TNSM staff tell about their summer 2019

Many thanks to TNSM Alumni parent and photographer, Helen Adams, for taking a group staff photo, capturing an image of us the week before school started.

Ann Baumgardner What began as a weekend pilgrimage to Kansas for an outdoor symphony concert set against the majestic backdrop of a tall grass prairie became – due to violent storms – a trip to the Evel Knievel museum. All was not lost, as we each took a 3-D virtual spin on Evel’s show bike.  Later in the summer, I picked Mom up from NE Ohio for a visit with us in Cincinnati and in Indy with my sister. We enjoyed both cities’ art museums, Indiana’s state fair and played oh so many games!

Brendan Blumer

This summer I got married! I also took a few summer classes and played a few festivals, including my band’s boat cruise on the Belle of Cincinnati, Pelicans on the Breeze. I spent some quality time with my family, my friends, and my cats. I also figured out how to properly barbecue brisket.

Colleen Blumer  I went to Columbus for an overnight and helped prepare for Brendan’s wedding this summer.

Catherine Bollmann Summer 2019 started off with some pretty intense outdoor sports, swimming and tennis. My 7-year-old daughter, Clara, decided she was ready to join the swim team at our neighborhood pool, which turned out to be quite intense, though extremely fun. Trying to manage Clara’s 5-days-a-week swim team schedule with swimming and tennis lessons for all three children several days a week was challenging, but being able to relax in the evening hours at our pool with our whole family was certainly rewarding. Later on in the summer, our family took our annual drive up to our cabin on Lake Superior. As always, it was amazing, and the kids got to see their Uncle Allan, whom they have not seen in a while. We all look forward to another school year at TNSM!!!

Karen Borgmann My oldest son Trent is driving. He is doing a great job and is a big help. My son Tate is going to a new school this year and is excited to begin. We had a great summer!



Emily Broderick This summer was filled with nannying, a trip to Cabo, and a family vacation to Kiawah Island, SC. I also took 3 classes through Xavier University to help complete my Masters in Reading Education. Caroline (South Room co-teacher) and I also finished up taking our ukulele lessons together! My summer was filled with family, friends, and fun, and I am so excited for a new school year at TNSM. This is a picture of my family (minus one brother) on family vacation in Kiawah Island.



Lauren Burke The summer went by so quickly!  It started with a long weekend trip to Honesdale, PA for a Burke family reunion.  We saw beautiful waterfalls, played in the Delaware River and enjoyed family time.  Soon after that, I drove up to Grand Rapids, Michigan to start my three-week residency for my (6-9) training program.  I was nervous to be gone for such a long time, but in the end I learned so much and had an awesome group of Montessorians to grow and practice with.  I had never been to MI before, so when my husband and kids came up for one of the weekends, we made sure to swim in Lake Michigan. It was amazingly huge!  I also went to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids that features endless amounts of flowers and plants to gawk at, and a 24-foot horse by animal sculptor, Nina Akamu.  Other than that, I have been growing a baby for another couple and that has kept me well fed and happy:)


Caroline Davis
This summer I was fortunate enough to travel to Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy. I fell in love with the fresh air and beautiful views! I also spent some time in Austin, TX with friends and in Northern Michigan with my husband and our dogs, Boomer & Poppy. I filled the rest of the summer up with lots of good books!

Rob Clark
We took a quick camping trip and spent a long weekend in Indianapolis where we lost our youngest son in the mirror maze. It was the longest few minutes of my life, but we soon found him. We enjoyed a play date at the Olexeys’ home where we saw and experienced Emily’s backyard nature scape that she created.

Audrey Cobb

We bought a new car. We had a great time visiting our youngest daughter in Virginia, we added a patio to our back yard, we had an epic grill out, we cruised the Kentucky River on a boat, and we spent lots of quality time with our grandkids! Perfect summer!











Ceara Comstock
I had a wonderful summer mostly in town. It was relaxing and full of coffee, reading, and gathering on our backyard patio surrounded by flowers, veggies, and hummingbirds! My immediate family traveled to Santa Fe, NM for the first time and loved every minute. We hiked Aspen and Ponderosa pine trails and climbed ladders 140 ft up to Anasazi ruins from 1000 A.D. The wonderful food and desert air were both rejuvenating, as was the time spent all together. I am excited for the families to return to what is always a too-quiet campus in the summer.


Mandy Crouch

I took the Orton-Gillingham training at Mayerson Academy this June.  It was an intensive program, but I am so excited that I got this training because it has been a goal of mine for some time.  I look forward to applying everything I learned to the classroom this school year.  At the end of July, my family vacationed in San Diego.  The weather was fabulous!  We saw the koalas at the zoo and the orcas at Seaworld.  My kids and I loved checking out the cool animals in the tidal pools. I tried surfing again, and I fared much better this year!  Also, my kids and I built so many sand castles that I think we made a kingdom! It was a great summer.

Ximena Flores

It has been a great summer – going back home to Ecuador is always the best! I had a five-week visit with my dear mom, sister and brother with their loving families. Just wonderful! Traveling with my daughter Paulina and two grandchildren, Kion and Carmen, was just the beginning of a great adventure as Peter, my son-in-law joined us later.
After a successful minor leg surgery I went there to have repaired, I spent the rest of the time visiting and seeing so many thing.  At 9,000 feet above sea level on the equator line, the biodiversity is so amazing –  absolutely breath taking! I encourage you to check it out and consider visiting this beautiful country.
My energy is renewed, and I am ready to start a new school year with all its wonders and challenges.




Katie Guarasci I spent the summer in Cincinnati with family, and I worked over the summer. I visited Nashville for a quick vacation.


Jeff Groh We flew to Germany to visit with my in-laws. In the middle of the vacation, we took a side trip to Italy where we hiked. We had a great time and are excited about beginning a new school year!

Robin Hartmann My daughter, Leah, and I have been on a college tour and have driven through 8 states! I was up in Chautauqua teaching, andI also  taught for 3 weeks at Kennedy Heights. I’m working on a new piece that will be part of an art show in September at Kennedy Heights. I’m planning on having the kids participate in this year’s BLINK parade as well as having an entry for myself as well. I also spent a lot of time this summer with our granddaughter, Shaylee.



 Ryonen Ignatius

This summer I was fortunate to travel across the Atlantic for the first time since the original Lion King was premiering in theaters. Brent had a work trip at the Paris Air Show, so we added on some days to make a vacation out of it.  We got to soak in a culture that values the beauty and fortification of art, architecture, fashion, and food; respects the beauty and nobility of gaining age and wisdom, and cherishes friendship and family with open displays of warmth, affection, and conviviality. It was our longest trip together since our honeymoon, and a supreme treat.

Also, our family celebrated my dad’s 75th birthday with a really fun party of artists and silver-haired hippies, we painted a bunch of people yellow and marched in the Northside Parade, hung out at my sister-in-law’s farm in Pennsylvania with goats and a rooster, and ran up the Rocky Balboa steps in Philadelphia. Brando got braces and has to shave his ‘stache a lot, and Jesse spent most of his summer swimming and reading for pleasure. It’s been a good one!



Robby Lewis
I spent the entire summer working on house projects (mantel, shed, floors, painting, etc.) We also spent much-needed quality time with friends and family. Beth and I travelled to Florida, Maine, Michigan, and Norris Lake. Also, we attended several weddings, mainly Brendan’s wedding! It was sooo fun! I’m glad to be back and can’t wait for another great year!



Holly Lottman My summer consisted of a lot of home improvement projects. We got a new back porch, driveway, front and back screen doors, and a sewer pipe that we were not planning on replacing. 🙄

I also got my wisdom teeth removed. That week was certainly not a highlight of my summer. We spent a beautiful weekend in Hocking Hills with family and also enjoyed going to the Wyoming pool.




Nadja Nether The highlight of my Summer was flying to Brazil to see my family and my best friends. It was an intense visit filled with love and laughter. It was also my son Lucas’ first time meeting most of my family, and his first time deepening his foot into the ocean 🙂 Here is a picture of us in the Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro, one of my favorite places on Earth!

 Emily Olexsey – I spent my summer at home and made a place in the backyard for nature scape and enjoying the outdoors with creating playground space for the kids.




Casey Rodriguez

This summer was a big one for me! On June 27th, I married my husband Jon, and we celebrated with both of our families at a beach in Wilmington, North Carolina. In July, we moved from our home of four years in North Carolina, back to our hometown in Cincinnati. Now back in Cincinnati, I have been spending time doing lots of fun activities like rock climbing, kayaking and going to the zoo. We are both glad to be back.



Melissa Robinson

We finally visited Alaska, on Kim’s bucket list forever as the one state she had never visited. We left as soon as school finished for a fabulous 2-week expedition. We were met with such a vast expanse of uncivilized beauty! Highlights included sightings of moose, caribou, sea lions, seals, porpoises, and humpback and killer whales. We visited a sled dog ranch where we learned about the dogs and the Iditarod. We got to go for a ride on a summer training cart behind 14 eager dogs. Great hiking and great family memories.

Back home, we built a fire pit. Now we just have to wait until autumn hits Cincinnati! Sylvie started her new foray into backyard beekeeping, Grace got a summer job as a behavioral therapist for children with autism, and Fynn and Henry were thrilled (ha!) to dig into summer homework for their first year at Xavier Lab School.

Maureen Simon

My family made the big decision to downsize as both our children will be leaving home in the next few years! Preparing our home to put on the market and actually moving into the new one consumed our lives for many weeks. But now that we are settled we are happy in our new home.

Laura Slanker 

The end of June/ beginning of July, I worked on the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota Sioux tribe at an art camp.  The children did sculpture, woodworking, painting and performing.  I was in charge of the performance based on a Lakota Sioux legend called Muskrat and Skunk.  It is a creation story of drumming on a log that all animals of the forest join in to create the “heartbeat of life.”  We created giant animals from the book, cut them out and put them on long poles as giant puppets to perform.  There were 25 kids ages 5-15.  We also fed the kids lunch and breakfast.

Jeanne Speier
My summer has been filled with no travel and lots of local work. Since teaching Dunham dance to TNSM students last year, I was inspired to teach adults at Contemporary Dance Theater. I had fun working with Robin Hartmann on a dance and art camp about Van Gogh’s starry night and two camps for CRC, teaching white water kayaking to children on the Little Miami River. I also worked with children who joined me at a drum circle at Barrington Memory Care Unit. I really enjoy the early mornings in my garden and going to the pool in the afternoon. Will miss the summer.



Sarah Strietmann This summer was spent traveling with family and friends. To start off the summer I went to very hot New Orleans (for the first time) with some college friends and enjoyed delicious food. We took a cooking class where we learned to make gumbo, jambalaya, and pralines (I highly recommend the New Orleans School of Cooking)! I then went to Chicago to spend time with my cousin and enjoyed walking along Lake Shore Trail. Finally, I spent a lot of time with my family up in Michigan. We enjoyed boat rides, raspberry and strawberry picking, biking, and walking along the beach.

Debbie Weinstein

I attended a high school reunion this summer. Our son’s family had a baby this spring, so I spent some time going up to Cleveland to play with 3 grandchildren.

Johnnyé White I spent my summer getting The New School’s old oven established in its new home where it will be helping us serve dinner to 250 people a week. Very grateful!





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