Primary 1

Lindsay Erisman

Head Teacher

Hello and welcome to Primary 1! My name is Lindsay Erisman and this will be my second year teaching Primary at Maple Corner Montessori. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and my Montessori Training for ages three to six. I have been working with children for almost four years! I love to spend my free time outdoors or at the park with my dog Waylon. I am very excited to enter the 2023-24 school year with you!

Doy Birdsell

Primary 1 Assistant Teacher

Welcome to another year at MCM! This will be my second year as one of the primary teacher assistants and the lead teacher of the aftercare program but I have worked in . I have over 20 years experience in preschool education. As a newer teacher to the Montessori way of learning, I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge as we move into this new school year. I am excited to get reacquainted with the children from last year that will be returning and the new ones that will be joining us for the first time. I am a mom with two daughters and a grandma of Penelope, Jameson and one more on the way. Some of my favorite things to do are creating new memories with my granddaughter, who lives locally, and spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy being a plant mom and spending time outdoors working in my small flower, veggie, and fruit garden.

Primary 2

Rheanna Staninger

Head Teacher

Hello Primary 2 families! My name is Rheanna and I’ll be your child’s teacher this year! I began my teaching career 13 years ago in my home state of Connecticut at a tiny, family owned daycare and preschool. After a few years working with the most adorable infants and toddlers, I packed up and moved across the country to California where my husband was stationed. Over the next few years, I made my way along the West Coast. I was a nanny for two years in California and taught at a Reggio Emilia based preschool near Seattle for three years before moving to Oregon in 2019. I spent my first year and a half in Oregon teaching at another emergent based school before finding my perfect fit at Maple Corner. This will be my third year at MCM and I am Montessori Certified at the Primary Level. When I’m not at school, I’m most likely trying to play guitar, playing with my dog Dixon and cat Shashthi, or listening to Taylor Swift!  


Ashley Mincher

Head Teacher

Hello everyone! I graduated from UCC in 2015 with an Associates Degree in early childhood education and then I completed my Montessori Training in 2019! I have worked at a variety of schools and have fallen in love with the Montessori way of learning. This will be my 5th year at the school. I started out as the lead teacher for the primary class and was in that position for 3 years and am currently the lead teacher for our Kindergarten program! I had my first child in January and have loved every minute of being a mother. During my free time I enjoy fishing, camping, and hunting. My husband and I are excited to let our son experience all of these things in the near future as well! I look forward to meeting all of you soon! 

Brittney Woods

Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Lower Elementary 1

Laura Ventura

Head Teacher

Hello, my name is Laura Ventura. I am so excited to continue my teaching career at Maple Corner Montessori! I started my education journey in Early Childhood Education working in preschools. After some time, I decided to experience other grades and earned my BS in Education at Northern Arizona University. I have taught kindergarten, first and third grade. This is my third year at Maple Corner Montessori where I have taught Kindergarten and Lower Elementary. I am Montessori certified and love this method of teaching. 

I grew up in the Southwest, mainly in New Mexico. I have three children and when I’m not busy spending time with them, I enjoy sewing, baking, reading, hiking and kayaking. I love coffee, chocolate and being outside. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful and brilliant little ones with me. I look forward to spending time with each of them!

Nina Sosa


Hello, my name is Enedina Sosa, but you can call me Ms. Nina. I am so excited to come back to Maple Corner Montessori this school year. It’s been such an amazing experience working with the staff and students here and I am very honored to be a part of this lovely community.

I moved to Oregon from the San Francisco Bay Area after getting married in 2020. Since I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to work as an educator. I received my Associates degree in Child and Adolescent Development from Foothill College and have been working with children since 2017. Additionally, I am almost done with my Montessori Training! Aside from spending time with children, I enjoy walking, singing, playing ukulele, and my little family who are the biggest encouragement in my life.

Lower Elementary 2

Leanne Jorgensen

Head Teacher, Head of School

I am so excited for this upcoming school year. Our campus is growing and we have spent considerable time preparing for a variety of learning experiences this year. We have wonderful relationships with our returning children and the new students joining us are exceptional as well!

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a veteran teacher (of more years than I care to mention), owned and operated another Montessori school, have a master’s degree in education and Montessori certifications, and even after all these years, am still growing and learning as a teacher. After decades of teaching in and directing schools, I can honestly say that teaching first through third grade is one of my favorite things to do! It is wonderful to share the world with these beautiful people.

We have an engaging year planned for your children filled with science, nature studies, hikes, geography and history.

My five children are grown up except for Mia, who is eight and will be in our class. This year I will have four of my grandchildren in the school I founded. This makes every day even more sweet and special!

Lauren Allred

Head Teacher

I am so excited to be back at school with you all and to get to know the new friends joining our class!  We have many new and exciting things planned for this year and have been working hard over the summer to prepare for you!  I can’t wait to share all of the new experiences with you.  

You will soon come to find that our classroom is a beautiful place to be.  This will be my fifth year teaching at Maple Corner with Ms. Leanne.  I have spent the summer preparing many new and fun activities and lessons to share this school year!  The Lower Elementary class is such a special age group and one of my favorites to work with.  

My family and I have been the good kind of busy this summer.  We spent many afternoons swimming, playing baseball and visiting with friends. I have two boys, Sawyer and Fischer, who also attend MCM, and I feel very lucky to be able to spend my days with them.

Upper Elementary

Samantha Williams

Head Teacher

Hi! My name is Samantha Williams, also known as Sammy, and I was born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon! I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with a math endorsement from Western Oregon University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education.

After several years of teaching in North Dakota and at Cascade Junior High, my husband, Nathan, and I returned to Oregon.  For the past five years, I have been teaching special education at Roseburg High School and have loved my time there. I also have been busy teaching driver’s education and helping coach the Special Olympics unified basketball team.

I am passionate about creating a positive atmosphere for my students and providing engaging activities that ignite a love of learning. 

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family. We love camping, boating, biking, swimming and all the local events Roseburg has to offer. I also enjoy watching my kids, Cora and Teddy, play sports and be active participants in the community.

Lisa Shaklee


Hello! I have been working in education for many years, first in alumni relations and fundraising at UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts and University of Portland– and, before co-teaching at Maple Corner, as a substitute teacher for Douglas ESD. 

I was a PhD candidate in comparative literature at New York University, graduating with a master of arts degree. NYU is notable for its performing arts programs; I studied Shakespeare there and brought this interest to Maple Corner. I am also an alumna of University of Oregon.

I am passionate about literature, art and music. I always try to bring a love of reading and writing– and the joy of learning– to the classroom. My goal is to help students develop critical thinking skills and become strong writers; empathy for others and inclusion are themes that run through my teaching. 

I grew up in Roseburg with ties to the timber industry. My husband, Josh and I moved back to Roseburg in 2016 with our three daughters. I also love history and researching my own roots, stretching back many generations in the U.S., my mother is a member of the Keweenaw Bay Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe; my father’s ancestors were English colonists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

I look forward to this year with your wonderful fourth and fifth graders!

Middle School

Kailee Risi

Secondary Studies Coordinator, Middle School Math, Science Teacher

I am so excited to be teaching in Maple Corner Middle School this year! This is my fourth year teaching at Maple Corner Montessori. I am Montessori trained and have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and am currently receiving my Oregon teaching license. I am excited to return with my students from last year and meet all the amazing new students in middle school.

My family and I enjoy spending time together outdoors during the summer months. We love playing outdoor games, paddle boarding, and attending local events! I have three wonderful daughters, Rylee, Rowan, and Ryver, Rylee and Rowan both attend Maple Corner and look forward to the new school year!

Sara Downie

Middle School Language Arts Teacher

I have earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Eastern Oregon University and my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. I have previously taught first grade as well as kindergarten in the public school setting and third through fifth grade at a private school. Most recently, I have been staying at home with my two children.

In my spare time, after running my kids around to their various activities, I enjoy playing tennis, visiting my family’s ranch, and spending time with my family.

I am excited to get back to teaching this year and am eager to work with all of the kids.

Janelle Newton

Athletic Director, Middle School History and Leadership Teacher

I was born and raised in Milwaukie, OR. After high school, I attended Oregon State University where I received my Bachelor of Arts in History. I also played soccer at OSU and met my husband, Jonas Newton there. Corvallis and OSU have a very special place in my heart! I continued my education at Western Oregon University, where I received my Masters in Teaching and became certified to teach secondary education, with a focus on social studies.

Joe and I have been married for 16 years and have 3 kids that all attend MCM. Maddie is 12 and entering 7th grade, Ayla is 8 and entering 4th grade, and Henry is 5 and starting kindergarten. They all love attending school here, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help build the middle school program. I really enjoy working with teenagers/pre-teens and being a part of their journey as they become young adults. I had some wonderful teachers/coaches as role models when I was a teenager, and I strive to be the same positive influence with the kids I get to work with.

Outside of the classroom, my interests include sports and exercise, food, and exploring the outdoors/traveling. I was a multi-sport athlete growing up and have literally never played a sport I didn’t enjoy. You can find me coaching or cheering on our kids most Saturdays, and hiking or skiing on the few weekends we don’t have games. I love being involved in our community and hope to help make MCM and Roseburg a positive place for all of us to raise our kids! 


Heather Littlejohn

School Music teacher, Middle School Band Teacher

I can’t believe this is my 20th year of teaching! I am a licensed teacher with the state of Oregon and hold an MA in Music Education. The first 17 years of my career were spent in Sutherlin, where I taught MS/HS band and elementary music. Teaching at the same schools my children attended was a dream come true! I love the creative and kind community at Maple Corner Montessori, and I am especially thankful to once again be at the same school as my kids.

My family and I love to travel and keep busy with sports, hula, and piano. Recently, we hosted an exchange student, which was a wonderful experience. My love of teaching and music inspire me to encourage children to find what they love through exploration of instruments, singing, and movement, with cultural and theoretical components slipped in there too!

Ben Anderson

Physical Education Teacher

I am the Kinetic Specialist here at Maple Corner. I love sharing my passion for exploring ways to navigate the brain-body connection, as well as testing and expanding our individual physical limits in safe and fun ways. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy reading, playing music, and exploring the PNW with my two sons. Please say hello if you see me around the campus!

Raquel Gage

Spanish Teacher, Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

My name is Raquel Gage. I am from the Dominican Republic. I became a U.S. citizen in 2017. I will have the privilege of being the Spanish teacher for Maple Corner Montessori this coming school year.

I have a Bachelors’ degree in Social Sciences and a Masters’ degree in Higher education at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic).

I have more than 15+ years of experience teaching core class subjects as well as Spanish language to students at pre-school, middle school, high school & college levels and most recently taught Spanish (beginning, Spanish 1 and Spanish 2) at Umpqua Valley Christian School in Dixonville. 

I am married with three children and live in the city of Umpqua. I am excited and blessed for the opportunity to work at Maple Corner.

Jennifer Foreman

Art Teacher

I hold a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Pacific Northwest College of Art, majoring in Printmaking in 2013. My work history includes being a Substitute teacher at Douglas County ESD from November 2020 to July 2021, followed by working as a Kindergarten teacher at Tri City Elementary in Myrtle Creek, Oregon, from July 2021 to July 2023 with an emergency teaching license. Additionally, I have been a sign painter since April 1998, creating window and sign adverts for local businesses.

In August 2021, I founded and currently manage the Myrtle Creek Youth Art League, a volunteer-run not-for-profit program that engages kids in public art and creative community service projects. I serve as an advisor and lead the kids in seasonal window painting around town, focusing on teaching art strategies, spatial reasoning, and fostering pride in their work.

With over 25 years of experience in the visual and audio arts, I have worked with various media, including printmaking, painting, sculpture, animation, video, and mixed media, both for clients and personal projects. I have showcased my artwork in small galleries and organized shows in different venues. Additionally, I have maintained and written the code for since 2003. I continue to work as a sign painter, primarily in Myrtle Creek, and have also completed murals in Medford and Portland.

I am extremely excited to bring my passion and expertise to teach art at Maple Corner Montessori.

Taylor Bennett

Middle School Choir Teacher

I have been a musician since the age of seven, and over the past decade, I’ve gained extensive instructional experience and developed a passion for local arts and culture. I am proficient in violin, cello, piano, viola, and vocal performance. Since 2007, I have been involved with local youth music ensembles, and since 2013, I have been teaching privately and working as an assistant conductor with the Umpqua Valley Youth Orchestra. I also teach music and voice at the Jean Bechtal School of Music. My educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and an MS in curriculum and instruction, which equips me to assist students of all ages, instruments, and ability levels.