An independent middle and high school based on Montessori principles
Mike brings a love of nature, the outdoors, and 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 has both a theoretical and a practical interest in farming. He practices sustainable, grass-based 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 and 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.
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.
Sue is enthusiastic, compassionate, and loves working with horses (and children.) She brings almost 40 years (yikes!) of equine experience to our horsemanship program. Sue will encourage students to become capable, confident, knowledgeable, and compassionate English and/or Western riders. In addition to being an accomplished rider (dressage, hunters and eventing), Sue has extensive professional experience in equine husbandry including: breeding, foaling, nutrition and veterinary care. She spends her free time with her two awesome horses. Sammy (pictured) has a great sense of humor. He is an Off-Track-Thoroughbred (OTTB) gelding and winner of almost $90,000. Laney was adopted from a rescue organization. She is a lovely Paint mare with impeccable western training.
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 illustrating picture books .Her work has been shown in galleries, museums, and conferences across the country including the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, The Gallery of Art and Design at the University of Central Missouri, LDS Church History Museum in Salt Lake, the 2019 Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Conference at Dulles VA, Rappahannock Virginia County Art Tour, The State Theater Gallery in Culpeper Va, and the Fredericksburg VA Regional Women’s Conference.
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.
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.
Jami joined Belle Meade’s Lower School in August 2020 as 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. She enjoys 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.
Parker is young and spirited, and brings her love of Physics and Math into everything she does. She is a 2021 graduate of Morehead State University, where she studied Physics with a concentration in Astronomy. Parker has been a tutor and physics seminar lecturer for three years, and has taught lessons such as “The Physics of Zip-Lining” and “The Physics of Skiing.”
In her free time, Parker enjoys sewing, crocheting, cross stitching, reading, singing, hiking, birding, baking, and cooking. She uses her many interests both as creative outlets and as learning and communication tools. Parker believes that any experience can be made into a learning experience, and wakes up each morning ready to observe the world and learn something new.