Teacher Education Program Faculty
Executive Director & TEP Program Director
Lisa Dieso is the Executive Director and TEP Program Director at CRA. She has worked in Montessori Schools and Teacher Education Programs since 1999. She has taught in Montessori Schools in New York, Ohio, Kentucky, and Maryland. Lisa has her Bachelor’s Degree in Montessori Education and holds an American Montessori Society Early Childhood Teaching Credential. She also has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, and has worked in school administration for over 10 years. Lisa is also mom to a son and daughter who attend a Montessori school. She is passionate about the method and looks forward to working closely with families and adult learners as they start their Montessori Journey.
Field Consultant and Instructor
Stephanie Burchett is the Educational Coordinator at Montessori Center Room in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has BFA degree from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and holds an AMS Early Childhood credential. She has been teaching in a Montessori classroom since 1994. With a strong foundation in Montessori philosophy and a love of art, Stephanie found her niche. She is passionate about the importance of art education for children and shares with adult learners. Stephanie has presented her art curriculum at the CMS and AMS Conference. Stephanie is a published author of The Art Curriculum for the Montessori Classroom. With CRA, she teaches art and is a Field Consultant for practicum students. She believes whole-heartedly in the Montessori philosophy and is dedicated to always serving the needs of the child first.
Field Consultant and Instructor
Crystal Dahlmeier received a BS in Biology from Marietta College and a M.Ed. in Montessori Education at Xavier University. She was lead teacher/principal at Xavier University Montessori Lab School for 17 years, where she also taught both graduate and undergraduate classes in Montessori and Early Childhood Education. Crystal is a National Board Certified Teacher and a PITC Certified Infant/Toddler Trainer. She has served as the Teacher Section Chair for the American Montessori Society and has taught in Montessori Programs in Perth, Western Australia, England, and Seoul, S.Korea. Currently, she is a Field Consultant and teaches Philosophy & Sensorial.
Field Consultant, Instructor, and Infant & Toddler Practitcum Coordinator
Lacey Champion born and raised in Huntsville Alabama where she lives with her family. She has been involved in Montessori for the past 14 years. She began as a sub, floating between classes of all levels from young toddlers to elementary, where she found her passion was truly working with toddlers. In 2009, she received her NAMC Toddler certificate and in 2014 began her journey with GCCME. Lacey now holds an Infant/Toddler credential from AMS while working in an Infant and caregiver class and a 18-36 month toddler program. She has loved expanding her Montessori journey through the eyes of a parent of her two young children as well as all of the new avenues she encounters along the way.
Tina Evans is the Director and Head Teacher at Family Montessori of Lebanon, in Lebanon, Ohio. She is a credentialed Early Childhood Montessori teacher, with a B.A. in Telecommunications and an M.B.A. and M.A. in Non-profit Administration. She has been teaching children since 2011 after receiving her Montessori early childhood credential. Tina has blended her years of education, years of parenting 3 children, and her love of Montessori to create the ideal job! Her love for Montessori has grown from roots of being a Montessori student, through following her mom’s career as a Montessori teacher, to becoming an enthusiastic life-long learner of the Montessori philosophy and method. Tina lives in Mason, Ohio with her husband, John, and enjoys playing tennis, reading, creative work, and spending time with family. Currently, Tina is the Math Instructor in the CRA Early Childhood program.
Field Consultant, Lead Online Instructor, Early Childhood Practicum Coordinator
Heather Gerker is a doctoral student in Educational Studies, with an emphasis on Educational Policy and Teacher Education at The University of Cincinnati. She has a BFA in Electronic Media, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and holds an AMS Early Childhood credential. She has worked in the non-profit early childhood field for over ten years in many capacities: as a Montessori early childhood teacher, teacher educator, and a teacher education program director. Past positions include the Program Director of Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education and Director of Conferences with American Montessori Society. Currently, she is a Teacher Educator with Crescent Ridge Academy’s TEP and West Side Montessori School Teacher Education in NYC. She is trained in Results-Based Facilitation and passionate about organizing, facilitating, and connecting with communities.
Infant & Toddler Program Coordinator and Instructor
Stephanie Hicks received her AMS 0-3 Montessori credential in 2006 from the Columbus Montessori Education Center. Since then, she has been working with infants and toddlers in a variety of schools and settings. She currently teaches in a Montessori toddler classroom at The Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Stephanie has her bachelors degree in Human Development from the University of Massachusetts. She lives on the west side of Cincinnati with her husband and two children. Stephanie joined the faculty at CRA in 2015 and remains the Academic Coordinator for the Infant/Toddler program. She is also a core I&T Instructor.
Lesley Roth is a seasoned Montessori educator with experience both teaching in schools as well as working with adults. Most recently, she was the Director of the Teacher Education Program at Xavier University. As a reading specialist, Lesley is passionate about literacy and language development in young children. She teaches the Language Course in the CRA Early Childhood course.
After spending 15 years in a toddler learning environment, Becky Spooner is currently the Admissions Director at The Montessori School of Huntsville in Huntsville, Alabama. She obtained her AMS Infant/Toddler credential in July 2017. Since obtaining her credential she has mentored the adult learners at CRA through the online platform. Her favorite Montessori quote is, “The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”
Early Childhood Program Coordinator, Instructor and Field Consultant
Johnna Chamberlain, M. Ed, is the Early Childhood Coordinator for the Teacher Education Program at Crescent Ridge Academy. Johnna has worked at Montessori Schools in both New York and Ohio. Johnna completed her B.A. at Miami University in Elementary Education and then immediately moved to Xavier to begin her M.Ed in Montessori Education. She earned her Early Childhood Credential and spent 14 years teaching in New York City. During this time, she also studied Gifted Education at the University of Connecticut. In her spare time, Johnna loves studying and practicing the culinary arts and this passion is displayed in her practical life course.
Jen Sauer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Infant/Toddler Montessori Education. Upon finishing her practicum in Hawaii, she moved to Dayton, Ohio in 1996 to teach at Gloria Dei Montessori for her mentor, Virginia Varga. She has recently transitioned out of the classroom as a Toddler guide and manages the office and admissions program at Montessori School of Dayton. She really enjoys working with new parents as they learn about the Montessori Philosophy. Jen has been teaching in the GCCME Infant/Toddler training program for four years as an instructor, as the practicum coordinator, and as a field consultant. She lives with her husband and two sons, who attended Montessori School of Dayton from 3-6 through 8th grade. Jen’s passion was creating a Montessori environment in her home for her sons as infants and toddlers, and she loves watching them continue to live out their Montessori roots in all areas of their lives.
Instructor, Field Consultant and Infant & Toddler Practicum Coordinator
Lysa is the creator of Grow 2Gether in Oakley, a Montessori Parent & Child program to support and assist parents in fostering a life-long love of learning with their children from birth to three. She has been in Early Childhood education since 2002 and worked with children in a variety of settings, ESL learners, Summer camp, Mandarin and Montessori schools. Lysa holds an American Montessori Society Early Childhood and Infant / Toddler Teaching Credential, as well as a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Xavier University.