Meet Our Staff

[The Montessori teacher] must acquire a moral alertness which has not hitherto been demanded by any other system, and this is revealed in her tranquility, patience, charity, and humility. Not words, but virtues, are her main qualifications - Dr. Maria Montessori

Mary Lamos


Mary received her MMTEC Pre-Primary Certification for 3- to 6-year-olds in 1990 and attended the University of Michigan to obtain the credit hours required to be an early childhood program director. She opened the Montessori Center of Downriver (MCOD) over 25 years ago. She is the past president and current treasurer for the Michigan Montessori Society.
The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life - Dr. Maria Montessori

Toddler Program


Lead Teacher

Ashley received her Child Development Associate Credential and has been working in a Montessori school since 2010. She began working at MCOD in 2019.


Lead Teacher

Melissa began working at a Montessori preschool in 1987, and she received her Infant/Toddler Montessori training in 1992. She started at MCOD in 1992 and has been a lead teacher since 1993. Her two grown children are also MCOD alumni.


Classroom Assistant

Courtney has been working with toddlers for 20 years and started at MCOD in 2007. She regularly completes ongoing Montessori training.


Classroom Assistant

Elisabeth is currently working on an associate's degree in Child Development from Henry Ford College. She is also working on completing the Child Development Associate Credential. Elisabeth began working at MCOD in 2021.

Preschool Program


Lead Teacher

Dona became a certified Pre-Primary Montessori teacher after attending MMTEC in 1987. She received her Infant and Toddler teacher certification in New York in 1996. Dona has been teaching for over 30 years and has been with MCOD since 2018.


Classroom Assistant

Stephanie has an associate's degree in Children and Families from Henry Ford College and a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood from Rochester University. She has been working in childcare since 2010 and started at MCOD in 2018. Stephanie began working toward her Montessori accreditation in the summer of 2023.


Lead Teacher

Donnette completed her internship to become a Montessori Lead Teacher in December 2021. She received her Montessori training at MMTEC in 2020 and has been working at MCOD since 2017.


Lead Teacher

Mandi received her associate's degree in Early Childhood Education from Michigan State University in 2000. She then earned the Pre-Primary Montessori certification in 2002. Mandi has been part of MCOD for over 20 years, and all three of her children attended school here.


Classroom Assistant and Aftercare Coordinator

Suzee has her CDA in Infant and Toddler development. She has been teaching preschool since 1999. She began at MCOD in the 2021/22 year and previously worked in a Montessori school for 8 years.


Classroom Assistant and PM Office Administrative Assistant

Jenni joined MCOD in the spring of 2023. She graduated from Lincoln Park High School and has past office administration experience. Jenni is currently working towards an associate's degree in administration from WCCC. Jenni's son is currently attending the preschool program.


Classroom Assistant

Support Staff


AM Office Administrative Assistant

April has a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario and over a decade of experience in writing, editing, and office administration. April began working at MCOD in 2021, and her youngest daughter is currently attending the preschool program.

All staff are fingerprinted and undergo a comprehensive background check. All staff also have CPR/first aid training and regularly receive continuing professional development. All Montessori-certified teachers attended a MACTE-approved program. MACTE is the international standard setting and accrediting body for Montessori teacher education.