Elementary Staff

Mandie Bonilla-Ortiz - Lower Elementary Guide

Mandie is the Lower Elementary guide at SCMS since 2016. She was inspired to become a Montessori guide “after reading one paragraph about this inspiring woman named Maria Montessori.” She holds AMI certification (Milwaukee), a Master’s degree (St. Catherine University), and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee).






Sheri Rylicki - Upper Elementary Guide

Sheri Rylicki is St. Croix Montessori School's Upper Elementary Guide. After over 15 years in administration, Sheri is thrilled to be in the classroom where she can share her love of math, storytelling and inspiring students to challenge themselves academically, socially and physically. Sheri was drawn to Montessori teaching when she “fell in love with the level of respect and independence that the children are given. It’s amazing to see how capable children can be when given the right tools and guidance.” Sheri has earned many degrees and certificates, including: AMI Elementary Diploma (Montessori Center of MN), AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies 12-18 (the Association Montessori International), a Master’s degree (John Carroll University), and a Bachelor’s degree (Hamline University). At SCMS, Sheri most appreciates the children’s friendliness, their respectfulness, and their sense of humor.

Originally from Endeavor, WI, Sheri has a husband of 27 years, four children (one graduate of SCMS and two current students), two grandchildren (also current SCMS students) and a friendly dog. She enjoys reading, volleyball, and driving the boat.

Emily Sies-Mandel - Elementary Assistant

Emily has worked as an assistant and as the director of the summer camp program at SCMS since 2013. She has an AMI Assistant Certification (MTCM), a Master’s degree (University of Minnesota), and a Bachelor’s degree (Luther College). She appreciates how “the Montessori philosophy instills confidence and independence through experiential learning opportunities within and around the classroom and community.” At SCMS, she is happy “whenever a student is really excited to show me something that they have worked very hard at and are proud of.” She has observed that SCMS students love the outdoors and are eager to help one another. Her favorite moments at SCMS are playing “lightening” basketball with the Elementary kids.

Originally from Freeport, IL, Emily lives with her “wonderfully bearded husband and two adventuresome kids.” Her hobbies are “painting, kayaking, being in the outdoors, spending time with family, listening to records, writing, drinking good coffee.” If she could meet any famous person, dead or alive, it would be “Artemisia Gentileschi, a 17th century female Baroque painter...she helped to pave the way for women in the arts.” Fun fact about Emily: she is an amazing Rock Paper Scissors game player.

Emma Gohlke (Emma June)

Emma is the Upper Elementary Assistant.  She has worked four summers in SCMS’s Summer Camp Program.  Emma graduated from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a  Minor in Early Childhood Education.

Emma is originally from Endeavor, WI.  She enjoys playing volleyball, quilting, country music, spending time with family and playing with her dog, Gus.




Jenny Ahvonen - Lower Elementary Assistant

Jenny graduated from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood Education. She completed her last semester of student teaching in a lower elementary Montessori classroom, and is excited to be at SCMS.

Jenny was born and raised in Helsinki, Finland. She now lives in Hudson, WI with her husband and their black lab. Jenny enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading.

Contact Us

177 Neal Avenue North
Stillwater, MN 55082

Phone: (651) 436-2603

Fax: (651) 436-1170