I grew up in Maple Plain, Minnesota, west of Minneapolis. I finished my general courses at the University of Minnesota, then transferred to Colorado State University where I graduated cum laude with a Horticulture, Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Design and Construction. After years of designing and working at a garden center as a perennial grower, I met my husband, and we had our first child. To be closer to family, we moved back to Minnesota. Here, we had our second and third children, I fell in love with Montessori and decided to take the three-summer elementary program through the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. During those three years, I worked as a lower elementary assistant at a private Montessori school until I earned my AMI elementary teaching certificate. Just after completion, my husband’s work transferred us to Arizona, our fourth child was born, and I worked as the Outdoor Environment Specialist at a public Montessori school. There, I managed an outdoor classroom and introduced primary and elementary children to gardening, animal husbandry, composting, etc. Facing my husband’s final work transfer to New York state, I met with Erin, Barbara, and the Hawk Meadow Montessori staff, and felt instantly welcome and excited to aid this nurturing community in the lower elementary classroom.