“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.”
After raising her children, May went back to college to study art. In 1996 she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tufts University and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Prior to her return to school, May worked in a variety of school age settings and knew she would return to teaching art. Since graduation, she has continued her studio practice and has been teaching art in the Pioneer Valley art with students of all ages and abilities. Her pathway to Montessori was led by an interest in fostering meaningful learning through independent inquiry. May enjoys spending time with the Elementary students after school, where they play games, craft, and make art together.
Kirsten has worked with children since high school when she first trained as a YMCA counselor for Camp Nokomis on the beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. Since then she has served several youth programs in New England such as the Boys and Girls club, Monadnock Family Service's youth program “Acting Out,” and most recently the Adolescent residential program at the Brattleboro Retreat. Her introduction to Montessori was first hand when she transferred to Hilltop Montessori School in Brattleboro for an extended three year middle school experience.
A native of Vermont, she enjoys picking apples (and baking pies of course!) taking long walks and nature swims, and campfires with friends. She enjoys theatre, music, singing, and performs with the New England Youth Theatre Alumni Association. She also finds traveling to be very rewarding and the best learning experience. She is lucky to have visited several countries like Japan (where her Father, Step-mom and little brother live), Germany, England, and Saudi Arabia. She now lives in Hadley with her husband, Jim, and old cat, Harvey; a pooka.
Molly came to Amherst Montessori School in 2012, working as a substitute teacher and Summer Discovery assistant before joining the Casa de Niños team. She has a deep love of language, having completed a double major in Spanish and English with a minor in Linguistics during her undergraduate studies. Molly has also taught Spanish and French at the middle school/ high school level, and in 2010 she travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to complete a certification in teaching English as a foreign language. She enjoys working with children in a bilingual setting and assisting in the Casa de Niños classroom each day, and also runs the Before Care program for Children’s House.
In her free time, Molly enjoys fitness, travel, and playing with her dachshund Frida. She is currently pursuing a Master of Education in School Counseling at Springfield College.
Christine has been at Amherst Montessori School since 1995. Prior to working at AMS, Christine worked as a nanny for two years, and spent four years of work study at Longfellow Preschool at Mount Ida College.
Christine enjoys reading, snowmobiling, scrap-booking, camping, and NASCAR. She also loves spending time with her husband, Rico, her dog, Jake, and her two step-daughters, Samantha and Rachel.
Rachel joined Amherst Montessori School in 2011 as a substitute teacher. She worked frequently in every classroom over the course of 18 months, and then joined us as a permanent assistant in Children's House in 2012. She makes regular visits to the Toddler program, and serves as the Toddler assistant during Summer Discovery. She also leads the Infant After Care program.
Rachel enjoys reading, baking, traveling, playing board games, and watching foreign cinema. She also loves spending time with her family, friends, and pets.
Rachel joined the Amherst Montessori School community in 2007 as a classroom assistant in Children's House. For nine years, Rachel has been leading the Children's House After Care program. She also directs our Toddler Summer Discovery program.
Before joining AMS, Rachel worked at University Childcare at UMass for several years. In addition to her love of education and childcare, Rachel’s interests include arts and crafts, literature, the outdoors, and social politics.
Shayla joined Amherst Montessori School in 2015 as a substitute teacher, and became an after care assistant in 2016. She graduated from Fitchburg State University in 2014 with a degree in Photography & Interactive Media, and has served as a substitute in all classrooms at Amherst Montessori and Nonotuck Community School in Florence. Shayla is a photographer, an avid traveler, and volunteer. She has volunteered on farms in Amherst, Shutesbury, and Ecuador.