Grace Salonek (Mrs. Salonek) grew up in Ham Lake, MN and was homeschooled with her four brothers. Her first encounter with the Montessori method was through attending Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as a child. When Grace was in high school, her mom took Montessori training and worked at the Way of the Shepherd Montessori School while her younger brothers attended there. Although she formed fond memories of editing her mom’s papers for Montessori training, Grace did not foresee her own future in this field at the time, but pursued her dream of studying music, and went to the University of CO at Boulder as a violin performance major. After two years in CO, Grace discerned with the Nashville Dominicans in Tennessee for a time and then returned home to MN where she started working at the Way of the Shepherd as a Children’s House Assistant. This experience was the springboard to her own pursuit of Montessori education. Grace continued working at the Way of the Shepherd in the Lower Elementary classroom while simultaneously completing an Elementary Education degree online through Bemidji State University. In 2018, she took her elementary Montessori training at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. This year will be Grace’s fourth year at St. John’s. Grace’s newest adventure is moving to Rockford, MN, this fall, where she is excited for more space and a bigger backyard with her husband Kyle and children Louis (2 years) and Maria (7 months).
Favorite Saint: Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Favorite Outside-of-Work Activity: Hiking
Favorite Children’s Book: “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin
Favorite Place in Minnesota: The Northwoods
Qualities Your Favorite Teacher Possessed: Compassion, encouragement, patience and willingness to listen