Leadership Team

The purpose of the Leadership Team is to ensure the success of our educational program. The Leadership Team are dedicated to:

Where the world’s needs and your talents intersect, there lies your vocation.” - Aristotle

Frank W. Brainard

Interim Head of School

Margaret Borrego Brainard

Interim Executive Director of Program & Curricular Support

Frank W. Brainard

Interim Head of School

“Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow.”

How did you discover Montessori?

I was a Head Start teacher at Green Pastures Elementary School outside of Oklahoma City when I met a woman who was the head of a Montessori school, and she recruited me. I taught with her for 8 years and later Margaret and I started our own Montessori school in Cashiers, North Carolina.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I get to watch children become independent learners. There’s hardly anything better than that.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

It was the pleasure of being in a real community of learners, and the challenge of making positive changes in the school while staying true to its great history.

What are your credentials?

BA Geography, MA Child Development, EdM School Leadership, Montessori 3-6, Montessori 6-12

Margaret Borrego Brainard

Interim Executive Director of Program & Curricular Support

“It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.” – Dr. Montessori

How did you discover Montessori?

As a volunteer in high school, I worked in an experimental Montessori special ed. class daily. I was hired after I graduated to run the classroom for the summer. The directress of the school, Peggy Loeffler, “tutored” me in the Montessori method for 4 years.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love the basic and simple idea of following the child; it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The warmth and clear dedication to Montessori philosophy evident in the school.

What are your credentials?

BS.Ed Special Education/Elementary Education; M.Ed Curriculum and Instruction, Ed.D (ABD) Teacher Education & School Leadership; I’ve completed training in 3-6 and 6-9 without internship, AMS.

Cheryl Raymond

Associate Head of School/Director of Elementary and AP Programs

Holly Tosco

Director of Toddler and Children's House Programs

Paul Raymond

Director of Admissions

Liz Meadows

Business Manager

Patricia Flavin

Director of Communications and Office Management

Rebecca Satalino

Office Coordinator

Alisha Gaskins

Director of Development and Marketing

Cheryl Raymond

Associate Head of School/Director of Elementary and AP Programs

“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”

How did you discover Montessori?

I moved to Kansas City to live and was in the process of searching for a teaching position when I saw an ad in the newspaper from the KC School District. They were looking for teachers to train. Upon completion of the training, they promised a teacher job within the district. I went to the interview shared my educational philosophy and was selected for the training. I had very little knowledge of the Montessori method and questioned my decision until I completed the first lecture of the training. I knew I had found my place.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

Every day you experience the beauty and the wonder of the world through their eyes. There is no greater feeling than watching young people grow, develop, and become citizens of the world.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

WSM is committed to delivering authentic Montessori education. The child’s best interest is at the center of every decision that is made.

What are your credentials?

BA from Drury University in Elementary Education, AMI Elementary Diploma, AMI Adolescent Orientation Diploma, 30 years of teaching experience.

Holly Tosco

Director of Toddler and Children's House Programs

“There was a child went forth every day, And the first object he looked upon and received with wonder or pity or love or dread, that object he became.”

How did you discover Montessori?

My mother was a Montessori teacher. I didn’t go to Montessori school, but her influence on me was enormous.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love working at a job that is part of my life and living a life that is part of my job!

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I love the community, the commitment to the land and nature and their commitment to an authentic Montessori experience for all.

What are your credentials?

B.A. University Studies, Minor in Montessori; Birth to 3 years AMI Montessori Diploma; 3-6 AMS Montessori Diploma

Paul Raymond

Director of Admissions

“There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.”

How did you discover Montessori?

I was already a preschool teacher when I was offered a job teaching at a Montessori preschool. I discovered my passion for Montessori then which I have sustained for 45 continuous years in Montessori schools.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I am inspired by the depth of Montessori’s philosophy towards life and learning, how it prepared my two children for success, and how I continue to develop my own understanding as I read and research the Montessori approach.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

WSM has a commitment to authentic Montessori education at at time when too many “Montessori” schools have become “Monte-something”!

What are your credentials?

BA in Social Work. California Childrens’ Center Certification. AMI Primary, Elementary, and Adolescent Montessori Credentials. Post graduate studies in Early Childhood Education.

Liz Meadows

Business Manager

How did you discover Montessori?

My nephew was enrolled

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

Community

What are your credentials?

UNC-CH BA/Political Science with minor in French

Patricia Flavin

Director of Communications and Office Management

“You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

How did you discover Montessori?

I came to WSM as a temporary receptionist in January of 2020 and immediately fell in love.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love being a part of the WSM Community because it is like one big family. From the Faculty and Staff to the families, everyone feels like a family.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I was placed here, originally, by an agency, so I came not knowing much at all about WSM, or Montessori. But, I have been in Early Childhood Education most of my career, so I was excited to see what the Montessori environment was like. It was within minutes of the school day starting that I commented on how peaceful the classrooms were. Right away I wished I had been here my entire teaching career, I may have lasted longer in the classroom.

What are your credentials?

I have my, Infant, Toddler, and Two’s Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Credentials, 10 years of experience in a classroom, a year and a half of experience in Development and Marketing, as well as many years of experience in volunteering with individuals with special needs through coaching Special Olympics soccer and swim teams.

Rebecca Satalino

Office Coordinator

“We’re all here on this earth to walk each other home.”

How did you discover Montessori?

I was searching for a more meaningful form of education than what the public schools offered. I attended a community open-house for WSM and fell in love.

Why do you love being part of the WSM community?

I love working at the Montessori School because of the wonderful community and the great work that we are all collaborating to do. It is awesome to be part of a school that really cares and prepares children for full lives.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I love the beautiful environments, the exciting work that is done in the classrooms, and the joy and passion of the faculty and leadership team.

What are your credentials?

I have a Bachelor’s in Middle Grades Ed from Appalachian State.

Alisha Gaskins

Director of Development and Marketing

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive”
― Martha Graham

How did you discover Montessori?

When my child was born, I was inspired to create an environment which fosters his natural creativity and empowers his sense of self. Through research, I discovered the Montessori philosophy and integrated techniques into my parenting. Now I’m enjoying watching him grow into an independent, compassionate, lifelong learner.

Why do you love being part of the Montessori community?

I’m excited to connect and elevate amazing people who are making the world a better place by empowering the next generation.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I love how the professionals at WSM use the Montessori philosophy as a tool to move humanity towards social equity and environmental sustainability.

What are your credentials/experience?

B.F.A from University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Film Making, Photography & Video Business Owner – Alisha Raquel Photography.

A lot of schools where teachers take center stage talk about being “child-centered”. Winston-Salem Montessori School is. In Montessori we speak of the “trio of teachers” a mixed aged community of child, Montessori’s learning materials, and the guide (“teacher”). Each part of the triad is as important as the other and where the teacher is an observer, follower, and guide who brings wisdom, thoughtfulness, and experience to the child’s academic, social, and intellectual exploration.

At Winston-Salem Montessori we believe that each child is possessed of many gifts and is not merely an empty mug to be filled by an all-knowing jug (the teacher). This approach demands special professionals confident and skilled enough to allow the child to be an active participant in his or her learning. It also means that all school decisions are driven by what is best for the children. Learn More

Toddler Program

Chelsea Fabyanski

T1 Lead

Debbie Jones

T1 Assistant

Leah Tablazon

T2 Lead

Nice Donati

T2 Assistant

Leila Edwards

TAD Lead

Andrea Apodaca-Olive

TAD Assistant

Katherine Payne

TAD Assistant

Violet O’Neal

TAD Lead Assistant

Chelsea Fabyanski

T1 Lead

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”- Ghandi

How did you discover Montessori?

I began working at a Montessori school when I was in high school. After a few years if assisting I decided to get my training at the infant/toddler level.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love being a Montessori teacher because I know I can be a positive influence towards the children and our future while following the Montessori philosophy.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

At first the beauty of the school attracted me. Once I began to know the staff I could see their commitment and love for the children shine through.

What are your credentials?

AMS Infant/toddler Montessori credential

Debbie Jones

T1 Assistant

“What the hand does, the mind remembers.”

How did you discover Montessori?

My husband and I owned the house which is now the north campus and when the school purchased the property I toured the school and fell in love with everything I saw. The toddler class is the best. After subbing for 3 years I knew that’s where I wanted to be. The children surprise me every day.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

Love the eyes of a child.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The toddler class is the best after subbing for 3 years I knew that’s where I wanted to be . The children surprise me every day.

What are your credentials?

Being a mom and a grandmother. Working for WSM is a blessing to me that came at the right time.

Leah Tablazon

T2 Lead

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

How did you discover Montessori?

I was introduced to Montessori in 1995 by friends who worked at a Montessori School in the Philippines.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

The privilege of creating a right environment and becoming a part of their young lives.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The community of Montessorians working together to provide a well rounded education to the students.

What are your credentials?

Infant Toddler credential- American Montessori Society, 2009

Nice Donati

T2 Assistant

“Of all things love is the most potent.” – Maria Montessori

How did you discover Montessori?

I discovered Montessori seven years ago, when I was introduced to it by a friend and started working here at the WSM school. It was love at first sight. I wish I had known the Montessori philosophy and methodology before becoming a mother, so I could have used all the knowledge that I have today with my daughter.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

First of all I love children, and absolutely love to watch how each child has his/hers own way of learning, that the children learn at their own path, and they have the freedom to do that in our beautiful, meticulously prepared classrooms. I am simply grateful to have a job where I can follow the children’s growth and nurture their love of learning. It really makes me feel I am at the right place.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I was immensely attracted to our beautiful campus and the amazing community that we have. The classrooms were beautiful, the playgrounds were gorgeous, and the people were very nice! This is my seventh year working here (5 years as an assistant guide and 2 years as an Interim lead guide) and I am very happy to be part of the WSMS.

What are your credentials?

I hold a Bachelor in arts. My degree is to teach: Portuguese, English and Latin languages, and Portuguese, English and British Literature to middle and high schoolers.

Leila Edwards

TAD Lead

Andrea Apodaca-Olive

TAD Assistant

How did you discover Montessori?

Through my husband who was passionate about becoming a Montessori teacher. I was so in awe at the wisdom of what Maria Montessori had discovered and developed, that I had to join in.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I feel like I can truly support children in the full spectrum of their development.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The way the school was intentionally designed according to Montessori principles, particularly the immediate access to the outdoor environment from every classroom! The school’s blueprint and overall adherance to Montessori principles in how the programs were run. A warm, welcoming, and supportive work environment

What are your credentials?

B. S. in Elementary Education with specialties in Spanish language and Teaching English as a Second Language. A year of AMI Elementary training.

Katherine Payne

TAD Assistant

“It’s a wonderful life.”

How did you discover Montessori?

When my daughter was 2 and I wanted to place her in a preschool program, I looked around at many different schools and it felt like Montessori was a good match for her.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

Because we engage the whole child, and it address each child’s individual developmental needs.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

Its beautiful campus and diversity of families.

What are your credentials?

Primary AMS Montessori Credential and AAS in Early Childhood Education. I’ve been working with young children practically all my life.

Violet O’Neal

TAD Lead Assistant

Children's House

Virginia Sparkes

CH1 Lead

Jamison Owens

CH1 Assistant

Lauren Seger

CH2 Lead

Pooja Agarwal

CH2 Assistant

Amanda Langbehn

CH3 Lead

Shanon Merritt

CH3 Assistant

Sonja Jones

CH4 Lead

Heather Dorsett

CH4 Assistant

Shelley Reynolds

CH5 Lead

Zoe Grobart

CH5 Assistant

Maria Selles

CH6 Lead

Stefania Bedin

CH6 Assistant

Virginia Sparkes

CH1 Lead

“The teacher who sets out with the idea that she is perfect; and never notices her own mistakes, is not a good teacher.” – Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

How did you discover Montessori?

I’ve always loved working with children and whilst I was in college I had the opportunity to volunteer at a Montessori preschool. I was apprehensive at first but once I started I fell in love with the method and the way it both respects and empowers the children. After college I got my 3-6 Certification and throughout the years my passion and love for the Montessori approach has only grown!

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

It always strikes me as a great honor to have the opportunity to work with children. To be there when they write their first word, add their first numbers, paint their first picture, etc. It is a magical experience and I’m so lucky to be a part of these children’s lives. Respect for children and their own wants and desires is so important to me. I can see why Maria Montessori felt that education was the best weapon in the fight for peace. I also love the beautiful materials and the way they bring academic concepts to life. Seeing a child’s face light up when they take another step towards independence is the most amazing sight!

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I joined WSM in January of 2022. I was looking to return to the classroom after a break and I have only ever heard good things about WSM. I had visited years ago when working towards my Montessori certification and I was completely captivated by watching Miss Holly’s class. WSM is a wonderful school that is committed to the Montessori Method and creating opportunities for all children to thrive.

What are your credentials?

I have a BA with Honors in Political Science and Communication. I am AMS Montessori certified for 3-6 year olds and I am currently working towards my Masters in Montessori Integrative Learning – which will be completed in the summer of 2023.

Jamison Owens

CH1 Assistant

How did you discover Montessori?

I first discovered Montessori while studying child development at Appalachian State.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

My favorite things about being a Montessori assistant are: watching the children’s development from the beginning of the year to the end, being able to contribute to a community, and being in an environment which encourages my own further learning.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

After several years working with children in child care settings, I was looking for some place different that better aligned with my values and understanding of the child. WSM was the place!

What are your credentials?

Bachelor in Child Development from Appalachian State

Lauren Seger

CH2 Lead

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”

How did you discover Montessori?

My mother was an assistant in a Lower Elementary Montessori class for 15 years. When I was in high school, I would help her in her room anytime I had the chance. I remember loving the atmosphere, I was amazed to see the children work independently so well, and I thought the multi-age approach made so much sense. I truly fell in love with Montessori when I began my primary training after graduating college.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

As a Montessori guide, I feel that my job is to help children become the best versions of themselves. When I can “follow the child,” I get to know my students so well, which means I can help them grow in all areas of the classroom. Making personal long-lasting connections with children and their families is my favorite part of being an educator.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

My very first contact with the school was its website! My family and I just moved to the Winston-Salem area this summer. When I was handed the opportunity to search for a new school family, I felt very connected to everything I read and saw online. After meeting Holly Tosco and gushing over our love for the Montessori approach for over an hour, I toured the school and I was in awe of everything I saw. This school has reminded me so much of all the reasons why I fell in love with the Montessori philosophy years ago.

What are your credentials?

I graduated from Francis Marion University with a B.S. Degree in Early Childhood in December 2013. I then worked at McLaurin Elementary School (a public Montessori school) as an assistant for a few months while I began my Primary Montessori training. The next year, Fall 2014, I was able to then take over as the lead guide in the class next door and taught there for 6 years. During my 6th year, I was also a co-trainer for the Palmetto Montessori Institute where I instructed new trainees in Practical Life and Sensorial. For the last 2 years I taught Art at All Saints Episcopal Day School (a 2K – 6th grade private school), and now I am here ready to begin my journey at WSM!

Pooja Agarwal

CH2 Assistant

“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.”

How did you discover Montessori?

I put my son in a Montessori school when he was 3 years old and I was very happy with Montessori education.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

Being a Montessori teacher is very fulfilling and rewarding. Faculty teach from their hearts, nurture the children, and provide them with the very best education.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I feel like WSM is my home away from home.

What are your credentials?

I have a Bachelor’s in Commerce and taught Montessori in NY for 6 years as a Children’s House assistant. This is my 7th year as a Toddler assistant.

Amanda Langbehn

CH3 Lead

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einstein

How did you discover Montessori?

I discovered Montessori right out of high school and became a toddler assistant at 18. I fell in love with working with children from that moment on and consider it my niche and contribution to my community. I feel very fortunate to have been exposed to Montessori philosophies at such an early time in my life because it became part of who I am and how I see and feel about children. I love that there is science to support the work but also that Dr. Montessori made it clear in her studies that children are incredibly capable and deserve respect for the amazing things their minds and bodies are learning.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love being a Montessori teacher because I get to opportunity to inspire. I think the title teacher is slightly presumptuous because really the children don’t need to be taught, they need opportunities to explore and be inspired by the world around them. I like that I get to offer that to them every day. As a Montessori Guide, I look for ways to encourage personal growth and tolerance, acceptance and peacefulness. There’s not another job like it and it gives me tremendous joy to be a Montessorian and part of this community.

What attracted you to WSM?

I found WSM at a time when I was ready to start a new chapter in my life. I had been a Nanny for a few years and I was feeling restless and wanting to get back into the classroom. My lovely friend Chelsea was moving from our hometown in Florida to Winston Salem and had applied at WSM. She told me she had a good feeling about the school and I should check it out. I did, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a place that truly cares about the people that come through its doors.

What are your credentials?

Worked with children for 21 years
11 years Montessori experience
Certified in Conscious Discipline
Completed Phase 1 of AMI Primary Montessori Certification

Shanon Merritt

CH3 Assistant

“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.”

How did you discover Montessori?

While babysitting for a wonderful family that had two kids who attended Montessori. The mother was part of the very first class to graduate from the school and she was also Montessori board president. When I walked into their school for the first time, it felt like a great big hug. Right away I wanted to be apart of this amazing school. I then began subbing and the following year I started working in the Lower El classroom for 2 years, then moved to NC.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

The loving, peaceful environment. The child is able to have freedom of learning and I love being a part of that.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

When we moved to Clemmons I wanted to continue teaching in Montessori because I had such a great experience at my other school. When I toured WSM it was amazing. I loved the outdoor environment, and the people were warm and inviting.

What are your credentials?

Culinary school at Johnson & Wales University, Norfolk, Virginia. Stay at home mom for 18 years raising 3 kiddos while babysitting which then lead me to teach Montessori for 6 years.

Sonja Jones

CH4 Lead

“The duties of a teacher are neither few nor small, but they elevate the mind and give energy to the character.” – Dorothea Dix

How did you discover Montessori?

Through a friend

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

Being a Montessori teacher is very fulfilling. I am able to be creative in our classroom community. Being a Montessori teacher allows me to be patient and compassionate to the children. Teaching allows me to improve the lives of the children and be apart of their daily growth.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The strong family community bond that the Montessori School shares with one another.

What are your credentials?

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Liberty University

Heather Dorsett

CH4 Assistant

Shelley Reynolds

CH5 Lead

“Look how far the light came to paint you this way.” Bruce Cockburn

How did you discover Montessori?

At 16, I first walked into Frank Brainard and Margaret Borrego’s school in the mountains of North Carolina just to see if I could visit and learn about this type of school. Later, two friends of mine were teachers there, and I came as often as I could. Fifteen years later, a family friend convinced us to send our son to the Mount Sopris Montessori School in Carbondale, Colorado, and convinced me to also begin teaching there.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love being a Montessorian because it supports people to learn all they can, to collaborate on learning and teaching, and to become people who contribute to their communities.

What attracted you to WSM?

I admired the absolute dedication to being a fully authentic Montessori home for children and their families, and the commitment to the work involved. (Plus, Frank & Margaret, who have known me for decades, vouched for how good a fit I would be here. 😊 )

What are your credentials?

I have been an educator for forty years, twenty-seven of those in Montessori schools. A Primary overview trainer for a local elementary Montessori school, and a parent coach since 2004, I was happy to become the author of a new book based on my experiences and practice, Long Range Respect.

Zoe Grobart

CH5 Assistant

How did you discover Montessori?

The library.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

The comfort of there being over one hundred years of practice informing and supporting what we do with the children in our classrooms each day.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

Their commitment to an authentic Montessori education.

What are your credentials?

BFA in Drama from UNCSA. AMI Certified Montessori 3-6 Assistant Guide.

What is your favorite quote?

Quotes for me are contextual and purpose-driven, so have many more than one. But this one seems appropriate: “(Like to the lark at break of day arising / From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate; / For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings / That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”

Maria Selles

CH6 Lead

“Nada es verdad ni mentira todo es según el color del cristal con que se mira” (nothing is true or false/wrong everything is according to the color of the glass you look through)

How did you discover Montessori?

Looking for a school for my daughter 18 years ago.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love having a multi-age group of children. It is very helpful for the children and teachers.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

When I visited the school the first time e wry one was so welcoming. The classrooms were so beautiful and the teachers very competent.

What are your credentials?

I have a bachelor degree and an AMS CH training ( credentials).

Stefania Bedin

CH6 Assistant

How did you discover Montessori?

My first glance at the Montessori method was by studying the design of the classroom/school environment while attending the university of architecture.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

It amazes me every time a get to create a connection and share the perspective of a child.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I loved the WSM environment as a parent first. I feel so fortunate to be able to provide this opportunity to my children.

What are your credentials?

Art based school diploma, and Bachelor of Architecture from IUAV, university of architecture in Venice, Italy. I volunteered with schools in my hometown organizing book fairs and environment awareness activities.

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Give Your Child a Well-Rounded
Education and Overall Development

Lower & Upper Elementary

Shama Doshi

LE1 Lead

Olivia Hinson

LE1 Assistant

Rachel Wall

LE2 Lead

Pam Guy

LE2 Assistant

Abigail Parsons

UE Lead

Allison Fishburne

UE Assistant

Jessica Hatfield

UE Assistant

Shama Doshi

LE1 Lead

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” Dr. Maria Montessori

How did you discover Montessori?

My mother is a Montessori guide. I spent many summers in her environment during university.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

Guiding each child through their self-construction

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The ability to practice authentic Montessori.

What are your credentials?

I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and Linguistics, an AMI Elementary degree, and an Masters of Education

Olivia Hinson

LE1 Assistant

“Within the child lies the fate of the future.” -Maria Montessori (Cheesy, I know, for a Montessori teacher to choose a Maria quote. But she really was a genius!)

How did you discover Montessori?

For about half of my life, I have been a nanny for a family who has attended WSM for many years. Getting to know those children and hearing about their experiences made me want to learn more about Montessori in general. And once I did, I was hooked!

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

Being a Montessori teacher has been a dream of mine for a long time. As a Montessorian, instead of only teaching a child to read and write, I get to know and love the WHOLE child, and everything that they are. We don’t just give them facts and information to memorize so they can pass a test. We get to help them struggle and grow, and learn about what it means to be a kind and responsible human being.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I love WSM because it has shown me what it really means to be a teacher. Before working here, I thought that teachers knew everything, and had a duty to fill each child up with their infinite knowledge. Now I know that I have as much—if not more—to learn from my community as they have to learn from me. Not only to I work with many brilliant and dedicated adult colleagues, but I also get to be curious and learn something new from my students each and every day.

What are your credentials?

I graduated from UNCG with a BS in Elementary Education, with a concentration in Music and a Spanish minor. (I also studied abroad for a semester in Toledo, Spain.)

Rachel Wall

LE2 Lead

“To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator.” – Maria Montessori

How did you discover Montessori?

I discover Montessori when I attended Beaufort Montessori for kindergarten. My guide Ms. Linda shaped who I was, and the way I see education. Going to a traditional school for 1-12th grade, she had fostered my curiosity for learning.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love that I am a guide for the growing person.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The beauty of the school which is an outward expression of WSM’s dedication to supporting the growth of the individual child and, in this, the future.

What are your credentials?

I have taught a variety of age groups including English as Second language in Costa Rica, and in a Montessori adolescent program. I have a Master’s in Education from Providence College and have completed all the course work for the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program.

Pam Guy

LE2 Assistant

An elderly friend used to say this in all situations, “Everybody’s just doing the best they can.”

How did you discover Montessori?

My 3 year old and I got lost driving around in Winston and ended up turning around in the parking lot of the school at its former location. I had been considering getting him enrolled in a preschool anyway, so I asked my mom why “Montessori” seemed familiar. She said she had Montessori’s handbook on our home library shelf and had used many ideas from it when my brother and I were little. We immediately enrolled my son to start CH when the Clemmons location opened in 2006. It’s been a grand journey.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

Oh! There’s so much!! I love discovering exactly what makes a concept “tricky” for an individual. I love seeing students surprise themselves by accomplishing goals they felt were out-of-reach. I love how the environment does so much of the work for the guide. And I love that grace and courtesy are considered as important as math and language.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

At first, it was the practicality and logic of the Montessori method. I’ve since developed a great appreciation for the physical layout of the campus as well, notably the immediate access to patios and gardens that each classroom has.

What are your credentials?

BA Biology, decade+ working every level of WSM except AP

Abigail Parsons

UE Lead

How did you discover Montessori?

I attended a Montessori school myself from 3 years old through 8th grade.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love getting to connect with my students over three years and seeing the growth over that time. I love seeing the students learning life skills along side academic knowledge through experiences they get in their elementary years.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

That the school serves children from 18 months to 9th grade, which shows the commitment to the Montessori way at all stages of development.

What are your credentials?

I have a BS in elementary education with a STEM concentration, a M.Ed. in Montessori elementary education, and an AMI elementary 6-12 diploma.

Allison Fishburne

UE Assistant

“You can’t get so hung up on where you’d rather be that you forget to make the most of where you are.”

How did you discover Montessori?

My best friend works at the Montessori school in Virginia, and she thought I would appreciate learning about the Montessori method.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love watching the students as they develop their interests and start to understand a new concept.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

Once I visited the school while planning my move to North Carolina, I knew quickly that WSM is where I wanted to work.

What are your credentials?

I received my Bachelor of Science in History in 2015. I will start working to receive my Montessori certification this year.

Jessica Hatfield

UE Assistant

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

How did you discover Montessori?

My dad became a Montessori teacher a few years ago, which introduced me to the concept.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

It is amazing to watch the children explore and discover things on their own. Nothing is more exciting than having a student come up to me and say, “I figured it out!” or to share something fun that they learned. I love that they can feed their natural curiosity.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I was attracted to the beautiful campus and the kind staff. Everyone I met before I started working here was incredibly friendly, welcoming, and supportive.

What are your credentials?

I am TEFL certified and have four years of experience as an English teacher.

Adolescent

Sally Meehan

AP Humanities Lead

Ellen Kuppinger

AP Science Lead

Greg Dahlin

AP Math Lead

Sally Meehan

AP Humanities Lead

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” –Socrates

How did you discover Montessori?

My daughter came to WSM in Children’s House

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love working collaborately with other guides and students to create authentic, relevant, engaging curriculum in our study of Humanities.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

It is a caring and engaged community of students, familes, and guides. It is also a campus that beautifully integrates indoor and outdoor spaces

What are your credentials?

Bachelor of Fine Arts, UNC-Greensboro; Master of Arts in Teaching, Salem College; PhD (ABD) Curriculum Theory, UNC-Chapel Hill; Orientation to Adolescence, AMI.

Ellen Kuppinger

AP Science Lead

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

How did you discover Montessori?

I observed a Montessori school during my graduate program and was blown away. Soon after, I met my future partner whose mom is a Montessori educator, and my interest grew. I was attracted to the interdisciplinary lessons, the promotion of independence, and the belief that each human had the potential to contribute positively to the world.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love watching the confidence of my students grow as they take risks in this safe and nurturing environment, and begin to realize their full potential as a human being.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The inviting outdoor environment, the beautiful facilities, and the fluidity between the two. I also love my colleagues, and the strong community of families that our school nurtures.

What are your credentials?

B.A., Political Science, University of Connecticut, M.S., Environmental Education, Lesley University, Elementary I Credential, American Montessori Society, Adolescent Diploma, Association Montessori International, To Be Completed Summer 2022

Greg Dahlin

AP Math Lead

Resource Guides

BJ Williams

Director of Co-Curricular Programs

Staci Jackson

Learning Support Specialist

BJ Williams

Director of Co-Curricular Programs

Do you realize how many events and choices that had to occur since the birth of the universe, leading to the making of you just exactly the way you are? Mrs. Which – from motion picture “A Wrinkle in Time”

How did you discover Montessori?

I have known about the great work that Winston Salem Montessori has done with children for about 10 years. I was looking for the right time and opportunity to be a part of this special community.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love working with children and supporting their goals in all aspects of educations. To empower and encourage through purposeful activities and games is always the goal.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

What attracted me to WSM was the open concept classrooms, students have a choice in their education and daily learning.

What are your credentials?

20 + years of child care experience Birth through Adolescents. I also earned my BA from Berea College in 2006 with a degree in Child and Family Studies with a concentration in Child Development. I also have 15 years of youth programming experience.

Staci Jackson

Learning Support Specialist

“Communication is the essence of human life.” – Janice Light

How did you discover Montessori?

I discovered Montessori through a friend.

Why do you love being part of the Montessori community?

I’m new here but I am looking forward to utilizing my skill set through the lens of the Montessori method to support our students, teachers, and families.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

When I came to do an observation, I was struck by the warmth and calm of the environment. Coming from a traditional education background, I was intrigued by the child-directed learning and the JOY of the children as they went about their work.

What are your credentials/experience?

I received a BA in Speech and Hearing Sciences and an MA in Speech-Language Pathology from Ohio State University. Additionally, I am an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. In 2013, I obtained Associate Level training in Orton-Gillingham, a multisensory, structured approach to reading instruction.

Support Staff

Evelyn Gilbertson

Librarian

Gary Mote

Grounds & Facilities Manager

Tim Pruitt

Grounds & Facilities Assistant

Dorian Dugger

Garden Coordinator

Anu Goel

All-School Sub / Children's House Sunrise Lead

Evelyn Gilbertson

Librarian

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis

How did you discover Montessori?

I attended a Montessori School through 5th grade.

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love being a part of the growth of so many readers in progress!

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The culture of kindness, respect and honesty.

What are your credentials?

BA in music and art, 2002 from Randolph Macon Woman’s College; Masters of Library and Information Science, 2004 from the University of South Carolina

Gary Mote

Grounds & Facilities Manager

“HEY, Watch this!”

How did you discover Montessori?

My wife applied to be a teacher at WSM. They weren’t hiring, but she came home and told me that they were looking for a maintenance man, so I applied. That was 10 years ago.

Why do you love being part of the WSM community?

It feels like a small village of people that work together and have the same common goal. It took a while to get used to at first, but it feels good.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

The fact that I was the first maintenance man they hired, which made me realize that I would be busy! It was a good challenge.

What are your credentials?

I was a long distance operator, lineman, splicer and installer for Southwestern Bell telephone company in Arkansas for 25 years, and I have my own small handyman business. I’ve been working with my hands all my life.

Tim Pruitt

Grounds & Facilities Assistant

“Love thy neighbor.”

How did you discover Winston Salem Montessori?

I had no idea about Montessori until the former Head of School asked me to come work here when Gary was injured. I was the building and grounds coordinator at a different school previously and wanted to work at a private school again.

Why do you love being part of the WSM community?

The way that the staff all work together.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I thought it was strange when a chicken came walking out of one of the classrooms at the Adolescent campus! I also noticed when I first came here that all the children seemed happy. That was impressive. The way they teach here was a real eye-opener for me. And when the staff gathered together, I was amazed by the way that that everyone shared and opened up with each other.

What are your credentials?

I was a contractor and still am a cabinet builder. I’ve been in business for 20 years.

 

Dorian Dugger

Garden Coordinator

“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
– Julian of Norwich

How did you discover Montessori?

My sister’s son attended a Montessori school in Homestead, Florida

Why do you love being a Montessori teacher?

I love working with the children in nature and am inspired by their curiosity, insights, enthusiasm, openness and sense of community. I love that in a Montessori setting we are encouraged to observe the children, to follow their interests, to encourage their explorations. I also very much love Maria Montessori’s focus on and work towards peace.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

My grandson was attending here and I appreciated his guide, Miss Kay, so much. My daughter in law told me there was an opening for employment and encouraged me to apply for the position. As the saying goes, the rest is history!

What are your credentials?

I’m a life long gardener and lover of nature and children.

Anu Goel

All-School Sub / Children's House Sunrise Lead

“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori

How did you discover Montessori?

I heard about the Montessori method from a friend and then decided to get a Diploma in Montessori method of education.

Why do you love being part of the Montessori community?

I love the idea of ‘child-centric’ rather than ‘teacher-centric’ environment.

What about WSM attracted you to the school?

I heard great things about WSM from a friend who once worked here and when I visited WSM the first time, I loved the indoor and outdoor environment. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, which further validated my desire to be here.

What are your credentials?

I have a Bachelor of science in Chemistry and Biology from Panjab University, India and Diploma in Montessori method of education (2 1/2-6 years) from MMI, Singapore.

Join a School of Individuals Dedicated to Authentic Montessori Education

Our teachers enjoy very well equipped classrooms, support for continuing education, and competitive salaries and benefits.