Rooted Life Montessori is an academic therapy center designed to help children to fully reach their potential. Our unique therapists bring a variety of expertise to Rooted Life Montessori.


Kathy Machalica

Owner | Director |Bachelors of General Studies Texas A&M Commerce| AMS Montessori 3-6 Credential | SEE Language Therapy | Search-Teach Language Therapy | Interactive Metronome Therapy

Kathy Kiehle received her Bachelor’s from Texas A&M University Commerce, and it was during this training to become a traditional teacher that Kathy found Montessori. For each of us, the evolution from teen/young adult into maturing parent/partner brings to the surface our “areas of improvement.”  For Kathy, Montessori gently excavated her own need for positive discipline, open-ended learning, child-led teaching, organization of the mind and body, and the existence of a peaceful environment; externally and internally.  This experience so captivated Kathy’s heart—pulling her toward that higher calling–that it completely changed her path of education and subsequent career!  Kathy received her AMS Montessori Early Childhood certification from Shelton Montessori in Dallas, Tx in 2017. 

Kathy has four children of her own, ages 8-18, who all provided ample opportunity to watch divergent learning styles within her own home; most significantly with her her 3rd child.   It was through this experience that perspective shifted in realizing the very challenging, confusing, and beautiful path a learning different child will take. “Sometimes your life trip takes you  to Holland instead of Paris.”

It was through this journey within her own family, and the families, therapists, and educators she connected along that way, that Rooted Life Montessori was conceived, grown, and now fully born. Her own daughter’s needs, that exceeded the skill set of the average Montessori classroom, drove Kathy to further pursue purposeful education for the learning different child, and those additional therapies are now available to all children who attend RLM. This ability to serve gifted and talented (poppies), neuro-typical, and atypical learners is what sets Rooted Life Montessori apart from other schools.

Kathy spent 3 years in the Primary Classroom, 2 years dedicated as a full time SEE, TEACH, and Interactive Metronome therapist, and another 2 years as the Elementary lead before moving into the role of Academic Coordinator and Director of RLM.  Through Shelton School’s Outreach and Training, she is trained in the Sequential English Education (SEE) program, which is an IMSLEC and ADA accredited curriculum for dyslexia. She is certified through ALTA as a Certified Academic Language Practitioner (CALP). In addition to this, she is a Search and Teach language therapist for ages 5-7, and Interactive Metronome therapist for all ages.

When Kathy is not creatively building the school, she enjoys learning more about Ashtanga and Aerial Yoga, her second love. Kathy knows that the brain is neuroplastic and the single greatest tool we can teach our children is how to calm our nervous system so it can grow, build, heal, and reach its highest potential.  Kathy is dedicated to envisioning and building a Montessori school where all children, regardless of their typical or atypical–development, can access the “Genius Behind the Method” in their early childhood years.

Equal Expectations Policy

Rooted Life Montessori Therapy Center Mission Statement to you

RLM will provide authentic Montessori education to diverse academic learners and:

  • nurture the whole child,
  • support the innate desire to learn with guidance and inspiration
  • foster self-confidence, motivation and critical thinking
  • teach responsibility and social skills, focusing on grace and courtesy
  • instill leadership and respect for self/others in a well-prepared environment
  • accommodate the learning different child within their ability


We will provide:

  • individualized academic instruction for your child based on Montessori philosophy and curriculum
  • individualized behavior redirection based on Montessori philosophy utilizing pivotal praise, external and internal motivators
  • 2 in person parent-teacher conferences yearly (fall and spring)
  • a mid-term update via Montessori Compass (winter)
  • additional referrals or recommendations if we observe academic or behavior remediation is advised
  • a low student-teacher ratio


We expect:

  • Participation in parent-education seminars, emails, online forums and other methods of educating you about Montessori
  • Time spent learning about Montessori Compass and the materials your child is using.
  • Timely payments