum, but loves the independence and humor of the older students. She will be joining our staff on a part-time basis as the Elementary II and Adolescent assistant while she pursues her Master’s of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. She is excited to help students develop executive functioning skills so they can fully enjoy all aspects of their learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom!
In her free time, Sarah enjoys running, cooking, and is an avid reader of science fiction. She likes exploring the many different parks in SE Wisconsin.
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.
Emily Krystowiak is new to Adeline Montessori, but is not new to teaching or working with children. She is excited to join the faculty at Adeline Montessori and work with students with disabilities as a special education teacher. Emily is passionate about guiding children to realize their potential and do more than they ever thought possible. She believes every child is unique and has special gifts to offer our community at Adeline, and to our world.
Her experience working with students who have disabilities has taught her the importance of educating the whole child. She does this through developing relationships and collaborating with students, family, and faculty. Emily has experience teaching preschool through high school in both inclusive and disability-specific settings.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater with a Bachelor’s in education and earned a cross-categorical special education license. She later earned her Masters in Education and Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. Emily is eager to become more knowledgeable in Montessori, and is looking forward to being formally trained.
Outside of the classroom, Emily spends her time with her family. She and her husband have three young children and a dog named Sally. They like to camp, hike, bike and ski together. Emily loves to bake and share the treats with her friends and family.
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.