Welcome to KMS!

Kenosha Montessori School is a non-profit, non-sectarian, private Montessori school serving the communities of southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois. KMS is a full-member school of the American Montessori Society.

At KMS, we strive to provide an atmosphere that encourages learning for life, a peaceful community, independence, curiosity, and creativity by following the philosophy and method established by Dr. Maria Montessori.

Meet our KMS Staff

Lower (Primary) Level

Jo Cole - Lead Teacher, Spanish, Administrator
Jo has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She completed her Montessori training at the Seton Montessori Center in Clarendon Hills, Illinois under the direction of the 2005 AMS Living Legacy recipient, Celma Pinho Perry. Jo has her early childhood certification from the American Montessori Society. She has been teaching at KMS since 1977.

Gloria Arneson - Lead Teacher, Office Administrator
Gloria has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. She completed her primary level Montessori training from Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, IL and is certified in early childhood from AMS. She has been teaching at KMS since 1992. Gloria’s children are KMS alumni.

Heather Harrison - Lead Teacher
Heather joined KMS in 2016 but has over 20 years teaching experience as a Montessori primary teacher. Heather received her associate’s degree in early childhood from College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois and took additional college credits at Northeastern Illinois University. She attended Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center and has her early childhood associate credential from AMS.

Upper (Elementary) Level

Maria Turner - Lead Teacher
Maria has moved up to being a Lead Teacher after taking her Elemenary I Certification from being an assistant in 2021. Maria is the proud mother of three children who attended KMS and loves the Montessori method of learning. This past spring she worked as the Elementary Assistant and has also taught the Enrichment Program in the past along with helping at lunch, recess and subbing when needed since 2019. Maria attended Purdue University with an emphasis in Spanish and Psychology.

Denee Frazier - Lead Teacher
Denee has been a substitute teacher since 2007 and is beyond excited to jump into the world of Montessori education! She holds a Bachelor's Degree in French from Michigan State University, has a deep passion for all things involving music, and loves learning about different cultures through international travel. Denee joined KMS in 2022.

Carol Istvanek - Classroom Assistant, Extended Day Coordinator
Carol completed her Montessori assistant training at the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, IL. Carol’s daughters are KMS alumni. She has been at KMS since 1999.

Extended Day

Shanna DeLacy - Extended Day Coordinator
Shanna has over 16 years experience in the childcare field teaching at Extended Love Child Development Center. She attended Gateway College for Early Childhood Education and has recently taken continuing education courses from UW Milwaukee. Shanna joined KMS in 2021.

KMS Board of Directors

The KMS Board of Directors is an all volunteer group of current and former KMS parents that are elected during the annual spring meeting.

2023-24 School Year
Traci Lamberg, President
Kate Trudell, Vice-President
Sara Hammond, Treasurer
Heather Schwartz, Secretary
Carla Correa, Activities Committee
Ryan Stolarik, Member
Tiffany Clark, Member
Leah Featherstone, Member
Amy Feret, Member

History of KMS

Montessori has a long history in Kenosha & Racine counties.

Nancy McCormick Rambusch, the first president of the American Montessori Society, gives a public talk about Montessori education at the Dominican College in Racine.

Mario Montessori, Dr. Maria Montessori’s son, lectures at the Sands Motel in Milwaukee about the method that his mother created. The Kenosha Montessori Society is established in order to create a Montessori school in Kenosha. At this time, 18 children from Kenosha attend the Children’s House at Racine Montessori and many are planning on attending KMS once opened.

Kenosha Montessori School begins its first day of attendance by 16 students on September 11, 1967. The school is located in the basement of St. Matthew’s Guild Hall, 5900 7th Avenue.

The first directress of the school is Betty Ann Kiesner. She received her AMS training under the direction of the first president of AMS, Nancy McCormick Rambusch, at Fairleigh Dickinson University, N.J. The members of the first Board of Directors were pediatrician Dr. David W. Davis (president), Mrs. Elizabeth (Howard) Brown (vice president), Rev. Dennis Day (treasurer), Mrs. Robert Lahr (secretary), attorney Charles J. Richards (legal advisor).

The school moves from its original location at St. Matthew’s Church to St. Joseph High School, 2401 69th Street. An extended day program is added.

The Board of Directors approves the expansion of KMS to include a 6-12 year old classroom.

The Board of Directors approves the expansion of KMS to include an adolescent program.

The Board of Directors approves the formation of a Parent-Teacher Organization.

KMS celebrates 50 years!

KMS has its first 7th graders attending.