Kimberly Hornbuckle - Head of School and Primary Classroom Teacher
I began my journey into Montessori at Indiana University where I earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. While I was at the university one day I saw a job posting for an assistant's position in a local Montessori school. I worked in the school for a year. I discovered that I especially liked teaching preschool/kindergarten children. So I resumed classes at Indiana University to earn a kindergarten endorsement. I am currently licensed by the state of Indiana to teach kindergarten plus 1st to 6th grades. I have taught in a traditional preschool and substituted in public schools for several years. When my son was born I was fortunate to be able to stay at home. My son began attending a Montessori school just before turning 3 and continued until he graduated kindergarten. He is currently a senior in the Aerospace Engineering School at Florida Institute of Technology. The opportunity to launch a Montessori program at a local non-proftit agency came my way. I helped set up and taught in the Montessori program for 4 years. During this time I earned certification as a Primary Montessori Directress. Unfortunately, the program was closed due to lack of funding. Parents of my students asked me to start a Montessori school of my own - which I did. Now I feel like one of my students as I continue on this amazing journey of endless possibilities that is Montessori!
Mary Jo Higler - Primary Classroom Teacher
I was born and grew up in northern New York State. A few years after we married, my husband and I moved to Maryland, which was our home for many years and where we raised our family. I am the mother of five adult children and have two grandchildren.
In addition to raising a family, I have been involved in the eduacation of young children for over 25 years. I was a teacher in a traditional preschool in Rockville, Maryland for 10 years before moving to Kokomo, Indiana with my husband and youngest daughter. Here, I was employed as an assistant teacher in two local Montessori schools for a total of four years. I accepted a job at a local non-profit agency, working there for four years as a Child Development Specialist for Early Head Start. While there, I was approached with the offer to be one of two teachers starting a Montessori classroom in August, 2006. I readily accepted and taught there with Kim Hornbuckle until the program was discontinued due to budget cuts in June, 2010. In August, 2010, I joined Mrs. Hornbuckle at her new school, Hearts and Minds Montessori School. I find great fulfillment and pleasure teaching children in this wonderful Montessori environment as we continue to learn and grow together.
My educational background includes attendance at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, where I majored in English and education. I enrolled in Ivy Tech College's Early Childhood classes and earned my CDA there in 2004. I am a certified Montessori teacher, earning certification from the North American Montessori Center in 2007.