Bluestem Montessori Elementary


Independence. Confidence. Passion.


Regular Tuition


First Sibling Tuition

$600/month for the second child enrolled at Bluestem

Second Sibling Tuition

$525/month for the third child enrolled at Bluestem


We started with K-3, and are offering more grades as our students grow.



K, 1, 2, 3

K, 1, 2, 3, 4

K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6







Print out this form and return it, along with a $200 enrollment fee per child. $100 of this fee will be applied to first month's tuition.

This application is not a guarantee of placement at Bluestem Montessori. Families must still complete an application and interview process to secure placement. We will begin this application and interview process at a future date.

Wait List

You may also join the waitlist, for 2020 and beyond.

Print out this form and return it, along with a $50 wait list fee per child.




Executive Director & lead teacher

Laura Erickson

Laura is our Executive Director and is also our Lead Teacher .

Her own Montessori education developed a life-long love of learning that has led her to a BA from Hastings College, an MA in Medieval History from the University of Washington, and most of the way through a PhD (oh that pesky dissertation!). In 2008 she became a Fulbright Scholar, and took her husband and baby daughter to study medieval manuscripts in Germany. She has taught hundreds of college students as a teaching assistant and then as an instructor, and was recognized by her department for her excellence in teaching.

In late 2015, Laura decided that she was done wishing for alternative elementary education in Lincoln and decided to do something about it.  She quit writing her dissertation and began work on what would become Bluestem Montessori Elementary, gathering friends and like-minded folks to start brainstorming.  Since then she has learned all about founding and managing a nonprofit, Montessori education and philosophy, and educational administration. 

Laura is a Girl Scout leader and a mother of two spirited girls, and thoroughly enjoying her Montessori training at the Mid-America Montessori Teacher Training Institute.  




Em Warner

Em is our Assistant Teacher here at Bluestem Montessori.

They are no stranger to alternative education.  They attended the Science Focus Program here in Lincoln for two years during their high school career, which is where they fell in love with student led learning.

Em attended University in Colorado where they earned a Bachelor’s Degree in General Sciences and became certified to teach middle and high school science.  They spent a semester student teaching for a STEM middle school program and spent a year working with preschoolers in Community Action’s Head Start program. 

Em also had the privilege to travel to Rwanda in 2013, and Indonesia in 2017, to visit children that they sponsor there through letter writing and paying their school fees. 



Board of Directors



Tammy Kahle

I met Laura and joined the Board of Directors for the then upcoming Bluestem Montessori in October 2017.  I have enjoyed helping build Bluestem.  This opportunity has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people and learn so many new things.  Outside of Bluestem, I am a classroom assistant at Children's Circle Montessori.  My husband, Blaine, and I have a daughter who is 2.5 years old and a student at Children's Circle.




Shelley Knudsen

Dr. Shelley Knudsen started her Montessori experience at the age of 2 attending a Montessori preschool and kindergarten in Columbus, NE. She attributes her early start in Montessori to helping her to be more successful later in life. Dr. Knudsen attended UNL, UNK and then Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating with a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2004. She is currently a veterinarian at All Feline Hospital here in Lincoln. She is passionate about Montessori education and plans to keep her daughter in Montessori for as long as possible.





Tara Gottula




Tim Fickensher

Tim is a retired Montessori teacher and our adviser on all things Montessori and classroom related.  Having founded Omaha's Roberts Academy (a Montessori secondary school), Tim has years of experience running a classroom as well as with the difficulties which face a new school.  Tim comes to our school as needed, and the children always look forward to his visits.