Kelli Grant, Administrative Coordinator
Kelli grew up in Wisconsin, Montana and Iowa, and earned a degree in Interior Design. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Kelli was an actor and Youth Theatre Educator and Director in Iowa. While working on her AMI Primary Certification in 2011, she also directed students at Stagecoach Theatre Arts School. In 2011, Kelli launched the After Care Program at Cathedral Hill Montessori School. She began at Mayflower in 2012 as the After Care Coordinator and then as a Guide from 2012-2015. She is grateful to support staff and families in her administrative role. Kelli is also an actor, writer, and artist who is passionate about music, animals, nature and friendship.
Stephanie Melander, Interim Director and Business Manager
Stephanie is a native Minnesotan, runner, nutrition facts lover, and animal lover. She has a B.S. in Business Administration from St. Catherine University, a Graduate Certificate in Holistic Health Studies from St. Catherine University, the AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Center of Minnesota, and a Masters in Education from Loyola University Maryland. This is Stephanie’s fifth year at Mayflower, where she has worked both directly with the children in the Children’s House, and also in the administrative capacity. Stephanie feels honored to be part of the Mayflower community!
Angharad Menne, Admission Coordinator
Angharad Picton Menne was born in Saundersfoot, Wales, United Kingdom. Angharad earned her AMI Primary Montessori Certification in 2006 at the MMTO in London, UK. In 2012, she relocated to the Twin Cities and provided support in the Montessori community as a Substitute Teacher. Angharad established herself at Mayflower in 2015 both in an administrative and instructional role. She is passionate about alternative holistic health and works as a Lifestyle and Embodiment Coach both locally and internationally. Angharad loves to travel, learn about cultures, and has lived on four different continents. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, a 10 year old MECC alumna. Angharad is grateful to be a part of the MECC community where the mission of the school, and the vision of Dr Maria Montessori is to provide all walks of life the opportunity to experience their highest potential, and to share that with the world.
Leah Popova, Parent Outreach Coordinator
This is, proudly, Leah’s 6th year as Parent Outreach Coordinator at MECC. She has a BS Degree from UW-River Fall (majoring in English Lit) and a Masters in Education from Loyola, Maryland. After completing her AMI Primary Certification in 2003, Leah worked as a Primary Guide at Children’s Workshop Montessori where she stayed for 8 years. She is so happy to be a part of the MECC community, where her two daughters, Olympia and Bilyana, also spend much of their day.
Tiffany Heaver, Guide, Children’s House
Tiffany first experienced Montessori education as a child at a West Saint Paul school. Later as an adult, she reunited with the pedagogy, convinced that it helps people and affords new opportunities. This is her 3rd year as a guide at Mayflower and my 7th year working in a Montessori environment. Tiffany holds a Masters in Education from Loyola University, an AMI primary diploma from The Montessori Center of Minnesota, and a B.A. in English from St. Olaf College. She enjoys 3-6 year olds because they radiate the best of humanity. These children help others spontaneously, challenge themselves, and work joyfully in the present. Similarly, they are coming into their own unique personalities, which are endearing and fun to be around. Other meaningful moments in her life have included interning in Ghana, studying religions in India, and coaching gymnastics. When not at Mayflower, Tiffany enjoys writing/reading, biking, traveling, and exploring the Twin Cities with friends and loved ones.
Elsabet is a proud, homegrown Minnesotan. She lives in Minneapolis and feels very happy to be a part of the local Mayflower community! Elsabet received her B.A. in Art and English from the University of Minnesota. She completed the AMI Primary training through the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in 2014 and received a Masters in Education from St. Catherine University. Before coming to Mayflower, Elsabet spent two wonderful years as a guide at Children’s Workshop Montessori School. Elsabet is a former art, dance and gymnastics teacher as well. In her free time she loves spending time in nature, travelling, making art, and going out for dinner!
Dagmar grew up in Germany and earned her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at the University of Cologne. She taught 1st -4th grade in Germany and German language classes at the Germanic American Institute in St. Paul. Her three sons, who attended a local Montessori school, introduced her to the Montessori way of education from a parent perspective-and she got hooked! Dagmar earned an AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Center of Minnesota in 2007. Since then, she has worked as a lead guide at Cornerstone Montessori in St. Paul and at Mayflower Early Childhood Center from 2011- 2015. Over the past 2 years, Dagmar worked as a substitute teacher at local AMI schools. She is currently pursuing the AMI Consultant Training. Dagmar enjoys spending time with her family and dog Otis, hiking, cooking and reading. Dagmar is excited to be back as a guide at Mayflower.
Lauren Nelson, Children’s House 3, Assistant
Gaby Orozco-Delmont, Lead Guide, Children’s House 4
I was born and raised in Mexico City. After graduating from The Escuela Mundial de Turismo, I lived abroad, studying English and French in Canada for several years. When I returned to Mexico I taught English as a second language to elementary students. My educational work also included teaching Spanish to adult foreign exchange students at the Cemenahuac Language Institute, in the city of Cuernavaca, Mexico. I have been living with my husband and two daughters in Minneapolis for the past 13 years. I completed the AMI Primary Course at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in St. Paul, graduating in 2010. I also worked as a Montessori Assistant at Cornerstone and Little Flowers Montessori in recent years, before finding a great new home at Mayflower one year ago.
Laura Fritz, Toddler Community Guide
Laura earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the AMI Assistants to Infancy (0-3) diploma at the Montessori Center of Minnesota, and a Masters in Education from Loyola University Maryland. She truly enjoys changing the world and working for peace through children and the Montessori community and is excited to be doing that at Mayflower in the Toddler Community! In Laura’s free time she loves biking, playing music, reading, and camping.
Zara Idris, Toddler Community Assistant
Twenty-seven years ago, Zara made the long journey from Ethiopia to Seattle, Washington. In Seattle, Zara worked as a homecare aide and child care provider for nine years, as well as a nanny for seven years. After ten years, Zara made the brave decision to move to Minnesota. It certainly wasn’t because of her love for winter! Zara does, however, love family. She is one of eleven children, the mother of three boys, and proud grandmother of two girls. In 2014, she completed the AMI Assistant Training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota. This is her eighth year at Mayflower Early Childhood Center, and is enjoying her fourth year as the Assistant in the Toddler Community.
Saleha Asim, Aide
Saleha has been working in the education field for over fifteen years, and is keen to guide and help children in their developmental age. Saleha earned the AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. She has two children attending college: a daughter pursuing a degree in medicine and a son in finance. Saleha and her husband live in Eden Prairie, MN. In her leisure time, she enjoys painting, interior designing, and making artistic arrangements. She enjoys traveling around the globe with her family.
Deborah Taillon, Administrative and Student Support Deb is in her fifth year at Mayflower Early Childhood Center. She grew up in St. Paul, and holds a BFA in visual arts, a M.Ed. from Loyola University in Maryland, and the AMI primary diploma from the Montessori Center of Minnesota. After time as an Assistant in Children’s House 3 and then at home with her daughter after her birth, Deb is happy to be back at MECC as Administrative and Student Support. When Deb is not at MECC, she enjoys sewing, knitting, photography, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and spending time with her family at home in West St. Paul.
Tamira Omer, Aide
Tamira moved from Kenya to Minneapolis in 2008. She worked as a nanny for a family of four, and then as a caretaker for her grandmother. After dedicating years to supporting families and children, she began her work at Mayflower in 2011 as a Hallway Aide and Support staff. In 2015, Tamira proudly earned her GED and one year later received AMI Assistance Training Certificate. She is a mother of two who enjoys spending time playing with her children and reading about the Montessori pedagogy.
Mingus Robson, After Care Assistant
Mingus was born in Minneapolis MN, and has lived here all his life. Mingus enjoys helping and working with people. He worked as a Customer Service member at Lunds and Byerlys grocery store and as a PCA and Resident Assistant in various homes for people with disabilities. In 2015, Mingus earned his AA degree in Liberal Arts from Minneapolis Community and Technical College. This is Mingus’ third year working at MECC and second year working as an Assistant in the After Care program. Mingus completed several Montessori workshops, and loves to connect with children and watch them grow. Mingus looks forward to working with the Mayflower children and parents to help support and guide them using the Montessori techniques.