Laurie Kleen is the Owner of A Growing Place and became involved with Montessori when her son was born in 1968. Laurie organized a neighborhood Montessori-type preschool before beginning her training. She completed her Montessori training for children 3-6 years from St. Nicholas Training Center, London, England through correspondence in 1972 and for early elementary (6-9 years) in 1974. Laurie started A Growing Place in 1975.  Laurie holds the global picture for A Growing Place. Her talents recognize and acknowledge children in the spectrum of life, parents in the adventure of child raising, and the Montessori philosophy as a key to imbuing joy of learning in life. Laurie’s passion is Montessori education and the children who have and are attending AGP.

Laura Asher is the Director of A Growing Place.  Laura manages the office, works with prospective families, and maintains open communication with caregivers.  Laura attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she received her B.A. in Religious Studies.  After discovering the Montessori philosophy, she enrolled in the Missouri Montessori Teacher Education Program and earned her primary certification from the American Montessori Society.  In the classroom, Laura teaches with clear intention, careful focus, and abiding patience to allow each child to blossom.  She also enjoys practicing yoga with the children.

Lauren O’Connor is a Guide at A Growing Place.  Lauren completed her Montessori Early Childhood Associate Teaching Certificate in 2017 through Age of Montessori in Bozeman, Montana.  She is currently working toward her Bachelor’s of Science in Biological Sciences Education through Western Governors University.  She believes in the Montessori method to build fundamental capacities, to help foster the child’s own abilities and independence, and to respect and nurture the child’s authentic self.