FACULTY AND STAFF2018-03-28T15:48:09+00:00

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President/CEO

Christine Holmes is the President/CEO of Penfield Children’s Center and a long-time leader in health and human services with a focus on children and families. Penfield Children’s Center is a provider of Milwaukee County’s Birth-to-Three program, early childhood education and therapies to more than 1,600 children located in Milwaukee. Prior to Penfield, Ms. Holmes spent 14 years with Children’s Hospital and Health System as Director of Community Ventures and Advocacy where she provided oversight for the development of community social service initiatives.

Ms. Holmes’s community engagement extends to her service with several organizations including: National Birth-5 Peer Advocate Roundtable, Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council, Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health, Wisconsin Early Learning Coalition and the United Way Teen Pregnancy Prevention Oversight. In 2013, Ms. Holmes was honored with two awards including a scholarship from the Harvard Business Club of Wisconsin to attend a week-long session on Strategy Perspectives for Non Profits at Harvard. The Penfield board nominated Ms. Holmes and she was also awarded a “Women of Influence” award by the Milwaukee Business Journal.

At the national level, Ms. Holmes previously worked as Public Relations Director for the Alliance for Families and Children and Prevent Child Abuse America. Ms. Holmes has her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Independent Montessori Consultant and Senior Associate for the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS)

Mr. Dosmann serves on the Wisconsin Montessori Association board where he advanced legislation for alternative Montessori teacher licensure and coordinates statewide Montessori workshops that support Wisconsin Montessori programs. As a Senior Associate for NCMPS, he is conducting research studies on Montessori outcomes in Milwaukee and leading Teach-Montessori.org, a Montessori teacher recruitment program.

During his 30 years of service with Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), he taught for ten years at the lower and upper elementary level, served as curriculum coordinator, was principal of four MPS Montessori schools and was instrumental in establishing numerous MPS Montessori programs. He helped establish a charter IB Montessori high school for MPS and facilitated its merger with MacDowell Montessori in 2013 to create the first public K-3 through 12th grade Montessori program in the United States.

Mr. Dosmann holds a B. A. in Psychology from the University of Louisville, an AMI Montessori elementary diploma from Bergamo, Italy, and an M. S. in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee.

Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana and a Masters Degree, In Human Resources, from the Graduate School of Business at Loyola University Chicago. She has 20 plus years of working experience in the field of Human Resources/Talent Development; specializing in training and recruiting.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Julie is a dedicated community volunteer serving on a variety of boards and committees over the years. Most notably, she served as the President of the Junior League of Milwaukee as well as serving eight years as Vice-President on Kappa Alpha Theta’s International board.

Currently, she on the board of Impact100 Milwaukee as a Communications Director, is a member of the Whitefish Bay Police Commission, the Whitefish Bay Historic Preservation Commission and the personnel committee at her church. She also is the training chair for the University School of Milwaukee’s Business Internship Program.

Julie and her husband, Brian, feel so lucky to be raising their young children in such a vibrant and wonderful city!

Louisa has called Milwaukee home for more than 18 years and has spent this time raising her 3 daughters in the North Shore area and remaining involved in the greater Milwaukee community. The Junior League of Milwaukee introduced Louisa to a variety of community organizations, including Penfield Children’s Center; she and her husband even chaired Penfield’s annual event, the Croquet Ball.

Louisa received two degrees in education from McGill University and notes the well-being and education of children as one of her greatest passions. Louisa is involved with Milwaukee College Prep, a four-campus network of K-8 schools that is committed to eliminating the achievement gap. Louisa “retired” from teaching in 2015 to start her own business, Play Milwaukee, with another teacher. The goal of Play Milwaukee is to connect families to fun places in Milwaukee. Louisa is thrilled to be involved with Penfield Montessori Academy and is excited to share her knowledge of non-profit administration, fundraising and education while serving on its board.

Bob Mikulay is the retired Executive Vice President of Marketing for the Miller Brewing Company and has had an extensive and successful career in marketing and branding strategy, consumer and customer insight, sales management, strategic planning and a myriad of other areas. Before joining Miller Brewing Company, he served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Philip Morris U.S.A. In 2004, he was recognized by Advertising Age as one of the 50 most influential marketing executives in the country. Bob currently advises small businesses and start-up ventures on all aspects of business strategy and development.

Bob serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) and Penfield Children’s Center. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

Bob graduated from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1973 and attended the U of M’s Carlson School of Business’ Masters Program from 1973 to 1975.

Bob currently lives in Whitefish Bay with his wife, Susan, a writer and communications consultant. They have one son, David, an actor living in West Hollywood, California.

As Senior Vice President and Market Executive, Tere Sackerson oversees the client’s team of Global Treasury Management professionals, striving to achieve the highest levels of client satisfaction. Her top priority is that the team not only meets, but also exceeds the client’s expectations.

Tere joined PNC with over 15 years of experience in the Financial Services industry, and over 10 years specializing in Global Treasury Management. Prior to joining PNC, Tere was a Team Leader in National Corporate covering 13 states and managing a team of professionals between Wisconsin and Illinois for U.S. Bank.

Tere volunteers for the Girls Scout of America and St. Mary’s Parish School. She is also an active board member for the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and PNC Milwaukee Running Festival.

Tere enjoys spending time with her family, running and focusing on wellness.

Deanna Tillisch has served as President & CEO of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) since November 2011.  UPAF is the largest united performing arts funds in the country and has provided more than $310 million in operating support to the performing arts since 1967.  Under Tillisch’s leadership, the UPAF Campaign has grown 23.9%.

Prior to assuming her current role, Deanna served as vice president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and director of Corporate Affairs, where she oversaw the charitable arm of the company, community relations and events management.  She was also Director of Market Development and ran the company’s Public Relations Division where she served as the company’s chief spokesperson.

Prior to Northwestern Mutual, Deanna was recruited to start up and manage a satellite office in Miami, Florida for Lesnik Public Relations, a Chicago-based Marketing Public Relations firm.  She also served as public relations counsel for Cramer Krasselt and as director of public relations at the Milwaukee Ballet.  She began her career at A.O. Smith Corporation, managing employee communications.

Deanna is a board member of Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design where she chairs the Governance Committee and sits on the Executive Committee.  Additionally, she is a member of the Burke Foundation Board, ImagineMKE Task Force and TEMPO Milwaukee.  For 13 years, Deanna  served on the Life Navigators Board of Directors and is a past president. In 2017, the Tillisch family was recognized as the Life Navigators Challenger Honoree.

Deanna was named one of the Women of Influence in 2016 (Milwaukee Business Journal) and one of the Women of Distinction in 2014 (Women & Girls Fund of Waukesha County).

Deanna holds a Master of Business Administration, graduating with honors, from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, a Business School Honorary Society.

Lisa is an Executive Director in the assurance practice at Ernst & Young and has been employed there since 1997. She works with public- and privately-held organizations in the retail, consumer and industrial products industries. Areas of specialization include auditing, SEC filings, financial reporting, audit committees, leadership and development of others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting from UW Oshkosh and is a CPA. Lisa serves on the Audit Committee of Penfield Children’s Center and has a passion for children and education.

Stephen is the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Kohl’s. A finance and strategy executive by background, Stephen relocated to the Milwaukee area from Seattle and joined Kohl’s three years ago. A native of Northern Ireland, Stephen has a degree in accounting and business finance from the University of Dundee in Scotland and is a chartered accountant (UK) and CPA (US). Stephen is married with three children and lives in Fox Point.

Madonna Williams was born in Evanston, Illinois and is the oldest of 14 children. Upon moving to Milwaukee when she was 4 years old, she spent 16 years in local Catholic schools, including St. Eugene, Dominican High School and later attended St. Norbert College to earn a degree in elementary education.

Madonna is an active volunteer and has served on a number of boards including Penfield Children’s Center (17 years), Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Blood Center of Wisconsin and Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

She has also been involved with United Way, the Milwaukee Public Museum, United Performing Arts Fund and the Kettle Moraine Garden Club.

Madonna and husband, Jay, have 3 married children and 5 grandchildren.

OUR STAFF

Head of School

Kathy Ronco joined Penfield Montessori Academy as executive director on March 13, 2017. Kathy comes to Penfield Montessori with an exceptional background in education including 13 years as the executive director at Highland Community School – a Montessori charter school located in Milwaukee’s central city.

During her tenure at Highland, Kathy built the enrollment from 84 students to more than 420 students building a rigorous Montessori academic model, a robust parent engagement program and a culture of success for students of all abilities. Kathy’s work at Highland helped build the model for what is now the largest array of public Montessori schools of any city in the nation.

Over the years, Kathy has served on several local and national boards working on issues of poverty, equality and social justice. Kathy lives in the city of Milwaukee and has one son.

Dean of Pupil Services

Nicola has been an educator and a special education advocate for over 20 years. She started her journey in education as a special education teacher in MPS and Nicolet High School. In 2002, Nicola was part of a team that created and operated Wings Academy, an MPS non-instrumentality Charter School whose mission was to prepare students with learning disabilities and ADHD for college. When Wings opened they started with 50 students in grades 6-10 and by 2011 grew to 150 students in grades 1st – 12th.

Learning Strategist

Katie’s passion for teaching started when she was in elementary school. Her passion for special learners grew when she volunteered in the NICU and during her student teaching experience. After attending the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Katie earned a dual certification in regular and special education.

Her teaching career started at Penfield Children’s Center in 2008 when she worked as a teacher in the Birth-to-Three program. In 2012, she left Penfield to teach preschoolers with visual impairments. This past school year, Katie worked in a public school teaching students with disabilities in K4 and K5. She looks forward to continuing her teaching journey with Penfield Montessori Academy.

In her free time, Katie enjoys gardening, sewing, taking road trips, and visiting parks with her family.

Director of Family and Community Engagement/Enrollment Specialist

Amy has been an employee at Penfield Children’s Center for 15 years. Amy moved from Green Bay to Milwaukee to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned a degree in Social Work. After starting at Penfield Children’s Center, shortly after graduation, Amy realized that working with the families of children with special needs was where she was meant to be. Amy has held a number of positions at Penfield, most recently Director of Family and Community Engagement. Amy supervises the Parent Mentors, Family Programs, Community Outreach and Volunteer Services.

In the spring of 2016, Amy took on the role of Enrollment Specialist for Penfield Montessori Academy. As the school was preparing to open, Amy created a comprehensive parent engagement component that mirrors the work being done with families at Penfield Children’s Center. As she balances Penfield Children’s Center and Penfield Montessori Academy, Amy also works very part-time at Children’s Hospital, and is the Vice President for the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Chapter.

Amy is married, has a beautiful daughter, and a very loved yellow lab. Her family lives in Milwaukee, but their favorite place to be is in Alaska, Wisconsin with family and friends.

School Counselor

Kim Burg joins Penfield Montessori Academy as a fourth year school counselor. She graduated from Mount Mary University in 2014 with her Masters in School Counseling. Prior to that, she earned her degree in Psychology with a double minor in Social Work and Human Concerns from Carroll University. Kim’s driving passion in school counseling is two-fold and formed through trauma informed practices. She is committed to empowering all students with the ability to achieve high levels of academic success through better understanding their individual learning styles. Additionally, Kim believes that students are more successful in school when they understand the school to career connection. Allowing children to explore the endless career opportunities that are at their fingertips, is truly a highlight for her.

Kim is married and has two daughters, ages 17 and 15. Making their family complete, is their Boston Terrier, Daisy, who keeps all four of them on their toes! In her spare time, Kim enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, cooking and getting lost in a good book.

She is thrilled to join the Penfield Montessori Academy family and is humbled by the opportunity to be a part of her students’ academic journey. Kim is available to answer any questions or concerns that you may have. You can email her at kimberlyburg@penfieldmontessori.org to set up a time to meet or talk.

ConsultingPsychologist for the Behavior Clinic at Penfield Montessori Academy

Biographical information coming soon.

Learning Strategist

Biographical information coming soon.

Occupational Therapist

Hi! I’m Jayne (pronounced Jay-nee) Emerson and I am an Occupational Therapist (OT).  I have been working in this field for a long time and love almost every minute of it!  Most my experience is with children 3 and under but I am learning more and more with school age children.  At home I live with my husband Dan and our only two children Stasha and Meetjo (cats).  There’s so many things I love to do that I can’t name them all.  I can name the things I don’t like to do…go on scary rides and eat raisins.  I look forward to meeting you all!

Speech and Language Therapist

Biographical information coming soon.

Counselor in Training

Biographical information coming soon.

Administrative Assistant

Biographical information coming soon.

Physical Therapist

Biographical information coming soon.

Learning Strategist

Biographical information coming soon.

MONTESSORI GUIDES

Montessori Guide

Biographical information coming soon.

Montessori Guide

Dana has been working in the field of Montessori education for the past five years. Before transitioning to Montessori, Dana worked as a traditional K4 teacher at a private school on the south side of Milwaukee. As she explored different educational philosophies, Dana was intrigued by the Montessori Method, as it is so different than traditional educational practices. The more she learned, the more she wanted to know. Dana enrolled in AMI Primary training course at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee in 2012.

Soon after, Dana began working as an Assistant in a Children’s House in Cedarburg, WI at an AMI Montessori School. She started her Montessori Primary training while working as a Montessori assistant, which allowed Dana to immediately apply what she was learning in a practical setting. Dana loved working in a Montessori Children’s House classroom, and watching the children follow their interests and inspire each other. One of Dana’s favorite quotes about Montessori education is: “The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of the flaming imagination. –Maria Montessori”

Dana worked at an MPS Montessori school as she completed her AMI Primary training. She enjoyed the diverse student population and the positive energy of a larger school. Dana graduated from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee in June 2016. Dana heard about Penfield Montessori Academy from a friend who was familiar with the amazing work being done at Penfield Children’s Center.

Dana was a part of the founding team of Penfield Montessori Academy during the school’s first year of operation, working as a lead Montessori Primary Guide. She currently works with children between the ages of three and six years old in one of the Children’s House classrooms. Dana’s favorite part of her job is witnessing the small, yet powerful, victories of every child and celebrating each success.

Dana earned her Masters in Montessori Education from Loyola University of Maryland in Baltimore in September 2017. She is passionate about continuing the work of Maria Montessori and providing a high-quality and innovative Montessori program in Milwaukee.

Montessori Guide

Ginnie knew she was meant to be a teacher since she spent her summers in college as an assistant preschool teacher, supporting children as they made the transition into formal school settings.  Through that experience, she realized the incredible power of teachers, children, families, and communities working together to support the development of young people.

For that reason, Ginnie joined Teach for America in 2011, and has since been teaching first and second graders in Chicago and Milwaukee. In addition to her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and teaching credentials through Dominican University, she recently completed her AMI Montessori certification at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee.  Ginnie is thrilled to work with the children and families at Penfield Montessori Academy.

Montessori Guide

Biographical information coming soon.

Montessori Guide

Sonia believes that every child is deserving of an enriching education delivered with respect. Her goal is for children to independently reach their fullest potential. As a parent with a special needs child, she fully understands the patience, love, and extra attention that is needed to help students exceed in everyday life.

Prior to becoming a founding member at Penfield Montessori Academy, Sonia worked as a paraprofessional for two years at Maryland Avenue Montessori School. She majored in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She earned her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Montessori Certification at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee and is currently pursuing a Masters in Education degree through Loyola University of Baltimore.

Sonia is married with two daughters, an eight year old who attends Maryland Avenue Montessori School and a two year old who attends Penfield Children’s Center. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, working out, cooking Mexican and Puerto Rican cuisine, gardening, rock climbing, and practically any outdoor activity.

Montessori Guide

Biographical information coming soon.