Lower Elementary Teachers & Staff

Central Montessori Academy – Toddler, Preschool and Elementary in Northwest Cincinnati

We are an independent Montessori school nurturing and developing young scholars from toddler through sixth grade.

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Lower Elementary Teachers & Staff

Lower Elementary

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 also continue to work with the Kindergarteners as an instructor for their weekly music studio. This will be my eleventh 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 23 years. In addition to my Montessori education, I have certifications 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.

Schuyler Smith
Asteroid Assistant

Bio coming soon…

LaDonna Brusch
Comet Room 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 earned my Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. 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 then, I worked as a process engineer in logistics and warehousing for over 10 years.. 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 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. I led our Wellness classes for a short time and from 2012- 2021, I enjoyed teaching art to our elementary students.

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. This is why I made the decision to obtain an AMS/MACTE 6-9 Montessori credential from Xavier University and I look forward to fostering independent learning in the classroom.

Danielle Berg
Lower Elementary Assistant

My name is Dani Berg and I am a new elementary assistant for CMA. I recently came from a job as a before and after school teacher. I have an associate degree from the University of Cincinnati Clermont in Early Childhood Education. I have my bachelor degree in Organizational Leadership from Northern Kentucky University. I have always wanted to learn more about Montessori education as I was first introduced to it by a family friend whose children were in a Montessori school. I love the idea that in Montessori Education it is child focused on what they are interested in and based on their needs. I think that children deserve the chance to be taught how they learn best. I have always enjoyed working with children and being able to watch them learn about the world around them. In my free time I love to play sports, write poetry, spend time with family and friends, and my favorite thing is to volunteer. I look forward to being part of the CMA community and learning and teaching alongside all the children.

Lauren Castillo
Comet Assistant

Bio coming soon…