Pre-Primary Teachers & Staff

Star Room

Lizzie Roth
My name is Lizzie Roth and I enjoy working at Central Montessori Academy on the Pre-Primary team! I  graduated from Xavier University with my Bachelors Degree in Montessori Education. CMA was the site I was placed for student teaching during my final semester at Xavier and I am glad that they welcomed me to stay in their community and teach. I really enjoy how CMA embraces the Montessori philosophy and encourages children to be independent; they also have a strong sense of community. When I am not teaching I like to spend time with my family and friends or anywhere outside in warm sunshine and beautiful nature.

Mollie Peters
My name is Mollie Peters & I work with Lizzie in the Star Room.  I have a Masters degree in Montessori Education from Xavier University and a hold a credential in early childhood from American Montessori Society for 3- 6 year olds. I love the Montessori philosophy and the ability to follow the child as their interests and needs continue to develop and mature. As a teacher, it is very rewarding to guide and observe children during the three-year cycle. The sense of community and family that is built with families during this time is invaluable. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, love animals and spending time outdoors.

Earth Room

nancy-combsNancy Combs

My name is Nancy Combs. I joined the CMA community as a Pre-Primary teacher in the Earth Room for the 2016-2017 school year. I have a Bachelor of Fine Art with Emphasis in Ceramics from Northern Kentucky University and a Master of Education in Montessori Education from Xavier University. I hold an AMS 3-6 Early Childhood credential and Ohio Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3 licensure.

I enjoy working with children, from teaching children’s ceramics classes, an assistant in a Montessori 3-6 classroom, a substitute teacher in several different environments, to being a Montessori 3-6 lead teacher. The sense of awe and wonderment that the children at this age bring to discovering new things about the world around them is beautiful, and I enjoy being able to be a part of their process of learning. When not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, hiking, and being outside!

The Montessori philosophy is amazing in the way it empowers children, provides an environment where they feel secure in discovering their world, and provides the opportunity to discover through hands on exploration and investigation. The CMA community provides a respectful and caring community of support for the children and that makes it possible for children to feel safe in the process of learning (which includes making mistakes—and self-correcting).

Sara Thomas

Hey there! My name is Sara and I am thrilled to be the Pre-Primary Assistant in the Earth Room!  I received my BS in Psychology from Mt. St. Joseph University in 2002 and my MEd in Montessori Education from Xavier University in 2007.  I also earned an American Montessori Society Elementary I Credential and K-3 Licensure from Xavier. I have experience being a lead teacher in both the pre-primary and lower elementary levels.  My love of Montessori goes back to when I went to a pre-primary Montessori school as a child. The philosophy and learning style have stuck with me throughout my life and it made sense to pursue it on a professional level.

My love of CMA started the second we walked into the doors for a tour in 2011. Not long after, we registered our son who absolutely loves it here. Since we have been here, I have enjoyed volunteering for events and fundraisers, organizing the school book fair, and teaching a Discovery Class before accepting this permanent position.  I love that CMA is a big family where we support each other and watch each other grow.  The Montessori philosophy is deep in our roots and our Montessori trained teachers follow it closely. The respect, love and sense of community is felt strongly throughout the school.  It’s definitely a very special place to be!

In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors, geocaching, spending time with my family, making cards and selling clothes with Agnes and Dora.

Extended Day / Before and After Care

bio__0000s_0018_DSC_0070 ShariShari Rouse
My name is Shari Rouse. I have been working at CMA since 2011 and began as an Aftercare teacher. In 2012, I was a teachers assistant in the Earth Room working with Ms. Gayla and Ms. Melina.  I am currently the before and after care coordinator, the before care teacher, and the intervention reading specialist working with all age levels on their reading and writing.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a reading endorsement from Miami University in 2007. In 2017, I graduated from Miami University with my Master’s in Language and Literacy with a Third Grade Guarantee. Since college I have worked in several educational environments and none compares to Central Montessori Academy. The most exciting aspect is the close, caring community that encompasses CMA. This community provides support to older children who are role models, to younger children who gain confidence, and to the teachers who provided freedom within limits to allow those active seekers appropriate time to pursue their knowledge and independence. CMA is not only special because of the children who provide us with laughter, joy, and the realization of why we became teachers; however it is also because of the community, families, and parents that provide support, time, and help when needed.

bio__0000s_0001_DSC_0318 McKenzeeMcKenzee Wilkins
My name is McKenzee Wilkins and I support the Pre-Primary program (Earth room) and after care. I am a student at the University of Cincinnati, majoring in athletic training. I started off as an Early Childhood Education major and ended up changing my major, but I always have and always will love working with kids. I have been at CMA since November 2011. I love seeing the kids learn new things and grow every day. I think CMA is special because it’s a very tight knit community, like a family.


Heidi M. Hi! This year I am a Toddler Room assistant. You will see me at the end of the day when you pick up your child. I have been a Montessori enthusiast for a long time and got my first job in a Montessori school many years ago at CMA! Fun fact, I was an assistant to Mr. C in the Earth Room! I went away to school, still researched Montessori and worked various jobs while in school for art. Some of those jobs were at other Montessori schools. I chose to have my own child Montessori educated because I LOVE and believe in the method. As a parent, I’ve been so happy with the results. I have also been educated in Montessori 3-6 and working on finishing that up. I’m excited to work with you and your child this year. We have a great group in the toddler room!

Rachel Weber

I’m 22 years old and I grew up here in Cincinnati. I’m a 2014 graduate of Mother of Mercy High School and a 2018 graduate of Ohio University, so I’ve been a Bobcat for eight years straight! I love animals – I have one dog named Trevor and two cats named Simba and Skittles. I also love cooking and musical theater. Most importantly, I’m very excited for a great first year here at Central Montessori Academy!