Phone: 651-300-4246 text or call


Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelors Degree in Speech Pathology Masters Degree in Special Education Reading Specialist Endorsement MN Licenses in Learning Disabilities, Emotional/Behavior Disorders, Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Moderate/Severe Disabilities Reading Recovery Complete Training Certification (three times) Full Five Year Literacy Collaborative Training Certification Leveled Literacy Intervention Certification

Ms. Kathleen Westafer

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” -Mason Cooley


Welcome to Nokomis South Montessori!! I get to work with learners in E2 with Literacy Intervention, and Children's House/E1 Active Inquiry.


I joined Saint Paul Public Schools in February 2011. 2021 will be my first year at Nokomis South Montessori. I enjoyed ten years at American Indian Magnet School prior to joining the Nokomis family. 

Manteca, CA, 1993, was the starting point for my teaching journey. I had a self-contained third and fourth grade special education classroom. I still remember each name and face, who liked to run away into the cornfields and who needed their glasses cleaned every morning. I bought my cat to school, carved pumpkins, made incredibly messy projects, and wrote with chalk. My Principal came for a surprise observation ten seconds after we had done a “desk dump” shortly before dismissal. The students asked why I was turning redish purple. True story.

I spent five years in Omaha, Nebraska teaching Special Education grades preK-6 prior to moving to Minnesota in 1999. I greatly enjoyed being a faculty member at Brainerd’s ALC teaching prenatal health and infant care to teenage parents and expecting families. It was very purposeful and rewarding.

I then took the learning leap of a lifetime at Lincoln Elementary. Lincoln transitioned from a struggling school to being a “Blue Ribbon” school very quickly. We were the first school in Minnesota to be fully trained in the Literacy Collaborative; a five year intensive professional development out of The Ohio State University. I was the first Special Education teacher in Minnesota to be fully trained in both the Literacy Collaborative and Reading Recovery. We brought these understandings to learners throughout our district and state. I am forever grateful to have these tools to share with our AIMS learners daily. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.


Ms. Kathleen Home and Hobbies:

Rebecca is my daughter. She works to help businesses improve their systems and operations. She is married and they have two small dogs here in Minnesota. My son Jack is in New York at Medical School. He hopes to go into Emergency,Trauma, Critical Response Medicine. They are both really kind, funny people and make weird faces at each other whenever they get the chance. I live with my best friend (students have nicknamed him “The Mister”) and my amazing, adorable, huggable, talented, genius, irreplaceable dog Chance. When I’m home, flower gardening is my number one summer hobby. I love participating in kickboxing, 5K runs and mud/obstacle courses.  I also relax by birdwatching, cooking and having bonfires. I enjoy the creativity of home renovation projects and decorating.. Warm weather finds us on the motorcycle, at the cabin and with friends grilling on the deck. Winter finds me planning how to get someplace warmer and gathering blankets.


Ms. Westafer with kidults