Teachers of the Elementary program
Cheryl Lazar, Lower Elementary Class
Cheryl is a native of the Cleveland area and studied at Bowling Green State University where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Recreation, with a focus on commercial tourism. Cheryl spent a summer working in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World and lived in Wintergreen, Virginia doing an internship at a golf and ski resort planning special events and family activities.
Several years out of college, Cheryl pursued her interest in teaching and found her way to The Montessori School at Holy Rosary where she was an assistant in the Primary classroom under teacher Tina Schneider (now the Director). Cheryl had earlier considered pursuing a Montessori certification -- but working with the children at Holy Rosary sealed the deal!
Cheryl received her AMI Montessori (6-12) Diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute as well as a Master's Degree in Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD. Cheryl enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and playing volleyball. Cheryl resides in Cleveland with her husband Eric and their two parakeets.
Katie Kasza, Lower Elementary Class
Katie Kasza holds degrees in Business Management, Police Science, and Criminal Justice. However, it was not until 2003, that she truly found her passion. She began substituting at a Montessori School where her future husband Shaun worked because they needed &quuot;someone to help out.&quuot; She soon met Montessorians and inquired about all of the amazing materials in the classrooms.
She pursued her elementary training and earned her AMS certificate in 2005, from The Center of Montessori Education for Teachers (COMET). She later took the opportunity to pursue AMI training from the Hershey Montessori Training Institute when it first arrived in Cleveland. She earned her Elementary AMI certificate and was a member in the inaugural class of 2010.
Reflecting upon her work, Katie states, &quuot;Working in a Montessori setting is my passion! I absolutely love working with children in the elementary! I find that I learn from them just as much as they learn from me! Everyday presents both rewards and accomplishments and I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life.&quuot;
Katie and her firefighter husband, Shaun, presently have two children, Luke and Samantha. Together they enjoy spending quality time as a family, playing outdoors, reading books, and visiting the metro parks near their suburban home on the West Side of Cleveland. They can also be found fixing things, baking, cleaning, and having weekend pajama parties!
Anna Discenzo, Upper Elementary Class
Anna holds a BA in French from the University of North Carolina-Asheville where she was a University Scholar and member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She completed her AMI Elementary Training at Washington Montessori Institute in 1998.
Anna has taught at the Montessori School at Holy Rosary for the past 12 years, helping to start the Elementary and Adolescent programs. She completed Catechesis of the Good Shepherd formation training for ages 3-6 and 6-9 year-olds – and is currently working on 9-12 training.
Anna serves on the Education Advisory Council for the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. She has written and published a book ("Remembering D") about the life of her beloved student, Demetrius Smith, and illustrated by her class. She has assisted in starting the Tony Brush Community Garden and attended the American Horticultural Society Symposium on Children and Gardening. Anna is currently working on the One Love: Child to Child project and the Little Italy Adopt-an-Elder programs that her classroom founded. Seeking to instill a love of humanity through philanthropy, she continues to foster a culture of service in her classroom. Anna credits her Aunt Francis and the memory of her grandfather, Domenic, for leading her to a career in education. In her spare time, Anna enjoys reading, gardening, and expanding her horizons.