McWillie Elementary
Montessori Professional Development

The Prepared Environment & Observations


Suzanne Tipton

Suzanne Tipton found Montessori while working as a high school Math & Science teacher in Thailand. She completed the Lower Elementary course with Age of Montessori and led her own Lower Elementary classroom at Montessori School of Louisville for four years. She made the difficult decision to leave the classroom in pursuit of her passion for training teachers.Montessori education changed her life and she is eager to help others realize the beauty of this style of teaching.

She lives in Tennessee near her niece, Kathryn, and nephew, David Michael, whom she adores wholeheartedly. (They think Auntie Q is a party!)She also loves to draw, travel, read, scuba dive, hike, camp, and especially cooking. She has been working on writing her own cookbook for a few years now so if you are interested in vegetarian recipes, look no further! 

Heidi Tussing
Early Childhood & Elementary

Heidi grew up in Lincoln, NE but lived in multiple states before settling in her current location of Helena, MT. Heidi has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Wyoming. She spent many years as a child and family social worker as well as teaching social work students before finding Montessori when researching preschool options for her daughter. This discovery led to her own Montessori journey.

She completed her EC Montessori certification in Kalispell, MT in 2009 and worked in several Montessori preschools in Helena. She was the teacher for the first ever public Montessori preschool in Montana which was funded by the MT Legislature. She went on to obtain her Elementary I certification from Authentic Institute of Montessori and taught a lower Elementary class at a private Montessori school in Helena. Heidi currently is a substitute teacher for the public elementary Montessori teachers.

Heidi, her three children (2 of them adults) and husband love to spend time in Montana’s beautiful outdoors skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and sometimes relaxing in a hammock.


1:30 - 2:30 pm

• The Prepared Environment

2:30- 3:30 pm

• Observation

Downloadable Resources

Suggested Courses