Our Staff

EMILY LEUTGEB   Executive Director
Emily has worked in Montessori classrooms since 2008 – first as an assistant, then as a Lead Teacher after she got her Early Child Montessori Credential from St. Catherine University in 2010.  She has taught in a one-room school, a school serving toddlers through Grade 6, and a school serving infants through age six.  After finishing her Master’s in Education at St. Kate’s, she is thrilled to work alongside the Heartwood community as School Director.  Emily loves spending time with family, in nature, gardening, and cultivating community with children.

JULIA CARLSON   Lead Guide ( Maple Room)
Julia shares a genuine wonder and excitement in education and loves to create opportunities for children to explore on their own. She is a lifelong learner, with a masters degree in Cultural Studies from Toulouse, France. She began as an assistant at Heartwood in 2016, and was inspired to complete her Montessori training from the Montessori Center of Minnesota in 2018. Julia loves bringing her travel experiences in the classroom through storytelling, and travels each day with the children with inquiry and imagination.

LARA BERGMAN   Lead Guide (Cedar Room)
Lara has immense gratitude for finding her home-away-from-home at Heartwood in 2019. A Montessori child herself, she has taught at Montessori schools around the Twin Cities (and one in Thailand) since receiving her training in 2011. As a mother of two, she hopes to support all children and their families on their journeys through childhood and beyond! Her hobbies include traveling, cooking, and running.  

ROCHELLE HOLMES   Assistant (Maple Room)
Rochelle came to Heartwood in the autumn of 2019. She started out studying Japanese at the University of Minnesota, then went on to travel the globe exploring topics such as teaching English as a second language, permaculture principles, the hospitality industry, and property management. She now lives in Northeast Minneapolis, and is eager to share in the children’s curiosity and exploration of life. Some of her personal interests include crafting, reading, and all things outdoors.