Stephanie Howard Larson, has been a part of the Rose Hall Family since 2002. She was a Head Teacher in the AM Preschool and the Lead Teacher for the PM Kindergarten Enrichment, for 15 years. Stephanie received her Montessori certification in 2002 after years as an Investment Banker and Business Owner. She graduated with an Economics degree from the University of North Carolina, completed 1 year of her Masters in Social Work from Loyola, has a quasi/working MBA from First National Bank of Chicago and received her Montessori Teacher training from MMTTC in 2003. Stephanie comes to Rose Hall with a huge, loving, warm heart. She is committed to the education of the whole child – helping them grow and develop a strong sense of confidence and self. Stephanie is the mother of three daughters. She loves nature, art, music, tennis, hiking, yoga, horseback riding, and entertaining.
Michelle Kothmann, Lead Teacher in AM Preschool has been a member of the Rose Hall team since 2015. Michelle graduated from the University of Texas and received her Montessori Teaching Certificate in 1990. Originally from Dallas, Michelle brings a beautiful smile, warm southern charm, peace and joy to our classrooms. Michelle lives in Winnetka with her husband, 2 daughters and son. When not at Rose Hall, she enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor exercise and watching baseball.
Ann Mazza, Lead Teacher in AM Preschool, has been at Rose Hall since 2009. She graduated from Bradley University and has taught in the early childhood field for most of her career. She discovered the Montessori philosophy through substitute teaching at Rose Hall and quickly became a big fan. Ann’s classroom is a place of wonder, joy and community. When not at school, Ann enjoys spending time with her family, doing yoga, gardening, finding new art projects, reading and traveling.
Elizabeth Stone, Lead Teacher in Kindergarten Enrichment and Little Explorers, has been teaching at Rose Hall since 2008. She graduated from Long Beach State in 2006 and has spent most of her career in education. Elizabeth is deeply committed to guiding the children towards a love for learning and a strong sense of compassion, independence and individuality. Elizabeth is the mother of 2 young children. Her greatest joy is watching children blossom. In her spare time Elizabeth enjoys reading, baking pies, walking through the woods and making her family laugh.
Debbie Whalen, Lead Teacher in the Toddler Program has been a member of the Rose Hall community since 2006 , as a parent, board member and teacher. Prior to becoming the Toddler teacher, Debbie spent 3 years running our Little Explorers program, creating a wonderful environment for both parents and children. Debbie is a certified Montessori teacher and has many years of experience working with children from birth through high school. She graduated from Marymount College and spent most of her career in education. In 1998 she was introduced to Montessori and fell in love. As the mother of four children (all Rose Hall alumni), Debbie truly understands the importance of the parent/child relationship. Debbie enjoys spending time with her family in the great outdoors and reading.
Paige O’Donoghue, Lead Teacher in the PM Preschool, has been a member of the Rose Hall team since 2017. Paige received her Masters of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University and her Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University. Upon graduation, she spent 2 years in special education and then taught kindergarten and junior kindergarten for four years.Paige is a very loving, nurturing individual. She cherishes each child’s individual personality, interests, and abilities. Paige married her high school sweetheart and is delighted to be a mom of two children and a Boston terrier. In her spare time, Paige enjoys painting, golf, cooking, and most of all, the “little moments” in life.
Faith Kanatzidis, Assistant Teacher in the PM Preschool, has been a member of the Rose Hall team since 2008. Faith graduated from University of Michigan with a degree in French. She has spent a large part of her career in education overall. Her experience ranges from teaching high school French to assisting Montessori Toddlers. Faith has done a wonderful job of creating the French curriculum at Rose Hall, teaching the 3 to 6 and Kindergartners weekly. In the classroom she brings great enthusiasm for the Montessori philosophy and continues to be awed by the amazing materials. Faith is the mother of three boys. Her hobbies include reading,
Sam Wallace, Assistant Teacher in the AM Preschool class and Kindergarten Enrichment, has been a member of the Rose Hall team since 2016. Sam has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from QUT in Australia. After school Sam spent over 10 years working as a teacher in the elementary school system. Born and raised in Australia, Sam now calls Wilmette her home with her husband and two children. Sam enjoys coaching youth triathlon, personal training and spending time outdoors with family and friends.
Kristen Baron, Assistant Teacher in the AM Preschool class, has been a member of the Rose Hall team since 2019. Kristen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kristen spent several years teaching first and second grades in the Chicago area and later discovered Montessori when her children attended Rose Hall. In the summer of 2018 Kristen completed the Montessori Assistant training at MMTTC and continues her professional development through online courses, reading and the like. Kristen loves watching children make discoveries and grow in their confidence and independence, and she especially enjoys getting to know the quiet kids in the class. When she is not serving as activities director and chauffeur for her daughter and two sons, Kristen’s hobbies include reading, baking, and exercising.
Wendy Weiner, Assistant Teacher in Toddler, has been at Rose Hall since 1998. She graduated from Wilber Wright College and has committed most of her life to working with young children. Wendy is a very warm, patient, nurturing soul and does a wonderful job helping educate our young 2s. She is the mother of 3 daughters and grandmother of 2 grandsons. In her free time Wendy enjoys knitting and yoga, as well as traveling with her family.
Kerry Wickel, Assistant Teacher in AM Preschool, has been a member of the Rose Hall team since 2007. She attended college at California State and spent the first part of her career working for the Illinois Sports Authority. Kerry’s true passion is children and she has spent more than 15 years working with them. Kerry is well known for sense of joy, warmth and love. She and her husband live in Wilmette where they have raised two wonderful kids. Her favorite things: working with young children, traveling, cooking and reading.
Caroline Baxter has been a part of the Rose Hall team since 2010. She is the Lead Teacher in the Lunch Bunch Program as well as primary Administrative Assistant in the office. Caroline graduated from SMU in Dallas with a degree in advertising and spent several years working for Northern Trust after college. Caroline brings a sense of fun, creative ideas, organization and love to everything she does. Outside of school Caroline is busy with her husband and three children and all that they add to her calendar. She enjoys time with friends, making people laugh, and spending time at the beach and travel.
Syndy Sampson, Assistant in the Kindergarten Lunch Program, has been a member of the Rose Hall community since 2002 as a parent, board member and substitute teacher. Syndy graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in mass communications. She and her husband have three children, all of whom graduated from Rose Hall. Syndy enjoys spending time with her family (and black Labrador), attending their activities, volunteering, walks with friends, running and cooking on the weekends.
Chris Peterson, Assistant Teacher in the PM Preschool class, has been a member of the Rose Hall team since 2019. Chris first came into the Rose Hall community alongside her children and quickly fell in love with the philosophy, vision, and environment that makes our school so special. She graduated from the University of Iowa and spent several years working in advertising but always knew her heart belonged in a classroom. Chris is compassionate, joyful, and loves connecting with each and every child. She lives in Wilmette with her husband, three daughters and two dogs and enjoys attending her children’s various sporting events, live music, and taking long walks along the beach.