Meet Our Guides

School Staff Standards:
All staff, visitors and volunteers are required to complete a full criminal background check
All staff are Adult & Pediatric CPR/First Aid trained
All staff are required to complete 12 hours per year of professional development training
Toddler Lead Guides are trained or in-training through MACTE, AMI or AMS accredited teacher education programs
Toddler Assistants or Co-teachers are trained through Center for Guided Montessori Studies: Montessori Beginnings Training

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR TEAM AT THE GARDEN? PLEASE SUBMIT RESUMES TO  Visit our Employment Page for details on current opportunities.

*visit MMCS website to learn more about our Primary Guides serving 3 & 4 year olds at our Southern Pines campus*


Toddler Community Faculty _______________________________________________________________________________________

Michaela PrevatteThe Garden March 17-70
This year will be Ms. Mikki’s 5th year teaching at The Garden. She completed her associates degree at Sandhills Community College in 2014 and earned her NC Early Childhood Credentials in 2016.  Mikki has 10 years of experience working with children of all ages in after-school care settings, tutoring and child care.

Raley Carpenter
Raley is a Registered Behavior Technician and has experience working with children with special needs both in a classroom setting and one-on-one. She has over 5 years of experience working with children in various settings including as a nanny, tutor, camp counselor and in special needs and children’s ministry. Raley completed the Montessori Foundations training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and is finishing up her Early Childhood Associates Degree.

Ashley Thomas
Ashley has worked with young children for over 10 years in various roles; as a preschool classroom teacher, behavior technician, camp counselor and as a dance instructor. She studied psychology at Boston University and is currently finishing up her bachelor’s degree with BYU while also completing her MACTE accredited 0-3 Montessori teacher training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

Chinarose Stayskal
China studied Early Childhood Education at Cabrillo College in California and went on to lead preschoolers and elementary aged-children in Parks and Recreation programs. China has also worked as a dance instructor and as a chef and is a seasoned gardener. She will work as our garden curriculum coordinator in addition to assisting in the toddler community. China completed the Montessori Beginnings training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in 2018.

Kelly LaRose
Kelly LaRose holds a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Kent State University and has many years of experience working in early education with infants through Kindergarteners as well as in elementary classrooms through the 4th grade. She has lots of experience with curriculum design and planning, has sent her children to Montessori school and learned a great deal from implementing the philosophy as a stay at home parent for several years. She will complete her Montessori Beginnings training through the Center For Guided Montessori Studies in 2019.


Wild Hearts Nature School Faculty

Karen Entin
Karen is the program coordinator and lead guide for Wild Hearts. She earned her BA in Psychology from George Mason University in 2012 and has worked as a special education instructor and a preschool associate teacher for a Reggio school before joining our team at The Garden for summer camps in 2018. Karen has studied child and adolescent psychology and neuroscience, which, along with her experience in a preschool Reggio classroom, has fostered a deep understanding of child development, giving her the tools needed to guide children while following their lead. Karen is passionate about incorporating nature connection into early childhood experiences; in addition to the months of study & research she has put into learning about the Forest Kindergarten philosophy, she completed the Forest School Leader training in 2018 and will attend the ERAFRANS Nature-Based Teacher Certification program this summer.

Aimee Daniels
Aimee is a certified Master Naturalist who grew up on an organic farm and was a 4-H State Ambassador in Illinois during her time there as a home school student. She also worked as a junior librarian in the children’s department for 5 years, worked with children in nature conservancy as an AmeriCorps member, was an intern at an organic farm and has many years of experience working with plants and gardens in various capacities. Aimee is currently completing her Masters in Environmental Conservation and is eager to share her passion for nature and sustainability with the children of Wild Hearts!

FullSizeRender (1)

Kelly Fagan
Kelly has over 10 years experience in Special Education and many years incorporating yoga into her teaching. Kelly is also the owner of Dream Catcher: Yoga & Mindful Learning. This is her second year at The Garden providing an enriching and mindful yoga experience to our students.


Ana Mujunen
Ana is currently completing her Masters in Applied Linguistics for ESL and holds a Masters in Trainings & Research of Faculty in Higher Education and  BA in ESL Education. She has worked as a Spanish tutor, an assistant professor a K-12 Spanish Teacher and is a licensed ESL teacher with Cumberland County Schools, having worked at a language summer camp through the school system along with working as a substitute teacher. Her accomplishments in foreign language education are extensive and she has a passion for working with very young children. Ana provides language lessons through playful, fun activities, stories and songs while also using immersive techniques as she spends time in the classrooms with the students at The Garden. _______________________________________________________________________________________

Music & Movement

Karen Snyder

Ms. Kakaren picren teaches Kindermusik as an after school option. She earned her Masters in Education from UNCG and has been teaching Kindermusik classes for parents and children across the Sandhills for the past 7 years. She creates a fun and energetic environment that is enjoyable for the kids and their caregivers.


Substitutes & Support Staff

Amanda Fox
Amanda studied Kinesiology at Arizona State University, graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree in 2010. Amanda is a certified professional horse trainer and she’s worked with very young children and elementary aged children providing horseback riding lessons and running summer camps. Amanda has also worked as a nanny and volunteered for Girls on the Run. Amanda completed her Montessori Beginnings Training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in 2018 and was a guide in the Toddler Community for the 2017-18 school year.

Megan Wyonicz
Megan is finishing up her Masters in Human Services Counseling and holds a BA in Sociology. She has worked as a Program Assistant for a Child Development Center where she taught children ages 0-5 years, as a tutor and student assistant and has volunteered her time to open a youth shelter for her Youth Advocates group. She is excited to gain some experience with Montessori working as a substitute teacher and floater.

Kate Marston
Kate earned her BA in English Literature in 2014 and has since worked as an ESL teacher in China, teaching children ages 3-14 years old. She also volunteered in a Montessori classroom as a high school student and was heavily influenced by the teacher she worked with there. Kate will be joining our team as a substitute teacher beginning in February 2019.

Lara Somers
Lara holds a Masters in Art and Visual Culture Education from the University of Arizona and a BFA from Northern Arizona University. She has almost 10 years of education experience as an Education Coordinator for an Art Center, a Visual Art Instructor, a Teacher’s Assistant at a Reggio Emilia School and as a student teacher while earning her degree. Lara is also the parent of one of our students and will be helping out as a substitute teacher as needed for the rest of the 2018-19 school year.



Ellen Graham
CEO, Founder
Admissions & Financial Administration


Kathryn Hall
Director of Operations



Krista Richardson
Krista is a member of Congregational Church of Pinehurst and has a passion for working with young children. She is eager to give her time to the children at The Garden and to learn more about Montessori and early education as a volunteer throughout the different classrooms.

Please note all volunteers are required to have a criminal background check and are not considered part of staff ratios and are also required to be supervised by a staff during all interactions with students.