How we find the BEST teachers?
At TMA, all teacher candidates are required to send a resume which is reviewed by our administrative team. We then select candidates who have experience working with young children or those who are willing to learn. Our lead teachers must have at least a two-year degree and Montessori and/or Balanced Literacy experience. Our teacher candidates are required to perform a demo lesson so we can observe them in action. We then give the teacher feedback on their lesson and choose the very best. At TMA, before we hire a teacher, we always ask the question “Would we want this person teaching our own children?” If the answer is “YES”, we ask the candidate to join our team.
Infant Lead Teacher
Hi, I’m Nikki! I’ve been a Montessori toddler guide in Charlotte as well as abroad at a bilingual Montessori school in France. I have a Bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education, an AMS infant/toddler Montessori credential, and a Master’s degree in Montessori. I recently became a mom to my sweet daughter, Emerson, who will be joining me at TMA. My husband is also a teacher and we love taking walks with our two cocker spaniels. I’m thrilled to be joining the TMA team and looking forward to sharing my passion!
Toddler Lead Teacher
My name is Ms. Lynzie Santucci and I am so excited to be working with you and your children this year at Trinity Montessori Academy. I currently live in Rock Hill with my husband John, our daughter Tenley (1) and my stepdaughter Chloe (9). We have two adorable dogs, Koa and Jax that we love taking for evening strolls. Whenever our family is not at the Soccer field watching Chloe, we are playing on the lake or at the beach!
I have my BA in Elementary Education from UNC-Charlotte and I am currently completing my Montessori certification for Infants, birth- 3 years old. I have previous experience working with toddlers 18- 24 months old and have also taught kindergarten and third grade. I truly love spending my days with children and watching them learn and grow! I hope to help cultivate your child’s independence and desire for a lifetime of learning.
Toddler Lead Teacher
My name is Michele Schwartz and I am excited to join the TMA family as Infant/Toddler Team Leader. I am originally from Boiling Springs, SC but now live in Fort Mill with my husband Pete and our cat Hemingway. I graduated from Mars Hill College with a BA in Theatre and completed my North American Montessori Center (NAMC) certification for birth to three years old. For the past 13 years, I have taught every age group from birth all the way up to seniors in high school. Toddlers are my favorite age group to work with! I love watching young children grow into independent learners. I love the Montessori hands-on approach to learning and can’t wait to start the school year at TMA. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your child!
Primary Lead Teacher
My name is Brenna Buffington and I received my BA in Psychology from Winthrop University. Before becoming a lead Montessori teacher, I worked with children as a Certified Behavior Technician and ABA Therapist. I am currently completing my NAMC Montessori certification for children 3-6 years old. I have found a passion in teaching and love spreading my joy for learning with the children in the classroom! While I do not yet have children of my own, I am a proud cat mom of 4 sweet kitties!
Primary Lead Teacher
My name is Dina Wells and I will be the lead teacher for the half-day Primary Classroom at Trinity Montessori Academy. I’m originally from Northeast Ohio and moved to South Carolina 21 years ago. I attended Fortis College to pursue a degree in Medical Administration and worked in both the Medical and Industrial fields before taking time off to focus on being a full-time wife and mom. I’ve been married to my husband Jason for 28 years and together we have three daughters, four grandchildren and a Golden Retriever named Chloe. I enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, and traveling to places I haven’t been, especially if it involves a beach!
My love for Montessori began when I became an Instructional Assistant in a Montessori classroom for York School District. I am Montessori trained and have 14 years of experience in both public and private settings, all in early childhood education with students ranging from 3-6 years old.
One of the most rewarding aspects of a Montessori classroom is watching my students connect with their environment and transform into a community of independent thinkers and workers.
“Help me to do it myself. Let us give the child the gift of freedom through independence.” - Maria Montessori
TK/Kindergarten Lead Teacher
My name is Emily Beadle and I am so excited to be joining Trinity Montessori Academy as the TK/Kindergarten teacher in August!
I am originally from Maine, but my husband and I have lived in the Charlotte area since 2015. We welcomed our first child last April and I’m excited that he will be joining me!
I have my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maine at Farmington and fell in love with the Montessori method while student teaching. I believe it is so important to give children the tools to let them succeed without doing everything for them. I have worked in education for the past 7 years, mostly in Montessori classrooms, and spent the last 2.5 years with Rock Hill Schools teaching in grades 4K, Kindergarten, and 2nd.
“The education of even a very small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” Maria Montessori