Faculty & Staff

Administration and Office

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.

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.

Director of Operations and Advancement

Dr. Stefanie Basalik is a graduate of Bridgewater College with a dual degree in History and Political Science. She has a master’s degree in History from James Madison University and a doctorate degree in American Studies with specializations in Interdisciplinary History and Public Heritage and Museum Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Basalik has taught at the college level for various institutions for ten years and was previously the Executive Director of Heritage Frederick and the Washington County Historical Society. Most of her professional career has been dedicated to assisting non-profit organizations fundraise, increase exposure, manage assets, and further community engagement. Dr. Basalik serves on the Board of the Meritus Medical Foundation and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. In the spirit of "service above self," Dr. Basalik is also the President of the Hagerstown Sunrise Rotary Club. She lives in Greencastle with her husband, Shaun, and children, Miles and Lily.

Administrative Assistant / Receptionist

Lisa de Salis joined Montessori Academy after many years of previous experience in the clerical field.  She enjoys greeting parents and students at the front desk with a friendly smile and is happy to be as helpful as possible to make each visit to Montessori Academy a pleasant one.  Lisa has two grown sons and two grandchildren.  In her spare time, Lisa enjoys music in many forms, crafting and most of all, spending time with her family.

Toddler Community

Toddler A 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.

Toddler A Assistant Teacher

Jody Mell is the assistant teacher in Toddler A. She previously worked for 17 years as a teacher of two-year-olds in a local child care facility. Jody is the mother of three grown children. She loves animals, going to the beach on family vacations and playing volleyball.

Toddler B Teacher

Carrie Mong is the Lead Teacher in the Toddler B classroom. Mrs. Mong attended Hagerstown Community College where she obtained her Associates of Applied Science, and her Montessori training through North American Montessori Center. 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.

Toddler B Assistant Teacher

Madison Platter recently graduated from Northampton Community College with an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently pursuing a BA/BS in Early Childhood Education at Keystone College. She has previously served as the Lead Teacher in a Young Toddler classroom at another preschool. Mrs. Platter got married in May 2021 and lives with her husband, Devon, and their dog, Baxter, in McConnellsburg, PA. On the weekends, she loves to spend time with her family, bake, read, and watch the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mrs. Platter is very excited be a part the Academy and to make an impact with her students.

Children's House

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.

Children's House A Assistant Teacher

Alexia Timmons joined Montessori Academy after eight years of experience working in a child care setting. She enjoys helping to create a safe and nurturing environment for children. Some of her interests outside of school include reading, music, volunteering in her youth group, and spending time with family and friends. Alexia is excited to be a part of the Montessori family and having the opportunity to help children to reach and achieve specific age-appropriate milestones.

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.

Children's House B Co-Teacher

Katelyn Schindler has been teaching preschool age children for five years. She holds a Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching certificate for pre-kindergarten - fourth grade. She also holds an Associate’s degree in Education from Hagerstown Community College. Katelyn has an elementary age son at home. Over the summer she leads the Preschool Discovery Camp at the Waynesboro Area YMCA. When she is not working, Katelyn enjoys spending time sewing, knitting, crocheting and using her cricut machine in her craft room.

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.

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.

Lower Elementary

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.

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 received her Montessori training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Mrs. Cost has worked as an English teacher in a bilingual elementary school, and at non-profit organizations teaching environmental education in the outdoor classroom. She and her husband live in Chambersburg with their children, who are also students at Montessori Academy.

Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

Kendall Hamilton is a graduate of Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, with her Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She is currently pursuing her pre-kindergarten – fourth grade teaching certification through Wilson College, and is very excited to be working in the classroom with students at Montessori Academy. Kendall previously worked as an Assistant pre-kindergarten teacher in New York and is passionate about helping students learn and grow as individuals. Ms. Hamilton is originally from Tennessee and is new to the Chambersburg area. Outside of school she enjoys being outdoors, quilting, and visiting friends and family.

Upper Elementary

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.

Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

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 six years. She has spent many hours as a volunteer in her children’s classrooms. She is the mother of three children: her sons Sean and Nicholas, and her daughter, Sofia. Ms. Whitlock joined Montessori Academy of Chambersburg in August 2006. In addition to her role as the assistant teacher for upper elementary, Mrs. Whitlock serves as our librarian.

Middle School

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 development of the whole child. Kim resides in Chambersburg with her husband Tyson and two children, Seth and Ethan, who are former students of school. Outside of school Mrs. Walter enjoys singing, spending time with family, working with children, youth and music departments at church.

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.

Music Teacher

Heather Cermak is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. After graduating in 2004, Heather worked as a music teacher at a private school in Chambersburg for 14 years. In 2019, she made the decision to leave her full time music teacher position to be a stay at home mom to her children, Cameron, Kipton, and Delaney. The part time music position at Montessori Academy is a perfect fit for her so she can still be at home with her kids, while also spending time in the classroom teaching music. Heather is extremely excited to share her passion for music with the students at Montessori Academy.


Hillary Skipper has been an LPN for 14 years. She has worked a variety of nursing positions in various hospital, Pediatric/General Practitioners offices, Inpatient Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care. She also holds an Associate's Degree in Patisserie and Baking from the Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh. When she’s not at work she enjoys time with her two sons and husband going to her sons football and wrestling events, kayaking, being outdoors and traveling. She looks forward to caring for and helping the students of the Montessori Academy.