Mission Statement

Together we are committed to helping each child realize their unlimited potential and individual success.


SCMS is organized as an independent, non-profit corporation, which is governed by a self-generating Board of Trustees. The Board is governed by the school’s Articles of Incorporation and by the School’s by-laws. The Board is comprised of members, selected from the parent body and the community at large, as well as the Head of School. Board members generally serve minimum terms of three years. The tenure of board members is staggered so that the Board always has a mix of experienced and new members. New members are presented by the committee on Trustees and elected by the Board. Before serving on the Board, members usually serve on one of the board’s standing committees. If you are interested in Board service, or in nominating someone to serve, please contact the Board Chair and your name will be forwarded to the Committee on Trustees. Board meetings are generally held at 5:30 p.m. on the 2nd Wednesday of each month during the school academic year, and convenient meeting times are set during the summer months.

Board of Trustees

Eli Vogen - Board Chair - boardchair@stcroixmontessori.org - Eli and his wife Erin live in Afton with their three children: Hasle, Sawyer, and Ole. Eli has degrees in Economics and Hispanic Studies from St Olaf College, where he met Erin, and has worked for Securian Financial since 2003. Erin's degree is in Psychology and she has worked in the health care industry for her entire career. The Vogens are strong supporters of the Montessori method of education and particularly the way it is employed at St. Croix Montessori.

Amber Hanson – Trustee – Amber Hanson lives with her partner and two children in the Stillwater area. When Amber and her partner first toured SCMS, they knew that this was the right school for their children and became immediate passionate supporters of the Montessori educational approach and SCMS. She founded Ally Supportive Services, LLC in 2013 with the purpose of providing person-centered, clinically sound services to end homelessness in Dakota County. Amber is currently the director of Housing and Homeless Services at Ally. Amber also founded a Minnesota charitable organization in 2009, and currently serves as President at Ministering Angels Closet, an organization that provides donated clothing and household items to those in need in the St. Paul metro. Amber holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology.

Angela Jaskolski – Trustee – Angela lives in Stillwater with her husband, Adam, their daughter, Violet and two dogs, Odin and Oslo. Violet is currently a lower elementary student at St. Croix Montessori and has thrived as a Montessori child since she was two. She attended two other traditional Montessori schools in the Twin Cities area prior to St. Croix Montessori, yet Adam and Angela had a strong affinity for SCMS from the moment they first toured the campus. They knew this was the school they wanted Violet to attend. The ability to be proximate to SCMS prior to Violet’s elementary years was a primary driver in their decision to move to Stillwater. Angela is an executive at Self Esteem Brands in Woodbury and Adam is an electrician and owns his own small business.

Abbey Marinack – Trustee – Born and raised in Star Prairie on the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River, Abigail's pursuit of higher education brought her to the mountains of Colorado and deserts of Arizona, formative journeys where she came to adopt a 'whole-person' philosophy combining wellbeing, personal growth, and embracing unique natural offerings of one's environment.

In addition to standardized educational milestones, Abigail believes that true education includes emotional growth and awareness that nurtures an understanding of the world and how individuals make an impact. Becoming an active member of the St. Croix Montessori School Board in August 2019, Abigail embraces the opportunity to work with a group whose central focus is creating positive opportunities for not only current and future SCMS students, but the community as a whole.

Abigail holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and earned a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the accredited SouthWest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona. She currently serves as the Chief Commercial Officer for the dietary supplement company NeuroScience and oversees Research and Development, Customer Support, Marketing, and Medical Education.

Amy Patella – Trustee – Amy lives in Woodbury with her husband, Alex Ivaskovic and their twins Jack and Finn. Amy earned a Bachelor’s degree in History at Rutgers University and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has taught at the high school and graduate levels and has worked in community mental health. The family joined the SCMS community in 2013 and ever since, Jack and Finn have thrived in the Montessori environment, building independence and a love of the outdoors. Amy and Alex are strong supporters of Montessori education and talk about it with anyone who will listen.

Brittni Roth – Trustee – Brittni and her husband, Ryan, live in Lake Elmo with their dog, Sydney. Brittni has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. Brittni has worked as an Actuary at Securian Financial in St. Paul for the past seven years. Brittni and Ryan are strong advocates of Montessori-based education.

Bob Taylor – Trustee – Bob and his wife Grizelda live in Cottage Grove with their Daughter Victoria. Victoria attended St Croix from Ms Molly’s through to 8th grade. Bob grew up in the UK before relocating to Minnesota in 1998 as a trailing spouse for Grizelda’s 3 year assignment at 3M which turned into a permanent relocation in 2001. Bob runs a software business specializing in Out of Home Advertising management systems.

Contact Us

177 Neal Avenue North
Stillwater, MN 55082

Phone: (651) 436-2603

Fax: (651) 436-1170