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Faculty and Staff

Early Childhood


Jodi Price
Early Childhood Teacher/Toddler & Early Childhood Division Coordinator
Jodi Price grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and is a 1984 Indiana University Bloomington graduate with a B.A. in English Literature. She has been married for 27 years and has three children, ages 25, 22 and 20. Jodi received her EC Montessori certification from Montessori Teacher Academy, Mishawaka, IN in 1998 and taught for 8 years. After taking a few years off to be with family, she happily returned to The Montessori Academy in 2012 as lead Early Childhood teacher and Early Childhood Division Coordinator. Ms. Price is a member of AMS and enjoys reading, traveling, theatre, and cooking.

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Melissa Baldwin
Lead Toddler Teacher
Melissa Baldwin is lead teacher in Toddler classroom, Room 1 and enjoys helping the littlest members of our MAEL community work with purpose and concentration. She has a BA degree with the Indiana Institute of Technology as well as her Infant/Toddler Montessori certification through Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She also completed training in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2015.

Ms. Baldwin truly loves her job, the children, and the wonderful people she works with. She and her husband, Todd, are the proud parents of two children at MAEL: Mason in Upper Elementary, and Ellie in Lower Elementary. When not at MAEL, Ms. Baldwin enjoys spending time with family, gardening, and reading.


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Cindy Shelley
Early Childhood Teacher
Cindy Shelley received her B.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington, in Family and Child Development. She also received her Montessori Early Childhood training from IUSB and Montessori Teacher Academy. She has been teaching in an Early Childhood classroom since 1994. She has served as lead teacher and Full-Day Coordinator for the Academy’s Early Childhood. She is a member of AMS and the International Montessori Council. Ms. Shelley lives in Granger with her husband Tom and their golden retriever, Lucy. She is the proud mother of Michael, Christopher and Kathleen, and grandmother to Aurelia. She looks forward to when they can all gather together in one place. In her spare time Ms. Shelley loves to read, garden and play cards.

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Lindsay Turner
Early Childhood Teacher
Lindsay Turner has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin and an AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) diploma in Early Childhood from the Washington Montessori Institute. She has taught in Montessori schools in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and the District of Columbia before moving to South Bend in 2007. She joined Montessori Academy in 2007 as an Early Childhood teacher and has worked in that capacity ever since. When not teaching, she can be found reading, knitting or quilting, or spending her time with her husband, Paul and two sons Ben and Ian, a Montessori Academy graduate. 

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Porzia Micou
Early Childhood Teacher
Porzia Micou was born in Merrillville, Indiana and raised in South Bend. She graduated from John Adams High School in the spring of 2001, and studied education at Holy Cross College. She attended the Montessori Teacher Academy in Mishawaka, Indiana, and received her Early Childhood Certification in 2015. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in Behavioral Sciences from Bethel College. Porzia has taught in Montessori Academy’s Early Childhood classroom at the South Bend Center for the Homeless for the past five years.

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Barb Harvey
Early Childhood Teacher
Barbara Harvey was born in San Francisco, California, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri (Go Cardinals!). She attended Indiana University graduating with a Bachelor’s degree (2004) Education in 2004 and a Master’s degree (2012) in Elementary Education. After receiving her State Teacher’s License in 2005, Ms. Harvey taught 1st-8th grades at public and private schools in South Bend. She received her Montessori certification through the Montessori Teacher Academy in 2016 and has been teaching at Montessori Academy for the past 3 years.  She lives in “a cute little house by Notre Dame (she can hear the roar of the crowd while she gardens)” with her husband, Wally, and two furry friends (Molly and Minnie). She loves children, reading books, chocolate (dark), all animals but especially dogs, making and eating good food, gardening, classic movies, listening to music and the sound of laughter - especially a child’s!

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Stephanie Davis
Early Childhood Teacher
Stephanie Davis is in her sixteenth year teaching in a Montessori 2 1/2 -6-year-old classroom. She trained under Sr. Anthonita Porta, at ADMTEI, one of our country's finest Montessori training centers. She received her certificate in 2004 and also studied Anthropology at Indiana University. Ms. Davis discovered the Montessori method while volunteering at a Montessori school in Berkely California. She realized that the Montessori method was her calling. After she received her Montessori training she joined the staff at The Montessori Center in South Bend for 14 years. Ms. Davis feels very blessed to have joined Montessori Academy. In her free time, she teaches Cycling, Bodypump, Grit and Martial Arts. She lives in Granger, Indiana and has two beautiful children, Elliot who is 22 and studies Directing and Sophia who is 18 and a senior at John Adams high school.

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Karen Klingel
Early Childhood Assistant
Karen Klingel has lived in South Bend her whole life and began her work with the Montessori Academy in 2000. It has always been her calling and lifetime career choice to be an Early Childhood teacher. She completed her Montessori training with the Montessori Teacher Academy and has been a teaching assistant at The Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes for more than15 years. Karen strongly believes in the Montessori philosophy and wouldn't wish to be anywhere else! Some of her hobbies include arts, crafts, and music and movement. She has two grown sons who attended Montessori schools in their early years, and is a proud grandmother of two.

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Donna Rockafellow
Early Childhood Teacher
Donna Rockafellow's love for Montessori began in 1980 when she trained under Urban and Virginia Fleege at the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Chicago, Illinois. She has an Associate’s degree from Mott Community College, and received her AMS certification in 1981 from MMTTC.  She is a member of AMS. Donna is married to a wonderful man, Terry. They have two sons. Jerred living in Washington State, and Garrett is serving in the Army, stationed at Fort Brigg, North Carolina. Donna enjoys reading, being with her friends and family and watching sports.

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Janine Faini
Early Childhood Associate Teacher
Janine earned her Associate degree in Early Childhood from Indiana University in 1989 and has been in an Early Childhood teaching role for 25 years:  23 of those years in a Montessori 3-6 classroom at Montessori Center school, MAEL, and Marquette Montessori. She was a student in the inaugural class of Montessori Teacher Academy at Edison Lakes in 1990 and received her certification as an Early Childhood teacher in 1991, She enjoys gardening, cooking, and auctions. She is very excited to be returning to the Montessori Academy. “It’s like coming home!”

Ashley Kenney
Early Childhood Associate Teacher
Ashley Kenny has 13 years of previous experience working with children including daycare, preschool, nannying for 2 special needs boys and assisting in a Montessori primary classroom.  She received her Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Center in 2014 and has been the lead teacher at Cornerstone Christian Montessori School for the past 2 years.  Along with her Montessori certification, Ashley holds a certificate from Blue Heron Academy in medical massage. She lives in Elkhart with her husband, Jordan, and their son Isaiah, who will be in Upper elementary at Montessori Academy.
Jennifer Przybylski
Early Childhood Assistant at SB Center for the Homeless
Jennifer Przybylski is a graduate of LaSalle High School, South Bend, and attended St. Joseph College, Rensselaer, Indiana, in 1980, where she pursued a degree in Education. She worked at 1st Source bank for 24 years while raising 7 children, and in 2013 decided to return to work after having cared for grandchildren for 10 years.  Her passion is to work with children, and she feels blessed to be working as an Assistant Teacher in Montessori Academy’s Early Childhood classroom at the South Bend Center for the Homeless.