About Us

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg

Come & Feel The Difference

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg fosters independence, confidence, critical thinking abilities and creativity in a warm and welcoming environment. Our hands-on, ‘whole child’ approach supports each student’s unique qualities and individual learning style for a learning experience that’s compelling, effective and fun!

✅ A comprehensive Montessori education
✅ Middle States accredited
✅ Innovative academic program
✅ Multi-age classrooms
✅ Low student-to-teacher ratio
✅ Non-sectarian
✅ Financial aid for qualifying families
✅ Non-traditional teaching methods
✅ Independent learning activities
✅ Cultural diversity with a student body from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds
 
Our History Book Your Tour Today

The Director’s Message

Director of Education

Mrs. Heather Edmond

Welcome to Montessori Academy of Chambersburg! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Montessori Academy of Chambersburg. Each day at our school is an exciting new opportunity to enrich the minds of our students, and we hope your child will join us.

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg welcomes students regardless of race, gender, national and ethnic origin, and is non-discriminatory in all our policies. We accept children between the ages of 12 months and 8th grade.

There are no specific academic entrance requirements; however, we base admission decisions on many factors, especially your child’s age and suitability for our program.

Please contact us regarding availability for your child, and to schedule your personal tour of our school. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide additional information about our educational programs.

Kind regards,

Mrs. Heather Edmond
Director of Education, Montessori Academy of Chambersburg

Our Facility

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is located at 875 Ragged Edge Road. The facility itself is 30,000 square feet and sits on eight acres of rural land. The current building was specifically designed to facilitate holistic learning grounded in Montessori principles of education.

Inside the Montessori Classroom

Our History

1988 – 1998
Montessori School of Chambersburg was founded in 1988 based on the teachings and philosophy of Maria Montessori. The school offered unique educational and developmental experiences for preschool children unlike anything else found in Franklin County and quickly grew to include children from 18 months through kindergarten.

In 1998 the Board of Directors obtained licensing from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare as a non-profit corporation as well as becoming a full affiliate of The American Montessori Society. The Board then recruited certified teachers, administrators and faculty, and opened the doors for enrollment to Montessori Academy of Chambersburg. The following year, the school expanded to include an elementary program for 1st through 6th grade and later to include 7th and 8th grade. Thanks to the addition of a full-day kindergarten program in 2004, the Academy offered a comprehensive Montessori education for students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

1998 – Present
Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is located at 875 Ragged Edge Road. The facility itself is 30,000 square feet and sits on eight acres of rural land. The current building was specifically designed to facilitate holistic learning grounded in Montessori principles of education.

Prompted by increasing enrollment and the addition of new programs, stakeholders identified the need for a new facility specifically tailored to the growing needs of the students. The architectural design features several pods, each housing multi-age classrooms.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

President —  Angelique Ridore

Angelique Ridore has a lifelong passion for human rights and women’s health advocacy. Her belief that the secret to achieving improvement in these sectors is via education of the next generation led her to choose the Academy for her son’s education because of the Montessori values of respect, diversity, inclusiveness, integrity, and responsibility. Dr. Ridore has a BA in biological sciences and a BA in Africana studies from Rutgers University. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from New Jersey Medical School Newark, NJ. She is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and is the Regional Medical Director of Women’s Services.

Vice President — Carianne Rawlings

Carianne Rawlings is an Engineering Manager with Manitowoc Cranes. She has a BS in Agricultural Engineering from The Ohio State University and has spent 20 years in the agricultural and heavy equipment industry. Carianne and her husband, Tim, have a daughter starting her eighth year at Montessori Academy and have been active volunteers through Montessori Academy Parents Organization. The family has an 80-acre hobby farm and runs Sundowner Property Management.
 

Secretary — Lekha Patel

Lekha Patel discovered the Montessori Academy through her involvement with Leadership Franklin County. She is employed by Starr Insurance which is where she learned about Montessori culture and history. Lekha has a BA in psychology and a minor in biology from Shippensburg University. Prior to working in the commercial insurance industry, she was employed in banking.

Member at Large — Brett Snyder

Brett Snyder and his wife Cindy have spent over 20 years building a retail based dot-com. Prior to that, Brett’s career was centered in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He has a BBA in General Strategic Management and Real Estate from Temple University. Their daughter was enrolled at the Montessori Academy for ten years, graduating as an eighth grader in 2020. Brett is an amateur naturalist and environmental activist who has worked directly with The Nature Conservancy, The Alaska Wilderness League and the Gwich’in Nation to preserve America’s last wilderness areas.

Members

Chris Howes

Chris Howes and his wife are the parents of three children and serve as educators at Mercersburg Academy. Chris currently serves as the Assistant Head of School for Student Life and Culture at Mercersburg Academy. He has been in the educational field for over 20 years and has worked with a variety of age levels ranging from preschool to the college level. Chris has a master’s degree from Wesleyan University and a graduate certificate from Johns Hopkins. He has extensive experience in restorative practices, social emotional learning and development, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. This is Chris’ first board experience, and he is so excited to join this vibrant community.

Becky Jablin

Becky Jablin and her husband Peter Jablin helped found the Montessori Academy of Chambersburg in 1999. They are the parents of five children, two of whom are alumni of Montessori Academy. Becky served as the Montessori Academy Board Treasurer for 16 years and served on the Silent Auction Committee for 20 years. Becky has worked in the field of newspaper graphics and layout. She was a member of the Franklin County Early Intervention Task Force. She has a BA in English from Slippery Rock University.

Michael Metz

Mike Metz and his wife Karen Metz live in Greencastle and have been residents of Franklin County for 16-years. Mike has been employed with F&M Trust as a Commercial Relationship Manager for 10-years and has worked in commercial banking for a total of 22-years. Mike holds an MBA from Frostburg State University and maintains his Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Financial Manager (CFM) designations with the Institute of Management Accountants.

Miranda Ramsey

Miranda Ramsey and her husband Josh Ramsey are the parents of three children, including one currently attending Children’s House. Miranda is Director, Retail Services for WellSpan (Summit) Health. Miranda has worked for WellSpan (Summit) Health ten years. Miranda has a BA in Health Care Administration from Shippensburg University. Miranda has chaired Montessori’s Silent Auction and served on the Advancement Committee for two years.

Adam Reeder

Adam Reeder graduated from Mercersburg Academy and attended George Washington University. He worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Bud Shuster and for several nonprofits in the DC area. He also worked at Backboard as a senior project manager. Mr. Reeder is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Ace Distributing in Wrightsville, PA. His daughter is a student in the lower elementary program.

Suzanne M. Trinh

Suzanne Trinh is the parent of a current Montessori Academy middle school student. She is an attorney with Zullinger-Davis-Trinh, PC Law Offices. Suzanne has a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College and received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

If you have any questions about the Board of Directors or have feedback, please contact boardpresident@montacad.org.

Our Faculty & Staff

Our teachers are what make every day special for our children. Our teachers are creative, understanding, and passionate. They work with families to create every child’s own success story.

+ Heather Edmond (Director of Education)

Heather Edmond is a graduate of Gettysburg College with a degree in Elementary Education and Environmental Studies, with Summa Cum Laude distinction. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. Mrs. Edmond is both a Montessori and Pennsylvania Instructional II certified teacher. She brings ten years of experience teaching in a Montessori primary classroom, as well as direct experience in curriculum development, school-wide science initiatives, and committee work and leadership in hiring and enrollment. Mrs. Edmond grew up in Carroll County, MD and has lived in Gettysburg, PA since 2005. In addition to her passion for Montessori, she cherishes experiences in nature with her husband and young daughter, including hiking, vegetable gardening, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Mrs. Edmond is excited to introduce her own daughter to our toddler community in the 2020/2021 school year. She is honored to be serving the Montessori Academy of Chambersburg as Director of Education. She looks forward to developing meaningful and productive relationships with the MAC community of families, students, and staff.

+ Lisa de Salis (Administrative Assistant / Receptionist)

Lisa de Salis joined Montessori Academy after many years of previous experience in the clerical field. She enjoys greeting parents and students at the front desk with a friendly smile and is happy to be as helpful as possible to make each visit to Montessori Academy a pleasant one. Lisa has two grown sons and two grandchildren. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys music in many forms, crafting and most of all, spending time with her family.

+ Jody Mell (Toddler Assistant Teacher)

Jody Mell is the assistant teacher in Toddler A. She previously worked for 17 years as a teacher of two-year-olds in a local child care facility. Jody is the mother of three grown children. She loves animals, going to the beach on family vacations and playing volleyball.

+ Madison Rutt (Toddler Assistant Teacher)

Madison Rutt recently graduated from Northampton Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently pursuing a BA/BS in Early Childhood Education at Keystone College. She has previously served as the Lead Teacher in a Young Toddler classroom at another preschool. Mrs. Rutt got married in May 2021 and lives with her husband, Devon, and their dog, Baxter, in McConnellsburg, PA. On the weekends, she loves to spend time with her family, bake, read, and watch the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mrs. Rutt is very excited be a part the Academy and to make an impact with her students.

+ Alexia Timmons (Children’s House A Assistant Teacher)

Alexia Timmons joined Montessori Academy after eight years of experience working in a child care setting. She enjoys helping to create a safe and nurturing environment for children. Some of her interests outside of school include reading, music, volunteering in her youth group, and spending time with family and friends. Alexia is excited to be a part of the Montessori family and having the opportunity to help children to reach and achieve specific age-appropriate milestones.

+ Katelyn Schindler (Children’s House B Co-Teacher)

Katelyn Schindler has been teaching preschool age children for five years. She holds a Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching certificate for pre-kindergarten – fourth grade. She also holds an Associate’s degree in Education from Hagerstown Community College. Katelyn has an elementary age son at home. Over the summer she leads the Preschool Discovery Camp at the Waynesboro Area YMCA. When she is not working, Katelyn enjoys spending time sewing, knitting, crocheting and using her cricut machine in her craft room.

+ Karen Thrush (Children’s House C Assistant Teacher)

Karen Thrush is an assistant teacher in Children’s House C. She has had a variety of teaching and tutoring experiences over the past 30 years, and previously taught in the lower and upper elementary programs at Montessori Academy. Ms. Thrush received her Montessori training for ages 6-9, with an overview of the Children’s House program, at the Center for Montessori Education in North Carolina, has completed undergraduate courses at Wilson College. She has five adult children and four grandchildren. Ms. Thrush resides in Greencastle with her husband.

+ Emily Cost (Lower Elementary Teacher)

Emily Cost earned an Elementary Education Teaching Certificate from Millersville University and a B.A. from Warren Wilson College in Philosophy and Environmental Studies. She has worked as an English teacher in a bilingual elementary school, and at non-profit organizations teaching environmental education in the outdoor classroom. Ms. Cost and her husband live in Chambersburg with their children, who are also students at Montessori Academy.

+ Alicia Runkle (Upper Elementary Teacher)

Alicia Runkle is a graduate of Shippensburg University with her undergraduate degree and teaching certification in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and a minor in Reading. Also, Mrs. Runkle received her Upper Elementary (9-12) Montessori training and certification from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York. She has worked in a daycare center and tutors in reading, writing, and math. In her free time, she enjoys singing, attending Hershey Bear hockey games, and spending time with her husband and family. Mrs. Runkle joined Montessori Academy in March 2012.

+ Kim Walter (Middle School Teacher)

Kim Walter is a graduate of Messiah College where she received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and minor in Human Development and Family Science. She also holds Certificates in PA Elementary k-6/Mid-level Mathematics, 7-9/PA Private School Nursery-Kindergarten. Mrs. Walter started co-teaching 5th-8th grade at Montessori in 2004. Then she spent a year in Greencastle-Antrim School District and 9 years in the banking industry before returning to Montessori in 2017. Kim was interested in a school that would challenge children by developing their strengths, encouraging their weaknesses, while also valuing the development of the whole child. Kim resides in Chambersburg with her husband Tyson and two children, Seth and Ethan, who are former students of the school. Outside of school, Mrs. Walter enjoys singing, spending time with family, working with children, youth, and music departments at church.

+ Kim Frohm (Nurse)

Kim Frohm is a graduate of Shippensburg Area Senior High School and Franklin County Career and Technology School of Nursing with a Licensed Practical Nurse Degree. She was recognized at her nursing graduation with an honor certificate for her clinical rotation. While working for Chambersburg Area School District, Kim was assigned to Montessori Academy in 2007. Upon retiring from the district in 2020, Kim accepted a position with Montessori Academy as the school nurse. She lives in Shippensburg with her husband Tony. They have two sons, four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. In her spare time, Kim enjoys camping, kayaking, journaling, and spending time with her family.

+ Dr. Barbara Kehr (Executive Director)

Dr. Barbara Kehr is a graduate of Muhlenberg College with a degree in humanities and elementary certification. She has a master’s degree in reading from Hood College, a master’s in administration from McDaniel College, a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in literacy from the University of Maryland, and a superintendent’s letter of eligibility from Shippensburg University. During her 34 year career in public education, she was an elementary classroom teacher, reading coordinator, and director of curriculum and instruction for the Waynesboro Area School District, and the assistant superintendent of South Western School District in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Dr. Kehr has taught graduate courses for Penn State University, Shippensburg University, and Cabrini University, and is currently an adjunct professor for Wilson College. She most recently worked as a literacy coach for the York City School District. She lives in Waynesboro with her husband, John Krebs.

+ Kristin Valentine (Toddler Teacher)

Kristin Valentine is the Lead Teacher in the Toddler Community. She previously worked for six and a half years as an assistant teacher in our toddler program. Ms. Valentine has taken Infant Toddler Montessori coursework at the Center for Montessori Education in New York. She has two children who are former students of Montessori Academy.

+ Carrie Mong (Toddler Teacher)

Carrie Mong is the Lead Teacher in the Toddler B classroom. Mrs. Mong attended Hagerstown Community College where she obtained her Associates of Applied Science, and her Montessori training through North American Montessori Center. Carrie has a history with our Academy, her son attended our school 10 years ago and her mother is currently a Teacher for Children’s House. Carrie is married and has two children, Emma and Titus. She has a love for animals and has two dogs, three cats, three chickens, and two horses. Outside of school Carrie likes to spend time with her family at the beach and sporting events. Mrs. Mong also likes to cook and take pictures of her family and friends in her spare time.

+ Sarah Durden (Children’s House A Teacher)

Sarah Durden has been teaching for 9 years, but is new to the Montessori method. She holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education with a Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching certification for birth to 3rd grade. She also holds a Masters in Special Education and is currently studying with the Barrie Center of Advanced Montessori Studies. Sarah is a mom of 7 kids and enjoys coaching soccer with her husband Bobby. She is an art instructor and enjoys sharing a passion for art and creativity. Her hobbies are photography, drawing, reading, writing and being outside.

+ Cathy Davidson (Children’s House B Co-Teacher)

Cathy Davidson joined the Montessori family of Chambersburg in 2002. Before she came to the Academy, she worked in childcare for seventeen years in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. She attended school in West Virginia. Currently she resides in the town of Shippensburg with her husband, Tim, and two sons, Russ and Ethan. She has a house rabbit and a very large puppy. Her family is very active in area sports.

+ Kim Kulla (Children’s House C Teacher)

Kim Kulla has many years experience teaching at the Children’s House level. She completed her Montessori Training at Montgomery Montessori Institute in Rockville, MD. Ms. Kulla hopes that her classroom is a prepared environment that will allow each child to enhance their natural love of learning. Ms. Kulla lives in Waynesboro with her husband, two of her four children, and five dogs. She has two granddaughters and two grandsons.

+ Alison Gilbert (Lower Elementary Teacher)

Alison Gilbert is a graduate of Kutztown University with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. She taught at Magic Years Kindergarten and Pre-School before moving to South Carolina to teach in the Columbia School District. She joined Montessori Academy of Chambersburg in May 2006. Mrs. Gilbert went to Barrie Institute for advanced Montessori studies for lower elementary training. She lives with her husband and daughter, Penelope, who is a student at the Academy.

+ Kendall Hamilton (Lower Assistant Elementary Teacher)

Kendall Hamilton is a graduate of Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, with her Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She is currently pursuing her pre-kindergarten – fourth grade teaching certification through Wilson College, and is very excited to be working in the classroom with students at Montessori Academy. Kendall previously worked as an Assistant pre-kindergarten teacher in New York and is passionate about helping students learn and grow as individuals. Ms. Hamilton is originally from Tennessee and is new to the Chambersburg area. Outside of school she enjoys being outdoors, quilting, and visiting friends and family.

+ Stephanie Whitlock (Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher)

Stephanie Whitlock graduated from High Point High School in Beltsville, MD. She provided daycare in her home for 10 years. She helped design a cooperative pre-school with her church and participated in it for 6 years. She has spent many hours as a volunteer in her children’s classrooms. She resides in Fayetteville with her sons, Sean and Nicholas, and her daughter, Sofia. Ms. Whitlock joined Montessori Academy of Chambersburg in August 2006.

+ Kristin Byers (Middle School Assistant Teacher)

Kristin Byers is currently an Assistant Teacher in the Middle School class. Mrs. Byers is a Shippensburg University graduate with her Bachelors of Arts in Geography. She has a passion for cultivating natural learning through exploration. While homeschooling her sons during their Elementary years, she implemented many Montessori type strategies, which started her love of Montessori. Kristin lives on a rural homestead outside of Newburg, PA with her husband Sam and four sons. Outside of school Mrs. Byers is the violinist for Blythe Spirits Harp Trio, a string trio that performs for special events in central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.

+ Mrs. Heather Cermak (Music Teacher)

Experience why our children are HAPPY to learn!