Who We Are

Faculty & Staff

Christie Cheng

“Park Point” Elementary Lead Guide


Master’s in Education Sarasota University, Endorsement: Montessori Education
Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education, Faith Baptist Bible College, Endorsement: Coaching

This starts Christie’s 4th year teaching in a Montessori classroom and her 8th year teaching. She has previously taught both in classical and traditional classrooms, but Montessori has truly stolen her heart with its hands-on approach to learning.

Melissa Nick

“Park Point” Reading Specialist


Master’s in Education from Elmira College, Emphasis: Literacy, Birth through Grade 12. Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin- Superior. Licensed to teach K-12 Reading and K-12 Special Education Learning Disabilities.

Melissa has taught in a wide variety of public and private settings. Developing her own home-based preschool when her children were young opened her eyes to the beauty of Montessori education. She is thrilled to now be teaching reading in a setting that honors multi-sensory, mastery-based learning, and to utilize training she is receiving in Structured Literacy/Orton-Gillingham through the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Upper Wisconsin.  Outside of school, Melissa enjoys reading and teaching yoga and meditation classes.

Catherine Bauer

“North Shore” Children’s House Lead 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.

Emily Rice

“North Shore” Children’s House Assistant 


Emily brings a lot of patience and experience working with children in a variety of care settings. We are thrilled to have her join us as Catherine’s assistant. When she is not at work she enjoys spending time with her son and hiking the trails with her dog.

Cora McGlauflin

“South Shore” Children’s House Lead Guide


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.

Samantha Simonson

“South Shore” Children’s House Assistant 


Bachelor of Science, Exercise Science and Psychology University of Wisconsin Superior
AMI Certified Primary Assistant, Montessori Center of Minnesota

Sam has had numerous roles with us at the school and we are thrilled to have her join us as an assistant guide in the classroom. She enjoys spending time outdoors, boxing, practicing yoga and running.

Coral Stephens

Experienced Aid


This will be her third year at MSD however she has been working with children for years. She worked for many years in the medical field as a CNA and also a school bus driver. She enjoys gardening, arts and crafts, photography, traveling and sitting by the beach listening to the waves.

Laura Goodman

Director of Education, Head of School


Bachelor of Science, Family Social Science University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Parent Education License, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities graduate program

Laura brings to the school years of working with parents and a background in child development. She has experience working with nonprofits and schools developing and implementing curriculum. As a parent of children who have attended MSD she has seen first hand the benefits of a Montessori education. In her spare time Laura is involved with the Minnesota Ballet.

Jenae Pedersen

HR and Enrollment Coordinator


Bachelor of Business Administration, Organizational Management, University of Minnesota

Jenae has deep roots in education, coming from a long line of educators and administrators. She works in the office but has quickly built strong relationships with the children and enjoys her time with them. When she is not at work she enjoys yoga, hiking and recently discovered mountain biking.

Trustees

Governance: 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.

Jim Keith, Board President

Administrative Center Director, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Duluth

Mia Thibodeau, Board Member

Attorney, Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick; Current parent

Amy Shen, Ex-Officio Board Member

Head of School

Nicole Bakken, Board Member

Current parent

Joe Wicklund, Board Member

Director of Enrollment, Marshall School

Trustees

Governance: 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.

Jim Keith, Board President

Administrative Center Director, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Duluth

Mia Thibodeau, Board Member

Attorney, Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick; Current parent

Amy Shen, Ex-Officio Board Member

Head of School

Nicole Bakken, Board Member

Current parent

Joe Wicklund, Board Member

Director of Enrollment, Marshall School