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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. Schedule a Visit

Upper Elementary Teachers & Staff

Northern Lights Room

René Steinkamp

Northern Lights Room Faculty

I have been a part of the CMA family for 28 years as a parent, volunteer and now for 15 years as a teacher. My daughters, Jessica and Jena, are both graduates of CMA (Jessica was the first pre-6th grade student), Clark Montessori High School, Otterbein College and University of Cincinnati.  They are both incredibly kind and intelligent young women that I couldn’t be more proud of. My first granddaughter will be entering the Toddler Program this year with my grandson next year, meaning 3 generations have been a part of CMA!

I changed careers in 2000, leaving the corporate world, going back to school and became a full-time AMS Montessori Certified Lower Elementary Montessori teacher–which I loved. Then I was invited to join the Upper Elementary classroom about 7 years ago and once again headed to Xavier to finish my Upper Montessori II Certification and had fallen in love all over again with the Upper Elementary children and curriculum.

I have a Bachelor of Science from Miami University, Montessori I & II (k-6) Certification from Xavier University, attended University of Cincinnati studying Physics & Education, and in December, 2018 I will have a Masters in Biology, emphasis on environmental conservation, from Miami University. I have attended additional seminars, classes & workshops on various topics, learning styles, writing, education and motivation.  I continue to educate myself in all areas of the child, their individual needs and development.

Part of my life’s work has been dedicated to providing a positive, caring educational environment for children through Central Montessori Academy (aka the Children’s Way) by helping to expand our school from being a preschool of 24 students to the current Toddler – 6th grade student program.  Helping to foster a place where school felt safe, parents communicated and brought a sense of community to the ‘institution’ of learning, children’s differences and diversity would be celebrated and nurtured, where following the child and their needs were the norm, as well as helping the students to have the skills to be happy and productive members of society…was, and still is my goal.

I feel as if I am one of the lucky ones who is doing what I love and knowing I’m doing exactly what I was born to do…teach Montessori. I still wake up every morning looking forward to coming to school.

Mark Traxler

Northern Lights Room Faculty

I have been a part of the CMA community for over 23 years.  My daughter is a graduate of CMA, Clark Montessori High School, and Middlebury College in Vermont.  When my daughter graduated from CMA, I realized I couldn’t leave, so I became the Gym, Computer, Science and anything-else-needed teacher. Within a few years I became one of the Upper Elementary teachers and have loved every day since.

I have a Lindner College of Business Bachelor of Administration degree from The University of Cincinnati with additional studies in Physics & Education. I will be graduating in December, 2018 with my Masters in Biology with a focus on teaching environmental conservation from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  I have traveled to Belize, India and Thailand for the past three years with Miami University, studying the sustainable cultures and mindfulness of these regions.

I also participated in the iDiscovery Physics Program from Miami University and the Cincinnati Natural History Museum with coursework in, “Integrating Research and Education: Geological and Paleontological Principles”, “Deep Earth Academy”, the “Galileo & Galileoscope” workshop, as well as constantly  continuing to learn and educate myself in as many ways as possible.

I truly love working with the students and I strive to carry on the traditions of Central Montessori Academy.  The education of the child does not manifest itself in only the academics but within the development of the whole child socially and emotionally.  I love incorporating nature into the learning environment and we are lucky to have a variety of natural environments to explore on our school campus.  The education of the whole child is so important in creating our future leaders and community members because they will then shine and be positive examples to others. That is why I love coming to school and teaching every day.