About Us 










Board of Directors

As a non-profit organization, School of Mary - Montessori is run by a Board of Directors. The day-to-day operations of the school are overseen by the Administrator and the Business Manager. The Board works closely with the staff throughout the year to further the Mission of School of Mary.


2018-19 Board of Directors

Dane Miller, President

Dane and his beautiful wife, Brooke, have two boys. They are active members of St. Francis of Assisi parish in West Des Moines where they are involved in marriage and family movements, as well as with the Des Moines Diocese. Dane grew up on a farm near Greene, Iowa, attended Iowa State University, later earned his MBA there, and currently works at John Deere. Dane and Brooke both converted to the Catholic faith in late 2008 and love growing deeper in and living out their faith. Dane’s exposure with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was through Brooke while she received her Level I CGS training. It was through his eldest son’s education that he grew his great appreciation with Montessori. He is honored to serve the families of School of Mary – Montessori.


Lynda Baker, Vice President

It was during Level I training in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) in August of 2002 that Lynda was transformed when she heard the Good Shepherd call her name. Striving to continually follow His voice has led her on a wonderful journey beginning with home educating her own children starting in 2004 and co-founding School of Mary – Montessori in 2012. Along the way, she has built upon her Secondary Education degree from Grand View University to add Elementary I-II Credentials from the American Montessori Society and Level I, Level II, and Level III Certificates from the National Association of the Catechesis of Good Shepherd. She will begin working toward her Early Childhood Credential in 2016. Lynda is honored and blessed to serve the children and families of School of Mary as the Administrator, Early Childhood Assistant, Vice President of the Board and Chair of our Hiring Committee. Lynda lives in rural Bondurant with her husband and four children.


Seth Sojka, Treasurer

Seth and his wife, Mary, are members of the Basilica of St. John and currently reside in Des Moines. Seth was initially introduced to School of Mary through the renovation of and subsequent relocation into their current building. Through that process, he came to know the mission, administration, and families that make up School of Mary and joined the Board in 2017. Seth and Mary enjoy spending time with their nephews, volunteering for their Church, staying busy in the community, and they look forward to starting a family of their own. Seth is honored to serve on the School of Mary board as Treasurer and Head of our Building and Ground Committee.


Tracy Miller, Secretary 

Tracy and her husband, Luke, live in Prairie City with their five young children. Tracy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Moorhead with a degree in Special Education and taught in public school for four and a half years. She is currently homeschooling her children.  Five years ago when her oldest was three years old, she signed him up for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) at All Saints in Des Moines. Tracy fell so in love with this approach of education that she started training right away and put together a Montessori homeschool room in their house! She has since completed all 4 levels of CGS from Infant/Toddler through Level III. Tracy and Luke are members at All Saints in Des Moines. She is excited to be on the board serving School of Mary as Secretary and Head of our Fundraising Committee.


Angie Julander

After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Marketing, Angie returned back to her hometown of Des Moines, where she worked as a Production Manager of a Direct Mail Company. Soon after the birth of her first son, Angie felt a calling to become a stay-at-home mom and daycare provider for her nieces and nephews. She was introduced to and fell in love with Montessori and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) as her boys entered their faith formation at their home parish of All Saints in Des Moines. She is now a trained CGS catechist for Level I and Level II. Angie is currently working toward her Lower Elementary Montessori credential and works as the Lower Elementary Guide at School of Mary. She is very blessed to be able to serve on the board of School of Mary. She currently lives in Altoona with her husband and three children.


Maureen Stone

Maureen and her husband, Kelly, of 39 years, home educated their five children. They now have three sons-in-law and one daughter-in-law. From these beautiful marriages have come nine grandchildren. Maureen was first exposed to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) at a Homeschool Conference in Olathe, Kansas in the late 1990’s. At the conference a catechist presented the Parable of the Good Shepherd and it was as if she heard its message strike her heart for the first time. Since that time she has been trained in Levels I, II, and III of CGS and will complete her CGS Infant-Toddler training in September 2018. She feels CGS is a much more important training than the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education she received at Iowa State University. In the past, Maureen has served on the Shepherd’s Staff board (a regional CGS association) for several years. Maureen and her husband, Kelly have just completed formation for the diaconate. Kelly was ordained a deacon on August 4, 2018. This has been a time of growth and change and great excitement. Maureen is looking forward to once again serve on the board of School of Mary.


Julie Tull

Julie has been an active parishioner of All Saints in Des Moines since 1993. She is an office assistant at the Center for Interpersonal Effectiveness and can often be found in Panora spending time with her mother on the weekends. In 2012, after being nudged several times, she decided to enroll in courses for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) for her own spiritual growth and development. Julie was quickly drawn in by not only the beauty of the environment but also by the reflection of the child. She decided taking the course wasn't enough and she needed to spend time in the environment with the children. Since this time, Julie has volunteered in atriums as an assistant, catechist, and sub at various levels. In the summer of 2018, she joyfully completed her last course and is now fully trained in all 4 levels of CGS (Infant/Toddler, Level I, Level II, and Level III). Julie is honored to serve on the board of School of Mary and to be allowed glimpses of the children along with their faith-filled families as they grow in both the beautiful education and the religious environment that School of Mary provides.


Brian Werner

Brian lives in Ankeny and attends St. Luke the Evangelist Church with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Genevieve and Lillian. He has lived in the Des Moines area for most of his life, attending Sacred Heart Elementary, Dowling Catholic, and then graduating from Creighton University in Omaha. Since graduating Brian has spent time volunteering with several parish committees, the high school youth group, and playing music at Mass on a regular basis. In spring 2018 Brian completed the coursework for  Level I of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and desires to continue learning more about this beautiful approach to catechesis. When Brian is not spending time with his family or volunteering, he works in the actuarial department of EMC Insurance Companies. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve the wonderful community of School of Mary.