Staff Directory
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ARDEN WILSON

Head of School

BA Geology-Denison University
BA Social Studies and Elementary Education- Grand Valley State University
Montessori Primary Certification- Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center

After graduating from Denison University with a BA in Geology, Arden moved to northern Michigan to raise a family with her husband, Colby.  She started as an assistant at the Suttons Bay Montessori Children’s House in 1995 and earned her Montessori Primary credential in 1997 from the Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center.  She helped integrate Leelanau Montessori into the public sector in 2000 and has served as a guide, director and mentor teacher. She recently earned a BA in Social Studies and Elementary Education from Grand Valley State University. She enjoys hiking, gardening, yoga and her family life with her growing kids. 

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BETH BASSETT

Office Manager

Beth began her Montessori carreer back in 1998 with the Montessori Children's House.  She started out as an assistant in the classroom and in 2000 when they moved to the Suttons Bay campus she began working part time in the office.  Eventually she became full time in the office and now is the office manger. Beth attended Northwestern Michigan college and helped run the family automotive assembly plant.  After her children were born, Beth ran an in home chidcare before she started working in Montessori.  Beth and her husband Bill of 31 years, have three children, Paige, Nicolette, and Garrett and one grandson, Everett James.  Beth enjoys gardening, biking, walking, cooking, swimming, traveling and spreading the word about Leelanau Montessori!  

ANDREW BENOIT

Special Education Specialist

A new transplant to Michigan, Andy has recently moved from California to Northern Michigan.  Originally Andy received his BA in Politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, but before starting down a political path he took a job as an assistant in a preschool special day class.  Andy enjoyed the position so much that when he was offered a summer school teaching assignment he jumped at the chance and began his career in early childhood special education.  Since 2007 Andy has been involved in early childhood education in a variety of capacities; from classroom education to home visits and parent training.  Attending San Francisco State University, Andy completed his level 1 certification in Early Childhood Special Education.  After Andy and Erin were married in the summer of 2016, they decided to move to Northern Michigan to be closer to family.  On his days off Andy enjoys snowboarding, riding motorcycles, running, swimming and enjoying all that Northern Michigan has to offer.  Andy is very excited to be joining the team at Leelanau Montessori and hopes to be a great resource to the families and children of the school. ​

DEB SHUTT

Associate Teacher

Exploring the world with children is Deb's first love and being able to do that in Leelanau County is incredible.  Deb received her BA and K-12 Teaching certificate from Iowa State and taught art in Des Moines, Iowa for years.  For 31 years Deb has lived in Glen Arbor and has loved every minute of it.  Deb was drawn to Montessori, went through the AMS 6-9 elementary, and began teaching at Leelanau Montessori.  She helped out at Leland Schools for years and is so grateful to be back and to be a part of such an incredible staff.  Photographing people, swimming, and being with Chloe, her golden retriever are some of her favorite things. 

CATHY WURM

Toddler Lead Guide

0-3 CMTE Montessori Training- Adrian College  

Cathy began working for Leelanau Montessori in 1986 as an assistant, and after care worker.  Over the past two decades she has served many roles between the birth of her four children, Jesse, Aaron, Benjamin, and Drew.  She received Montessori training in 1992 and currently leads Leelanau Montessori’s Toddler Program.   Cathy and her husband Steve and family enjoy hiking, boating, and rock hunting in Leelanau County.  She also enjoys gardening and photography. 

CHELSEA BOEHRNSEN

Primary Lead Guide

BA - Elementary Education with Early Childhood Endorsement - Alma College
Montessori Primary Certification - Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center


Chelsea has always had a passion for working with children and knew she wanted to be a teacher at a very young age. After graduating from Alma College, she moved to Germany and taught English at a bilingual elementary school, as well as at an University. The Montessori philosophy really resonates with Chelsea and she feels blessed to be part of the wonderful community at Leelanau Montessori. She enjoys fostering independence, supporting individualized learning for every student, and teaching in a multi-age classroom. Chelsea grew up in Suttons Bay. She is married to her husband, Torben, and has a son. She enjoys playing soccer, sewing, crocheting, and camping.

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JUNGWA MEAD

Primary Lead Guide

​AMI Primary (3-6) Montessori Diploma - Association Montessori Internationale
Preschool/Kindergarten Diploma Program - North American Montessori Center
TESOL certificate - Sook Myung Women’s University
BA in French Literature - Sook Myung Women’s University (Seoul, South Korea)


Junghwa joined Leelanau Montessori in August of 2019 soon after she moved back to Michigan with her family from Seoul, South Korea. Her journey as an educator started as an ESL teacher for children. Later, she got to know and fell in love with the peaceful philosophy of Maria Montessori - to be the link/guide in the background for each child’s journey toward becoming whom they are meant to be. She feels truly blessed to work with the extraordinary staff in this beautiful community.
 
She enjoys listening to inspiring talks on podcasts, and loves to travel and hike with her husband, Jason and their two children.  

ELIZABETH CHANNER

Primary Assistant

Bachelors of Science, Psychology- Western Illinois University
Masters of Science, Experimental Psychology-  Western Illinois University
Montessori Para-professional trained- Michigan Montessori Training Center

Elizabeth is a Chicago native who was a Montessori child herself.  She has had the opportunity to explore and live in many diverse settings from Chicago to the rocky mountains of Colorado; however, she is happy to now call Leelanau her home.  Elizabeth’s background is heavy in the human services field and includes years of working at a domestic violence shelter and advocating for the survivors living there.  Elizabeth believes strongly that each individual is unique and should be treated so.  That is one of the reasons she loves the Montessori philosophy so much.  Elizabeth and her partner Matthew have two children. Filomena and Era Mae who both attend Leelanau Montessori!  When they aren't busy building their own company they like to spend time gardening, cooking, going to the beach, and playing with their animals.

TERRI ORBAN

Primary Assistant

Associates Degree - Social Service/Early Childhood Education, Ferris State University
Para Professional Training- Michigan Montessori Education Center 
CDA  Credential - Child Development Associate, 2022 

Terri has worked in early childhood education for more than three decades as a teacher in the 3/4 year old program at the Leland Daycare & Nursery School, as Director of the Suttons Bay Co-Op Preschool and as a home daycare provider offering a Christian-based preschool/daycare program for ten years while raising her own three children.  Terri was drawn to the Montessori philosophy because it encompasses a prepared environment, peace curriculum and individualized program for each child.  She has been with Leelanau Montessori for 20 years and has enjoyed many roles as a toddler guide, primary assistant and after school care.  Terri and her husband, Jim, have raised three beautiful children who are now young adults. Holly is a certified yoga instructor with a Bachelors in Exercise Science from Lake Superior State University.  Jared was recently married in October 2018 and he and his wife Molly live in Zeeland, Michigan.  Jared is a graduate from Grand Valley State University with a BA in Criminal Justice and is a Michigan State Trooper with the Rockford Post in Grand Rapids.  Aaron graduated from Davenport University and Kupyer College in April of 2018 with a BA in Social Work and is employed as a deputy sheriff with the Kent County Sheriff Department.  Jim and Terri enjoy traveling to spend time with their children and grand daughter, Avery, as well as biking, hiking, snow shoeing, gardening, house projects and appreciating life and sunsets.  

BETHANY SPARLING

Upper Elementary Lead Guide

​BA Elementary Education with Science Endorsement – CMU
Upper Elementary Training – Seton Montessori

It was in college that Bethany was introduced to educational alternatives and the Montessori philosophy. After she and her husband Jason started a family, she knew that a student-centered approach to learning was a priority for their children.  Sophie, Parker and Violet all attended a primary Montessori program and later homeschooled.  Bethany and her family moved to Leelanau County in 2014 when she took a position as an Upper Elementary guide at Leelanau Montessori where all three of her children attended.  Bethany cherishes the time she has had to be with her family and raise her children, but is excited to be back in the classroom!  Being an outdoor enthusiast, Bethany loves being with her family in northern Michigan in all seasons hiking, camping, gardening, kayaking, skiing and enjoying the fresh water!

This page is being updated to reflect our 2020-2021 school year staff. 

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Leelanau Montessori Public School

Academy

Contact Us

Phone: (231) 994-2074

Email: info@leelanaumontessori.org

Address

​7401 E. Duck Lake Road   
Lake Leelanau, MI   49653

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