Faculty & Staff
Dr. Michelle Gutsch
Head of School
Education: PhD in Integrated Biosciences from UMD.
Michelle loves science and education. She’s married and has two wonderful daughters and two dogs. She loves spending time outside with her family. They just built a huge garden, and will be getting honey bees and chickens in the near future! She’s SO happy being a part of the Montessori community!
Ollie Mae Bartlett
“Park Point” Elementary Lead Guide
Education: MA English, Northern Michigan University;
BA English, Northern Michigan University;
MA Education, College of Saint Scholastica 2022
Elementary Teaching Licensure: College of Saint Scholastica 2022
AMI Elementary Diploma: North American Montessori Center 2021
Ollie has enjoyed teaching in a number of fields over the past decade, ranging from a Children’s Nature Guide in Queensland, Australia, an Elementary Reading Tutor, a Husbandry Instructor for individuals with physical, emotional, and intellectual delays, as well as a Montessori assistant. In her free time, she enjoy gardening, rock hunting along the shore, and creative writing. Among her favorite extra curricular lessons are arts and crafts, sewing, and playing the ukulele. Ollie truly believes in fostering intrinsic motivation in her students and inspiring them to be lifelong learners.
BS Elementary Education, Minnesota State University, Moorhead 1995;
ME, The College of St. Scholastica 2020
Certificate in Reading Instruction: The College of St. Scholastica 2020
MN Teaching Licensure: Elementary Education
Lesa is new to Montessori School of Duluth but joins us with years of diverse teaching experience. After taking a break from teaching to spend time raising her children, she is ready to jump back into the world of education as a reading specialist. She believes in a holistic approach to teaching literacy, focusing on each student’s reverence for life, passion for learning, and direct engagement with the world around them. While focusing on the foundational skills needed for a successful reading program, Lesa finds relevance, choice, motivation, and collaboration to be of equal importance in today’s classrooms. You can usually find Lesa with her nose stuck in a book or doing something crafty. She also loves spending time outdoors, gathering in the kitchen, and traveling with her husband and three children.
“North Shore” Children’s House Lead Guide
Education: Bachelor of Science, Outdoor Education & Psychology, University of Minnesota
Teaching Licensure: The College of St. Scholastica
AMI Primary Certificate: Montessori Training Center of Northern California
Cora has served as primary guide at the Western Montessori Day School in Mountain View, California, and assistant guide at White Bear Montessori and Crescent Montessori in California. She is an avid rock climber and outdoor adventurer.
“North Shore” Children’s House Support Guide
AMI Primary Certificate: 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.
“South Shore” Toddler Lead Guide
Education: Bachelor of Arts from University of Minnesota-Duluth with degrees in Early Childhood Studies, Communication, and French Studies.
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. She’s currently working on completing her Montessori training through the North American Montessori Center and will receive her infant/ toddler diploma this spring. Outside of work and school, she enjoys writing, hiking, snowboarding, attending local art and music shows, and exploring everything else that Duluth has to offer.
Lyndi has been teaching Spanish for the last 15 years in classroom, small group, and one-on-one settings. She’s worked as the Spanish Specialist Teacher at various independent and public schools, such as St. Michael’s Lakeside Early Learning, Spirit of the Lake Community School, and Lester Park School. She’s experienced in working with students of diverse ages and abilities, and young children especially. She enjoys teaching using songs, stories, role play, interactive activities, and games.
Administrative Assistant, 2021-22 “North Shore” Children’s House Lead Guide
Education: Master of Education in Montessori from St. Catherine University;
Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University.
AMI Primary Diploma: Montessori Center of Minnesota.
Sheena joined MSD and launched the South Shore Toddler Community in 2019. After her son was born in the Spring of 2020, Sheena transitioned to the role of Administrative Assistant. Prior to joining MSD, Sheena was an assistant and lead Children’s House Guide at Many Rivers Montessori for four years. She holds a strong commitment to the Montessori Method both at work and now at home with her son, Jack. You’ll see Jack around school as he gets to come to work with Sheena. Sheena loves Duluth for its natural beauty and the small town feel with the amenities of a large city. When not at school, you can typically find Sheena out and about with her husband, son, and mini-dachshund named Moose.
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.