“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.”
– Maria Montessori

Lori Geisler

Lori Geisler

Administrator

I began my journey at Small World twenty years ago as a parent. From the moment I came into Small World I loved the peaceful, academically enriched environment. As I watched my son flourish in his first classroom experience, I wanted to become more involved. The next year I joined parent board. Years later, when my daughter joined the Small World family, I decided to pursue my Montessori certification and become the lead teacher in the Willow classroom. After nearly 10 years of teaching, I became the administrator of Small World. I feel that I now am able to utilize all of my experience as a parent, board member, and teacher. This latest opportunity allows me to continue my work in making Small World Montessori the best it can be for the children of our community.

Nikki Madisen

Nikki Madisen

Administrative Coordinator & Lead Teacher - Preschool - K5

I was born and raised in Racine and come from a family with a long line of teachers. I am Montessori Certified through the United Montessori Association. I love working with children and the sense of community at Small World. In addition to teaching in the 3-6 room, I also lead the Montessori First Steps Playgroup. Prior to teaching I spent eight years working at a-paint-your–own pottery studio. While working there, I was able to develop my love for art. I have been involved in the Downtown Public Art Project for many years and participate in local craft fairs. In my free time I enjoying camping and bike riding with my husband.

Lisa Harris

Lisa Harris

Teacher Assistant - Preschool - K5

After graduating from the UW – Madison, my career path led me to managing in Toys 'R' Us stores for six years. It is there my love for children began. After having my first child, I embraced my new role as a stay at home mom. When my child turned three, I visited numerous preschools and the academic, peaceful, and busy Montessori classroom was the best fit for my daughter. Soon after joining the Small World community, the teachers that were there for 26 years had decided to retire. I, along with my sister-in-law, Lori Geisler, applied for the jobs and have now been teaching for well over a decade. Along with being a mother and wife, this has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

Amy Paulson

Amy Paulson

Lead Teacher - Preschool - K5

I come to Small World Montessori School with over 20 years of early childhood experience. I found out about Maria Montessori late in my education at UW-Parkside and began reading more about her methods and observing in Montessori schools early in my career. I believe in the power of the Montessori method to help a child reach their full potential. Over the years I have tried to incorporate as much of those methods as I could in other child care settings so I am thrilled to be working in a true Montessori school. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter. We especially enjoy biking, kayaking and camping.



Julie Konen

Julie Konen

Teacher Assistant- Preschool - K5

Though I always had a desire to work in education, it wasn’t until I began working in childcare following the birth of my son that I found my passion for early childhood. It wasn’t too long after that when I became intrigued by the Montessori approach to life and learning. I was very excited to join the Small World community, and have been incredibly inspired by the peaceful, homelike environment and the engaging and logical Montessori curriculum. I will be returning to school in the fall to complete my bachelors degree in education, with hopes of one day having my own classroom. Outside of the classroom, I love being with my family, visiting new places, and reading.

Kaylah Herrea-Cruz

Kaylah Herrea-Cruz

Lead Teacher - Toddler

I was first introduced to the Montessori method after becoming a mother. I was inspired by Montessori’s emphasis on facilitating a child’s independence and nourishing their natural curiosity. I enjoy working with toddlers because watching them learn and grow over time is such a rewarding experience. I am interested in cooking, gardening, and sewing, and I’m always excited to share my passions with my students. Prior to joining the Small World community, I lived for several years in the Middle East working in economic development. I earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I majored in linguistics and women’s studies.

Beth Wendt

Beth Wendt

Assistant Teacher - Toddler

I have lived in Racine for my entire life. I am one of nine children and I believe the love and fun I had as a child made me want to have a large family myself. After marrying my high school sweetheart we had five children that I was fortunate enough to stay home and homeschool through high school. I've had a few positions since my youngest graduated, but I truly feel that being apart of educating children is what fits my soul. My past time pleasures are spending time with my husband, children, and grandchildren.

Lindsay Fay

Lindsay Fay

Afternoon Enrichment Lead Teacher

I began my position at Small World in 2016. In the last few years, I have learned so much about the Montessori Method and have come to love the respect and independence it naturally brings out of each child. I enjoy spending each day working with the children and watching them learn and grow. Outside of work I love to spend time with my daughter especially doing crafts and gardening.

Kylie Vanderhoef

Kylie Vanderhoef

Afternoon Enrichment Assistant Teacher

 

 

 

 

a little about..

SMALL WORLD STAFF

The teachers, assistants and board members of Small World Montessori School are truly a part of something special. It is a community of loving, hard-working individuals who believe in the benefits of educating, enriching and guiding children as they grow up into the BIG world.
Contact us today to schedule a tour!