“We’ve always wanted a Montessori education for our kids. We did not feel there was a true Montessori environment for the elementary level in Wichita until we found Kathryn.”

~ Kim E., CSM Parent



Maria Montessori’s “follow the child” philosophy is inherent in our teaching technique at Compass Star Montessori. As we follow, Compass Star Montessori faculty take pride in practicing methods we believe are most beneficial to the child:

We call ourselves guides, not teachers. Our ultimate goal is leading the child to his own self-discovery.

Our classrooms are highly interactive. We are either interacting with or supervising our students at all times.

Our emphasis is on quality, not quantity. We have fewer guides in the classroom, and are dedicated to a more personal academic experience for students.



Kathryn Mahoney


Compass Star Montessori  


Kathryn Mahoney

Founder/Director/Lead Guide

Kathryn Mahoney received her formal Montessori training at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (MECR) in 2008-2009 where she completed an integrated elementary curriculum, focusing on Level I (6-9 year-olds) and Level II (9-12 year-olds) educator. She served her 9-month student teaching practicum in 2009-2010, working under the supervision of qualified Montessori teachers. In 2010, Kathryn was certified as a teacher and head of school with the American Montessori Society, and Compass Star Montessori was granted full membership in the American Montessori Society.

Kathryn’s Montessori education began before she had even heard of MECR. In addition to her formal training and experience as an educator, she is also a Montessori child and Montessori parent. Growing up, Kathryn attended the Little Flower Montessori School in South Bend, Indiana with her brother and sister. Her mother was an aid in the toddler room at the same school and able to carry over the methods into the home, encouraging independence and offering an environment that allowed all of her children to participate in day-to-day tasks.

Kathryn’s Class Photo - Little Flower Montessori

Kathryn’s Class Photo – Little Flower Montessori

After completing Lower Elementary, Kathryn transitioned to a traditional program but maintained her love of learning and retained her love of the Montessori Method and Philosophy. After graduating from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, she moved to Kansas to marry her husband Brandon. When their daughter Ashlyn was born, Kathryn maintained a Montessori environment in the home, offering child-sized furniture, encouraging self-feeding and care from a young age, and offering accommodations to help Ashlyn reach kitchen counters. When Ashlyn became a big sister just two years later, she and her brother Ryan were both able to benefit from the environment Kathryn had established.

When it was time for Ashlyn to go to preschool, Kathryn and Brandon sought out a Montessori program that would meet their needs and found Inspiration Station, a traditional Montessori preschool led by director Jennifer Goering. Both children attended Inspiration Station and enjoyed their time there tremendously. After looking into Elementary Montessori programs, and being unsatisfied with her choices, Kathryn was inspired to create a new academic option for parents and students. Compass Star Montessori was created out of Kathryn’s passion for the authentic Montessori Method and her belief that a credentialed program should be available to area families.


Jennifer Goering

Director/Instructor, Inspiration Station

The Director and Instructor of Inspiration Station is Jennifer Goering. Jennifer graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance. Jennifer is a certified Montessori instructor for ages 2-½ to 6, having earned her certification through the National Center for Montessori Education (NCME) in 2001. She has been teaching since 1999.

Also notable to Compass Star parents is Jennifer’s development of a music program that’s been nationally recognized in the NCME Montessori Reporter. She has been a speaker/educator for the Kansas City Center for Montessori Education, an affiliate of The American Montessori Society (AMS) in Kansas City, MO. Jennifer and her husband Theron are proud parents of two girls. As Director, she considers it her mission to help children find their passions and to inspire a desire for learning, to nurture curiosity and to foster their creativity and imagination.

In addition to her time with Inspiration Station, Jennifer has performed with the Wooster Ohio Light Opera Company, a number of venues across Kansas City including the Kansas City Lyric Opera, and the Wichita Children’s Theatre touring company. She has taught theatre classes as well.