Our Guides

Addie Neher

Head of School

Addie graduated from Montessori Northwest with an  AMI Primary Diploma and Loyola University - Maryland with a Master's of Education. She also graduated from Manchester University with a B.S. in Accounting and Peace Studies (Peace Education). 

Montessori education excites her because it allows children to learn in a child-centered, beautiful, and intentionally independent (yet community-based) environment. She enjoys cooking, singing and hiking in her free time. 

Lori Franzen

Assistant Head of School and
Children's House Guide

Lori grew up in Wabash, and was excited to move back to the area after teaching in Indianapolis and Boston.  She graduated from Wabash High School, and went on to get her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education at Purdue University and AMS Primary certification from Northeast Montessori Institute in Maine. She enjoys baking, traveling, organizing, and spending time with her family, dog, and cats.  Her daughter, Leona, is proud to be a TMS student! 

Stephanie Fitzgerald

Toddler Community Guide

Stephanie has been working at TMS since 2021 and has worked with children in several different capacities before joining us. She holds a B.S. in psychology from Central Michigan University, a M.A. in human behavior from National University and is obtaining Montessori Infant and Toddler lead guide certification through the Montessori Institute of North Texas. In her free time, Stephanie loves to read, travel with her husband, and spend time with her cat.

Kenzie Burke

Toddler Community Guide
and Support Guide

Kenzie obtained her bachelor's degree in communication from Indiana University. Immediately after college, she worked with new moms and babies as a Parent-Child Interaction Specialist and realized how much she loved watching children develop skills and learn. Kenzie plans to attend Montessori Primary training at Trine University and dreams of one day opening her own Montessori School in her home town of Kokomo. In her free time, Kenzie enjoys reading, crafting, and watching Law and Order.

Emily Taylor

Lower Elementary Guide

Emily grew up in Grant County, Indiana. From a young age, she knew she wanted to be a teacher, but just recently fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education through Western Governor’s University and is working towards her AMS lower elementary certification through Trine University. In her free time, Emily likes to garden, read, spend time outside, and spend time with her family. 

Jennifer Black

Lower Elementary Guide
and Support Guide

Jennifer has been a Paraprofessional at an area Junior High for 8 years. She loves helping children learn independently and as a team. Jennifer has been with The Montessori School since 2022.  She enjoys spending time with her family, being outside and playing with her puppy, Chewie. 

Angela Ryggs

Children's House Guide
and Art Guide

Angela grew up in Wabash and graduated from Southwood High School. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Anderson University and went on to get her Qualified Intellectual Disability Porfessional (QDIP) certification. She has worked with children and young adults with disabilities in educational and clinical settings. She became interested in Montessori education after having her own children, and is in the process of getting her master's degree in Early Childhood Montessori Education. In her free time, she enjoys running and art.

Denise Leep

Support Guide
and Cooking Guide

Denise has been a member of Wabash Presbyterian Church for many years. She has volunteered her time with the school for years, as well; and has been a huge help this year, joining the staff during a maternity leave. Denise enjoys coordinating events and hospitality for the church, cooking and baking, and spending time with her family.

Susan Finney

Forest School Guide
and Afternoon Kindergarten Guide

Susan has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Manchester University.  She has experience teaching in preschool, elementary, and Montessori schools.  She enjoys being a guide for children's natural sense of wonder and excitement for learning.  Susan enjoys all things nature, including gardening, hiking, and camping. She is happy to be a part of the positive learning environment at The Montessori School at WPC! 

Anne Ridgeway

Forest School Guide
and Children's House Guide

Anne grew up in Wabash and graduated from Southwood High School. She is certified in Industrial Technologies and Robotics. Anne enjoys hiking, camping, rock climbing, and spending time with her dog and cat. She has completed her Forest School teacher training, and shares her love for nature and the forest with her students!