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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
Ms. Linda Bernstorf, Head of School, Director, Lower Elementary|
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 in 1985 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 became 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 the Director of Primary. She became Director of Lower Elementary in 2001 and Head of School in 2005.
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 outside work and enjoys her two grown sons, her step-daughter, and one grandson.
Dr. Jim Bernstorf, Chief Financial Officer
Education: BA – Philosophy, Asbury University, 1978
M.Ed – Masters in Educational Leadership, Trevecca Nazarene University, 2002
EdD – Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Trevecca Nazarene University, 2006
Jim came to Montessori Academy in 2001 after over twenty years in the electrical wholesale industry. That experience occurred in five different states and included positions in sales, purchasing, and accounting. He also held branch operating manager and branch manager positions.
Jim oversees the financial management of the non-profit corporation. He develops, updates, and maintains the IT and technology of the school and oversees all buildings, grounds, and facilities issues. He drives academic accountability with regards to standardized testing and directs the sports program at Montessori Academy.
Jim has been married to Brenda for 34 years, has two grown children, and three grandchildren. He loves sailing, working on sail boats, and enjoys playing basketball.
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.
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, Robb & Meagan, 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, Helena continues to pursue knowledge that helps her be an exceptional educator.
Education: B.S. – Music Education, Asbury University, 1978
MBA – Trevecca Nazarene University 2004.
She has developed and managed the brand at Montessori Academy, is responsible for strategic marketing and planning, has developed all aspects of the human resources department, and is the re-accreditation project manager with responsibility for on-going continuous improvement and quality assurance. She brings high energy and her strengths to the strategic planning and organizational development of the organization.
Her belief in continuous learning, education, and organizational leadership makes her an avid reader and drives the professional development strategies of the organization. Her hobbies of quilting, sewing, and cooking keep her busy when away from work. Currently, Brenda is working toward an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership/Organizational Development with Grand Canyon University. She and Jim have been married 34 years, have two grown children, and three grandchildren.