Upper Elementary Guide

Upper Elementary Guide

Ashley Stephens 

 Ashley has long enjoyed working with children.  From ski instructing, to tutoring, to leading nature camps, to volunteering with aboriginal students in the remote mountains of Taiwan, her broad experiences have enriched her ability to engage and support children.  Her most enlightening experience was the three years she spent teaching English to young children in Taiwan.  She had the privilege to help develop and supervise a new program that was centered in a hands-on approach to learning.  Her observations of children becoming passionate and voracious learners when their curiosity and creativity were allowed to flourish, led her to seek out an educational approach that held this principle at its core.  She found all she was looking for, and more, in the Montessori Method.  Thus she returned to the U.S.A. to take the A.M.I. Montessori Elementary training course in Portland, OR.  Ashley has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and is on track to attaining her Master’s in Education from Loyola University, Maryland.  She brings with her a strong foundation in Mathematics and Science and an intense love of nature.  Ashley also brings her excitement and love for the rich perspectives of different cultures.  She is a world traveler and has lived abroad in Italy, and Nicaragua, as well as, Taiwan.   She enjoys any activity that gets her outside and exploring nature’s wonders.  When she’s not off on an adventure she loves gardening, cooking, crafting, reading and playing her ukulele. 


Lower Elementary Guide

Lower Elementary Guide

Sheri Lankford Bishop

Sheri was born and raised in Hampton, VA.  The majority of her extended family lives in the area. After many years of living in several other states, the Bishop family returned to the Hampton Roads area and live in Norfolk.  Obie, now 18 years old is going off to college this year. Jeb, now 12 years old, attends an International Baccalaureate middle school program. Sherri's children spent most of their school careers as Montessori students and are the inspiration behind her becoming a Montessori teacher.   

Mrs. Bishop entered the AMI Montessori Institute of Atlanta Summer program in 2010 and earned her Montessori certification in 2014 and received a M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University, Maryland in 2015. Prior to coming to HRIMS, Sheri spent 2 years as a Montessori Lower Elementary assistant and 3 years as a Montessori Elementary guide at Ghent Montessori School in Norfolk.

Sheri joined HRIMS in March 2017 as an elementary co-teacher. In 2017 she returned as the Lower Elementary guide and is excited and looking forward to the upcoming year working with students, fellow colleagues and the staff!  


Children's House Guide

Children's House Guide

Kara Daniels 

Kara was raised in Cincinnati, OH and received her B.A. with a double major in Psychology and Art at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV.  Kara moved to Virginia and explored the Montessori Method by assisting in a Montessori classroom for two years.  She pursued her teaching career and received her certification in 2000 from the American Montessori Society (AMS) through the Virginia Center for Montessori Teachers Education (VCMT) in Richmond, VA.  She began her teaching career that fall and after 17 years continues to enrich children’s lives at HRIMS.  Kara spends her free time with her husband, six year old son and their pet cat.  She enjoys gardening, bike riding, walking, yoga, reading, cooking, arts and crafts and spending time with family and friends.


 
 
Children's House Guide

Children's House Guide

Asma Ishrat

Asma was born and raised in Pakistan and moved to the United Arab Emirates after marrying her husband, Ishrat.   In 2000, Asma came to America with her family. She joined HRIMS as a guide after completing her Montessori training in 200 in Chicago and says she had the most eye opening experience of her life while there.  Asma had the privilege of having her youngest daughter at HRIMS.

Her eldest son and daughter are Hokie-Alums! Asma has been working with HRIMS for ten years and considers it a true pleasure to work in the HRIMS community.

 

 
Children's House Guide

Children's House Guide

Hyunhee Kim

Ms. Kim is in her seventh year at HRIMS. She studied Montessori Education at Loyola University Maryland. She has a master degree in education and a certificate of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). She has a variety of experiences and knowledge in art from her previous career, travelling around the world for many years. She enjoys creating art extensions for various learning areas for young children. She has presented art workshops to teachers at local Montessori training programs

Hyunhee grew up in South Korea in a big family with seven siblings, a wonderful gift in her life. It has benefited her just as a Montessori mixed-age class can benefit children; she was very independent, creative, and enjoyed challenges in her own childhood. She is still eager to explore the world, especially, the learning journey with children. She likes playing golf, traveling, photography and writing.


 
Toddler Guide

Toddler Guide

Angel Cottom 

Angel or Charlie’s Angel—to her three-year-old daughter, Charlie, that is. Angel’s currently undergoing completion of her second Montessori certification and has multiple others under her belt. She never learns her lesson, though, finding time and time again that Aristotle’s quote “The more you know the more you know you don’t know” holds true. However, she continues to seek.

Angel has a Master’s Degree in Education with ESOL and Special Education endorsements, is a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, Choice Theory and Reality Therapy certified, and has her AMS (American Montessori Society) Certification at the Children’s House level. 

Her two favorite colors are tie-dye and camouflage and she hands-down LOVES working with toddlers because no one knows how to live and absorb knowledge quite like they do! These adults-in-construction truly have enchanting “powers” no adult can even come close to matching.


 
Toddler Guide

Toddler Guide

Emily Meinitchouk

Emily was born and raised in Southwestern Virginia and earned her Bachelor's degree in psychology at Ferrum College.  Her first experience working with infants and toddlers was as a helper in her mother's home day care when she was a teenager.  Since then, she has worked with children of all ages in various capacities, from preschool teacher and after-school program coordinator, to high school special ed. teacher, to a missionary working in village orphanages and hospitals in Khabarovsk, Russia.  For several years she was a stay-at-home mom to two daughters, both of whom attend HRIMS.  After observing firsthand the way her own children have thrived in the Montessori environment, she wanted to be a Montessori guide herself and decided to work towards certification.  She completed her Montessori infant and toddler training at Virginia Center for Montessori Studies in Richmond in June 2016.  This is her third year teaching at HRIMS.  She loves our school and absolutely loves working with toddlers.  When not working, she enjoys spending time with her daughters, traveling, doing arts and crafts, reading, and writing fiction.