Our Staff

mrs.smith02.jpg.w300h199Diane Smith

Director/Lead Teacher Morning and Afternoon Class

Diane Smith is the founder and director of Countryside Montessori School and has 26 years experience teaching preschool age children.  She started her teaching career as a Suzuki piano and preschool music teacher in 1987 after receiving her Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Western Ontario and completing course work for a Master’s degree in piano performance.  In 2005 Diane received her Montessori Certification from the United Montessori Association.  Diane and her husband own and operate a crop farm in Addison Michigan, where they raised their 7 children.  Out of the classroom Diane enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, knitting, and spending time with her children.  

Maria Taylor

Assistant Morning Class, Co-Lead Teacher Afternoon Class

Maria received her Bachelor’s of Early Childhood Education from Lake Superior State in 2012. For the past three years, Maria has taught preschool in the Dexter and Columbia school systems. She enjoys reading, the outdoors and spending quality time with family and friends.

mrs.livingston02.jpg.w180h271Nancy Livingston

Assistant Morning Class

After completing her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education, Nancy taught and became the program director of a daycare center. Nancy brings many skills to the classroom that she acquired while homeschooling her own four children. Nancy enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her children and grandchildren.



mrs.olson02.jpg.w180h271Regina Olson

Morning Lead Teacher

Regina earned her Bachelor’s of Elementary Education Degree from Austria before moving to the United States. She has homeschooled her children for the past 20 years on their family farm just outside of Hillsdale. In the summer, Regina sells her homemade goat cheese, breads and knitting products at the local farmer’s market. She also enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her children.


Moriah.2014Moriah Livingston

Afternoon Assistant/Lead Teacher School Age Daycare

Moriah received her CDA from Penn Foster College this summer. She has taught at CMS for 1 ½ years. Moriah enjoys working with children, performing in Sauk Theatre Productions and swing dancing with her friends.