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

, Head of School

Maya Verjovsky was the founding guide of Children’s House 2 at Cathedral Hill Montessori School (2013-2016), and is honored to serve the community once again as the Head of School. Maya is a native of Saint Paul, a graduate of Saint Paul Public Schools, a BA in Religious Studies, an AMI Primary trained guide with a Masters in Education, and the mother of a fantastic 10-year-old Montessori child! Her own research in undergraduate studies and her daughter’s early experience in Montessori education led her to complete her AMI training in 2012, and she soon after took on the task of gradually building a second Children’s House at CHMS over a period of three and a half years. Watching children develop independence, mastery, and peacemaking skills is an inspiration to Maya, and she hopes to continue to create cohesive partnerships with families in support of their children.

Maya is an active member of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA), and Montessori Administrators Association (MAA). She has served as an album reader and oral exam volunteer for teachers-in-training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota (MCM) and is an active participant in the AMI-MN Heads of School Group. Maya lives in Minneapolis with her partner Josiah and daughter Clementine, a 5th grader at Cornerstone Montessori Elementary School. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, various forms of exercise, wilderness adventures (hikes/trail runs), healthy food preparation, reading and (falling asleep during) movies!

, Administrative Assistant

SamSam 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

Amanda’s initial introduction to Montessori began seven years ago as an assistant at the toddler and primary levels of a small Montessori school in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was enamored by the beautiful environment and the amazing potential of the children. Soon after, she pursued primary training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota and a Master of Education from St. Catherine University.

She is also trained as a birth doula and prenatal/postpartum yoga instructor. These experiences have affirmed her sense of personal connection to the daily work of guiding children in a Montessori environment.

She has recently relocated to Minneapolis where she lives with her husband Levi, a restoration ecologist and arborist, and their dog Juniper and cat Pidge. She enjoys reading literature at all age levels and weaving on her rigid heddle loom.

Clara Iwaszek, Children’s House 1 Assistant

Clara 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 and Phoebe.

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.

Children’s House 2 Lead Guide

Ellen has lived in the Twin Cities her whole life and currently resides in St. Paul. She earned her B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota where she majored in Family Social Science. After college, she worked as a traditional preschool teacher for many years before she returned to training and received an AMI primary diploma from the Montessori Center of Minnesota.  She loves the Montessori method because of the emphasis on following the interest of the child and how it helps children love and respect humanity. When Ellen is not at school she enjoys spending time outside, sewing (making materials!) and spending time with her family.

Joanna Trujillo, All Day Lead Assistant

Joanna just completed a masters degree in school counseling, and has an extensive and varied background in education, having worked with preschool, elementary, middle, high school and college-aged students in many different settings. She also gained leadership experience over the course of several years with the Secretary of Education in her native Ecuador. She moved to the United States from Ecuador in 2016 to complete her third masters degree. She lives with her husband, Daniel, and their dog, Chiqui. When not spending time with children, Joanna enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outside and watching movies. Joanna is excited to be joining our community, and eager to get to know the children and their families.

Mitzi Peine, All Day Afternoon Assistant

Manya Jacobson, All Day Afternoon Assistant

Manya grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado and moved to the Twin Cities in the fall of 2014 for college. She recently graduated from Macalester College with her B.A. as a Studio Arts major and Environmental Studies minor. She is continuing her education at Macalester as an apprentice in the ceramics studio in addition to her time at CHMS.

Manya has spent much of her life working with children as a horseback riding instructor, a camp art teacher and a private art instructor. The one thing that has always remained constant is her love of fostering growth and learning in kids of all ages, and her enthusiasm for discovery and development.

Molly Hoyt, Children’s House Morning Assistant

Born 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!

, Toddler Community Guide

Maegan 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 went 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 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

LauraLaura 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!

 Lindsay Mazzitello, Toddler Community Afternoon Assistant

Lindsey was born and raised in the greater of the Twin Cities—Saint Paul, Minnesota. She recently graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a BS in Family Social Science. She has found the most fulfillment and inspiration volunteering at the Children’s Hospital, nannying, and working on a U of M research project for Children’s Mental Health.

Lindsey finds joy in spending time with her family, friends, and her really really cute dog. Her days are filled with running, cooking, traveling, trying new restaurants, and lots and lots of laughter.