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Our Village Staff Makes the World Go ‘Round

STAFF

PRIMARY LEAD TEACHER
Courtney White

Miss Courtney is a native of Arkansas. Her mother was a Montessori teacher and she grew up spending her entire life thus far in a Montessori environment. Practicing the life skills she gained through Montessori Methods, she was naturally guided back to the Montessori classroom. Throughout high school and college, she worked in Montessori classrooms to further her knowledge and gain understanding of Montessori. She possesses more than 20 years of experience with children, and has been lead teacher continuously from 1999 to today.

Spend just a few minutes in Courtney’s presence and one soon finds what makes her so special. Her calming nature and soft-spoken strength give her the tools necessary to command a classroom, a prepared environment. One of her greatest joys — as she builds a relationship with each student — is to tailor, create personalized lessons suited specifically to an individual child’s interest. Whether it’s dinosaurs, marine biology, entomology or the mammals of the African tundra to name just a few, Courtney will spend her personal time developing a new and interesting way for the student to explore and stretch their brain on the subject, typically handcrafting these new lessons. This attention to educational development empowers children with the freedom to explore their own curiosity while holding their interest and focus, drawing them deeper into their personal learning experience. Courtney’s ability to connect with kids by showing them respect and honor and thereby teaching the same exemplifies and epitomizes the Montessori Method. Grace and courtesy are truly her strong points.

 

Courtney White and Jennifer Matthews-Drake are co-owners of Village Montessori, LLC.

TODDLER LEAD TEACHER
Leigh Ann Harrington

Miss Leigh Ann is a native of Mississippi. After four years of of working with children in New York, she moved to Little Rock to be closer to family. Leigh Ann is a 2002 graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in educational psychology. She also received her Montessori certification for ages 0-3 from NAMC in 2011.

Leigh Ann is affectionately referred to by her fellow Villagers as the Pied Piper of children. It’s a fact: they love her and will follow her anywhere. And so will her students’ parents. Leigh Ann is an expert communicator and is constantly searching for new ways to bring parents into their children’s educational life. For example, she frequently and thoughtfully updates a private by-invitation-only Facebook page for her students’ parents. And she posts on one wall of her classroom daily handwritten pages indicating each students’ work and progress. The joy she receives in working with children radiates from her, and the community she builds out of that joy is a lasting one.

“The Montessori method and I were love at first sight. I enjoy the relationships that students, families, and teachers form as they grow together over the years. The community that is developed in a Montessori classroom is completely unique. I feel the emphasis on teaching young people to do and think for themselves is key, because they will use those skills for the rest of their lives.”

Teaching Assistant
Haley Floyd

Haley is the mother of one spunky, charming son and a native of Tupelo, Mississippi. She came to Village with four years of Montessori experience teaching alongside Miss Courtney prior to the start of Village Montessori. Haley’s quiet demeanor has a calming effect on her students and they love her for it. And her warm smile welcomes all who approach.

“Watching these kids learn and grow is truly amazing to me. I’m in constant awe and enriched by their unsurpassed curiosity and love of learning. Just being a small part of their world is hugely gratifying.”

Admissions and Office Manager
Carley Harrigan

Carley grew up in New York and moved to Montreal, Canada shortly after High School to attend Concordia University where she studied Sociology and then Business, receiving her B.B.A.

She has taught at and worked in both a traditional and a Montessori environment and she believes the difference is truly monumental!

Carley has traveled and lived all over in places like Canada, Sweden, Richmond and now Little Rock. She and her husband have two sons, and one daughter. She enjoys traveling, photography, tennis, and snowboarding, but can most often be found on her hammock in the back yard watching the kids play.

 


Brittany Duty

Teaching Aide & Substitute Teacher

Meet Brittany Duty, a teachers’ aide and substitute teacher here at Village Montessori.

Brittany is married and has two children, one of whom is a former Village student. She holds a degree in Occupational Therapy and is from Monroe, Louisiana.


Rachel Martin

Teaching Aide

Rachel Martin comes to Village Montessori with a background in Montessori education. Rachel moved to Little Rock from Fayetteville and is a teachers’ aide in the Primary class and helps Miss Marcella prepare our delicious, nutritious and beautiful lunches daily.


Michelle Drusky

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Yoga Instructor

Michelle Drusky is our Village yoga instructor and has been practicing yoga since she was a teenager. She holds a Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Health Psychology. She is an experienced registered Hatha yoga teacher, is Balance Barre Certified and is the manager at Blue Yoga Nyla. Michelle is an avid animal lover. She has two dogs, Kaos and Sir George, and two cats, Lola and Mouse.

 

Village Montessori, LLC
Board of Directors


Executive Director, Founder & Co-owner:
Jennifer Matthews-Drake
jennifer@ourvillagemontessori.com

Primary Lead Teacher & Co-owner:
Courtney White
courtney@ourvillagemontessori.com

Board Member:
Sonia Fonticiella
The Fonticiella-Rios Law Firm sonia@ourvillagemontessori.com

Facility Liaison and Advisor:
Jane Anne Spikes
Pulaski Heights Presbyterian Church phpres@comcast.net

 

Village Montessori Foundation
Board of Trustees

Officers:


Chairman:
Chadwick Rodgers, MD

Secretary:
Jaime Norton

Treasurer:
Stephanie Simonton-Atchley, PhD

Trustees: