MMS Primary Faculty

Sara Lloyd, Primary I Lead Guide

Sara Lloyd
Primary I Lead Guide

After serving as an assistant in Upper Elementary I last year, Sara Lloyd moves up as the Lead Guide for our Primary I classroom in 2022-23. She brings more than 18 years of experience as a kindergarten and first grade teacher in public and private schools to her new role. Sarah is training for her Early Childhood Credential with the Virginia Center for Montessori Studies and graduated from West Virginia State University with a BS in elementary education. In her free time, she enjoys time with family, hiking, yoga, and cooking.  








Angela Walker, Primary II Lead Guide

Angela Walker, Primary II Lead Guide

Angela joined MMS in 2018 after serving as the lead teacher for Bream Center for Childhood Development, where she created spaces for discovery and exploration that promoted beauty and harmony for students. She studied elementary education at Concord College in Athens, W.Va., and Marshall University, and earned both an AMS Montessori Early Childhood and a Montessori Assistant certification from the Virginia Center for Montessori Studies in Richmond, Va. She has completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom training.









Kalyn Ellison, Primary II Assistant

Kaylin Ellison
Primary II Assistant

Kalyn is currently pursuing her associates degree in early childhood education with future plans to enroll in a MACTE-accredited program and to become a Montessori primary guide once completing her degree. Kalyn has had the privilege of working with children of all ages since early 2017. Her experience stems from working in two different autism clinics advocating for children with autism spectrum disorders, behavioral challenges other developmental delays. In Kalyn’s free time, she practices Montessori methods at home with her 2-year-old son, enjoys nature hikes with her family, backpacking on parts of the Appalachian Trail, traveling and home renovation projects.






Margaret Lawrence, Primary I All Day Montessori Assistant

Margaret Lawrence Primary I All Day Montessori Assistant


Margaret found her way back to West Virginia and extended family after living 30 years in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and joined our faculty last year. She serves as a reading specialist and provides support and guidance to Primary I children as an All Day Montessori Assistant. Margaret earned a BA in language arts from Western Oregon University. While supporting herself through college, she was afforded the opportunity to work as an assistant at Salem Montessori School. While there, she witnessed profound and holistic growth of Montessori students. Her confidence in the Montessori method led her to enroll her twins in the same school years later. Upon graduation, Margaret taught ESL to international students at The English Language Study Center located at the University. Margaret enjoys wilderness backpacking, skiing, running and gardening.






Maria Kershner-Leon, Primary II All Day Montessori Assistant

Maria Kershner-Leon
Spanish Teacher/Plus Assistant

Maria, a native Spanish-speaker from Costa Rica, holds the American equivalent of a master’s degree in preschool education from her university studies in Costa Rica.  She has worked with young children in education for 23 years.   She completed the AMS Basics Course at the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, Ill.  Maria teaches Spanish to all levels in the morning, and works with our Primary II students in the afternoons.  She has also previously worked five years as a primary assistant.  Maria has two children, both of whom have grown to be MMS alumni. Her favorite pastimes are reading, traveling and working in her garden.  Maria shares her enthusiasm and love of children while skillfully integrating Spanish into the classroom.





Melinda Slack, Primary II Assistant

Melinda Slack
Primary I Assistant

Melinda brings a wealth of experience working with children of all ages in school, church and community programs, including the Kanawha City Youth Basketball League, and a background  in the health insurance industry and practice management to her new role as Primary I assistant.  She attended Mountain State University.







Susie Newhouse, Plus Guide/Montessori Mentor/Positive Discipline Instructor

Susie Newhouse
Montessori Mentor
Plus Program Guide

Susie is an AMS certified primary guide, having trained at the National Center for Montessori Education in Atlanta. Since earning her certification, Susie has worked as a primary lead guide, director and mentor both in Charleston and in Montana, totaling more than 12 years as a certified Montessori guide out of her 24 years in Montessori education. She has recently returned to MMS and her Charleston roots after many years in Montana. Her early role at Mountaineer Montessori as a movement and swimming specialist, and later as a classroom assistant in both primary and lower elementary, opened her heart and mind to the Montessori philosophy. “I’m excited by all that MMS has to offer and I’m blessed to be part of it!”  Susie is the mother of an MMS alumnus and grandmother of two current students.  Susie is now serves as a Montessori mentor to our primary classrooms as well in our Plus Program, ensuring a rich, consistent Montessori experience to students throughout the day. She is also a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, and leads workshops on parenting for our school community.