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 & Maddi Griffis
Jemma Lortie studied Social Work, and has a B.S.W. degree from Northwestern State University. She has worked with two to three year old children for over 10 years. She has been a teacher in our Toddler Program since January of 2011. She received her Montessori teacher certification from North American Montessori Center.
Originally from Oregon, Maddi Griffis moved to the Central Louisiana area in August of 2020. She served as as an assistant toddler teacher at Treehill Dayschool in Wood Village, Oregon. Her daughter is a new MEC student.
Sarah McCartney & Tiffany Bailey
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 North American Montessori Center.
Tiffany Bailey 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.
Maddie is a student at NSU studying History. She assists the teachers in both toddler classrooms.
Teresa Strandquist & Megan Riche
Teresa Strandquist joined MEC for the 2019-2020 school year. She holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Pennsylvania State University and AMS certification as a Montessori teacher. Teresa’s children are current MEC students.
Megan Riche began her school career as a primary and elementary student at MEC. She is a graduate of LSU and has a BS in Early Childhood Education. She received her Montessori early childhood certification from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in 2019. She worked previously as an early childhood teacher at Mabel Brasher Montessori. Megan’s son, Rowan, will join us as a toddler student for the 2021/2022 school year.
Shahla Khalid & Coty Verdin
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.
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. Coty earned her Montessori Early Childhood credential wih the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
Ary Deaton & Elissa Cooley Ashlyn Magel
Ary Deaton attended Our Lady of the Lake College, is a registered nurse and a certified Montessori teacher. She obtained her Montessori Early Childhood credential from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She is an MEC parent and served as the Montessori Parents Association treasurer. She has been a part of the MEC faculty since 2013.
Elissa Cooley, began her career at MEC as our after school director. In December of 2021, she joined our primary teaching team as an intern. She is pursing her Montessori Early Childhood credential from the Montessori World Educational Institute. Elissa’s daughter is a current MEC student.
Ashlyn Magel has been a long time parent and volunteer at MEC. In 2021 she joined our staff as an assistant helping in all three primary classrooms in the morning and in the Deaton/Cooley classroom in the afternoon.
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
Patrick McGinty, Buffy Stroderd, Christal Workman & Penny McGinty
Patrick McGinty is a former MEC teacher who served the upper elementary class from 2016-2019 and will be returning for the 2021/2022 school year. He is a graduate of Bolton High School and Tulane University. He received his Montessori Elementary I and II certification from the Montessori World Educational Institute (MWEI). In addition to his passion for the Montessori philosophy, Mr. McGinty is devoted to gardening, recycling, and environmental causes. Mr. McGinty lived in South America for a year to immerse himself in the language and is fluent in Spanish.
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 2019-2020 school year, Christal Workman became a full-time teacher in the upper elementary class. In the past, Christal 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. Christal obtained her Elementary I and Elementary II certification with the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Christal is the mother of five children; four of her children MEC students.
Penny McGinty has joined the upper elementary class as a teacher during 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 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. Sue is actively pursuing her Montessori Secondary I and II teacher certification from the American Montessori Society. She is a former president of the MEC Board of Directors, and the parent of an MEC graduate.
Science & Fine Arts
Charity Rodgers & Amber Voorhies
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.
A graduate of Louisiana College with a B.A. in Studio Art, Amber began her career at MEC in 2004 as our Art instructor. She went on to become a certified Montessori teacher at the Toddler and Elementary I and II levels. She received her credential from Southwestern Montessori Training Center. Amber taught in our toddler environment as well as our upper elementary classroom. She now serves as our Fine Arts instructor teaching Art and Music Appreciation. firstname.lastname@example.org
sMeghan Flaherty, Lisa Clair, & Joelle Flaherty
Meghan Flaherty is a graduate of The Art Institute of Portland. She became an MEC parent and volunteer in 2018. She began serving as our administrative assistant in July of 2021.
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. Lisa is the current Secretary of the Louisiana Montessori Association.
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 one of her grandsons is a current student. She is the current Vice President of the Louisiana Montessori Association.