2018 Commitment to Excellence Award Recipient
Leslie is a 5th and 6th grade Montessori guide at Okemos Public Montessori at Kinawa. A proud graduate of Okemos High School, Leslie majored in mathematics and earned her teaching certificate from the University of Michigan. After graduation, Leslie and her husband, Nathan, settled in Mt. Pleasant where Leslie taught math at Shepherd Middle School. Moving home to Okemos for these high school sweethearts gave Leslie the opportunity to stay home for ten years with their three children; Dominic (14), Malia (12), and Lydia (8). Visiting potential kindergarten classrooms for her son led Leslie to Okemos Public Montessori where her view of education and respect for the capability and curiosity of the child were transformed.
In 2015, Leslie completed Montessori certification (6-9 year old) through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. A year later she completed the 9-12 year old certification at CGMS. Leslie graduated with a masters degree in Montessori education from St. Catherine’s University last December and has happily (for now) retired her role as student.
Leslie’s greatest joy comes from her family. A close second would be the opportunity to observe, guide, and inspire students alongside her teaching partner and close friend, Amanda Medina. They know that the only way to truly make a difference is to establish community, set the stage, model concrete learning, support, and then carefully analyze and observe the magic that happens within the child.