Ms. 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 USA. to take the AMI Montessori Elementary training course in Portland, OR.
Ms. 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.
Ms. 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.
Ms. Kate was raised in New Hampshire. She earned a B.A in Communications from the University of NH and while there she spent 8 1/2 years in the NH Air National Guard as a Medical Service Specialist. As a part-time Guardsman, Ms. Kate mentored youth and traveled to schools to moderate workshops on drug and alcohol prevention and domestic violence.
Ms. Kate later joined the Active Duty Air Force as a Services Officer and earned a M.A. in Human Resources Development. She left the USAF in 2007 and settled in Hampton Roads with her family. After being a member of the HRIMS community as a parent, Ms. Kate became convinced that the Montessori philosophy was the best way to educate children. She became a classroom substitute at HRIMS and then went on to pursue her Montessori certification at the Virginia Montessori Teacher Education Center.
Her professional experiences include: Actress, Program Manager, Quality Manager, Service Coordinator (for low income seniors), Substitute Teacher for public schools and HRIMS, and a Coach for Veteran’s Caregivers. Her community activities have included Cub Scout Leader, soccer coach, and an advocate for seniors.
When not at the school Ms. Kate can be found fishing, kayaking, coaching/watching youth soccer, watching F1 and spending time with family and friends.
Ms. 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. Ms. 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, her son and their pet cat. She enjoys gardening, bike riding, walking, yoga, reading, cooking, arts and crafts and spending time with family and friends.
Ms. Asma was born and raised in Pakistan and moved to the United Arab Emirates after marrying her husband, Ishrat. In 2000, Ms. Asma came to America with her family.
She joined HRIMS as a guide after completing her Montessori training in 2006 in Chicago and says she had the most eye opening experience of her life while there. Ms. Asma had the privilege of having her youngest daughter at HRIMS.
Her eldest son and daughter are Hokie-Alums! Ms. Asma has been working with HRIMS for ten years and considers it a true pleasure to work in the HRIMS community.
Hyun Hee Kim
Ms. Kim is in her seventh year at HRIMS. She studied Montessori Education at Loyola University Maryland. She has a master’s 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, traveling 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.
Ms. Emily grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Charlottesville, VA. She moved to Tennessee to go to Maryville College where she studied Child Development and Psychology. Ms. Emily got married and moved to Nashville where she started working as an assistant at a Montessori school. She quickly fell in love with the philosophy and curriculum and decided to attend training at the Montessori Training Center of Brentwood in Tennessee. Ms. Emily moved back to Virginia to be closer to family and taught at Gloucester Montessori School before moving to Newport News. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to become a part of the HRIMS community.
When not at school Ms. Emily enjoys spending time with her husband, her daughter, and the family dog. Together they enjoy hiking, fishing, crabbing, going to parks and museums and most of all, going to the beach. In her alone time Ms Emily enjoys knitting, reading and relaxing on the back porch.
Ms. Kristen comes to HRIMS after teaching for ten years. Her Montessori certification and her certification in Early Childhood Education serve her well in the classroom., but it is the experiences she’s had in Montessori toddler communities that really made her love and appreciate toddler students. They are her passion, and Ms. Kristen believes every child should have the opportunity to experience and develop to their fullest potential in the Montessori toddler community.
Ms. Lauren has been working with children in various capacities since she was a young girl. She has worked in educational centers and with private families both in Virginia and New York City, where she studied musical theater and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree.
Lauren received her AMS Infant and Toddler certification in 2016. She had been a part of our HRIMS staff prior to moving away and teaching at another Montessori school, but is grateful for the opportunity to rejoin our HRIMS community after returning to the area.
When she is not in the classroom, she is performing on stage in local and regional theater, frequenting the gym, spending time with her cat Charlie, baking, and dancing.