Faculty & Staff 2023-24

Dr. Michelle Gutsch

Head of School

Education: PhD in Integrated Biosciences from UMD; MS in Fisheries from University of Alaska-Fairbanks; BS in Biology, Chemistry, and Women’s Studies from UWS.

Michelle loves science and education. She has been working in academia for over 18 years in some form or another. She’s married and has two wonderful daughters (ages 3.5 and 6), two dogs, three chickens, and two fish! She loves animals, traveling, and spending time outside with her family. She is passionate about education and has found her job at MSD to be the perfect career for her. She’s SO happy being a part of the Montessori community! Cookie, the school “therapy dog,” is currently in training to become an official therapy dog. She spends most days in Michelle’s office. Her favorite time of day is when she gets to see other staff and children. In warmer weather, she enjoys going out on recess with the children daily. She is very kind and sweet, and she is very used to children.

Megan Lizakowski

“Park Point” Elementary Lead Guide

Education: Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with degrees in Environment, Sustainability, & Geography, and a minor in Anthropology.

Montessori Training: Currently pursuing licensure from the North American Montessori Center.

Megan was a teaching assistant in Children’s House before becoming the Elementary Lead in the summer of 2022. She is passionate about teaching and strives to boost children’s confidence as learners and individuals. She strongly believes in the Montessori philosophy of “meeting every child where they are” because no two children are the same, and everyone has a different learning style. Megan adores Duluth and spends her time outside of MSD exploring the city, ballet dancing, taking walks along the Lakewalk, surfing, and participating in local trivia nights.

Annie Davis

Children’s House Assistant, Summer Children’s House Lead Guide

Montessori Training: Currently in training for Montessori certificate

Annie is a very creative person. She enjoys painting, writing short stories, reading, and doing crafts. She enjoys hiking, camping, and just being surrounded by nature as much as possible. Annie is so grateful to be a part of the Montessori School of Duluth Community.

Catherine Bauer

“North Shore” Children’s House Support Guide

Montessori Training: AMI Primary Certificate from Montessori Training Center of Minnesota.

Catherine has been with the Montessori School of Duluth since 2000 after beginning her career as a Guide in the Twin Cities in 1987. She has enjoyed being a part of many children’s first experience of Montessori and brings years of experience to the classroom. Her patience and kindness instills immediate trust with the children. In her free time Catherine enjoys bowling and bocce ball.

Caleigh Cain

“South Shore” Toddler Lead Guide

Education: Bachelor of Arts from University of Minnesota-Duluth with degrees in Early Childhood Studies, Communication, and French Studies.

Montessori Training: Infant/Toddler Montessori training in 2021 from the North American Montessori Center.

Before coming to MSD, Caleigh had several years of experience working in childcare in Duluth and in the Twin Cities. She loved learning about and implementing the Montessori method throughout her time here and watching the children gain independence and learn life-long skills at such an early age. Outside of work, she enjoys writing, hiking, snowboarding, attending local art and music shows, and exploring everything else that Duluth has to offer.

Ashley Etter

Administrative Assistant

Education: BA in Philosophy and English, The College of St. Scholastica.

Ashley, who has several years’ experience working as an administrative assistant, is very excited to be a part of Montessori School of Duluth, as education is her number one passion. In her free time, she enjoys painting, crocheting, and reading.

Board of Trustees

Montessori School of Duluth is led by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board is comprised of up to 12 members, including independent professionals, parents, parents of former students, and alum. The Head of School is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees. Current members include:

  • Spring Aubol
  • Laurie Brittain
  • Katie Hendrickson
  • Chris McCord
  • Michelle Nephew
  • Nicole Olson
  • Jakky Sangster (ex-officio)
  • Mia Thibodeau (ex-officio)
  • Emily Thomas
Montessori School of Duluth is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization. We value, welcome and celebrate a diverse population. The school treats all children and applicants for enrollment without unlawful discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation in all employment decisions.