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!

, Administrator

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

Mariana is passionate about education. She grew up in Mexico and moved to Minnesota in 2011 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Development from the University of Minnesota. After working as an administrator at the Montessori Center of Minnesota, she discovered her true passion – guiding children during the most crucial years of life. 

Ultimately, she continued with her graduate studies at the Montessori Center of Minnesota and St. Catherine University. In 2019, she obtained her Montessori Primary credentials, and she’s currently finalizing the last stages of her master’s degree. 

Mariana truly believes “education is the best weapon for peace,” hence she loves educating herself intellectually, culturally, and spiritually by traveling, reading, attending cultural events, eating different foods, speaking different languages, being exposed to different people, attending international universities, and spending time in nature.

, All Day Children’s House Trained Assistant

Shawna Freischlad is an experienced educator who discovered Montessori through researching her own children’s development. Since completing her Montessori Elementary training, Shawna has continued to expand her Montessori knowledge and experience of other age groups through conferences, seminars and great books. As a teacher in new and long-standing schools and as a mother of four, Shawna has found that Montessori is as multifaceted as it is universal.

Now testing out the cross-cultural side of our method, Shawna is happy to put her love of the Montessori Prepared Environment to work in Children’s House 2 and the All Day Children’s House. In addition to her Montessori Elementary Certification, Shawna has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, is a credentialed Elementary School teacher and a trained child care provider. She has recently moved from Vienna, Austria to the Twin Cities with her husband Simon and children Riley, Juliana, Ellie and Micah.

Kelli Shomion, All Day Afternoon Assistant

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!

 Breanna Wilson, Toddler Community Afternoon Assistant

Breanna is a graduate of Augsburg University with a major in Psychology. Eventually she intends to continue her studies to earn a Master’s degree in child development and forensic psychology. Breanna is looking forward to working with the toddler age group to round out the many years she has tutored and mentored school-age students. Breanna has a keen interest in helping under-served children and has served as a youth counselor and a volunteer advocate.