Staff and Faculty


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Sister Leonor Esnard, OP, PhD

Sister Leonor J Esnard, OP, PhD, is the Exeutive Director of ADMTEI and is also the Internship Coordinator for the program.  

Sister Leonor J. Esnard received her doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with concentration in Early Childhood Education from the University of Toledo, her MA in Elementary Education from Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI and her BA in Sociology from St. Dominic College in St. Charles, IL.

Sister Leonor was editorial assistant for the Journal of Research in Childhood Education from 1989-1992. She holds an AMS Early Childhood Credential (1975) and has Michigan Elementary Certification (K-8). Sister Leonor was a faculty member in the School of Education at Barry University in Miami, FL from 1993 until 2004.



Vicky Skampo is Administrative Assistant at ADMTEI. She handles incoming requests for information, processes applications, tracks tuition payments and assists faculty with class materials. 






ADMTEI Faculty

All but one staff member are Montessori certified and members of the American Montessori Society. 

Pamela Esterline - BS Eastern Michigan University, MA Siena Heights University (Early Childhood Education); past head teacher and Montessori Director at Montessori Children's House St. Joseph Academy; past instructor at Bowling Green Montessori Education Program and at Indiana University South Bend Montessori Teacher Academy; past commissioner for the AMS Accreditation Commission.

Debra Gorman Cagle - BS & MA Siena Heights University; adjunct faculty member Early Childhood Education at Siena Heights University; instructor at Montessori Teacher Academy in Mishiwaka, Indiana; co-owner of Montessori4Life Materials Company; teacher at Felician Children's Center Montessori in Jackson, MI.

Theresa Weber - BS College of Mount St. Joseph; pre-primary Head Teacher at Brighton Montessori School in Brighton, MI

Michelle Laughlin - BA & MA Siena Heights University; Pre-primary  teacher at Montessori Children's House of Lenawee in Adrian, MI.

Uma Gopalakrishnan - MA University of Bombay, India; elementary teacher at Montessori School in Livonia, MI.

Carey Wilson - BS Eastern Michigan University; AMS certified Infant/Toddler Montessori teacher at Montessori Children's House of Lenawee

Sherry Doughty - Teacher at and owner & operator of Doughty Montessori School in Ann Arbor, MI.

Anita Adhikary - Graduate of Tribhuvan University, Nepal; children's book author, yoga instructor and Montessori teacher.

Annie Howard - MA Adrian College; art educator at Adrian Public Schools. 




Our Founder - Sister Anthonita Porta, OP, PhD (1933-2009)

Sister Anthonita founded the teacher education program here in Adrian in 1991 and was the Executive Director until her death in 2009. Before entering the Montessori field in 1969, Sister Anthonita had 18 years of experience teaching traditional education at the elementary level. After becoming a Montessorian, she founded the St Joseph Academy Montessori Children’s House in Adrian, Michigan with Sister Leonor J. Esnard in 1971. Sister Anthonita was the administrator of the Academy until 1993. Sister Anthonita also taught as an adjunct professor for Siena Heights University from 1974-2002, supervised student teachers from numerous education programs and was involved internationally as an education consultant and keynote speaker, presenting both workshops and seminars.

We continue to honor the memory, the spirit and the work of Sister Anthonita Porta.  Her love, her teaching and her exuberant energy will be dearly missed.