Administration and Office
Head of School-Mrs. Edmond
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 and Administrator II certification, with graduate studies through McDaniel College and Concordia University Portland. Mrs. Edmond is both a Montessori and Pennsylvania Instructional II certified teacher. She taught in a Montessori primary classroom for ten years before joining Montessori Academy as Director of Education in 2020. Mrs. Edmond grew up in Carroll County, MD and lived in Gettysburg, PA for 17 years before recently moving to Chambersburg. In addition to her passion for Montessori, she cherishes experiences in nature with her husband and two young daughters, including hiking, vegetable gardening, kayaking, camping, swimming, and fishing.
Office Manager-Mrs. de Salis
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 A Lead Teacher-Ms. Durden
Kira Durden is the lead teacher of Toddler A. She graduated from Waynesburg University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She has previously served at Montessori Academy as a teacher in the Toddler Community during the Summer Program. She loves spending time with her dog, Dutchess, playing cards with family, and working on crafting projects. Miss Durden is very excited to be working as a lead teacher at Montessori Academy.
Toddler B Lead Teacher-Mrs. Platter
Madison Platter has been the lead teacher in Toddler B teacher since 2022 and has been a part of the Montessori Academy community since 2020. She graduated from Northampton Community College with an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She completed Montessori training for the Infant/Toddler level through North American Montessori Center. Before joining Montessori Academy, she 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 to be a part of the Academy and to make an impact with her students.
Toddler C Lead Teacher-Ms. Lee
Ingrid Lee is the lead teacher in Toddler C with Ms. Jody Mell serving as the Assistant Teacher. Miss Lee joined Montessori Academy in 2022, serving her first year as the Assistant Teacher in Toddler B. She was part of the first graduating class of Chambersburg Career Magnet School. This past summer, she completed her first residency in a year-long Infant/Toddler Montessori teacher certification program at Barrie Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. Before joining Montessori Academy, she worked with K-5 students at Boys and Girls Club in Shippensburg, PA. Miss Lee was born in New York but relocated to Chambersburg when she was 5 years old. She has a passion for working with children and has always wanted to be a teacher. She is looking forward to applying her knowledge to our Toddler C prepared environment, as well as building relationships with her young learners and families.
Toddler C Assistant Teacher-Ms. Mell
Jody Mell is the assistant teacher in Toddler C. Ms. Mell joined the Montessori Academy community in 2021. 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.
Children's House A Teacher-Mrs. S. Durden
Sarah Durden holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education with a Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching certification for birth to 3rd grade and also holds a Masters in Special Education. 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 B Co-Teacher-Mrs. Davidson
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-Mrs. Schindler
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-Mrs. Kulla
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-Mrs. Thrush
Karen Thrush is an assistant in the Children House Program and she previously worked in the elementary program for twenty-one years. She is the mother of four grown children and a grandmother. She and her husband live in the Greencastle area and she loves to garden, read and help students enjoy the love of learning. Mrs. Thrush attended Wilson College in The Education Program and The Center of Montessori School in North Carolina in 6-9 program. Her own children lead her to Montessori Academy for which she is grateful for the experience to follow the child starting at a young age.
Lower Elementary Teacher-Mrs. Gilbert
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.
Lower Elementary Co-Teacher-Mrs. McDonnell
Kendall McDonnell 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. Mrs. McDonnell 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 Teacher-Mrs. Runkle
Alicia Runkle is the lead teacher in the Upper Elementary community. She has been a part of the Montessori Academy team since 2012. Mrs. Runkle is a graduate of Shippensburg University, with a teaching certification in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and a minor in Reading. She also holds a Montessori teaching certification in Upper Elementary through the Center for Montessori Teacher Education New York. In her free time, she enjoys singing, attending Hershey Bear hockey games, and spending time with her husband, son, and family.
Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher-Mrs. Whitlock
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 has three adult children: her sons Sean and Nicholas, and her daughter, Sofia and has two grandchildren. Mrs. 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. Mrs. Whitlock and her husband Jerry live in Fayetteville. In her free time, Mrs. Whitlock enjoys antiquing and papercrafting.
Middle School Teacher-Mrs. Walter
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-Mrs. Byers
Kristin Byers is currently an Assistant Teacher in the Middle School class and the instructor of middle school science and history. Kristin is a Shippensburg University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in geography. She and her husband, Sam, live on a rural homestead outside of Newburg, PA, where they garden and raise a variety of animals. They have four grown sons and two beautiful grandchildren. Outside of school, Kristin is the violinist for Blythe Spirits, a harp and string ensemble that performs for special events in the surrounding area.
Artist in Residence
Sara Spitzer, currently the executive director of the council for the arts in Chambersburg is a mixed media artist specializing in digital photography. Her work has appeared in journals such as TRANSverse, Meat for Tea, and Azahares. The recipient of numerous awards for her teaching over a nearly thirty year career, Sara holds a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis on arts and play therapies and has taught in a wide range of settings and programs. In addition to teaching, Sara has organized community arts projects and was Creative Director for a community arts center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She and her family live in Chambersburg.
Theresa Ingram-Kuhar is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She started out coaching at the college level before teaching in & out of the classroom. Mrs. Kuhar married into the Coast Guard which led to living in many different states up & down the east coast. Upon her husband's retirement they settled in Waynesboro. She has been teaching PE at St. Andrew School for 3 years. Mrs. K has two children and loves leading them & all children to an active lifestyle.