Administration 2019-08-18T15:55:05-04:00

Administrative Team

Our administrative team has an extensive background in Montessori education and business administration. Our mission is to provide the best possible learning environment for our children by creating a collaborative team between teachers, our Montessori families, and administration.

Julie Schroer

Head of School


Julie was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. She moved to the U.S. in the mid 1980s and settled in Palm Springs, California. During her time in California, Julie became a live-in nanny while studying for a major in physics. After relocating to Newport Beach, Julie trained as an assistant physical therapist and worked in a rehabilitation unit caring for patients with critical injuries.

In the early 1990s, Julie moved to North Carolina where she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Knowing her calling was to work with children, Julie switched majors and earned a BA in psychology with a minor in African American Studies. She also worked part time on a research team in the clinical psychology department at UNC studying parental disciplinary models and behavioral disorders.

In 1992 Julie began working with The New School in the Children’s House program. After falling in love with the philosophy of Montessori and recognizing it as an extension of her explorations and studies in developmental and clinical psychology, she began her Montessori training. Julie earned her AMS certifications at the lower and upper elementary levels. Julie is currently completing a MS in educational psychology.

Julie taught lower elementary, upper elementary, then middle school for a total of 14 years before assuming her current role as Director then Head of School. In addition to her classroom teaching, Julie has tutored in many levels of mathematics and science. She has also coached judo and fencing.

On a part-time basis, Julie serves as treasurer of an international environmental organization that promotes sustainability education. She is also a PADI Scuba Dive Master who enjoys leading underwater tours and participating in reef preservation projects. Julie’s other interests include traveling, art, photography, chess, and caring for her saltwater aquarium.

Favorite Educational Quote

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
∼ William Butler Yeats

Jonathan Schroer

Executive Director

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Jonathan was born in Illinois but was raised on Long Island, New York. Jonathan’s first introduction to Montessori was through his mother, Ceres Schroer York, a life-long Montessori professional who founded the The New School in 1984. Jonathan attended Montessori school as a young child, which is also when he began his very successful chess career.

Jonathan graduated from Stony Brook University with a double major in Russian and political science. After graduating from Stony Brook, Jonathan attended Columbia University and earned a degree in law. He then went on to pass the bar in California, Washington D.C., and North Carolina.

After living in California, where he practiced law for a few years, Jonathan moved and settled down in North Carolina. After a year of practicing law in Raleigh, Jonathan decided to pursue Montessori training and join The New School to assist in its development. He attained his certification in Children’s House and gained invaluable classroom experience before assuming administrative roles and eventually becoming the Head of School in 2000.

Jonathan continues to play and coach chess, both privately and to other local schools. In addition to at one time being the third youngest international chess champion in the U.S., Jonathan also holds the record for winning the NC state championship the most times (in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009). In his spare time, Mr. Jonathan enjoys listening to music, playing cards, and tennis.

Favorite Educational Quote

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.
∼ Dr. Maria Montessori

Denise Scheidt

Admissions | Program Director

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Denise was born in Greenville, South Carolina. Denise’s interest in politics led her to working for the Solicitor’s office for Greenville County. Denise then attended Clemson University where she studied history and to this day remains a loyal and dedicated Clemson fan.

Denise and her husband Scott moved to North Carolina in 1998, after which they had two boys and one girl. Before joining The New School, Denise worked in positions ranging from teacher to director in various childcare centers in the area.

As Denise enrolled her three children in The New School, she became interested in a career in the field of Montessori education. Denise joined the school in November of 2009 as administrative support and is now currently our Program Director.

In her spare time, Denise enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.

Favorite Educational Quote

We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.
∼ Dr. Maria Montessori

Torey Daniels

Assistant Director | Human Resource Coordinator

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Torey was born and raised in Fuquay-Varina and is happy to be considered one of the few natives to the remain in the area. She has one child, a daughter named Bella. It was Bella who led Torey to an education in early childhood.

Torey has over ten years of experience working with children. She has two degrees, one in general education and the other in early childhood education. She has also attended classes ranging from medical coding to cosmetology and aesthetics.

In 2015, after gaining classroom experience for five years, Torey decided to focus on a career in educational administration, which is when she joined The New School. Along with her administrative role, Torey has introduced several school-wide initiatives to enrich our community including co-managing our Student Council and actively participating in several of our committees.

Her favorite part of working at the school is watching the growth of not only the children but of the school in general. Her participation, ideas, and enthusiasm have contributed significantly to many of our community building activities.

Over the past 5 years, she has been the co-president of the local NC Million March Against Child Abuse which happens every year in April. Along with having a heart for children, she also loves animals and was, at one point, a top foster organizer for a high-kill shelter in Harnett County. She has three pets of her own, a Pomeranian named Millie and two cats, Pebbles and Bam-Bam.

In her spare time, Torey enjoys traveling, reading, shopping at thrift stores, and staying on-the-go with her friends and family.

Favorite Educational Quote

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.

∼ Dr. Maria Montessori

Sheldon Clark

Curriculum Coordinator

Sheldon Clark has been involved in Montessori education since the early 1990s. He has served in administration as well as in the classroom and was the founding Upper Elementary Director of Follow the Child Montessori School in Raleigh.

Sheldon joined The New School in 2011 as its Upper Elementary Director and served in that role through the 2013-2014 school year. He took the AMI/NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies in the summer of 2013 and pioneered The New School’s Montessori Adolescent Program in the fall of 2014.

In 2019, Sheldon expanded his role to offer mentoring support to other programs in addition to coordinating curriculum evaluations and enhancements.

Ellis Parks

Administrative and Communications Director


Ellis originally hails from Seven Springs, North Carolina. He graduated from Southern Wayne High School in 1994 and went on to attend Winston-Salem State University. He graduated from there with a degree in psychology and a minor degree in sociology in 1998.

While at WSSU, Ellis began an internship with Lowes Hardware that he continued beyond college. He soon earned the position of Lead Marketing Manager and was relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Deciding it was time for a career change, Ellis began working at Sterling Montessori Charter School in Morrisville, NC, in September 1999. He started his career at Sterling as a teacher’s assistant and after-school coordinator.

While working at Sterling, he received his Montessori certification in lower elementary at The New School Montessori Center in 2001. That same year, he went on to work as a co-teacher in the 6 to 9-year-old program and maintained the position until the following year when he was given a class of his own. In 2005, he began to work as the 6 to 9-year-old Program Director and Sterling’s Testing Coordinator.

In 2002, due to the emotional impact that the U.S. was feeling over the 9/11 attacks, Ellis joined the North Carolina National Guard, where he is currently serving as a Major. In 2008 his unit was mobilized to deploy to Iraq to assist in Operation Iraqi Freedom. After a year-and-a-half tour, he returned to Sterling until May of this year. He also completed the NC teaching licensure (K-5) program at North Carolina Central University in 2013.

Ellis has a wife, Sara, and a son named Braxton Alexander. Currently, he is away serving in the military, but we hope that he returns to be with us at TNS in the near future.

David High

Billing Administrator


David was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He currently lives in Cary.

David graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2014 with a degree in business management. He began at The New School Montessori Center as an after-school teacher in December of 2014 but has since joined the administrative team.

David is also a coach for The New School’s chess club. He has played chess since he was seven years old and now plays in chess tournaments around the country. He is an expert who teaches chess camps and after-school programs in the Triangle area. He is also the 2009 high school state chess champion and co-winner of the 2015 North Carolina Open.

David enjoys working with children, reading, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and playing chess.

Favorite Educational Quote

One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.
Dr. Maria Montessori

The New School Montessori Center

Ashlyn Tookey

Administrative Assistant | IT Coordinator

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Ashlyn grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.S. in environmental science.

Ashlyn likes the diversity of her work in administration at The New School. She has had a longtime hobby of building and working on computers and brings that enthusiasm to her position of IT Coordinator. A lover of nature, Ashlyn enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and identifying plants.

She and David High, also of The New School, were married in 2019.

Favorite Educational Quote

Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.
∼ Dr. Maria Montessori

Jiang (Jane) Lu

Technology Education Director

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Jiang was born and raised in Sichuan, China. She took a bold step to move beyond her comfort zone in China to embark on a new life in the USA. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master of Science degree in statistics, she joined an international clinical trial research team at the University of Pittsburgh. Over seven years, she analyzed data, coordinated investigators, and published research papers in prestigious medical journals.

Jiang is particularly enthusiastic about education, especially the Montessori philosophy, given her interest in providing the best education possible for her daughters. As she looks to a new direction in her career, she joins our administrative team to contribute her expertise in data analysis and management.

Every Saturday during the school year, Jiang volunteers her time, energy, and knowledge to teach Chinese as a second language and creative math problem solving at Cary Chinese School. In her own words, “I am determined to make a difference in any way that benefits and enriches the lives of others.”

Favorite Educational Quote

This then is the first duty of an educator: to stir up life but leave it free to develop.

Dr. Maria Montessori

Roger Harris

Marketing and Development

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Roger Harris works with The New School to help us communicate effectively and to develop our fund-raising and growth strategies. He combines powerful messages with deep insight into the world of media and technology to help the school achieve its strategic goals.

He has helped develop communications campaigns for A-list companies such as Microsoft, Lenovo, and Deloitte. He has also worked with small to medium-sized businesses and nonprofits in science and technology, healthcare, education, and publishing.

Roger has two degrees in biology. After completing his master’s at the University of Oregon, he led natural history and photography tours to the Amazon rainforest, Africa, and the Galapagos Islands from 1992 to 2006. His adventures inspired him to write the first travel guide to the Amazon region, which was published in 1997.

He has worked at the intersection of education and communications for more than two decades. His work with Discovery Education includes creating content for their math and science techbook, as well as working on science-related content for websites, articles, interactives, and videos for clients such as Intel, 3M, Toyota, and the U.S. Navy.

In his ever-decreasing spare time, Roger inflicts his culinary skills on unsuspecting guests, weeds his beloved garden, and zooms around the back roads of North Carolina on his rather powerful Italian motorcycle.

Erick Sippel

Site Management

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Hailing from New Jersey, Mr. Erick started his own landscaping business that he ran for 20 years. After moving to North Carolina, he purchased the Healthy Vending Machine company, which he still runs as a family business.

He particularly enjoys any outdoor activity, especially golfing, biking, hiking, jogging, and sports. He’s even been bungee jumping and would love to go skydiving someday!