Carmen Lafranzo -   Principal   Mrs. Carmen is the Principal of the School and the “cosmic view” Directress of CMA; she also teaches philosophy, psychology, and spiritual development classes throughout the School. Mrs. Carmen has a B.A. from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, and an M.Ed. from the National College of Education in Evanston. Mrs. Carmen received her Montessori training from the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center under legendary Dr. Urban Fleege when he began the first Elementary Montessori Training Program in Chicago and is certified in Preprimary and Primary/Elementary, with extensive work on the Erdkinder (High School) level. She also has completed Junior Great Books training. She has been a Consultant and Evaluator for the American Montessori Society, a supervising directress for Montessori interns, a Montessori teacher trainer (for the last nine years at a school north of us which has a new Erdkinder Program), and the American Montessori Society Teacher's Research Network. Mrs. Carmen is also on the Board of the Think Virtue Project. Mrs. Carmen has been a teacher for fifty-five years, a Directress at CMA for forty of those years. She is delighted to be able to enjoy second-generation Carmel children in her classes!

Carmen Lafranzo - Principal

Mrs. Carmen is the Principal of the School and the “cosmic view” Directress of CMA; she also teaches philosophy, psychology, and spiritual development classes throughout the School. Mrs. Carmen has a B.A. from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, and an M.Ed. from the National College of Education in Evanston. Mrs. Carmen received her Montessori training from the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center under legendary Dr. Urban Fleege when he began the first Elementary Montessori Training Program in Chicago and is certified in Preprimary and Primary/Elementary, with extensive work on the Erdkinder (High School) level. She also has completed Junior Great Books training. She has been a Consultant and Evaluator for the American Montessori Society, a supervising directress for Montessori interns, a Montessori teacher trainer (for the last nine years at a school north of us which has a new Erdkinder Program), and the American Montessori Society Teacher's Research Network. Mrs. Carmen is also on the Board of the Think Virtue Project. Mrs. Carmen has been a teacher for fifty-five years, a Directress at CMA for forty of those years. She is delighted to be able to enjoy second-generation Carmel children in her classes!

 
  Jacob Lafranzo -   Erdkinder (High School) Director & Head of School   Mr. Jacob Lafranzo was a Montessori child himself and attended CMA! He holds a B.S. in Biology from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota, a B.A. in Music from the University of Charleston in South Carolina, and an M.S. in Music Composition from the Boston Conservatory. He has had additional work in marine biology at the University of Charleston and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. "Mr. L" as he known at CMA, is a composer, with a special emphasis on symphony music, and an artist, especially in conjunction with his work in marine biology. Mr. LaFranzo took the Montessori Preprimary Training at the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston and the Administrative Training at MMTTC. Mr. L serves as both a American Montessori Society Accreditation Team Member and a Montessori Consultant. He continues to work on his studies in adolescent psychology; his special interest is brain development and research. In addition to his administrative work, Mr. LaFranzo directs the Erdkinder Program and will be teaching Mathematics and Science this year. His daughter Kimberly is in the Lower Erdkinder Class; his daughter Michelle is in the Primary Class.

Jacob Lafranzo - Erdkinder (High School) Director & Head of School

Mr. Jacob Lafranzo was a Montessori child himself and attended CMA! He holds a B.S. in Biology from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota, a B.A. in Music from the University of Charleston in South Carolina, and an M.S. in Music Composition from the Boston Conservatory. He has had additional work in marine biology at the University of Charleston and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. "Mr. L" as he known at CMA, is a composer, with a special emphasis on symphony music, and an artist, especially in conjunction with his work in marine biology. Mr. LaFranzo took the Montessori Preprimary Training at the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston and the Administrative Training at MMTTC. Mr. L serves as both a American Montessori Society Accreditation Team Member and a Montessori Consultant. He continues to work on his studies in
adolescent psychology; his special interest is brain development and research. In addition to his administrative work, Mr. LaFranzo directs the Erdkinder Program and will be teaching Mathematics and
Science this year. His daughter
Kimberly is in the Lower Erdkinder Class; his daughter Michelle is in the Primary Class.

  Ruth Gallegos -   Preprimary Directress & All School Spanish Teacher   Mrs. Ruth has worked at Carmel Montessori for the last eight years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Universidad Veracruzana in Veracruz, Mexico. Mrs. Ruth took her Montessori training from the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher’s Education Institute in Adrian, Michigan. She also took the Montessori Primary Training at Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center. Prior to joining the Carmel community, she taught for eight years in private schools in Mexico, and nine years at four Montessori schools in the Chicago area, with a special focus on bilingual and immersion Spanish environments. Her daughter, Eliesse, is in Upper Erdkinder at CMA, and her son Elliot is in Lower Erdkinder. 

Ruth Gallegos - Preprimary Directress & All School Spanish Teacher

Mrs. Ruth has worked at Carmel Montessori for the last eight years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Universidad Veracruzana in Veracruz, Mexico. Mrs. Ruth took her Montessori training from the Adrian
Dominican Montessori Teacher’s Education Institute in Adrian, Michigan. She also took the Montessori Primary Training at Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center. Prior to joining the Carmel community, she taught for eight years in private schools in Mexico, and nine years at four Montessori schools in the Chicago area, with a special focus on bilingual and immersion Spanish
environments. Her daughter, Eliesse, is in Upper Erdkinder at CMA, and her son Elliot is in Lower Erdkinder. 

  Alex Calhoun -   Primary/Elementary Director & Erdkinder (High-School) English Teacher   Mr. Alex grew up in New Hampshire where he enjoyed hiking in the White Mountains and began his work with children as a camp counselor. He attended Columbia University in New York City, earning a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing.  After graduation, he lived and worked at St. Joseph’s House, a soup kitchen and intentional community in New York. Mr. Calhoun received his M.A. in Education at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Soon after, he discovered the writings of Maria Montessori and enrolled at the Midwest Montessori  Teacher Training Center in 2015. His wife, Nora, teaches Art at CMA; his oldest daughter, Frances, is in the Preprimary Class, and his youngest, Naomi, is a frequent guest in all the classrooms. 

Alex Calhoun - Primary/Elementary Director & Erdkinder (High-School) English Teacher

Mr. Alex grew up in New Hampshire where he enjoyed hiking in the White Mountains and began his work with children as a camp counselor. He attended Columbia University in New York City, earning a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing.  After graduation, he lived and worked at St. Joseph’s House, a soup kitchen and intentional community in New York. Mr. Calhoun received his M.A. in Education at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Soon after, he discovered the writings of Maria Montessori and enrolled at the Midwest Montessori  Teacher Training Center in 2015. His wife, Nora, teaches Art at CMA; his oldest daughter, Frances, is in the Preprimary Class, and his youngest, Naomi, is a frequent guest in all the classrooms. 

  Adrienne Foreman -   Home Economics Facilitator   Mrs. Adrienne’s passion for food and baking has been a constant in her life. She attended the French Pastry School in Chicago, where she studied under many world-renowned chefs. After graduating from L’Art de la Patisserie program, she had the pleasure of working at several local bakeries to gain further experience and eventually founded her own bakery. She continued her education to include savory cooking and found herself driven to create delicious alternatives that could be enjoyed by those with gluten intolerance or other allergies due to dealing with many of those issues in her own family. She is ServSafe Certified, which allows her to work in any commercial kitchen.She has volunteered at CMA in so many capacities, including Spirit Wear Coordinator, Home Economics, Gardening, Assistant in Classrooms, and Field Trips. Mrs. Adrienne has three children who have attended CMA for the last six years: Anna and Emma, who are in Upper Erdkinder, and Adam who graduated into Lower Erdkinder in June.

Adrienne Foreman - Home Economics Facilitator

Mrs. Adrienne’s passion for food and baking has been a constant in her life. She attended the French Pastry School in Chicago, where she studied under many world-renowned chefs. After graduating from L’Art de la Patisserie program, she had the pleasure of working at several local bakeries to gain further experience and eventually founded her own bakery. She continued her education to include savory cooking and found herself driven to create delicious alternatives that could be enjoyed by those with gluten intolerance or other allergies due to dealing with many of those issues in her own family. She is ServSafe Certified, which allows her to work in any commercial kitchen.She has volunteered at CMA in so many capacities, including Spirit Wear Coordinator, Home Economics, Gardening, Assistant in Classrooms, and Field Trips. Mrs. Adrienne has three children who have attended CMA for the last six years: Anna and Emma, who are in Upper Erdkinder, and Adam who graduated into Lower Erdkinder in June.

  Andrea Lafranzo -   Music and US History Teacher   Mrs. Andrea LaFranzo will again be teaching String Instruments and Music Classes throughout the School for the sixteenth year.  Mrs. LaFranzo completed the National Symphony Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. and graduated cum laude from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance.  She has her Paraprofessional Montessori training at MECA-SETON (AMS) here in the Chicago area.  Mrs. LaFranzo taught young children in beginner and intermediate string players and student orchestras for eight years in Summer Strings Camps in Virginia and has orchestral experience with the American Youth Philharmonic, the World Youth Symphony, and the Boston Civic Orchestra.  Mrs. LaFranzo also has an avid interest in history and government. Her daughter Kimberly, who plays the viola, is in the Lower Erdkinder Class this year.  Her younger, Michelle, is in the Primary Class. 

Andrea Lafranzo - Music and US History Teacher

Mrs. Andrea LaFranzo will again be teaching String Instruments and Music Classes throughout the School for the sixteenth year.  Mrs. LaFranzo completed the National Symphony Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. and graduated cum laude from the Boston Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance.  She has her Paraprofessional Montessori training at MECA-SETON (AMS) here in the Chicago area.  Mrs. LaFranzo taught young children in beginner and intermediate string players and student orchestras for eight years in Summer Strings Camps in Virginia and has orchestral experience with the American Youth Philharmonic, the World Youth Symphony, and the Boston Civic Orchestra.  Mrs. LaFranzo also has an avid interest in history and government. Her daughter Kimberly, who plays the viola, is in the Lower Erdkinder Class this year.  Her younger, Michelle, is in the Primary Class. 

  Nora Calhoun -   Art Teacher   Mrs. Nora attended the Chicago Waldorf High School where she received a wide arts education, including training in painting, anatomical drawing, watercolor, clay metal work, fiber arts, enameling, basket weaving, and wood carving, and calligraphy.  Mrs. Calhoun graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in English, and took multiple art classes during her time there, especially focusing on sculpture, and continued to sculpt in a home studio after graduation. In addition she loves handwork of all different kinds and sews, knits, felts, and embroiders.  Mrs. Calhoun’s daughter Frances is in Preprimary and, as is CMA tradition, one year old Naomi comes to classes with her mother and father.

Nora Calhoun - Art Teacher

Mrs. Nora attended the Chicago Waldorf High School where she received a wide arts education, including training in painting, anatomical drawing, watercolor, clay metal work, fiber arts, enameling, basket weaving, and wood carving, and calligraphy.  Mrs. Calhoun graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in English, and took multiple art classes during her time there, especially focusing on sculpture, and continued to sculpt in a home studio after graduation. In addition she loves handwork of all different kinds and sews, knits, felts, and embroiders.  Mrs. Calhoun’s daughter Frances is in Preprimary and, as is CMA tradition, one year old Naomi comes to classes with her mother and father.