Dorothy Barry, who founded Montessori Educational Center in 1978, holds a copy of a recent journal entry by Evangeline Harris saying how much the 6-year-old loves the school. Barry was moved by the touching entry that was given to her by Evangeline’s mother, Jess Harris, an MEC middle school teacher who drove to Perryville, Mo., to meet Barry in person and came away full of admiration.
To learn more about Mrs. Barry, click on the “Visionary ” link below:
Jemma Lortie & Sarah McCartney
Jemma Lortie studied Social
Sarah McCartney has been a teacher in our Toddler Program since August of 2012. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University at Alexandria, where she received a B.S. in Psychology. Her experience with toddler students dates back to 2007. She received her Montessori teacher certification from
Jen Bray & Tiffany Bailey-Johnson
Jen Bray received her Montessori teacher certification from
Tiffany Bailey-Johnson joined our toddler staff in August of 2017. She has more than 12 years of experience working with toddler and preschool children. Tiffany completed her Montessori certification through the North American Montessori Center.
Bri is our toddler floater and works in both classrooms part-time. She joined the toddler staff in August of 2018.
Jennifer Estes & Teresa Strandquist
Jennifer Estes received her Montessori teacher certification from the Montessori World Educational Institute in 2001. Jennifer is the parent of a MEC graduate. After a brief hiatus to work as a youth director for a church, Jennifer returned to work at MEC in 2013. Jennifer’s daughter is a graduate of MEC.
Teresa Strandquist joined MEC for the 2019-2020 school year. She holds a Masters of Education in Curriculumn and Instruction from Pennsylvania State University and AMS certification as a Montessori teacher. Teresa’s children are current MEC students.
Ary Deaton & Shahla Khalid
A former registered nurse, Ary Deaton completed her Montessori teacher certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She is the parent of three MEC students, and began her employment with MEC as the Activities Director. She has served as a Primary teacher since the 2015-2016 school year.
Shahla Khalid graduated from the University of Karachi in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She obtained her Montessori certification through the Association Montessori Internationale. She joined MEC as a primary teacher in the Spring of 2017. Shahla is the mother of three.
Tala Wagner & Coty Verdin
Tala Wagner is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University where she received a B.A. in English. She received her Montessori Teacher certification from the American Montessori Society in 2010. She has taught at Montessori Schools in Waco, Texas and Lawrence, Kansas. She joined the faculty of MEC in 2015 as a Toddler teacher. She began working in the Primary program during the 2016/2017 school year. She is also the parent of a MEC student.
Coty Verdin is a graduate of Northwestern State University where she received a B.S. in Biology, a B.S. in Psychology, and an A.A in Criminal Justice. She is a MEC parent of one and frequent school volunteer. She began as a MEC substitute teacher in the spring of 2017. She joined the Primary program full time during the 2017-2018 school year.
Connie Snipes has served as an assistant at Montessori Educational Center since 1995. She has worked in the Primary, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary classrooms. She currently assists in all three Primary classrooms as a floater.
Lower Elementary Faculty
LISA ROZAS & JUNE JONES
Lisa Rozas has worked at Montessori Educational Center since 1996. She has a degree in Vocal Performance from Louisiana College. She began her career at MEC as our Music Teacher. She began working in the Lower Elementary environment during the 2013-2014 school year. She received her Montessori teacher certification from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Both of her children attended MEC.
June Jones is a graduate of Northwestern State University and was awarded a Master of Education degree. She received her Montessori Elementary I and Elementary II credentials from Southwestern Montessori Training Center. June has 45 years of experience in education and joined Montessori Educational Center during the 2018-2019 school year.
Angela Hayes & Eddie Scroggs
Angela Hayes received a B.A. in Journalism from Louisiana Tech University and a M.A. in English from Northwestern State University. She received her Montessori teaching certification from Montessori World Educational Institute, and has taught in the Lower Elementary program since 1995. Her children and grandchildren have attended MEC.
Eddie Scroggs attended Louisiana College where he earned a B.A. in History. He received his M.A. in History from Louisiana Tech University. He began working as a Lower Elementary teacher in 2014. He completed his Montessori Elementary I and II teacher certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
Upper Elementary Faculty
Amber Voorhies, Buffy Stroderd, Christal Workman and Penny McGinty
Amber Voorhies began her career as MEC’s Art Instructor in 2003. She attended Louisiana College where she earned a B.A. in Art. She completed Elementary I and Elementary II Montessori teacher certification through Southwestern Montessori Training Center as well as Toddler Montessori training with North American Montessori Center. She has worked with children of all ages in our school, and is currently serving as an Upper Elementary teacher. Both of her children attend MEC.
Buffy Stroderd is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Speech Communication. She obtained her Montessori Elementary I and II teacher certification with the Center For Guided Montessori Studies. She began teaching in the Upper Elementary classroom in 2012. Both of Buffy’s children attend MEC.
Beginning with the 2019/202o school year, Christal Workman became a full-time teacher in the Upper Elementary class. In the past, Christal has substituted where needed, and worked as an assistant teacher in the lower elementary Program. She is a graduate of Louisiana Tech with a B.S. in Architectural Studies. She is currently participating in the Elementary I phase of Montessori training and will pursue Elementary II certification with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Christal is the mother of four MEC students.
Penny McGinty has joined the upper elementary class as a part-time assistant for the 2019-2020 school year. She received her B.A. in English and French from Louisiana Tech. Penny’s experience at MEC dates back 20 years. She has served as the upper elementary lead teacher, as the interim Head of School, and as a board member. Penny is responsible for forming the Grand Gardeners club at the school. Three of her grandchildren attend MEC.
Middle School Faculty
Jess Harris & Sue Sullivan
Jess Harris leads our Middle School program. A graduate of Louisiana State University at Alexandria, with a B.A. in Elementary Education, Jess received her Montessori Secondary I and II teacher certification from the American Montessori Society. She is the parent of an MEC student.
Sue Sullivan is a former professor of biology at Louisiana State University Alexandria. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Molecular Genetics from the University of Georgia. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year she began working full-time with Jess Harris and the Middle School students. She is a former president of the MEC Board of Directors, and the parent of an MEC graduate.
A graduate of LSUA with a degree in Biology, Charity Rodgers, directs our Science Lab. She instructs children ages 6 through 12. She is the mother of an MEC graduate and a current student.
Claudia Smith has been teaching Spanish to our Primary, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary students since 1996. She attended the Industrial University of Santander in Bucaramanga, Colombia as well as Louisiana State University Alexandria.
Ellene Owens is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University, and studied Piano Performance/Piano Pedagogy at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. She is a composer and has been a music instructor for over forty years. She is the mother of an MEC graduate, and joined our faculty in 2014.
Jordan Fontenot, Carlina moore, Lisa Clair, & Joelle Flaherty
Jordan Tullos is a Louisiana State University at Alexandria student who joined MEC as an after-school teacher. She has been serving as our administrative assistant since the Spring of 2017. Jordan completed the Fundamentals of Montessori course through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
Carlina Moore became the school’s business manager in May of 2018. She had seven years of accounting experience prior to joining MEC. Her son is a current student. firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Clair is a graduate of LSU with a B.A. in Political Science and has been teaching at MEC since 1991. She received her Montessori teacher certification from the Montessori World Educational Institute. In 2017 she left the classroom to join the administrative team and assist the Head of School. Her children attended MEC, and her grandchildren are current students.
Joelle Flaherty has been the Head of School at MEC since 2009. Prior to serving as Head of School, she was an Upper Elementary Teacher from 2001 through 2009. She earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and an M. A. in Montessori Education from St. Catherine University. She received her Montessori Elementary I and II teaching credentials from Southwestern Montessori Training Center. Both of Joelle’s children graduated from MEC and her grandson is a current student. She is a former president of the Louisiana Montessori Association.
After School Staff
Carrie McKinney, Cynthia Butler, Wanda Strother, Darlene Thompson, Shirley Cooper, Sharron Rusk