Meet the Faculty

Emily Rodriguez

Head of School

Emily Rodriguez has been involved in Montessori since the age of 2.5. Her grandmother; Adeline, opened one of the first Montessori schools in Wisconsin back in the 1960s, and her father was head of school for over 23 years at a Montessori school. Emily received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UW-Milwaukee, Montessori credentials in Elementary I and II from an American Montessori Society approved training program and Orton-Gillingham training for reading intervention. She is a certified Applied Behavior Analysis, trained in transgender education, responsive trauma, school safety protocols, and by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Diabetes management as an effort to aid and serve students with Diabetes. She is currently working to complete her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership through UW-Milwaukee. Emily has been an age 6-9 teacher for 5 years and enjoys helping her students unlock their full potential.

Due to Emily’s passion, love of her family, and desire to honor her grandmother’s legacy, she decided it was time to open a school of her own. She believes that high-quality education should be accessible to all children and families regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Though Emily knows there is a long road ahead to bring social justice into education, she is dedicated to her mission and excited to take this first step by opening Adeline Montessori.     

Michelle Krauska

Admissions Director

Michelle Krauska has spent over 20 years promoting Montessori education and creating a welcoming Montessori community.  Her own two children attended a Montessori school and she has observed both the short term and long term benefits of Montessori education.

Michelle received her undergraduate degree from Butler University in Environmental Studies and Journalism, and her Master’s degree in Public Health/Community Health Education. This education brought her to employers such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Family Health/La Clinica Migrant and Community Health Center and Marshfield Medical Research Foundation.

Michelle is looking forward to bringing Montessori education to many new people in Waukesha County!
 
When not volunteering in the community, Michelle will most often be found working on her latest knitting project.

Natallie Lopez

Infant/ Toddler

Natallie is thrilled to be at the beginning of her Montessori journey. She has her Associates of Arts and Science and is working on her Bachelors of Art and Science in Social Work, with a minor in Sociology. Natallie has volunteered at the Salvation Army in Milwaukee, specifically with child care and tutoring. Natallie is looking forward to the Fall when she will start her Montessori education training. She is motivated to make this a great year for the kids and hopes to lead her own classroom in the future.

Outside of school, Natallie enjoys hikes with her beagle, gardening, paddle boarding, swimming, beach days, and traveling.

Molly Souza

School Nurse & Infant/ Toddler

Molly is a graduate from Alverno College, earning her Bachelor in the Science of Nursing and is now licensed as a Registered Nurse. She has spent the last 4 years working with children from birth to 18 years in different settings such as the Urgent Care, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the Wisconsin Poison Center. She is a Certified Lactation Consultant and member of the Wisconsin and National Association of School Nurses. Molly believes a child’s mental health and physical well-being impact the child’s ability to learn. She looks forward to spending the next school year ensuring that each student is healthy, safe and ready to learn while keeping the Montessori methods in mind.

In her free time Molly enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. As a family they enjoy going for walks, playing baseball, and trying new recipes.

Angela Taylor

Infant/ Toddler Lead

Angela Taylor has joyfully worked alongside children for the past 13 years, the last 5 being in a Montessori environment. She received her Associates in Early Childhood Education from Waukesha County Technical College and she has completed her Paraprofessional Montessori training. Angela is enthusiastically continuing her education to earn her Montessori Infant/Toddler certificate.

In addition to serving in the classroom, she is a nanny of 3 wonderful kids and can’t get enough of her dog and two cats. When Angela is not working she enjoys all the outdoors has to offer. She appreciates hunting and foraging, camping, running, kayaking, and visiting with friends. When not outside you can find her baking, getting crafty, or enjoying a good show curled up with her fur babies.

Emma Caldwell

Primary

Emma’s passion for Montessori began nearly a decade ago as she observed her youngest brother’s journey through his Montessori Primary and Elementary classrooms. After graduating from Waukesha North High School, Emma went on to study Psychology at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Her heart then guided her to beautiful Boulder, Colorado, where she was an avid climber and naturalist, eventually reaching every summit in the state exceeding 14,000 feet. Emma then returned to Waukesha, both to continue her education and be closer to her family.

Before working as an Assistant at Adeline Montessori, Emma completed her Paraprofessional Montessori Training. She is currently enrolled at Seton Montessori Institute, where she is completing her training and practicum and will soon be receiving her certification as an AMS Early Childhood Guide. Emma believes all children are deserving of love, dignity, kindness, and respect, and she has an innate ability to foster joy and creativity in her students as they do their “work”. You will find that Emma has a keen insight into each of her students, and her patience and wisdom notably exceed her years.

In any spare time she can find, Emma is a voracious reader, writer, NYT Crossword Puzzle junkie, hiker, climber, and environmentalist. She also enjoys vegan cooking and spending time with her family.

Tina Johnson

Primary

Tina was introduced to the Montessori Method as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools. She obtained her Primary training from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee. Tina spent several years enriching children with Montessori pedagogy both in the classroom and at home with her own three children. After a break from the classroom, she is excited to be back in a Montessori environment. A native of Milwaukee, Tina enjoys health, fitness, gardening, outdoor activities, and leisure time with her family and dogs. 

Kate Maher

Primary

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

Elementary I

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

Elementary I

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! 

Mindi Eineichner

Elementary II

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

Elementary II

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.

Heather Caldwell

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.

Mike Richter

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.   

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