MMS Elementary Faculty
Alasha Al-Quadwah, Upper Elementary II Lead Guide
Alasha brings a passion for the arts and deep commitment to Montessori education to her role as the Lead Guide for Upper Elementary II, and says her educational philosophy can be summed up in one of Maria Montessori’s most famous quotes: “Within the child lies the fate of the future.”
Now in her third year at MMS, Alasha holds bachelor’s degrees from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and West Virginia State University and is trained in the Wilson Reading System. She trained in Montessori 9-12 Education at the Montessori Education Teacher Training Collaborative in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is the only WV educator and the only MMS teacher to be awarded a teacher training scholarship from the American Montessori Society. She is a composer, music instructor and performer, and contributed to the success of one of West Virginia’s most notable bands, Qiet. Outside of MMS, Alasha is a private music teacher, violin teacher with the Partnership of African American Churches, and a vocal and violin faculty member of the Albans Arts Center.
Alasha has five years of Montessori education experience, serving in a variety of arts, administration and classroom roles. She is the mother of an MMS student.
Tara Fought, Lower Elementary I Lead Guide
Tara is beginning her fifth 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, completed Positive Discipline Training, and holds an AMS Lower Elementary credential from the Summit Montessori Teacher Training Institute in Davie, Florida. 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 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 people.
Becca Moore, Lower Elementary II Lead Guide
When Becca Moore enrolled her son at MMS, little did she know that it would lead to big changes and a new career. Excited by what she learned through her son’s experience, Becca eventually left her position in the Kanawha County Schools and started training to become a Montessori teacher, joining our faculty in 2014. “I fell in love with everything he was doing and everything about Mountaineer Montessori,” she says. This is Becca’s fifth year at our school, where she leads one of our two Lower Elementary classrooms. She is a graduate of Marshall University and holds an AMI Elementary (6-12) Credential from the the Milwaukee Institute for Montessori Studies. Becca directs our popular MMS Campessori, an eight week summer program that focuses on the arts and sciences.
Learn more about Becca.
Jason Winesburg, Upper Elementary I Lead Guide
Jason returns to MMS this fall for his sixth 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.
Read Jason’s story.
Sarah Galaska, Lower Elementary II Assistant
New staff. Bio to come.
Erica Pates, Upper Elementary II Assistant
New staff. Bio to come.
Kristie Simmons, Upper Elementary I Assistant
Now in her sixth year at MMS, Kristie can be found almost everywhere at our school, bringing her warmth, caring and enthusiasm for Montessori education to many departments. She is the morning Plus/early drop off coordinator, office assistant, a part-time Upper Elementary assistant, a PE assistant, supervises the playground and lunch, and rolls up her sleeves any where else her help is needed. A graduate of WVU-Parkerburg and WVU Institute of Technology, Kristie is a registered nurse. She and her husband, Donald, are the parents of two MMS students.