An independent middle and high school based on Montessori principles
Anna in her kind, caring, helpful manner supports the staff in a wide variety of ways, writing grants, managing the day-to-day administrative needs of the school, pulling together students reports, maintaining records, and posting to social media and the website. Anna has a B.S. in Sociology from George Mason University. She comes to Belle Meade with 18 years experience in human resources and three years grant writing. Prior to moving to Rappahannock in 2005, she was the Recruiting Manager for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in Alexandria and worked for other nonprofits in Northern Virginia. While at Rappahannock County Public Schoolsas grant writer, the most notable grant awarded under her direction was a large, tri-county, USDA Farm to School grant. Anna enjoys cooking, knitting, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and riding horses with her two daughters.
Becky is a skilled full time artist who loves teaching. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University and is currently doing illustration.
As an artist, she chooses to produce work that lifts the spirit and that shows an appreciation for life and the beauty that exists on this earth. She likes to make a difference in people’s lives with her work even if it is only for a moment. Her goal as an art teacher is to make art fun for everyone and introduce the students to a variety of art projects using different mediums including graphite, charcoal, pastels, watercolor and acrylic painting, and ink. She enjoys observing what evolves from the students’ imagination! You can see a sampling of her work at It’s the Nature of Things.
We are excited to announce that Jami will join Belle Meade’s Lower School in August 2020 as the Head Teacher for ages 3 to 12. Jami enjoys working with children of all ages and specifically loves to design learning opportunities based on the students’ individual interests.
Jami is creative and artistic, enjoying work in painting, photography, acting, and vocal performance. She has a B.A. degree from Converse College in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Montessori Philosophy. She completed the AMS/MACTE program for ages 6 to 9 at Lander University in 2008, and the 9 to 12 program at the Montessori Teacher Training institute in 2012. Jami has experience teaching kindergarten through middle school, with a strong focus on Science, and also has experience teaching Early Childhood Education at the college level.
Jami’s simple philosophy of education is to trust the method, engage the students, and most importantly to trust the children in their pursuit of learning. She can’t imagine herself in any other profession than educator. She spends her free time reading, painting, learning new things, and performing in community theatre.
John is a man of all seasons. He interacts easily with people of all ages. His varied background means that he is comfortable in a wide variety of situations. He is patient, reasonable under challenging circumstances; he is an empathetic listener.
John has a B.S. degree from Brigham Young University in Education with an emphasis in Korean. He also studied construction management at San Diego State University. He completed the AMI/NAMTA Adolescent Orientation at Hershey Ohio in 2018. John has experience teaching multiple ages, kindergarten through high school including general elementary education, special education, science, history, and English in Virginia, West Virginia, Idaho, and Illinois. Other work has included military intelligence analysis, military instruction, farming, and writing short stories for publication. John is dedicated to student achievement and helping students reach their potential. He sees education as an exciting, continuing process that results in regular growth, an increasing ability to serve others, working for better ways of doing things, and a desire to learn even more. He enjoys reading, spending time with family, writing, science, and the outdoors.
Kimber’s wisdom and intelligence make his participation in the school community invaluable. He is a gifted musician who sees the world through the lense of mathematics and science. His rapport with students comes from valuing their learning styles and creative insights.
Kimber has a B.A. in Liberal Arts & Sciences and a B.S. in Physics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. He has taught math and physics in public high school, given private music lessons, and tutored university faculty and staff in various techniques of electronic information gathering during the early days of the web. Kimber has been employed as an electrical engineer and technician in the defense and music industries. He currently enjoys teaching mathematics, chemistry, physics and helping with gardening for the Belle Meade Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, as well as tending his family garden and farm in Clarke County. Kimber is the manager emeritus of the Clarke County Farmers’ Market Association and a Board Member of the Clarke County Historical Association. His greatest enjoyment is playing music with his wife and son.
Lauren Hammer brings a sense of adventure, enthusiasm, energy, and passion to equestrianism. Lauren studied Biology at Roanoke College, is an accomplished equestrian photographer, and has worked with horses including training, competing, and instructing for nearly a decade. Her past professional experience includes work in photography, summer camp counseling and administration, barn management, and horseback riding instruction.
New for 2019-2020 school year! Spanish
Melanie is the Spanish language instructor at Belle Meade Montessori School. While her formal education features an AS in Paralegal Studies from Utah Valley University, she has many diverse skills and interests, including music and foreign language. It is her great privilege to encourage students at Belle Meade to broaden their minds and expand their world through learning of a foreign language. As Dr. Maria Montessori said, “That humanity which is revealed in all its intellectual splendor during the sweet and tender age of childhood should be respected with a kind of religious veneration. It is like the sun which appears at dawn or a flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.”
She first studied French in junior high and high school, then in 2003 learned the Spanish language. She loves the rush of adrenaline that comes when, after prolonged focus on and practicing of a foreign language, it begins to flow without force and a new world is opened. When not at school, Melanie enjoys sewing, research and personal development, and spending time with her husband and two young children in the garden or exploring the rich nature and history of the surrounding area.
Mike brings a love of nature, the outdoors, wildlife. His energy and wily sense of humor make working with him an adventure. He enjoys sharing practical projects with students.
Mike holds a B.S. in Biology from George Mason University. He practices sustainable, grass-based farming. He has both a theoretical and a practical interest in farming. Mike studies and practices ecological growing of food and animal husbandry. He created a heating system for the schoolhouse and the farmhouse using locally available wood. He is involved with the students as a teacher, as a mentor; he goes on trips with the school. Together Susan and Mike also manage Belle Meade Bed & Breakfast and Belle Meade Day Camp. In addition, Mike is serving his second term on the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors.
Susan is a dedicated and compassionate leader who provides inspiration and vision for the school program, working towards her goals with a determined passion. Susan cares about her staff and students, working hard to ensure that each person is valued and heard.
Susan Hoffman, A.B. Smith College, Ed. M. Harvard, Ed. D. Johns Hopkins University, has a diverse educational background. She has more than four decades of experience teaching, training teachers, and writing curricula. Her love of teaching and her love of the outdoors have merged in Belle Meade School. Susan’s experience includes training teachers, developing mathematics curriculum, working as a mathematics resource teacher, classroom teaching, individual tutoring in mathematics and reading. She was twice the state level winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. She also was awarded a Cafritz Foundation grant for studying mathematics in China and Japan. She teaches Mathematics and Latin and participates in many school and farm activities. She and Mike established Belle Meade Day Camp in 1994 and Belle Meade School in 2007.