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 Staff

, Founder and Head of School

CHMS-5614-3277391776-OWhitney Blessing is the founder and Head of School at Cathedral Hill Montessori School. She discovered a true passion for Montessori education upon becoming a mother, as it provided her with good guidance for parenthood. Since then she yearned to share Dr. Montessori’s philosophies with other families, in hopes of building a better future for all children. Although born and raised in Denver, CO, she came to the Midwest to attend the University of MN-Twin Cities where she studied Sociology and English literature.

Whitney holds an AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Training Center of MN, is an active member of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA), and Montessori Administrators Association (MAA). She is on the Board of Trustees for Oak Hill Montessori, has read albums for the training at the Montessori Center of MN (MCM), and is also active participant in the AMI-MN Heads of School group. Whitney lives in St. Paul with her husband and four delightful children: Gwyneth, 9, Weston, 6, Freya, 4, and Stellan, 1. She enjoys reading and writing, photography, crafts, traveling, nature, movie-going, live music, and precious family time.

, Administrative Assistant

Sam was born and raised in Canajoharie, New York for the first nine years of his life, then moved with his family out to North Mankato, Minnesota.  He earned his B.A in History at Saint Olaf College, where his experience working with children in the Northfield community sparked his passion for working in education.  He’s been at it ever since, with stints in Minnesota Math Corps and Lindamood-Bell Learning processes, and is excited to see what he can do in a Montessori setting.

When he’s not at school, Sam enjoys playing board games with his friends, walking around the lakes, reading, watching movies, and enjoying all the diverse food the Twin Cities has to offer.  Currently, he lives in Saint Paul.

, Children’s House 1 Guide

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Svetlana was born and raised in Russia. She has more than a decade of experience working with children ages 3-6 in a Montessori Children’s House. She received her AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Center of MN and an M.Ed. from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD. She is also an active member of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the North American Montessori Teachers Association.

Since moving to the U.S., Svetlana hopes to be part of the upcoming change in early childhood education that has been talked about by professional educators and politicians for the past decade. She finds “alternative” education for young children, particularly the Montessori method, to be very holistic and progressive.

Meg Rosing, Children’s House 1 Assistant

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Meg moved to St. Paul from Madison, Wisconsin in 2016 to pursue primary training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota, where she earned her A.M.I. diploma in 2017. She also recently worked as a children’s house aide and assistant at Sunny Hollow Montessori in St. Paul.  During training, she completed a student teaching internship at Cathedral Hill Montessori’s Children’s House I, and is happy to be rejoining the community as children’s house assistant.

Meg has graduate degrees in English literature from the University of Chicago and Lehigh University, and taught college writing and literature (including children’s literature) for several years before discovering a love for childhood education and the Montessori method. She still is an avid reader, and also loves to draw, knit, and explore nature. She is excited to be part of the work of Cathedral Hill Montessori and to explore St. Paul further.

, Children’s House 2 Lead Guide

Amanda_FotorAmanda discovered a love of Montessori in a search for her own continuing education while studying psychology at Metropolitan State University in St Paul. She was drawn to the sensorial aspect of learning and the individualized approach. She later earned an AMI primary diploma from the Montessori Training Center in 2003 while working as an aide at White Bear Montessori School. Upon graduating, she served as part of the community for 11 years in several capacities, including an extended care guide, parent, member of the board, assistant and 4 years as a lead guide. Amanda finds true passion and excitement in finding new ways to learn along with the child and instill a lifelong love of learning.

Currently, she is also enrolled in a yoga teacher training at The Yoga Center of Minneapolis and enjoys bringing the joy of yoga into the classroom with the children. She also enjoys spending time with her three daughters, going hiking, exploring new museums, reading and playing board games.

Clara Iwaszek, Children’s House 2 Assistant

HO1A2535Clara has been a member of the CHMS community since it was founded in 2011. She is Saint Paul native who lives with her husband Geoff and two daughters, Mirabelle, 9, and Phoebe, 2.
In her spare time, Clara enjoys spending time with her family, riding her bike, arts and crafts, traveling, trying new recipes, and supporting the local music scene. She earned a B.A. in Child Psychology from the University of MN and Clara plans to pursue an advanced degree in Family Psychology. She also completed the AMI Assistants Course training from the Montessori Training Center of MN.

, All Day Children’s House Guide

Crystal_FotorCrystal, born in Texas, was also raised in Utah and Mankato, MN. She earned a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in communications and journalism, but also studied interior design and studio art. Later, in her work advocating for adolescents and adults with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities, she found that what she loved the most was teaching life-long skills and empowering and supporting families and their loved ones. This led her to an observation of a primary Montessori environment, where she came to realize a deep passion for supporting the natural development of young children.

Crystal later received her AMI primary diploma from the Montessori Center of Minnesota and a M.Ed from St. Kate’s. With experience as both an assistant and a lead guide in a Montessori environment, she also reads training albums and mentors new trainees at the Montessori Center of MN. She is an active member of NAMTA and AMI.

In her free time, Crystal loves to travel, camp, and hike. She loves art (drawing, painting, weaving, and multimedia), sewing, material-making, reading, vintage shopping, watching movies, and seeing live music. On her favorite weekends, she can be found traveling to the north shore or spending time with family and friends. Currently, she lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Aaron, and their cat, Ava.

Dave Blessing, All Day Children’s House Assistant

Dave BlessingDave is a native Minnesotan who has lived in Saint Paul since 2000. He earned his B.A. at the University of Saint Thomas while studying English Literature and Environmental Studies.  Before coming to CHMS Dave spent ten years as an educator and animal trainer with the University of Minnesota Raptor Center and the Como Zoo.  In his free time he likes to volunteer, play outside, meditate, and pick a banjo.

, Toddler Community Guide

HO1A6544Maegan was raised in Fargo, ND and came to the Twin Cities to earn a B.A. from the University of MN. She earned her AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma from the Montessori Institute in Denver, CO. Maegan will go on to complete her Masters in Montessori Education through Loyola University in Baltimore, MD. She is also an active member of the Association Montessori Internationale.

In her free time Maegan enjoys cooking, reading, and working on her newly purchased home, though a vast majority of this time is spent working toward completing the virtually endless number of sewing or craft projects she has begun and hopes to someday finish.

Laura Tracy, Toddler Community Assistant

HO1A6590Laura grew up in Elk River, MN and attended Saint Cloud State University to to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She previously worked with adults with Cerebral Palsy and developmental delays while living in Saint Cloud, then moved to Minneapolis and began working in a Toddler Community at a Montessori school, where she served as the lead teacher for a year. Laura approaches her work with calm enthusiasm and is excited to get to know all the toddler children!

 Molly Hoyt, Toddler Community Afternoon Aide

Molly_FotorBorn and raised in Saint Paul, Molly attended a Montessori school from ages three to six. Later she went to a performing arts high school where her emphasis was in Theatre. She is currently working towards her associates degree in child development along with becoming a certified doula. Molly discovered the joy of working with children at a young age, and has been doing so ever since. 

In her free time she enjoys long bike rides and taking advantage of everything the Twin Cities has to offer. She also enjoys cooking unique recipes from all over the world. Molly loves being a part of the CHMS community!

, Parent-Infant Community Coordinator

Lara was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. Her Montessori journey began when she attended a local Montessori school as a child herself and re-ignited after college when she found herself back in a Children’s House as a classroom assistant. It was then she knew she had found her calling. She completed her Montessori training at the Center for Contemporary Programs in 2011 and in the fall of 2014, completed her Master’s in Education, both at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Her undergraduate work was in art and theatre, and she continues to enjoy both in the free time she has, though most of her time is spent tending to her lovely family. She loves being a momma to her son, Kanoa and daughter, Zoe, both of whom attended the Parent Infant Community here at CHMS. Now, it is a great honor to serve as a guide and resource to others on their journeys through parenthood by sharing her love and passion for the work of Dr. Maria Montessori.