Our Staff

My name is Elizabeth Duccini, aka Ms. Beth and I am the Director here at DMS. I was born and raised in Dubuque and share my life with my wonderful husband Nathan and our 5 beautiful children. Other than spending precious time with my family, I enjoy being outdoors, sewing, cooking, having “coffee talk” with friends, and hunting for treasures at antique and thrift stores. A good British detective show on Netflix is always a welcome distraction from the busy day as well! I fell in love with the nurturing environment at DMS and the Montessori Philosophy when my daughter was a student here in 2006-2007. I jumped at the chance to be a member of the staff in the fall of 2007. I have held many positions here since then, including Lead Teacher and Cook and believe that has helped me tremendously in my current role. I also have obtained my Montessori Certification in 2009 and recently, my National Administrator Credential in 2019. Having the opportunity to share this awesome experience of a Montessori PreK education with our amazing families and children, and to work with so many talented and dedicated teachers and Board members is definitely the most joyful part of my job.

My name is Shannon Haynes. I am the assistant director at DMS. I started my Montessori journey as a parent in 2013 and fell in love with the school and staff immediately. I was delighted to join the team in 2016 and have assisted in three of the four classrooms at DMS since. I was happy to add the assistant director role in October 2018 and look forward to assisting Beth in the office going forward. I have a B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University and worked in lending at a credit union before becoming a mom to my energetic, witty, always happy kiddo. I enjoy camping and spending time with my husband and son, cooking, listening to music, being outside, and hanging out with friends.

Jackie Chong Photo

My name is Jackie Chong. I am the lead teacher in the River Bluff Room (5 day morning class) and Extended Day staff.  I started as a parent volunteer and then joined the DMS staff in 2005. I began as a Teacher’s Assistant and became a Lead Teacher in 2011.  I have 3 daughters that attended DMS (1998-2005), a B. A. in Marketing from Illinois State University, and earned my Montessori certification in 2009 from the North America Montessori Center.  In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, reading books, and shopping with my girls.

Quintana_Christine

My name is Christine Quintana. I am the Lead Teacher in the Bald Eagle Room (3 day morning class). I am originally from North Carolina but have enjoyed calling Dubuque home since 2006. I have been married to my husband Hector for over 20 years and we have two wonderful children who are both proud graduates of DMS! In my free time, I enjoy working with the Children’s ministry in my church and spending time with my family. My hobbies include reading with my children, storytelling, scrapbooking, singing, decorating, collecting snow globes, and visiting the beach. I started my journey with DMS as a classroom volunteer and then served on the Board of Directors as part of the Education Committee. I have held various roles throughout my time at DMS such as Assistant Toddler Teacher, Substitute Teacher, Lead Toddler Teacher, and most recently Lead Preschool Teacher. I hold both the NAMC International Montessori Infant/Toddler Teaching Diploma and the NAMC International Montessori Early Childhood Teaching Diploma. My credentials include a Master’s of Science in Elementary Education specializing in Early Childhood Education with 21 additional Master’s level hours in Language and Literacy Education along with a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Elementary Education: Early Childhood from Western Illinois University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an Associate’s Degree in Pre-teaching from Coastal Carolina Community College (Jacksonville, NC campus) and the NC Early Childhood Administration Credential. I am a certified Godly Play Teacher. My past work experiences include working as an independent Early Childhood Consultant with Positive Parenting at Trinity, as the Birth-to-Five Coordinator for the Bettendorf Community School District, and in the Civil Service as an Education Technician and Child Care Resource and Referral Specialist for the USMC.

STAFF-Edminster_Tracy
My name is Tracy Edminster. I am the all day lead teacher in the Mississippi River Room at DMS. I’ve been working in Early Childhood Education for over 30 years and I’ve been with DMS for over 2 years. I earned my Child Development Associate(Preschool)I have certificates in Early Childhood Education, Infants and Toddlers and Preschool 3-5 and most recently my North American Montessori Teaching Diploma. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, scrapbooking and watching sports. We have 4 children Ashley, Taylor, Isabella and Drew. Our son Drew first attended DMS 5 years ago. I started reading to his class every Tuesday afternoon and since then it has felt like home to our family. I feel very fortunate to work alongside such dedicated teachers and warm-hearted staff.
 

My name is Hannah Simpson, and I am in my 9th year at DMS! I have worked in almost every role but director at DMS. I have been the cook, office assistant, assistant teacher, lead 3-6 year old teacher, and am now the lead Toddler teacher in the Goldfinch Room. I fell in love with the Montessori method, and am certified to teach both in the birth-3 and the 3-6 age range! My hobbies include running, talking about Montessori, and playing with my two dogs. My husband and I are so excited to welcome our newest family member in December, and to raise our child in a Montessori home! 

STAFF-Sawvell_Samantha

My name is Samantha Sawvell. I am an assistant teacher in the Goldfinch Room. I have my Child Development Associates Certification in Preschool Education and have worked in child care for the past 6 years.  I have one son who will be attending DMS this year. In our free time, we like to fish and go for runs.

My name is Anai Williams. I started at DMS in afternoon extended care and am excited to continue on as an assistant teacher in the toddler room! While I’m new to the Montessori method and DMS, I genuinely believe this school is a special place to be a part of.  I have a nearly completed art degree, and have substituted at Headstarts here in Dubuque. I love working with kids and contributing to their growth here at DMS.

STAFF-Kuhle_Elizabeth

My name is Elizabeth Kuhle. I am a wife, a mother of three boys and now a friendly face at Dubuque Montessori school. I started my journey at Montessori as a parent, I then volunteered in my youngest sons classroom with Ms Jackie. In 2018/19 I became a classroom substitute and worked in the office. As my own young child goes off kindergarten this year I will continue my natural progression at Montessori and move into the role of teaching assistant. Over the years that I have been in the Montessori family I have fallen in love with the Montessori way! I obtained a Bachelors of the Arts in Art History from Clarke University. While my children were small I was a stay at home parent, and I am on staff at a local church where I lead and plan youth activities. My hobbies include, enjoying time with my family, jogging, playing volleyball, helping with cub scouts, and being a baseball mom.

STAFF-Lacy_Kate

My name is Kate Lacy. I am an assistant in the Bald Eagle room. I came to Montessori with experience in the public school system as well as private childcare. As I grow in my classroom role, I also have the opportunity to get to know the children with some extended day work. Montessori philosophy amazes me as I see the difference it makes in each individual child. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my own children. We like a wide variety activities and take advantage of the free time we can share together as a family.

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My name is Ryan Werner.  I am the cook at Dubuque Montessori School. I started at DMS in 2013. I received my degree in English with a creative writing emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2008 and was Ace Frehley in a local KISS tribute band until starting at DMS in 2013. I enjoy playing pinball and hanging out with my puppy, Barbara, when not arguing with children about vegetables.

My name is Cat Walker and I am currently a substitute teacher at Dubuque Montessori School.  I started out on the Board of Directors  in 2007 when my daughter started preschool there.  I served on the board for 2 years and then joined the staff.  I have been an assistant teacher, lead teacher, assistant director, and director. I have my Montessori certification for ages 3 years to 12 years from the American Montessori Society. I stopped working full time at DMS to start working on a Montessori Elementary school here in Dubuque! My husband and I have two children who both went through DMS and are now a junior and a 6th grader!  When I have spare time, I enjoy quilting and any other crafty activities, as well as making Montessori materials for the new school.

My name is Patricia Gerhard (aka Ms. Pat).   I have been at Dubuque Montessori School for the past 18 years.  I am the mother of five children, 3 sons and 2 daughters.  My sons live in the Dubuque area and my daughters live in Wisconsin. I have six grandchildren.  My hobbies include sewing, crocheting, walking, playing cards, dominoes, reading, and getting together with friends.  To me, education and learning are gifts that can never to be lost and they make your dreams and wishes come true.

My name is Jennifer Oney-Hooven and I am an extended day assistant here at DMS. Originally from Indiana, my family and I have lived in Dubuque for the last 10 years. I’m a wife and the mother to two wonderful children, Hannah and Stormy (both Montessori grads). I volunteered for many years at DMS while my children were attending.  I am a fan of science fiction, especially Doctor Who. To relax I enjoy coloring or reading a good book with a can of Diet Coke in hand. I am so excited to be joining the Montessori team this year and look forward to working with all the wonderful teachers, staff and students.