Faculty & Staff

AMI Montessori Teachers

Nancy Breeden

Nancy Breeden

Primary Teacher

Nancy has been with Staunton Montessori School since 1997. She has a BS in psychology from Longwood College, a BS in Early Childhood Education from James Madison University, and her primary AMI diploma. She recently pursued her love of writing by completing two Writing for Children’s Magazines courses with the Institute for Children’s Literature. 

“I truly believe that Montessori provides the most natural and hands-on way for children to learn.”

Susan Rehfield

Susan Rehfield

Primary Teacher

Susan has a BA in art from George Mason University (1990) and an AMI primary diploma from The Washington Montessori Institute (1995). She especially enjoys art, music, literature and geography. Through working with children, she loves that every day is full of new discoveries and joyful learning.

Lia Craft

Lia Craft

Elementary 6-9 Teacher (grades 1-3)

Lia began her undergraduate studies at Radford University and completed her BA in psychology at Georgia State University. She was an assistant in a Montessori upper elementary classroom at Arbor Montessori in Atlanta for 10 years before moving back to Virginia. After a year as Nancy’s assistant, she completed the AMI elementary training at WMI and received a Master’s Degree in Education.

Alison Oelke McCaul

Alison Oelke McCaul

Elementary Training in 2018-2019

Alison is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College with a BA in Sociology & Social Work. She has worked with children in Day Cares, Summer Camps, Puppetry Workshops, and Boys & Girls Clubs in Virginia and Maryland. She loves animals, art, puppetry, games, and watching the children learn and grow.

Chrissie Hall

Chrissie Hall

Elementary 9-12 Teacher (grades 4-6)

Chrissie is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College, with a degree in psychology. Additionally, she earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola College of Baltimore. Since beginning the elementary program at SMS in 2002, Chrissie continues to focus on fostering the independence, responsibility and curiosity of all students.

Robert Hale-MacKinnon

Robert Hale-MacKinnon

Adolescent Program (grades 7-9)

Robert has spent the past two decades working with students in elementary and middle schools in New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia. He began his adult life as a metal and ceramic artist in Portland, OR and then became interested in historic building restoration. After a job as a therapeutic teacher in adolescent adjudication, he earned his MS in Special Education. In 2002, he moved to Italy with his wife to obtain the AMI Elementary Montessori Diploma at the 6-12 level from Bergamo. He holds a BA in Studio Art from Washington & Lee University and loves to create art with the children.

Elizabeth Hale-MacKinnon

Adolescent Teacher (grades 7-9)

Elizabeth is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and holds Association Montessori International diplomas at the 3-6 and 6-12 levels. She has been teaching since 1997. In addition to working with the adolescents at SMS, she and her family offer skill building and enrichment classes at Heartmoor Farm Education Centre in Fluvanna County. Sharing mindfulness through exercises in personal awareness is a passion of hers as well as volunteering with the Virginia Center for Restorative Justice.

Assistants

Kelly Harris

Kelly Harris

Primary Assistant

Kelly is a graduate of Bridgewater College with a BA in liberal studies. While at Bridgewater she also received her PK-6 teaching license. She has worked at Staunton Montessori School since 2008 and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Montessori method.

Carolyn Brown

Carolyn Brown

Primary Assistant

Carolyn attended Ferrum Jr. College and transferred to VCU where she majored in psychology and minored in sociology. She has some training in sign language and worked as a Licensed Real Estate Appraiser for several years.

Marilyn Werner

Marilyn Werner

Assistant in Elementary Grades (1-3)

Marilyn earned her BS in Zoology from Kent State University in Ohio, after graduation she spent the summer working in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park teaching children the importance of preserving our public lands. Later she moved to West Virginia to work with Experience Learning where she prepared and taught hands-on, experiential and inquiry-based lessons in a remote outdoor setting.

Brigid Bronik

Brigid Bronik

Assistant in Elementary Grades (4-6) and Elementary Specials Coordinator

Brigid earned her BA in Spanish and Women’s Studies (1995) from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, before going on to earn a Master’s in Library Science from North Carolina Central University . She has worked in public and university libraries, and she was the Library Media Coordinator at Easley Elementary School in Durham, NC, for six years before her family relocated to the Shenandoah Valley. She joined the staff at Staunton Montessori School in 2016.

Katy Lawler

Adolescent Assistant (grades 7-9) and Nature Studies Teacher

Katy’s bio will be added soon.

Aftercare Program

Rodi Sutherland

Rodi Sutherland

Aftercare Director

Rodi graduated from Wilson Memorial High School and attended Blue Ridge Community College. She has worked in child care since 1996 with ages ranging from Infant to Adolescent. Her personal philosophy on children is to “follow the child.”

Audreanna Garcia

Audreanna Garcia

Aftercare Assistant

Connor Phillips

Aftercare Assistant

Bio coming soon

Administrative Team

Kelley Flanders

Kelley Flanders

Head of School

Kelley’s passion for Independent Education started as a child. She had the privilege of growing up as a faculty child and attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut for Preparatory School. After Choate, she received a BA in psychology and English Literature from Lake Forest College. Kelley was the Dean of Admission at Stuart Hall School, taught English and ESL, as well as coached varsity soccer and softball and organized student activities. She has managed a large retail store as well as owning her own retail business (Byers Street Housewares) for 14 years. Kelley has served on numerous local non-profit Boards of Directors. Her vast knowledge and experience in management, fundraising and marketing has been an asset as she leads SMS during this time of growth in the school.

Mary Finch

Mary Finch

Administrative Assistant

Finch earned her BA in Secondary English Education from Messiah College in Pennsylvania and her MFA in Shakespeare from Mary Baldwin University. She has most recently directed a production of Ben Jonson’s Volpone for the American Shakespeare Center’s Theatre Camp. Working at Staunton Montessori gives her a glimpse into the enlightening world of Montessori education while allowing her to pursue of her passions of education and organization.

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