Board Meetings and Events

Board meetings and other events listed here are open to the public. You are welcome to join us.

No upcoming events.

Board Members

Leah Studaker, Board President


With a BA in Psychology from the University of New Mexico, she worked as a staff member at a residential treatment home for children, a PARA at a Minneapolis Alternative High School, and was the Executive Assistant to Carlson Real Estate’s CFO. 

She grew-up volunteering extensively for the Red Cross, soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity and her church, more recently the schools and church that her children and family attend. She's also served as a board member of our HOA, and led the cause in bringing a community park to her neighborhood. 

Recently she became a Licensed Realtor with Edina Realty and  cherishes being a mom to her three sons ages 7, 12 & 17 yrs old. She's an avid gardener, writer, and is passionate about yoga and outdoor activities, especially water sports.  

 Leah is a founder of Three Rivers Montessori in Elk River (school in Elk River).

Lisa Andrican


 Lisa has a degree from Saint Catherine's University and a Masters in Education from Saint Mary’s. 

She has been a teacher at Dayton elementary for 15 years, and is currently teaching third-grade. She enjoys mentoring and having a leadership role at her school and also works part time at the local dance shop her daughter attends. 

She has a teenage son and daughter and has a passion for rescue animals. She is an avid reader and enjoys downhill skiing. 

Chris Castagneri


Professionally, Chris has been working in the marketing field for about 20 years and has a broad range of experience. She loves anything creative, which includes corporate branding and everything that goes with it including websites, print, public relations and digital media.    She's part of the Minnesota rural telecom industry providing technology services (Internet, telephone, and cable TV services) to rural communities.    

She has also led on the executive teams of new companies launched in these rural markets and now serves as a consultant in the industry. She is employed full time with a BS Degree in Mass Communications, advertising concentration, & marketing minor.  Additionally, she has specialized training in non-profit marketing.

Chris also has a rich history of community service in the Elk River, including as a Rotarian, Chamber President and volunteer, as well as with the Arts Alliance.  

Yet her most important roles are as a wife, mom, practicing drummer (need much practice), hiker, director of bed-time stories, yogi, home decorator, artist, aspiring farmer, and music enthusiast.    

She would love to see a place where families could experience, together with others in the community, the benefits of a world-class Montessori school. 

Janell Johnson Thiele


 Janell has a Bachelors degree in nursing from The College of Saint Scholastica.  She has been helping care for familes at Hennepin County Medical Center for the last 11 years. She has been active with The Minnesota Nurses Association throughout her career and has been an MNA Tri-Chair for Hennepin Healthcare since March of 2018. 

She discovered her passion for Montessori education when her oldest son entered preschool. She watched her son thrive in the Montessori environment and believes Montessori education should be available to every family. 

Janell and her husband have 3 young children and as a family they enjoy playing board games, reading and watching movies.  

Board Members

Sarah Ronchak


Sarah attended Montessori school for Pre-K and Kindergarten before attending private school for 8 years and then on to public high school.  Sarah received her Individualized BA (emphasis in: Sports Journalism) degree from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota.  

Basketball is one of Sarah’s passions.  She is heavily involved in the boys Elk River basketball community as the Referee Coordinator and fellow board member.  Sarah played high school basketball and started her officiating career as a sophomore in high school.  Current to date, she has officiated basketball for 22 years at all levels, boys and girls, trains and recruits new talent.


Sarah worked for a majority of her professional career in higher education for the Minnesota State College system.  She is passionate about education and is always eager to help others figure out the college admission process.   

Sarah is a mother of 3, a son and 2 daughters.  Sarah is an amazing gluten-free cook and expert.  Learning about her heritage and building family tree history has Sarah constantly intrigued and craving more.  She is a devoted person to connecting with and helping others.  Sarah is an advocate for individuals with special needs as this is near and dear to her heart.      

Troy Hanson


Troy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from St. Cloud State University and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive). He joined Guardian Angels of Elk River, Inc. in 2014 as the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer and has over 20 years of accounting and finance experience in various industries.

He serves as the treasurer on the Guardian Angles Elim Home Care & Hospice board of directors and as a board member of the Health Care Insurance Reciprocal (a workers compensation insurance company).

His family are residents of the Elk River community and is wife Angie is a preschool teacher at a local church. They are blessed with two sons and one daughter. Troy enjoys hunting, fishing, golf and traveling with family.

Advisor Roche Martin


Roche received his B.S. and M.S. Degrees from Moorhead State University before getting his Specialist Degree in School Administration from St. Cloud State University in 1987. 

After his five-year career as a teacher and coach, he began his 27 year career as an Elementary School Principal at Appleton Elementary School in Appleton, MN where he was instrumental in coordinating the seven school district consolidation that became Lac Qui Parle Valley School District. 

He then moved to Elk River, MN and served as Elementary Principal and project manager in the Elk River Schools. He was the project manager for Handke Magnet School and Otsego Elementary School during his tenure in Elk River. He then served as Elementary Principal in Robbinsdale, MN and Forest Lake, MN before becoming a small business owner in 2014.  

Roche and his wife Nancy live in Elk River, MN where they have raised five sons. 

Consultant Randi Shapiro


Randi was a co-founder of the 16th charter school to open in Minnesota. After directing an early childhood Montessori School for 11 years, 

Randi and 4 parents of her school began The World Learner school, a Montessori school for ages 6-14. Randi lead the school through start-up and for the next 15 years. She was the finance and program director, managed the staff and school through 6 building additions, two building acquisitions, and was the author and recipient of multiple grants to grow both Jonathan Montessori and The World Learner School. 

In 2015, Randi completed 31 years of teaching and directing and has now returned to WLS to work in the Special Education Department. The school started with 24 students, and now, in its 22nd year has 220 students. 

Consultant Joe Aliperto


 At Dieci School Finance, Joe provides Business Management Services to schools through exceptional understanding of each schools individual financial needs and expectations. 

He aims to provide the proper tools and information to succeed financially, allowing clients the freedom to focus on the daily operations and future goals of the school. He is not just a service provider. He forms a partnership with each of his clients to ensure success; he strongly believes in the staff and the goals of the schools he serves.