Cathedral Hill Montessori School

"A person is what he is, not because of the teachers he has had, but as a result of that which he has done for himself."
– Dr. Maria Montessori

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Meet Our Board

Lara Bergman, President

Lara Bergman joined the board in August of 2017. She comes to the CHMS board with a passion for Montessori and an interest in providing Montessori education to children from all kinds of backgrounds. She has a Master’s degree in Education and is a trained Montessorian with experience teaching at several schools around the Twin Cities and one in Thailand. She has settled back in her native Minneapolis where both of her children attend a Montessori school close to home. A Montessori child herself, Lara is excited to see Montessori schools serving communities all around the Twin Cities and is happy to be on the board to ensure a continued commitment to high quality Montessori at CHMS.

Lora Horgen, Vice President

Alex Jude, Treasurer

37f1c26Alex joined the CHMS Board as Treasurer in August 2016. His interest in joining stems from his family’s increasing involvement in the CHMS community, as he now has
his youngest daughter attending CHMS. CHMS has been an integral part of both his daughters’ development, and he looks forward to making sure that CHMS continues to thrive, particularly by helping the Board tell the school’s financial story and by maintaining a meaningful financial dialogue with families.

Alex’s strong financial background makes him an ideal fit to fulfill the Treasurer role on the Board. He earned a B.A. in Economics from St. John’s University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Minnesota before going on to work in commercial banking, helping small businesses and non-profits secure funding. Currently, Alex manages financial planning and analysis for 3M’s Health Care Business Group.

Oriana Leishman, Secretary

Oriana Leishman joined the board in August 2018. Oriana has been a CHMS parent since 2014 and currently has one child enrolled and one child graduated, Allison (CH2) and Caroline. Oriana is continually energized by the dedication of the guides at CHMS, the experience her daughters have had with a Montessori education, and the strong CHMS community. Oriana currently leads an R&D team at Ecolab, developing new products to continually improve food safety in industrial food production. She received a bachelors degree in Medical Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Wisconsin Madison, an MPH in Environmental Health from the University of Minnesota, and a PhD in Food Science from the University of Minnesota.

Crystal Cunningham

Crystal has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from the University of Minnesota, Master of Arts in Education from St. Kate’s, and her AMI diploma from the Montessori Center of Minnesota. Crystal has worked within the Montessori community for the past 5 years as an assistant, a lead guide, an all day guide, and a mentor to current MCM trainees. Crystal began working as an assistant at a Montessori school in Minneapolis. She was immediately inspired by the children’s independence, creativity, joy, will power, social skills, and language skills. She found that this environment brought joy not only to the children, but to the adults as well. She quickly applied for the Montessori training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota. Crystal continued to work as an assistant while taking the training, but became a lead guide after graduating. Crystal transitioned from the school in Minneapolis to CHMS the summer of 2016. She was the All Day Guide at CHMS from 2016-2017. After leaving CHMS, Crystal has continued to help read and correct MCM trainee albums. She has also been a mentor to trainees as they navigate through the Montessori training. Although Crystal is taking time off from working directly in a school, she continues to have a strong passion for the Montessori philosophy, the development of children, and the Montessori community. She is excited to serve on the board as a trained AMI Montessorian and former Guide at CHMS. She is happy to support a school that is full of such incredible and strong teachers, amazing families, and inspiring children.

Mandy Perna

Mandy joins the Board with a passion for bringing Montessori education to children of all backgrounds. She has been a Montessori teacher in private and public Montessori schools since 2005. Mandy holds a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education, AMS certification in Elementary I and I (ages 6-12), a MAEd, a certificate in Urban Education and a K-12 Reading License. Mandy enjoys working with MAEd candidates in the AM2 program at St. Catherine University and with teacher candidates at the Virginia Montessori Teacher Education Center-MN Branch. In her spare time she enjoys reading, camping, sewing, cooking, cycling, yoga, and spending time with her family and taking her niece Olivine on adventures.

Jeremy Prose