Our Staff

Elizabeth Duccini


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.

Hannah Simpson

Assistant Director & Lead Teacher - Goldfinch Room

My name is Hannah Simpson, and I have been at DMS since 2010! I have worked in almost every role except 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 have one daughter and are excited to raise our child in a Montessori home! 

Jackie Chong

Lead Teacher - River Bluff Room

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.

Christine Quintana

Lead Teacher - Bald Eagle Room

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.

Ashley Lau

Lead Teacher - Mississippi River Room

My name is Ashley Lau. I first started my journey with DMS as a parent, served as an assistant teacher and am now the lead teacher in the Missississppi River Room. I love the Montessori method and all it has to offer the children. I am from Dubuque and have two children. 

Patricia Gerhard

Extended Care Assistant

My name is Patricia Gerhard (aka Ms. Pat).   I have been at Dubuque Montessori School since 2001.  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 be lost and they make your dreams and wishes come true.