We are delighted to present our staff. They are dedicated to Montessori and to providing a nurturing and loving environment for children. Although they are all Montessori trained for their specific role in our school, they each bring their own special life and educational experiences to our program. In addition to the required Montessori training, each staff member receives First Aid and CPR Certification every year.
Patricia Sue Cherry – Sue is the owner of the school and also a head teacher in the Primary classroom. She started in education by working as a teacher’s assistant for the Livingston Educational Services Agency in 1977. There she worked with mentally, physically and emotional challenged children for four years. She discovered Montessori when her oldest of 3 sons Josh was 4 years old. First she was a Montessori parent, the next year an assistant and then in 1982, she took her Montessori Teacher’s Training from Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center and became an AMS Montessori certified teacher.
Sue has taught at Livingston Montessori Center and at Go Like the Wind Montessori School. Sue has supervised several Montessori student teachers both from MMTCE and Montessori Teacher Training Center in Adrian and has taken additional Montessori training in Math, Geography, and Language Development. She also incorporates her love of cooking and gardening into the educational environment for the children.
Sue started Maple Tree Montessori Academy with a vision and dedication to provide the parents and children of Livingston County with a high quality Montessori Program that is true to the principles and philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori.
Julie Harrison – We are pleased to welcome back Julie Harrison to again teach our Montessori Music program. Julie is an excellent Montessori Primary teacher with many years of experience. She took her Montessori Primary training from MMTEC in . Julie has also taken Montessori Music training, Diversity training and is a certified Project Read instructor. She will also be teaching Project Read after school and will be a co-teacher at the Primary level. We are delighted she has decided to return to our school!
Hema Paul – We are very excited to have Hema as our Lower Elementary teacher in the Elementary Program. Hema is a highly qualified and experienced teacher who has displayed her passion for educating children in the Montessori way for many years, and on many continents! Hema holds several distinguished qualifications including a BS, B.Ed, M.Ed, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Pre- Primary Education, as well as Primary and Elementary Montessori credentials. Hema provides a caring, nurturing and supportive environment in her classroom and is dedicated to providing your children with a strong academic foundation. We are delighted that after positions in India, Australia and more recently as a Director and Elementary teacher at Montessori Schools in Washtenaw County, that Hema is now a part of the Maple Tree staff.
Kyle Radcliffe – Kyle is our Upper Elementary classroom teacher. He has taken the Montessori 9 -12 year old training with the North American Montessori Training Center and we are happy that he is a part of our staff. Kyle is an experienced educator, administrator, social worker and an accomplished writer. Kyle first became passionate about Montessori when his daughter was a preschool student, becoming so involved as a parent that he sponsored and set up a Montessori program in Minneapolis which was funded by the Target Corporation (then operating as Dayton Hudson). Kyle holds an Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's degree to go along with ten years of teaching experience along with his time as a Social Worker, Group Home Director and Professional Writer. We are pleased to have Kyle and his caring and nurturing style at Maple Tree!
Kim Koehn – Kim is in charge of all of our office management concerns including, student files, payments, billing and registration. She brings with her great organizational skills and many years of business management experience. We are grateful to have her keeping us all organized and efficient. Kim has also taken the Montessori Assistant Training and works part time in the Primary classroom.
Jacob McGraw – Jacob is a former Montessori student, has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and is currently working on a Master’s Degree…Public Administration with an emphasis in Non Profit Administration at the University of Michigan – Flint. He has taken Outward Bound training and is a certified Wilderness Facilitator. Jacob has worked extensively with troubled adolescents and teens at SUWS wilderness camps in Idaho and North Carolina. He has also tutored college bound students in a formal program and was an Assistant in our Elementary Program this past year. He will be an Assistant and also in charge of the Nature Education Program. We are happy to have his experienced and easy manner in our classrooms again this year.
Iris Fryc – Iris is a daycare assistant and a much loved and animated story reader. The children are always eager to listen to her read. Iris has taken the Montessori Assistant Training. She is also an experienced mom and has worked in the corporate world, schools and often volunteers her time to the benefit of others in many ways. We are grateful to have her cheerful and always helpful presence.
Sandi Cherry – Sandi comes to us with many years of experience with children of all ages. Sandi has Montessori Assistant training from MMTEC and works in the daycare room. We are all grateful for her experience and her patience, especially in practical life skills, sewing and gardening.
Cecilia Mellem – Cecilia’s native language is Spanish, a gift that she shares beautifully and with great love and enthusiasm. She engages the children, stimulates their interest and leads hem to a better understanding and command of the Spanish language. Cecilia has taken the Montessori Assistant training and incorporates the Montessori Philosophy into her Spanish groups and lessons.
Aric Liljegren – Aric offers us a world of creativity through Drama. Drama class is an after school option, but Aric’s experience is quite extensive. He has most recently been working on Drama Summer Camp programs at the Marquis Theatre in Northville. Aric is enthusiastic and creative, we are happy to have him bring the excitement of the theatre to our school.
Erin Sullivan – Erin is a certified Yoga instructor and teaches in the Brighton area. She is kind, patient and very knowledgeable. We all appreciate her gentle presence in our school as she teaches Yoga to the Full Day and Elementary students.
Joel Parkkila – We are happy to have Joel return this year as he continues to work on his education and of course, his music. Joel has completed 2 years of college and is devoting his time to expanding and developing his music. Joel is a talented musician and artist, he is very creative and is wonderful with the children. He has worked in the Day Care as an assistant and enjoys working with the students. Joel will be an assistant in the elementary program and he is also giving Drum Lessons at Maple Tree Montessori.
Jennifer Franczak – We are happy to have Jennifer's caring and calm presence at our school. She is Ms. Julie's assistant again this year and has recently taken a Montessori Assistant's training course. Ms. Jenny is fun, kind and enjoys working with the children in the classroom and out on recess.
Andrea Meng – Andrea is Ms. Sue's assistant this year. She has also worked in the daycare room and supervises recess. Andrea is creative and gentle with the students and has taken a Montessori Assistant's course. She is also going to school herself, studying Fashion Design. We are glad to welcome Andrea to our staff.
Brant Losinski – Brant is a professional musician, lead singer and acoustic guitarist with Rootstand, one of Michigan’s premier Folk, Blues, Bluegrass and Celtic bands. He is also a U-M Graduate Student and Montessori parent. Brant is working on a Master’s degree thesis, a lengthly project on the cultural significance of Folk Music and how it functions positively in our communities. We are delighted to have Brant as our Guitar Instructor, his easy going manner and love of music is a gift to all his students.
Sherri Marttila – Sherri is our Violin Instructor. She has extensive music and teaching experience and came to us very highly recommended. Sherri has been teaching students to play string instruments for 18 years. In addition to our program, she teaches at the Flint Institute of Music and also does individual lessons. Sherri studied Violin Performance at the University of Michigan and has performed with several Symphony Orchestras including Warren Rochester and the Flint Symphony Orchestra. We are happy to have her experience and dedication to benefit our Violin students.
We are a very complimentary and cohesive staff and we are totally united in purpose...to provide your child with the very best Montessori environment. We encourage all parents to come and observe our program in action and to witness the loving and caring atmosphere that we have established at our school.