Primary Teachers

Joanne Russo, Primary Guide

Joanne grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.  She received here B.A. degree in Journalism from Marquette University.  After moving home she worked as a writer and reporter for several Cleveland area newspapers as well as co-publishing Cleveland Racquet Sports.  From her she helped manage her family’s grocery business for four years before marrying and raising her three children.  Joanne went on to receive a diploma in Homeopathy, a yoga teacher’s training certificate and a master level in Reiki.  She taught yoga, meditation and Reiki while practicing homeopathy for ten years.  In 2014, Joanne moved to New York City and became an early childhood assistant Montessori teacher at Park West Montessori school while she pursued her Montessori teaching training.  She graduated with Primary Level Montessori credential for 3-6 year olds.  She also taugh yoga in the enrichment program at Park West Montessori.

Joanne is happy to be co-giude with Miss Tina in the Venice Classroom and part of the exceptional team of teachers at Cleveland Montessori.  In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga and meditation, biking, hiking, and reading.


Emily Packer, Primary Assistant

Emily holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Hiram College, with a concentration in Photography and a minor in Creative Writing.  She has Montessori Primary Assistant certification from Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University.  She was a teaching assistant at Hiram and has enjoyed working with young children in the arts, as a volunteer abroad, in daycare settings, and at Cleveland Montessori since 2018.  She spends her free time writing fiction and poetry, going on photo shoots in the Metro Parks, and spoiling her four cats.

Kim Dyckes, Primary Guide

Kim has been working with children in Montessori environments since 1998.  After spending two years as a toddler assistant, she obtained her Montessori Primary credential and has been happily working with children ages three to six ever since.  In her spare time, Kim enjoys practicing yoga, hiking and spending time with her husband, her family and her friends.

Tina Schneider, Executive Director

Tina holds a B.S. in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1987.  She began her career journey as a substitute teacher and in administrative roles for Hershey Entertainment and Resort Company and a Canton country club.

While tutoring in the Akron Public Schools, Tina was assigned to a Montessori Magnet School – and discovered a method of teaching she found intriguing.  Inspired by a visit to the Ohio Montessori Training Institute in Cleveland, she began her Primary training in 1995 when the Montessori School at Holy Rosary opened its doors.  Tina’s son, Andrew, was in that first preschool class.  “He was my guide — as I was able to see in him all that I was being taught in training.  The proof of the methods was right in front of me.”

Tina joined the staff as a teacher in the Primary classroom for ten years, loving the many challenges and rewards of guiding each child to meet his or her potential.  In 2006, she accepted the greater challenge of guiding the school as Executive Director.  She enjoys working with the dedicated and professional individuals who make up the staff at Cleveland Montessori and occasionally makes her way back into the classroom to give a lesson or two.

With her husband, Eric, and their four children, Tina has made Little Italy and the parish of Holy Rosary her home.