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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 Staff Credentials

Montessori Academy is dually accredited by the SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools), and the AMS (American Montessori Society). This means that our faculty meets the high standards and specialized qualifications required by these organizations. Our excellence is further reflected in the thousands of students' lives that we have influenced. We are pleased that our teachers reflect Dr. Montessori's passion for precision and order, the basis for all learning. Our adherence to the very effective and proven Montessori philosophy has created a school in which students become independent, lifelong learners, and well prepared for life.


Headmaster & LE Director: Dr. Jim Bernstorf has over twenty-one years of business experience and management within the corporate environment, combined with Masters and Doctorate degrees in educational leadership. He brings a unique perspective to the leadership team at Montessori Academy and a clear vision of the importance that students become life-long learners.

Senior Director: Mrs. Brenda Bernstorf has over twenty years experience in business and music. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and a Master's of Business Administration. She brings her expertise in strategic planning, marketing, and visionary gifts to the leadership team.  She is the project manager for the re-accreditation project and the lead liaison between AdvancED (formerly known as Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and AMS (American Montessori Society).

Founder: Mrs. Eileen Bernstorf has earned two Montessori certifications and a Master's degree in education. As an educational leader in our community, she helped found the first Montessori school in the Nashville area in 1967. Her experience as the leader of one of the largest private Montessori schools in the nation allowed her to become a mentor to fledgling schools and Montessori teachers. Montessori Academy has an international flavor due to her experience as a teacher in Karachi, Pakistan for five years. Her husband, a professor at Meharry Medical College, was the financial and emotional support behind her dream. She is a lifetime member of The Continental Who's Who, the American Registry of Outstanding Professionals, and a VIP member of Strathmore's Who's Who.The emphasis on music in the curriculum is a direct result of the emphasis of music in the Bernstorf home. Three adult children and two of their spouses have excelled in music and are professional or semi-professional musicians.

Toddler/Primary Director (Ages 18 months-6 years): Mrs. Korine Walther holds a Primary Montessori certification and a Bachelor's degree. She has over 25 years of experience as a Primary teacher at both Montessori Centre and Montessori Academy. Her experience and expertise are valuable assets to the educational objectives of the school. Mrs. Walther is a lead contact for parents seeking to enroll their children in the Toddler/Primary program at Montessori Academy.

Upper Elementary/Middle School Director (Ages 9-15): Mrs. Helena Hess holds Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori certifications and a Master's degree in Education. Mrs. Hess has over 15 years of combined teaching and administrative experience which includes 7 years in Upper Elementary. These dual certifications along with her classroom expertise are important resources to other teachers and to the school. Mrs. Hess is a lead contact for parents seeking to enroll their children in the elementary levels at Montessori Academy.

PR Officer & UE/MS Admissions: Ms. Linda Bernstorf has Montessori experience spanning over twenty years. She is Montessori certified in both the Primary and Elementary areas. Her Master's degree in Educational Leadership and her experiences as a Montessori teacher continue to provide her expertise within the educational environment.

Elementary/Middle School Teacher Credentials:

Lower and Upper Elementary/Middle School Teachers: All teachers hold Bachelor's degrees and some hold Master's degrees as well. Elementary/Middle School teachers are Montessori certified or trained.

Primary Teacher Credentials:

Primary Teachers: All teachers are Montessori certified or trained. Most have Bachelor's degrees and some have earned Master's degrees.

Toddler Teacher Credentials:

Toddler Teachers:
All teachers are Montessori certified or trained.

Specialty Teachers:

Art, Spanish, Music, and Physical Education Teachers: All hold Bachelor's degrees and most have earned Master's degrees.
Our whole family feels at home on campus.