Guidepost Montessori Prosperity is a welcoming, diverse community in a thriving corner of Charlotte, North Carolina. Our campus is located on expansive grounds, with plenty of room for children to spread out and explore. Our families from all around the globe are representative of the vibrant neighborhood surrounding our school. They are united by their belief and investment in the incredible benefits of a Montessori education, along with their passion for sharing ideas and connecting with like-minded parents.
Our beautiful campus and welcoming community is the perfect place for your child to explore her own potential.
Guidepost Montessori classrooms are light, airy, calming, aesthetically beautiful spaces. Each material is carefully chosen and carefully displayed — to inspire and entice your child to explore.
Children's House Classrooms
Nathalie Hunt, Head of School
Ms. Nathalie earned a doctorate and master's in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor's degree in Human Development with a minor in Childhood Education from Cornell University. She also holds a Montessori Lower Elementary certification from North American Montessori Center. Ms. Nathalie started her teaching career sixteen years ago in a charter Montessori school in Victorville, California. Most recently she served as the Director of a charter Montessori school in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. In her free time, Ms. Nathalie loves traveling, cooking, singing and spending time with her child and husband.
Kayla Alexander, Assistant Head of School
Ms. Kayla earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Old Dominion University. She also is currently obtaining her master's in Management and Leadership from WGU-North Carolina. Ms. Kayla comes from a background in Finance & Healthcare Management, but fell in love with the Montessori Method during her undergrad courses. When she and her family moved to Charlotte, NC in 2017 and found Guidepost Montessori for their daughter, it solidified her love for the philosophy! In her free time, Ms. Kayla loves exploring Charlotte and spending time with her family.
Heather Beal, Administrative Director
Ms. Heather holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She discovered her passion for education while teaching English in Asia. During this time, Ms. Heather taught all ages from preschool children to adults, and brought that love of teaching back to the United States with her. Upon her return, Ms. Heather embarked on her journey in education and obtained the necessary credentials to continue her career. Ms. Heather has over 15 years of experience in the field of early childhood education, the last three of which she has spent in an administrative capacity. Ms. Heather has fallen in love with the Montessori method and is excited to continue her journey with Guidepost Montessori at Prosperity. In her spare time, Ms. Heather loves to read books and ride horses.
Debra Blanton, Assistant Guide Nido
Ms. Blanton has worked in Montessori for 7 years. She was in traditional teaching for 17 years before discovering the Montessori method of learning. She has a daughter that is a Lead Guide in a Toddler classroom. She is native to Charlotte. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and her two dogs, Josie and Buck.
Lori Anderson, Assistant Guide ELEM
Ms. Anderson earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She also holds a Montessori Primary certification from the Houston Montessori Center. Ms. Anderson has worked in Montessori classrooms for 30 years with children ages 2-10. Her passion is guiding children toward reading fluency. In her free time she enjoys interior design, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family.
Debbie Summers, Lead Children's House Guide
Ms. Summers earned her bachelor's degree in Middle Grade Education from Western Carolina University in 1977. She earned her AMS Preprimary Credential from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education/ NC in 1993. She taught 5th grade for three years on the Cherokee Reservation working as a Title 1 teacher for reading and math. After being introduced to the Montessori method, she worked as an assistant guide for four years at Countryside Montessori. In 1992, she became a lead guide at Countryside. In 1993, she started a program at Countryside called "Children's House on the Hill" working as a lead guide with children 3 to 6 years of age. In 2011, she moved to the Prosperity Campus at Countryside and was a lead guide for 5 more years until Countryside Montessori School closed. She has been a lead guide for Guidepost Montessori since 2016. Ms. Summers loves watching children reach their full potential in a Montessori environment! She has two children and two grandsons. When she is not in school, she loves being "Grammy" and spending time with her two grandsons, Hugo and Emmet, who both attend Guidepost Montessori.
Kevin Pope, Elementary Program Support
Mr. Pope earned a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While completing his degree, he found the Montessori Method of educating children and pursued his formal Montessori training. He holds the Montessori Elementary I and II certification from the American Montessori Society. Mr. Pope started his Montessori career 29 years ago. He has held positions in Teaching, Administration, and Teacher Education. His passion and joy for working with children has guided him back to the classroom. He enjoys observing the potential, growth and possibilities in each individual. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and spending time at the beach with family and friends.
Alexandra Whelan, Children's House Lead Guide
Alexandra's Montessori career began when she was two years and three months old. A Montessori child until the age of 12, her love of learning accompanied her through to higher education. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts and eventual Master of Science in the liberal arts at Vanderbilt University. At the end of her academic career, she lived in New York and Italy, balancing life and work for more extensive travel. In 2009, she returned to Montessori and earned her AMS Early Childhood Credential. After taking a few years off to stay home with her young children, Alexandra returned to the classroom in 2017. Every day, she continues to be inspired by the Montessori approach to help children find peace, purpose, and start their journeys as life-long learners.
Melissa Essman, Lead Guide Nido
Melissa Essman earned a bachelor's degree in Bi-Vocational Missions with a focus in Counseling young children from Lincoln Christian College. She received her Early Childhood certificate from Gaston College and her Early Childhood Administration certificate from Mitchell Community College. She has been teaching and in Early Childhood Administration for 9 years. She learned about Montessori through a friend, started her son in a Montessori environment and has not turned back to other styles of Early Childhood education. In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time outside with her son and family, hiking, watching sports and traveling to new places.
Colleen Steele, Lead Guide Nido
Mrs. Steele has worked in child care for the last 5 ½ years. The 2 ½ years were spent in Early Childhood Education at a school in Hillsborough, NC. Mrs. Steele taught as the Lead Toddler teacher in a traditional preschool setting. Time and time again, she felt her teaching philosophy and core values run up against the rigid standards of conventional methods. When she and her husband relocated back to Charlotte, she looked into schools with alternative teaching methods. Upon finding Guidepost Montessori School and delving deeper into the Montessori Method, she feels that she has found a community that strives for the same goals and ideals. She is deeply honored and excited to be a part of this community.
Heather Myers, Assistant Guide ELEM
Ms. Myers earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, with a multidisciplinary concentration, at Appalachian University. She has a passion for children and has been working with them for many years. Ms. Myers started homeschooling in 2015 and has worked in an elementary school since 2016. Ms. Myers has recently moved to Concord to continue pursuing her passion for teaching children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Sarah Halperin, Assistant Guide ELEM
Ms. Sarah earned a bachelor's degree in both Sociology and Criminal Justice from Wingate University. She worked ten years at Countryside Montessori School as an after school and summer camp counselor. She also attended Countryside Montessori school for nine years. Ms. Sarah works at a Lego store on the weekends and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her niece Addison.
Heather Thompson, Lead Children's House Guide
Heather earned a Bachelor of Theology degree in Zimbabwe from The Bulawayo Bible College. She holds an Association Montessori Internationale Diploma for the Primary level from the Atlanta Montessori Institute. Heather has worked with children in such varied capacities as; child nurse for abused and abandoned children, housemother for physically challenged children and she was nanny to three children in South Africa for 10 years. She worked as a Primary guide in Decatur Georgia for 17 years before making the move to North Carolina. Heather enjoys reading, travel, arts/crafts/antiquing and shares a house with her Yorkiepoo - Chewbacca.
Angelica Weber, Assistant Guide Nido
Mrs. Weber graduated from Universidad I. Garcilaso de la Vega in Perú 1995 with a degree in Social Work. She got experience in N.J. working with children and later after moving to N.C. was employed by CMS five years as a Teacher Assistant. Mrs. Weber is presently employed as an Assistant Guide in Spanish Immersion Program Nido and it is an honor to be part of the Montessori family working with children of all ages. Mrs. Weber has experience working with Special Needs children at a Huntersville Church. Mrs. Weber enjoys traveling, reading, watching funny movies with her husband and spending time talking with her family and friends.
Children are compelling in every way. They are fascinating, intriguing, charming, heartwarming creatures with infinite variation in personalities, tendencies, and interests.
The unique joy and sacred responsibility of a child's caretakers is to learn about her — to discover and fall in love with her as she grows, to let careful observation and observant care guide her development, and to get to know her well enough to help her shape herself. A child's teachers and parents are collaborators in this process that is at once scientific discovery and heartfelt nurturing.
To that end, our school is designed to further connect you with your child, to bring you into a community of valuable resources and education-minded people, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and support your child as she grows.
Insights into Your Child
The Montessori approach emphasizes careful, theory-informed, individualized observation of each child's development. We don't want to keep what we see to ourselves! The impact of these observations is greatest when shared with a child's parents.
At Guidepost, parents receive regular, detailed updates about their children. Classroom guides are available outside of class hours by phone, email, or for scheduled in-person meetings. Your child’s guide will also meet with you for regularly-scheduled conferences about your child's learning and growth.
We see these conversations, both periodic conferences and frequent exchanges, as critical for both giving and receiving information. They allow teachers to hear from the people most expert and most observant about a child: his parents.
Parents will also receive written progress reports two to three times per year, each a summary of a teacher's observations of the child over the course of the previous months. Meanwhile, day-to-day and week-to-week, parents receive regular updates from the teacher, in the form of photographs and written anecdotes about their child.
And finally, parents are able to directly access Transparent Classroom, the web-based system we use for careful record keeping and observations about your child. Transparent Classroom offers you an on-demand window into the lessons and classroom life of your child.
A great school offers the incredible resource of a trusted partner for parents in the education of their child. The simplest way to amplify that resource is to offer more of it: to offer it at flexible hours so that you can access a trusted, caring partner during days and times when you need us the most.
At Guidepost, we offer an extended school day program, where children thrive in the Montessori approach all day long. Early morning and late afternoon times offer children the downtime and free time they need in order to assimilate all that they have learned during the school day. Each child can find time to develop interests outside the classroom with expert guidance, and to explore an environment rich with opportunities.
To ensure that parents can rely upon a consistent social and recreational experience in a warm and expert school setting, our extended day schedule is offered inclusively with the cost of our programs: there is no extra charge for morning and afternoon extended day hours.
In addition, extracurricular programs are offered during the afternoon extended day, after class time is over. Parents and children can choose from a wide variety of optional activities designed to spark your child’s passion in some way.
Guidepost Montessori runs year-round. We know that we need to be available as a support for your family, so we minimize school closure days as much as we can. For enrolled families, a full calendar will be available on our Parent Portal.
Our typical school day runs from about 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the program. However, because we believe so strongly in supporting a partnership between home and school for families needing greater accessibility, our all-inclusive tuition price includes the option to utilize our extended day program. This means that your family can drop off as early as 7:00 AM and pick up as late as 6:00 PM.