MMS Elementary Faculty
Rebecca “Becca” Moore, Lower Elementary II 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 elementary teacher in the Kanawha County Schools. 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 lessons and 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 completing 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 first year student, and enjoys skiing, softball and good literature.
Tara Fought, Lower Elementary I Lead Guide
Tara is beginning her second year at MMS. She brings 15 years of experience as the lead teacher of lower elementary at the Montessori School of North Miami in Florida. She is a graduate of Florida International University and completed Positive Discipline Training. Her AMS Lower Elementary training is through the Summit Montessori Teacher Training Institute in Davie, Florida. A recent transplant, Tara is eagerly learning what West Virginia has to offer, she is excited about being able to experience the outdoors with her husband and three children. Tara loves to be out and about, but also loves being in her new home with her family enjoying activities like cooking together, having game night, playing with their three dogs and two cats, or catching lightning bugs in the backyard. Tara is very excited and thankful for the opportunity of living in a beautiful state that is so connected to nature, and especially for the opportunity of being a part of the Mountaineer Montessori community. She leads her class with enthusiasm and respect, and provides a classroom environment where each child will feel safe and have the confidence to learn and grow as students and as young people.
Julianna Phillips, Upper Elementary Co-Lead Guide
Julianna (“Juli”) is a graduate of both Concord University in Athens, W.Va., with degrees in history and philosophy, and West Virginia State University with a degree in psychology. Julianna, who is certified through the Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education (AMS) in Covington, Ky. and has completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom training, is a graduate student at Marshall University, working toward her master’s degree in early modern European history. Her passion for history runs deep! Julianna’s favorite period in history is 14th-17th century England with emphasis in the Wars of the Roses and Tudor England. She became intrigued with the Montessori method through her younger sister, one of our middle school students. Julianna is a native of the Kanawha Valley, and enjoys exercise, walking her dogs, travelling, spending time with her family, and reading historical and philosophical works in her spare time. This is Julianna’s third year at MMS.
Jason Winesburg, Upper Elementary Co-Lead Guide
Jason returns to MMS this fall for his third year as an upper elementary lead guide and coach of our cross-country team and state championship-winning chess team. Jason previously taught elementary students at Evergreen Montessori in Memphis and Malta Montessori in Malta, New York, for five years. He holds an AMI Montessori credential for ages 6-12 from the Washington Montessori Institute (WMI) and has completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom training. 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 Frederick, 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, Lower Elementary Assistant, Art and Physical Education Specialist
A Charleston native, Nancy attended Marshall University and West Virginia State University, studying education and art. She completed the AMS Basics Course at the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, Ill., and Positive Discipline in the Classroom training. She is beginning her 20th year at MMS, having assisted in at both the lower and upper elementary levels She has taught art to elementary students for the last 10 years and 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.
Gloria Lopez, Lower Elementary Assistant
Gloria, who is in her third year at MMS, is the classroom assistant for Becca Moore. Gloria discovered her passion for Montessori education when she enrolled her son, now a middle school student, in our school. She comes to us with a rich and diverse background in business, specializing in training and team building. Glorda attended West Virginia State University and the Benjamin Franklin Technical Career Center, and completed the AMS Montessori Assistant course offered through the Virginia Center for Montessori Education as well as Positive Discipline in the Classroom training. She shares her deep care, warmth and compassion with all our students.