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!  

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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. ​

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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. 

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PAIGE PETERSON

Toddler Lead Guide

Bachelors of Arts, Psychology- Albion College
Montessori Primary Certification- Seton Montessori

Paige began her Montessori journey as a toddler in Cathy’s room some 29 years ago. Things came full circle when she returned home after college graduation and took on the role of assistant to Cathy in the toddler room. Throughout the past nine years Paige has also been an assistant in the Primary environment as well as co-guide after completing her Montessori training. After the birth of her son, Everett, in 2019 she took a year off and is now excited to be back in the toddler room, this time with him. Paige enjoys spending time with her family, the beach, gardening, trying new restaurants, road trips, and being a mom. 

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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.  

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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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MONICA KORSON

Primary Lead Guide

Monica is so excited to join the Leelanau Montessori community. Monica has been working with children for many years beginning with nannying while growing up to working for an assistant at the Children's House Montessori school in Traverse City. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher someday. The first time she walked into a bustling Montessori toddler classroom she specifically remembers watching the children gracefully set up a beautiful and inspiring lunch table. It was that day, Monica fell in love with the independent whole child approach to learning. 

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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.

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MEGAN JORDAN

Lower Elementary Lead Guide

Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a Early Childhood major from Wayne State University, 1999
Montessori Certification from Center for Guided Montessori Studies, continuing

Megan has been teaching for Benzie Central School in Preschool, Kindergarten and 2nd grade as well as homeschooling her 2 oldest children. She has always identified with the Montessori Philosophy since learning about while working for her bachelor's degree in the 90s. When a job opportunity came up with Leelanau Montessori Public Schools she jumped at the chance to become certified as a true "Montessorian", in order to complete a career long dream. She lives with her 3 children in Traverse City along with her dad (Grandpa to most) Frieda the cat, and Wiggles the snake. Megan's family likes to cook and share food, float down the river, and jump on the trampoline. She is excited to begin this journey with Rebekah and Deb as a team.

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REBEKAH WISSINK

Lower Elementary Lead Guide

BS Elementary Education: Integrated Sciences - Calvin College
Montessori Training (In progress!) - Center for Guided Montessori Studies

This is Rebekah's first year teaching in a Montessori school. Rebekah has long heard and been interested in the Montessori method because of their focus on the individual child. She is in the midst of the training to become certified and is enjoying the readings and collaboration with other "Montessorians!" Rebekah grew up in Big Rapids, Michigan with three brothers on a “hobby” farm. She attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan for their Elementary Education program and graduated in 2014. Rebekah had the opportunity to teach and explore in several different places - the savannah and sugar cane fields of Uganda, and the onion fields of Grant, Michigan. 

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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!

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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.  

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CHELSEA HUMMON

Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary BS Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services and Administration Outdoor Education

CMU & University of Iceland


Chelsea was born and raised in MI with a deep appreciation for the natural world and a love of learning. She got her start in the classroom at the age of eleven when her mother first brought her to teach the things she was passionate about in her fourth grade classroom. Since then, Chelsea has studied engineering and later shifted her focus to education, while carrying the engineering design process with her throughout her transitions. She studied education through the lens of outdoor education in high school through Outward Bound and more formally in college. She has been implementing the 8-Shields model of mentoring since her start with the Human Nature School in 2010, and in the past 3 years has intentionally incorporated place-based stewardship education and civic engagement into her personal educational philosophy. Chelsea has delivered quality hands-on educational experiences to students ranging from pre-K to 82 years of age, and has most recently focused her efforts on training and supporting teachers and administrators in the region based on their needs.. Through working with 3 Montessori schools, it has become clear that her educational philosophy shares a lot in common with the Montessori model. She is currently working on her first formal training in Montessori pedagogy and practice. Chelsea moved to Leelanau County in 2009 to work on a farm, and has since established an ever evolving family and a career in the Lake Leelanau Watershed. In her free time, she plays in the woods with her kids, cares for chickens, gardens, swims, cooks, builds soil and forts of all types, and creates multi-media art with her boys. 

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TANYA HILL

Upper Elementary Lead Guide

Hello!  My name is Tanya Hill.  I am the Upper Elementary guide serving children in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades.  I was introduced to Montessori education when my son went to a Montessori school in Midland, MI.  I was instantly drawn to the Montessori philosophy and pedagogy as he went through his four-year-old year.  I began my AMS training to receive my Primary credential and I have taught in a Montessori environment for 26 years.  Since my time in Midland, MI, I have served in two other schools.  I was at Kingsley Montessori School in Boston, MA., and just recently at Esprit International School in The Woodlands, TX.  I have a passion for Montessori education and teaching children of all ages.  I recently completed my master’s thesis in Montessori Integrated Learning at Endicott College in Massachusetts where my love for Cosmic education was deepened and informed.  When I am not in the classroom, I am at home with my husband remodeling our house and taking care of our “farm” and dogs.  I love to visit my children and grandchildren in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.