KMS Board of Directors

Tracy Gartner, President
Elected to the Board in 2018, Tracy and her husband, Dave, have one child in the upper level classroom and one child in preschool. Tracy is a Professor of Environmental Science and Biology at Carthage College, and has a background in the development of long-term educational programming. She directed the Carthage Environmental Science Program for 12 years and helped establish EREN, a network of more than 300 science faculty at institutions across the country that emphasizes research and experiential learning in undergraduate education. Tracy’s classes have incorporated a considerable amount of hands-on service learning and partnerships with local schools and institutions, including KMS. Her PhD in Ecology is from the University of Connecticut.

Therese Miller, Treasurer
Therese joined the KMS Board in 2020. Therese and her husband, Justin, have one child in first grade at KMS and an upcoming KMS preschooler. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL. In between, and since, she has started, grown, and managed 5 businesses. Now she enjoys more time with her young family while private contracting for several local corporations. She has seen first hand the love of learning, problem solving and independence fostered through the Montessori program and is excited to help support it in our community.

Kendra Zannini, Secretary
Kendra joined the KMS Board in 2016. She and her husband Chris are the parents of two KMS students in the upper level classroom. Kendra has been a public school educator for 20 years and holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento in child development and a master's degree in reading from Benedictine University. As a college student, she had the honor of working as a preschool assistant at McKinley Montessori School in Sacramento, CA which started her love for the Montessori philosophy.

Heather Connolly, Member
Heather has been on the Board of Directors since 2008 as a member, vice-president, and president. She is the principal of Frank Elementary School in Kenosha and is co-owner of Connolly Physical Therapy of Union Grove and Burlington. The Connolly family has been a part of KMS since 2002 and feel that volunteering for the Board of Directors and supporting the fundraising efforts is the least they can do for the opportunities this school has given to them and their children.

Traci Lamberg, Member
Traci joined the KMS Board in 2020. She and her husband, Andrew, have two children with the oldest in preschool. Traci helps manage and run her husband’s family business of electrical contractors in the north suburbs of Chicago and has a background of teaching computer programming courses and has developed websites. She and her husband have been raising their children in using various Montessori methods and values without realizing as such and are very happy to have found KMS to help foster the Montessori philosophies and principles. She looks forward to the many years ahead of the mutual benefits of being part of the KMS family now and for the future.

Heather Schwartz, Member
Heather joined the KMS board in 2020. She and her husband Pete have one child in first grade at KMS and an upcoming KMS preschooler. Heather has a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She works as the Communication Manager for Gift of Adoption, a national non-profit. Heather is new to the Montessori method, and excited about already seeing the benefits. She’s looking forward to supporting the KMS community!

Melissa Thomas, Member
Melissa joined the board in 2013 as a board member and began her role as the board secretary in 2014. She and her husband Greg are the parents of one upper level student and one KMS alumni. Melissa has been a social studies teacher in Kenosha Unified for the past 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from University of Wisconsin-Parkside, completed her teacher credentialing coursework through Concordia University, and earned a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Southern California (USC). Her connection with Kenosha Montessori School began at a young age when she attended KMS over 30 years ago and had Ms. Jo as her kindergarten teacher!