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Meet Our Team

Julia Kallmes


Julia has worked as an educator for a decade, first with St. Paul Public Schools before founding Monarch. She served as Board Chair at Heartwood Montessori, a nonprofit school in Northeast Minneapolis. She earned a Master’s in Education from Stanford University and completed the AMI Primary Training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota. Julia shares her passion for cooking, singing, and reading with the children at Monarch.

Monarch Montessori School Director Julia Kallmes
See's Bio Photo.JPG

See Her

Lead Guide

See graduated from the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center as a trained AMS early childhood guide. Previously, she earned a B.S. in Social Work from St. Catherine University and worked as an Assistant Teacher for ten years. See enjoys building strong relationships with the children in her classroom and seeing them learn and grow. In her free time, See enjoys spending time with her family and crafting. 


Pa Chia Her

Afternoon Teacher

Before joining Monarch, Pa Chia served as a Reading Tutor through the Americorps Program and an Assistant Teacher in a Montessori Children's House classroom. Pa Chia enjoys working with children and watching them grow. In her free time, she likes to try new recipes and spend time with her loved ones.

In the mornings, you can find Pa Chia in Kaleidoscope Learning, our sister nonprofit that serves families with young children.

Monarch Montessori School Theresa Kallmes

Theresa Kallmes

Music Specialist and Aftercare Teacher

Theresa received her Bachelor of Arts from Hamline University. As a child, she attended Montessori school for nine years. Theresa continued her passion for music and music education by playing viola as well as offering violin and music lessons. This expertise helps her plan biweekly musical programming. In aftercare, Theresa prioritizes outside time, music (of course!), art, and project-based learning. Theresa enjoys seeing how much the children help and support one another.

Theresa also organizes events including Musical Storytime and Fine Motor Friday at Kaleidoscope Learning.

Join Our Team!

Current Openings

Monarch Montessori School

Volunteer Board Member

Contact our Board President.

Board of Directors

Monarch Montessori School Board Member Jennie Lynch
Monarch Montessori School Board Member Elizabeth Elcombe

Elizabeth Elcombe


Elizabeth has been teaching in early childhood since 2008 and has been a Children’s House guide at a public school since 2015.  She earned a Master of Science in Education and an AMS Montessori credential for ages 3-6 from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.  Elizabeth lives in St. Paul.

Jennie Lynch

Board Member, Former President

Jennie has served on the board since early 2019. She served a two year term as the board's first president before retiring the position to become a board member. She received her BA from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. She has participated in numerous courses and professional opportunities focusing on education policy in the US. Jennie is a Minnesota native who resides in Saint Paul.

Monarch Montessori School Board Member Christopher Dirkes

Christopher Dirkes


Chris is excited to be a member of the board and helping Julia realize her dream of opening Monarch Montessori School.  A graduate from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota he brings a background of account management and finance and marketing analytics to the team. As a resident of Richfield, MN Chris enjoys running and biking the trails of the Twin Cities metro!


Julie Benton

Board Member

Julie is a proud Board Member of the Monarch Montessori School. She brings 12 years of experience in business development and marketing from her career with Polaris Inc., along with a passion for education and continuous development. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of MN Carlson School of Management and her MBA from the University of St Thomas. Julie lives in Edina and loves spending time outdoors boating, running and biking as well as reading and spending time with family and friends.

Monarch Montessori School Board Member Erik Peterson

Erik Peterson

Board Member

Erik Peterson has been a member of the board since the summer of 2019. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he studied History at the University of Minnesota, He is currently using his German Language skills as a Special Education Assistant at the Twin Cities German Immersion School.

Monarch Montessori School Board Member Kirsten Benton

Kirsten Benton

Board Member

Kirsten is delighted to be a member of the Monarch Montessori board. She grew up in MN and has resided in the Twin Cities since college. Prior to becoming a physical therapist she worked as a special education paraprofessional for high school students, and a teaching assistant for undergraduate students studying psychology. Kirsten loves spending time with her husband and her dog, Boo. She also enjoys running, cooking and gardening.

Elsabet Roth

Board Member

Elsabet has worked within the Montessori world as a Children’s House guide for nine years. She earned a Masters in Education from St. Catherine University and completed her AMI Montessori Training at the Montessori Center of Minnesota. Elsabet is excited to share her passion for early childhood education by joining the board at Monarch! She has a background in visual arts and loves cooking, hiking, and creating.

Annual Reports

Sept '22 - Aug '23

Sept '21 - Aug '22

Sept '20 - Aug '21

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