Meet Our Faculty

Meet our Faculty

The role of the Montessori teacher

is to help match each child with the work appropriate for them, adjusting as needed for every individual as they master concepts and look for challenges.
The Montessori teacher is a role model, an educational resource, an observer and environmental engineer. Hilltop teachers are truly caretakers of the
educational and emotional growth of their students, while bringing their own individual flavor to their classic Montessori classrooms.

“The training of the teacher is something far more than learning ideas. It includes the training of character.
It is a preparation of the spirit.”Maria Montessori

Toddler Program (ages 18 mos – 3 yrs)

Cindy ‘C’ Richmond
Toddlers
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Masters in Deaf Education
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) Toddler and Preschool certification
  • Educating students since 1997, Employed at HMS since 2001
Rebekah Dupuis
Toddlers
  • Bachelor of Science in English, Montessori assistant trained
  • Educating children since 2008, Employed at HMS since 2012

Susan Desmond
Toddlers
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) Infant and Toddler certification
  • Educating students since 2011, Employed at HMS since 2011
Laura Roberts
Toddlers
  • Masters in Education
  • Montessori assistant trained
  • Educating children since 2011, Employed at HMS since 2015

Primary Program (ages 3-6 yrs)

Cindi Stehr
Director of Early Childhood Programming & Founder
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) certification for ages 3-6 students
  • Educating children since 1991, Employed at HMS since 1996
Brittany Lamb
Primary
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • American Montessori Society Certified For Infant and Toddler
  • Educating children since 2007, Employed at HMS since 2017
Jamie Lewis
Primary
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Educating children since 1992, Employed at HMS since 1999

Mary Jo White
Primary
  • Masters in Education
  • AMS certified in Montessori 3-6, primary
  • Educating children since 2003, Employed at HMS since 2006
Christi Franks
Primary
  • Associate's degree/education
  • Educating children since 2011, Employed at Hilltop since 2010
  • Montessori assistant trained
Jasmine Mohprasit
AMS intern, 3-6
  • AMS teaching intern

Shellie Scott
Primary
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) certification for ages 3-6 students
  • Educating children since 2004, Employed at HMS since 2007
Mary Knoechel
Primary
  • Kennesaw State University- Early Childhood Education, Montessori assistant trained
  • Educating children since 2012, Employed at HMS since 2015

Roopa Nash
Primary
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) certification, 3-6 students
  • Educating children since 2011, Employed at HMS since 2012
  • CMTE/NY Center for Montessori Education graduate
Melissa Smith
Primary
  • Masters in Education
  • Educating children since 1997, Employed at HMS since 2015
  • Montessori assistant trained

Teresa Barnett
Primary
  • Bachelor of Science in Education
  • American Montessori Society certification, 3-6
  • Teaching since 2011, Employed at HMS since 2014
Anna Clare Culp
Primary
  • Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts
  • UAB Masters Coursework
  • Teaching since 2009, at Hilltop since 2016

Lower Elementary Program (ages 6-9)

Dama Nichols
Director of Elementary and Middle School
  • Masters in Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) certification for ages 6-9
  • Educating children since 1998, Employed at HMS since 1999
Ona Adams
Lower Elementary
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Montessori assistant trained
  • Montessori alumni student
  • Educating children since 2009, Employed at HMS since 2010

Chelsea Calhoun
Lower Elementary
  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) certification for ages 6-9
  • Educating children since 2003, Employed at HMS since 2006
Jessica Chesnutt
Lower Elementary
  • Bachelor of Arts in American Studies/Human Development
  • American Montessori Society certified
  • Educating children since 2011, Employed at HMS since 2017

Stephanie Kirkpatrick
Lower Elementary
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • Educating children since 2011, Employed at HMS since 2014
  • American Montessori Society 6-9 intern

Upper Elementary Program (ages 9-12)

Janet Lewis
Upper Elementary
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
  • CMTE/NY (Center for Montessori Teacher Education, New York) graduate
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) certification for ages 9-12
  • Educating children since 2004, Employed at HMS since 2009
Jodi Hunt
Upper Elementary
  • Bachelor of Science in Special Education
  • Educating children since 2009, Employed at HMS since 2014
  • Montessori assistant trained
April Stehr
Upper Elementary
  • Bachelor of Science in Music Education
  • American Montessori Society certified
  • Orff Certified
  • Educating children since 2009, Employed at HMS since 2017

Middle School Program (grades 7-8)

Sherry Cook
Middle School Adolescent Program
  • Bachelor of Science in Education
  • Educating children since 1977, Employed at HMS since 2004

Spanish Program

Graciela Rodriguez
Elementary and Middle School Spanish
  • Native Speaker
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Elementary/Middle school Spanish immersion teacher
  • Educating children since 2010, Employed at HMS since 2014
Ana Diaz
Preschool, Kindergarten and Toddler Spanish
  • Masters in Early Childhood Education
  • Native speaker
  • Early childhood/Kindergarten Spanish immersion teacher
  • Educating children since 2001, Employed at HMS since 2011

Music, Fine Arts and Physical Wellness

Derek Kluz
Director of Music Education, Primary-Middle School
  • Bachelor of Music Education and Music Arts
  • Masters coursework in Conducting
  • AMS training
  • Employed at HMS since 1999
Corinthia Miller
Director of Physical Education
  • Masters in Education
  • Educating children since 2007, Employed at HMS since 2016
Anna Clare Culp
Director of Art Education and Primary Assistant (a.m.)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts
  • UAB Masters Coursework
  • Employed at HMS since 2016
Amy Gribben Dibble
Director of After School Programming
  • Bachelors degree in Music Education, Concentration in Flute
  • Employed at HMS since 2017

Kitchen

Ashley Pigford
Community Kitchen Manager
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business/International Trade and Foreign Language
  • Hilltop Farm to Fork Kitchen Manager and Founder, Employed at HMS since 2015
Daisy Moon
Community Kitchen Support
  • Working at HMS since 2016
  • Food service experience since 2015

Administration

Michele Scott Wilensky
Head of School
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
  • Masters in Education
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) certification for ages 6-9 students
  • Employed at Hilltop since 1998
  • Head of School since 2004
Email
Melanie Morrison
Admissions/New Family Liaison
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • AMS (American Montessori Society) certification for infants through age 3
  • Employed at Hilltop since 2011
Shiela Jones
Office Manager
  • 16 years experience in office management
  • Employed at Hilltop since 2002
Theresa Fox
Business Manager
  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Employed at Hilltop since 2003
  • 15 years accounting experience