An independent school in Sperryville, Virginia based on Montessori principles
Daniel Clement is the Upper School Science teacher and Homesteading guide. He was born in Oklahoma but moved to the Rappahannock community at a young age. Daniel was briefly home schooled but spent most of his K-12 education in Rappahannock public school. He went on to attend Lynchburg University, earning a Bachelors of Science in Biology. Notably, he spent time in Gamboa, Panama studying with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Ask him about spiders!
Daniel has a strong passion for science which makes educating exciting and fun. Throughout his life he was a boy scout, an athlete, an outdoorsman, a researcher, an explorer, a farmer, a construction worker, a coach, a student and a guide. All bringing valuable life skills to the Belle Meade community. Daniel has always been a helper and a problem solver. It brings him joy to bring these attributes to the classroom and educate on an individual level.
Daniel enjoys hiking, fishing, playing soccer, swimming, boating, visiting museums, and deep conversations that stimulate critical thinking.
Kathy McGee is our lead teacher of the elementary program. “Miss Kathy” is a graduate of VCU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Education. She has been shaped in part by life overseas, including with the US Peace Corps in Ukraine.
Haley McLean is the Upper School Math guide and Belle Meade Horsemanship guide. Haley earned a Bachelor’s of Mathematics and a Masters of Education from Emory & Henry College in southwest Virginia. Haley has six years of experience teaching high school and middle school mathematics in central Virginia and has spent time abroad as a World Teach Volunteer, teaching mathematics in townships outside of Cape Town, South Africa.
Haley is passionate about helping students conquer their fears and challenges in the mathematics classroom, with an emphasis on conceptual versus procedural understanding. It is her goal to help all students become more confident in mathematics, in themselves, and to become problem solvers and community members of our world. Haley grew up riding horses, spent time as a trail guide in Colorado, and has worked in many different barns at summer camps and professional barns in Fauquier County as a working student. Haley enjoys pleasure riding, trail riding, hunter paces, and loves teaching students about the importance of responsible horse care, building trusting relationships, and having fun.
Haley grew up in Madison County and still loves to explore and admire the beautiful countryside and Blue Ridge Mountains through horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, and more. In her free time, Haley enjoys riding her horse, walking with her dog, singing, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.
Primary Teacher – After growing up in Rappahannock county, Lakota attended a boarding school in Massachusetts with a focus on the head, the hand and the heart, a sentiment she carries with her as a teacher. At James Madison University, Lakota received her BFA with a focus in ceramics and k-12 art education and a minor in special education. Lakota realized that public education was not the arena for her and came to Montessori through her sister, who’s four children attended a Montessori school. She attended the Montessori Institute of San Diego and acquired her M.Ed from Loyola University Maryland. Lakota’s favorite aspect of teaching is seeing a child’s excitement and joy from learning something new and feeling capable of anything they put their mind to. She currently lives in Madison with her wife and two stepchildren. Lakota loves participating in local theater, creating art at home, baking, singing, and spending time with her family.
Head of School 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 theater.