Roots Advisory Board

I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.                     ~Mother Teresa

Roots Montessori Advisory Board is comprised of individuals who share a passion for Montessori Education, bridging socioeconomic gaps and for growing strong organizations.  We are blessed by the wisdom, insight and leadership of each of these individuals.

Advisory Board Members

Mark Bartlett – Mark has an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Divinity from Michigan Theological Seminary (now part of Moody Theological Seminary).  He serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual health insurance company and has served on the nonprofit Boards of The Accounting Aid Society, Spectrum Human Services, and Michigan Theological Seminary.  Mark also partners in overseeing Amerihealth Caritas Family of Companies, a joint venture serving the health needs of Medicaid eligible people in 18 states.  In both work and in his family, Mark believes that there are creative ways we can close socioeconomic gaps in our culture by committing to real partnerships.

Kathy Isgro – Kathy holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan concentrating in Finance. She has held numerous finance and project management positions in the automotive industry, primarily at Ford Motor, and in the Information Technology field, at both Oakwood Healthcare (Beaumont) and Ciber (HTC Global). In addition, Kathy has launched her own project management consulting company Professional ProjectSolutions LLC.  The role Kathy cherishes most in life is that of mother and wife. She has three daughters who have thrived in the Montessori learning environment from preschool all the way through middle school. The Montessori method has ignited in her girls a love of learning along with compassion to help others in their community. Kathy is excited to be part of the Roots Montessori community that is rooted in Christianity.

Rodger Olson – Rodger has his degree in automotive engineering from Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute) and spent 15 years in various engineering roles, including management and consulting, before he received his MBA from the University of Michigan.  In 2010, he became the Chief Operating Officer of Victory Automotive Group.  Since then, the group has doubled the number of dealerships to almost 40, tripled headcount to over 2500, and quadrupled revenues to almost $2B per year.  Rodger’s role as COO entails oversight of personnel, payroll, IT, legal compliance, and facilities for the Top-20, nationwide dealer group, with stores located in 10 states.  Rodger has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business since 2014.

Tia Sajewski – Tia began her career as a Montessori Teacher at Montessori Center of Our Lady in Livonia before moving on to Go Like the Wind Montessori in Ann Arbor. She earned her Montessori credentials through the Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center and a Masters in Montessori Education from Xavier University. Returning to her earlier pursuits to become a scientist, Tia earned a M.S. in Data Science from Saint Mary’s College – Notre Dame. Despite her professional journey from teacher to analyst, Tia remains committed to educating and serving children. She hopes to elevate and honor the true purpose of teaching by promoting the joy of discovery and learning.

Greg Schupra – For over 37 years, Greg has been involved in Family and Philanthropic Planning.  From creating community foundations to founding trusts, Greg has educated and assisted thousands of people and their advisors in creating legacies leaving more than $1 billion of accumulated wealth to family and charity. Known for his innovation as a national “Philanthropic Entrepreneur,” Greg brings an uncommon and practical perspective to his work as a gift-planning professional by insuring that donor family and philanthropic values, visions, and goals align with their giving methods.  His heart in caring for individuals both locally and internationally allow Greg to speak with wisdom and insight regarding healthy ways of helping those in need.

Heather Summers – Heather is an educator, a researcher and a mother of three. A graduate of DePaul University with a BA in Anthropology and a graduate of Illinois State University with an MS Ed in Curriculum and Instruction, she worked for over 10 years as a grade school teacher and curriculum coordinator in Chicago’s public and private schools. While raising her three young children, Heather also worked as a teacher educator for Illinois State University.  During this time, she served as a clinical supervisor to student teachers in Chicago Public Schools.

Her interest in the Montessori Method began when she and her husband enrolled their oldest son in a Montessori preschool program in Chicago. Heather and her husband have been Montessori parents for the last 9 years.  They are wholeheartedly involved in this holistic approach to raising and educating their children.  Currently, Heather is working to complete her EDD in Curriculum Studies at DePaul University. Her dissertation has a special focus on the benefits and challenges of a free and public Montessori education for children in under-resourced communities.  Heather hopes to contribute to the growing body of educational research which supports the development of the whole child (mind, body and spirit) through a Montessori Education.