Before discovering she was a Montessori teacher at heart, Tracy spent 15 years actively volunteering at her children’s schools, and the last eight years working with high risk and special needs children at Climax-Scotts Elementary. Her lifelong friendship with Megan Schopf introduced her to the Montessori style of teaching, and then, fortunately, to St. Ann’s in 2015.
Tracy earned her Montessori Early Childhood Credential (2 1/2 to 6 year old) through the Adrian Dominican Montessori Education Institute and is certified for Level 1 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd teaching. A lifelong devout Catholic, she is passionate about her work and in her own words explains, “I am able to witness on a daily basis the connections that children are making with God through these materials. It is truly humbling to observe these children building a relationship with Christ.”
Tracy earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from Western Michigan University, where she also met her husband Jim. Together they have raised three children; Alex, Anson, and Coryne. As a family they enjoy fishing, traveling up north, and each season’s outdoor sports. Tracy’s other interests include gardening, canning, and hosting dinner parties for friends and family.
Mary is the Administrative Assistant at St. Ann Montessori School. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a major in Computer Information Systems from Ferris State University. After a career as a computer programmer, she became a stay at home mom when she and her husband Bob adopted three children (Margaret, Aletia and William). She became involved in their children’s schools, volunteering in their classrooms and substitute teaching. She was later employed by Gull Lake Community Schools as a paraprofessional; supervising lunch, recess, before and after school childcare, and eventually teaching reading interventions at Richland Elementary.
As the administrative assistant for the school she is available for any questions or concerns you may have regarding registration, enrollment, and tuition as well as assisting Tracy Mannes, with day to day school activities. St. Ann Montessori School is an open enrollment preschool and Mary welcomes new families to contact her who would like more information about the school and who wish to see the facilities.
Mrs. Pat Guldenzoph (Mrs. G.) came to St. Ann’s School in November of 2015. She is a graduate of Nazareth College in Kalamazoo and took graduate classes in the teaching of reading at MSU, WMU and earned her masters from Nova Southeastern University. She taught Kindergarten, first, second, and fourth-grade classroom at Moline School (a Wayland School), St. John Vianney in Wyoming, St. Therese in Wayland, and Kalamazoo Academy (now Country Day School). She has taught classroom music from Pre-school to 8th grade at Kalamazoo Academy, St. Mary’s K-8 music (Kalamazoo), Parchment High School Choir and spent 16 years in the Plainwell Schools system with K-5 Music at Cooper and Starr Elementary before retiring. Mrs. G. also worked on the Youth Concert Lesson Design Committee creating lesson plans for teachers to prepare students attending the Kalamazoo Symphony each year from 2000-2013.
She has been our St. Ann’s school classroom music teacher for the past two years and helps our students with the music for our school Masses. Last year we formed a small choir for those students who were interested in joining us. We also had some special performances for parents and sang at a few Sunday Masses. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor who donated two Orff xylophones for our students last year, the students are now able to play on Orff instruments as well as our Montessori bells. Our older students also attended the Kalamazoo Symphony’s Youth Concert last February.
The students, ages 4 and up were able to take private piano lessons, during the school day ($15.00 per 30-minute lesson.) She will be interested in offering private lessons this coming year as well. There will be more details to follow.
Amy McKiddy is one of the assistants in the classroom with a specialty in Montessori Elementary Education. Amy received her 6-9 Montessori training from CMTE in White Plains, NY. She has been a lead teacher for various elementary classrooms for 8 years and has also served as a consultant for new elementary programs. Her role at St. Ann’s is to provide the older children more advanced presentations.
Anna Ellis worked at Saint Ann’s Montessori two years ago. She is thrilled to be back in the classroom with Tracy Mannes as they work wonderfully together and she so enjoys children. She has been called to work with children her whole life as she has volunteered for many years in her children’s schools. She will be attending Montessori Assistant training at the Adrian Dominican Montessori Institute. She is looking forward to learning more about the Montessori practice and what she can do to develop further as a Montessorian.