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Faculty and Staff


Terrah Taggart

Head of School

Terrah holds a BA in Communication Studies, a BA in Elementary Education, a minor in Psychology, and endorsements in Reading, Language Arts, and Speech Communication/Theatre. Before coming to MSIC in 2019, she was an elementary teacher for the Iowa City Community School District for 11 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Judy Rouse

Office Manager

Judy Rouse has been our Office Manager for more than 20 years. She keeps busy with enrollments, student and staff records, and bookkeeping, among other duties. She lives nearby with her husband and two daughters, enjoys music, band, reading, cats, and watching all sports.


Heather Cox

Primary and Elementary Music and Spanish Teacher

Heather holds a BA in Elementary Education and Music from Cornell College. At the Elementary and Middle School levels, Heather has taught music, chorus, directed honor choirs, and assisted in theatre clubs. Heather has also directed a variety of adult community choirs. Heather has had a great interest and appreciation of different languages throughout her life. She studied Spanish for many years and enjoys sharing the beauty of this language and culture with her students. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family and pets, gardening, traveling, cooking, and attending local theatre and musical performances. She joined MSIC in 2006.

Kathy Dumont

Primary Teacher

Kathy holds an AMS Primary (3-6 years old) credential and a BS in Psychology with a minor in Speech Pathology from the University of Iowa. Prior to joining MSIC in 2006, Kathy worked in social work and was an in-home childcare provider. In her free time, she enjoys being outside as much as possible and spending time with her family.

Beth Zanzie

Primary Teacher

Beth holds an AMS Primary (3-6 years old) credential and a BA in Elementary Education specializing in Early Childhood from the University of Iowa. She joined MSIC in 2005. During her free time, Beth enjoys hiking and gardening.

Nafissa Fredericks

Pre-Primary Teacher

Nafissa holds a Primary (3-6 years old) credentials from North America Montessori Center, a teaching certification from South Africa, and a year long professional learning certification from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the Montessori School of Iowa City Nafissa taught first grade for 11 years in San Diego California and a (3-6years old) combo class at the Montessori school in Cedar Rapids for 2 years. Her other passions after teaching is cooking and reading. She also enjoys travelling, and swimming with her family. She joined MSIC in 2017.

Katilyn Kelly

Primary Teacher

Katilyn is a lead teacher at MSIC. She earned an Early Childhood Certification from CGMS, a MACTE Accredited Institute. In addition to her Montessori Certification, she is a Certified Child Life Specialist as well as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Katilyn earned her B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation with an emphasis in Inclusive Recreation and her M.S. in Child Life from the University of Iowa. Prior to coming to MSIC, Katilyn completed a fellowship as a Certified Child Life Specialist on the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology floor at the Stead Family Children's Hospital. Katilyn enjoys running, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. 

Skye Starkweather

Pre-Primary Teacher

Skye is a Pre-Primary lead teacher who is currently enrolled at CGMS (MACTE Accredited Institute) where she will earn an infant-toddler Certification. Skye graduated from Mount Mercy University with a BA in Elementary Education and a minor in Diversity of America. Prior to coming to MSIC, she worked in a residential setting supporting children's mental health and behavior. In her free time she loves reading, spending time outdoors, and spending time with family. 

Paige Rinderknecht

Elementary Teacher

Miss Paige is an elementary lead teacher at MSIC. She has worked at Montessori School of Iowa City since 2019, first, as an assistant teacher in Miss Kathy's pre-primary classroom. Miss Paige began her journey as an elementary teacher at MSIC in 2021. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and spending time with family, friends and her dogs.