MMS Toddler and Primary Faculty
Samantha Van Den Berghe-Lynch, Toddler Guide
Samantha is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, with a degree in psychology and a minor in child and family. Prior to joining MMS, Samantha was an assistant at the Family Life Childcare Center of Berea. Samantha holds an AMS Early Childhood credential from the Virginia Center for Montessori Studies in Richmond, Va., where is currently pursuing additional certification as an AMS Montessori Infant/Toddler educator. She will be our lead Toddler teacher starting in August 2021. Samantha completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom training and is a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. Samantha will begin her seventh year at MMS this fall and brings vibrancy, caring and careful insight to her students. She is the parent of three children, two of whom are MMS students.
Amanda Walker, Toddler Assistant
Amanda attended Marshall University and has a background in elementary education along with experience working in various toddler and pre-k environments. She has a passion for art and creative expression and looks forward to finding opportunities to share this with the children. She is the mother of three children, one of whom is a new MMS student.
Isabelle Bournigault, Primary II Lead Guide
Isabelle brings a rich background in languages and early childhood education to MMS, joining our staff in early 2018. A native of France, Isabelle has served as a primary guide at Montessori schools in Toronto, Canada, Paris and the Bordeaux region of France; a kindergarten teacher at a trilingual (English/French/Russian) school in Russia; and a French instructor at the Alliance Francaise in Montclair, New Jersey. Isabelle also has extensive experience in e-learning and was an instructional designer for three years in Paris. She has a master’s degree in linguistics and PhD preparation at the University of Paris Dieterot, a master’s in diadectics of French as a second language from the Sorbonne in Paris, and an AMI Primary Certification from the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto. She has completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom training.
Learn more about Isabelle.
Kathryn Rhoads, Primary I Lead Guide
Kathryn has been dedicated to Montessori education for more than 20 years, and serves as our Lead Guide in Primary I. Kathryn earned her B.A. in liberal arts, and subsequently her AMS Primary Certification from the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Evanston, Ill. She also completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom training. In addition to her work at MMS, Kathryn is a reading tutor at the Appalachian Reading Center with specialized training and proficiency in the Wilson Reading System and Handwriting Without Tears. Kathryn encountered the writings of Maria Montessori during her years managing Barnes & Noble bookstores. Once her curiosity was launched, she pursued opportunities to work in Montessori schools and immersed herself in the philosophy and methodology. A native Midwesterner, Kathryn’s personal interests include hiking, gardening, music, art and creative writing.
Stephanie Spradling, Primary II Assistant
Stephanie brings extensive experience in child care and in business settings to her role as an assistant in Primary II. She is a graduate of Ben Franklin Career Center and South Charleston High School. Since 2010, Stephanie has performed with “Reliance,” musical group that plays and sings throughout the community to raise money for children to attend a church camp each summer. Her Montessori Assistant training is with the Virginia Center for Montessori Studies and she has completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom training.
Angela Walker, Primary I Teaching Intern
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 received her AMS Montessori Assistant certification from the Virginia Center for Montessori Studies in Richmond, Va., where she is completing AMS Early Childhood Montessori certification studies. She has completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom training.
Susie Newhouse, Plus Guide/Montessori Mentor/Positive Discipline Instructor
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.