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

Julie has been working at MCOD since 2014 and regularly completes ongoing Montessori training.


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

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.

Preschool Program


Lead Teacher

Paula is a Montessori Certified Lead Teacher and attended the University of Michigan, earning credits in early childhood education. Her daughter is also a Montessori teacher and her granddaughter is an MCOD alumni. Paula has been teaching at MCOD since 1990.


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

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

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.


Classroom Assistant

Kimmie has been working in childcare since 2007 and joined MCOD in 2008. She's been a classroom assistant since 2010, and she completed Montessori Early Childhood Paraprofessional training in 2011. In the summer of 2022, Kimmie began training to become a Montessori Lead Teacher.


Classroom Assistant

Patty received certification from the American Institute of Banking in 1981, passed the ETS ParaPro Assessment in 2007, and completed her Montessori Assistant training in 2011. Patty spent 4 years working for Woodhaven Public schools as a paraprofessional for all age groups before starting at MCOD in 2008.


Classroom Assistant and Aftercare Coordinator

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.

Support Staff


Aftercare Aide

Dylan attended a Montessori school for most of their education and is currently working on completing the Child Development Associate Credential and an Early Childhood Education associate's degree. They have worked in childcare since 2019 and started at MCOD in 2021.


Aftercare Aide

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.


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.


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.
All staff 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.