Bri Steilberg is the owner and director of Kinder Haus Montessori Mandeville. Her story at Kinder Haus started when Bri applied for a part time position at Kinder Haus as office help and classroom floater. “I remember walking into the interview with no idea what to expect. My knowledge of the Montessori Method included a quick Google search before applying for the open position. Little did I know that it would shape who I am as not only a parent but as a person. The philosophy and belief in the importance of a strong foundation for early childhood education resonates for my family. My first hand experience in watching my daughter become an independent, helpful, kind, resourceful, and caring child only grew my love for Kinder Haus Montessori. The opportunity it gave to me and my family has changed our life.”
She quickly fell in love with Kinder Haus and the Montessori Method. She knew this would be the perfect place to raise her growing family. Bri’s three children, Gabrielle, Noah, and Alex have all experienced the wonderful teachers of each classroom. Bri’s passion and ability to see future potential for the school helped in quickly gaining her more responsibility at Kinder Haus. She was first promoted to the afternoon Director then again to be the Assistant Director and once more to be the Co-Director. In 2018 there was yet another surprising turn of events in her professional life. She was offered the opportunity to purchase Kinder Haus Montessori Mandeville from the founder of Kinder Haus Montessori, Patricia Lacoste. Since purchasing the school, Bri has been able to see her dreams for the place she loves so much come to fruition. “The work that takes place in our classrooms is so much more than ‘daycare’. These teachers work endlessly to do exactly what Maria Montessori said, ‘follow the child’. Each classroom creates their own autonomous goals and curriculum formulated around their specific Montessori certifications. This school is much more than a Preschool to me, it is truly a community. The involvement of parents in conjunction with the teachers is what helps shape our individual community. We try to start the ground work for these children to help lead our world to a better future. Even the youngest children in our school are capable of so much if they are just given the chance to practice the skills they are interested in. Whether we are introducing cooking, music, Spanish, art, composting, gardening, or general care of our planet the end goal is to do everything we can to make this world better than when we inherited it. After being with Kinder Haus Montessori for the last eight years and seeing the children that have walked these halls, I know whole heartedly that our world is in incredible hands.”
Bri was born raised on the North shore of Louisiana spending her time fishing and exploring the gorgeous wetlands and waterways that surround southern Louisiana. Her time outside of Kinder Haus is spent with her husband Robert and 3 children camping, hiking, and appreciating the beauty of nature as well as reading when she finds the time for herself. Her personal goals include trying to minimize her consumption and be mindful of how her choices affect the environment. She grew with strong roots in her synagogue and began teaching Hebrew school there when she was just 13 years old. She continues to volunteer and teach religious school at Northshore Jewish Congregation on the weekends. Bri has earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Louisiana State University in 2010 as well as her Montessori Certification from North American Montessori Center in birth to three year olds in 2016.
While the unexpected pandemic circumstances halted some of the progressive steps Bri had in mind for Kinder Haus, these goals are slowly resurfacing. Providing high quality infant care is at the top of the list. Bri remains “cautiously optimistic” that the newest addition to the campus will be ready to accept students within the next year. The journey is just beginning for Bri and all of her dreams for providing the best possible education from the beginning for children!