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.
Kristine Veltri’s teaching career has always been geared towards the teaching of young children. Her passion has always been to educate young minds and help them blossom into well rounded, responsible and successful individuals. She loves teaching children to read and write and believes that a child’s success in language arts sets the stage for comprehending and enjoying academic subjects. Kristine is originally from Long Island, New York. She received her bachelor’s degree from Marist College in Poughkeepsie NY, where she became certified to teach Elementary Education Pre-K-6 and Special Education K-12. Later, she received her master’s degree in the Teaching of Reading and Writing from Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY. Kristine’s teaching career began in 1997 in Garden City, New York. There she taught kindergarten and first grade in a primary school. Her classroom was set up to provide young children with a Balanced Literacy approach to learning. This approach included the Reading and Writing Workshop along with literacy areas from the Fountas & Pinnell framework. She was trained in the Lucy Calkins Writing Program at the Teachers College in New York City. Kristine has had wonderful opportunities to teach diverse groups of students, including those with learning disabilities and those who were gifted/exceptional.
In 2011, Kristine moved to Fort Mill, SC with her husband and four children. Shortly after, she became a teacher evaluator for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools through Teach Charlotte. In 2015, she received her North American Montessori Center certification for early childhood and decided it was time to open a school for young children where she could combine Montessori and Balanced Literacy. For the past five years, she has owned and operated a successful preschool in Fort Mill. Creating the curriculum and watching it come to fruition, has been the most rewarding aspect of Kristine’s career. She can’t wait to start this new adventure at Trinity Montessori Academy.
Kim Cook started out her accounting career with a Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati. Her education led her to Duke-Energy (formally Cinergy Corp.) working in various accounting departments, then to BKD, LLP, a regional public accounting firm and she ended her career in Cincinnati as an audit specialist at the University of Cincinnati.
Kim’s family relocated to Fort Mill, SC in 2008, due to her husband’s job. At that time, she became a stay at home mom to her two daughters. During that time, she took an active role within the Children’s Ministry at her church and realized that her passion turned towards children and watching them learn and grow. She also became a volunteer at Springfield Elementary, where her oldest daughter attended, and a substitute teacher at her youngest daughter’s preschool.
In 2015, Kim joined her daughter’s Montessori preschool by accepting the position of office manager. This is where Kim met Kristine and they have worked together ever since. Kim’s job duties included installation and maintenance of new accounting, timekeeping, payroll, family database, and other related procedures and controls. She also assisted in the development and implementation of goals, policies, and procedures relating to financial management, budgeting, staff and family needs and the school as a whole.
The balance of financial management and serving children and their families is the perfect combination for Kim and she is looking forward to blessing all the families that walk through the doors at Trinity Montessori Academy!
Literacy Specialist/Enrichment Coordinator
Hi, I'm Joelle! I have been in the education field for over 18 years and am beginning my third year at TMA. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Buffalo State College where I majored in
elementary education and minored in social sciences. I love teaching our little learners how to read and write. I am very proud of starting and maintaining our school's pollinator garden for our monarch conservation program and bringing gardening enrichment and chick embryology to TMA.
My husband Don and I moved to South Carolina in 1995 and we have 2 wonderful children. My son Donny graduated from Clemson in May and is pursuing a career in Aerospace Engineering. My daughter Nicole is a freshman at USC and is studying nursing. In my free time I enjoy spending
time in the mountains, visiting family and friends, reading, and coming home to our 2 Malti-poos, Reilly and Stevie Nicks. I am looking forward to another wonderful year at TMA!
Jennifer Rossi is TMA's DSS/HR Specialist. She has a Master of Science Degree in Management & Leadership, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavioral Science, and is a commissioned notary public through the state of South Carolina. Jennifer ensures TMA remains in compliance with all South Carolina state laws and regulations through weekly school inspections, monthly safety drills, policy and procedure implementation, staff onboarding and offboarding, staff training and development, and student/staff file management.
Jennifer began her career working with children over 20 years ago in her hometown of Philadelphia, PA where she managed patient care in three pediatric behavioral units. In 2007, following the birth of her second child, her husband was transferred to Charlotte, NC. During this time, Jennifer became an active member of her children's school PTO where she led community outreach, was elected to the school improvement council, worked as a special needs advocate for families seeking IEP and 504 guidance in and around the Charlotte area, and was the Director of Education for a local Fort Mill After-School Program. Jennifer has earned her primary Montessori Teaching Certification and has taught both Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten and was TMA's first Montessori Specialist.
Jennifer, her husband, two sons, and their dog, Havana, reside in Fort Mill, SC. In her downtime, she enjoys traveling, spending time on Hilton Head Island, hiking, reading, and spending time with family & friends.
My name is Elizabeth Romero and I am originally from New York City! My family and I relocated to
Indian Land, SC 5 years ago after the birth of our sweet daughter, Emelia Rose. I obtained my degree in Early Childhood Education and have taught children from infancy through second grade for 15+ years! This year, I received my Montessori Certification for children ages 3-6. As I enter my
second year at TMA, I am honored to begin a new chapter as the Primary-K Coordinator. I am
passionate about guiding educators, families and children throughout their school experience. I look
forward to partnering with each of you as we embark on a new school year.
Primary Montessori Specialist
Hi, I’m Dina! I’m originally from Ohio and relocated to South Carolina with my family 23 years ago. I am Montessori trained and have 16 years of Primary Montessori classroom experience in both public and private school settings. Witnessing my students connect with their environment and transform into a community of independent thinkers has been one of the most rewarding experiences!
My husband and I have three daughters and four grandchildren. I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling to new places, especially if it involves a beach. I am honored to have the opportunity to support teachers and students at TMA!
Kim Kelly joined TMA in August of 2022 as our Administrative Coordinator. She has earned her bachelor’s degree in business management and brings with her over 15 plus years of experience in the business marketing industry.
Kim assists with DSS responsibilities, hiring, enrollment, and schedules, coordinates all TMA events, and helps manage our front office. Kim is happily married to her husband for 26 years and enjoys spending time with her five children. In her free time, you can find Kim on the field watching her kid’s sporting events, playing tennis, practicing yoga, gardening, or reading a book.
Kim loves working at TMA with the best students, families, and staff. She looks forward to seeing your child’s smiling face every day.
Hello! My name is Kiersten Baisden and I am part of the administration team at Trinity Montessori Academy. I am thrilled to walk alongside the families, students, and staff as we take this educational journey together. I am a people-loving person who deeply strives to make a positive impact on those I touch, especially children. I am an Anderson University alumni with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and have spent many years working in a preschool.
I am most passionate about helping others, volunteering in the community, working on home improvement projects, and spoiling my dog "Hachi". I am bilingual in Spanish and have a deep appreciation for learning languages–Portuguese is next on my list! I look forward to meeting all the new families at TMA!