Nanci Olesen | Director |
I have a B.A. in Theatre from Gustavus Adolphus College, the AMI Montessori Primary Diploma, and an M.Ed from Loyola University Maryland. This is my second year as director of Mayflower Early Childhood Center. I love bringing my skills and my love of Mayflower to this role. My husband and I have raised three Montessori children. Before I began my work in Montessori education I worked in public radio, primarily reporting on issues related to parenthood. I've lived in the Kingfield neighborhood for 30 years.
Ally Enz | Business Manager |
I have a B.S. in Business Administration and a M.A. in Educational Psychology, both from the University of Minnesota. My love of learning new things has allowed me a rich and varied career path, and I am so delighted to be part of Mayflower ECC to use my accounting and business background in a nurturing and positive environment that is supportive of all families. I live in the Lynnhurst neighborhood near the creek with my husband and our two children, and enjoy creative writing, crafty home projects, yoga, practicing mindfulness, and learning guitar and piano with my son and daughter—all things that help me to live more fully in the present moment.
Leah Popova | Parent Outreach Coordinator |
I have a B.S. degree in English Literature from the University of WI-River Falls, the AMI Primary Montessori Diploma, and a M.Ed from Loyola University. I spent 8 years as a Children's House Lead Guide at Children's Workshop Montessori, after which I took time off to explore other paths of involvement in the Montessori community. This led me to Mayflower, and I am excited to be here for a second year. I also serve on the board at Children’s Workshop. Motherhood is another new labor of love of mine, and I delight in this part of my journey. I live in St. Louis Park with my daughter and husband.
Laura Fritz | Administrative Assistant/Toddler Strategist |
I have 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 Training Center of Minnesota, and a Masters in Education from Loyola University Maryland. I truly enjoy changing the world and working for peace through children and the Montessori community and am excited to join Mayflower! In my free time I enjoy singing, cooking, gardening, reading, and camping.
Dagmar Hoebertz | Lead Guide, Children’s House 1 |
I grew up in the Western part of Germany and earned my Masters degree in Elementary Education at the University of Cologne. Since 2003 our family has lived in Minnesota. First I taught German to children and adults at the Germanic American Institute. Through my own children I got interested in Montessori education and took the Montessori Primary Training for children ages 3-6 in St. Paul. After leading a Children’s House at Cornerstone Montessori School in St. Paul for three years, I took the opportunity to open Mayflower’s Children’s House 1 in 2011. I am excited to move to a 5 day program this year. I live in Lino Lakes with my husband, three sons, and our dog! I am excited for my third year at Mayflower!
Haley Yseth | Assistant, Children's House 1 |
I graduated from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University with a degree in Peace Studies. Through this unique program, I studied how sustainable change begins with education - each person should be equipped with the tools to think critically about the world and learn how to live in community. I explored different avenues within the field of education and Montessori was a natural fit with my interests. I earned an AMI Primary Diploma in May 2012 from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. The following year I taught as a guide before joining MECC. I am currently working on my Masters in Education from Loyola University. I am so grateful to be a part of Children's House 1 and the larger Mayflower community.
Erin Haapala | Lead Guide, Children’s House 2 |
I am the guide in Children's House 2 and proud to say that I helped to grow Mayflower's Montessori program when it all began in 2009. I have my Masters in Education (Loyola University Maryland) and received my Montessori AMI Primary Diploma in 2009. Before my Montessori career began I graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in Anthropology and Archaeology. One of my favorite things about being a Montessori guide is getting to see how all these very different children develop into independent, life long learners. And I get to dust off the old sewing machine every once in a while!
Stephanie Melander | Assistant, Children's House 2 |
I am a native Minnesotan, runner, nutrition facts lover, and an animal lover. I have a B.S. in business administration from St. Catherine University, a graduate certificate in holistic health studies, also from St. Kate's, an AMI primary diploma from the Montessori Center of Minnesota, and a Masters in Education from Loyola University Maryland. I am grateful for discovering the Montessori method and love seeing all the wonderful ways it can impact children. I live in St. Paul with my husband, Chris, and our two rescue golden retrievers, Nellie and Tucker.
Molly Petracca | Lead Guide, Children’s House 3 |
My first Montessori experience was as a preschooler myself in a small school in St. Paul. I became very passionate about everything related to children and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education. From there I have done various things such as work for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Minneapolis, teach English in France, and assist in a Montessori classroom. In 2012 I received the AMI Montessori Primary Diploma for children 3-6 years of age and I am excited that this shall be my second year as a guide of CH3! I currently dwell in Minneapolis with my husband and our two cats: Kuro and Shiro.
Deborah Getsug | Assistant, Children's House 3 |
I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and currently live there with my husband, John, and our cat, Lucca. I graduated from the Montessori Center of Minnesota with an AMI Primary Diploma in the spring of 2013, and also have a M.Ed from Loyola University Maryland. I am grateful to be a part of the Montessori community, and excited to play a role in helping children develop a love of learning, and build the social and emotional competence needed to be part of the Children’s House and beyond. I have a BFA in illustration and make jewelry, spin yarn, and knit in my spare time. I also enjoy cooking and taking explorative walks.
Kelli Michel | Lead Guide, Children's House 4 |
I'm incredibly passionate about learning, and have been in pursuit of a medley of interests ranging from my degree in Interior Design, vocal training in Opera Performance at the UNI, as well as Early Childhood Arts coursework at the University of Iowa. For several years I thoroughly enjoyed acting, and writing at various community theatres in Iowa. Once I started teaching drama to youth in 2007, I knew education was where I belonged. In 2010, I made the decision to leave the state of Iowa for Minnesota to earn the A.M.I. Primary diploma at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. I began my Montessori journey as the Extended Day Coordinator at Cathedral Hill in 2011. I look forward to continuing to be a part of the Mayflower community!
Gaby Orozco-Delmont | Assistant, 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. I really enjoy my role as an Assistant in Children’s House 4, and look forward to all of the contributions that I can make this coming year.
Tom Bird | After Care Co-Coordinator |
I was born and raised in South Minneapolis. This is my third year at Mayflower ECC, and my first as co-coordinator of After Care and Nap Room 1. I received my BA from the University of Minnesota in Spanish/Portuguese and Global Studies. I completed the Montessori Primary Assistant’s training at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in 2012. I’m excited to have the opportunity to support children and families by extending the quality childcare and commitment to the Montessori philosophy children receive in MECC’s wonderful Children’s Houses beyond the classroom.
Alex Link | After Care Co-Coordinator |
I am a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College. I am a dual citizen of the United States and England, where I attended school for a short spell and visit as often as possible. A majority of my primary years were spent in a Montessori setting. I attended Lake Country and Seward Montessori before becoming a Southwest student. Currently I am involved with the YMCA’s Youth Development programs and am a first year staff here at MECC. I have also worked as a Personal Care Assistant to adults and children with pervasive developmental disorders. South Minneapolis has been my home since my earliest memories and I have cherished living along Minnehaha creek. I am honored to partake in the journey these children are on from an “unconscious Absorbent Mind” and creating themselves by exploring their environment and being given opportunities to choose activities that will facilitate their natural behavioral tendencies.
Emma Jo Lackie | Nap Room Coordinator |
I have been a member of Mayflower Church for 32 years and involved with the various children's programs at the church for over 27 years, both as an instructor and as an assistant. Three years ago I completed the AMI Children's House Assistants Course and performed as an assistant in Children's House 1. This is the second year I will serve as nap room coordinator and afternoon aide. I love working with children and their excitement for life. My husband and I live in Richfield where I spend summer in my garden with our over demanding cat.
Tamira Omer | Aide |
I have lived in Minneapolis for five years. I graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2011. This is my first time working with children at a school, but I grew up with my grandma in Ethiopia. When my grandma died, I moved back with my mom. Here in the United States I have helped care for my cousins, ages 1-5 years old! I love being with the children at Mayflower Early Childhood Center and being close with the children!
Zara Idris | Aide
I am from Ethiopia but I have lived in the United States for 22 years. In Seattle I worked for 9 years as a homecare aide and as a daycare provider. I was a nanny for 7 years. I have lived in Minneapolis for 5 years. I have 3 boys, ages 28, 21, and 18. In my family of origin, I am one of 11 children, so I am very comfortable with children and families. I love children and I love working with them! I am the bathroom aide to all classrooms at Mayflower, and I also clean the classrooms, help with After Care, and do dishes.
Saleha Asim | Aide |
I earned my AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. I have been working in the education field for the last fifteen years and am keen to guide and helpchildren in their developmental age. I have two university going children: a daughter pursuing a degree in medicine and a son in finance. My husband and I live in Eden Prairie, MN. I love to do painting, interior designing, and make artistic arrangements in my leisure time. I enjoy traveling around the globe with my family.
Kori Shelden | Aide |
I am originally from the great state of New Jersey and attended Messiah College in Pennsylvania where I graduated with a BA in Religious Studies and Anthropology in 2009. I studied Environmental Education in Belize for a year as well. After graduation I lived in Arizona where I worked with teenagers in a transitional housing shelter to younger children at Red Mountain Montessori. After a year being exposed to the Montessori philosophy I made the brave move to the Midwest to get my AMI Montessori Primary Diploma in 2013. I am a vocalist at my church, runner, swimmer, and lover of yoga, nature, theatre, and college basketball! I live close to Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Falls. I am grateful to now be a part of the MECC community after temporary work at Cathedral Hill and Sunny Hollow. I aspire to foster a love of learning, early independence, and encouragement through a balance of freedom and discipline with every child as well as to be taught by them in return.