About Us

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg

Come & Feel The Difference

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg fosters independence, confidence, critical thinking abilities and creativity in a warm and welcoming environment. Our hands-on, ‘whole child’ approach supports each student’s unique qualities and individual learning style for a learning experience that’s compelling, effective and fun!

✅ A comprehensive Montessori education
✅ Middle States accredited
✅ Innovative academic program
✅ Multi-age classrooms
✅ Low student-to-teacher ratio
✅ Non-sectarian
✅ Financial aid for qualifying families
✅ Non-traditional teaching methods
✅ Independent learning activities
✅ Cultural diversity with a student body from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds
 
Our History Book Your Tour Today

The Director’s Message

Executive Director

Dr. Barbara Kehr

Welcome to Montessori Academy of Chambersburg! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Montessori Academy of Chambersburg. Each day at our school is an exciting new opportunity to enrich the minds of our students, and we hope your child will join us.

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg welcomes students regardless of race, gender, national and ethnic origin, and is non-discriminatory in all our policies. We accept children between the ages of 12 months and 15 years.

There are no specific academic entrance requirements; however, we base admission decisions on many factors, especially your child’s age and suitability for our program.

Please contact us regarding availability for your child, and to schedule your personal tour of our school. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide additional information about our educational programs.

Kind regards,

Dr. Barbara Kehr
Executive Director, Montessori Academy of Chambersburg

Our Facility

Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is located at 875 Ragged Edge Road. The facility itself is 30,000 square feet and sits on eight acres of rural land. The current building was specifically designed to facilitate holistic learning grounded in Montessori principles of education.

Inside the Montessori Classroom

Our History

1988 – 1998
Montessori School of Chambersburg was founded in 1988 based on the teachings and philosophy of Maria Montessori. The school offered unique educational and developmental experiences for preschool children unlike anything else found in Franklin County and quickly grew to include children from 18 months through kindergarten.

In 1998 the Board of Directors obtained licensing from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare as a non-profit corporation as well as becoming a full affiliate of The American Montessori Society. The Board then recruited certified teachers, administrators and faculty, and opened the doors for enrollment to Montessori Academy of Chambersburg. The following year, the school expanded to include an elementary program for 1st through 6th grade and later to include 7th and 8th grade. Thanks to the addition of a full-day kindergarten program in 2004, the Academy offered a comprehensive Montessori education for students in kindergarten through 8th grade.

1998 – Present
Montessori Academy of Chambersburg is located at 875 Ragged Edge Road. The facility itself is 30,000 square feet and sits on eight acres of rural land. The current building was specifically designed to facilitate holistic learning grounded in Montessori principles of education.

Prompted by increasing enrollment and the addition of new programs, stakeholders identified the need for a new facility specifically tailored to the growing needs of the students. The architectural design features several pods, each housing multi-age classrooms.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

President —  Angelique Ridore

Angelique Ridore has a lifelong passion for human rights and women’s health advocacy. Her belief that the secret to achieving improvement in these sectors is via education of the next generation led her to choose the Academy for her son’s education because of the Montessori values of respect, diversity, inclusiveness, integrity, and responsibility. Dr. Ridore has a BA in biological sciences and a BA in Africana studies from Rutgers University. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from New Jersey Medical School Newark, NJ. She is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and is the Regional Medical Director of Women’s Services.

Vice President — Carianne Rawlings

Carianne Rawlings is an Engineering Manager with Manitowoc Cranes. She has a BS in Agricultural Engineering from The Ohio State University and has spent 20 years in the agricultural and heavy equipment industry. Carianne and her husband, Tim, have a daughter starting her eighth year at Montessori Academy and have been active volunteers through Montessori Academy Parents Organization. The family has an 80-acre hobby farm and runs Sundowner Property Management.

Treasurer — Chrystal Miracle

Chrystal Miracle is the Director of Finance and Administration for Shippensburg University. She received her BS in accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her MBA from Shippensburg University. Chrystal has been in higher education for the past 30 years and has served on several nonprofit boards. She understands that students thrive in all kinds of learning environments, and appreciates the unique learning environment that the Montessori Academy brings to children and to our community.

Secretary — Diane Chamberlin

Diane Chamberlain is Director of Enrollment Management at Penn State Mont Alto. She has previous experience in private post-secondary education administration, corporate training, IT project management and business systems analysis. Diane has a BS in Music Education from Gettysburg College and a Master’s in Business Administration from Frostburg University. She serves the board as a representative of the business community.

Member at Large — Eric Walker

Eric Walker and his wife Crystal-Collier Walker are the parents of three children, including two sons who have attended the Montessori Academy. Their older son was a student at the Academy for six years, and their younger son has been at the Academy for seven years. Mr. Walker has a bachelor’s degree in labor and employment relations from Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s degree in public administration from Shippensburg University. He has held positions with the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He also has worked as a campaign manager and continues to work as a political advisor. Mr. Walker is currently employed with his family business, College Town, Inc., where he is the National Sales Manager for the Shippensburg Pump Company.

Members

Becky Jablin

Becky Jablin and her husband Peter Jablin helped found the Montessori Academy of Chambersburg in 1999. They are the parents of five children, two of whom are alumni of Montessori Academy. Becky served as the Montessori Academy Board Treasurer for 16 years and served on the Silent Auction Committee for 20 years. Becky has worked in the field of newspaper graphics and layout. She was a member of the Franklin County Early Intervention Task Force. She has a BA in English from Slippery Rock University.

Lekha Patel

Lekha Patel discovered the Montessori Academy through her involvement with Leadership Franklin County. She is employed by Starr Insurance which is where she learned about Montessori culture and history. Lekha has a BA in psychology and a minor in biology from Shippensburg University. Prior to working in the commercial insurance industry, she was employed in banking.

Miranda Ramsey

Miranda Ramsey and her husband Josh Ramsey are the parents of three children, including one currently attending Children’s House. Miranda is Director, Retail Services for WellSpan (Summit) Health. Miranda has worked for WellSpan (Summit) Health ten years. Miranda has a BA in Health Care Administration from Shippensburg University. Miranda has chaired Montessori’s Silent Auction and served on the Advancement Committee for two years.

Adam Reeder

Adam Reeder graduated from Mercersburg Academy and attended George Washington University. He worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Bud Shuster and for several nonprofits in the DC area. He also worked at Backboard as a senior project manager. Mr. Reeder is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Ace Distributing in Wrightsville, PA. His daughter is a student in the lower elementary program.

Gail Reeder

Gail Reeder is the grandparent of three Montessori students. She is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College where she received a BA in English. Prior to her retirement, Mrs. Reeder was the Director of Development and a development consultant for Mercersburg Academy.

Suzanne M. Trinh

Suzanne Trinh is the parent of a current Montessori Academy middle school student. She is an attorney with Zullinger-Davis-Trinh, PC Law Offices. Suzanne has a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College and received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

If you have any questions about the Board of Directors or have feedback, please contact boardpresident@montacad.org.


Our Faculty & Staff

Our teachers are what make every day special for our children. Our teachers are creative, understanding, and passionate. They work with families to create every child’s own success story.

+ Dr. Barbara Kehr (Executive Director)

Dr. Barbara Kehr is a graduate of Muhlenberg College with a degree in humanities and elementary certification. She has a master’s degree in reading from Hood College, a master’s in administration from McDaniel College, a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in literacy from the University of Maryland, and a superintendent’s letter of eligibility from Shippensburg University. During her 34 year career in public education, she was an elementary classroom teacher, reading coordinator, and director of curriculum and instruction for the Waynesboro Area School District, and the assistant superintendent of South Western School District in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Dr. Kehr has taught graduate courses for Penn State University, Shippensburg University, and Cabrini University, and is currently an adjunct professor for Wilson College. She most recently worked as a literacy coach for the York City School District. She lives in Waynesboro with her husband, John Krebs.

+ Carrie Mong (Toddler Assistant Teacher)

Carrie Mong is currently the Assistant Teacher in the Toddler B classroom. Mrs. Mong attended Hagerstown Community College where she obtained her Associates of Applied Science. Carrie has a history with our Academy, her son attended our school 10 years ago and her mother is currently a Teacher for Children’s House. Carrie is married and has two children, Emma and Titus. She has a love for animals and has two dogs, three cats, three chickens and two horses. Outside of school Carrie likes to spend time with her family at the beach and sporting events. Mrs. Mong also likes to cook and take pictures of her family and friends in her spare time.

+ Kayla Pratt (Toddler Assistant Teacher)

Kayla Pratt is an assistant teacher in the Toddler Community. She previously worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) helping children with disabilities. Miss Pratt attended Franklin County Career and Technology Center for three years where she obtained her CAN certificate. She loves working with children and seeing them grow every day. In her free time, Miss Pratt loves spending time with her family and her dog, and capturing memories on her camera.

+ Cindy Rodriguez (Children’s House A Assistant Teacher)

Cindy Rodriguez considers herself both Latina and American since she was born in the United States and was raised to be proud of her Guatemalan heritage. She is bilingual, as she grew up speaking two languages; Spanish as her first language and English as her second language. Cindy obtained her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education from Harrisburg Area Community College. In addition to being an Assistant Teacher in Children’s House A here at Montessori Academy, she works at the YMCA aftercare program as a counselor. She also works with the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, during their summer program as a teacher’s assistant and as a translator in their office. Cindy enjoys working with children of all ages and will continue to educate the future generation with knowledge at Montessori Academy of Chambersburg Pennsylvania.

+ Katie Sands (Children’s House B Co-Teacher)

Katie Sands is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a reading minor as well as a Master’s of Education in Reading. She holds a permanent Pennsylvania teaching certificate for grades K-6. She has seven years of experience teaching at the elementary level which includes three years of teaching fourth grade followed by four years of teaching third grade. After taking some time off to stay home with her three young children, Mrs. Sands decided to return to her teaching career. During her time out of the classroom, she spent many hours volunteering in her daughter’s classrooms and helping with the school’s PTO. She is very excited to be back in the classroom working with young children. Mrs. Sands lives in Shippensburg with her husband Jerry, her daughter Adelyn, and her twin sons Aidan and Bryson.

+ Karen Thrush (Children’s House C Assistant Teacher)

Karen Thrush is an assistant teacher in Children’s House C. She has had a variety of teaching and tutoring experiences over the past 30 years, and previously taught in the lower and upper elementary programs at Montessori Academy. Ms. Thrush received her Montessori training for ages 6-9, with an overview of the Children’s House program, at the Center for Montessori Education in North Carolina, has completed undergraduate courses at Wilson College. She has five adult children and four grandchildren. Ms. Thrush resides in Greencastle with her husband.

+ Emily Cost (Lower Elementary Teacher)

Emily Cost earned an Elementary Education Teaching Certificate from Millersville University and a B.A. from Warren Wilson College in Philosophy and Environmental Studies. She has worked as an English teacher in a bilingual elementary school, and at non-profit organizations teaching environmental education in the outdoor classroom. Ms. Cost and her husband live in Chambersburg with their children, who are also students at Montessori Academy.

+ Kim Walter (Middle School Teacher)

Kim Walter is a graduate of Messiah College where she received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and minor in Human Development and Family Science. She also holds Certificates in PA Elementary k-6/Mid-level Mathematics, 7-9/PA Private School Nursery-Kindergarten. Mrs. Walter started co-teaching 5th-8th grade at Montessori in 2004. Then she spent a year in Greencastle-Antrim School District and 9 years in the banking industry before returning to Montessori in 2017. Kim was interested in a school that would challenge children by developing their strengths, encouraging their weaknesses, while also valuing the development of the whole child. Kim resides in Chambersburg with her husband Tyson and two children, Seth and Ethan, who are former students of the school. Outside of school, Mrs. Walter enjoys singing, spending time with family, working with children, youth, and music departments at church.

+ Kim Frohm (Nurse)

Kim Frohm is a graduate of Shippensburg Area Senior High School and Franklin County Career and Technology School of Nursing with a Licensed Practical Nurse Degree. She was recognized at her nursing graduation with an honor certificate for her clinical rotation. While working for Chambersburg Area School District, Kim was assigned to Montessori Academy in 2007. Upon retiring from the district in 2020, Kim accepted a position with Montessori Academy as the school nurse. She lives in Shippensburg with her husband Tony. They have two sons, four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. In her spare time, Kim enjoys camping, kayaking, journaling, and spending time with her family.

+ Heather Edmond (Director of Education)

Heather Edmond is a graduate of Gettysburg College with a degree in Elementary Education and Environmental Studies, with Summa Cum Laude distinction. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. Mrs. Edmond is both a Montessori and Pennsylvania Instructional II certified teacher. She brings ten years of experience teaching in a Montessori primary classroom, as well as direct experience in curriculum development, school-wide science initiatives, and committee work and leadership in hiring and enrollment. Mrs. Edmond grew up in Carroll County, MD and has lived in Gettysburg, PA since 2005. In addition to her passion for Montessori, she cherishes experiences in nature with her husband and young daughter, including hiking, vegetable gardening, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Mrs. Edmond is excited to introduce her own daughter to our toddler community in the 2020/2021 school year. She is honored to be serving the Montessori Academy of Chambersburg as Director of Education. She looks forward to developing meaningful and productive relationships with the MAC community of families, students, and staff.

+ Kristin Valentine (Toddler Teacher)

Kristin Valentine is the Lead Teacher in the Toddler Community. She previously worked for six and a half years as an assistant teacher in our toddler program. Ms. Valentine has taken Infant Toddler Montessori coursework at the Center for Montessori Education in New York. She has two children who are former students of Montessori Academy.

+ Sarah Durden (Children’s House A Teacher)

Sarah Durden has been teaching for 9 years, but is new to the Montessori method. She holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education with a Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching certification for birth to 3rd grade. She also holds a Masters in Special Education and is currently studying with the Barrie Center of Advanced Montessori Studies. Sarah is a mom of 7 kids and enjoys coaching soccer with her husband Bobby. She is an art instructor and enjoys sharing a passion for art and creativity. Her hobbies are photography, drawing, reading, writing and being outside.

+ Cathy Davidson (Children’s House B Co-Teacher)

Cathy Davidson joined the Montessori family of Chambersburg in 2002. Before she came to the Academy, she worked in childcare for seventeen years in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. She attended school in West Virginia. Currently she resides in the town of Shippensburg with her husband, Tim, and two sons, Russ and Ethan. She has a house rabbit and a very large puppy. Her family is very active in area sports.

+ Kim Kulla (Children’s House C Teacher)

Kim Kulla has many years experience teaching at the Children’s House level. She completed her Montessori Training at Montgomery Montessori Institute in Rockville, MD. Ms. Kulla hopes that her classroom is a prepared environment that will allow each child to enhance their natural love of learning. Ms. Kulla lives in Waynesboro with her husband, two of her four children, and five dogs. She has two granddaughters and two grandsons.

+ Alison Gilbert (Lower Elementary Teacher)

Alison Gilbert is a graduate of Kutztown University with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. She taught at Magic Years Kindergarten and Pre-School before moving to South Carolina to teach in the Columbia School District. She joined Montessori Academy of Chambersburg in May 2006. Mrs. Gilbert went to Barrie Institute for advanced Montessori studies for lower elementary training. She lives with her husband and daughter, Penelope, who is a student at the Academy.

+ Alicia Runkle (Upper Elementary Teacher)

Alicia Runkle is a graduate of Shippensburg University with her undergraduate degree and teaching certification in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and a minor in Reading. Also, Mrs. Runkle received her Upper Elementary (9-12) Montessori training and certification from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York. She has worked in a daycare center and tutors in reading, writing, and math. In her free time, she enjoys singing, attending Hershey Bear hockey games, and spending time with her husband and family. Mrs. Runkle joined Montessori Academy in March 2012.

+ Kristin Byers (Middle School Assistant Teacher)

Kristin Byers is currently an Assistant Teacher in the Middle School class. Mrs. Byers is a Shippensburg University graduate with her Bachelors of Arts in Geography. She has a passion for cultivating natural learning through exploration. While homeschooling her sons during their Elementary years, she implemented many Montessori type strategies, which started her love of Montessori. Kristin lives on a rural homestead outside of Newburg, PA with her husband Sam and four sons. Outside of school Mrs. Byers is the violinist for Blythe Spirits Harp Trio, a string trio that performs for special events in central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.

+ Stephanie Whitlock (Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher & Librarian)

Stephanie Whitlock graduated from High Point High School in Beltsville, MD. She provided daycare in her home for 10 years. She helped design a cooperative pre-school with her church and participated in it for 6 years. She has spent many hours as a volunteer in her children’s classrooms. She resides in Fayetteville with her sons, Sean and Nicholas, and her daughter, Sofia. Ms. Whitlock joined Montessori Academy of Chambersburg in August 2006.

Experience why our children are HAPPY to learn!