Rachel Stavrou – Director and Montessori Teacher
A Montessori preschooler herself, Rachel was born and raised in South Minneapolis. While earning her Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities she completed a year of student teaching at a public Montessori school in St. Paul. Teaching that year deepened her passion and belief in the Montessori philosophy, that children are the product of their environment and deserve to have the most beautiful, organized, and appropriate environment possible in order to best create themselves. Following graduation, she gained valuable teaching experience in two different private Montessori schools in the Twin Cities before starting her second Masters degree in Montessori Education at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. Her educational and classroom experiences have continued to solidify and intensify her belief in the Montessori way. She believes children are very special and feels honored everyday to be a guide for them in the Montessori classroom. She has felt for a long time that it is her calling and duty to teach in the Montessori environment, to realize the needs of each child by observing them and preparing the environment for them appropriately. A child who is allowed to create his or herself in a way they feel is appropriate and peaceful gives them the freedom to learn effectively in the classroom and better prepares them for the world around them.
Chris Harris – Spanish and Montessori Teacher
Chris has been with Hopkins Montessori School since 2005 when her youngest son was a preschooler. Better known to the children as Señora Chris, her first role at HMS was to design a Spanish curriculum that reflected the Montessori philosophy and pedagogy of movement, interaction, and hands-on practice. She soon moved into the role of teacher’s assistant, supporting three lead guides over the years and, along with the children, learning the practice that is Montessori. She began formal training in 2013 and will earn her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Montessori Education from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls in May 2015. She embraces her role as a guide to the children and relishes her part in the unfolding of each individual child’s life. She delights in their discoveries and accomplishments. Her studies have helped her define what she instinctively knows and what Maria Montessori put into words, “We should aim at helping the children to help themselves; enabling them to act independently of the adult – thus becoming masters of their environment and conscious of their power over it.”
Kim Liebo – Assistant Montessori Teacher
Miss Kim was born and raised in a small town in Northwest Iowa. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a B.S. degree in Healthcare Administration/Business Management. She held various positions in the corporate world until the birth of her first son, Jack, in 2004, at which time she decided to stay home full time. When her second son, Chase, was born in 2007, Jack began his first of three years at Hopkins Montessori. During Jack’s third year, Chase began his first of three years at the school also. Throughout her boys’ six years at the school, Miss Kim volunteered on a regular basis, officially becoming a teacher’s assistant and substitute in February, 2014. She currently assists Miss Rachel in the afternoons. Miss Kim loves the Montessori philosophy and seeing the wonderful impact it has on the children.
Sara Kuyper -Montessori Teacher
Sara attended a Montessori School herself as a child through the sixth grade. She loves the Montessori method and all that she continues to learn from children when working with them. Her mother became a Montessori Directress when she was in elementary school. She went to college knowing that Montessori was what she wanted to begin her career in. After graduating from college she immediately began her Montessori training that summer. She loves learning and helping to guide the children everyday she is at HMS.