Meet Our Staff


Learn more about Buffalo Grove Montessori School. Contact us today to schedule a tour or classroom observation!


  • Our staff includes Montessori trained directors, teachers, childcare workers, and assistant teachers who love children. Our staff is dedicated to providing maximum adult consistency for the children in our care. We participate in meetings and seminars in order to renew interests and develop new abilities. BGMS supports every educator with the opportunity to further his or her education. We support each teacher’s individuality and appreciate the special contributions each offers. We value dedication, professionalism and a sincere love of children. All staff members participate in annual CPR & First Aid training and undergo a health and background screening process including finger printing as required by the Department of Children and Family Services.

  • Meet the Executive Director

    Deborah LaPorte

    Deborah LaPorte, Executive Director

    Welcome to Buffalo Grove Montessori School. I’m the Executive Director/ CEO and founder of BGMS.  My Montessori journey/ story goes way back…to 1971.  I was a college student on my way to a BA in Behavioral Science, looking for a part time assistant teaching job.  I found my way to a Montessori school. As luck or fate would have it, I was hired by a wonderful teacher who later was acknowledged as a “Montessori Living Legacy.”  Sonnie took me under her wing.  It couldn’t have been a more perfect beginning.  My mentor changed my life.  I will forever be thankful for her guidance and inspiration.  She actually drove me to the Montessori Training Center and handed me over to yet another “Living Legacy” for formal training and so my journey began.

    My husband (also a Montessori teacher) and I opened our first school with our toddler in tow in 1975. We were on a mission to create a beautiful environment and facilitate an experience that would provide the framework that would encourage our child (all children) to fulfill his innate potential. Our school expanded. One program led to another as our family grew to include three children and two schools. Our children are all grown, professional “Montessorians” in their own right and are continuing our family legacy. Our ten grandchildren are either alum or current students. We are an all Montessori all the time family!

    I have been passionate about Montessori since first stepping into a classroom.  I was struck with the thought that I never wanted to leave and here I am, over forty years later, never wanting to leave.  I realize I am happiest when in the presence of the children.  I also realize that it is “the child” who reminds me of the most important things in life.  It is “the child” who brings joy and hope to our world.  There is nothing more precious than children.  Nor is there a more important time than early childhood.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve the children and families who are part of our community and am delighted to now be the mentor who provides guidance and inspiration to those coming after me.

  • Meet the Heads of School

    Anna Flanagan

    Anna FlanaganHead of School – Administration

    I came to Little Peoples Montessori (now BGMS) in January of 1981 newly graduated from college with a Music Education degree.  At the time, I was glad to find work with children, thinking I would move on to teach elementary music the following fall.  Then, I fell in love with the children and the Montessori philosophy.  I completed my Early Childhood Montessori credential in 1984 and soon discovered that my teacher training was also the best parent training I could have found.   By the time my third child was born, I found myself teaching less and administrating more.  While I manage everything from enrollment to safety drills, I love that my job still pulls me into the classroom often enough to keep me grounded in understanding that the children are my most important responsibility. 

    “Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value to the human soul.”  Maria Montessori

    This is my hope for everyone who is a part of our BGMS community.

    Jeanine Halverson

    Jeanine Halverson

    Head of School – Program

    I began working with BGMS then “Little Peoples Montessori” in 1978 as a teenager working through a high school work program.  I left college to study the Montessori philosophy of educating the “whole child” full time and completed my Early Childhood Montessori credential in 1981.  As I raised my family, I found myself implementing the Montessori philosophy at home as well as with my students at BGMS.

    I believe that learning is never ending.  There is always something new to be explored and teachers need to be open to opportunities for growth.  The best part of my job is watching the children in my classroom develop into independent, creative, lifelong learners who are not afraid to challenge themselves.  As Maria Montessori said; “Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world.”

    Daniel LaPorte

    Daniel LaPorteBusiness Manager

    I’m proud to say that I’m a former student and a member of the Buffalo Grove Montessori School alumni.  I have experienced almost every aspect that the school has to offer from being a previous student and having performed many different roles as a staff member.

    I spent some time apart from the school while serving 4 years in the US Navy. Upon my return and completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2012, I stepped into my current position at Buffalo Grove Montessori as well as with our sister school Greenbrook Montessori as Business Manager. My college coursework also includes an Early Childhood Teacher Certificate making me uniquely qualified to support the Head of School in both locations. I float between the two schools managing the food service programs, the building and the finances. As a second generation Montessorian, I believe that the Montessori philosophy is truly a foundation for life as well as a method of education.

    Sue Weber

    Sue Weber

    Educational Coordinator & Montessori Teacher

    I am the supervisor of the Infant, Toddler and Two year old programs as well as a Montessori teacher.   I am frequently engaged in Parent Discussion Groups and Montessori Seminar events. I also help organize after hours events for the parent community here at BGMS.  I hope we can get to know your family at school events.

    I came to BGMS in 2005 pursuing my love of the Montessori Method and its application with little ones. I have a degree in Family and Consumer Science.  I received my Infant-Toddler (0-3 years) Montessori credential in 2007.

    I feel it is very important to both follow the child and to guide the child toward independence. It is important to me that the children are happy and enjoy the experience they have each day at BGMS.  I am sensitive to the importance of each moment and feel privileged to be a part of the development of the young child. The children may be little but this is a BIG moment in personality development!

  • Meet the Teachers

    • Theresa Skrypek

      I have worked at BGMS since 1986.  My career began with the Infants, Toddlers and Twos.  I received my Infant-Toddler Montessori teaching credential in 1999.  When I began to work with the 3-6 year olds, I returned to school and received my Early Childhood Montessori credential in 2011.

      I have been involved at BGMS as both a teacher and a parent.  My children have attended and graduated from our school. I love working with children. BGMS is my family and home away from home.  I love that we teach by guiding and providing possibilities and I love the family feeling that we have at our school.  I hope that you and your child will feel right at home too.  I look forward to welcoming you to our school.  I hope to see you at our family gatherings and events or sitting at our lunch table!

    • Lorrie LoBue

      When I started my career, I worked in the education department at the Adler Planetarium, implementing Science curriculum for Chicago public school teachers.  I then decided to join the Montessori community in 2002 and have been part of BGMS ever since.  I have a B.S. degree that includes a variety of early childhood and elementary education courses and I completed my Montessori Early Childhood credential in 2006.   I worked with toddlers for about a year and since have focused upon the 3-6 year old group.  I have participated as both a teacher and a parent as my three sons have all graduated from our BGMS community.

      The Montessori philosophy is based upon a carefully prepared environment, observation, and individual liberty. The experience provides the children with the opportunity to discover who they are and to begin to find their place in the world.

    • Elsa Murrell

      I have always loved working with young children.  In 2002, I was delighted to find Montessori and BGMS.  I was excited to find a school with a philosophy and method that matched me.   I received my Infant-Toddler Montessori credential in 2007.  I worked at our sister school in Hanover Park for several years, and then returned to BGMS.  I love this age!  So much is happening as little personalities emerge. Taking big steps toward independence, my little friends are busy getting acquainted with the potty, using more words and moving with greater confidence and skill. It is thrilling to begin stepping into the “work cycle” and “thinking” and “problem solving” skills too.

    • Susan Egle

      I have been working with young children for most of my career.   I’ve specialized in 0-3 years of age spending most of my career working with Infants, but have experience working with 3-6 year olds as well.  I enjoy being with all the children, caring for them and watching them grow.   I have a degree in Liberal Arts with focus on Early Childhood and Psychology.   I joined the BGMS staff in 2017 and discovered Montessori as a way of life.  So much of traditional child care philosophy focuses on the care and safety of children, without giving much attention to helping them build skills and reach their potential.  I am enjoying the new focus that Montessori philosophy brings to my teaching.  It is fascinating to step back and observe children grow and learn, no matter how young they are.  I look forward to becoming acquainted with you and your child.

    • Rocio Pantiga

      I’ve been a teacher working with toddlers and twos since February of 2014.  My son was a toddler when I began working at BGMS, so I have experience as both a teacher and a parent.  I enjoy working with this age group, because as the children grow, I get to watch and participate in their language development.  I love observing them learn to communicate with each other.  It’s amazing to see how independent they become!  I will be excited for their readiness to develop as I wait to start the potty training process.   I have an Associate Degree with a focus on Early Childhood Education.  Montessori has been the perfect fit for me and I began working toward my Infant-Toddler Montessori credential in the Summer of 2019.