Lower Elementary Teachers & Staff
Comet Room Faculty
My name is Chavonne Taylor and I joined our amazing Lower Elementary team in the 2016-2017 school year. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University in Human and Organizational Development with a Leadership concentration, a Master’s of Science degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Masters of Education in Montessori and my Elementary I credential from Xavier University.
After years of teaching and mentoring diverse groups of young people, I discovered the transformative philosophy of Montessori education and embarked on a new journey. Looking back over my experiences working with college students, teaching and administrating at the high school level and most importantly, being a mother, I came to realize that my heart has always aligned with Montessori philosophy, prior to even knowing what it was. It was the eventual discovery of Montessori education that provided the clear language and precise approach that embodied a passion that has long been present over the course of my life.
Maria Montessori’s profoundly deep reverence and respect for the power and possibility of the child was extraordinary. I too hope to always see students through a lens of what can be, rather than what is. I truly believe I have found my calling and am so thankful to CMA for allowing me the opportunity to grow as a Montessori educator. My husband Brian of 17 years, along with our three children, Elijah, Saniya, and Joshua, who has been at CMA since 2 years of age, are so blessed to have found such an incredible and supportive community to be a part of.
Health and Physical Education Teacher, Comet Room Faculty
My name is Larita Hayden. I am a mother of two. My daughter, Zoe Hayden, began at CMA in 2014 at the age of three. Her little brother, Oliver, will join her in the fall of 2018. My husband, Adam, and I have been married since 2008 and enjoy living in the diverse neighborhood of College Hill.
After completing college with both an Associates (Sign Language Interpretation) and Bachelor’s degree (Biblical Studies) I studied and completed a 300 hour yoga teacher training at World Peace Yoga. I also trained and received a kids’ yoga certification with Rainbow Kids Yoga. I worked at St. Rita’s School for the Deaf as the yoga teacher from 2014 through 2018.
I love working with children and have come to appreciate the life-giving method of the Montessori philosophy. I especially enjoy experiencing children as they come to new understandings and new discoveries all on their own. It is such a joy.
I truly believe in the rich program offered here at CMA. That is why I am so glad to be a parent as well as a staff member!
Asteroid Room Faculty
Terri Cerimele-Rieger (Asteroid Room Teacher): I was blessed to join the CMA community as a parent when my son began first grade here many years ago. Happily, I joined the pre-primary staff the following year. Before CMA, I had taught a total of four years in Montessori classrooms; two at the Toddler Level (18 months – 3 years of age) and two at the Pre-Primary Level (ages 3 – 6). After joining CMA’s staff, I worked nine years in CMA’s Early Childhood classroom. I continue to enjoy working with the Kindergarteners as the instructor for their weekly music studio. This will be my ninth year teaching at the Lower Elementary Level. I came to Montessori Education later in life, going back to school at age 41 and completing my Early Childhood certification (ages 2.5 – 6). In 2014, I completed my studies in Elementary Education and received my Montessori Elementary certification (ages 6 – 12). In all, I have worked in a Montessori environment for 21 years. In addition to my Montessori education, I have certification in the Musikgarten Early Childhood Music and Movement programs (birth – 7 years of age). I received a B.A. from Xavier University in Theology with a minor in Music Education. My M.A. in Mental Health Counseling was conferred upon me by the University of Cincinnati. Before beginning my teaching career, I worked both as a Director of Youth Ministry (working with teens 7th through 12th grades) and as a Hospice Grief Therapist. Those who already know me have discovered that one of my greatest passions is the performing arts, especially theater and vocal performance. I continue to perform around town as time permits. In addition to teaching, I work part-time as a circuit coach at the Finneytown Curves and am a part of my church’s music ensemble. Through the support I receive from my faith, family and CMA community, I continue to find great joy and fulfillment working each day with your precious children.
Art Education Teacher, Asteroid Faculty
My name is LaDonna Brusch and my family joined the CMA family when our oldest daughter, Aria became a student here in 2003. My younger daughter, Mila joined the CMA family in 2008. I have filled several roles at CMA. Initially, I assisted in the 3-6 classroom and directed the aftercare program. I was invited to take on the roles of teaching assistant in both lower and upper elementary as well as Art and Physical Education. I earned my Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and worked as a process engineer in logistics and warehousing for over 10 years. Instrumental to my success in the positions that I’ve held at CMA is my background in Industrial Engineering. After graduating from Purdue University I supervised a large metal processing operation. Later, I took a job as a process engineer in logistics and warehousing. The mindset of observation and change to improve, gives me a perspective on education that would be unique in any other philosophy but fits beautifully within Montessori.
I love to see the thoughtfulness from our children as they challenge themselves in creative, physical and social endeavors. At CMA, we are engaged in concepts and lessons that allow us to dig deep into the things that interest us most and be exposed to things that stretch beyond our personal experience. Everyday we learn how to support each other with encouragement and respect.