Faculty & Staff

Dr. Michelle Gutsch

Head of School


Education: BS in Biology, Chemistry, and Women’s Studies from UWS; MS in Fisheries from University of Alaska- Fairbanks; and PhD in Integrated Biosciences from UMD

Michelle loves science and education. She has been working in academia for over 16 years in some form or another. She’s married and has two wonderful daughters (ages 2 and 4), two dogs, four chickens, four fish, 11 snails, and an ant farm! She loves animals, traveling, and spending time outside with her family. She is passionate about education and has found her job at MSD to be the perfect career for her. She’s SO happy being a part of the Montessori community!

Ollie Mae Bartlett

“Park Point” Elementary Lead Guide


Education: MA English, Northern Michigan University;
BA English, Northern Michigan University;
MA Education, College of Saint Scholastica 2022

Elementary Teaching Licensure: College of Saint Scholastica 2022

AMI Elementary Diploma: North American Montessori Center 2021

Ollie has enjoyed teaching in a number of fields over the past decade, ranging from a Children’s Nature Guide in Queensland, Australia, an Elementary Reading Tutor, a Husbandry Instructor for individuals with physical, emotional, and intellectual delays, as well as a Montessori assistant. In her free time, she enjoy gardening, rock hunting along the shore, and creative writing. Among her favorite extra curricular lessons are arts and crafts, sewing, and playing the ukulele. Ollie truly believes in fostering intrinsic motivation in her students and inspiring them to be lifelong learners.

Lesa Clark-Gish

Reading Specialist


Education:

BS Elementary Education, Minnesota State University, Moorhead 1995;

ME, The College of St. Scholastica 2020

Certificate in Reading Instruction: The College of St. Scholastica 2020

MN Teaching Licensure: Elementary Education

Lesa is new to Montessori School of Duluth but joins us with years of diverse teaching experience. After taking a break from teaching to spend time raising her children, she is ready to jump back into the world of education as a reading specialist. She believes in a holistic approach to teaching literacy, focusing on each student’s reverence for life, passion for learning, and direct engagement with the world around them. While focusing on the foundational skills needed for a successful reading program, Lesa finds relevance, choice, motivation, and collaboration to be of equal importance in today’s classrooms. You can usually find Lesa with her nose stuck in a book or doing something crafty. She also loves spending time outdoors, gathering in the kitchen, and traveling with her husband and three children.

Sheena Rogers

“North Shore” Children’s House Lead Guide


Education: Master of Education in Montessori from St. Catherine University;
Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University.

AMI Primary Diploma: Montessori Center of Minnesota.

Sheena joined MSD and launched the South Shore Toddler Community in 2019. After her son was born in the Spring of 2020, Sheena transitioned to the role of Administrative Assistant. Prior to joining MSD, Sheena was an assistant and lead Children’s House Guide at Many Rivers Montessori for four years. She holds a strong commitment to the Montessori Method both at work and now at home with her son, Jack. You’ll see Jack around school as he gets to come to work with Sheena. Sheena loves Duluth for its natural beauty and the small town feel with the amenities of a large city.  When not at school, you can typically find Sheena out and about with her husband, son, and mini-dachshund named Moose.

Catherine Bauer

“North Shore” Children’s House Support Guide


AMI Primary Certificate: Montessori Training Center of Minnesota

Catherine has been with the Montessori School of Duluth since 2000 after beginning her career as a Guide in the Twin Cities in 1987. She has enjoyed being a part of many children’s first experience of Montessori and brings years of experience to the classroom. Her patience and kindness instills immediate trust with the children. In her free time Catherine enjoys bowling and bocce ball.

Caleigh Cain

“South Shore” Toddler Lead Guide


Education: Bachelor of Arts from University of Minnesota-Duluth with degrees in Early Childhood Studies, Communication, and French Studies.

Before coming to MSD, Caleigh had several years of experience working in childcare in Duluth and in the Twin Cities. She loved learning about and implementing the Montessori method throughout her time here and watching the children gain independence and learn life-long skills at such an early age. She’s currently working on completing her Montessori training through the North American Montessori Center and will receive her infant/ toddler diploma this spring. Outside of work and school, she enjoys writing, hiking, snowboarding, attending local art and music shows, and exploring everything else that Duluth has to offer.

Shelley Caya

“South Shore” Toddler Assistant


Education: AA in Early Childhood from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

Shelley really enjoys working with children and has been doing it in various degrees for over 20 years. Before coming to MSD, Shelley had several years of diverse experience working in childcare and school settings. She has worked in Duluth, MN, Superior, WI, and Poplar, WI. Shelley enjoys helping teach reading, science, and arts and crafts. She and her husband, Dave, have four children: Devan, Ethan, Kaitlyn, and Savannah.  They have one dog (Shimmer), two bunnies (Marshmallow Fluff and Dutchess), and three goldfish (Incognito, Half n Half, and Puddles). For fun, she enjoys spending time outside with her family and friends.  She likes to hike, downhill ski, and go camping.

Brianna Styles

Administrative Assistant


Brianna has been working with children for 8 years as a nanny to multiple families, and as a lead aftercare teacher at MSD. She is a student at UMD studying Healthcare Management and Sales where she can leverage her passion for healthcare to serve those who need it most. Outside of work Brianna enjoys adventure, drawing, reading poetry, and spending time with her family and friends.

Board of Trustees


Montessori School of Duluth is led by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board is comprised of up to 12 members, including independent professionals, parents, parents of former students, and alum. The Head of School is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.

Montessori School of Duluth is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization. We value, welcome and celebrate a diverse population. The school treats all children and applicants for enrollment without unlawful discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation in all employment decisions.