The Montessori American Indian Childcare Center Staff


Janice LaFloeJanice LaFloe


Director - Janice LaFloe


Janice LaFloe is the founder of MAICC and the former Primary Guide in the Children's House.  She is a member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe in Belcourt, North Dakota.  Janice earned her Bachelor's degree in Political Science at Macalester College in St Paul. She then went on to earn her Master's degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.  

Prior to her Montessori work, she served the American Indian community of St Paul for over a decade through her work at the American Indian Family Center and at St Paul Indian Education Program. Janice completed her Montessori training at the MN Montessori Training Center in St Paul in 2013 as a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow.



Operations Manager - LaVon Lee


LaVon Lee has been with the MAICC since its inception in 2014. LaVon is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Nation - Pine Ridge, South Dakota. She has a Bachelor's in Sociology from Macalester College and a Master’s of Education from Penn State University. 

Prior to working at the American Indian Childcare Center, LaVon served as the Executive Director at the American Indian Family Center, a position she held for ten years. She also worked as a the co-director of  Supporting Diversity in Schools, an initiative of the Saint Paul Foundation. She worked as a Program Officer at the Grotto Foundation, overseeing the Native Language Revitalization Initiative and the American Indian Family  Empowerment Program. While at Grotto she founded the Tiwahe Foundation and served as its administrator.  






Associate Director/Head of School - Laura Trujillo


Laura Trujillo joined MAICC staff in January 2020. Laura is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. She has a Bachelor's in Human Services Administration and a Master's in Nonprofit Management & Leadership from Metropolitan State University.

Laura comes to us from Juel Fairbanks Recovery Services, where she was the Community Engagement Director. Prior to this, she was employed with MAICC for 2-years while she studied for her Master's degree. Laura has worked at Kateri Residence in Minneapolis as a Resident Advocate, serving homeless American Indian women and children. She has also worked at the American Indian Community Housing Organization - Gimaaji Mino-Bimaadiziyaan in Duluth, a permanent supportive housing program serving American Indian families.

Laura has earned a Montessori Assistant Certificate from the MN Montessori Training Center in St. Paul.





Primary Guide


Ruth began at MAICC in July 2021. She grew up near the Mississippi River in Brooklyn Center, MN. Ruth has been working as a teacher since 2012 and holds an AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee WI and Masters of Science in Special Education from Western Govenors University of Millcreek, UT. She began as a traditional schoolteacher in New Orleans where she lived for 7 years. Ruth then worked for 4 years as a guide in public Montessori, receiving training in both primary and lower elementary.  

In her free time, Ruth enjoys reading, hiking and camping, spending time with her family and two small dogs, and studying Spanish. She loves working with children and their families to support a happy and loving future and is excited to be a part of the MAICC community.  

Ruth is of European, Mexican, and Cherokee descent. Her grandfather was a citizen of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. 


Assistant Teacher - Lacey Leith


Lacey Leith joined MAICC staff in July 2019. Lacey started as our Bus Aide and then moved into the Transportation Specialist position. She rode and drove our bus route, ensured children had a safe bus ride to and from the Children's House, regularly communicated with parents, and managed administrative duties. She has a child who attends MAICC. Lacey is from the Red Lake Nation. She has experience working as a call center representative, a CNA, a casino cashier, and blackjack dealer.  


Lacey completed her Montessori Assistant Certificate in 2021 at the MN Montessori Training Center in St Paul.  







Assistant Teacher – Lorrie Spading


Lorrie Spading joined MAICC staff in August 2018. She is an Assistant Teacher in the Children’s House. Lorrie fills in everywhere when extra help is needed. She is currently filling in as our Bus Aide and Girl Friday.

Lorrie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in K-12 Spanish Education at St. Olaf College and her Montessori Assistant Certificate from the MN Montessori Training Center in St. Paul. She has over 20 years of experience working with preschoolers as well as 17 years of teaching Spanish in Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools. Culture and worldview are embedded in language and Lorrie believes that we give an invaluable gift to our children when we support them in acquiring more than one language.


 Social Services - Parent Outreach Specialist


Terri Strom began her position at MAICC in September 2021, She is married and a Montessori Mom of 3 children (now all teenagers!). She has been working in social service and education for over 20 years with children birth through college age, in both community and school settings. For the last 5 years, Terri has supported MAICC and other Montessori early childhood programs with parent programing and children's social emotional development through a partnership with the Montessori Center of Minnesota. She is excited to now join the staff of MAICC and continue to deepen her relationships with MAICC families.

Terri has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and received her Master's of Social Work from the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Terri holds professional licensure in both Michigan and Minnesota and is a licensed school social worker.  






Food Service Technician - Sonia Christiansen


Sonia Christiansen joined MAICC staff in November 2019. Sonia is a resident of St Paul and lived most her life in South St Paul. She has worked in the Food Service industry for 30 years. She is experienced in running her own daycare center from home and has run a cleaning business. Sonia is a mother and a grandmother. She enjoys her job and always has a caring smile and laughter for everyone.

Transportation Specialist -OPEN