Rita Nolan.jpg
Rita Nolan
Executive Director of the Montessori Network

Rita Nolan is the Montessori Network Executive and the founder of the Montessori School of Englewood.  She previously served as the Upper School Director for Chicago’s Near North Montessori School from 2003 and 2009.  Originally from Ireland, Rita has a degree in Geography and Greek and Roman Civilization from the Univeristy College Dublin.  Ms. Nolan also holds an M. Ed in Curriculum and Instruction and is certified in the Montessori Method at the primary and elementary levels.  Rita was selected as a Ryan Fellow and had the opportunity to gain entrepreneurial insights on education reform learned through a Summer Institute at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and a Field Study at Alain Locke Charter School. Rita is an Experience School Leader with a demonstrated history of working in the nonprofit organization management industry.  Rita displays experience in Operation Start-up for Nonprofit Organizations, Instructional Leadership, and school curriculum. During her tenure as Executive Director, Rita was instrumental in creating the Chicago Montessori Residency Program to grow the ranks of Montessori Public Schools for children living in underserved communities.  Rita was granted the Dennis Schapiro Award for Innovation in Montessori Teacher Education, which is awarded to individuals who have brought significant change to teacher education. Rita has presented at many State and National Conferences focusing on Montessori pedagogy and its application in under-resourced communities.

20200117030SE Maggie.jpg
Maggie Mikuzis
Director of Operations

Maggie Mikuzis joined the Montessori School of Englewood Community in 2017 as an Executive Assistant and moved into the role of Director of Operations for the 2018-2019 school year. Maggie graduated from DePaul University with a double Bachelors Degree in Public Relations and Journalism. After college, Maggie became a Site Director and managed the curriculum, financials, and staff supervision of sites in a south suburban school district. During this time, Maggie decided to continue her education at DePaul University and received a dual Masters in Organizational and Multicultural Communication with a concentration in Training and Development. Maggie completed her field work at the YMCA Corporate Office and developed trainings for executives, centers, teachers, and assistants focusing on a variety of child related, compliance, and safety topics. After graduating, Maggie decided to spend time teaching to truly understand the whole child. Maggie taught Kindergarten through second grade in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, specifically focusing on rigorous test-prep for selective enrollment schools. As she enjoyed teaching, she wanted to expand her operational knowledge and joined a national start-up educational firm as an Associate Director of City-Wide Operations for Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis. Maggie developed systematic ways to connect experienced tutors with individual students through personalized learning plans on a live learning platform. After helping expand this company to reach over 20 cities, Maggie decided to bring her work closer to home. She joined a consulting firm that focused on recruiting, training, and onboarding early education teachers for center based programs. Maggie was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and knew her passion for education would lead her back there. Maggie enjoys seeing students at TMSOE make connections in and out of the classroom that contributes to them becoming future leaders. In Maggie’s spare time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking, traveling, volunteering, and judging high school competitive speech competitions in Chicago.

20200117022SE Stephanie.jpg
Stephanie Toon
CMR Director/Lower Elementary Level Head
  • Education and Career Background: BA English and Political Science, University of Madison-Wisconsin. MPA (Masters of Public Administration) from UIC. AMS trained teacher from Midwest Montessori Training Center.

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: I believe in fostering creativity and independence to help students become leaders. I believe that all children have the ability to learn, and finding the right way to access their capabilities is the main job of the Montessori guide.

  • Hobbies/Interests: Soccer, running, hiking, camping, scuba diving, cooking (and eating, hehe).

Kristen O_Meara.jpg
Kristen O’Meara
SPED Director
  • Education and Career Background: 

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching:

  • Hobbies/Interests: 

Calvin Barksdale.jpg
Calvin Barksdale
IT Specialist
  • Education and Career Background:

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching:

  • Hobbies/Interests: 

Julie Drew.jpg
Julie Drew
Montessori Coach
  • Education and Career Background: DePaul University Bachelor of Arts in Social Science Secondary Education, DePaul University Early Childhood Subsequent Certificate. I have taught in both public and private Montessori schools and have seven years of teaching experience in both Primary (3-6) and Lower Elementary (6-9).

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: I believe my role as a teacher is to guide children in their learning without inserting myself into the center of their learning experience. With a management style of firm but fair, I try to make my classroom a place that nurtures students to be both responsible and independent, as well as active citizens in both their classroom and beyond.

  • Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy spending time with my family and close friends, doing home projects, baking, live music, working out, and being outdoors.