Meet Our Amazing Team

 
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Maria Costadini

InterIm director / Administrative director

Maria was born in Chicago, but raised in Southern California.  She has an Associates of Science degree in Radiologic Technology from Cypress College, and a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's degree in Theology from Life Christian University.  Maria has been with MSF for six years. She started out as Office Administrator, moved to Finance Director, and is now the Interim Director/ Administrative Director.  Maria was the administrator and co-pastor of a church in SoCal for 16 years.  She also has owned and operated two Greek restaurants with her husband. Fun facts: Maria’s a hard core classic rock and roll gal.  “Rock on.” And can make a greek feast thats out of this world!


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Rachel Costadini

Administrative Support, Event Coordinator, & Elementary PE Coordinator

Rachel Costadini hails from sunny Oceanside, California.  She graduated from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, with a degree in Theology and Graphic Design.  Rachel has worked at MSF for almost three years now. She is the Administrative Assistant and Event Coordinator, and also teaches the Boot Camp enrichment class to the Kindergarten and Elementary students.  Fun Facts: On holidays, she travels all over to spend time with family and friends.  Rachel took a swim in the Amazon River in Brazil, and she volcano boarded down a 3,000 ft volcano in Nicaragua, which  was gnarly.


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Melanie Hill

Lead Teacher - Toddler

This is Melanie’s 2nd school year at MSF.  She is originally from California, lived in Hawaii on the Big Island for 15 years. Melanie has been a Montessorian for over 20 years.  Melanie did her practicum with Margaret Humphrey, a student of Maria Montessori. Fun Facts: Melanie has 3 children and one grandson. Melanie loves water sports, road trips, hiking in Hawaii. She says the best thing about the big island of Hawaii is the diverse topography; the mountains, the beach and the slow pace of life. Why Montessori? “I started in traditional early childhood which was teacher centered. When I was introduced to Montessori, if saw that it was very respectful of the child and the individual needs and development of the child; treating the children like people and individuals, giving them the tools for independence.”


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Patty Verastegui

Toddler Assistant/ Spanish Instruction

Patty has been at MSF for six years. She has her Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) and has completed 16 early childhood certifications. She enjoy working as an assistant teacher at Montessori, because it is a very established school. Children are able to learn not only great education but also values for life. Kids have the liberty to choose, and are mentored to their potential. Learning is fun at Montessori. Fun Facts: Patty is from Peru. She likes to shop, go to movies, out to dinner with family and friends, travel, read, go to concerts, and cook.  Patty’s favorite place to travel to is Europe, Italy and Austria. She has four children and a grandchild. Family is very important to Patty. Why Montessori?  “I like to see the Montessori method, where the children are free to do the work in the classroom environment. The children have liberty of enjoying the environment that we have created for them.”


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Bunmi Anifowoshe

Lead Primary Teacher & Aftercare Coordinator

Ms. Bunmi is from Nigeria and has been with MSF for 11 years. She has an Association Montessori International (AMI) Certification as well as a BSC in Microbiology.  Fun Facts: She loves cooking, spending time with her husband & two daughters. She is passionate about treasuring relationships. Why Montessori? “Montessori is not a trend, it is a philosophy and it works. The method is consistent and the materials are beautiful; the materials are the same in any Montessori classroom around the world.”


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Kristina Gray-Counts

Primary Assistant

Kristina is originally from San Francisco, CA and has a BA degree from MTSU. She has been at MSF for 16 years, three years as a parent and 13 years as a primary assistant. Both of Kristina’s children attended MSF, Patrick age 19 and Elizabeth who is 15.  Fun Facts: Kristina is loves animals; she loves to do volunteer work and is passionate about children’s issues. Why Montessori? “I am a big advocate of childhood. I love the fact that we teach children how to be a community.  We teach them how to respect others, our environment and themselves. As a Montessori parent I saw how it helped my children have a strong work ethic that comes from within.  It helped them to be compassionate towards others and our world.”


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Stephanie Hull

Lead Primary Teacher

Stephanie was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. After graduating from college with a business degree, she wanted something more fulfilling in life and discovered Montessori. After working in Montessori for a few years, Stephanie received her 3-6 credential in 2012 and she has AMS primary certification. She lives in Spring Hill with her husband of 7 years, two wonderful children, and two dogs. Fun facts: Stephanie played college volleyball and was ranked 2nd in the nation for service aces “I’m in a record book, y’all!” Her family loves to hike and go to National Parks. Their goal is to get an awesome RV and travel the country. Why Montessori? “I love that Montessori is child-centered rather than teacher-driven. Children are allowed to develop at their own pace and they are encouraged to discover who they are.”


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Eny Moore

Primary assistant & spanish Teacher

Eny is from Puerto Rico, she has been at MSF for 7 years. Fun Facts: She has three children, two dogs and two birds. Her passion is spending time with her family and researching and gaining information on natural health solutions.  Her favorite place to vacation is Kiawah Island in South Carolina; which is an annual family tradition. Why Montessori? “My mother Noemi worked at MSF teaching Spanish.  When my mother passed, I picked up the baton and have been teaching Spanish at MSF ever since.”  


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Cheryl Hall

primary assistant

Cheryl has her BS in Business Management; she was born and raised in Alabama. Prior to working as an assistant at MSF, Cheryl was a parent, a board member, volunteer and a substitute.  Her son Nathan went through 7th grade at MSF. Fun Facts: Cheryl loves life and loves to laugh, she has an infectious (contagious) laugh.  If money were no object, she would travel the world, but keeping it low key so she can see how people live in other cultures. “I’m not a fan of touristy things.” Why Montessori? “Everybody should do Montessori. My son Nathan had a negative experience in Kindergarten at a school which was classical in training. It didn’t work for him; he shut down. Montessori gave him the confidence to learn again; he thrived in the Montessori environment within a few days of being here.”


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Elizabeth Segroves

Lead Primary Teacher

Elizabeth is a native Tennessean and has been working in Montessori since 2012. This is her 4th school year at MSF. Elizabeth has an American Montessori Society (AMS) primary teaching credential. Fun Facts: She is an introvert who enjoys knitting, bad movies, and game nights. Why Montessori? Elizabeth was drawn to the Montessori philosophy because of its inherent respect for the child as an unique person in the making. Her goal is to foster independence, critical thinking, and a joy for learning in each of her students. Elizabeth lives in Nashville with her fiance.


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Karen Frey

Primary Assistant

Karen has a Bachelor’s of Art Degree from Trinity University, an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Development and a Montessori AMS Certification. Fun Facts: Karen grew up in a rural Northwest Ohio farm community. She’s a small town girl who loves her family, nature and all of God’s glory. She’s been working with children in many capacities for the last 38 years. Why Montessori? I enjoy witnessing a Montessori trained child confidently walk into adulthood able t o put their hand to any challenge that presents itself.


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Ramona (Smeltzer) Jones

Lead ElEMENTARY Teacher

Ramona is from upstate NY, near Albany. She moved to Franklin the summer of 2010 to work at MSF. Ramona has her Elementary Montessori certification; she is a TN state licensed teacher and has her Masters in Literacy and Special Education.  She wanted to become a Montessori teacher to help children learn. She struggled in school herself, so she got a Masters in Special Education. Fun Facts: In her spare time she love to hike & explore state parks. She also enjoy reading thrillers or personal narratives are her favorite.  Why Montessori? “Montessori looks at every child as an individual and looks at what each child’s needs are.  Montessori is a way to reach every child.”


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Jennifer Baillargeon

elementary Assistant

Jennifer grew up in Portland, Oregon. This is her third year at MSF. Jennifer is a TN state licensed teacher K-5th. Fun Facts: She enjoys hiking, cycling, traveling, doing yoga and spending time with her husband and daughter. If money were no object, the first thing she would do is hire a chef! Why Montessori?  “I fell in love with the Montessori philosophy because it is the development of the individual child.  I saw the materials and love the concrete, simple materials. I wanted that for my daughter. Being a teacher, I never fully bought into the traditional educational methods.  I saw that Montessori was a philosophy for the education of children.”


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Shaun Petty

Elementary Assistant

Born in Henderson, NV, has live in Franklin since she was 12 years old. Shaun has been at MSF for 17 years.  Fun Facts: She enjoys gardening, cooking, getting together with family and friends, spending time with her nephews, and loves to play games. If I were rich I would build MSF an awesome school. Why Montessori? “Independence of the children to be who they are and work at their own pace. I believe in the Montessori method.  I see so much growth in the children. I love working with the staff and the parents at MSF. It feels like a second family.”


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Ms. Brooks

music & Drama teacher & floater

Brooks has joined MSF as a staff member this year, although her son Max has attended MSF for 3 years. She has a BA in Psychology and Music minor from Bringham Young University in Hawaii. Fun Facts: Brooks loves music! Her family enjoys music on a daily basis, whether they are attending live music at a local venue, playing and singing in their home or simply listening to favorite vinyls. They appreciate and encourage curiosity of all kinds of music. Brooks is grateful to be able to combine her love of children, music and Montessori learning. Why Montessori? “I was introduced to Montessori 12 years ago when my oldest child attended first grade. We fell in love with the Montessori teachings because it reinforced what we were teaching our children at home. We wanted them to be independent and have hands on learning with real life applications. All four of our children have benefited from Montessori Education.”


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Jan Shepard

Administrative Support

My passion for learning and delight in supporting others' learning has been a driving force in my life. That strong focus resulted in my TN teaching certification (K thru12), my 25+ year career training adults (Vanderbilt University, Ernst & Young, etc.), and, fortunately, led me to join the MSF team over 8 years ago. I'm grateful to be part of the dedicated Montessori team at MSF who share my commitment to nourishing the unique learning aptitudes and abilities of each child.  As an adoring grandmother and native Tennessean who loves nature, exploring the paths around Radnor Lake with my grandsons tops my free time list.


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Shayo Anifowoshe

Aftercare & Summer Program Support

Aftercare & Summer Program support, Montessori School of Franklin - 1 year


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Kashi Anifowoshe

Aftercare & Summer Program Support

Aftercare & Summer Program support, Montessori School of Franklin - 1 year