Teachers of the Primary program
Mary-Sibyl Kress, Primary All-day Class
Mary-Sibyl discovered the Montessori Method in the 1970s when her friend’s children attended the Good Shepherd Montessori School in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. Reading The Secret of Childhood by Dr. Maria Montessori inspired her to become a Montessori teacher herself.
After traveling to London to earn her 3-6 year old certificate from the St. Nicholas Montessori College, Mary-Sibyl began teaching at Cleveland’s Urban Community School in 1986. She attended Ursuline College where she received a B.A. in elementary education and K-8 certification.
A gift of a book, The Religious Potential of the Child, by Sophia Cavalletti sparked Mary-Sibyl’s abiding interest in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She is certified to teach both 3-to-6 year-olds and 6-to-9 year-olds. She earned her A.M.I. certification for 2 ½ -6 years at the Ohio Montessori Training Institute and later completed a M.Ed. at Loyola College in Baltimore in 2005. She is pleased to be working at the Montessori School at Holy Rosary, as the school is dedicated to maintaining A.M.I. standards and using the Good Shepherd Catechesis.
Mary-Sibyl has been interested in photography since high school and takes pictures nearly every day -- including some in the classroom to help parents get a better glimpse of their child’s work. She also takes her camera on camping trips and visits to her brothers and sister all over the country. Other hobbies are sewing, fiber arts and attending opera and musical theater. Mary-Sibyl married Ray in 1973 and raised 3 children and has one granddaughter.
Sharyn Laux, Primary Class
Sharyn began her Montessori experience when she was 3 years old at the Berea Area Montessori School. Secure in her ability to follow her own path, armed with a love of learning and a strong independent streak, she made it through traditional schooling and graduated from Baldwin Wallace College in 1994 with a degree in English Literature and Business. Diploma safely in her father's hand, she set off to pursue acting in independent films in London, pushing her boundaries in Thailand, running a high-end fashion boutique in New England and exploring the ins and outs of making coffee in shops at home and abroad.
Back in Cleveland, on a late night run to the grocery store, a glance at a bulletin board returned Sharyn to her roots – an Open House for the Ohio Montessori Training Institute (OMTI). Walking into the Montessori training center, she ran her fingers over the red rods and thought, "I am home."
After earning her AMI 3-6 year-old primary training, Sharyn has been teaching at the Montessori School at Holy Rosary since 2000 -- with a two year break to grow and welcome her son Avery into the world. She loves evening walks with Avery and dog, Jack. She adores the way her son curves into her when he hugs her, the unbelievable support and kindness of her father, and talking with her sister and best friend. Her students are never far from her heart and thoughts.
Monika M. Popik, Primary Class
Monika is a Cleveland State University alumna, where she earned her BS and Masters in Education degrees. She completed her Montessori training at the Ohio Montessori Training Institute and the Fondazione Centro Internazionale Studi in Bergamo, Italy. Monika holds both AMI primary and an elementary diplomas.
When asked which each group she prefers to work with, she replies with a smile, I just like working with people no matter what their age!
In addition to all her degrees, she is also a trained catechist. Not only does she work with children in her own classroom, she regularly volunteers as a catechist for Holy Rosary Parish on Sundays.
Monika is a mother of two daughters. Gabriela, a graduate from Montessori School at Holy Rosary, is an aspiring artist at the Kansas City Art Institute. Christina is a middle school student at Montessori School at Holy Rosary; she enjoys writing and photography. Monika's husband, Michael, has a great eye for antiques and collectibles is always sending her with boxes of little gifts for the classroom. In her spare time, Monika likes to run, swim and lift weights. She enjoys spending time in her garden and playing with her chickens: Daisy, Tulip, Lily and Poppy.