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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

Lead Montessori Guide

Early Childhood Credential, American Montessori Society, Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center

B.A., Theater, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Rachel discovered Dr. Maria Montessori’s beautiful brilliance in the spring of 2013. Soon after, she immersed herself  in the pedagogy at the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, Illinois, where she worked, studied and earned her Early Childhood Certification.

During the 2013/2014 school year, she assisted in a classroom at Sauganash Montessori School in Chicago. It was a joyous, creative, and intellectually inspiring year. However, homesick for the woods and farms and people of the Pioneer Valley, she and her husband, Scott, moved home to Massachusetts the summer following her training.

That September, she began work at Longmeadow Montessori in a Children’s House classroom. The following August, she and Scott welcomed their child, Amelia, into the world. Rachel then spent the following two years with her at home. In September of 2017, she joined Amherst Montessori School as the Lead Guide of Toddler II. Rachel worked in this classroom for two blissfully busy years before she was offered the position of Lead Guide of the Juniper Classroom. 

Rachel strives to create a classroom environment that is welcoming, peaceful, and accessible, as well as a place where every child can explore and learn through their senses, develop language, and interact, cooperate and play with other children. She provides a rotating range of materials so that the children are given many unique opportunities to develop cognitively, socially and physically.  The childrens' work and experiences are then keenly observed, followed and nurtured.

Classroom Assistant

A.S., Child Studies, Mount Ida College

B.A., Liberal Studies, Mount Ida College

Christine began working at Amherst Montessori School in 1995, making her the school's longest-standing guide and employee. She has seen the community through many changes over the years, including the opening of the new school building on Pomeroy Lane in 2012.

In her 20+ years as a classroom assistant, Christine has led countless children through the earliest stages of their education. She brings immesuarable kindness, patience, and experience to her role in the classroom, and implements Montessori philosophy in every interraction with her students. On a given day in the Toddler room, you can find Christine guiding her students through the day's activities with a genuine respect for their independence and capabilities, and a profound warmth which fosters lifetime bonds. It is not uncommon for alumni of various ages to come back to AMS for a visit with Christine!

In her free time, Christine enjoys reading, snowmobiling, scrap-booking, and camping. A lover of books, Christine pays regular visits to the library looking for new titles to supplement the Toddler classroom collection. She also loves spending time with her dog, Jake, and her two step-daughters, Samantha and Rachel. 

Kathy HolmesClassroom Assistant

A.A., Early Childhood/Special Education, Holyoke Community College

Kathy has been with Amherst Montessori School for 12 years, and had a long history of working in education before she joined the team here. Kathy worked at Wee Friends Preschool in South Hadley for nine years, and had her own home daycare for ten years. She was also a volunteer at South Hadley Public Schools.  

Kathy and her husband Marty have four children and nine grandchilden, all of whom they adore. When she isn't busy using her years of early childhood education experience to bring joy to the toddlers at AMS, Kathy loves spending time with her family, cooking, and gardening.

Classroom Assistant

Bunker Hill Community College

Since 2017, Harmony has served as the Toddler Aftercare Lead at Amherst Montessori in addition to assisting the Juniper classroom during the school day.

Harmony discovered her passion for working with children through babysitting and nannying. When her nephew was born, she relocated to Boston and made the decision to pursue childcare as her career. She enrolled in Bunker Hill Community College to achieve her Early Education degree and began subbing at Mass Audubon Boston Nature Center's Pathways to Nature preschool. It was there she realized the importance that nature plays in the education of young children. As an outdoor enthusiast, she enjoys connecting children with the natural world around them

In her free time, Harmony practices yoga, writes letters, and loves spending the day at home cooking with her husband and fluffy cat, Gypsy.