St. Francis Montessori Faculty

Polly Christensen

Polly Christensen is the Directress of Saint Francis Montessori and a Catechist in the Level I Atrium, working with children ages 3-6 years old. Polly completed her Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) certification in 2007 and founded Saint Francis Montessori with her husband and other dedicated parents in 2009. She has three children, of whom the oldest two attend Saint Francis’ Montessori and Catechesis programs. She treasures the light in the children’s eyes, faces, and hearts when they are invited into the particular joy of a relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd, through listening to Scripture and understanding parts of the liturgy of the Mass. “Children have a unique way of living in the wonder of love that invites the adult to return to the beautiful gaze of the Trinity.” Learn more about Ms. Polly here in our F.A.Q.


Carolina Alvarez – Casita Guide



Sally Duran – Casita Assistant



Kathleen Voormolen – Primary Casa Guide

Kathleen Voormolen is the Primary Casa guide at St. Francis Montessori, as well as a Catechist in the Level 1 Atria at St Francis Montessori and her parish. Coming from South Africa with her husband, she worked in the food industry in various states in the US for many years before settling in Texas. Kathleen was Occupations Specialist for an adolescent land-based Montessori class, after substituting in classes from toddler through adolescent. During this time, she realized how essential the foundation is in the primary years. She completed her AMI Primary certification in 2016. She loves seeing the children’s excitement as they discover new aspects of the world around them and in developing their relationship with God. She has two children, the youngest attending St Francis Montessori.


Maggie Schmitt – Primary Casa Assistant



Carole Morris – Lower Elementary Guide

Carole Morris is a graduate of the University of Dallas with a BA in Elementary Education and holds a Texas Teacher’s certificate with specializations in English and Math. She is attending Montessori training at Shelton in Dallas for the summers 2018-2019 in order to complete her Elementary Montessori training. Before having children, she worked as an elementary teacher for the Diocese of Dallas. She first encountered the Montessori Method almost 20 years ago when her oldest were very young. She was immediately attracted to the unique materials and the respect for the goodness of the child. All but two (out of 10) of her children have had the opportunity to learn in either a Montessori classroom or Atrium of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. She has spent the last 17 years homeschooling her children and has taught in several co-ops, primarily in the subjects of Math, Science and Language Arts. Her three youngest currently attend St. Francis and she is blessed to be part of this community.


Jennifer Spurgin – Upper Elementary Guide



Jennifer Dreisbach – Catechist

Jennifer Dreisbach is currently a Catechist for Level I & 2 Atriums. She is trained to teach Level I and Level II Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and hopes to receive Level III training soon. Jennifer has three children, one graduated from St. Francis Montessori in the spring of 2013, and the other two are future enrollees. She appreciates Catechesis of the Good Shepherd because she is able to see the fruit of the work within her own child who still attends the Level II Atrium, and Jennifer is forever amazed by the profound comments the children make regarding all of the content in the Atrium. She feels blessed to share the Atrium experience with each and every child and enjoys participating as they dig deeper into their understanding of the Good Shepherd.


Tamara Kuykendall – Catechist

Tamara Kuykendall serves as a catechist for all three levels of the Atrium. She is a graduate of the University of Dallas with a BA in English and a Master of Theology degree. She is also certified to guide all three levels of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Her passion is child education, in particular the formation of children in the Catholic faith. She taught theology for 4 years on the high school and junior high level. She later discovered the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and promptly fell in love with it in the way it recognizes and fosters the unique religious gifts possessed by the young child. She is a mother of 5 children, the oldest three attended St. Francis Montessori and all who are of age currently attend the Atrium programs.


Andrea Frank – Catechist

Andrea Frank serves as a Catechist for all three ages of the Atrium.  She studied English at UD (B.A. & M.A.) and is trained in the three levels of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  She is also pursuing certification as a Formation Leader for Level 1. Andrea has five children (number six to be born October 2017), and all that are old enough have attended SFM’s Montessori and Catechesis program.  She appreciates the understanding of the beautiful mystery of the child that she has received through exposure to Montessori education, and is particularly grateful for the rich experience of children’s spiritual lives—which illuminates our life in the church at all ages!—received through CGS. Being with the children in the atrium each semester is a great joy. She enjoys very much serving in the atrium and working in the community of SFM’s faculty, staff, and families.


Nece Zipper- Catechist



Karen Wyatt – Catechist



Annie Irlbeck – Catechist



Laura Sercer – Catechist



Michelle Weissenstein – Catechist

Michelle Weissenstein is a level 1 Atrium Catechist. She recently completed her Level 1 training and has been a substitute in the Atrium this past school year. Michelle’s child has been a student at St. Francis Montessori and the Catechesis program for the past few years. While observing her child’s experience in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program she was motivated to learn more about it and discover what a beautiful method it is. She is looking forward to sharing the Atrium with the children and to grow in the love of the Good Shepherd with them.