(734) 459-1550 msmith@dhmontessori.org
Laura Springer

Laura Springer

Head of School

Laura entered the world of Montessori education as a parent 39 years ago. Fascinated by what her daughter, Julie, was doing in school, she left her career with a law firm and joined PCMS. With a BA in Family Life Education and her Early Childhood (3-6) Montessori Credential from MMTEC (Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center), Laura taught for 10 years before joining the administrative team and then becoming Head of School. She enjoys reading, boating, and spending time with her family at their cottage up north. Together with her daughter, Julie, and two grandchildren, Olivia and Emma, Laura is very proud to say that she has 3 generations of family members at PCMS!

Leslie Bernal

Business Manager

Leslie has a BA in Business Administration and is completing her MBA from Grand Canyon University. She has been the Business Manager for Plymouth-Canton Montessori School for two years. Leslie has two sons and a furbaby Bella.

Sabrina Borieo

Sabrina Borieo

Administrative Assistant

Sabrina started her journey with our Montessori family over twenty-five years ago as a substitute teacher in her mother’s classroom. Ms. Sabrina spent 22 years as a Lower Elementary assistant teacher before transitioning into the role of Office Administrator. In addition to the administrative tasks, Ms. Sabrina teaches a cooking elective to middle school students.  Sabrina has two children, a daughter attending MSU and a middle school son. In her free time,

Sabrina loves spending time with her family.

Susie Briney (She/ Her/Hers)

Susie Briney (She/ Her/Hers)

Lead Teacher-Toddler

Ms. Susie has worked in Montessori schools for over 15 years. After obtaining her Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education, Ms. Susie discovered Montessori and realized where her heart was, and started her formal Montessori journey. While she has worked with students in many age groups, she finds that her true calling is in working with toddlers. Ms. Susie has completed her Infant and Toddler Montessori credential through CGMS, The Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Ms. Susie loves spending time in nature, cooking, and simply relaxing on the couch, watching a movie with her three cats. 

Heidi Bushey

Heidi Bushey

Assistant Teacher-Toddler

Heidi has been working at PCMS for six years. Originally from Lansing, Ms. Heidi completed her BA in Elementary Education from EMU (Eastern Michigan University). She has completed her CDA (Child Development Associates) Credential. Ms. Heidi has three children and enjoys being a grandmother.

Dieu Pham

Dieu Pham

Assistant Teacher-Toddler

This is Ms. Dieu’s second year with Plymouth Canton Montessori School, where her two children currently attend. She completed her BA in Finance from the Banking University in her home country of Vietnam. Ms. Dieu enjoys climbing trees and is a self-taught creator as she makes her own soaps, candles, lotions, and shampoos for her family.

Sudha Shekar

Sudha Shekar

Lead Teacher - Early Childhood

Ms. Shekar was raised in Bangalore, India, and completed her Undergraduate Degree in Psychology, Sociology, and Economics from NMKRV College for Women in Bangalore, India. Ms. Shekar has been with PCMS for 22 years and received her Early Childhood (3-6) Montessori credential from the ADMTEI (Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute). Ms. Shekar has one daughter who attended Montessori school for many years. She enjoys cooking, reading, and yoga. Ms. Shekar also likes biking but admits that while she likes it, she still needs to learn how to actually ride a bike.

Shantel Morris

Shantel Morris

Assistant Teacher - Early Childhood

Originally from Detroit, Ms. Shantel has worked with children for many years, with a long history of working with children with special needs. In addition to the work that Ms. Shantel does with PCMS, Ms. Shantel owns a dance studio and has been a cheerleading coach for 12 years, the last five of which, the teams have been state and national champions. This is Shantel second year with PCMS school, and her daughter is a student in the Adolescent program.

Vijayanthi Perera

Vijayanthi Perera

Lead Teacher-Early Childhood

Ms. Vijayanthi has been a Montessori educator for 38 years, 28 of which have been with our school. Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Vijayanthi completed her AMI (Association Montessori International) Early Childhood (3-6) Montessori credential from the St. Lawrence School. Ms. Vijayanthi enjoys reading, yoga, and spending time with her family, which includes her two daughters, who attended our Montessori school.

Islam Habhab

Islam Habhab

Assistant Teacher- Early Childhood

Ms. Islam is a Detroit native and a long-time member of the DHMS family. She has been working within this group of schools for 17 years, over which time her four daughters attended and completed the middle school program. Ms. Islam has completed her CDA (Child Development Associates) Credential. When she is not working with children at PCMS, Ms. Islam enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and cooking.

Danielle Sheffield

Danielle Sheffield

Lead Teacher - Early Childhood

Ms. Danielle has worked at the PCMS group of schools since 1992. She has completed her AMS Early Childhood (3-6) Montessori training at ADMTEI (Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Program). Ms. Danielle has two grown children and grandchildren. When Ms. Danielle is not working with students at PCMS, she spends time working with women’s groups in the greater Plymouth Canton area and enjoys sewing and quilting.

Peggy Bernard

Peggy Bernard

Assistant Teacher - Early Childhood

Originally born in Germany, Ms. Peggy has been a part of the PCMS teaching community for twenty years. Before starting her career in education, Ms. Peggy completed a certificate in Horticultural studies, which led her to start her first career as a gardener at Disney World. Following her time in Florida, Ms. Peggy returned to Michigan, where she worked as a florist at the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island. Ms. Peggy enjoys spending time with her family and reading.

Julie Bawulski

Julie Bawulski

Lead Teacher-Lower Elementary

Ms. Julie is a Montessori child. She attended Dearborn Heights Montessori School.  Following her time at DHMS, Ms. Julie went on to complete her BA in Fine Arts from Michigan State University. As Julie started her teaching career in the Livonia Public Schools, she went on to get her Secondary Michigan Education Certificate from Madonna University and a MEd from the University of Michigan with a specialization in Reading. Ms. Julie has completed her IMC Elementary I (6-9) Montessori Credential from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Ms. Julie has also completed various trainings, including Certificates in the Orton-Gillingham Approach. Ms. Julie is on the Board of Directors of the Dyslexia Center and the Chairperson of Admissions & Marketing Professionals for the Association of Independent Michigan Schools. Ms. Julie is also involved in Admissions and other Administrative tasks at PCMS, where her two daughters attend the Elementary and Middle School programs.

Pat Schmidt

Pat Schmidt

Assistant Teacher- Lower Elementary

Ms. Pat started her career as a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in the pediatric oncology department. She joined the PCMS in 1991 when she started working as a Montessori assistant at the early childhood level. Ms. Pat joined the Lower Elementary teaching team in 2000 and has been working there ever since. She loves spending time with her children, grandchildren, husband and dogs. Ms. Pat has been volunteering with her dogs at local nursing homes for over twenty years. When she is not working at PCMS and volunteering, Ms. Pat can be found watching baseball and rooting for her favorite team, the Detroit Tigers. 

Melissa Romero

Melissa Romero

Lead Teacher Upper Elementary and Elementary Spanish Teacher

Ms. Melissa’s journey in education started when she attended the University of Michigan, where she received a BA in Psychology. She went on to complete her Elementary Teaching certificate from Eastern Michigan and, as she puts it, both degrees led her to Montessori, where she went on to complete her AMS (American Montessori Society) Elementary I (6-9) and Elementary II (9-12) Montessori Credentials from MMTEC (The Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center). Ms. Melissa has been a Montessori educator since 1990 and working within PCMS group of schools since 2019. Ms. Melissa also has extensive experience and training in children with exceptionalities and other different teaching modalities. Ms. Melissa is a fluent Spanish speaker and certified yoga instructor. When she is not working with children, Ms. Melissa enjoys spending time with her family. Her two children attended our school.

Kathy Ward

Kathy Ward

Assistant Teacher-Upper Elementary

Ms. Kathy has a long history in education but started her Montessori journey when her children started at DHMS. (Her son Matt is the Lead Adolescent Guide.) Ms. Kathy attended Eastern Michigan University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree with a K-12 certification. She went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with an additional Special Education certification in the area of Emotional Impairment. Ms. Kathy taught 5th-6th grade in Plymouth for 18 years and took a leave while raising her two boys, both of whom attended and graduated from Dearborn Heights Montessori. When her youngest son moved up to 7th grade, she got back into the classroom, working in the Upper Elementary at DHMC. Ms. Kathy enjoys travel, live music, Broadway shows, antiques, and historic home tours.  She is interested in health and fitness and loves exploring the Upper Peninsula with her family. Ms. Kathy relaxes by working in her garden and reading historical fiction. 

Matt Ward

Matt Ward

Lead Teacher - Middle School

Mr. Matt is a graduate of the DHMS Middle School. After graduating from high school, Mr. Matt completed his BA in Social Work with a Certificate in Diversity Activities and concentrated studies in Journalism. He has completed his Secondary I & II AMS (American Montessori Society) Credential from the Houston Montessori Center. Mr. Matt enjoys camping, including on his property in the Upper Peninsula.

Maeve McMaster

Maeve McMaster

Assistant Teacher - Middle School

Ms. Maeve is a graduate of DHMS, where she and her two siblings all attended from early childhood through eighth grade. Ms. Maeve is now in her second year as a co-teacher in the Middle School program. She graduated from Michigan State with a BA in Social Relations and Policy with a minor in History. Ms. Maeve currently coaches volleyball at Salem High School, where she graduated following her experience at DHMS. With a busy schedule, Ms. Maeve doesn’t have enough time to enjoy her hobbies of reading, crocheting, and painting.

Nicole Fogt-Smith

Nicole Fogt-Smith

Physical Education

Ms. Nicole, our Physical Education teacher, has been teaching for 17 years. Nicole studied dance at Wayne State University, where she was also a member of the Wayne State dance team. She has two children, Kaleb, a former DHMC student, and Morgan. Nicole spent three weeks this summer in Liverpool, England, watching Morgan compete for Team USA in the Nations Cup and World Baton Twirling Championship.

Jenna Wos

Jenna Wos

Early Childhood Spanish Teacher - Art Teacher

Ms. Jenna is a creator at heart. While currently teaching Art and Spanish, Ms. Jenna has a background in writing as she graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Journalism. Ms. Jenna spent nine years as a teacher, including seven years as an assistant and then lead teacher in a Montessori classroom. Ms. Jenna completed her AMS Early Childhood Montessori credential from MMTEC (the Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center). Ms. Jenna continues working in the field of journalism as she freelances for SCEEN magazine and is involved in managing the social media and publications for PCMS. Ms. Jenna also enjoys making paper crafts such as cards and painting.

Kirsten Renas

Kirsten Renas

Music Teacher

Ms. Kirsten has been teaching music for twelve years and is in her eighth year of teaching music with Dearborn Heights Montessori Center and Plymouth-Canton Montessori School.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Central Michigan University, along with K-12 Music Certification. Ms. Kirsten performs with a variety of local professional and community choirs and theaters, and is a frequent professional guest artist with the University of Detroit Mercy. When not teaching or performing, Ms. Kirsten enjoys baking and playing video games with her fiancé Sean.

Annette Walsh

Annette Walsh

Co-Director-Extended Day

Ms. Annette has been at our school for 25 years, while also running a farm with her husband, where they grow crops for the local community. Prior to her career in education, Ms. Annette ran a wheelchair transport business with her husband. Ms. Annette has brought her entrepreneurial and farm interest to the school where she has gardened with the children, selling the harvest as a fundraiser with the PCMS students. Ms. Annette is also known for her famous Chruscuiki, a Polish pastry that translates to “Angel’s Wings,” and sells them during the Winter holidays.