Meet the Teachers

Linda Speiser


I am Linda Speiser. I was born in Kansas City, I have lived in the area my entire life. The first exposure I had to Montessori was during the 8th grade, helping as a volunteer in the Montessori preschool. This turned into a part time job. After high school graduation, I continued to work in the Montessori field for nine years.
Later I started my own hair salon business. Several years after that, I began homeschooling my first child. Two more kids later, I was still homeschooling and continued with all three until they reached college. Throughout those years, I acquired skills and knowledge that have been directly applicable to the classroom.
Four years ago, I decided to return to my real passion – teaching kids how to read using the Montessori Method. It’s been a joy to use the old skills and now ones along the way. Reading is to the most valuable skill every person should learn well. It opens the door to virtually all subjects and will be a lifelong asset for the child.
My most rewarding experience is when a child reads their first word on their own.

Lauren Nelson


Hello, my name is Lauren Nelson. I am 21 years old. I love getting out of the house and taking my three dogs on hikes.
I am currently getting my bachelors degree in Early Childhood at Missouri Western University. I started my journey with Montessori when I was a senior in high school.This has helped me solidify that I want to work with young children. My favorite part about working at SMA is that I get to help grow and shape all the little minds. It makes me so happy to watch my students learn and master new skills. I love being a part of
Smithville Montessori Academy!

Hannah Gardener


Hi, my name is Hannah Gardener. This is my second year working summers in the school age room. I attened SMA II as a child.
I graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in May with a degree in Elementary education.

Savannah Dierks


I am Savannah. I have an associates in Early Childhood Education. My family and I moved from St. Louis to Kansas City in 2018. I start my Montessori journey after seeing my two daughters thrive in a Montessori environment. I decided I wanted to have a larger role in their Montessori education. My goal is to create a loving, safe environment for children to grow in.

Allie Riley


My name is Allie Riley, I am currently in the Walker room. I grew up in Overland Park, but moved to Smithville after graduation, in 2018. I have been working at SMA for three years. I attend college a MCC. I am in the process of obtaining my Associate’s degree. I am passionate about helping others. I love seeing children grow, learn, and succeed. The Montessori Method is an amazing way for children to do so.



My name is Kassidy, I am 24 years old. I am certified with North America Montessori Center. I am in the process of getting accreditation with MEPI. I have worked with SMA II since I was 17 years old. I fell in love with the Montessori Method of teaching. I am currently teaching in the Primary classroom and as Assistant Director.



Hello! My name is Angie, I am 21 years old. I live in Smithville. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend and our dog, Apollo. We enjoy walking and being outside.
I went to Maplewoods for a year and a half for education, I took a break to complete Montessori training. This will be my first year in the Primary room. I was previously in the Pre-Primary. I am excited to be a part of all the exploring, learning and fun we get to have.

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