Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Meet the Montessori school of westminster

Faculty & Staff

Melissa Bain

Upper Elementary Aide

Mrs. Bain is originally from Pensacola, Florida and has lived in many places including overseas locations in Japan and Panama. She spent many years as a firefighter and paramedic and her work now includes being a strength coach. Mrs. Bain has been the MSW Girl Scout troop leader since 2015.

Mrs. Bain has three children; daughter Christina is attending MSW for her sixth year. Her two older children are both serving active duty in the US Marines and Army.

She enjoys strength training, backpacking, camping, section-hiking the Appalachian Trail, competing in strongman competitions, being outdoors, working on her farm, and her new grandson, Jayden.

Chris Bangerd

Bookkeeper; Office of Finance

Mrs. Bangerd has an Associates of Arts degree in Accounting from Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Baltimore. She passed the CPA exam in 1990 and has been working in accounting for over 25 years.

Mrs. Bangerd lives in Westminster with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and watching college basketball.

Jennifer Carroll

Primary Guide

Mrs. Carroll is a native of Westminster.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia in 2012.  While attending St. Joe’s, she played on their lacrosse team.

Before starting her Montessori training at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland, she worked at a local preschool for two years.  Mrs. Carroll is active in local sports and is currently coaching basketball at Manchester Valley High School.

Outside of MSW, Mrs. Carroll enjoys spending time with her son, Kaleb, and husband, Marcus. Mrs. Carroll enjoys being outside, hiking, and fishing.

Karaline Diehl

Primary Aide / After School Care

Ms. Diehl was born in Latvia and came to America in 2010. She enjoys working with small children at MSW. Ms. Diehl is a Raven’s fan, likes spending time with her family, and loves the outdoors. She also loves spending time with her new chickens.

Frank DiLeonardi

Physical Education

Mr. DiLeonardi is the lead assistant and primary goalkeeping coach for the men’s soccer team at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He is entering his fifth season with the squad. In that time, he has coached the starting goalkeeper, who has earned both all-conference and all Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference honors.

Outside of McDaniel, Mr. DiLeonardi is the owner of Mighty Kicks and Level 5 Soccer, programs that use soccer as a tool to help young people become more active at an early age, and to help develop motor and social interaction skills.

Mr. DiLeonardi currently holds a National Level D license from US Soccer; a National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) National diploma; a NSCAA Advanced National diploma; a NSCAA Premier diploma; NSCAA level 1, 2, and 3 Goalkeeping diplomas; and, a NSCAA Advanced National Goalie diploma. He is currently enrolled at Carroll Community College as an exercise science major.

Linda Felker

Lower Elementary Guide

Mrs. Felker first came to Montessori as a parent and Primary aide at the Montessori School of Westminster. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Thomas Edison State College and went on to complete her Montessori training in Lower and Upper Elementary at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. She has worked in a Montessori setting for 24 years.

Mrs. Felker enjoys gardening, needle crafts, cooking, and volunteer activities. She lives in Littlestown, Pennsylvania.

Brady Geier

Lower Elementary Guide / Aide

After graduating from South Carroll High School, Mrs. Geier went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in gerontology from California University. She also holds an Associate of Arts degree from Strayer University in Business Administration and Accounting. Mrs. Geier has worked as a substitute teacher for Carroll County Public Schools.

She resides in Westminster with her husband, Nick, and her sons, Noah and Dillon. When not working, Mrs. Geier enjoys being with her family, cooking, and gardening.

Amy Heikinnen-Brooks

Music Instruction

Mrs. Heikkinen-Brooks is the Music Teacher at MSW. She is a licensed clinical social worker, with a specialty in children’s mental health and integrating the expressive arts with therapy. She has Bachelor and Masters’ degrees in Social Work from the University of Maryland system, as well as undergraduate training in creative education from The New School in New York City.

She is a lifelong musician, singer, and self-identified Music Nerd, bringing all types of music into the MSW classroom and exploring different musical concepts and skills in the most fun, meaningful ways she can conjure.

Mrs. Heikkinen-Brooks and her wife live in Westminster with their young sons, and favorite family activities include roasting marshmallows over their front-yard fire pit, rocking out to their favorite songs in the car, and eating pineapple pizza.

Madison Huber

Lower Elementary Aide

Ms. Huber graduated from Harford Tech in Bel Air, Maryland. She has recently graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Ms. Huber has relocated to the area. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dogs, eating dessert, and being with her family.

Kim Jersild

Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Jersild graduated from South Carroll High School and attended Carroll Community College. Prior to joining MSW, Mrs. Jersild worked at Carroll County General Hospital for 13 years. Mrs. Jersild has worked in Lower Elementary, Middle School, Beginnings, and After School Care. Mrs. Jersild enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters and grandson, Dylan, who is in the MSW Lower Elementary program. Mrs. Jersild has earned certifications for CPR, AED, and First Aid. She also enjoys sewing, camping and cooking.

Natalie Leitao

Primary Aide

Mrs. Leitao is thrilled to be a part of the MSW team! She is a Maryland native raised in nearby Eldersburg. She knew from a very young age that she always wanted to work with children. Mrs. Leitao received her Early Childhood Education certification in 2004. She has taught and worked in traditional preschools for over ten years, until researching and discovering the beauty of Montessori method. She loves working with children and seeing the joy on their faces when they discover something new. Mrs. Leitao plans on working to attain an Associate’s degree at Carroll Community College.

She currently lives in Westminster with her husband, Jimmy, and her daughter, Gianna, who will be attending MSW. Mrs. Leitao enjoys spending time with her family, friends, watching movies, going to the beach, and she loves to travel and learn about new cultures.

Joy Lin

Beginnings Aide

Mrs. Lin studied Home Economics with an early childhood teaching certificate program in Taiwan. After graduating from college, she taught kindergarten for three years, then went on to pursue her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education in Texas Women’s University. She received a Texas Educator Certificate for her studies, and worked as a substitute teacher for levels kindergarten through fifth grade in public schools.

Due to a job opportunity for her husband, the family moved to Westminster a few years ago. They have a middle school son, Ethan, and enjoy hiking and camping as a family.

Allie Lindsey

Middle School Guide

Ms. Lindsey is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She has also cultivated her interest in the sciences and has taken biology and chemistry courses at UMBC.

Ms. Lindsey recently enrolled in the Montessori Secondary training program with The Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She resides in Westminster with her partner Jacob (a MSW alumnus) and their daughter Violet. In her free time, Ms. Lindsey enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Jodi Lupco

Head of School

Mrs. Lupco is a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. She first came to MSW as a parent and volunteer. She joined the staff in the fall of 1996 as Admissions Officer. In the summer of 2002, she took the Montessori Lower Elementary (ages 6 to 9) training from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was a guide in Lower Elementary from September, 2002 through June of 2007. Mrs. Lupco is CPR/First Aid-certified. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Carroll County Youth Service Bureau.

Mrs. Lupco resides in Westminster with her husband, Mike, and enjoys spending time with her family. Her daughters, Taylor and Tori, both attended MSW.

Gretchen Malcolm

Elementary Guide

Mrs. Malcolm begins her 20th year teaching Upper Elementary at MSW. She graduated in 1980 from Washington Adventist University with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education, then married her college sweetheart, Stephen, in 1981.

She was introduced to the Montessori philosophy in 1985 and never looked back! She took the elementary (ages 6 to 12) training through the Association Montessori Internationale, then earned a Master’s degree in curriculum development from Cleveland State University.

She has two grown children: Levi, who lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a daughter, Mercedes, who lives Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Malcolm loves working with the children and families of MSW!

Betsy Merena

Beginnings Guide

Mrs. Merena is excited to be back in the classroom for her second year at MSW. She is so glad to have made the switch from mainstream preschool to Montessori! Mrs. Merena received her Infants and Toddlers teaching credential from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Roanoke College.

She lives in Westminster, just five minutes away from MSW, with her husband, Paul, and their daughter, Colette, who is in her third year of Primary at MSW.

Terri Miller

Language Resource Specialist

Mrs. Miller is our MSW Learning Resource Specialist. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Shippensburg University, her Masters in Special Education/ Management, and later her Maryland Teacher Certification from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College). She has 30-plus years in the fields of Special Education, Mental Health and Human Services Management. She is trained in Orton Gillingham, the Wilson Reading Program, and many other educational programs. Mrs. Miller worked as the Disability/Mental Health Coordinator for Head Start, managed the YMCA Childcare programs, has provided private and small group tutoring, and taught at Francis Scott Key High School.

Mrs. Miller lives in Westminster with her husband and two of their four children. She enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities, the beach, yard sales, movie nights, and church activities.

Stefanie Misner

Environmental Educator

Mrs. Misner received her undergraduate degree in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, a master’s in Environmental Education also from UNCW, and is a certified North Carolina Environmental Educator. With over 15 years of experience in aquariums and a local nature pre-school, she has worked with children of all ages, prefers to teach outside, and is passionate about molding the next generation of environmental stewards.

Both her daughters, Penelope and Cordelia, are MSW students. In her rare free time, Mrs. Misner loves to scuba dive and travel.

Maryna Neiko

Upper Elementary Guide

Maryna Neiko (Tkachuk) was raised in Western Ukraine. She pursued her dream to become a teacher at Podillya Technological University where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in teaching computer science and home economics. Mrs. Neiko moved to the US in 2008. She earned her Associate of Applied Science Degree from Northern Virginia Community College in 2010. Mrs. Neiko learned about Montessori education while looking into schools for her son. She immediately fell in love with the philosophy and became a passionate supporter of Maria Montessori’s teachings. Most recently, Mrs. Neiko has undertaken the training to receive the Montessori credential for teaching at the Upper Elementary level.

In addition to seeking opportunities to grow and learn professionally, Mrs. Neiko enjoys spending time with her family. She enjoys visiting new places, reading, knitting, and long walks in nature. Mrs. Neiko’s greatest joy are her sons and her husband. She dreams to visit Ukraine with her boys and to share her heritage with them.

Tres Quinn

Lower Elementary Guide

Ms. Quinn graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Math Education. She then completed Lower Elementary training at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. Ms. Quinn has worked at MSW for 18 years.

Ms. Quinn’s children, Elizabeth and Nathan, are both proud MSW alum.

Ms. Quinn loves going with her three best friends to high tea. She also likes listening to books she downloads from the public library and watching British TV series.

Suzanne Radcliffe

Registrar
Office of Admissions

Mrs. Radcliffe is an “alum mom” whose first year as an MSW parent was 1993. She served on the Board of Trustees during the construction of the campus and also served as Board secretary. She loves art, photography, writing, gardening, reading, studying the work of her personal superhero, Maria Montessori, and life on her farm, now featuring Scout and Peanut, Nigerian dwarf goats, plus her long-time buddy, her horse Joe.

Mrs. Radcliffe obtained a summa cum laude Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from UMBC in 1995 and a juris doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1997.

Her son, Robert, attended MSW for ten years, completing Middle School in 2003. Robert now works at T Rowe Price and lives in Carroll County with his lovely wife while Mrs. Radcliffe patiently waits for grandchildren.

Clark Richey

Director of technology

Mr. Richey began working as the school’s Director of Technology in 2017. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from UMBC and a Master’s of Science in Computer Science from American University.

Mr. Richey has been an MSW parent for more than 12 years. His oldest daughter, Savannah, started MSW in Primary and departed after two years in Middle School and now attends Winters Mill High School. His younger daughter, Shannon, started MSW in Beginnings and is now in Mrs. Malcolm’s Upper Elementary class.

When not working Mr. Richey loves table top games, reading, and annoying his daughters.

Christine Schriver, RN

Visiting Nurse

Mrs. Schriver is a Nationally Certified School Nurse and an MSW parent since 2006. Her son, Cameron, graduated from MSW after ninth grade, and her daughter, Caroline, is currently in Upper Elementary.

Mrs. Schriver lives in Reisterstown with her family, their dog, Winston, and three chickens. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Shannin Sheasby

Spanish Language Instruction
Events & Logistics Coordinator

Mrs. Sheasby joined MSW as Spanish instructor during school year 2012-2013. She grew up in Westminster and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Political Science from Gettysburg College.  She studied abroad in Seville, Spain during her junior year in a full immersion program.  She has taught Spanish at North Carroll High School and at Carroll Community College and worked as the ESOL liaison at the college as well.

Mrs. Sheasby joined the MSW development team as the Events & Logistic Coordinator in 2016. Her son, Noah, graduated from MSW in 2020 and currently attends the Friends School of Baltimore. Her daughter, Ella, is in Mrs. Neiko’s Upper Elementary class.

Mrs. Sheasby loves spending time with her family, hiking, reading, traveling, playing the flute, and working at MSW.

Trish St. Michel

Director of Development

A native of North Carolina, Mrs. St. Michel earned a Bachelor of Arts from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and returned to UNC a few years later to earn a Master’s in City and Regional Planning. She worked in public relations and marketing communications for corporations and associations, primarily in Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley, and for the past several years has supported a few small business clients on marketing projects.

Mrs. St. Michel lives outside of Mount Airy with her husband, Jay, daughters Hannah and Charlotte, a Middle School student at MSW, and two dogs. When not working, Mrs. St. Michel enjoys hiking, baking, and exploring rails-to-trails with the family on their bikes.

Dawn Strine

Primary Guide

Mrs. Strine attended Carroll Community College where she earned her Associate of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She taught preschool for three years before joining the Montessori staff in 1994. After 21 years at MSW, Mrs. Strine joined the MSW faculty by undertaking her certification training at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Mrs. Strine enjoys reading, running, and spending quality time with her family in their Ocean City getaway.

Kristin Thomas

After School Care Aide

Ms. Thomas is a native of the Westminster area and attended Westminster High School where she played lacrosse. She graduated in 2019. She is looking forward to working at MSW and furthering her education.

Wanda Weller

After School Care Senior Staff

Mrs. Weller is retired from Carroll County Public Schools where she spent 32-plus years as an instructional assistant. She is a member of the National Education Association, Maryland State Retired School Personnel Association, National Association for the Education of Young Children, and Maryland State Childcare Association – Carroll County Chapter. She has received her Senior Staff credential from the Maryland State Department of Education Office of Childcare. Additionally, she has been trained in the administration of CPR, first aid, and medication.

Mrs. Weller is both an Orioles fan and a Ravens fan. She is married to Abe and has two grown children and two grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and baking, collecting and creating recipes, gardening, reading, and serving on church committees.

Lauren Welsh-Baer

Lower Elementary Guide

Mrs. Welsh-Baer graduated from St. Catherine University with a Master’s degree in Education and from Juniata College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Education. She earned her Montessori certification from the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Mrs. Welsh-Baer was a student at MSW from Primary to third grade. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and pets.

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