My name is Lori Wiedmaier. I have been sharing my love of learning with children for the last 14 years at a private preschool in Indianola. Before that, I spent two years in public schools. I have studied early childhood education at Northwest Missouri State University in my hometown Maryville, MO. I am so thankful that Main Street School has given me the opportunity work with your children this year. “A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.”
My husband serves in the Air Force and is stationed at the Des Moines airport. We have 3 adult(ish) daughters. We also have a 2-year-old English Cream Golden Retriever “puppy” who is an adored member of our family. I am passionate about healthier eating and love running. I have the unfortunate hobby of baking sweet treats.
My favorite preschool learning activity is building with blocks and a wide variety of other imaginative materials. I never tire of repeated readings of beloved children’s books. I have a genuine heart for serving the learning needs of all children. I hope to engage our children in loving their brain, respecting others, and taking care of our planet. If I had a magic wand, I would ask that in our entire world we all love others more than we love ourselves.
I welcome all communication with families, email, phone calls, or text messages. Please feel free to contact me with any comments, questions or concerns you may want to share about your child.
Ever since I was a child visiting my mom’s classroom I knew I wanted to be a teacher. All through school I tucked away memories of meaningful learning experiences to pull out for when I had a classroom of my own. Fast forward to college when I started having my first experiences in a public school classroom. I saw teachers struggling to get to know all of their students and give them the individualized learning they needed to succeed. When I graduated with my bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education with a reading endorsement from Upper Iowa University I knew public education was not where my passion lied, and I started exploring private education. I became a director at a private preschool but realized I was spending more time doing paper work and less time in the classroom which led me to finding myself at Main Street School. I love the atmosphere here and knowing that true, meaningful learning is the most important thing. I enjoy getting to know my students personally and being able to communicate with them about what they want to learn and what they feel they need to succeed. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the “light bulb moment” when a student grasps a concept they have been working so hard towards.
When I am not in the classroom I enjoy doing creative projects, whether it be drawing, writing, painting, sewing or anything where I can make something out of nothing. I also love spending time with my family which includes my husband, our sweet baby boy, and two rambunctious dogs.
Secondary Teacher, Founder and Head of School
I was a high school science teacher in my first life where I loved the subject and the students; however, the rigor of seeing 120 kids a day didn’t fit well with my style of teaching. I wanted to know so much more about my kids and how they learned. I started to search out a different niche and eventually found it when I started the original school.
Our school is special, and it is here that I found a way to thrive as a teacher. What makes it special is I have students for up to four years. Knowing my students so well, I am confident I can bring out their best. We let our students’ interests determine the pace and direction of their curriculum, allowing them to thoroughly investigate subjects and follow their natural curiosity. I am not restricted to a set curriculum and have the freedom to do what is in their best interest.
At Main Street we firmly believe that all humans learn best when engaged in real life situations, when the learning is practical and authentic. As a teacher I actively seek out opportunities for our students to learn from their community. I am fascinated by the idea that everyone has something to teach us. By connecting subjects to the world around our students, the information becomes relevant and helps to build a sense of each ones’ place in the world.
I received my degree in biology and my teaching certificate from Iowa State University. I didn’t start out thinking teaching would be my profession. I was actually quite opposed to it until one of my favorite professors said “I can tell you were born to teach”. Now I have been a teacher for 18 years. The last 11 have been in this special niche, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
“I either love adventure, or I can’t keep a job.” That’s what I say when people ask me why I have moved so much and lived in so many places. I am a Norwalk girl, born and bred, but the truth of the matter is that I am challenged by new places, new experiences, and new learning opportunities.
I received my B.A. from Simpson College and a Master’s in Education Administration from Drake. I have been teaching for 39 years in different states and countries, in different disciplines, at different levels from 7th grade to college and IB to AP English. I have always told myself that when I didn’t love going to school anymore or found challenges too much, it would be time to retire. But, that time hasn’t come yet. I am energized by the sheer joy of engaging kids in learning and watching them have their “aha” moments.
I took my first big leap into teaching in the Peace Corps. I spent two years in DR Congo (known as Zaire then) living in the jungle with no running water or electricity. When all is said and done, I have taught from Seattle to Houston to Iowa and from the Congo to Turkey to my last position in Kuwait. I spent 15 years living in cultures that weren’t my own, listening to Kikongo, Turkish and Arabic spoken all around me, learning new (and, yes, sometimes strange) cultural norms, and making friends with teaching colleagues and students from many different countries. I have traveled in 42 countries and have seen more than I ever imagined.
I believe all of these experiences have brought me to the Montessori and the kids I have in my middle school class. I love where I have landed after all these years because these kids are bright, ready to learn and, most uniquely, curious. I get to teach literature which connects to history and flows into writing. I really believe that the Montessori teaching philosophy utilizes the best of me to nurture the best in your kids. ! I feel like I have come full circle, and it is time to reconnect to my roots and give back to the community that nurtured me.
After Care Coordinator
Meghan Buntin has worked with children in various capacities throughout the years as a nanny and in childcare programs in the Des Moines Metro Area. She is a graduate of Norwalk High School and is currently studying at Iowa State University in Child, Adult and Family Services. Much of her free time is spent with her adorable son and working to complete her degree.