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

-Maria Montessori

Interim Head of School 

B.A. Environmental Studies, Brown University

Susanna joined Amherst Montessori in August 2015 as Director of Communications after nearly five years serving as Director of Communications at Stoneleigh-Burnham School, where she led and coordinated a full rebrand of the school's marketing and communications. Previously she held positions at Colby College working in civic engagement and human rights, for the public affairs documentary series FRONTLINE, and for Orion Magazine. Susanna is passionate about distilling message and mission into bold, evocative, and marketable communications and is thrilled to serve as the Interim Head of School at AMS.

In addition to her duties as Interim Head of School, Susanna is responsible for admissions, enrollment, marketing, and communications. She loves being a part of AMS (both as an administrator and parent) and is eager to share the Montessori philosophy and engaged, vibrant community of AMS with other families as they search for early education for their children.

Susanna and her husband Jon have two daughters who attend AMS: Aida, who is in Casa de Niños, and Carolina, who is in Toddler. Susanna enjoys hiking, fly fishing, and travelling domestically and internationally with her family.

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GretchenCourage250x333Assistant Head of School

Director of Education

M.A., Early Childhood Education, Goddard College 
B.A, Religion and Fine Arts, Boston University

Montessori Administrator, American Montessori Society
Early Childhood Credential, American Montessori Society

Gretchen's impressive and varied career as Montessori teacher, administrator, and consultant spans decades. "I relish combining my dedication to the Montessori curriculum, my experience with children and parents, and my coaching and mentoring of teachers to serve in a thriving school community. My style is collaborative, communicative, and supportive and I am genuinely excited to be part of a school culture with these values."
 
Her work as a mentor and coach has sparked her interest in adult development and confirmed her respect for the lifelong process of learning that characterizes Montessorians. She enjoys the sense of inquiry that naturally leads guides to observe and reflect and to ask questions, such as How did that work? Was my lesson clear? Were my words kind? What else is needed? 

She values the attention we pay to our own continued growth and how that translates so profoundly into the work we do in the classroom and our relationships with school families and colleagues.

Gretchen has had many years of experience in Montessori schools in NYC and MA. She has worked as a classroom teacher and administrator in both independent and public Montessori schools and brings a wealth of experience from these inter-connected worlds. Gretchen has served as a Children’s House and Lower Elementary Guide, Mentor, School Founder, Head of School, Teacher Trainer, and Consultant.

Gretchen earned her BA in Religion and Fine Arts at Boston University and her MA in Early Childhood Education through Goddard College, mentored by Montessori author Rosa Packard. She holds American Montessori Society credentials in Early Childhood and Montessori Administration and has completed her Elementary I coursework. She holds a MA teaching license in Early Childhood and grades K - 8. Gretchen is currently a student in the Yoga Teacher Training course at the Yoga Center Amherst.

She enjoys drumming, yoga and meditation, gardening, dancing, camping, hiking, kayaking and all things Indian, and she especially enjoys spending time with her spouse, Karen, and her grown children, Emilie and Stephen, both Montessori alums.

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Kelly EdreichDirector of Operations

M.S., Accounting, Western New England University
B.A., Western New England University

Kelly joined Amherst Montessori in May 2015. She has a background in office administration and bookkeeping, and earned her Master’s degree in Accounting with a concentration in Fraud and Forensics.

Kelly served in the Air Force, and has been actively involved in the PTO at her children’s elementary school. She lives in Belchertown with her husband and their two children.

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Sally CleggAssistant Director of Communications & Advancement

B.A., Studio Art and English, Goucher College

Sally is originally from Pelham, Massachusetts, and studied Studio Art and English at Goucher College in Maryland. She joined Amherst Montessori in March of 2015. Sally has deep ties to the area, and a particular interest in community engagement both within AMS and in the greater Pioneer Valley.
 
Sally is a practicing painter and printmaker, and in addition to her work at AMS, she is a Studio Monitor at Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence. 

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Molly KienzlerAdministrative Assistant

B.A., Spanish and English, University of Vermont

Molly came to Amherst Montessori School in 2012, working as a substitute teacher and Summer Discovery assistant before joining the staff of Casa de Niños. As she pursues her Master of Education in School Counseling, Molly is transitioning out of the classroom to attend her classes and internship program, and will be assisting our administrative team part time in the mornings and on Fridays for the 2017-18 school year.

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.

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.