Meet Our Team

Dr. Maria Montessori:

“Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.”

(not pictured: Dr. John, Dr. Nathaniel and Mr. Ben)


Our Hillsboro Team

Some of our students, ages 6-18, interviewed our team at the beginning of the year.

Here are the results:



Ms. Connie, one of our co-founders, is a parent volunteer. As our Executive Director and secondary teacher, she keeps us operating without a glitch, even in robotics! Fortunately, she was a computer scientist and programmer before she retired to raise her three boys. Her youngest goes to Hillsboro, and as a mom, she appreciates that he gets to learn at his own rate because he enjoys doing above grade level work in some areas.  In addition to making sure everything is running smoothly, she also donates big blocks of time to take us on amazing adventures around the USA. Recently, she has chaperoned trips to Boston and Acadia National Park; Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  She has plans to take the students to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, and Meteor Crater this fall.   Thanks to Ms. Connie’s attention to detail, humor, and patience, our trips always turn out to be trips of a lifetime!    -E, 17.




We are very excited to welcome our new Operations Director. Dorothy Ewing was looking for a camp for her son when she stumbled upon The Hillsboro School. Since then, Mrs. Dorothy has been a megaphone for our school, connecting us to the Helena community as well as the Ross Bridge Market. She has helped our students with our business and marketing when we attend events like the markets at Ross Bridge and in downtown Helena.  -K, 13, and C, 11.






We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Ben our elementary and secondary science teacher as well as our garden and livestock educator.  He majored in biology and history at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Some of his hobbies include reading, cooking, outdoor activities, and farming.  Currently, he is trying to learn the banjo. Before he started teaching he worked at a farm and has traveled to many places. Most recently he completed the Camino de Santiago walk. He comes to Hillsboro with several years of teaching experience.  Mr. Ben loves kids and says he still has the heart of an 8-year-old! -C, 12, and C, 14



Dr. John is a dentist as well as a parent volunteer. He and his wife, Dr. Wendy, split work weeks at their dental office to allow them to be so involved with the school and with their children. Dr. John coaches robotics. To say he is invested is an understatement as he has the robotics table in his living room!  Dr. Wendy and Dr. John tried lots of different schools for their two kids but nothing seemed to click until they sent them to a week-long summer camp at a Montessori school and both of their daughters instantly loved it. They’ve been attending Montessori schools ever since.   -A, 16.






Ms. Meghan believes that Hillsboro is a second family to her. She enjoys her time working with people as our Business Director.  Having the opportunity to help the school get stronger and function smoothly brings her joy. It’s a lot like working with family. She has a number of hobbies including anything Disney, hiking, camping and traveling any chance she gets. She is from just about everywhere because she has moved so much. She has a lot of business experience, but she really likes Hillsboro the best. Ms. Meghan has been working here since Hillsboro opened. -C, 13.




 For 30 years our co-founder, Dr. Melinda Bray, has been dedicated to developing communities that are based on how students and teachers learn. Dr. Melinda started her career at the International School of Basel in Switzerland and has since taught in Germany, Japan, Russia, and given presentations around the USA as well as in Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland.  She also consulted for the Smithsonian Museum regarding how to develop meaningful collaborations with schools. She encourages such collaboration, stating: “Planned trips allow students to pursue knowledge with a purpose and passion that can’t be replicated inside the classroom. Learning in the classroom is a springboard to exploration and discovery outside it. Nothing beats observing students building gardens and painting bridges with school children in Puerto Rico, or seeing the joy in older students’ eyes when they built a garden bed for our Hillsboro preschoolers.” Ms. Melinda is truly a second mother to the majority of students, making sure that they have a balance between their personal and academic lives. -E, 18.




Dr. Nathaniel is a parent volunteer who assists in STEM-related topics from tutoring math to coaching robotics. After graduating with honors in biology from Harvard, this NY native came south to earn his masters and doctorate in education from Vanderbilt, where he met and then married, Dr. Melinda. He constantly seeks to spark that love of learning in others.  While he is continually reminded it does not fall under his field of expertise, Dr. Nathaniel insists on pursuing his favorite form of English: the pun. Unfortunately for students, a bad pun a day does not keep Dr. Nathaniel away. Students know that they can always count on him to answer a question when they need it. -H, 15.





Who is Mr. Patrick? He is our awesome Elementary Teacher and Education Director!  In addition to teaching, he enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, woodworking, and gardening. He loves the challenge of teaching all ages, and he has been teaching for 21 years! Mr. Patrick says, “there is no one way to teach,” and “you never stop teaching.’’ He enjoys volunteering and has been a youth advisor, a trainer for teachers, and more. Mr. Patrick has managed a West Coast Video and a landscape company. We are excited to have Mr. Patrick as one of our new teachers.  -C, 10 and J, 10.




Ms. Raji teaches toddler students. On a scale of 1 to 10, she likes teaching a 10! Not only does she like teaching, but she makes learning fun. She is Montessori certified and has taught for five years in Montessori schools. She likes the Montessori philosophy because she loves how the children learn and knows that children are able to learn a lot more than most people think they can. When she is not teaching or planning cool lessons, she likes to read and take walks.  -C, 9 and J, 9.



Ms. Samima teaches the three, four, and five-year-olds. If she was not a teacher she would still do something with children, like gardening with them. She likes working with young children because she believes “early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.” She has been teaching for six years. The Montessori philosophy of guiding the child and following their interests motivates and encourages her to work her hardest. She loves The Hillsboro School! -C, 10 and S, 6.




Dr. Wendy is a parent volunteer who works with everyone from our preschool students to high school students! She teaches the high school and middle school business class with Dr. Melinda. Dr. Wendy also teaches the entire school gardening as well as the elementary students robotics.  Dr. Wendy houses bees to help the garden and helps teach kids through lots of hands-on experiences how to produce from the earth without harming it. -A, 17.