A Montessori student is motivated by their inherent desire to investigate and explore.

Our role is to encourage and uncover their potential by providing a fun, engaging learning environment for our students.

Montessori teachers are trained to assist the children, both individually and through small groups, in the use of the equipment located throughout the classroom.

‘Wait while observing.’ That is the motto of the educator.
— Dr. Maria Montessori

By following the child’s lead we observe where your child’s interests and needs are and guide and nurture them in their development. We are careful not to interrupt the children during work, or to force a lesson beyond the children’s interest. We also set the example for children to respect one another so that they can mutually learn from each other.

Our classroom is a lively area where children actively explore and investigate the world and its wonders. We serve as guides, not instructors.


GAY Canseco / Director, Lead TEacher

Ms. Gay has been a part of LHMS since June 2003. She completed her Montessori education in January 2004. Her favorite thing about teaching at LHMS is the amazing people: the students, parents and other teachers. She is a native Minnesotan who actually enjoys winter. Her interests include botany and reading, specifically books related to women’s history. She also enjoys embroidery, beading and painting. She has two nieces, Lily and Magdelena, who she loves to spend time with, as well as curling up with her cats at home.


Florence Bambu / Lead Teacher

A part of LHMS since September 2008, Ms. Florence is an early childhood/elementary teacher from Sudan, Africa who has completed her Montessori training. Her favorite thing about LHMS is teaching the children and getting to see their progression each day, as it is amazing to witness. When not at LHMS, she likes to cook and maintain a beautiful home for her husband and her four children: Emma, Loro, Yike and Joan.


Eben Pieterse / TEACHER

Mr. Eben has been a part of LHMS since 2009 and is a Montessori Certified teacher. He grew up on a farm in South Africa and is also a qualified game ranger. He moved to the United States when he was 19 and has also spent time in both London and Israel. He enjoys gardening, fishing, traveling and making beer and wine. His favorite thing about teaching at LHMS is the wonderful, happy environment. He feels proud and blessed to be a part of such an exceptional team.



Rane Mickelson / Teacher / SIGN LANGUAGE

Ms. Rane started working at LHMS in April 2017 as a substitute teacher and became full-time in May 2017. She also teaches our students sign language every Wednesday. Rane is pursuing a degree in child psychology at the University of Minnesota and plans to graduate in Fall 2019. In addition to attending college, she is beginning her Montessori training in October 2017. A lover of music and pets, she enjoys playing flute, guitar, and piano and runs a dog training business on the weekends. Ms. Rane’s favorite thing about LHMS is the unique environment and how motivated and creative the kids are. No day is ever the same at Lake Harriet Montessori!


Ezequiel Bautista / Teacher

Mr. Ezequiel began working at LHMS in August 2017. He is a native Spanish speaker. He was born in Colima, Mexico and received a language teaching degree at the University of Colima in Mexico in 2012. He has been working as a preschool teacher in a Spanish Immersion preschool in Minneapolis since 2015. He loves kids and their energy. Mr. Ezequiel loves summer, fall, activities outside, cooking, and sharing his food with friends. He is interested in learning more languages and learning to play the piano. He enjoys working at LHMS and feels very honored to have the chance to work with such a wonderful team.


Willow Hoaglund, Teacher

Ms. Willow’s bio will be posted soon!

Ms. Olga / Spanish

Ms. Olga has been teaching Spanish to LHMS kids for over ten years. Her Spanish lessons include songs, games and movement. She uses many visual aids and interactive lessons to retain kid’s interest. Often she brings in interesting cultural items from Mexico, Central and South America. Her lessons include Spanish language instruction as well as introducing Latino culture to the kids. Her warmth and kindness make her a well loved teacher at LHMS.

Ms. Niza / Yoga

Yoga is a fun way to get our children moving in an expressive way, while increasing their ability to concentrate. The principal focus of the yoga class is to nurture a strong, healthy body, and a calm mind. In every class the children practice elements of Hatha yoga. They are also encouraged to use their imagination by creating poses, and through games. Each class has a different theme such as: A Visit to the Farm, Ancient Egypt, Deep Ocean Dive, or African Safari.