Maria Leeman graduated from Xavier University with a degree in Montessori (and Traditional) Early Childhood Education, with a minor in Special Education. Most recently, she is from Ohio, since age 5. However, from the age of 6 weeks to 5 years old, she lived in Bulgaria in Eastern Europe. Her family lived in the mountain foothills where her love of nature began. She spent every minute outside as a child and it continues to be her source of joy, along with teaching children.
She found Montessori in high school through a long-time family friend. She has always loved children, beginning to babysit at age 12, and was always told what a great teacher she would be. However, it was not until she saw a Montessori classroom (even with no children) that she knew she wanted and needed to teach this way. She is dedicated to the Montessori method and feels strongly about its support for the foundational years of children.
Assistant Teacher and Art Teacher
Jeff is our resident artist, assistant teacher & art teacher. Born in Ohio, he came to Indiana by way of Indiana Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. in Fine Arts Painting and Printmaking. After graduation he worked for the school for 4 years and in 2010 moved to Australia to sit in on a master’s program at the National Art School (NAS) in Sydney. In addition to coaching soccer with Lil Kickers, he has worked many camps and after school programs with kids. He came to learn of the Montessori teaching method through a friend and joined Village Montessori in 2017. In his free time, he draws, paints & creates found object sculpture. Most currently he is pursing knowledge on gallery management as well as working as Wendell Lowe’s artist assistant.
Alyssa attended a Montessori school for eight years and is passionate about the Montessori philosophy and methods of learning.
Alyssa graduated from Indiana University in 2012 with B.A. degrees in math and linguistics. After graduating and roaming the country she returned to Bloomington, IN and began teaching preschool at Bloomington Montessori School. She moved to Indianapolis to serve in Americorps at Herron High School in 2016. She is grateful to have found the Village Montessori community and has enjoyed working here since 2017. She continues to apply the compassion and life skills she learned through Montessori education to other life experiences, big and small.
Katelyn is one of our morning assistant teachers. Katelyn was born and raised in Trafalgar, Indiana. After a year long internship at Indian Creek Elementary School in a first grade classroom, Katelyn knew teaching was the career in which she belonged. She graduated from IUPUI in 2019 with a B.A in Elementary Education. During Katelyn’s time at IUPUI, she began additional studies to receive a concentration in Reading and Language Arts.
Katelyn came to find a love of Montessori philosophy during her student teaching experience at IPS 91 Montessori Magnet. Katelyn believes that a Montessori education will foster independence and a love of learning for all children. What Katelyn loves the most about working at Village Montessori is teaching in an environment that is solely child-centered.
Katelyn lives in Broad Ripple with her husband, Dokken, and their three Great Danes.
Cholpon is one of our morning assistant teachers. In addition to a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Chinese Studies from Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, she holds Montessori certifications in both Early Childhood (ages 3-6) and Infant Toddler from Seton Montessori Institute. She is a native of Kyrgyzstan, and has also lived in China and Australia. She has four daughters, who all were educated in the Montessori method.
She lives in Carmel with her husband and 4 children.
Anne began her Montessori journey while looking for a preschool option for her oldest child. She was delighted to discover this method that honored children developmentally—from an emotional and academic perspective. Her children attended Montessori preschool, where she volunteered and served as president for one year. They later attended IPS 91 Montessori Magnet. She was a classroom volunteer, served on the PTA two different years, and for 5 years served as director of new family outreach, welcoming prospective and new families.
Annes graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership & Supervision. Her past careers have included sales, account management and owner of her photography business. She also contracted with the Indiana Perinatal Network and the Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition as a grant liaison and photographer.
She completed the Para-Professional Training at Seton Montessori Institute in Clarendon Hills, Illinois.
She was so excited for Village Montessori School to open up in 2010—filling a need for authentic Montessori education in Midtown. She loves working at Village as the director of admissions and operations—greeting children and families each morning and supporting the school administratively.
Anne lives in Butler-Tarkington with her husband, Charles, daughters Sara and Abby and their dog, Tootsie.