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 previou 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, sas 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.


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.


Machie Wojack – Assistant Teacher

Machie Wojack

I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. I graduated from Jumonji Junior College and majored in English literature. I worked for a trading company as an international trader until I moved to Minnesota in 2011 to marry my husband, Matt. After relocating to Minnesota, I worked as an assist to the Japanese programs in District 196. I enrolled in the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota to study Montessori education. I believe Montessori theories are the best for children’s development and independence.

I have a variety of hobbies that I enjoy. I like reading Montessori books, singing in choir, practicing origami, knitting with my friends, cooking, going to gym, and watching movies with my husband.

Credentials: Dakota County United Educators in 2013
Primary Diploma in 2016, Montessori Training Center of Minnesota, Association Montessori International


Florence Tillman – Assistant Teacher

(Photo coming soon)

I am a 2016 graduate of the Montessori Center of Minnesota’s Assistant Teacher’s Course and I am 100% behind the Montessori Method. My goal is to take the Lead Montessori Teacher training in the next few years.

I was born and raised in Minnesota. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be inside of a classroom working with children. I have enjoyed working at Mississippi Valley Montessori School this past year. The children are my passion!

In my spare time I like reading, baking, listening to music and watching movies.I am excited to continue learning more about Montessori and am thrilled to be part of the MVMS team!