Kristen Martin - Head of School
Kristen received her Montessori elementary training at Seacoast Center in NH and her Primary training through the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center in MA and the North American Montessori Center in WA. Kristen joined the Montessori School of Central Vermont in the Fall of 2005. She began working with the Montessori School of Central Vermont, Inc. as a Primary Guide and Site Director at MMS. In 2010 the Montessori School of Central Vermont launched its Elementary program and Kristen took the position as Elementary Guide, as well as continuing to serve as Site Director at MMS. In 2012 Kristen accepted the position for Head of School, a position she continues to serve.
Lana Bodach-Turner - Administrator
Lana received her Bachelors of Arts degree from Ithaca College, with the goal of working in the early education field. She completed the Assistance to Infancy program at the Montessori Institute Northwest in Oregon and a Master's Degree in Early Education with a concentration in Montessori (0-3) from Loyola University in Maryland in 2012. Lana has been with the Montessori School of Central Vermont since 2003, first serving in the Children's House classroom. She then took on administrative support responsibilities, and in 2007 moved to a full time administrative position working alongside the Head of School. Lana helped start the Toddler Program at the Montessori School of Central Vermont in the Fall of 2015 and taught in as lead guide in the toddler community for 6 years before returning to her role in the office. She currently serves as the Administrator.
Lana lives in East Montpelier with her husband and two children. Both her daughter and son attended the Montessori School of Central Vermont through age 12 years. When not at school Lana enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and being outdoors.
Ashley Squier - Elementary Guide/Literacy specialist
A native Vermonter who holds a BA from Stanford University and a Masters from Harvard, Ashley began her Montessori journey in 1999, when she enrolled the first of her three children in the primary program at Rogers Park Montessori School in Chicago. Serving as a parent volunteer, Ashley found herself called to teaching, and received certification in both early and upper elementary from the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center. Since 2006, she has taught children in all stages of the second plane of development. When Ashley moved home in 2017, she was overjoyed to join the team at MSCVT. Now certified as an Orton-Gillingham Associate, Ashley is our Literacy Specialist, working with kindergartners through 6th graders, and with their teachers, to help all MSCVT students to become skilled readers and writers. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys the rumble of the high banks of Thunder Road and the peace of roaming our green mountains with her family members, including the furry ones!
Kayla Newman - Elementary Guide
Kayla found her home at MSCVT in 2020. She is originally from Austin, Texas where she received her Bachelors in Theatre at The University of Texas at Austin. While she has an eclectic arts background and an extensive travel resume, Kayla began working within Montessori education in 2016 and has been captivated since. When relocating to Vermont, she also spent a year as a substitute teacher in the local public elementary schools, which has greatly informed her commitment to elementary education and to an alternate education pedagogy. In the Spring of 2022, she began working on her MA in Education from Goddard College, however, that work was put on hold once she began her Montessori training with the Authentic Institute of Montessori. Kayla is almost done with her training and is excitedly plotting out the next steps in her education as a teacher. Outside of school, Kayla enjoys exploring Vermont with her family. Recently, her favorite finds are the Path of Life Sculpture Garden in Windsor and The Burlington Earth Clock on Lake Champlain.
Minori Hirayama - Primary/Children’s House Guide
Minori was born in a small fishing village in rural Japan. She earned her teaching degree at Daito-Bunka University in Tokyo. While in Tokyo, Minori was introduced to jazz and modern dance, which became a lifelong passion for performing on stage. Following college Minori taught high school English for over a decade at various schools in Japan. She also spent a year in Australia teaching Japanese language and culture.
In 2001, Minori moved to Vermont. Since then she has taught in a variety of settings. Immediately prior to joining the Montessori School of Central Vermont, Minori was a pre-school paraeducator at Barre City Elementary. In the summer of 2016, Minori completed the New England Montessori Training Program in Boston. Minori lives in Barre with her husband and two teenage children.
Jean McDowell- Primary/Children's House Guide
Jean’s son Henri Basil was a primary and elementary student at MSCVT during the years their family split time living in both Florida and Vermont. As a fulltime aspiring Vermonter, Jean began subbing at MSCVT in 2022 and relished her mornings in the Maple classroom during the last half of the school year.
Jean received a Bachelor’s in Ecology and Political Science from Emory University and Master’s and Juris Doctorate degrees from Vermont Law School. She completed her academic training for her AMS Early Childhood credential with Northeast Montessori Institute.
While working at a rewarding career in environmental and water policy, Jean began teaching science and nature lessons in her daughters’ Montessori primary classroom in 2008. She realized greater success at contributing to a better world by working for children and devoted herself to Montessori education as the most promising way a child can reach their true potential. In 2010 Jean founded St. Augustine Public Montessori School, a Florida Charter School serving ages 3-12 to make Montessori more accessible to a diverse range of families.
Jean has years of teaching experience in Early Childhood and Elementary Montessori classrooms as with administration and governance. Jean is a natural observer, coming from her intense love of nature and is fascinated by 3-6-year-old children. She truly loves spending days with them, learning from each child’s own uniqueness and facilitating the joy of work in the classroom.
Marilla Hewitt - Primary/Children’s House Guide in Training
Marilla is a native Vermonter, and joined the Montessori School of Central Vermont in 2022, after working with children across school and home settings for over ten years. She is currently working toward completing her Montessori training with The Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Outside of school, Marilla enjoys reading, knitting, spending time with her dog, Porter, and sailing on Lake Champlain with her husband.
Shellie Pinard - Primary/Children’s House Guide in Training
Shellie joined the MSCVT in 2021 after working for 6 years in the preschool program at Northfield Elementary school. Shellie attended SNHU after high school in 2001 to study child psychology and following SNHU she attended Champlain college. Shellie will start her Guide training with AIM in September 2023. Shellie has truly enjoyed the transition from public school to Montessori and is really looking forward to starting and completing her Guide training.
Shellie and her husband both grew up in the Barre community and they reside in Barre with their three children. Addison attends prep school and will be going into her junior year. Dylan will be starting his senior year at Spaulding and Jaidyn is going into her sophomore year at Spaulding.
Outside of school Shellie enjoys her long walks with her dog Gray, being outside, reading, time at the lake and being with her family.
Cheryl Dillard - Toddler Guide
Cheryl has worked for The Montessori School of Central Vermont since 2015. She has her B.A. in Child and Family Development from The American Public University and her Infant/Toddler Certification from The Center of Montessori Teacher Education North Carolina. Cheryl has two sons; her eldest, Gabriel, started at MSCVT when he was in the primary program and her youngest, Levi, will start in the toddler program/Magnolia Room this year. The other beloved member of her family is their American Bulldog/Boxer named Zeus. Cheryl loves cooking and experimenting with recipes, both with her sons and her toddler class. When not at school or working in her yard, Cheryl loves to road trip with her boys; they especially love to visit new zoos and aquariums.
Karlie Mackenzie- Toddler Guide
Karlie’s passion for Montessori began while serving as a nanny for a family enrolled in a toddler program at Kingsley Montessori in Boston, MA. She quickly became intrigued in the principles and philosophy of the program. Karlie and her family moved back home to central Vermont from Boston in 2016 and she began her journey with the Montessori School of Central Vermont shortly after. After starting with assisting in an administrative role and supporting classrooms, she decided the toddler community was where she belonged.
Karlie received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in Worcester, MA and completed her Infant/Toddler training in 2023 at the Authentic Institute of Montessori in Bozeman, MT.
Karlie lives in Barre Town with her husband and two daughters. Both of her daughters started their Montessori education at MSCVT in the toddler community and are currently still enrolled in the Primary and Elementary programs. When not in the classroom, Karlie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, traveling, and reading.