Because of the combined grade classrooms, I learned how to get help from my classmates when I didn’t understand something, and later how to be an eager but patient teacher. KMS Alumna, 2009 (Elementary Graduate 2007)

Our Staff

The KMS teaching staff includes some of the best and most experienced Montessori educators in East Tennessee.

All of our teachers have a minimum of a B.A. and a Montessori certification from training centers accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education.

Our Education Coordinator – Valérie Kuentz – and our three Senior Teachers – Elizabeth Coburn, Paige Fowler, and Courtney Wansley – have over 60 years of combined Montessori teaching experience.

All of our teachers and staff care deeply about our students, and they have the training and experience to help children reach their full potential.

Montessori Educators

Photo of Elizabeth Coburn

Elizabeth Coburn

Elementary Senior Teacher

  • B.S., Mathematics; UT, Knoxville
  • Elementary Montessori Teacher Certification, ages 6 – 11, Montessori Educators International, Knoxville, TN
  • Named an “Exceptional Educator” by the Knoxville News Sentinel, January 31, 2012. To read the article, click here.
  • KMS Tenure – Since 1995

A photo of Paige Fowler

Paige Fowler

Primary II Senior Teacher

  • B.S., Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Tennessee
  • Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Certification, Montessori Educators International, Knoxville, TN
  • KMS Tenure – Since 2002

photo of Ms. Nuria

Nuria Hernández

Spanish Instructor

  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Management Technology from Roane State Community College
  • Extensive experience as a translator for Denso and Spanish instructor for Oak Ridge High School
  • KMS Tenure – Since 1998

Photo of Ellen Kellogg

Ellen Kellogg

Lower Elementary Teacher

  • B.A., Psychology, Maryville College, Maryville, TN
  • Montessori Primary Teacher Certification, Center for Montessori Teacher Education, Angier, NC
  • Montessori Elementary Teacher Certification, Center for Montessori Teacher Education, Angier, NC
  • KMS Tenure – Since 2008

Photo of Nigel Lay

Nigel Lay

Elementary Assistant

  • M.A., Psychology, University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN
  • KMS Tenure – Since 2014

Photo of Rebekah Moore

Rebekah Moore

Primary II Teacher

  • B.S., Biology, Maryville College, Maryville, TN
  • Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Certification, Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education, Cincinnati, OH
  • KMS Tenure – Since 2014

Amanda Morgan

Primary I Assistant

  • B.A., English, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN
  • KMS Tenure – Since 2014

Photo of Ms. Georgi

Georgiana Schmitt

Music/Movement/Dance Teacher

  • BS, Music Education with specialization in Orff Music and Dalcroze Eurythemics, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA
  • Certified Music Teacher with experience teaching PreK-8th Grade in Tennessee South Carolina, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania
  • Montessori Primary course work
  • KMS Tenure – Since 1997

Courtney Wansley

Primary I Senior Teacher

  • Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Certification (in process); Center for Guided Montessori Studies, Tampa, FL.
  • B.A., Alternative Education; New College of California; San Francisco, CA
  • M.A., Non-Profit Management, U.T.; Knoxville, TN
  • KMS Tenure – since 2012

Operations Staff

Photo of Gillian Denham

Gillian Denham

Interim Operations Director

  • B.A., Parks and Recreation Management, Program Leadership, Minor: Elementary Education; Western Carolina University; Cullowhee, NC
  • KMS Tenure – Since 2010

Photo of Annie Brown

Annie Brown

Administrative Assistant

  • B.A., Writing/Communications, Maryville College, Maryville, TN
  • KMS Tenure – Since 2015

Valérie Kuentz

Interim Education Coordinator

  • B.A., Psychology and Education, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
  • M.Ed., Preschool-Grade 3, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
  • AMI Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Certification, Ohio Montessori Training Institute, Cleveland, OH
  • Montessori Teaching Experience (partial): New Horizon Montessori School (Knoxville), Jefferson Montessori School (Jefferson City, TN), Garden Montessori School (Knoxville), Nature’s Way Montessori School (Knoxville), The Bilingual Montessori School of Val de Marne (Paris, France), and Marotta Montessori Schools (Cleveland, OH)
  • KMS Tenure – Since 2013

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The most important lesson I learned at KMS is how to think: how to figure things out for myself instead of simply memorizing and reciting. KMS Alumna, 2009 (Elementary Graduate 2004)