- OPM Report an Absence Form
- OPM Attendance Line: 517-706-5402
- Okemos Lunch Menu
- OPM Peace Pledge
- OPM School Website
- OPM Montessori FAQs
- OPM Community Connection Video – My Hand In Your Hand (Created in Spring 2020)
- Okemos Kids Club
(where you sign up for before and after school care)
- Okemos Community Education
(where you sign up for some sports and enrichment clubs offered through Okemos School District)
- Meridian Township Parks & Rec Sign Up
(where you sign up for some sports and activities offered through Meridian Township)
About Our School Community
About the School Name
Okemos Public Montessori (OPM) is housed in what was historically called “Central School.” It was called Central School because in 1920 the building was the first in the area to consolidate area schools of varying grades into one central location to combine resources. You may see our school called Okemos Public Montessori at Central, Okemos Public Montessori, or shortened to OPM or Central.
About the School Community
Okemos Public Montessori is a public elementary school in Okemos School District, however, because we are a limited enrollment school, students must apply to be entered in the lottery for enrollment. Our school serves a diverse population including 3 to 10 years olds, from Preschool to 4th grade, including our school district’s Begindergarten and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) students. Together, with their families, our school community spans a greater geographic reach than most neighborhood elementary schools because our students come from all across the district, as well as including school-of-choice students from out of the district.
About Being A National Blue Ribbon School!
Our school was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School, which awards schools for overall academic excellence and progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. This is a great honor that few school are awarded.
About Montessori Focus
Our school is unique because there are only a small number of public Montessori schools in the state of Michigan. OPM is aligned with the American Montessori Society philosophy, while also meeting the district’s learning objectives.
As part of the Montessori philosophy, our classrooms span multiple ages and include PPK (3 and 4 year old Preschoolers and Kindergarten), Lower Elementary (also called, “Lower El,” which includes 1st and 2nd grades), and Upper Elementary (also called, “Upper El,” which includes 3rd and 4th grades). Since the classrooms are multi-age they each have a Paraprofessional/Parapro, in addition to the teacher, to support classroom learning.
In the classroom, teachers and parapros go by their title (Mr. / Ms. / Mrs. / Miss.) and first name.
Each of our classrooms are named after a tree, to help incorporate the Montessori connection to nature throughout our school. You can see the name of each classroom listed by teacher name in the list of teachers below and you can also see the name of each classroom featured in the OPM Community Connection Video – My Hand In Your Hand (Created in Spring 2020).
Peace education is also a major component of the Montessori classroom. Peace lessons are incorporated throughout the year and each school day we start with reciting our school’s Peace Pledge, in addition to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.
We use Montessori lessons and materials in the classroom – from Montessori grammar lessons in English Language Arts to Montessori manipulatives in Math to learning about the Montessori Great Lessons in Cultural Studies.
Teachers and Staff
This list of teachers links to the teacher’s contact info. On their webpage, you can look for a menu on the left-side of the page to see if the teacher has other pages of information.Main Office
- Mrs. Kelly (Kelly Sundeen) – Principal
- Mrs. Rose (Rose Sarmiento Temple) – Administrative Assistant
- Ms. Renee (Renee Schwienhorst) – Attendance Clerk
- Mr. John (John Hughey)
- Mrs. Jennifer (Jennifer Schlicher) – Apple Blossom Classroom – Begindergarten (Room 116)
- Aide: Ms. Susan (Susan Soper)
- Mrs. Lorie (Lorie Latsko) – Flowering Dogwood Classroom – PPK-K (Room 106)
- Mrs. Beth (Elizabeth Lieber) – Mulberry Classroom – PPK-K (Room 105)
- Mrs. Kara (Kara Thurber) – Catalpa Classroom – PPK-K (Room 104)
- Parapros: Ms. Sarah (Sarah Padilla)
- Mrs. Theresa (Theresa Weber) – Honeysuckle Classroom – PPK-K (Room 107)
- Ms. Haley (Haley Blake) – Preschool Enrichment / Before and After (Room 3 & 4 Childcare B/A)
- Mrs. Susie (Susan Black) – Paper Birch Classroom – 1st/2nd Grades (Room 102)
- Parapro: Ms. Krista (Krista Ruonavaara)
- Mrs. Erin (Erin Gould) – Sycamore Classroom – 1st/2nd Grades (Room 118)
- Parapro: Ms. Sonali (Sonali Garg)
- Mrs. Holly (Holly Heie) – Red Cedar Classroom – 1st/2nd Grades (Room 119)
- Parapro: Ms. Lucy (Lucy Chen)
- Mrs. Adrianne (Adrianne Watkins) – Willow Classroom – 1st/2nd Grades (Room 103)
- Parapro: Ms. Cindy (Cindy Thrush)
- Mrs. Christine (Christine Batora) – Redbud Classroom – 3rd/4th Grades (Room 129)
- Parapro: Ms. Kathy (Kathy Gibson)
- Mrs. Erin (Erin LaFerier) – Silver Maple Classroom – 3rd/4th Grades (Room 127)
- Parapro: Ms. Julienne (Julienne Mason)
- Ms. Kelly (Kelly Bertilrud) – Paw Paw Classroom – 3rd/4th Grades (Room 121)
- Mrs. Mary (Mary Dieterly) – Tulip Tree Classroom – 3rd/4th Grades (Room 120)
- Parapro: Mr. Paul (Paul Rebeck)
- Mrs. Jamie (Jamie Delong) – Magnolia Classroom – Self Contained (Room 124D)
- Ms. Jen (Jen Presas) – Lilac Classroom – Self Contained (Room 124B)
- Mrs. Caity (Caity Biermann) – General Music (Room 130)
- Mrs. Liz (Elizabeth Steinmeier) – Physical Education (Room: Gym)
- Mrs. Marcia (Marcia Morehead) – Art (Room 131)
- Mrs. Sally (Sally Langley) – Library / LMC Specialist (Room: Library)
- Ms. Debbie (Deborah Farris) – English Language Learners (Room: ESL)
- Ms. Natalie (Natalie Kinsella) – School Counselor
- Ms. Becky (Becky Krawczyk) – School Psychologist (Room 108)
- Ms. Mya (Mya Pakonen) – Occupational Therapist
- Ms. Jen (Jennifer Nanzer) – Speech/Language Pathologist (Room 110)
- Mrs. Erin (Erin Kanitz) – Speech/Language Pathologist (Room 110)
- Mrs. Rachel (Rachel Krier) – Resource Consultant (Room 117)
- Mrs. Corey (Corey Nieland) – RTI Coach, Learning Resource Room (Room 128)
- Learning Resource Room: Ms. Anna (Anna Krystiniak), Ms. Nicole (Nicole Popovich), Ms. Hei-Won (Hei-Won Lee)
- Mrs. Chelsea (Chelsea Young) – Social Worker (Room 109)
- Ms. Wendy – Cafeteria
- Lunch Supervisors / Outside Helpers: PK, Stephanie, Evie, Andrea, Jessica
- Mr. Theodore (Theodore Katona)
- Mr. Ed (Ed Stebleton) – Custodian (Room: Custodian)