Ashley Darcy, Ed.D
Dr. Ashley Darcy is the Director of the Institute, Early Childhood Program Coordinator and is an instructor in both the Infant & Toddler and Early Childhood programs. She is a credentialed Montessori teacher in Early Childhood with experience as a teacher in a Montessori Early Childhood classroom and also has worked as a Curriculum Director.
In addition, Ashley earned her Doctorate Degree in Early Childhood from Kennesaw State University in December 2014. She is also a recognized instructor for Bright from the Start.
Registrar & Marketing Coordinator
Katherine Baker is the Registrar and Marketing Coordinator at the Institute. She graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Linguistics. She has experience teaching literacy to preschool, elementary, middle, and secondary school children in Singapore, English as a Second Language to kindergartners in South Korea, and English as a Second Language to adult immigrants and refugees here in Atlanta, Georgia. After teaching language and literacy, Katherine spent some time working for Whole Foods Market on their Marketing Team and their Regional Training Team. Education, health, and wellness are all ongoing interests of Katherine’s, and in her spare time she teaches yoga and likes to explore the hiking trails of the Appalachian Mountains on the weekends.
Early Childhood Instructors
Marjorie is an Early Childhood instructor. Marjorie Horton is a credentialed Montessori teacher in Early Childhood and has taught in, developed and directed a variety of Montessori programs. Marjorie has previously been a teacher trainer in two accredited AMS Early Childhood Montessori Education programs and oversaw the accreditation of one of these programs by MACTE. In addition, over the years, Marjorie has taught children in Montessori settings from two through six years of age. She has worked for Head Start and Early Head Start programs as an Education Coordinator and Director and has been an Education Coordinator and a Head of School for several Montessori schools. She also developed an inclusive program for children with and without handicaps that reached children in four Pennsylvania counties. Marjorie has an M.A. in education, has completed all course work toward a doctorate in Early Childhood Education and is a recognized instructor for Bright from the Start.
Katy Allen is one of our Early Childhood Instructors and is a certified Montessori Teacher in Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary levels. She holds two Bachelor degrees, and has owned and operated Harbour Oaks Montessori school since 1996. In addition to teaching Elementary at Harbour Oaks, Katy is also the Financial Director of the school. Katy has been teaching Montessori since 1986, and spends much of her time continuing her own education, field consulting for Montessori schools in the area, and is a supervising teacher for four AMS students.
Megan Lorick is one of our Early Childhood Instructors. She has been employed at The Suzuki School since 2012 and holds experience both as a Primary teacher and an Assistant Director. Megan holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Early Childhood Education from Florida State University and is a dual certified Montessori Teacher. She completed her PAMS training at Kennesaw State Univeristy and her AMS training at the Montessori Teacher Education Institute of Atlanta. Her passion is educating young children and she is currently a lead teacher in a Primary classroom
Casey Hardigan is one of our Early Childhood Instructors. She is originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts and has been employed at the Suzuki School since 2013. She has experience as both a PrePrimary and Primary Montessori teacher. She is now the Assistant Director at the Suzuki School Ponce City Market campus. Casey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and minors in Education and Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. She is also a dual-certified Montessori teacher. She completed her PAMS training at Kennesaw State University and her AMS training at the Montessori Teacher Education Institute of Atlanta. Casey writes a blog for the Suzuki School as well as contributes to the blog for the Montessori Teacher Education Institute of Atlanta. She believes strongly that Early Childhood Education is the key to the betterment of society and loves sharing her passion with children, families, and teachers in Atlanta.
Infant & Toddler Instructors
Christine Frost M.A., is our Infant & Toddler Program Coordinator and instructor. She is a credentialed Montessori teacher for both the Infant and Toddler and the Early Childhood levels. Christine taught in a Montessori Toddler class at the Albrook School in Basking Ridge, NJ. She brings a varied background to her students because of her many years of experience in both the Primary and the Toddler classrooms. Christine also teaches at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education in Princeton, NJ. , an AMS MACTE accredited Montessori training center.
Lyndsey Powell is an AMS certified teacher in Infant & Toddler Education and is one of our Infant and Toddler Program Instructors. Lyndsey worked as the lead Toddler Teacher for 11 years at Village Montessori School in Roswell, Georgia. Before that, she was a Middle School Teacher for seven years. She has two Masters degrees – one in Educational Leadership; the other in Education: the Middle Grades.
Cathy Durand-Horne is an Advanced level state approved CDA trainer with an AMS Infant and Toddler Montessori teaching credential and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Economics from Denison University. Cathy has over 20 years of experience in early childhood education teaching, developing curriculum, consulting, and providing professional development for teachers in Montessori and traditional Early Learning programs. In addition to being an instructor and field consultant for the for the institute, Cathy also serves as the Infant and Toddler Coordinator for the the Suzuki Schools, providing teacher mentorship, classroom consultation and ensuring program continuity. Cathy has a passion for educating others and brings a wealth of information and experience.
Paula Hermano, M.Ed is the founder and director of Little Saints Montessori, LLC. Her services focus on consulting and mentorship programs for families, educators and schools. Paula is a devoted advocate of the family, peace, love and respect. Her 13 years of serving children and families through teaching in the Montessori Infant and Toddler communities, and experiences being a mother, awakened her passion deeply in mentoring parents and educators. She understands the real journey, the joys and the challenges of raising young minds and spirits. In addition to being a lead directress of an Infant and Toddler program, Paula also works as a field consultant and an instructor at the Montessori Teacher Education Institute of Atlanta.
Paula is a credentialed AMS (American Montessori Society) Infant and Toddler Directress and a certified Parent and child program facilitator. She earned her Masters Degree in Education with a concentration in Montessori method in 2016 from Xavier University.
Kimberly is a certified Montessori teacher in Early Childhood, and works as a lead Primary at The Suzuki School. She joined Suzuki in 2008, and was one of the original teachers of the Northside campus. She has taught as a Lead Teacher in both Primary and Pre-Primary classrooms. Kimberly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child & Family Development from Georgia Southern University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Early Childhood from the University of Phoenix.
Elementary I Instructors
Katy Allen, Elementary I Coordinator and Elementary I Instructor
Katy Allen is one of our Early Childhood and Elementary I Instructors, the Elementary I Coordinator and is a certified Montessori Teacher in Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary levels. She holds two Bachelor degrees, and has owned and operated Harbour Oaks Montessori school since 1996. In addition to teaching Elementary at Harbour Oaks, Katy is also the Financial Director of the school. Katy has been teaching Montessori since 1986, and spends much of her time continuing her own education, field consulting for Montessori schools in the area, and is a supervising teacher for four AMS students.
Jennifer Dorrell, Elementary I Instructor
Jennifer Dorrell has been in a Montessori Classroom since 1999. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo, and an AMS Elementary I-II Credential, from MMTEC in Michigan, where she is also an instructor. She is currently the Upper Elementary Lead at Hillside Montessori of LaGrange and the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Montessori Partnerships for Georgia.
D’Neil and Michael Duffy, Elementary I Instructors
D'Neil and Michael Duffy have been involved in Montessori Education for more than 45 years, since their daughter entered a Montessori school in New York at age 2 1/2. D'Neil, who had been a teacher in the traditional public and private schools for 12 years, took her AMI primary level training in Atlanta. She founded the Blackstock Montessori School in Villa Rica, GA., in 1979 and went on to take her AMS 6-12 elementary training at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York.
Michael, who had been a journalist by profession, took the 6-12 elementary training at CMTE/NY and joined the Blackstock Montessori School in 1989, teaching in the lower, then upper elementary classes.
Both became trainers in the elementary teacher training program at CMTE/NY, an AMS-affiliated program, and they have trained teachers in New York, Phoenix, Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, and Puerto Rico with CMTE/NY and other training centers. Most recently, they helped found and co-direct the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative – METTC – which has operated MACTE-accredited training programs for out of Lexington, MA, for the past five years.
They have authored three books on Montessori education: Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Classroom (2002; 2014; 2016); Math Works: Montessori Math and the Developing Brain (2008; 2014); and Love of Learning: Supporting Intrinsic Motivation in Montessori Students (2012).
Michael and D'Neil were honored with the AMS Living Legacy award at the AMS conference in 2018. They also were given MACTE’s Wisdom of the Elders honor in 2015.
In addition to their Montessori credentials, both have master degrees in education, They retired from Blackstock in 2001 to devote more of their time to teacher training, writing and educational consulting.
They currently live in Atlanta, GA, home to their son and his family, with time spent each summer in Boston with their daughter and her family. All four of their grand-children - two in each family - have gone through Montessori schools until they transitioned to high school.