Our Staff

  • Erin Walsh, Head of School

    Erin completed her undergraduate studies in Elementary Education at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and holds a Master's in Education from the University of Dayton.  She has served as a licensed school administrator in private schools for the past fourteen years. Erin began her career teaching in a multiage classroom, and was recruited out of the classroom to serve as a Principal and Preschool Director at the age of 27.  Six years later, she transferred to a larger school to continue her role in school administration and launch a new Preschool.  Throughout her years serving in school administration, Erin has had the privilege of overseeing grant writing and procurement, marketing, finance, curriculum and instruction, program development, strategic planning, accreditation, crisis management, and virtual education.  With family roots in Newfoundland, Canada, Erin was born and raised on the coast of New Jersey, and now resides in Ohio.  In her free time she enjoys cooking, fishing, camping, and doing anything outside with her two teenage sons. She has also been an avid photographer for 13 years and spends some of her free time as a freelance family photographer in central Ohio. She believes that educational opportunities should foster independence, creative problem solving, and perseverance, and that we are all lifelong learners!

  • Megan Heckel-Greco, Assistant Head of School

    Megan Heckel-Greco received her Bachelor’s degree in English (Creative Writing) and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and her Master’s in Education in Counseling from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Megan began her professional career as a recruiter for a charter school network in Chicago, Illinois, and later moved into higher education, where she has focused on community engagement and misconduct prevention for the past eight years. In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time on the Chicago lakefront and the Chicagoland hiking trails with her husband and their two German Shepherds.

  • Cheryl Leaphart, Program Manager - Discovery Community

    Cheryl holds a BA in Business Management from North Carolina State University and an MBA in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University.  She spent several years in sales and marketing with Fortune 500 companies in the food manufacturing industry including Nabisco, General Mills and CPC International.  After taking some time off to start a family, Cheryl enrolled her oldest child in a Montessori school and was immediately amazed by the scope of knowledge, inquisitiveness, and love of learning her daughter enjoyed.  This experience inspired Cheryl to obtain an American Montessori Society (AMS) teaching diploma from the Buffalo Montessori Teacher Education Program in 2007.  It was her delight and privilege to enjoy eight years serving as a Primary guide before moving into school administration, ultimately becoming a Head of School. Cheryl is originally from Teaneck, New Jersey, however, spent half of her childhood in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Since then she lived in several cities up and down the east coast before settling in the Metro Atlanta Area with her family.  Cheryl enjoys spending time with her three children, exploring new areas of town, traveling, and trying new recipes.  

  • Daneen Goncalves, Community Manager - Discovery Community

    Daneen is a mom to two energetic Montessori boys, wife to a Brazilian native, and a dedicated Montessori educator. Her personal and professional journey reveals a deep commitment to improving the lives of others and helping communities thrive.  After working in nonprofit management for three years, Daneen discovered Montessori education and felt it's scientific and societal foundation was the key to improving the individual human experience and creating positive communities worldwide. Daneen obtained her Montessori elementary teaching diploma from AMI and a Master's in Education from Loyola University in Maryland. She taught lower and upper elementary at both public and private schools for eight years.  She moved on from the classroom two years ago, and since then worked as a Montessori Growth Strategist and Consultant providing business development, consulting, and thought leadership for Montessori schools worldwide. 

  • Elizabeth Kroll, Community Manager - Discovery Community

    Elizabeth Kroll received her bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied everything from education and child psychology to book making. She is currently working towards her Master's in Education with a focus on mental health from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Elizabeth has worked in multiple education settings, but was raised with Montessori, so she is extremely excited to put her first had experience to good use. In her free time Elizabeth enjoys drawing, wandering the New York City streets in search for good coffee, and spending time snuggling with her cat, Oliver.

  • Pamela Baumbarger, Program Manager - Independence Community

    Pamela holds a Master's degree in Montessori Education from Loyola University, and an AMI Assistants to Infancy certification from Association Montessori Internationale. She opened the first AMI toddler community in Atlanta, Georgia and has been working with young children and the adults who guide them in Montessori schools for the past twenty years. Pamela organized the Atlanta A to I Group, a support network and mentoring organization for teachers in the Atlanta Metropolitian area.  She received coaches training through the Montessori Public Policy Initiative and has been a volunteer for Montessori Partnerships for Georgia, an organization that works to bring Montessori to low income families around Georgia. In her free time, Pamela loves reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family.

  • Kaelin Scott, Community Manager - Independence Community

    Kaelin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama with certificates in teaching nursery-aged students through Kindergarten, as well as children in Kindergarten through sixth grade. Kaelin also holds a Master’s degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill College, with a concentration in trauma studies. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of clinical and educational settings. Prior to joining Guidepost Montessori Virtual School, Kaelin spent two years as a Director of a Montessori school. Additionally, she has over twelve years of management experience. In her spare time, Kaelin loves being a mommy for her infant son! She also enjoys reading, painting, yoga, and spending time with her little “zoo”; a sun conure named Sherbert, and a Peekapoo named Sammi.

  • Linda Russ, Program Manager - Exploration Community

    Linda earned her Bachelor's degree in Human Development from California State University - East Bay.  She holds an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from the North American Montessori Center.  Linda's career has centered around supporting children and families through working in public and private school settings, as well as owning and operating her own childcare business.  She was introduced to the Montessori Method when she joined a local Montessori School working in administration.  She immediately saw the evidence of the magic of the Montessori program, eventually serving as the school's Director for more than five years.   In her free time, Linda enjoys reading, watching "fixer upper" programs, and spending time with her family including her five granddaughters!

  • Lynda Lothe, Community Manager - Exploration Community

    Lynda has broad administrative and leadership experience in public Montessori schools, public traditional schools; as well as the corporate sector. Prior to joining Guidepost Montessori Virtual School as a Community Manager, Lynda served as the Director of the Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff - Cedar Campus Middle School. Her passion for life-long learning and developing our new students of this society into 21st Century independent, generous, contributing members of the world, is what definitively aligned her beliefs with Guidepost Montessori’s core values. Lynda enjoys spending time with her active husband and two sons laughing, running, hiking, and going on sunny Arizona adventures.

  • Emily Tucker, Community Manager - Innovation Community

    Emily earned her Bachelors degree in Communication Studies from Dominican University. She learned the deep beauty of the Montessori Method while nannying two children who attended a Montessori School. After starting her own family, Emily had the opportunity to work as the Admissions Director at a Montessori school in the suburbs of Chicago.  She currently resides outside Austin, Texas with her husband and two elementary aged children.  She loves spending time with her family, going to the theatre, and participating in triathlons.

  • Malai Pressley, Program Manager - Illumination Community

    Malai earned a Master's degree in Elementary Education and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Cambridge College. She also holds a Montessori Elementary certification from The Institute for Guided Studies, a member of the Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI) and is accredited with the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). Malai started her teaching career 13 years ago in a traditional school in Columbia, South Carolina but developed an interest in teaching the Montessori method and philosophy 10 years ago when she volunteered to become Montessori trained and serve as the lead guide in a Montessori Elementary classroom. She developed a deep passion for the Montessori method after witnessing her students' transformation through peace education, individuality in their learning, and freedom to move. Since then, Malai has served in leadership and coaching roles, including Director of Education and District-level Elementary Instructional Coach. She is also a trained Montessori Coach through the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector. Malai currently resides in South Carolina with her two evolving teenagers. In her free time, she loves teaching and practicing yoga, traveling to the mountains or coast, and checking out local vegan restaurants.

  • Erin Whisenant, Community Manager - Illumination Community

    Erin Whisenant was raised in Fairfax County, Virginia. She found a passion for working with children early on and has spent time exploring a variety of educational methods. She took an interest in child development and behavioral studies during her time at the University of Mary Washington. This led Ms. Erin to graduate and earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology.  Prior to joining Guidepost, Erin had many years of experience working in Early Childhood Education as both a teacher and in various managerial positions. It was during this time that she was introduced to the Montessori philosophy. She has enjoyed observing, learning, and becoming familiar with Montessori education over the last few years and remains inspired by it each day.  Outside of school, Erin can be found enjoying time with her three dogs, family, and friends!

  • Kassarah Gudmunson, Early Years Lead Guide

    Kassarah has had a passion for the Montessori Method since she was a teenager. She began her Montessori teaching journey while she was a nanny in high school, where she organized stations for one child in the comfort of their home. Fascinated by how the child reacted to the prepared environment, Kassarah researched Maria Montessori in her free time to deepen her understanding of human behavior. She attended a non-traditional, Socratic-style high school, built off the principles of Montessori, which furthered her passion for independent exploration and education by experiencing the method from a student's perspective. At Colorado Christian University, she pursued behavioral neuroscience, where she studied the human brain and how it retains information. In 2018, she moved to back to her hometown of Leander, Texas to raise her family. After a year as a stay at home mom, Kassarah directed her passion for education and early childhood development to her career at Guidepost Montessori. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and experimenting with taste in the dishes she prepares for her family.

  • Jen Rothmeyer, Early Years Lead Guide

    Ms. Jen earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology with Honors and master's degree in Montessori Teacher Education. She holds a Montessori Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society. Ms. Rothmeyer has over six years' experience teaching in early childhood with experience both in family child care and a child care center. In her free time, Ms. Rothmeyer enjoys reading books, gardening, and spending time with her husband and four children.

  • Jessica Judd, Early Years Lead Guide

    Ms. Jessica holds a Montessori Primary Certification from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) training center in Costa Rica. She is in love with exploring the world and her journey around the earth began in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her voyage continued when she moved to Minnesota where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies. Life brought Ms. Jessica back to Albuquerque where she taught Italian to high school students and this is where she fell madly in love with teaching! The earth kept spinning and Jessica found her feet planted in Madrid, Spain where she completed her Master’s in Bilingual and Multicultural Education. She had the most amazing experience teaching young children English and this brought her into the wonderful world of Montessori. Ms. Jessica was enthused to complete her Children’s House training in Costa Rica. After receiving her training she jumped right into working at a Montessori school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her favorite thing about Montessori is helping children explore and learn about the amazing world in which they live. She is very excited to use all of her experiences to help connect with children around the world in the new and exciting world of virtual learning! Ms. Jessica loves to mountain bike, hike, surf, snowboard, practice yoga, garden, travel, and spend time with her friends and family.

  • Lucy Chen, Early Years and Mandarin Lead Guide

    Ms. Lucy Chen earned her master's degree in developmental psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University. She also holds a Montessori Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society (AMS). Thanks to years of studying the cognitive and neurological benefits associated with bilingualism, Ms. Chen has become a strong advocate of early childhood second-language exposure. She has many years of experience teaching at various schools and is simply fascinated by the Montessori Method. Ms. Chen is thrilled to continue her passion for guiding children in developing into the fullest expression of themselves in the beautiful Montessori environments that Guidepost provides. It is with great pleasure and excitement that she has joined the Guidepost community!

  • Carissa OBrien, Early Years Lead Guide

    Carissa was a student in her mother's Primary classroom as a child and has been in classrooms as a student or teacher ever since. She earned a BA in Cultural Anthropology from UCSC, an AMI Diploma from Montessori Northwest and a Master's Degree in Education from Loyola College in 2004. She has taught at schools in Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. Carissa is dedicated to serving children throughout the country through her work as a Virtual Guide. In her free time she enjoys trying new recipes, tending her garden and exploring the NW wilderness with her husband, two children and their adventurous pug.

  • Inbal Levin, Elementary Lead Guide

    Inbal has spent the majority of her career in Jewish education. Her first year into teaching in a mainstream preschool, she knew there was a method out there that was in line with her education values. The very next year, Inbal began her career in Montessori education and has never looked back! While she has taught various ages and grades, elementary has always been her passion and  the age she has the most Montessori experience with. Inbal received her lower and upper elementary Montessori certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in 2017, and was the lead guide for her lower elementary Montessori classroom for three years. At the same time, Inbal loves empowering and guiding teachers as well. She is developing a teacher coaching program to empower fellow Montessori guides to facilitate quality learning to their students. When she isn't creating lessons or consulting teachers, Inbal loves to style and model clothing.

  • Ellen Feather, Elementary Lead Guide

    Ellen Feather earned her Masters of Education from Loyola University, and her AMI Montessori Certification from the Montessori Institute of Atlanta. Ms. Feather was a Montessori child. The philosophies of appreciation, exploration, independence and interdependence drew her into becoming a Montessori Guide at the age of 27. Almost 10 years later she is still inspired by Montessori's vision of the child as a hope for humankind and wishes to serve the world by inspiring children to become their best selves. In her free time Ms. Feathers lives an eclectic life with her husband on a sailboat. She hopes to travel the world while teaching. She enjoys playing the violin, guitar, singing, gardening, dancing, being in nature, and connecting to local communities.

  • Alex Lin-Meyer, Elementary Lead Guide

    Alex Lin-Meyer began his career as an aerospace engineer, but felt a powerful calling to become a teacher.  After earning his master’s in teaching at Seattle University, he spent seven years working in K-8 public schools throughout the Puget Sound region. When his family moved to Portland, he decided to pursue guide certification through Montessori Northwest’s AMI elementary training program. Alex has always been a champion for individualized learning and social consciousness—both of which are foundational elements of the Montessori philosophy.  As a Montessori guide, he seeks to create an inclusive classroom environment that welcomes all learners, nurtures curiosity, and inspires children to care for themselves, for others, and the community. He enjoys sharing his love for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) with his students, and loves guiding them on their learning journey.

  • Stacie Seipel, Elementary Lead Guide

    Ms. Stacie holds a Montessori Elementary Credential from Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Chicago, IL and a Montessori Early Childhood Credential from Princeton Center for Teacher Education in Princeton, NJ. Ms. Stacie has been a Montessori teacher for over 15 years. Her love of the Montessori philosophy began when reading about it prior to the birth of her first daughter. Now, all three of Ms. Stacie’s children have attended Montessori school and the foundation and life skills that has offered them is priceless. In her free time, Ms. Stacie enjoys taking bike rides with her husband, three children, and adopted furry pup. She also enjoys fixing up her home, attending musicals and plays, practicing mindfulness and yoga activities, and frequent dance parties at home with her children!

  • Kevin Pope, Elementary Lead Guide

    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.

  • Caitlin Brash, Elementary Lead Guide

    Caitlin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Conservation from Virginia Tech in 2010. She also holds a Montessori Elementary certification from The International Montessori Council. Caitlin started her teaching career in 2013 in Fayetteville, West Virginia, and fell in love with the Montessori Method. In her free time, she loves paddle-boarding, taking her dogs on adventures, knitting, and gardening. Caitlin has a passion for nature and peace-education, all of which she aims to incorporate into the classroom.

  • Carrie Puello, Elementary Lead Guide

    This is Ms. Carrie!  She is a certified American Montessori Society lower elementary teacher, as well as a traditionally trained elementary teacher. She received her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her AMS certification from Seton Montessori Institute, located in Clarendon Hills, IL.  She is a passionate teacher, and truly appreciates the organic nature of the Montessori Method. Ms. Carrie has taught as a classroom teacher for 9 years, and specifically in a Montessori environment for 7 years. She is originally from Chicago, but currently lives in the Richmond, Virginia area, and she loves it! She has two kids, ages 11 and 8, who are both Montessori born and raised.

  • Iris Feischl, Elementary Lead Guide

    Ms. Feischl earned a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. She holds both Primary and Elementary certifications from the Association Montessori Internationale. Ms. Feischl started her teaching career 10 years ago as a Primary Montessori Guide in Atlanta, GA, but decided to pursue an Elementary certification 3 years ago. In her free time, Ms. Feischl loves reading, baking and spending time with her family.

  • Rachel Webb, Elementary Lead Guide

    Ms. Webb earned a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Eckerd College and a Master’s in Education from Loyola College.  She also holds a Montessori Elementary certificate from Association Montessori Internationale.  Ms. Webb started her teaching career seventeen years ago teaching science in a traditional school in St. Petersburg, Florida but moved home to Missouri to be closer to family.  She was hired as an Elementary Guide in a Montessori school, where she established and guided an Upper Elementary classroom for fourteen years.  In her free time, Ms. Webb loves swimming, hiking, and spending time with her husband, son, and three rescue dogs.

  • Meera Chhaya, Elementary Lead Guide

    Bio coming soon!

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