Subject Guides

Nicole DeBurton, Environmental Education and MYP Spanish

Nicole began teaching in 1996 after completing her B.A. in Spanish and Sociology. During her first year of teaching she realized her desire to combine her love for nature with education, and went on to complete an M.S. in Environmental Education.  Aside from teaching in schools, she has led groups of teens in wilderness experiences in the rivers, canyons and mountains of the west. Her love of gardening and working with middle school students led her to complete the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies in 2008, and she went on to start up an Montessori Adolescent program in Texas. She has worked as a bilingual educator to Native Spanish speaking students for many years.  Nicole has completed training sessions for International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in the area of Language Acquisition.  She also holds a Certificate of Permaculture Design and looks forward to continuing to share her knowledge of restorative agriculture with the RMS community.

Email: [email protected]

Maria Grazia Gualandi, Toddler/Children's House/Kindergarten Spanish

Maria Grazia has been part of the RMS staff since 2011, teaching Spanish to children from 18 month to 6 years old. She has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Navarra in Pamplona (Spain), with a specialization in Parent Education. Born and raised in Italy, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and a Master of Science in Education at the Catholic University of Milan in Italy. She worked at a local school with children 3 to 6 years old in Italy, and then moved to Spain where she worked as a teaching assistant while gaining her Ph.D.

Email: [email protected]



Ana Maria van der Laat, Children's House/Elementary Spanish

Ana Maria joined RMS in 2013. She was born and raised in Costa Rica and has been a bilingual child educator since 1998. She earned a BA in Education from Universidad Internacional de las Américas in Costa Rica and a Master’s degree in Education with emphasis in Early Childhood Education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts. Ana Maria is also a Certified Handwriting Specialist from Handwriting Without Tears (HWT). She teaches Spanish to the students in the Children’s House, E-I, and E-II Programs.

Email: [email protected]



Sharri Juhnke, Art

Sharri has worked as a Montessori Assistant since 1997 and an Elementary Art educator since 2006. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art from Winona State University and has completed training sessions for International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in the area of Arts.

Email: [email protected]




LuAnn Nicholson, Physical and Health Education

LuAnn has been a child educator since 1975, the RMS Physical and Health Education Teacher since 1990 and a Montessori assistant in both Toddler and Children's House communities since 1990. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and Health from the University of Northern Iowa, and maintains a Minnesota teaching license. LuAnn has completed training sessions for International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in the area of Physical and Health Education.

Email: [email protected]



Kelly Shinn, Librarian

Kelly is a native Pennsylvanian who received her Montessori Primary training at Santa Monica Montessori Institute in California. She has taught in Montessori classrooms in CA, WA and PA before relocating to Minnesota. In addition she holds a bachelor's degree in Music Education from Shenandoah Conservatory.  She taught early childhood music for 11 years with Mary Ann Hall's Music for Children and performed internationally with the PA-based Susquehanna Chorale. Currently Kelly works in the Media Center as the school librarian, in the Willows classroom and in the E1 after school program.  She also substitutes in various classrooms.

Email: [email protected]




Janine Yanisch, Music Guide

Janine Yanisch graduated from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and did graduate work at the Eastman School of Music.  She has taught instrumental music in schools in WI, NY and MN, and her primary musical influences have been her teachers, Harvey Halpaus, Fred Sturm and Steven Jordheim.  Janine began the instrumental music program here at RMS in about 2010 and joined the staff as classroom music teacher in 2011.  She has completed training sessions for International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in the area of Arts.  A versatile performer on the saxophone, she has had the good fortune to work with Bobby McFerrin, Frederick Fennell, Gene Bertoncini, Eugene Rousseau, Marian McPartland and Fred Sturm, among others. Since moving to MN in 1993, she has been a conductor for Southeast MN Youth Orchestras, a rehearsal director for 37th St. Gold (IBM’s jazz band), maintained a private studio, participated in World Music Drumming camp, and regularly attended jazz camp.  

Email: [email protected]


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