Administration and Staff

At School of Mary - Montessori, our trained staff thoughtfully prepare a prayerful and nurturing environment. They seek to observe and follow each child in order to meet their individual needs.


2018-19 Staff

Kaitlyn Baker, Early Childhood Guide (Monday & Tuesday Program) & Elementary Assistant

Kaitlyn first learned of Montessori’s philosophy through Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, in which she received Level I training. She received her Early Childhood Montessori training through the Iowa Montessori Training Center and was credentialed by the American Montessori Society in June 2011. Kaitlyn applied her Montessori training throughout her college education, whether it was through sharing knowledge with her peers and professors or through bringing in materials to use in her lesson plans in her practicum experiences. She received a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education-Unified from Iowa State University in December 2015. This certifies her to teach birth through third grade in general education and special education. She enjoys using her education to serve the children and families of School of Mary – Montessori. 


Lynda Baker, Administrator & Early Childhood Assistant

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.


Brenda Dougan, Early Childhood Assistant

Brenda and her husband Matt live in Ankeny and attend Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart parish. They have five children ranging in age from 26 to 6 and one granddaughter. Their youngest child Garron attends School of Mary. For the 2018-2019 school year they are parents to Sofia, an exchange student from Mexico who will attend Ankeny High School. Brenda graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism, Advertising degree. After graduation, she worked in St. Louis for an agricultural advertising agency and later in Kansas City before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Prior to moving to Iowa in 2010 Brenda worked for the DeSoto School District in Kansas as an associate in early childhood for five years. She first learned of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd while living in Kansas. It was at the Christ Our Life Conference in 2014 that she discovered CGS in Des Moines and was elated to sign up Garron. His joy and love for the Good Shepherd inspired her to go through Level I training in 2016.


Angie Julander, Elementary Guide

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. 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.


Jenny Kleiman, Elementary Assistant

Jenny and her husband Mike live in Clive and attend St. Francis of Assisi parish. They have a daughter, 17, and three sons who are 15, 10, and 5. Jenny graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and from the University of Iowa with a Master’s Degree in Developmental Reading. She was a Chapter 1 Reading teacher and Reading Specialist for 9 years before deciding to focus on being a stay- at -home mom. Jenny completed Level I Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) training in 2016 and is in her third year of leading children in the atrium. She is so inspired by the CGS program that she has incorporated elements of the program into her prayer life at home with her family as well. Jenny feels blessed to serve the families at School of Mary-Montessori.



Ginger Peterson, Business Manager

Ginger graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Accounting and held positions in the corporate world until becoming a stay-at-home mom and homeschooling parent in 1992. In 1998 she began working for the Church and in 2000 became DRE at All Saints, Stuart. After completing Levels I, II, and III of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training, she pursued studies in Montessori Education, becoming Primary/Early Childhood credentialed in 2009. In 2012 Lynda Baker and Ginger co-founded School of Mary – Montessori with Ginger serving as Primary/Early Childhood Directress/Guide. She has completed course work for Elementary I (6-9) and was an active board member at School of Mary – Montessori from its creation through June of 2018 and is a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Formation Leader. Ginger & her husband, Vance, reside in Adel, have four married children, and 13 nearly perfect grandchildren.


Lisa Tatz, Early Childhood Guide (Wednesday & Thursday Program) 

Lisa started Montessori training classes in January 2017 to earn American Montessori Society credentials as an Early Education Guide. She became certified in May of 2018 for ages three to six years old. She has worked with children in many capacities since her college years at the University of Iowa where she graduated with a Psychology BA.Besides past work experiences with children at daycare centers and schools, Lisa educates her own children at home. Homeschooling her children has provided many opportunities to lead and plan a variety of groups including tutoring, social gatherings, Little Flowers, book clubs, and more. Having volunteered several years as a Catechist for Religious Education, she has now completed Level I Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training. Lisa and her husband, Steve, attend the Basilica of St. John and have four children.


Michelle Werner, CGS Level III Catechist

Michelle first discovered Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) in 2008 when she was hired as the Directory of Religious Education for St. Mary-Holy Cross in Elkhart and completed her Level I training. After years away from the atrium, she returned to the work by serving in a Level I atrium at All Saints in Des Moines. Michelle fell in love with the work when she was drawn in by the love of the (toddler) child to the Good Shepherd. She was inspired to complete formation in Levels II, III, and Seminal Infant-Toddler Catechesis. Michelle lives in Ankeny and is married to Brian. They have two daughters, Genevieve and Lillian. Michelle is active in her community, volunteering in several atria across several age ranges and helping to establish CGS at her home parish of St. Luke the Evangelist and is looking forward to continuing in this ministry at School of Mary.