2018-19 staff announcements and other back to school updates


Dear MMS Parents:

Thank you for being part of our school community!  We look forward to seeing you soon as Mountaineer Montessori School opens its doors for our 43rd school year, and our first full year as an AMS Pathways School.

We are pleased to announce our 2018-2019 staff, who will provide a solid and supportive Montessori foundation for your children. (Please see our staff overview page for links to bios.)


Our Primary program will consist of three classrooms this year, with students guided by Kathryn Rhoads (Primary I), Isabelle Bournigault (Primary II) and Samantha VanDenBerghe-Lynch (Primary III).  Michelle Scarbrough will return as an assistant in Primary II, with assistants for other classrooms to be announced soon.

The third MMS primary classroom, serving Morning Friends only this year, is being phased in as part of our strategic planning process.  The MMS Board is actively exploring several opportunities for expanded facilities to meet the exceptionally strong community interest in our school.  We have been making great progress and resolution on some exciting possibilities is hoped in the very near future.


Our Lower Elementary program will again consist of two classrooms.  Tara Fought and Nancy Johnston will continue to lead Lower Elementary I.  Becca Moore will return to guide Lower Elementary II, assisted by Alasha Al-Qudwah.   We are excited to announce that our Upper Elementary program will expand to two classrooms this year, led by Jason Winesburg and Emily Capece and assisted by Kristie Simmons.

Our Middle School Program (at Unity of Kanawha Valley, 804 Myrtle Road) will be led by Sarah Halstead (humanities, grammar/writing, micro economy), Julie Margolis (math and PE) and Emily Beal (science and math).  They will be joined by specialists Alasha Al-Qudwah (creative expression) and Colleen Anderson (writing workshop).

Plus Program and Specialists

Karen Kelly returns to lead Montessori Plus this year.  Karen will be assisted by Maria León Kershner, Susie Newhouse and Tysean Lynch.

Curriculum specialists will include Maria León Kershner, Spanish teacher, and Beth George, computer teacher.  Nancy Johnston will lead physical education classes and art classes and Darlene Spangler and Lindy Hoeft will provide Learning Support services.   Bernard DiGregorio will once again offer private-pay strings lessons to elementary-age students on Fridays. Please see Bernard’s letter for details.  Karen Morris will return as our Music Teacher for extended-day Primary and Elementary.

We wish a fond farewell to Kristyn Anderson and Bridgett Steveson, who will not be returning to MMS this fall due to out of state moves.  We thank each of them for their contributions to Mountaineer Montessori School and wish them all the best.

Ice cream social

Be sure to attend our Ice Cream Social on Thursday, August 23 from 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Danner Meadow Park so that you can get acquainted and re-acquainted with all of our talented staff, MMS families, Board members and alumni.


Back to school start dates and orientations     

Staff returns to the building on Wednesday, August 8.  If your child is new to MMS or moving up to a new classroom (primary to lower elementary or lower elementary to upper elementary), you will need to register for an orientation session for you and your child with his or her teacher.  Orientation sessions for Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary will be held on Friday, August 17.  This provides an opportunity to see the classroom, meet the teachers, and to have questions answered in a relaxed, informal manner.

All middle school students and parents (returning and new) should attend our middle school orientation session on Thursday, August 16.

Class lists and instructions for registering for orientation sessions will be emailed by Thursday, August 9.

2018-2019 Student start dates will be as follows:

Arrival for all students at the main campus begins at 7:50 a.m.  Morning Friends will be dismissed at 11:50 a.m.  Extended Day and Elementary students will be dismissed at 2:50 p.m.  Middle school arrival begins at 8:00 a.m. with dismissal at 3:10 p.m.

The Plus Program will be available from the first day of classes.  Please contact the office by August 8 in order to reserve a space in the Plus program for your child if he/she will attend from 11:50 a.m.-2:50 p.m.  Montessori Plus also accommodates students on a drop-in basis as space allows.   Advance registration (at least a day ahead) is required to reserve a spot.


Thank you for your patience over the past year as we debuted our new school management system, RenWeb.  We will continue to use RenWeb/ParentsWeb this year.

To create your ParentsWeb account:

Once you have logged in, please access and complete/update the following forms through ParentsWeb.  All forms should be completed before August 20.

Parents Web also contains the following resource documents:


Stay in touch with MMS!

Visit our website at www.mountaineermontessori.org.   It contains staff biographies, the school calendar, events calendar and other important information.  Our Facebook page and Twitter feed are updated regularly with school news and photos.

We will be communicating with the parent body primarily by e-mail, ParentsWeb and Constant Contact this year, so if you have not confirmed your current e-mail address, please contact Beth George at bgeorge@mountaineermontessori.org to do so.  If your e-mail address should change during the course of the school year, please let us know as soon as possible.   Please note that any information that is sent out via e-mail is important and may not be followed up with hard copies.  Our goal is to be as environmentally responsible as possible.

We are excited to be able to continue providing our families with an exceptional educational experience at Mountaineer Montessori School.  Thank you to the MMS Board of Directors, families, and alumni, all of whom continue to provide enthusiastic and generous support.

Best wishes,


Jennifer Carriger

MMS Director