Lisa Trude - Children's House

I am from the Duluth, Minnesota area and have lived in Wisconsin for the past 19 years with my husband Dan, our four children Elizabeth, Timothy, Luke, and Benjamin, and our dog Amy.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a Montessori teaching diploma from the North American Montessori Center. I have been teaching for eleven years. I taught in the Hayward School District for three years primarily teaching preschool. I have been teaching in Birchwood for the past eight years with my first three years being multi-age (Preschool - 6th grades) project based at the Birchwood Discovery School, and the last five years teaching Children's House at Birchwood Public Montessori.

I was drawn to Montessori because it is designed to respect the child, to allow children to learn at their own pace, and to be unique individuals. The Montessori philosophy, methods, and materials are designed to capture the child's interest and make learning fun!

Lisa Trude

Erin Zemaitis -E1 Lower Elementary

Erin has recently moved back to the town of Birchwood with her husband Mike and their two sons; Frank and Luke. Erin earned her Bachelors of Science Degree from UW-Green Bay in Elementary Education. Erin is also a licensed ELL Teacher and Reading Teacher. She is currently pursuing her certification in E1 Montessori. Her interest in Montessori began in Birchwood and grew as her son attended a Montessori Preschool in La Crosse, WI. Montessori is a good fit for her because, "I believe learning should be child-centered, foster independence, and a natural love for learning by tapping into each child's innate ability to learn about the world around them and Maria Montessori's methods do exactly that."

Erin Zemaitis

Michael Brown- E2 Upper Elementary

The more experience one has, the more knowledge he or she can give. My experience has taken me all over the US, as I have been to 41 of the 50 states and lived in 8 of these states. Through my experiences I have worked in Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, and now, Wisconsin, as an assistant, before and aftercare director, Title 1 reading specialist, traditional teacher with students from 2nd - 5th grades, a Montessori teacher with students from K-5th. I have taught in both public and private schools. Through these great journeys and adventures, I have met many great individuals, big and small, and learned from some of the smartest people I know. These experiences have played a huge role in my educational philosophy and what I believe is best for children.

In the summer of 2014 I completed my Elementary I Montessori training from Montessori Education of the Colorado Rockies in Boulder, CO. Prior to this, I received both my bachelors and master's degree from the University of South Carolina in 2003 and 2007 respectively. I am married to a beautiful, smart, encouraging, and sincere woman, Bennett, and we have two wonderful, energetic, keep you on your toes kids, Ellison (8) and Landon (5). As a family, we love to swim, hike, go camping, travel, and make our "Friday Night" pizza. I love to read, I am passionate about teaching children the art of writing, enjoy watching college football, and playing basketball (my old knees are getting the best of me, though).

My first job out of undergraduate school was in a Montessori classroom, and this experience has always played a huge part in all of my other classrooms. I am excited to be in a Montessori classroom, as this philosophy and environment fosters and develops the whole child to think logically and scientifically from a concrete notion to an abstract thought process.