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“The teacher, when she begins work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work.”

-Maria Montessori

Krystal EnglishMontessori Guide

M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, George Mason University

B.A., Journalism and Political Science, Northeastern University

 Krystal started as lead guide in the Lower Elementary program in the fall of 2016. Prior to joining Amherst Montessori School, she spent a year teaching first grade at Fairview Elementary in Chicopee, and five years as a lead teacher and grade level chair at Powell Elementary in Washington DC. She has also facilitated teacher trainings for Teach For America, and worked in various roles as a coordinator for the Washington DC and Boston Public Schools.

Krystal has been incorporating elements of Maria Montessori’s philosophy into her teaching throughout her career. She has always emphasized the importance of observing and recording the growth of her students, and worked to bring a project-based approach to her public school curriculum wherever possible. The start of her formal Montessori training in the summer of 2016, and appointment as lead guide in the Lower Elementary program at Amherst Montessori that fall, marked a new era for Krystal. She is now more fully able to embrace and incorporate the tools and methodology that she has found to be most effective with children, to tailor her classroom environment to best suit their needs, and to respect and facilitate each child's individual path to learning. 

When she isn’t teaching, Krystal enjoys painting, calligraphy, gardening, and spending time with her family. She lives in Chicopee with her husband Craig and their son Charlie.

Michelle RischMontessori Guide

B.S., Sociology, James Madison University
Children's House Lead Teacher Certification, New England Montessori Teacher Education Center (NEMTEC)
E.M.T., Chabot College

Michelle has worked in education since 1992. She worked as a Children's House Assistant at Cedar Creek Montessori in Berkeley, CA for six years before joining us at Amherst Montessori School. She began her career at AMS as a Toddler Assistant in 2005. After two years in the Toddler room Michelle went for training as a Montessori Guide for the Primary ages (3-6 years). She was the Montessori Guide in Children's House 2 from 2009-2015.

In the summer of 2015, Michelle completed Montessori training to serve as a Learning Support Guide throughout the school. In that capacity she worked in all classrooms providing one-on-one support and extra help as needed for indivivdual students. In the 2016-17 school year, Michelle began working with the Elementary team and in 2017-18, she became a fulltime Elementary teacher. She works alongide Krystal English in our Elementary program teaching children in grades 1 through 6. She also serves as Physical Education specialist for both Kindergarten and Elementary students.

In conjunction with being a Montessori Teacher, Michelle serves as a high school field hockey coach. In her spare time Michelle enjoys spending time with her community of family, friends, and dogs. She also loves being outdoors hiking, camping, and exploring. Michelle has a love for architecture and construction and enjoys bringing that love into her classroom.