Brandi Hawthorne is a mother of two young Montessori boys. She's worked at JMS since 2014 and became the Head of School in 2017. Her passion for the Montessori Philosophy and ability to relate to both children and parents makes her the best Director JMS could ask for.

Brandi has a love for real estate, small town boutiques that sell refurbished furniture and home decor. She has a slight addiction to chipotle and you can win her over with cheesecake!

She has a wanderlust for new adventure...

...the teacher’s task is first to nourish and assist, to watch, encourage, guide, induce, rather than to interfere, prescribe or restrict.
— Dr. Maria Montessori


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Taryn Rice

B.S in Education

Masters in Education 

AMI Certified

Taryn loves to be outdoors.  Lake life is her life on the weekends. Camping, campfires & live music are her loves. She has a beautiful niece and nephew whom she adores.




Maria Libra

AMI Certified


Maria enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, spending time with her family and sharing her Spanish language and culture with the students & their families. 

With over 20 years of experience in both traditional and Montessori education settings, Maria found a home at JMS for over 10 years.  One of her special interests is to continue learning about children with special needs so she can better help them. She enjoyed being part of the Orton Gillingham Program as well as ADHD courses, as it is important for her to stay up-to-date on anything related to child development.

Kasey Meyer

AMI Certified

Kasey has been at JMS since 2010. She loves to paint, do arts & crafts, and spend time with family & friends. She's an avid reader, enjoying historical fiction. In the summer you'll find her tending to her community garden.



Ka Xiong
Administrative Assistant

Hmong, Lao & Thai

Ka is the mother of four, very busy, little ones! She loves art and drawing portraits.  Born in Laos, Ka speaks Hmong, Lao & Thai!

Ka has been working in Montessori environments for three years and is passionate about the Montessori method.


Megan Wylie

AMI Certified since 2004

B.S. Elementary Education emphasis in Early Childhood Education from SUNY Geneseo

Masters in Education from Loyola University, Maryland

Megan's third child just entered Children's House, and she couldn't wait to be a part of the committed staff at JMS!  As a previous AMI Guide at other schools she noticed quickly that JMS is not just about the children, but the whole family.  

Her passion for Montessori started prior to having children and now she sees how it has built her children's confidence, their ability to empathize and their ability to be inclusive.  

As an avid reader herself (when she's not busy with work, three kids and a husband) she loves that the Montessori Philosophy fosters a love of learning.

Mindi Dahl

B.S. in Elementary Education

Masters in Educational Leadership: Education Administration Specialty

Mindi is a dog lover! She likes her kids too! She really enjoys their sporting events and taking them camping.  On the weekends you can find her in the garden, during the week you can find her in JMS' garden.

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Amanda Jakowich

AMI Assistant Training 2017

B.A. Science Liberal Arts:  Music Education Specialty

Is Amanda drinking almond flavored latte's again??? These just keep her motivated to bake, do yoga, paddle board & tinker.  

When Amanda isn't at JMS she's busy with her own three children. These kiddos had a Waldorf Education, which is where Amanda began her teaching career. She has since fallen in love with the gentle approach of guiding children to explore their individual interests & learning styles.



Sara Sarpong

Child Development

Sara came to JMS in 2016 too. She and her husband have three boys, all which attended JMS. She's very involved in her church. At the top of her list are Coffee, Traveling & Zumba!


Ally Heimark

When Ally isn't busy running 50-mile trail races, or running after her four children, she's at JMS! Her four children all attend Montessori schools, and her passion for the method is seamless from work to home. 

Photos taken by Brown Sparrow Studios