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.



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Kristine Veltri


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.


Kimberly Cook

Owner/Office Manager

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!   


Joelle Toner

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

DSS Specialist

Jennifer Rossi is TMA's DSS Specialist. She ensures TMA remains in compliance with all South Carolina childcare laws and regulations through weekly school inspections, monthly safety drills, policy and procedure implementation, staff training and development, and student/staff file management.

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience working with children ages 4-18. She has her Primary Montessori Certification and has taught both transitional kindergarten and kindergarten. Jennifer graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavioral Science and will finish her Master's of Science in Management and Leadership in the spring of 2023

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Jennifer, her husband, and two sons relocated to Fort Mill, SC in 2007. Jennifer enjoys traveling with her family, hiking, reading, and spending time with friends.


Elizabeth Romero

Primary-K Coordinator

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.

Nikki Bidell.jpg

Nikki Bidell

Assistant Head of School
Infant/Toddler Montessori Specialist

My Montessori journey began as a lead toddler guide in 2013. I have taught in Montessori
schools in Charlotte, NC as well as abroad at a bilingual school in France. I have a Bachelor’s
degree in Special and Elementary Education with a minor in Literacy, an AMS infant/toddler
Montessori credential, and a Master’s degree in Montessori studies.

I am passionate about sharing Montessori with parents and educators. I have given workshops on positive discipline, toileting with
toddlers, Montessori in the home, and more. My husband is also a teacher and we love spending time exploring the world with our daughter, Emerson, and our two cocker spaniels!

I’m thrilled to start my third year at TMA!


Dina Wells

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, four grandchildren and a Golden Retriever named Chloe. 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!