Helen Bajema – Lead Guide

Ms. Helen

Ms. Helen

I am excited and privileged to be the Guide for your children, and look forward to building relationships with them, and yourselves.

Although born in England, and raised between there and Northern Ireland, I have spent all of my adult life in Scotland, until moving to the USA in 2006. I have a daughter (Joni) and Grand daughter ( Erin) still in Glasgow.

In my previous life, or that’s how it feels, I was a counselor, which in some ways is the polar opposite of working with the children – who are so on the threshold of their life. I believe that The Montessori Method is really the greatest start in life that a child can have, and that Dr Montessori’s voice can be still be heard today, through the materials and their interaction with the child, as the child interacts with them.

I am passionate about health, and eat an organic diet; love making Montessori materials; spending time with friends; going for walks and watching movies with my husband.

Credentials: Primary Diploma, Montessori Training Center of Minnesota, Association Montessori International.


Linda LaFountaine – Assistant Guide

Ms. Helen

Ms. Linda

I am very excited to be a part of the Mississippi Valley Montessori School staff as an Assistant  Teacher.  I have been working with children for over 30 years and have enjoyed every year.  Some of my previous positions were assistant childcare center director, center lead director, lead preschool teacher, prekindergarten and school-age children’s teacher.  I have also worked for St. Paul Public Schools as a behavior management specialist in special education.  I am overly impressed with the Montessori methodology, teaching and preparing children for their ongoing education.
I currently reside in Inver Grove Heights with my husband, our dog called peanut, and our cat named Katti Boo.  My post-secondary education is from Inver Hills Community College.  I am also a graduate of Penn Foster Career Schools with a Child Daycare Management Diploma.  I have other education and training certificates related to childcare from various institutions.  I am so grateful to be a part of Mississippi Valley Montessori School and lucky to be part of a great staff!


Karuna Kirkland-Assistant Teacher

It is my honor to serve the children at Mississippi Valley Montessori and to be apart of the great staff. I started my school training in Iwakuni, Japan, where I worked in the Department of Defense District School System as a Para-Professional Aide. I was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal and I have traveled to Europe and Asia and have had many opportunities to learn about several different cultures, especially how they raise and teach children. I remain overly impressed with the theories of Dr. Maria Montessori and her perception on teaching habits. I currently reside in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, with my loving husband, beautiful daughter and family dog.

I am a graduate of Inver Grove Heights Community College with a Certificate in CNA. Most recently, I completed my assistant training from the Montessori Center of Minnesota.


Mr. Mike – Custodian

Mr. Mike

Mr. Mike


I have been working at Mississippi Valley Montessori since 2009 and enjoy working here.  It is nice that I can support this school with my work. The kids are great, and it is fun to see them working with all their Montessori materials.