Nature Study

JIM McGRATH of Nature Discovery (located in Williamston, MI) has been the Nature Specialist at Montessori Children’s House since 1990. Each week, Jim arrives with interesting stories (often with live creatures) to speak with extended day and lower elementary children. Jim got his B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from MSU, but claims that most of his study is self-taught. Jim’s love of the natural world goes back to the days of his childhood and he enjoys sharing this passion with our children. Jim’s enthusiasm is contagious, as he builds on the children’s natural curiosity and love for the outdoor world.



CAROL McGRATH works with the upper elementary students teaching chemistry, physical science, and biology. Students are engaged in hands-on lab experiments and activities such as launching rockets, taking measurements and calculating their height; performing chemical reactions then predicting products and balancing equations; taking apart electronics then designing and building a working simple machine contraption; frog dissection and more. Carol encourages students to use the scientific method to observe the world around them by making hypotheses and performing experiments to gather data. She has a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Illinois, Chicago. After working several years as a chemist in the private sector she turned to science education.


CHERYL KENDALL loves to take the children’s natural interest in the computer to new levels. They work on a variety of projects including learning MS Office, keyboarding, researching topics on the Internet, programming, and dissecting the components of the computer. The children see Cheryl once a week for a small group class period of 30-45 minutes. She has been teaching computer technology to 3rd through 6th year children since 2004. She holds a B.S. in Civil/Environmental Engineering and also a Certification in Elementary Education (both from MSU).

physical education

KIM McKEON sets out to help each child find the joy in movement and exercise. She has been working at MCH in various capacities since 2005. She has been a softball coach at Bowling Green State University and an assistant softball coach at MSU. In addition, Kim has directed numerous youth sport camps and clinics as well as spent time as a personal trainer. She has her B.S. in Physical Education and her M.A. in Education in Athletic Administration.


JAIME DeMOTT works with our upper elementary 5th and 6th year children in band instruction twice a week. Instrumentation varies from year to year, with many instruments represented, including trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, and horn. Jaime, contracted to us through the MSU Community School of Music, holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in youth development, both from Michigan State University. 


LINDA ABAR has been teaching music for over twenty years. She works with the students on playing instruments, reading music, songwriting, and voice technique. Lessons often include movement and dance as well as music from other cultures. She is a graduate of MSU with degrees in vocal Music Education and Theory Composition. Linda also has a private music studio, where she teaches individuals of all ages who wish to study voice, piano, or composition.


PAT TAYLOR has been educating children (enjoying life with children) since 1971. She was a primary classroom director at MCH for over 30 years and now teaches art to the lower elementary students. The classes in art include learning about different styles of art, established artists, and various cultures. She also offers her time to make Sandtray Worldplay available across all levels. Pat primarily focuses on language development and storytelling with Sandtray as it helps children develop their creativity through exploring and expressing their inner worlds without interpretation or judgment.