We have a wonderful record of longevity among the teaching staff at our school as we have had very little turnover over the years. The Montessori certified teaching staff is extensively trained per the requirements of the American Montessori Society and receive ongoing training and mentoring from our veteran Education Consultant. The Montessori School of Bowling Green was the first Montessori school in Ohio to be accredited by the American Montessori Society and our teachers are a credit to this.
Pam is from Elmore, Ohio and still resides there. Pam was raised in the country and grew up with horses and 4-H. She has worked for the past 15 years for the YMCA of Greater Toledo; teaching and in administration. Pam's favorite things to do are those that involve being with her 4 grandsons and niece! Pam is extremely passionate in guiding children's learning through hands on experiences. Pam holds an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. She will begin her Montessori training journey in September 2018. Her favorite Montessori quote is, "The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind." - Maria Montessori.
Early Childhood Teachers
"Miss Renee" Gross
Renee is from Wayne, Ohio. She has a vast degree of experience with young children, from teaching preschool to serving as a childcare provider in her home for a number of years. Renee holds her Bachelor's of Science in Education and is licensed to teach in grades Prek-3. Additionally, she holds a Master's of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a reading endorsement for K-12. Renee completed her Montessori Credential in 2018 from the Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute in Omaha, Nebraska. When asked "Why MSBG" Miss Renee says, "I love that Montessori focuses on developing the whole child. I also love the individual education that happens all while begin a part of a classroom community. MSBG truly cares about each person at our school!" Renee's three children attended or currently attend MSBG, and outside of the classroom she enjoys antiquing, camping, and spending time with her family.
"Miss Kate" Balusik
Kate is a teacher for the East classroom. Kate attended Bowling Green State University and graduated with a degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. She was a probation officer for nine years prior to joining the MSBG team. She was an aide in the East Classroom the last 2 years. Through her kids being students at the school, she continued to become involved with the school and served as the CAPE President for two years. This involvement led her to changing career paths and join MSBG's staff.
“Miss Brenda” Rider
Brenda is originally from Pioneer, Ohio. Her son just started the Early Childhood program at MSBG and her youngest daughter is a student in the Upper Elementary program. She has her American Montessori Society certification for 3-6 years olds which she completed in the Spring of 2009. She has been at MSBG since 2004 and has experience working with students of diverse needs. Brenda states, “My favorite Montessori materials are the moveable alphabet and the bank game! I love how the bank game shows the relationships between the units, tens, hundreds and thousands.”
“Miss Sarah” Current
Sarah is originally from Medina, Ohio and she was a student teacher at MSBG in 2008-2009 and began teaching here in 2011. For two years, she was an Early Childhood Teacher at a Montessori school in Streetsboro, Ohio. Sarah holds her Bachelor of Science degree in Education and is licensed in Early Childhood Education (PreK-3) with a Reading Endorsement (PreK-3). She completed her Montessori training at the North American Montessori Center and received her International Montessori diploma in 2010. She also completed her American Montessori Society credential in May 2013. Sarah states, “Aside from all the practical life activities, I would say that my favorite Montessori materials are the color boxes as well as the sandpaper letters with object boxes.” Sarah welcomed her first child into the world in July of 2016.
"Miss Amy" Nalepka
This is Amy's 4th year as an education aide for the West classroom. She previously taught in a Montessori early childhood classroom. Amy holds her Associate Early Childhood Credential from Adrian Dominican Montessori Institute where she was trained by the legendary Sister Anthonita. She has a son, Jacob, that is 15 who attends Bowling Green High School and a daughter, Lila, who is 8, that attends MSBG.
Lower Elementary Teachers
“Miss Liz” Resler
Liz is originally from Port Clinton, Ohio and has lived in Bowling Green since 1990 with her husband, Terry. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and is licensed in Elementary Education. She also has her Montessori certification for 6-9 year olds and has taught at MSBG since 1993. She has served as an instructor and a consultant for prospective Montessori teachers and BGSU student teachers. Her son, Zachary, is an alumnus of MSBG. When asked "Why MSBG?" Liz states, "I love the Montessori materials and the lessons that go with each material. I love having a co-teacher that I can collaborate with and plan what is best for each individual student. MSBG is home!"Aside from teaching, Miss Liz enjoys gardening, camping, reading and spending time with family and friends.
“Miss Megan” Prybylski
Megan is originally from Van Wert, Ohio and currently lives in Fostoria. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Community Services from Bowling Green State University. Megan completed her American Montessori Society 9-12 certification in 2005 and her 6-9 American Montessori Society certification in 2018. She enjoys coaching the 3-6 MSBG Cross Country team and started the first organized sport at MSBG (Cross Country) in 2005! She is also responsible for creating the MSBG Cross Country Invitational which began in 2010. Megan loves MSBG because oh the multi-age groupings and because of the nurturing environment where students can work at their own pace with Montessori materials.
"Miss Mary" Cleland
Mary is originally from Newark, Ohio. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and she completed her Montessori Certification in 2004. She began teaching at MSBG in 2000 and taught for four years before she decided to stay home with her three young children, all three of whom are now MSBG students. For two years, Mary worked in the Upper Elementary program before returning to Lower Elementary in 2013. She states, "I had the biggest A-HA moment in training when I learned how to demonstrate test-tube division. I think it's an amazing way to show children the process of long division. Another one of my favorite Montessori materials is using the geometric solids to calculate volume."
“Miss Jennifer” Sigurdson
Jennifer is a longtime Bowling Green resident and she is the proud mother of three daughters. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and she has experience working with students of all learning styles and special needs. She completed her American Montessori Society training in the spring of 2012 from Adrian, Michigan. She loves to read, watch movies, and spend free time with her family and friends. When asked, "Why MSBG?" Jennifer says, "Because I love coming to work every day!"
Upper Elementary Teachers
"Miss Sam" Brigode
Samantha graduated from Perrysburg High School and holds her Bachelors in Middle Childhood Education from Bowling Green State University with specialization in Math and Science and an endorsement in Language Arts with an endorsement in Social Studies in progress. Miss Sam is currently in Montessori training as well. She has volunteered for or held several positions working with children throughout her college and professional career, including camp counseling, grant writing and coordinating a tutoring program for struggling students. Sam currently lives in Perrysburg with her husband Charles and their dog Raji. She says, "I love being a part of this community! I love coming to work every day!"
“Miss Deb” Reddin
Deb was born in Van Nuys, California and moved to Ohio at age 9. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Bowling Green State University and has accumulated many post-graduate hours in language arts and science. She taught 5th and 6th grade in North Baltimore until she decided to be a stay-at-home mom while her son was enrolled in the Montessori Early Childhood program. She was very involved with the school as a mom, and then as a substitute teacher. She became a full-time teacher when the Upper Elementary class expanded in 2001. She completed her 9-12 year old Montessori Certification in 2003. Deb states, "My favorite Montessori material is the large fraction skittles used to teach division of fractions. I love this material because it very clearly demonstrates why we use the reciprocal and multiply to get the answer to a division problem."
"Mr. Dave" Proulx
Dave holds his Bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts in Sociology and his Masters degree in Education from Cambridge College in Massachusetts. Dave graduated from both programs with honors and holds his professional license in early childhood Preschool-3rd grade. When asked, "Why MSBG?" Dave said, " What I love about MSBG is its well rounded curriculum with emphasis on peace and character education." His hobbies include reading, traveling, playing softball, and most importantly, spending time with his wife and family.
"Miss Mackenzie" Nofziger
Miss Mackenzie is originally from Pettisville, Ohio. She has her Montessori credentials for Secondary I and II and her Master's of Education from Xavier University. She is also a former student of BGSU, graduating Suma Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Education. As well, she is licensed to teach middle childhood (grades 4-9) with concentration in the areas of math, science and reading. Mackenzie says, "When I first found MSBG and learned about Montessori education, I knew it would be a great fit. It fits with my educational philosophy and truly seeks to educate the whole child. It is a wonderful and positive place to work and grow as a teacher!" In her free time, Mackenzie is very involved with Global Connections, an organization that serves the international community in BG. Before joining our staff at MSBG, Mackenzie taught at Bangkok Christian International School in Thailand for two years!
MSBG truly values the curiosity and excitement children have for learning. In addition to our hands-on, authentic approach, MSBG offers special area programming to enrich children's experiences. The following teachers make it all possible:
Jennifer Blakeman is our Elementary Music and Band teacher.
Jennifer Blakeman has her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Heidelberg University with an instrumental emphasis. She currently runs her own traveling music studio and formerly taught elementary music at the K-5th level for a local school district. Additionally, she is licensed by the state of Ohio and holds Orff level 1 and 2 certifications. She has been a Montessori parent and classroom substitute for the last four years and two of her children attend MSBG.
Paige Bulkeley is our Building Substitute Teacher.
"Miss Paige" holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture. She became very interested in the Montessori Method when her four children attended MSBG and she has worked at MSBG since 2004 at all levels.
Antonia Dzakula-Meek is our Physical Education teacher.
"Miss Antonia" is a professionally-trained physical educator and has her Masters in Education and her Masters of Arts in Adaptive PE. She has taught at MSBG since 2002. She is also an instructor at BGSU in the School of Human Movement, Sports and Leisure Studies.
Sarah Leis is our Art Education teacher.
Sarah received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts from Adrian College in Michigan. She has served MSBG in the role of substitute teacher and extended care since 2013. Sarah is adored by our students and brings optimism and spirit to our school.
Jenica Fox is our Early Childhood Music teacher.
Jenica holds her Bachelors in Music Education: Instrumental and General along with a jazz certificate from University Wisconsin-Whitewater. She also holds her Orff Level I and Level II certificates from DePaul University. Currently, Jenica is pursuing her Master's in Music Education from BGSU. Jenica has been with MSBG since 2017.
Amy Paluch is our Speech/Language Therapist.
“Miss Amy” holds a Bachelor degree in Communication Disorders from BGSU and a Masters Degree from Kent State University. She states, “What I like best about Montessori is the warm, nurturing environment and working with the teachers. They are so dedicated, easy (and fun!) to collaborate with to help each individual child reach their full potential.”
Jakki Kleinhans is our Intervention Specialist.
"Miss Jakki" holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural and Social Sciences and is pursuing her Intervention Specialist license and Master's degree in special education. Jakki's daughter currently attends MSBG in Lower Elementary. Jakki also serves as our Education Director.
Our extended care programming is staffed by highly-qualified individuals who have an education background and who complete training in First Aid, CPR, Communicable Diseases, Child Abuse and Neglect as well as Montessori Philosophy, Positive Verbal Environment and 'I-Care' Language.