MMS Elementary Faculty
David Pushkin, Lower Elementary Lead Guide
David has been an educator for more than 20 years and trained with the Center for Montessori Teaching Education in New York to earn his AMS 6-9 year old teaching credential. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, San Francisco Art Institute (BFA), Columbia University in New York City (MFA) and Anglia Ruskin University (doctoral level). For more than 20 years, David taught college students as a professor of fine art at Columbia University in New York City, American University in Washington, D.C. and Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y. David is currently producing a documentary film about the construction of Hawks Nest Tunnel in the 1930s, which resulted in the largest industrial accident in U.S. history. David is a native of Charleston, graduate of George Washington High School, and is happy to be returning to his roots.
Amanda Cox, Elementary Guide
Amanda earned an undergraduate degree in history/art history from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and WVU, and her AMS credential in early childhood from the Virginia Center for Montessori Teacher Education in Chesapeake. She has worked at MMS for more than 15 years at the primary and elementary levels. Amanda holds certifications from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health as a yoga instructor and a teacher/trainer for Yoga Ed, K-8. She has trained at the King Arthur Baking Education Center and operates a home-based baking business, Just Desserts. Amanda is the mother of two MMS alumni, one of whom works in theater in New York City, the other a college student on the west coast. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, baking and gardening. As a volunteer, she served on the board of directors of Read Aloud West Virginia, West Virginia Public Radio and MMS. Amanda has participated in many community theater productions, both onstage and behind the scenes.
Rebecca “Becca” Moore, Lower Elementary Lead Guide
Rebecca “Becca” Moore is a graduate of Marshall University with a major in elementary education. She is a native West Virginian from Tucker County and a former Kanawha County Schools elementary teacher. Her more than 10 years of experience working with children includes teaching inquiry-based science to third, fourth and fifth graders and engaging students with hands-on activities in student-led activities. This approach and her educational studies led her to the Montessori methodology which allows children to work on their level and follow individual interests. Becca is pursuing her AMI 6-12 year credential at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, one of the most rigorous programs of its kind offered in this country. She is the mother of an MMS primary student, and enjoys skiing, softball and good literature. We welcome her to the MMS faculty for the 2014-15 school year, during which she will be mentored and assisted by Head of School Dana Gilliland, who brings more than 25 years of classroom and director experience to MMS.
Jason Winesburg, Upper Elementary Lead Guide
Jason joins MMS this fall after five years teaching elementary students at Evergreen Montessori in Memphis and Malta Montessori in Malta, New York. He holds an AMI Montessori credential for ages 6-12 from the Washington Montessori Institute (WMI). A former Montessori student himself, Jason is dedicated to fostering independence and self-ownership in his students. He earned a M.Ed. from Loyola University in Baltimore and a B.A. in English from Hood College in Frederickburg, Md. Jason loves literature and the classics, philosophy and ethics. He likes to keep up with the newest technology and is a compulsory tinkerer. Jason keeps in shape with weight-lifting and jogging, and in his free time he enjoys acting, comedy, computer games and outdoor sports.
Nancy Johnston, Elementary Assistant, Art and Physical Education Specialist
A Charleston native, Nancy is a graduate of George Washington High School and attended Marshall University and West Virginia State University, taking classes in education and art. She completed the AMS Basics Course at the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, Ill. She is beginning her 19th year at MMS, having assisted in both junior elementary and advanced elementary classes. She has taught art to the elementary children for the last nine years and spearheads our community service program at Celebration Station, Charleston’s East End city playground. She wants to be an artist when she grows up! The mother of three children, Nancy is an outdoor enthusiast. She loves walking, biking, hiking, swimming, kayaking and her latest obsession, boot camp.