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.
Madison is one of our morning assistant teachers. Madison was born and raised in Greencastle, Indiana. Madison graduated from Ball State University in 2019 with a BS in Family and Child and a concentration in Child Life. While at school, Madison also received a minor in Theatre. In 2019, Madison worked as a Behavior Technician for a special education classroom in Fargo, North Dakota.
Madison enjoys Montessori due to their time spent at the Ball State Preschool Lab, in which they were a lead practicum teacher. Madison loves watching how this educational style fosters a child’s individualized way of learning and growing so they can become their own unique person.
Madison lives in Indianapolis with their fiancé, Natalie, and their English Bulldog, Mashed Potato.
Susan is one of the morning assistant teachers. She is originally from Jasper, Indiana and is now in Indianapolis after receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in
Elementary Education, with a minor in Learning Disabilities, from Indiana University. She received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Indianapolis.
She has worked in the elementary school setting, both as a teacher and an occupational therapist, and has worked as as an OT with the First Steps program, serving children ages birth to 3 years. She has also worked with adults in the home health and skilled nursing settings.
Her children attended a Montessori school through eighth grade, and her love for the Montessori philosophy and young children led her in becoming a part of our unique Village family.
She resides in Fishers with her husband, and has three children, with two currently in high school and at home, along with their dog Daisy, and a son serving in the US Army.
Natalie is our morning floating assistant in the classroom. Natalie is from Fargo, North Dakota but found themself in Indiana to attend Ball State University. Natalie graduated from Ball State University in 2019 with a BFA in Musical Theatre.
Natalie was introduced to Montessori by volunteering their time at Ball State University’s Preschool Lab. Natalie enjoyed working with the children in performing arts and helped put on their own play. Natalie appreciates that the Montessori classroom is inclusive and allows the children to learn about topics that spark their curiosity.
Natalie lives in Indianapolis and looks forward to getting married to their fiancé, Madison, in the fall. Natalie is also the proud co-parent to Mashed Potato the English Bulldog.
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, and for 5 years served as director of new family outreach, welcoming prospective and new families.
Anne 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 daughter who is in high school at North Central. She also has a daughter at Purdue.