Originally from Long Island, New York, Maureen obtained certificates in early childhood education from Stanley Community College and Nassau Community College.
Her teaching experience includes three years as lead teacher at the Seeds of Faith Preschool and as a classroom assistant at Southern Wake Montessori School. She joined The New School in 2010 as a classroom assistant and has continued to be an integral part of our strong teaching team.
Maureen is married, has two boys, and enjoys Korean martial arts, growing her own vegetables, and raising chickens.
A true New Englander at heart, Jaimie grew up in Rhode Island, went to undergrad school in Connecticut, and spent many years living, working, and getting her Master’s degree in education in Boston, MA.
Jaimie moved to the Raleigh area for her husband’s job with Wegmans in 2019. They now have a 2-year-old boy who has been at The New School since he was 10 months old and is the absolute light of their lives.
Her love for children started at a young age. Jaimie has been working with children in various capacities since she was 11 years old. However, her favorite job was working at American Girl where she hosted birthday parties and special events.
She is excited to be back working with children after working corporate jobs for the last decade. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, spending time exploring the area with friends and family, and, of course, playing with her son.
Michelle says she spent four lovely years in the Early Years class before moving on to the Nido room. She grew up and graduated high school in the Philippines and then studied dentistry in college. Before moving in to NC, she was a New Jersey resident for nine years and spent many of those years working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in a skilled nursing home facility there.
Michelle has two boys: one already serves in the U.S. Air Force and her youngest just graduated from high school wanting to pursue a course in aviation. In her free time, she likes listening to music, playing the piano by ear, cooking, and her favorite — traveling.
She loves working with children, especially the little ones, watching their progress, and seeing them learning new things. Michelle says, “It is a gift to me because I have been a part of that special time.”
Her favorite Montessori quote: “The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”
Amanda, who is British, and her husband, who is Irish, moved from their home in England just south of London to Holly Springs four years ago. They have four boys who are 13, 7, 7, and 4 years old.
Amanda’s career experience includes working as a class lead in a children’s nursery, an emergency medical technician for EMS for 10 years, and many volunteering roles in her children’s school.
As one of her children is in the severe range of the autistic spectrum, she has become a fast learner in being a parent of a special needs child and everything that brings.
Amanda’s interest in early years development really began when her “mum” gave her the book entitled “Why Love Matters” which sparked a desire to learn more about childrens’ neurodevelopment in her spare time. Reading “The Joyful Child” and discovering the Montessori method confirmed everything she had been trying to do with her own children over the years.
“Babies are born curious, and by creating an interesting, age-appropriate indoor and outdoor space, they can develop their enquiring minds and problem-solving skills whilst strengthening their bodies,” Amanda adds. “I feel so blessed to be able to work in the Nido room to help provide an interesting, safe, and beautiful environment to watch young minds and bodies grow.”
Favorite Montessori Quote
The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.
∼ Dr. Maria Montessori
Beth is a native North Carolinian. She grew up in Greenville, came to Raleigh to attend Meredith College, and graduated from there with a degree in child development. She enjoyed the Raleigh area so much that she stayed and has been here ever since.
She began working at the SAS Montessori School in 1990 and did her AMS Infant/Toddler training at CMTE NY in 1998. She has been with two-year-olds all the way through and is still fascinated with the way they develop, learn, and see the world. Beth loves to laugh, and one of her favorite things is seeing a young child develop a sense of humor.
Outside of work, Beth loves studying the Bible, taking long walks, listening to music, traveling, and hanging out with her friends and family. Her friends are some of the biggest blessings in her life!
Two Favorite Quotes:
“I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.” ~ Charles Dickens
“Sometimes you need to talk to a two-year-old just so you can understand life again.” ~ Unknown
Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Neena spent about 17 years there and grew up in a Montessori school herself, which is where her interest in the method began. She finished college in the education field and has had a passion for working with the Early Years all along.
Neena likes to cook and loves the beach! Her grandmother is her best friend and the woman that guides her in all things, including education as she once was a teacher herself.
Her favorite quote is “ Our children do not belong TO us, but WITH us. The greatest gift we give them is not a path to follow but a warm shelter to return to as they journey along whatever paths they choose.”
Wanda was born in Tubmanburg, Liberia, in West Africa. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from the University of Liberia. After fleeing a civil war in her homeland with her young children, she immigrated to the United States in the 1990s.
In 1991, Wanda completed her Childcare Credential Certificate in the state of Maryland starting her decades-long career within the field of early childhood education. She and her children settled in Wake County in 1996, where she then completed her North Carolina Childcare Credential Certificate from Wake Technical Community College.
Prior to joining The New School, Wanda’s teaching experience includes 15 years as an assistant teacher and a teacher at the SAS Montessori School.
Outside of the classroom she enjoys baking, reading, dancing, and traveling with her adult daughters.
Lexi and her preschooler moved from Texas to our beautiful state where she’s had both her own in-home daycare and was a substitute teacher for a short stint as she began her studies in nursing. But while subbing for pre-K through elementary age, she discovered her passion for teaching trumped her pursuit of nursing.
Though soon installed as lead teacher in a 3-4 years class, she also found that public school did not share her educational philosophy. Upon exploring Montessori, and The New School in particular, she providentially found her philosophy match. She and her son both love TNS where they have felt warmly welcomed by the staff here.
Some of Lexi’s hobbies include writing short stories, novels and poems, painting, drawing, reading, and anything crafty. She especially loves doing anything outdoors where she tries to reconnect with nature as often possible!
Lexi loves teaching because she loves watching their brilliant, precious minds grow.
“It’s one of the most amazing things to witness! On top of that you never know what silly thing they are going to say! Children really are the joy of this world!” Lexi shared.
Born and raised right here in Raleigh, Sarah received her B.S. in public history from East Carolina University. She began her Montessori career with a job at SAS Montessori School onsite at the SAS Institute. Within six months, she was made an assistant teacher.
Sarah fell in love with the Montessori philosophy and received her Infant/Toddler certification in 2006 from CMTE. She became the lead teacher in SAS’s Ones class and was at that location nearly 21 years.
She transitioned to The New School in the summer of 2021 and is so happy to be here! Sarah loves watching children discover and learn about their world.
Her favorite thought from Fred Rogers is “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” It reminds her that play is truly important and all play has a purpose which is why Montessori draws her so much. She has hopes to continue her Montessori education in the future.
Outside of school, she looks forward to time spent with friends and family. She loves to read (especially cozy, light mysteries), do some knitting (just picking it back up, so mostly scarves right now), and involving herself in simple DIY projects, like furniture refurbishing and growing her favorite flowers (tulips) and some veggies. She also has a couple of furry pals named Jake (her dog) and Jasper (her cat).
Jane was born in the Philippines. She received a secretarial certificate at the University of Mindanao and earned a bachelor of science degree in management at the same university. Jane worked at the Parole and Probation Office before receiving her degree. After college she worked in the Department of Engineering at Panabo City Hall for eight years. She then moved to the United States in October of 1998.
Her native language is Bisaya. However, she is also fluent in Cebuano, Tagalog, and English. She also speaks some Spanish and German.
Jane completed her early childhood certificate in 2007 at Wake Technical Community College. She earned a Montessori diploma in 2010. She has taught at The New School since 2007.
Her interests include travel, singing karaoke, shopping, Zumba, and watching Asian shows. She has traveled much of the U.S., Europe, and Asia with her family and now lives in Holly Springs with her husband and two children.
Jane’s favorite educational quote below echoes her belief that a clean, beautiful area provides a pleasant environment for children to learn in. She sees a well-equipped learning space as one of those beautiful places.
Favorite Montessori Quote
“The child should live in an environment of beauty.”
∼ Dr. Maria Montessori
Laurie was born and raised in southeast Virginia by the beach. She graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a sociology degree and two years later with an MSW degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005.
After working for a few years with older adults in memory care, she and her husband Matthew moved to North Carolina. While their sons were young, she continued her work with older adults through volunteering.
When her oldest son was ready for preschool, she researched and discovered Montessori. The Montessori method quickly became a passion of hers, and she wanted to share it with others. She was drawn to the philosophy’s tenets of respecting and following the child.
Laurie completed her IMC certification through The Center for Guided Montessori Studies in January 2016. She enjoyed being a lead Children’s House teacher at Peace Montessori before joining her sons at TNS as a faculty member in 2020.
She loves watching children learn and thrive within the Montessori prepared environment and encouraging their natural curiosity. It is her goal to help each child in her care to become an enthusiastic lifelong learner.
Outside of the classroom, Laurie enjoys cooking, music, watching movies, and spending time outdoors by the water with her family.
Favorite Montessori Quote
Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world.
Born in Wilmington, her family moved to Sanford which is where she’s lived since high school. Meg then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in child development at Meredith College. As an NC Teaching Fellow when the program was active, her thesis was on “The Status of Pretend Play in the Montessori Method.” She chose this to research the myth she had of Montessori not cultivating the child’s imagination sufficiently. What she found was the exact opposite.
“I always loved working with children, and I was happy to discover that Montessori helps us focus on what’s important in child development,” shared Meg about her early education perspective.
One summer Meg studied with the Danish Institute of Studies Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the Nordic approach to children with special needs. She then taught Pre-K for four year and was Curriculum Specialist at Creative Schools of Apex for almost three years.
After working in the preschool world for seven years, a chance meeting in the park one day of a retired Montessori teacher opened up a whole new understanding of Montessori for Meg. That serendipitous encounter helped her realize that this method was truly the best fit for her.
Meg accepted a job at TNS in the summer of 2021 and now works with Children’s House where she is excited to learn to be more hands-off and step further back to “follow the child.” Her current goal is to become a Montessori-certified teacher.
Tennis and sports in general are Meg’s interests, and downhill snow skiing in The Canyon just outside Salt Lake City is a favorite spot. In her spare time at home, Meg enjoys time with her rescue dog, Norman, and getting to clean in peace. They travel to Wrightsville Beach to relax, be with family, walk all the dogs, play tennis, and spend quality time with her daughters.
Favorite Educational Quote
Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” ~~ Jim Henson
Born in New Jersey, Jessica came to North Carolina with her family in 2011.
Jessica joined the New School community in 2016 and became a member of the CH3 team the following year. She loves working in the classroom with the children and finding new and exciting ways to build their love of learning.
Jessica graduated in May of 2022 from Campbell University with a degree in birth to kindergarten education. Over the last year, she has studied the Montessori Method and Children’s House curriculum with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
Outside of the classroom, Jessica enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also loves traveling and binge-watching Netflix series when at home.
Joshua was born and raised in Wake county. He and his three younger brothers were homeschooled most of their lives. Josh went to high school and graduated from Southern Wake Academy and is now studying electrical engineering.
In his free time, Josh enjoys playing guitar and piano. He also greatly enjoys playing sports, going to the gym, rock climbing, and roller coasters.
Starting out in Central America, Iris took the long way round via New Jersey and Pennsylvania to finally settle in the southeast. Honduras is her homeland, but Fuquay Varina is now her home.
Having earned her degree in business administration in 2002 from San Pedro Sula University, a friend told Iris about a job opportunity at a small Montessori school nearby. She found herself in a preschool classroom and immediately found her calling.
She went on to get her international Montessori teaching diploma in preschool/Kindergarten from the NAMC in 2012. She worked for 16 years at Little Flower Montessori School as a teacher assistant for six years and then as a lead teacher for 10 years.
“I really enjoy working with children,” Iris added. “I have had many wonderful experiences with them. It is very satisfying to see them grow and to see how much they learn from the moment they begin to be independent, developing their emotional and social skills — even how to hold a pencil.”
A chance invite to visit friends in Holly Springs led her to applying for an opening at The New School. And only a month later, Iris, along with her parents and sister’s family, all moved to Fuquay Varina.
Though she loves Spanish music and played the drums in her school’s parades, Iris is eager to learn more about country music. She loves salsa dancing, romance novels (her favorite movie is “The Notebook”), hiking, and finding new parks to walk in.
Iris is thrilled to be here and can hardly wait to explore our North Carolina beaches and experience all the new adventures waiting for her in the place she now calls home.
Favorite Montessori Quote
A mind once stretched with a new idea is forever enriched.
Originally from Maine, Abbey has worked in daycares, preschools, and elementary classrooms over the last 15 years. After spending some time in a Montessori setting, she knew this was exactly where she wanted to be.
Graduating from St. Petersburg College in Florida with her associate’s degree in art, Abbey continued in the College of Education until her family’s move to North Carolina in 2020.
Abbey’s goal as a teacher is to ensure that all children have an environment that allows them to learn and grow through individual experiences so they can flourish in their own unique ways. She believes the Montessori method best supports that goal. Encouraging children to explore independently at their own pace takes the pressure out of the learning experience, making it more enjoyable. It also allows children to create their own sense of pride in their successes.
She will soon begin training to become a Montessori certified teacher. She shares that she is excited to learn more so that she can provide the best support for the children in her care during this critical period.
In her personal time, she loves being active and outdoors, just as much as she loves playing board games or curling up with a good book. However, most of her weekends are spent on the sidelines of one of her son’s youth sports games.
Favorite Montessori Quote:
“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” ~ Maria Montessori
Born in Tallahassee, Florida, Laurel entered the Montessori experience at two weeks of age with her mother as head teacher and director of the school.
Those early years of working in a hands-on, diverse environment left a very strong impression on her. This solidified Laurel’s idea of what school was for her — a fun place to look forward to each day, full of friends young and old who worked together to learn and play.
After nine years in this progressive community, Laurel transferred into public school where assigned desks, blackboards, and textbooks with tests were foreign to her. She then attended a project-based, private middle school and graduated from a traditional public high school where she sang in a competitive choir and learned American Sign Language. Today, she actively incorporates ASL into her teaching.
Before graduating from Florida State with a B.S. in child and family sciences and a minor in education, she also earned her AMS certification for three to six-year-olds. She felt honored to complete this at her godmother’s Montessori school that was started with her mother before she was born.
From 2004 to 2011, Laurel was lucky enough to teach alongside her mother at Seminole Montessori School in Tallahassee. In 2011, she moved to Woodbridge, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., to work at Cardinal Montessori School. Here she received her AMS certifications in lower and upper elementary at the Barrie School where she met her husband Lionel, who had taught for many years in London. They visit Washington often and now enjoy introducing their young son London to all the adventures the city has to offer.
Laurel takes grace and courtesy very seriously and enjoys instilling these qualities into her young learners in both conflict resolution and classroom stewardship. She also loves to incorporate movement, dance, yoga, singing, music, and nature into learning whenever possible.
She enjoys living in the state she used to vacation in each summer on Asheville camping trips. Laurel embraces being part of a large Montessori community and delights in working alongside so many talented teachers and enthusiastic Montessorians.
Joseph was born and raised in Wake county. He and his three brothers were homeschooled most of their lives. A Holly Springs High School graduate, Joey came to TNS the summer of 2020 to help out with COVID protocols and now works with us in Children’s House.
Jake comes to us as a New School alumni where he had been a student since age five. He has worked on campus in various capacities since moving on to Wake Christian Academy a few years ago. Jake now attends Wake Tech Community College where he is taking basic prerequisite courses as he decides the area he wants to focus in.
When he is not working here as a classroom assistant or as after-school staff support, Jake’s spare time is spent on his collegiate homework, gaming, and the occasional soccer game which is the sport he enjoys the most. One thing he is not known for is that, on one occasion, he suited up as the TNS mascot Talon for a school event and successfully remained incognito, in fact, until this day!
Danielle was raised in central Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. Her concentrations were in social studies and literature for K-6. Although she intended to pursue a career teaching in traditional schools, a college internship in a Montessori school changed her plans.
After graduating college, Danielle began her training for Children’s House certification through the Center for Montessori Teacher Education. After becoming AMS certified in 2012, Danielle taught in Children’s House for nine years. She is now pursuing Montessori certification for both lower and upper elementary.
Danielle lives in Holly Springs with her husband and two children, both of whom attend TNS. She enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, and spending time with her family. Danielle calls herself a “perpetual student” and loves to learn new things.
A North Carolina native, Thomas earned his B.A. in history from Campbell University. With that degree, he’s enjoyed work at various historic sites throughout the state as a museum educator where he began working with students in the summer of 2012.
Spending his lower and middle school years at Sterling Montessori himself, Thomas recognized the importance of community and desired to enter into a profession of service. Beginning with firefighting and EMS, he earned his North Carolina Firefighter certification in 2013 and was soon accepted as a cadet in the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy at Wake Tech.
Once graduated, he was sworn in as a police officer in a local Wake County agency. His duties lead him to serve in diverse capacities as supervisor, investigator, crisis intervention officer, and field training officer. While working on North Carolina Central University’s police department, Thomas was selected as Durham county’s Crisis Intervention Officer of the Year in 2020. He currently holds a North Carolina Intermediate Law Enforcement Certificate as a Sergeant with North State Company Police and is trained in CRASE.
A career opportunity was perfectly timed to transition back into the field of education with his wish to enter the classroom with the same humility and purpose as he had with law enforcement. He received substitute teacher training through the Wake County Public School System and worked as a classroom and intervention teacher at Green Hope Elementary until he was invited to join the TNS teaching team in the summer of 2021.
In the winter of 2022, Thomas began his Montessori education with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and will complete his Montessori Lower Elementary certification in the fall of 2023. He enjoys the Cosmic curriculum and is passionate about discovering new ways to introduce historical studies to his students.
During his free time, he enjoys searching for the perfect historic site with his wife Katherine. Visiting historic sites and engaging in historic adventures populate his “home” calendar, having returned from his most recent trip to the Highlands of Scotland. A fun fact is that he was made an Honorary Captain in Fitzjames’ Regiment of Dragoons, a society that interprets and researches the role of cavalry in the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.
Thomas attempts to inspire the students around him by encouraging them to replace “I can’t do it” to “I can’t do it YET.”
Penny is thrilled to be joining TNS for the 2022-2023 school year. She comes to us after concluding a 23-year career in the Navy where she proudly served around the world.
She earned her B.A. in psychology and sociology at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, her M.A. in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, and her M.S. in industrial and organizational psychology from Capella University. Prior to joining our team she taught naval science at Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, NC.
Penny and her wife live in Fuquay-Varina with their daughters Wylie, Braelyn, and Lennon, and their dogs Millie and Frankie. She likes to travel, play outside, eat ice cream, build Legos, and cook.
Working with children in some capacity since 2002, she has been a Pre-K teacher, an early childhood STEM teacher, a park aide, a Tinkergarten leader, and a nanny. Krista has a bachelor’s degree in parks and natural resource management from NCSU and is currently pursuing her Lower Elementary Montessori certification.
A mother of two, she was initially drawn to the Montessori method because of its power to support a variety of learning styles and ability levels by following the child. Her love of nature and humanity also drew her because the curriculum promotes peace, community, and the interconnectedness of all living creatures. She is looking forward to helping guide your child on this Montessori journey and hopes to learn and grow with your child for years to come!
Krista is a huge “Doctor Who” fan and used to watch the original show on PBS as a kid. Her interests include hiking, tubing, going to amusement parks, visiting historical sites, nature and environmental education, and reading and watching sci-fi and fantasy. She also loves to learn, explore, and have adventures!
Anna was raised in Georgia and attended Emmanuel College where she graduated with a B.S. in early childhood education. She moved to North Carolina after graduation and taught in a public school for two years.
Her family relocated to New Jersey where she worked at a Montessori charter school in New Brunswick for three years and was voted Teacher of the Year by her peers. It was here that her passion for the Montessori method was ignited.
Her family moved back to North Carolina, and she continued work as a 2nd-grade teacher at Lincoln Heights Elementary in Fuquay-Varina where she was once again voted Teacher of the Year.
Deciding to stay at home once she began having children, Anna began researching Montessori for herself so she could transform their home into a place that was truly accessible and engaging. When her oldest of two sons was ready for kindergarten, she began homeschooling him determined to use as much Montessori materials and methods as possible.
Toward the end of his 1st-grade year, she realized that their next step was to find a school at which they could both continue their Montessori education. Caleb and Daniel both fell in love with The New School. Anna completed her AMS Montessori teacher training in the summer of 2019.
Lina was born in Kenya and moved to the U.K. for further education in accounting and taxation. She then moved to North Carolina in 1998.
Lina has two boys who joined The New School at ages 2 and 4. They stayed in the Montessori environment until they transitioned to other schools for middle and high school.
She decided to pursue her Montessori training after she saw how Maria Montessori’s method of teaching benefitted her own children by using hands-on materials. Lina truly believes that giving her own children the foundation of this special education has paved a path for them to be successful and independent.
Lina completed her training for a 3 to 6-year-olds AMS credential at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in July 2000 and has taught since 1999 at The New School.
Lina loves to work with the children, watching them develop and seeing how each child, although different from one another, is successful in his own individual ways.
Favorite Montessori Quote
The child has other powers than ours, and the creation he achieves is no small one; it is everything.
∼ Dr. Maria Montessori
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 opened TNS’s Montessori Adolescent Program in the fall of 2014.
Lisa earned her B.A. in advanced technical theatre from SUNY New Paltz. She also holds a nonprofit management certificate. After 12 years of professional work as a costume designer and theatre technician in New York City, Lisa and her husband moved to North Carolina to raise their lovely twins, Milo and Lola.
She joined The New School in the spring of 2012 as an administrative assistant. After subbing in the class many times, Lisa decided to pursue her Montessori training on the Children’s House level and graduated in the summer of 2013. With this firm background in Montessori education, she then decided to pursue training at the lower elementary level, which she completed in the spring of 2014.
Lisa enjoys camping, bread-making, sourdough experimentation, and designing and building costumes for her twins.
Favorite Montessori Quote
A leader, therefore, is not somebody with a sense of great authority, but somebody with a sense of great responsibility.
∼ Dr. Maria Montessori
Ryan was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, and attended North Carolina Central University. He graduated with a B.S. in family and consumer sciences with a concentration in child development.
Ryan’s Montessori journey began in 2001 at SAS Institute in Cary. Starting as an intern, he worked his way up and became a certified Montessori primary teacher. While there, he received his 3-to-6 years AMS credential at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education (CMTE) in 2007. Ryan then transitioned to Heartwood Montessori School in 2018 to become a lower elementary teacher. As of August 2020, he will hold an AMS certification in lower elementary from CMTE.
Wanting to continue his growth in the Montessori field, Ryan pursued an opportunity to join The New School Montessori Center community. He hopes to make a difference in guiding the youth of the future. Ryan has always had a passion for teaching children and watching them develop.
When not working on his do-it-yourself home projects or playing chess, Ryan enjoys spending quality time with his wife and two daughters, both of whom attend Montessori schools in Durham, NC.
Hank comes to us by way of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was born, and Miami, Florida, where he grew up. He now lives in Raleigh.
Attending UNC and Elon College, he graduated with a B.A. degree in business administration. His four years spent serving in our U.S. Navy sent him to faraway lands such as Iceland, Greenland, Norway, several countries in South America, and the South Pole.
His professional skills were honed early by teaching Sunday School and children’s church, coaching little league baseball, and working with Special Olympics. But 2000 saw him receive his Montessori certification, and he has been teaching Montessori children since that time.
Hank became a teacher because he loves working with children, watching them learn, and seeing their successful transition to higher education and careers. In his words, “It is incredibly rewarding.”
His hobbies include spending time at the beach, playing board games, working word and math puzzles, and reading mysteries.
Hank’s favorite Montessori quote is: “The child is both a hope and promise for mankind.”
After moving around much of her adult life to cities such as San Diego, Austin, and London, Alli and her family put down roots in Holly Springs during the summer of 2018.
For as long as she can remember, Alli always wanted to have a career in education. After receiving her teaching certification from Virginia Tech, she taught eight and nine-year-olds for four years at an alternative private school and one year of Kindergarten before receiving her master’s degree at the University of San Diego.
Her passion for helping students who have reading and learning challenges took her down the next path of her educational career where for 12 years, Alli worked for a private, research-validated educational company known as Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes. Working with students of varying ages and abilities helped her see that with the right individualized intervention, all students can achieve their potential. That same passion she has for helping learners grow and succeed has been brought to The New School. In 2020, Alli joined our Upper El classroom and received her AMI Assistance Training for six to 12-year-olds.
When Alli isn’t working, she enjoys reading, experimenting with gluten-free baking, walking her dogs Maisy and Stella, and traveling with her husband and two sons.
Linda comes to North Carolina from Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from NCSU with a B.S. in sociology, she began working with North Carolina Teacher Corps to gain her lateral entry teaching license in special education.
Prior to graduation, Linda tutored the student athletes at NCSU, specifically the football and baseball players. She has previously worked for Durham Public Schools at Hillside High School as an inclusion teacher for 9th-12th grade students with disabilities. She is certified to teach K-12 core and content with a focus on special education.
While at Hillside High School, she received the Beginning Teacher of the Month Award on three different occasions as well as Positive Behavior Intervention Support Teacher of the month. Linda volunteers with the Special Olympics in Durham County, and she helped to coordinate an inclusive district-wide prom for self-contained students with disabilities from Durham area middle and high schools.
Linda and her husband live in Raleigh with their sons Milo and Nils and their dog Daisy. In her free time, Linda likes to run, practice yoga, garden, read, listen to a variety of music, and attend live shows, cook, and most importantly, bake. Her favorite activity is baking, so feel free to ask for a sweet treat on occasion!
She also loves to take her sons to the park to swing or on walks around the neighborhood to take in the fresh air and enjoy the sights.
Hailing from Upstate New York, Art grew up in Albany. Upon completion of two years of studies at Ithaca College, Art moved back to Albany to pursue a career in music with the band he co-founded in high school. After scratching the surface of success with a significant amount of airplay, major label interest, and the opportunity to open for some of the biggest rock acts of the time period (Collective Soul, Fuel, Cracker, Gin Blossoms), Art and his wife Beth decided to settle down and start a family.
In November 2006, he and his wife Beth, along with their newborn son Aidan, relocated to North Carolina to pursue new opportunities. While teaching elementary-aged and adolescent students music lessons, Art realized his long-time passion for teaching and decided to pursue a degree in history, obtaining his B.A. in historical studies from SUNY Empire State. Art completed the NCTeach certification program through NC State and began his teaching position at The New School in 2018. He is looking forward to broadening his long-term educational skills and goals within the Montessori environment as well as the influence of TNS in the surrounding area.
Art has taught drums/percussion to hundreds of students over the past 20 years. In addition to his love of playing drums and listening to music, Art enjoys carpentry, gardening, reading, volunteering, and spending quality time with his wife and two children, both of whom have attended The New School.
Born and raised in Raleigh, Nicole spent her youth working as both a lifeguard and swim coach for children of all ages. When she graduated from NC State with a B.A. in communications, she worked as the marketing director for a small local business. She quickly realized that education was her passion and returned to NCSU for her teaching license through their NC Teach program.
Once certified in 6th-9th grade mathematics, Nicole spent the next five years teaching at both Wake county and Durham public schools. She held multiple leadership positions during her time in both districts, including team leader and leader of several math PLTs. She was also the boy’s soccer coach at North Garner Middle School. She helped the math department plan and implement a math night for parents.
Nicole and her husband live in Fuquay Varina with their sons Orion and Caspian and their dogs Brady and Penny. She likes to craft, run, travel, read, and play board games. She also enjoys listening to and playing music (her favorite, the piano!). Her family travels to the lake and the beach often where she could happily spend all her free time in the water!
Honored by the Royal College of Music in London, along with membership of ASCAP and PPL, James teaches all aspects of music-making from the composing right down to the technicalities of good sound recording. James has taught various classes around the world following qualification as an elementary school teacher in Melbourne, Australia (2006). With the added experience of performance on cruise ships and concert halls around the world, following success in talent shows and the release of a CD in the UK, James brings much color and creativity to music theory classes and songwriting sessions.
His goal is to enable all students to read music so they can interpret it well enough to explain to others or be able to play it just for their own pleasure. His range covers many styles from the classics to boogie-woogie. Using all instrumentations, singing songs in rhyme and rhythm often helps students improve their maths and English, particularly encouraging to those with language difficulties, often developing into an improved strength toward number sequencing and word power.
A piano teacher in his own right, James brings much enthusiasm to the subject of music, and you can find out more about him at www.jamescatton.com. He is married with two children.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Julie still visits her family in the house in which she grew up. She attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, receiving a B.A. in art with minors in art education and art history. Her interest in Montessori education began at this time as her college roommate was studying to be a Montessori teacher.
While at Xavier, Julie met her future husband, Jeff, on a Habitat for Humanity trip. After graduation, she moved back to Louisville to teach at her high school alma mater. Upon marrying, they moved to Bloomington, Indiana, and Julie received her M.F.A in textiles from Indiana University.
Jeff’s work brought them to Cary, North Carolina, in 2006 and they have been here since, having fallen in love with the area. Julie’s various local jobs include managing a running store, teaching at several private schools and at Campbell University, and serving as a juror for the NCSU Art to Wear Fashion Show. After her son Cameron was born in 2010, Julie left the workforce to stay home with him. Melanie was born in 2013, and they welcomed Jillian in 2015.
The interest in Montessori education grew when a traditional classroom was not meeting the needs of her children. Moving them to TNS in 2018 showed Julie what a positive impact a whole-child approach could have. Growing up in an environment enriched with the arts, Julie’s desire is to marry this Montessori approach with her love of art and spark a lifelong interest for the arts in her students.
Julie also enjoys running (having run for XU, IU, and semi-competitively), gardening, designing improvements for her home, and traveling. Watching her children participate in various activities (such as swimming, soccer, and dance) and hanging out with the family dogs, a Dalmatian named Poppy and a beagle named Minnie, are also favorite pastimes.
Favorite Educational Quote
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once [s]he grows up. ~ Pablo Picasso
Paul has been playing and teaching chess for over 40 yrs and started playing tournament chess in 1979. He still plays actively today!
His debut as a chess teacher began in 1984 for the Police Benevolent Association in Massapequa, NY, and from there he became a chess coach for Friends Academy in Glen Cove, NY, and a high school chess teacher and team coach in Locust Valley, NY.
Paul was the co-founder and owner of the Long Island Chess Center. He also started the American Online Chess Academy with 3 others: Harold Scott, Roger LaFlair. and Joel Benjamin.
He was on a chess team that won the New England Amateur team Championship two years running. Paul’s peak Fide rating was 2275 and his peak USCF rating was 2196.
David was born and raised in a small town just a stone’s throw south of the Virginia border. After graduating from the NC School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, he spent time at NC State University further exploring his passions of math, science, and art. After college, David worked primarily as a graphic designer for The Mailbox (a teacher’s resource magazine) and GlaxoSmithKline.
David’s mother taught K-4 for over 30 years and he learned that passion, enthusiasm, and patience were integral to being a good teacher. During college, he taught swim lessons to kids ranging from toddlers to second graders and later, he taught graphic design as an adjunct professor at Wake Tech.
Music was always an important part of David’s life since picking up the violin at age six. While being classically trained to play in symphonies and orchestras, it wasn’t until he discovered improvisational music that he found his true musical calling.
With eyes opened up to Celtic, bluegrass, blues, and funk, David quickly found a place in Fuquay’s music scene to share his passion and enthusiasm where he is known as the Fuquay fiddler to musicians in the area. He tears up the strings in three bands but will happily jump in with any other musicians at even the slightest invitation.
David especially loves getting down and playing fiddle with the kids. He enjoys sharing his love of music when he lets the younger audience members play the fiddle with him.
Beulah has been caring for children for over 30 years and has worked in schools as a teacher since 2009. She attended Apex High School and is very involved in community activities and her church in particular.
Beulah joined The New School in 2010 and has been one of the few who has worked with all ages from infants to upper elementary. She has a special gift with the infants and toddlers who respond to her gentle and caring ways. She currently now works exclusively with this age group during the regular school day but still offers after-school support to other age groups as needed.
Beulah loves to talk about her family, including seven great-grandchildren, and she enjoys cooking and taking care of the elderly.
A native of northern California, Rachel earned her B.S. in biology after attending UC Santa Barbara and UNC Chapel Hill. Following her 13 years as a science teacher in public schools and seven more as an informal science educator, she obtained her NC state teaching license, environmental educator certification for NC, and became a NC climate ambassador.
Rachel feels that science at any age is about igniting curiosity about the world and how it works. And more specifically, nature studies should ground a child to the natural world which is a place to question, reflect, enjoy, and retreat to in a busy world.
Her hobbies take in yoga, birding, gardening, and hiking. She shares, “I just love to be outdoors!”
Jonathan was born in Illinois and was raised on Long Island, New York. His first introduction to Montessori was through his mother, Ceres Schroer York, a life-long Montessori professional who founded the The New School in 1984. He 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 Stony Brook, he 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.
He practiced law for a few years in California and then moved and settled down in North Carolina. After a year of practicing law in Raleigh, he 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., he also holds the record for winning the NC state championship the most times (in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009). In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys listening to music, playing cards, and tennis.