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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

Montessori Guide

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

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

Krystal began her career in education working in educational policy in the Boston and DC Public Schools. After deciding to move into the classroom as a teacher, she received her Master's Degree in Education. She taught for 4 years as a "highly effective" teacher in the DC Public Schools before moving to Massachusetts and teaching for one year in the Chicopee Public Schools. Krystal started as a lead guide in the Elementary program in the fall of 2016 and received her Montessori lower and upper elementary certifications from the Massachusetts Elementary Teaching Training Collaborative (METTC). 

Krystal has been incorporating elements of Maria Montessori’s philosophy into her teaching throughout her career. She embraced a project-based approach to her public school curriculum whenever possible after carefully observing her students. She loves the rich and meaningful hands-on learning available to students through the Montessori elementary curriculum and thoroughly enjoys planning learning progressions for her students based on their strengths as learners. 

When she isn’t teaching, Krystal enjoys reading, creating, gardening, and spending time with her family and dog, Teddy Roosevelt. She and her partner, Craig, have a son, Charlie, who attends AMS in the Sassafras classroom.

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.