Community

@ Community Montessori

Community Montessori is more than a school.  Our faculty and staff, families, friends, and board members form a community dedicated to helping children, adolescents, and adults to learn, grow, and thrive. 

Community Montessori is about connection and collaboration, friendship and fun, and building partnerships to encourage a strong learning environment.  All who have a connection to Community Montessori are part of a school-wide community.

Teaching Community

Terri Rentrop, Head of School

My name is Terri Rentrop. I am honored to serve as Head of School at Community Montessori. I first learned about Montessori education when my oldest daughter enrolled in a Montessori school in 2001. I fell in love with the philosophy. My oldest daughter and my son continued through the Montessori program and my youngest daughter will now be part of the first junior high class at Community Montessori.  

In 2011, I had the opportunity to realize a lifelong dream of teaching and enrolled in Xavier University.  I completed my Master’s in Montessori Education in 2014. I spent 9 years in the classroom, first as an assistant and then as a lead teacher. I looked forward to going to work each day and enjoyed learning from my students. 

While I love being in the classroom, when the opportunity arose to serve as Head of School at Community Montessori, I knew it was the place for me. I look forward to continuing to learn from our amazing community and lead our school down a path of peace, love, and the awe that comes with Montessori education.

Devon Schoumacher, Pre-Primary Lead

My name is Devon Schoumacher and I’m thrilled to be here at Community Montessori. 

I received my undergraduate degree from Midway College in traditional education K-5. I taught for 10 years in a traditional education setting, beginning with the 3rd and 4th grades, and later moving to kindergarten, which was my happy place. In 2011, I went back to school to earn my master’s in Montessori 3-6 from Xavier University. With every course I took, I fell more in love with the Montessori philosophy. After earning my master’s, I taught in the pre-primary for nine years. I’m now thrilled to begin this new chapter in my career as the Pre-Primary Lead teacher at Community Montessori. 

In my free time, I enjoy working out at home and spending time with family. I have three children.  One is now a high schooler and the other two will be joining me at Community Montessori.

Amy Hamant Pre-Primary Assistant

My name is Amy Hamant and I am a teaching assistant in the pre-primary classroom in the morning. I spend the afternoon with the 3 – 4 year old children who are staying for lunch and napping in “The Nest”.  I have a degree in Social Work from Northern Kentucky University and have always worked in some capacity with children. Since 2001, I have worked in a Montessori School environment. In the summer, I teach art camps for children. I live in Fort Thomas with my husband. We enjoy hiking, biking, art and travel.

Jennifer Smith Pre-Primary Assistant

My name is Jennifer Smith and I am a teaching assistant in the pre-primary classroom in the morning. I have worked in an early childhood Montessori school for the last 5 years. I enjoy watching the children grow, explore and learn. In the afternoons I lead gym class and supervise other specials. I am married with 3 sons who attended Montessori grade school. I enjoy being outdoors and photography.

Ana Summe, Lower Elementary Lead

Hello!  I’m Ana Noll Summe. 

I have taught in a Montessori classroom for over 12 years and am excited to continue my work in our beautiful new school.  I am a lifelong Covington resident and have raised my own two children here. 

As a young child, I attended the Covington Children’s House Montessori and spent my formative school years at Bishop Howard Elementary.  The wonderful teachers and friends from these early years were a big part of my personal inspiration to co-found Community Montessori.  

I have a B.S. in Social Work and a   Master’s in Montessori Education from Xavier University I love to hike, garden, do yoga, cook, laugh, and sing, and I especially love to share these experiences with my students.

Robin Wehrley Lower Elementary Assistant

My name is Robin Wehrley and I am so excited to be a part of Community Montessori!  This will be my fourth year assisting Ana.  We make a great team!

Although I do not have my degree in Montessori education I have a BA in Biology from TMU where I also studied psychology and botany.  

Before coming to Montessori I had an in-home daycare for 16 years while raising my 4 children who are now adults.  My philosophy as a parent and educator has always been “see one, do one, teach one” and that fits perfectly with the Montessori philosophy of educating. I hope to continue my Montessori education in the near future.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my BIG family, hiking, and camping with my husband, Jason, and our two dogs.  I’m also a HUGE soccer fan!

Chad Mertes Upper Elementary Lead

My name is Chad Mertes. I teach the 9-12 age bracket, grades 4th, 5th, and 6th.  I am a native of Cincinnati but received my undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia.  I also received an EMT degree while in the military.  

I returned to the Tristate area in 2005 and earned a Master’s in Education from Xavier University.  I have been teaching Montessori for 10 years and have loved every minute of it.  I enjoy seeing how each child reaches the same goal in his or her own unique way. 

When someone asks me about Montessori, I often tell them the easy definition for me is, “Wax On, Wax Off.”  The children are often learning lessons, without knowing they are being taught.  I have a fantastic son at home, and he is by far my greatest accomplishment.  I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to visit all of the lower 48 states, as well as Canada, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, France, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and many other Caribbean Islands.  I am truly excited to be a part of the wonderful staff here at Community Montessori.

Becky Monahan Upper Elementary Assistant

I am grateful to be a part of this exciting time.  Starting a new Montessori school is astronomical.  The mission statement aligns with everything in my mind and spirit.  Being a part of the school with the wonderful teachers and families is monumental.

I started my Montessori journey taking classes at Xavier University in 2009.  The interest in Montessori education arose from our own children attending a Montessori school.  The concepts of following the child, discovering their uniqueness and peace education created in me a distinct interest.

Once I gained my American Montessori Society Certification, I delved deeper into the education of teaching reading.  Orton Gillingham is a reading specialty program that is scientifically designed to help struggling readers learn to decode language. 

I believe the Orton Gillingham reading approach combined with my Montessori education is a combination that will benefit the children at Community Montessori.

Personally, I am married to Jim and have two children Sean 27 and Megan 24.  I love to kayak, hike, camp, swim, ride horses, and read.  I enjoy being around children and observing their unique talents and gleefully learning in an environment that fosters the development of their interests.

Theresa Nixon Junior High Lead

My name is Theresa Nixon and I am thrilled to be part of the team of teachers and community members at Community Montessori.

I received my undergraduate degree in Montessori Education ages 6-9 from Xavier University. I then received my master’s degree in Montessori education ages 9-12, also from Xavier University. 

After teaching in the 9-12 classroom for a few years, I started a junior high program in 2007. I received my training through Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program (CMSTEP). I am looking forward to teaching in the junior high classroom at Community Montessori. 

When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two children hiking, traveling, and reading.

Family Community

At Community Montessori, we believe partnership between parents, school, and our children builds a strong, supportive community. All parents and guardians at Community Montessori are members of the Family Community (FC).

The Family Community (FC) is a volunteer body which coordinates activities to strengthen the community and provide enhancements to its classrooms. The FC relies on core values of the school – inclusiveness, community, and consensus – to create a working partnership between parents, guardians, faculty, and the student body. 

The FC oversees a number of school-wide celebrations, plans activities to help welcome new families, hosts community events, and provides support and appreciation to the teachers

The FC seeks to provide all parents and guardians the opportunity to become involved and be part of our unique school. We encourage you to attend a meeting to share your skills and interests and to meet other families.

Board of Directors

 Community Montessori is a not-for-profit school governed by a Board of Directors, which provides oversight of the school. The volunteer Board is responsible for ensuring the mission of Community Montessori is carried out, and it has a fiduciary responsibility to the school. Board members actively lead long-term and strategic planning efforts and engage in fundraising and community-building initiatives.

The Board of Directors employs the Head of School, who is responsible for executing the policies established by the Board, hiring faculty and staff, and managing the daily operations of the school.

Loren VanDyke Wolff is of counsel at Graydon where her law practice focuses on real estate, business law, and government. She is the current chair of the Center for Great Neighborhoods and the Covington Parking Authority. Loren lives in Covington in a home built in 1870 with her husband, fellow attorney Ben Wolff, and their three kids (Leigh, William, and Adam). Leigh, William, and Adam have thrived in the Montessori setting so Loren is excited to be a part of building a new Montessori community in Covington.

Tiffany Rebich is currently employed with Cincinnati Public Schools at Sands Montessori teaching 9-12. Her passion has always been teaching and Montessori is her teaching soul. She “discovered” Montessori through her son, Evan now in high school, and it changed her family’s life. They relocated to the Cincinnati area from central Indiana for Tiffany to earn her Masters in Montessori Education from Xavier University. She has taught traditional public, private and public Montessori, and loves the dream come true of Community Montessori. Working alongside the other founding members has been so rewarding to bring her dream into reality.  She hopes to help create a foundation for the future of Community Montessori.

She met her husband, Craig at Purdue University and settled in Franklin, IN where they were both teachers in the local school system. This is where both their children were born. They have two children, Hannah and Evan, who currently attend Walnut Hills High School. They love to be on the water, hike, play cards, travel and explore new areas and opportunities.

Amy Milburn has experience helping to create Montessori programs in the city of Covington which began in 1999. Amy’s children were approaching school age. She knew about the benefits of a Montessori education and wanted to send her children to a Montessori school, but no options existed in Covington at that time. Amy didn’t let this stop her. She began working with a group of women to create a Montessori program within an existing Covington school. The program was a success and all three of Amy’s children, as well as hundreds of other children, attended the school’s Montessori program. Amy’s children are now all adults, and she continues to see the impact of a Montessori education on their lives. This has only furthered her desire to provide Montessori opportunities grounded in respect and love to as many children as possible. Amy is also a small business owner who is passionate about the city of Covington. She lived in Licking riverside for 16 years and has participated in various revitalization efforts across the city. Amy owns one small business and is involved in several others.  Amy is therefore thrilled to be a part of Community Montessori’s board, an opportunity that allows her to combine her passion for Montessori and the city of Covington. She looks forward to using her knowledge and experience to create a Montessori school in Covington that teaches the next generation of the community.

Heidi Overwine is the Long Term Services and Supports Director at Aetna Better Health of Ohio, working with dual Medicaid and Medicare waiver recipients in the aged and disabled populations. Heidi has worked in both non-profit and for profit organizations throughout her nursing career. Heidi received her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of Kentucky and her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Northern Kentucky University. She hopes to obtain her Masters in Public Health to officially bridge the two degrees.

Heidi is a Northern Kentucky native who grew up in Erlanger and moved to Covington in 2005. She now resides in Edgewood with her husband Matt and two children, Amelie and Atticus. Montessori education is near and dear to her heart as both of her children have thrived in the environment.

Tom West is the Economic Development Director for the City of Covington. He is a certified planner and an advocate that development projects should result in a return on investment for the citizens of the community, not just a developer. He also believes that community cannot be competitive in the world without a well-educated, skilled and dedicated workforce. These hypotheses were born of more than 30 years of experience running organizations, agencies and serving as a national workforce and economic development consultant.

Kareem (K.A.) Simpson  is the Manager of Operations for Family Services at Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission. A Northern Kentucky native, Kareem has close to 20 years working in both the not for-profit and for-profit arenas assisting local small businesses and non-profit organizations create capacities surrounding development.

Also a military veteran and serial entrepreneur, Kareem is the founder of SparkLight Creative Group which advises small businesses and organizations on how to create a motivating, creative and productive place to live, work and play.

Michael Topmiller is the Health GIS Research Specialist at HealthLandscape, a Division of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Michael has worked as a GIS/mapping specialist for community based projects in Mexico, North Carolina, Cincinnati, and Covington, including working with the Center for Great Neighborhoods on mapping out access to the Licking River Greenway and Trails. In addition, Michael served as a member on the Covington Parks Advisory Group and recently completed a fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Michael grew up in Villa Hills and has lived in Covington since 2015 with his wife Jenni and five children – Dylan, Bella, Jack, Oliver, & Finn.

 

 

 

Board members are nominated and elected annually for three-year terms.