Meet Our Guides

Visit our Employment Page for details on current opportunities.
The Garden Staff 2019-20

Aimee Daniels
Wild Hearts Program Coordinator and Lead Guide
Aimee completed the ERAFANS Nature-Based Teacher Certification program 2019 and is a certified Master Naturalist. She has experience as junior librarian in the children’s department for 5 years, has worked with children in nature conservancy as an AmeriCorps member, was an intern at an organic farm, a 4-H State Ambassador and has many years of experience working with children and in gardening and agriculture. Aimee is currently completing her Masters in Environmental Conservation and loves to share her passion for nature with her students.

Savannah Moss
Wild Hearts Assistant Guide
Savannah is completed her BS in Developmental Psychology and has 10+ years experience working with children in various capacities; as a nanny, preschool assistant teacher and as a head counselor for a 4-H summer camp. Savannah has also completed the Forest School Level One Certification program.

Ashley Thomas
Lead Toddler Guide, Butterfly Classroom, Montessori Parent & Child Assistant
Ashley has over 10 years of experience in early childhood education; as a preschool classroom teacher, behavior technician, camp counselor and as a dance instructor. She studied psychology at Boston University and is currently in her 2nd year of Montessori Infant/Toddler training with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and is on track to earn her MACTE Accredited certification in 2020.

Megan Woynicz
Floating Support Guide
Process Art Coordinator
Megan holds a Masters in Human Services Counseling and 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 completed the Montessori Beginnings training through CGMS in 2019.

Becca McSweeney
Lead Toddler Guide: Caterpillar Classroom, Montessori Parent & Child Coordinator
Becca earned her AMI A to I Diploma from The Montessori Institute of Denver and is currently working towards her Masters in Montessori Education with Loyola University. She has more than 6 years of experience working with infants and toddlers both as a nanny and in a Montessori Toddler Community.

Chinarose Stayskal
Assistant Toddler Guide: Caterpillar Classroom
Gardening & Nutrition Club Coordinator
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 also a seasoned gardener. China completed her Montessori Beginnings training for assistants through CGMS in 2018.

Laura Rubin
Assistant Toddler Guide: Butterfly Classroom
Laura earned her BA in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University and went on to complete her Masters in Social Work at Boston University. She has many years of experience working as a school counselor, social worker, garden coordinator and most recently as an Exceptional Children’s teacher for Moore County Schools while working towards her teaching license at St. Andrew’s University. She completed her Montessori Beginnings training for assistants through CGMS in 2019. Laura is also the parent of one of our “graduates” and was a very active and helpful volunteer during her time as a Garden parent.

Michaela Prevatte
Floating Support Guide
Mikki has been teaching at The Garden for 5 years. She completed her associates degree at Sandhills Community College in 2014 and earned her NC Early Childhood Credentials in 2016.  Mikki has over 10 years of experience working with children of all ages in after-school care settings, tutoring and child care.

Lilliana Cuevas-Valentin
Spanish Language
Floating Support Guide
Lilliana earned her BA in Psychology and has training in coaching, fitness and nutrition. She has worked as a tutor, personal trainer, elementary after school supervisor and as a cryptologic technician. She is bilingual and offers both staffing support and immersion-style Spanish lessons for our Toddler & Wild Hearts students.

School Qualification Standards:

*All staff, visitors and volunteers are required to complete a full criminal background check
*All guides and support staff are Adult & Pediatric CPR/First Aid trained.
*All guides and assistants are required to complete 12 hours per year of professional development training and complete 2 out-of-school classroom observations per year.
*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

*Nature School Lead Guides train through ERAFRANS Nature-Based Teacher Certification Program.
*Guides and assistants must also maintain a professional portfolio of reading, research and training throughout each school year.


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 third year at The Garden providing an enriching and mindful yoga experience to our students.

Music & Movement

Karen Snyder
Ms. Karen 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.

Please visit the MMCS website to learn more about our Primary Guides serving Pre-K 3 & 4 year olds at our Southern Pines campus.


Kathryn Hall
Director Of Operations
Linden Rd Campus

Ellen Graham
CEO & Founder
Admissions/Financial Administration Office


The Garden is currently seeking individuals who are interested in learning more about Montessori or Forest School. The Garden offers paid internships for individuals who are currently completing Montessori training for the 0-3 yr age group or Forest School Leadership training for 3-6 yrs. Training sponsorships are only offered to vetted staff who have worked with us for a minimum of 2 years.