Kyung Kang, Director
Kyung is the director at Children’s House, and she has worked here for 20 years. She moved to Columbia with her husband, who earned his doctorate in Economics from the University of Missouri. She began her teaching career in Seoul, Korea where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Kyung received her AMS Montessori Certification in 2000 and was honored with Columbia Home and Lifestyle Magazine’s Teaching Award in 2008.
In 1999, Kyung decided that she wanted more experience with American style classroom education in the hopes that upon a return to Korea, where she could blend the two very different styles of educating into something new. She visited nearly every school in Columbia, but fell in love with Children’s House. After volunteering at the school for a year, she felt confident that Montessori education was right for her. Soon after, Kyung earned her Montessori Teaching Certification through St. Louis University at MOMTEP.
In an unexpected way, Kyung was able to blend the two styles like she’d envisioned. However, instead of bringing the American teaching style to Korea, she brought some of the Korean traditions to Children’s House. About her experiences in education, Kyung says,
“Working with children is my life’s mission and passion. Being a mother and Montessori teacher has given me special insight into my role as director of Children’s House. I want for the children here at Children’s House the same things that I want for my own children: to reach their full potential and succeed.”
Sarah Bode is returning to Children’s House for the fifth year as the kindergarten teacher but has been teaching for more than twenty years with preschool, elementary, and middle school students. Growing up in northeast Missouri, she came “south” to attend the University of Missouri- Columbia where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and later her Master of Science in Education from William Woods University. She fell in love with Columbia and has been blessed to spend her professional years here. Sarah’s favorite things to do is hang out with family and friends. She also enjoys spoiling her nieces and nephews, cheering on the Mizzou Tigers and reading.
Sydney grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and moved to Chicago to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and teaching certification. She has many years of experience working with children, from nannying & summer camps to working in the classroom! She is currently completing her AMS Montessori Certification and is so excited to implement everything she has learned. She loves Montessori because it fits her teaching philosophy perfectly and truly believes that it instills lifelong learning and independence in all children.
Chloe is from Southwest Missouri and came to the University of Missouri to pursue her dream of being a teacher. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education and decided she loved Columbia so much that she just couldn’t leave! She is currently pursuing her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Missouri. Chloe has over 4 years of Montessori experience and believes that the Montessori Method of teaching peace and independence are the best ways to build a strong foundation from a child’s future. She loves spending time with friends and family, watching Mizzou football, and trying new foods! She is excited to begin her first year at Children’s House!
Andrea is currently the lead teacher in the Red Down classroom and has been at Children’s House since 2015. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Michigan State University and moved to Columbia from Michigan where she grew up and worked as a nanny for five years. Andrea received her MEPI Montessori Teaching Certification in 2016 and is grateful and humbled to guide the future peacemakers of our world. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, knitting, and hiking and camping with her husband and two dogs.
Bekah teaches in the Red Down class at Children’s House and considers it a wonderful privilege & joy to have the opportunity to teach children. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and had moved to Columbia to pursue her Masters in Early Childhood. Bekah is currently completing her AMS Certification and feel in love with the Montessori Method that she believes is a beautiful education style that meets the children where they are developmentally, while also providing appropriate independence to grow. As a Montessori teacher, she says that one of her greatest joys is to see a child’s love in work, song, art, and kindness towards other children that blossoms from the lessons that foster the child’s character and creative independence.
Brooke was born and raised in Columbia, MO. She graduated from Hickman High School in 2008 and Columbia College in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies & a double minor in Psychology and Sociology. During the past 9 years she has been here, Children’s House has opened her eyes to how children should be taught, especially as she leads our Yellow Up classroom. She feels that the most important lessons taught are manners, social skills and how to interact with peers and adults, as well as caring for the environment. If children gain these skills, she believes that they will succeed in everything they do in the future!
Taylor was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. When she was a Capstone student here, she fell in love with Children’s House and decided to stay after graduation. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Human Environmental Sciences in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Child Development and Education. Taylor is now the Assistant Teacher in the Yellow Up classroom and appreciates the way Montessori prepares children for the world by teaching them to care for their environment, other, and themselves. She is also so thankful to start her career at Children’s House and can’t wait for all the wonderful things to come!
Amanda is currently the lead teacher in the Toddler Classroom and started at Children’s House this past August. She earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Education with a minor in Psychology from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO, in 2007. She earned her Montessori Certification in 2014 and has been working with children for over 8 years in the Montessori environment. In her free time, Amanda spends her time going to the parks, reading, and gardening with her husband and two daughters.
Maryna is a native of Kiev, Ukraine, and is the assistant teacher of the Toddler classroom. After moving to the US, she began working as an aide for special needs students until the birth of her first child. Since then, Maryna has focused on early childhood education in general, and Montessori education specifically, as she continues her passion of teaching children basic principles such as independence, respect, concentration, and curiosity. She has worked in a Montessori environment for over 3 years and plans on mastering her knowledge and practices of the Montessori approach. During her free time, Maryna enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, crafting, cycling, traveling and having fun with her two children and the husband.
Our chef, Sujan, has three children, who bring much joy to her life. She has over 5 years of professional cooking experience and owned a catering and carry-out restaurant called “Mom’s Kitchen” before coming to work at Children’s House. On many afternoons, she can be found perusing the produce aisles at our natural market; it’s one of her favorite things to do. Children’s House has been curating its menu for 40 years, but Sujan integrates unique selections drawn from her own kitchen experiences as well.