Karen Bernier - Owner, Director
Follow the Child Montessori School has been serving the Lafayette community for 15 years. I started with one classroom and quickly grew to a school serving children from 19 months to third grade in two buildings. After my growth I decided to follow my original goal and path in a small "home like" atmosphere where I knew each child and family well, and decided to downsize a few years ago. We currently enroll from ages 2-6 and are offering top quality teaching and one on one interactions with each family.
I come from a family of 12 children and grew up (from 5th grade) in Lafayette. I graduated from Jefferson High School, Purdue University and Seton Montessori school in Chicago. I have a BS in Accounting from the Krannert School of Management and American Montessori Certification for ages 0-3 and 3-6 from the Seton Montessori Institute.
Before opening my own Montessori School in Lafayette, I worked for the Montessori School of Greater Lafayette for 5 years. I held many roles and am blessed to have been with them in my learning years. I was the Toddler lead teacher, afternoon assistant in 3-6, worked in their afterschool program and in the office as the accountant.
I have four children of my own: ages 25, 22 year old twins and a 16 year old. My husband Larry and I have been married for 32 years. My oldest son, Joseph, has recently joined Follow the Child Montessori and is working hard to earn his certifications. I have also been active in the community through church, teaching and attending, and through foster care and adoption . Three of my children were adopted at age 6 and two have special needs. I continue to hold a foster care license and periodically help children in need of a home, family, support and love.
I am a standing member with the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Women Business Owners.
I am very passionate about Montessori and feel that I am blessed to work with children at the very important early stages of development to show others their place in this wonderful world. Priorities in our school are to teach: Acceptance, Kindness, Peace and Unity. The academics are evident through the planned Montessori environment and the children happily absorb all that is around them.
We are excited to start the year with our Montessori families and encourage you to become part of the Montessori experience with us!
Joseph Bernier – Teacher, Assistant Director
I'm Joseph Bernier, a graduate of Indiana University with Bachelor's Degrees in Spanish and Psychology, and of the North American Montessori Center’s training program for children aged 0-3. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, caring for plants, playing music, and woodworking.
My relationship with Montessori has been lifelong: I attended MSGL as a child from the age of 3 through first grade, then volunteered at Follow the Child regularly from middle school through high school, before becoming a full-time teacher after college. I fell in love with the Montessori method, and I feel the impact of what I learned back in primary school even today.
Kendra Rogerson - Morning Lead Teacher, Pre-K
Hi, I’m Kendra Rogerson. My husband William, and I have five children. Johnny is thirteen; he enjoys playing football and tenor saxophone. Graham is six; we love to have dance parties. Scarlet is five and starting kindergarten this year. Anna is two. She is in Ms. Gina’s class and would love to greet you in the building. Elizabeth is six months and learning to walk so she can keep up with her siblings. In my spare time I enjoy sewing.
I have been at Follow the child for six years. In that time I have completed NAMC training as well as participated in other Montessori training conferences in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne Indiana. My favorite part of the Montessori philosophy is teaching through sensitive periods. Listening to the children and what their minds will absorb is so important at this age.
In class this year we will be work on academics as always and I would love to get the kids outside to do those things. During the winter months when we can’t get outside I hope to incorporate art into our academic studies. We see year after year our age loves to do art.
I’m looking forward to getting to know your children and watching them grow and learn.
Gina Hull - Lead Teacher, Pre-Primary
Hi and welcome to Follow the Child Montessori. My name is Ms. Gina and this is my 6th year of teaching. I received my BA in both Psychology and Sociology from Purdue University several years ago! I completed my Montessori Preprimary Education in 2017.
Prior to working the children , I worked for Wabash Valley with adults with mental illness as a social worker. When my older children were young I opened my home as an in home daycare. I did this for 5 years. Afterwards, I returned to Wabash Valley Riverbend Hospital as an inpatient social worker. However, after working with children for those 5 years, I felt it was time for a new path and it must be with children !
My youngest son attended Follow the Child for 3 years and the is when I felt inspired to become a Montessori teacher. I have 3 children; 20,18 and 10 and my husband Michael of 20 years.
I look forward to meeting my young students and our new families to Follow the Child.
Candy Bixler - Lead Teacher, Pre-K and Afterschool
Hi! My name is Candy. My 17 year old son and I live in our home on Robinwood Drive. We have a beagle and a tiger cat. My 23 year old daughter purchased a home by Columbian Park in January.
I studied Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology from 2006-2010. I owned and operated Candy Land Child Care for Lafayette Transitional Housing Center for 6 years. I have been teaching at Follow the Child for 4 years. I love how peaceful and kind the Montessori classrooms are.
I will be teaching with Ms. Kendra in the Prek-1 classroom in the morning and with Mr. Joseph in the afternoon. I will continue to be lead teacher in the Aftercare program this August.
I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know our new families. I am also extremely excited to continue my treasured relationship with our returning families.