Thank you for the privilege of befriending your children at Little Sprouts Montessori. I am Jean Kassen from Shawnee and have retired from teaching some seven years ago with 40 years of experience in traditional and Montessori programs, hoping for opportunities to continue Montessori possibilities like this one with Ms. Natalie. I have spent 27 years in Montessori itself and another 13 in modified Montessori classrooms including kindergarten levels. My travels have taken me from KC, Kansas, to Saipan, CMI (in the Pacific), Topeka, Missouri, Florida, and Minnesota, where I have taught in and out of Montessori systems. I have been a teacher at Little Sprouts since 2014.
Greetings! My name is Laura Ferris-Randolph and I am the classroom assistant at Little Sprouts. I am a person who has always gravitated toward curiosity and discovery. I earned my Associate of Arts degree in Education and attended the University of Northern Iowa for a year of focused Art Education with the original goal of teaching art. I then worked in the business world for a time and upon starting a family I returned to my roots in education. I started exploring Montessori environments after becoming a mother, and creating a Montessori home for her became a strong interest of mine. I then taught a toddler classroom at the Jewish Community Center but my admiration for Montessori called me back and I was led to Ms. Natalie and wonderful Little Sprouts! I really enjoy the magical ages of the primary years. Montessori fascinates and inspires me to consider deeply who children are and what they are teaching me. I absolutely love watching children light up over their many discoveries and watching them as they play out their experiences. Observing learners in action energizes my heart! I am a fun, creative, positive person and I enjoy connecting with others and building meaningful community as I go. Outside of school, I enjoy foraging with my family, spending time with friends in the woods, reading, creating art pieces, and tickling my daughter! Hope to see you soon in the garden!
Hi there! My name is Opal Roberts-Baca and I am the afternoon assistant teacher at Little Sprouts! I hold a bachelor’s in fine arts from the Kansas City Art Institute where I majored in both filmmaking and creative writing with a minor in social practice. I have always loved working with children and have previous experience working as a teacher’s assistant where I aided in children’s pre-k reading classes as well as worked as a creative writing instructor. I have a profound love for helping others learn and grow to be the best they can be! I believe that creativity is our highest form of intelligence and I love watching children glow with pride over their latest creation. In my free time I love to read, take care of animals, go for long walks and of course continue my own artistic practice, lately I have been learning how to crochet and knit.
My name is Sharon Brewer. While at the University of Kansas Health system and University of Physicians Inc. I was employed as a patient service representative in the Orthopedic office. When communicating with patients, I always tried to be sensitive and responsive to people’s needs and being fluent in the Spanish language helped on a daily basis. After many years with the hospital, and having raised two children of my own and having helped raise my four grandchildren, (my youngest grandson being 10 months old) I retired in 2020.
When I learned about Little Sprouts Montessori, I was captivated by the teaching and how they strive to bring out the individuality of every child. Being retired does not slow me down and being connected to Little Sprouts Montessori provides me with a new purpose.
Connecting with my own granddaughters is important to me. So, when they began tap dance classes, I also signed up for tap classes at Roeland Park Community Center. It showed them that I wanted to connect with them through the shared experience of dance. I have a sincere desire to learn and grow with the children; to demonstrate rapport through kindness and respect.
On snow days you will find me crocheting with my Cockapoo dog, Prince Charming, at my feet. When I’m out walking Prince, it allows me to focus and meditate on the beauty and wonder that is found in nature.