Meet The Blue Ridge Montessori School Staff

Each of our classrooms is staffed with a Montessori certified lead teacher. Each of our lead teachers and our assistant teachers have been carefully chosen for his or her commitment to the highest level of care for children, understanding of the Montessori philosophy, and warmth of spirit. Together, we compose an outstanding team of educators and caregivers. We share a common philosophy and approach, which makes Blue Ridge Montessori School consistently able to deliver the highest level of commitment and quality care for the community of children.

Our Montessori Teachers:

  • Believe that children want to be and can be well-behaved, constructive, and productive members of their social community
  • Demonstrate appropriate behavior with children and adults alike
  • Understand that self-discipline is a long-range goal, and that consistency and patience are necessary elements to facilitate its development
  • Establish and enforce guidelines that encourage self-discipline
  • Emphasize the positive, expresses appreciation of good manners and thoughtfulness
  • Maintain a clean, organized environment and routine that is conducive to constructive behavior
  • Redirect a misbehaving child to meaningful, constructive activities whenever possible, restoring the childs self esteem, resulting in improved behavior
  • Allow choice whenever appropriate, so the child maintains self-control
  • Avoid stereotyping children according to behavior, i.e. Boys will be boys
  • Respect the childs dignity when reprimands are necessary

Robin Boling

Head of School

Mrs. Boling has been a Montessori educator for over 25 years. She gained her credentials from MWEI, and has studied Special Education at Western Governors University. As a Montessorian, she is a firm believer in the complete and prepared Montessori environment, and only through the child’s connection to the prepared environment, will a child evolve and develop those lifelong skills such as; order, independence, inner discipline, peace and contentment. She believes that the child can and should be their own independent driver for learning, and that there is a need to follow the child in their quest for creating the person they will become. After moving to the Lynchburg area, she joined the BRMS staff in 2010, and has been a driving force for growth while staying true to our Mission.

Susan Key

Director/ Primary Lead Teacher

Mrs. Key has a B.A. in English and gained her Montessori credentials from AMS for children ages 3-6 years of age. She has 20+ years’ experience working with children of which 15 have been teaching in the Montessori Environment. Mrs. Key favorite area of Montessori curriculum is Math because it makes learning math fun! She enjoys when new 3 year olds come into the classroom because everything is new to them – I love seeing their obvious joy and delight in learning something for the first time!

Crystal Hazelwood

Assistant Director

Ms. Crystal is a graduate of Liberty University with a B.S. in Family and Childhood Development and a minor in Psychology. Ms. Crystal came to us from previously being an assistant director and well as a lead teacher. She has 15+ years’ experience working with children from 6 weeks old up to middle school aged children. Ms. Crystal says she gets excited about meeting new families, showing them the school’s environment and letting families see how they can be a part of Blue Ridge Montessori School.

Erin Ecklund

Nido Lead Teacher

Ms. Erin brings several years of experience with her to BRMS. Ms. Erin is a graduate of Nelson County High School and she attended Ferrum College where she studied photography – and her talent is quite obvious if you check out our photos! She received her credentials from NAMC in 2015. Ms. Erin says she loves how calm and beautiful the environments are, how helpful and caring the staff is and how friendly and kind the families of BRMS are.

Chelsea Marilla

Early Learner Teacher

Ms. Chelsea has enjoyed many experiences working with all ages of children ranging from working in a private preschool to being a private nanny. She earned her degree from Beacon University in 2009, and is currently working toward her Montessori Certification for infants and toddlers through NAMC. Through she likes to work with all ages; she enjoys working with the Early Learner aged group the most. She likes guiding the children in their daily work and encouraging them to do their best!

Caitlin Hammcock

Early Learner

Ms. Caitlin has many years of experience working in a traditional preschool setting and she is very excited about her experience in Montessori Education. Ms. Caitlin is planning to pursue her Montessori Certification in 2017. She enjoys the family like feeling at BRMS and is happy to be in such a warm and wonderful environment! She says she loves working with the Early learners; watching them grow and learn is nothing short of amazing!

Liz Esbenshade

Primary Lead Teacher

Ms. Liz gained her Elementary Education degree at Liberty University and also received her credentials from NAMC in 2015. She has been with BRMS for several years and has enjoyed seeing how much the children are capable of at such a young age as well as their ability to be independent. She says it is amazing how unique each child is!

Olivia Linn

Elementary Teacher

Mrs. Linn joined BRMS at the beginning of the 2013/2014 school year. She is a graduate of Lynchburg College with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Museum Studies. She then received her Upper Elementary credentials from NAMC in 2015. Mrs. Linn says that there is such a strong sense of community among the families and staff. I enjoy being able to teach something new and see the twinkle in the at young child’s eye when they grasp a new concept.

Judy Bailey

Primary Teacher

Ms. Judy started her Montessori career here at BRMS in the year 2000 and became a co-lead teacher in the year 2010. Ms. Judy says she loves the Montessori Method and wouldn’t be anywhere else. Her favorite area of the Montessori Environment is Practical Life because it allows such small children to prepare themselves for everyday life. She says she enjoys the daily interactions with the children and watching them grow in their confidence and independence.
Nancy McAndrew – Spanish
Austin Decker – Physical Education
Leigh Berkley - Music