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.”




Meghan EdwardsMeghan Edwards, Business Director


Meghan keeps the business side of our school humming. She has an eye for detail which makes her a meticulous record keeper and a stickler for policy adherence. Her compassionate spirit enriches everyone around her. To Meghan, Hillsboro is a second family and she loves using her gifts to help grow and strengthen the school.   




Dorothy Ewing

Dorothy Ewing, Operations Director


Dorothy began as a parent volunteer by giving tours and marketing Hillsboro to surrounding communities.  She brings almost two decades of management experience to our Operations Director position. Her background in management and sales has aided in our growing enrollment and, as a self-proclaimed people fanatic, she loves getting to know our current and prospective families. She is currently earning her Montessori Leadership Certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.




Shanna Blair

Shanna Blair, Lead Toddler Teacher


Ms. Shanna is our Lead Toddler Teacher and has a love and practice of the Montessori philosophy. She shows patience and kindness to our youngest students and is a model of grace and courtesy. She will begin her Montessori training in Infant-Toddler from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in January 2022.





Anna Freiger

Anna Freiger, Assistant Toddler Teacher


Ms. Anna brings 15 years of childcare experience to our toddler class. She loves our low student teacher ratio and the care our teachers show each student and to each other. Ms. Anna looks is learning more about the Montessori philosophy and enjoys how it “just makes sense” in child development and learning.





Samima Hassan, Lead Primary Teacher Samima Hassan


Samima Hassan leads our Primary Class with unwavering kindness. She sees in her students the people they will become and never gives up on them. She holds a certification from the North American Montessori Center in Infant/Toddler.  Samima’s dedication to her class earned her a second Montessori certification in Early Childhood from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She loves teaching and using the child’s interests to make connections with their learning.




Raji ThopayRaji Thopay, Primary Teacher


Raji Thopay is like family to our students. She brings to our school a decade of experience and an Infant-Toddler Certification from the North American Montessori Center.  Her class is full of energy and curiosity, and she loves finding new ways to keep them moving and learning. Raji gives each child the same love and attention they receive at home. She will begin her training in Early Childhood from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in January 2022.




Lydia Edwards, Primary Teaching AssistantLydia Edwards


Ms. Lydia is in school at UAB working toward a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. She is drawn to the Montessori method of teaching and is excited to guide our 3-6 year old students in grace and courtesy.





Katie ScruggsKatie Scruggs, Lead Lower Elementary Teacher


Katie’s creativity and adaptive style help her reach students at their level. She enjoys teaching the lower elementary ages and knows that not every child learns in the same way or at the same time. As a lifelong learner herself, she jumped right into studying Montessori Fundamentals and is currently earning her Montessori Elementary Certification from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.



Miriam Lagona, Upper Elementary TeacherMiriam Lagona


Miriam believes that having real connections with her students makes a difference in their education. She enjoys creating meaningful lessons that address diverse student needs and interests.  Her students love her down to earth nature and know that she genuinely cares. She brings humor to her classroom and fits right in with our corny, punny crew.  Miriam studied Montessori Fundamentals from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and will start earning her full certification January 2022.





Ben AlbersBen Albers, Secondary Teacher


Ben Albers’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning never fails to create an exciting lesson.  He teaches our Secondary class to explore, ask questions and dig in (sometimes literally when in the garden!). When a student struggles with a concept, his creativity helps him find new ways to engage.




Areli TarangoAreli Tarango, Spanish Teacher


Areli teaches Spanish to our Toddlers through 12th grade! Her immersive lessons are fun and silly with the Toddler and Primary students, interesting and interactive with the Elementary students, and conversational with our Secondary students. Areli makes learning Spanish an adventure by playing games, singing songs and incorporating puppets. She studied Montessori Fundamentals from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.



Cynthia McDaniel

Cynthia McDaniel, Aftercare Coordinator



Cynthia McDaniel is our outstanding Aftercare Coordinator. She has a heart for serving and taking care of others. Helping our children become curious, compassionate and creative comes naturally, because that’s who she is!





Emily WelchEmily Welch, Aftercare Assistant



Emily is currently in school at The University of Montevallo working toward her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. She was a gymnastics instructor for children and is brimming with ideas of aftercare activities. She thinks that learning should be hands-on and fun!















Interested in joining our team? We are always looking for talented Montessori teachers. Please send your resume and cover letter to