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Montessori Academy's vision is that each student
will become an independent, confident, motivated learner, and a responsible community member as a result of the dynamic partnership between
students, parents, and teachers.
This partnership within the exceptional Montessori environment, while developing these characteristics, enables each student to become a life-long learner.
Montessori Academy Administrators
Dr. Jim Bernstorf, Headmaster/Executive Director & LE Director
Education: B.A. – Philosophy, Asbury University, 1978
M.Ed – Masters in Educational Leadership, Trevecca Nazarene University, 2002
EdD – Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Trevecca Nazarene University, 2006
Brenda is strategically driven and fascinated by organizational development, specifically engaging people with the organization. She joined the administrative team in 2008 and has been responsible for developing and managing the brand of Montessori Academy. With over 20 year's experience in for-profit and non-profit business including marketing, management, and music, she is responsible for strategic marketing and planning, has developed the human resources department, manages the accreditation, and on-going continuous improvement. She brings high energy and her strengths to the strategic planning and organizational development of the organization and as Senior Director, is responsible for the oversight of the Toddler and Primary programs. She began working toward an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership/Organizational Development with Grand Canyon University in 2012. Her belief in continuous learning, education, and organizational leadership makes her an avid reader and drives the development strategies of the organization.
Her hobbies of quilting, sewing, and cooking keep her busy when away from work. She and Jim enjoy working together and have been married 34 years, have two grown children, and four grandchildren.
Education: B.A. - Sacred Music & Bible, Lincoln Christian College, 1976
M.Ed. - Trevecca Nazarene University, 2000
Early Childhood Montessori Certification (ages 3-6), Memphis Montessori Institute, 1987
Elementary I (ages 6-9) Certification, CMTE/North Carolina, 2000
Linda became captivated by the Montessori philosophy through her mother's experiences and experience in her own home daycare business in California. Returning to Nashville, she joined the staff at Montessori Centre. After returning to Nashville from living in San Jose, California in 1985, she joined the staff at Montessori Centre and began her Montessori training that summer, completing her 3-6 certification in 1987. Initially working as the office assistant and After Care Director, she worked as a Primary teacher and because Head of Montessori Centre in 1986 as her mother began development of Montessori Academy.
After the sale of Montessori Centre in 1990, Linda joined her mother at Montessori Academy as Primary Teacher/Director. After completing her Lower Elementary Montessori certification, she became Director of Lower Elementary in 2001 and Head of School in 2005. Linda moved into the Public Relations position in 2013 to fulfill a strategic need to raise the profile of Montessori Academy in the Metro-Nashville community and looks forward to new experiences away from the day-to-day operational stresses. She continues in her role as Elementary/Middle School Admissions Director to greet new families, educate them about Montessori, and provide a guiding hand in all things Montessori.
Linda brings her passion for the benefits of Montessori education and philosophy. She continues to share her love of playing violin both at work and at worship and enjoys her two grown sons, her step-daughter, and step-grandson.
Mrs. Korine Walther, Director, Toddler/Primary
Education: B.A. - Education, Trinity College & University, 2001
Early Childhood (2 1/2 - 6), St. Nicholas Training Centre, Cinncinnati, Ohio, 1971
Korine started teaching at Montessori Centre in 1972, under the direction of Mrs. Eileen Bernstorf, while her sons were young. She continued to teach at Montessori Centre after it was sold (1987) and joined the Montessori Academy staff in 1992. This master teacher turned administrator brings her understanding for young children and her extensive experience to Montessori Academy doing what she loves best: working with young children and their families. Her vast experience makes her a valued member of the educational leadership team.
Often the first "face" that people meet at Montessori Academy, Korine fills her days with helping Toddler and Primary teachers and taking parents on tours of the school. Evenings are filled with fun with her husband, Charles Arthur, son and wife, Rob & Megan, two delightful grandchildren. Korine is an avid reader.
Mrs. Helena Hess, Director, Upper Elementary/Middle School
Education: B.S. – Education, Baldwin-Wallace College, 1990
M.Ed – Belmont University, 1999
State of Tennessee License (K-12) Special Education & Elementary/Middle School (1-8)
AMS Elementary I & II, CMTE North Carolina, 2001
AMS Secondary I & II, CMSTEP, Cincinnati, Ohio, in progress
Helena worked as a legal assistant and director of computer training before she found her way back to college. Completing her B.S. in education with an emphasis is Special Education for gifted children, she went on for her M.Ed. and Montessori training.
Born just five months after her parents emigrated from the Ukraine through Ellis Island, she speaks several languages including Ukrainian, Japanese, and Latin and enjoys learning new languages. She taught Japanese at Montessori Academy for 12 years.
An active learner and exceptional educator, Helena continues to pursue knowledge making her an outstanding educational leader for the upper elementary and middle school program.