The Lupine Story

The Lupine Story

One of my favorite books tells the story of Miss Rumphius, a woman who is charged with traveling to faraway places and making the world a more beautiful place. Alice is a real adventurer. She reads books, studies about other places, then sets off to explore. She does this with ease, but is uncertain how she will make this already amazing world even more beautiful. While admiring volunteer flowers, lupines, she decides to plant as many seeds as she can so that these flowers can be enjoyed by all. Her small, simple act creates a beautiful world that benefits all.

In a way, this is Maria Montessori’s story too. She studied something that she loved, traveled all over to keep her message of hope for children alive and, without a doubt, planted seeds where ever she went.

Inspired by the vision of Dr. Montessori and the story of the Lupine Lady, we have created a school where making the world a better place is a natural part of learning and growing. It is a special environment where seeds of knowledge, independence and compassion are planted and cultivated. Nurturing your child in a quality Montessori setting and making the world more beautiful – the Lupine pledge.


Tina Davidson

Tina Davidson

Head of School, 3-6 Directress

I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BA in Communications Education and spent nearly ten years as a high school English, Speech and Drama teacher. When my husband and I were teaching in a high school district on the south side of Chicago, we were very lucky to have had many opportunities to learn about “new” strategies in teacher training like brain-based education, quantum learning and teaching, and multiple intelligences. Years later, we were standing in an observation room watching a little girl slice a banana for her classmates. The rest of the children were happily engaged in a variety of activities. We were hooked on Montessori from those first moments, watching children work in different modalities, at different speeds and being led by their interests. Our daughter was enrolled that fall and three years later, when our twins were ready to begin preschool, I began my training at Seton Montessori Institute. 15 years later, all three of our children have completed their full Montessori cycle and, after 12 years leading a 3-6 classroom, I’m ready to begin a new chapter in my Montessori story.

My dream of opening a Montessori school has become a reality. And it’s a big dream! At its heart is a strong community of people who care about children and the best possible opportunities for them. As my journey continues, I look forward to promoting Montessori’s vision of peace – learning to understand, understanding to sympathize and sympathizing to create an atmosphere of peace and hope. Academics and compassion go hand in hand. I believe we can make the world more beautiful and we will do that, planting one seed at a time.

Lina McAndrew

Lina McAndrew

Co-teacher, 3-6 Directress

My husband and I first learned about Montessori in 2008 through our daughter’s journey at a local Lithuanian Montessori program. We watched our daughter slowly emerge from a protective cocoon and blossom into a confident individual whose love of learning continues to serve her well as she heads into Junior High. After the birth of our second daughter and taking some time off to be fully present in motherhood, I began my Montessori training at Seton Montessori Institute, graduating in 2016.

Since that time, I have enjoyed the collaborative spirit that is part of the classroom community. I love offering encouragement to children, sharing their triumphs and delighting in the challenge of new ideas and experiences. It is my commitment to create a beautiful environment designed to meet the needs and growing interests of each child, providing opportunities for exploration leading to confident and creative self-expression.

David Chorney

David Chorney

Elementary Guide

My Montessori journey began when I was 24 years old at Denali Montessori in Anchorage, Alaska. It was a five-day substitute teaching job, an infrequent opportunity in the substitute teaching game that ended up lasting eight years. I worked in all four kindergartens, six lower elementary classrooms, six upper elementary classrooms, as well as for the PE teacher, music teacher, art teacher, and librarian. I had never heard of Maria Montessori, however I could see immediately the purpose and passion within each teacher to do this work and the enthusiasm demonstrated by the children while engaged in the pursuit of knowledge.

I graduated from Augustana College in 2003 with English and Sociology degrees as well as earning NCAA, All American Honors playing tailback for the football team. I completed my Montessori training for lower elementary at Seton Montessori in 2015 where I have worked for the last six years as an aide, co-teacher, and PE teacher. I spoke at the 2015 AIMS conference in Chicago and the 2017 AMS conference in San Diego on approaches to Physical Education as well the 2018 AIMS conference with my wife on the benefits of purposeful activities in green spaces. My wife and I welcomed our daughter on June 3, 2017. We enjoy camping, reading, hiking, fires, cycling, and family hammock time.

I believe that Maria Montessori has given humanity one of its greatest gifts. She has provided us with a philosophy grounded in science and a method that honors the child’s social, emotional, and academic growth. My goal as an elementary guide is to create an environment where children can work purposefully towards independence through exploration.