faculty & staff

 

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

 

Augusta McDonald
Managing Director, Admissions

Augusta brings a wide array of skills to this position. Originally from New Zealand, she graduated from the New Zealand Drama School in 1982. While acting in television and theater, Augusta taught improvisation, dance and creative movement to three to twelve year olds. Since moving to the U.S. in 1991, she has been a manager, a mother and a maverick, creating and managing her own business for nine years. She completed the American Montessori Internationale primary teacher training in May 2011.

In her role as the Director of the Garrison Afterschool Program, Augusta built a vibrant, happy, and creative program. Augusta is now entering her fourth year with MIT and is delighted to be able to continue her work of creating a meaningful environment for children, families, and staff that fosters a strong sense of community.

Annabelle Lawrence
Administrative Assistant and AMI trained Guide

Annabelle brings 15 years of experience working with children to the MIT community. Seeing that traditional early childhood education could go only so far, she was inspired by the Montessori approach to developing the whole child and decided to receive AMI training. She graduated from the Montessori Institute of Atlanta in 2009 and hasn't looked back. Now, as a mom to 3 beautiful girls, she's learning what it means to parent the Montessori way.
 

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Holly Michael
Accounts

Holly began working in a Montessori school in 2013, when her eldest daughter began in Primary. Now her youngest is at Montessori In Town we are delighted she has joined us too. As a native Atlantan, Holly loves living in our wonderful city and spending time with friends. She and her husband stay busy with their two daughters and tending to their family's urban farm. 

Nan Fischer, MS, OTR/L
Business Director, Occupational Therapist

Nan is a native Atlantan and has lived in Virginia Highland since 1984. She has worked as a pediatric occupational therapist for 12 years after receiving her M.S.O.T. from Washington University School of Medicine in 1999. Nan is classically trained in sensory integration occupational therapy. She studied under Stanley Greenspan (along side Julie Carnes former head of school at Arbor Montessori) in Floortime, which is a method of interacting with children.

In 2000 Nan started her own private practice in sensory integration occupational therapy in Virginia Highland; her first client was a Montessori child. Since then she has worked with children from Arbor, First, Decatur, AMIS, and Northwoods Montessori schools as well as Schenck (where she designed and developed their OT program and clinic), Howard, Trinity, Galloway, Paidea, International, and Atlanta private schools, and many public schools.

Montessori parallels sensory integration practice because it is child driven. One of the foundations of sensory integration theory is that a child will seek what they need developmentally at the right time--just like Montessori.

Susan Bauer
Bookkeeper

Susan originally received her Bachelor’s of Accounting from Georgia State University. After working in public and private accounting, she took a hiatus to work on her two greatest accomplishments-- her two sons, who are now in college.  Susan previously worked for the DeKalb County School System prior to coming to MIT in 2012. She considers herself the luckiest bookkeeper in the world to be surrounded by a Montessori work environment and beautiful children all day long.

 

FACULTY

Anisha Aswani
Primary Guide

Anisha completed her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in India. Her work began first at an orphanage and later in special education school. She moved to the USA in 2013 to acquire further training and found Montessori Education. Since she was 17, Anisha has volunteered at NGOs which serve the under privileged and children with special needs. In her spare time, Anisha enjoys reading, doing yoga, and taking long walks.

Eniola Kalimara
Primary Coordinator and Guide

Eniola, a native of Wisconsin, she holds a degree in Primary Montessori Education (AMI). She has over twenty-four years of experience in Montessori schools as a Montessori parent, assistant, teacher, and administrator. Eniola is an independent student of traditional Afrikan societies, studying their survival throughout the Diaspora. Her studies have led her to travel throughout Brazil and southern Africa. She has an interest in the arts, and shares her special talent in music with the children.
 

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Clarissa Logsdon
Primary Guide

Clarissa began her Montessori experience at Montessori In Town in 2008. Having earned her degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University, she chose to forgo opportunities within the traditional education system in order to pursue her interest in Montessori education.

She served as a Primary assistant for two years at MIT before leaving in order to earn her AMI Primary teaching diploma from the Montessori Institute of Atlanta and her Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola University. Clarissa is beginning her sixth year as a Primary guide at MIT; she continues to take pleasure in the opportunity to serve the families of her hometown community.

Chelsea Myers
Upper Elementary Guide

Chelsea has opened our new Upper Elementary program this year. Her experience in the Atlanta Montessori community as both an assistant and after school lead, has prepared her well for her first year teaching. Chelsea hold an AMI diploma from Montessori Institute of Atlanta, and graduated in 2011 from North Georgia College with a degree in Psychology. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys yoga and painting.

Lala Ahmed
Lower Elementary Guide

Lala comes to us with both AMI primary and elementary training. She holds a Masters in Education from Loyola College, Baltimore, MD. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Karachi, Pakistan. She has served on the board of directors for peace organizations, Women's Action for New Directions and South Asians for Unity. Throughout her adult life Lala has been committed to promoting peace through education. She is married and a mother of two grown children.

Lala had worked as a primary guide in the Atlanta since 2007. She joined MIT after completing her elementary training, this will be her fourth year at MIT; she has created a thriving elementary classroom that speaks to the imagination of the child and sets them up for a lifelong voyage of learning and discovery.

Moira Diaz French
Toddler Guide

Moira has a fine art major from the Maryland Institute College of Fine Art as well as an art education major from Pratt Institute. She is certified as an AMS (American Montessori Society) Primary Guide. Moira has three years experience as a Primary Guide. She headed up our extended day program for the past two years and started a highly successful Saturday Morning Toddler class.

This year Moira will be continuing to follow her passion of working with the toddler aged child as she steps into a new role as Toddler Guide. She brings a warmth and deep understanding of Montessori’s principles to her work.

Young Ha Kim
Primary Guide

Young has her Bachelors of Industrial and Interaction Design from Syracuse University in NY, and has unique experience teaching art to elementary and middle school students in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She  finished her AMI Primary training here in Atlanta. Young enjoys outdoor sports--she has run a couple of marathons and plays tennis in amateur league.

 

SUPPORTING STAFF

Lori Winston Babcock
Lower Elementary Assistant

Lori attended Montessori School while growing up in Chicago, Il. She graduated from Midlands Teach and the University of South Carolina. She and her husband Stanton have three adult children. In her spare time, Lori enjoys camping, cooking and painting.

Nicole Caradona
Toddler Assistant

Nicole attended Georgia Southern University to study Sociology, with an emphasis in Social Work.  She is married with two wonderful children, Norton and Miller. Nicole has assisted behind the scenes at MIT for the past three years. We are thrilled that she is now assisting Moira in the Toddler community, sharing her love in arts, crafts, cooking, gardening and nature with the children.

Alison Disney
Eniola’s Classroom Assistant

Alison Disney grew up on a farm in Fairburn, Georgia. Her love of animals and horses, coupled with her interest in science led her to to embark on a long period of study at the University of Georgia.  Alison has a BS in Biology and a MS in Science Education with an emphasis on Biology. Throughout her studies she continued to develop her equestrian skills. Not only does she ride and train horses, she also teaches dressage. Alison previously worked in the public school system, and is happy to have transitioned into Montessori education.

 

James Fenhagen
Young's Classroom Assistant

Bio coming soon

Barbara Nesin
Anisha's Classroom Assistant

Barbara has been a professional educator for many years. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education, MBA and MFA. Barbara brings a wide range of experience to MIT. She has taught art in many states, worked in businesses and nonprofits, served in local art organizations, and exhibited her mixed-media work internationally. She is currently enjoying her return to the Montessori philosophy.

Wendy Brown
Lower Elementary Support & Aftercare Assistant

Bio coming

Melissa Capocci
Special Services Coordinator

Melissa began working with children when she was 12 years old as a babysitter and found her calling. Her first full time job was as a birthday party host at Discovery zone. Since then she has taught in after school programs, and other private Preschools. Before Melissa moved to Atlanta she worked as a Primary classroom assistant. Here at MIT Melissa helps out and provides support to many aspects of the school. She also leads the very popular and well attended song and dance program held on Tuesday afternoons.
 

LaVern McKnight
Maria's Casa & Club House Coordinator

Lavern comes to us with more than five years of Montessori classroom experience. As a mother to four sons, one daughter, and a proud grandmother to fourteen grandchildren; LaVern knows children! She enjoys spending time with her family, taking long walks and naps in the sunshine.

 

Katharine Showalter
Lower Elementary Support & Aftercare Assistant

Katharine leads the P.E. class for our elementary students. She brings plenty of energy to the class with her love for sports and the outdoors. Katharine comes with lots of experience in after-school care programs and recognizes the innocent joy for life that children have. Katharine  enjoys running and cycling.

Gina White
Maria’s Casa Assistant

Gina was born and raised in Atlanta. Her passions include photography, yoga and the Spanish language. Gina loves creating arts and crafts projects for children, she brings an originality to this task that allows the child a truly creative experience. She graduated from Grady High School in 2010 and then attended UGA. This will be Gina’s fourth year with Montessori In Town. On the playground she continues to hold the status of the one who gives the best pushes on the swings.

 

PROFESSIONAL ADVISORS

Deedee Murphy
Primary Consultant

 

Judy McStravick
Elementary Consultant

Judy has over 30 years of experience working in Montessori schools. She was a Primary classroom teacher for 10 years at Casa Montessori School in Marietta, Georgia, where she opened the Elementary program and then served as the lead guide. Judy completed AMI teacher training in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., in both the Primary and Elementary programs.

She is a ballroom dancer and avid birdwatcher. She loves being outside and with her grandchildren.

Jackie Wall
Toddler Consultant, Parent Ed Coordinator

Jackie has served in a variety of educational settings, including multi-age classrooms, public and independent schools, rural and urban communities and Montessori environments. Recently she has led parenting discussion groups and served as an educational consultant.

Ms. Wall holds a B.A. in Child Study and Language Development and an AMI diploma.