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ABOUT Hershey
"It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it." - Dr. Maria Montessori

Concord - Faculty

Tierney Dewan-Saperstein
Parent-Infant Community Guide

Tierney Dewan-Saperstein received her AMI Primary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute and her Master's in Education from Loyola University in Maryland in 2002. She continued her schooling earning an AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma in 2004.

Tierney has been with Hershey Montessori School since 2002, assisting in many areas of the program, including Early Elementary, Aftercare, library operations and the Young Child Community.

In her time away from school, Tierney fills her schedule teaching group fitness classes and spending time with her husband, Josh, and their daughters. Tierney and her family are thrilled to be part of the Hershey community.

Danielle Brassard
All-Day Young Child Community Guide

Danielle Brassard attended Whittier College where she received her B.A. in Child Development with a minor in Education in 2010. Immediately afterwards, she began her Montessori certification through the Montessori Institute of San Diego and the University of San Diego. She earned her A.M.I. Assistants to Infancy and Primary dipolmas as well as a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Montessori Education in 2011. 

Danielle grew up in San Diego and moved to Ohio to serve Hershey Montessori School as a Young Child Community Guide in 2011. 

Danielle enjoys crafting, decorating, cooking, baking, reading, and a good movie. She is delighted to be part of the Hershey Community. 

Alyssa Conklin-Moore
All-Day Young Child Community Guide

Alyssa Conklin-Moore received her B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Psychology from Oberlin College in 1998. She immediately went on to pursue her Montessori certification by attending the Ohio Montessori Training Institute, where she earned her A.M.I. Primary diploma in 1999. Next, she was off to Denver, Colorado where she focused on children under three and completed her A.M.I. Assistants to Infancy diploma in 2000. Ultimately, she earned her Master's in Education from Cleveland State University, specializing in Montessori Education as well as Curriculum Development and Instruction. In 2001, Alyssa traveled to Paris, France to participate in the International Montessori Congress that assembles every four years. Alyssa completed her doula training with ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators) in 2006.

Alyssa has been with Hershey Montessori School since 1999, serving as a Guide in the Young Child Community. She also spent many years collaborating with young families as the facilitator of the Parent-Infant Program. Alyssa has assisted with the three year old nap program and also served in a supporting role for the residential staff at the Adolescent program in Huntsburg, OH.

Alyssa and her husband, Chris, have two children, Alexis Rae and Asher. Together, they enjoy reading, time spent outdoors, and simply being together at home! They celebrate the unique way in which the Hershey Community has enhanced each of their lives with gratitude.

Jayne B. Koeth
Children's House Community Guide

Jayne Koeth received her B.A. degree in Speech/Communications from The College of Wooster in 1979. She received certification as a Jr. Great Books Leader from The Great Books Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization, in 1997. She received her AMI Primary diploma in 2004. She received certification in the Wilson Language Reading System Level 1 in 2005.

Jayne joined Hershey in 1994 as an Elementary assistant. After two years, she became the School Librarian, developing the library environment for the next 9 years. While in the library Jayne enjoyed working with the Elementary children in small reading groups as a Junior Great Books Leader. Inspired by their love of work, she pursued her AMI Primary diploma, and has had her own classroom since 2005.

Jayne enjoys health and fitness, gardening, cooking, reading, church involvement, and time spent with friends and family: husband Rick and two daughters.

Karen Hannan-DeWalt
Children's House Community Guide

Karen Hannan-DeWalt received her AMI Primary diploma at the Ohio Montessori Training Institute in Cleveland in 1998. She also holds a B.A. in Biology from Hiram College with a minor in Environmental Studies.

Karen's previous experience includes working as a full-time mom, a cytogenetics technologist, a Hiram College laboratory teaching assistant, and an environmental planner for a regional agency. She also assisted in the Young Child Community for two years prior to teaching at the Primary level starting in 2000. She has a special interest in providing outdoor opportunities and large motor activities for children.

Karen's three sons have been long-time students at Hershey, beginning in the Parent-Infant program up through the Adolescent program on the farm. She enjoys yard work, playing in rivers and handywoman work.

Johan van der Wee
Children's House Community Guide

A native of the Netherlands, Johan earned a B.S. in Agriculture from that country's International Agricultural College. After using his agricultural degree in Costa Rica and Cameroon, Johan moved to America. It was while working as a Park Interpreter for the Dayton Metroparks System that Johan discovered his love of teaching, as he developed educational programs for preschool and homeschool groups, as well as designing an award-winning children's gardening program. During this time Johan earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Dayton. Wanting to further explore a career in education, Johan enrolled in the Ohio Montessori Training Institute, earning his AMI Primary diploma , and has been working as a guide in Montessori classrooms ever since. He also completed the Montessori Orientation Program to Adolescent Studies offered by the North American Montessori Teacher Association. When he is not teaching, Johan enjoys running (having completed nine marathons, including Boston!), biking, cross fit, painting, and spending time with his beloved dog, Betsy.

Jennifer Finan
Early Elementary Community Guide

Jennifer Finan attended Ohio University where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences. Inspired by the Montessori approach to education, she enrolled at the Washington Montessori Institute and received her AMI Elementary diploma (ages 6-12).

Jennifer worked for one year as an Elementary assistant at Hudson Montessori School in Hudson, Ohio before joining Hershey's elementary program in 1993. She has taught in both the Early and the Upper Elementary programs.

Jennifer enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, cooking, and photography. She lives in Concord Township, Ohio with her husband, Chris, and their daughter, who is enrolled in Hershey's Elementary program.

Kate Witosky
Early Elementary Community Teacher

Kate Witosky holds both the AMI Primary and Elementary diplomas and also a M.Ed. in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Maryland. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and was a chemist in the paint and adhesive industry prior to becoming a teacher.

Starting in 2000, Kate was an Upper Elementary teacher at Hershey Montessori School and then became an Early Elementary teacher in the Fall of 2007. Her family has been involved with the school since 1992.

Kate also holds both Level I and Level II certification (ages 3-9) in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori-based program of religious formation for children. Kate is a catechist at her church in Chardon, Ohio. Kate and her husband, Gary, reside in Chardon with their two children, both former Hershey students.

Sarah Tetzloff
Upper Elementary Community Guide

Sarah Tetzloff was inspired by her drama work with Hershey elementary students to take the Montessori Elementary training. She holds a BFA degree in Theatre Arts from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio and received her AMI Elementary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute, along with her M.ED in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Maryland.

Sarah spent 18 years teaching children the art of theatre at the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, as well as six years as Outreach Director, helping school administrators and teachers build arts curricula into their classrooms. Sarah joined the teaching staff of Hershey Montessori School as an Upper Elementary guide in 2007.

Sarah enjoys playing volleyball, bird watching and researching her family history. She also loves spending time with her boyfriend, Bart, and their yellow lab, Sky.

Venus Kohler
Upper Elementary Community Guide

Venus comes to Hershey Montessori with sound elementary level experience from Vancouver, WA. She has been working with children in the Montessori environment since 2004. After her experience as an assistant solidified her interest in the Montessori Method, she went on to receive her AMI Elementary training in 2006 at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee, WI and has been teaching since. She also holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Mumbai and is currently pursuing her Masters in Education. Venus also assisted in Curriculum Alignment (state standards vs. Montessori) and incorporated Reading and Writing (Language Arts) into the Montessori environment.

Venus grew up in India where among other endeavors she spent time traveling as a youth representative and performer for an International Youth Conference.

Venus and her husband Eldon have two young boys - Isaac and Elijah. In her spare time from mothering and maintaining an Elementary Montessori environment, Venus enjoys organic gardening, home improvement projects, reading, and writing poetry.

Huntsburg - Faculty

Mike Ard Mike Ard
Adolescent Community Guide
Mike earned his Bachelor's degree in Secondary Integrated Social Studies Education from Kent State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Hershey, Mike taught for ten years in both public and independent schools located in Colorado as well as Ohio. His time in Colorado included work as a faculty member of the Peak School, a progressive independent school located in Frisco, CO, where students were guided through experiential, project-based learning models with an emphasis on the roles of local and global citizenship. Originally from northeast Ohio, Mike now resides in nearby Montville with his wife and two children, who are enrolled at the Concord campus. Mike enjoys a variety of sporting pursuits and has experience as both a participant and coach in basketball and track and field. Additionally, Mike is an enthusiastic maple-sugarer, having earned awards at both the Geauga County Fair and the Chardon Maple Festival.  
Robyn Dill

Robyn Dill
Office Coordinator

Robyn joined the Hershey community in 2011 as Office Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Communication from Miami University of Ohio. Her farm upbringing led her to a career in the commercial horticulture industry as a trade magazine editor, writer, and marketing professional prior to joining Hershey. She interfaces daily with students, staff, and parents at the Huntsburg campus. She and her husband, Mike, and daughter, Madelyn, live nearby in rural Geauga County.

Laurie Ewert-Krocker

Laurie Ewert-Krocker
Adolescent Community Faculty, Pedagogical Advisor

Laurie has been with the Hershey Montessori School Adolescent Program since it began in 1996. She was the Upper Elementary teacher before that and helped to design the farm environment and program. Her original degree work was a B.A and M.A. in English, and she taught college writing for 9 years before joining the Montessori world. She has AMI training at the 3-6 and 6-12 levels. Laurie acts as Pedagogical Advisor to the Middle School, supporting design and implementation of program components. This year she will be working on the design of an Upper School curriculum and supporting student work in writing workshops. She hikes, plays the guitar, sings, and enjoys theater and Native American history and culture. Both of her children went through Hershey Montessori School from ages 2-14. She is married to Jim, the Farm School Farm and Facilities Manager, and they live in a house on the school property.


Jim Ewert-Krocker

Jim Ewert-Krocker
Farm and Facilities Manager, Residential Advisor

Jim is the supervising adult for the facility's operations. He leads Occupation Projects and guides book group discussions. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from John Carroll University, and he managed a wholesale tree and shrub nursery for many years before joining the Hershey staff in 1998. Jim helped to design the farm environment and facility. He and Laurie have two children who went through Hershey Montessori School from Infant Community through the Middle School. Jim enjoys the outdoors, some occasional baseball and basketball, and traveling to see different landscapes.


David McNees

David McNees
Adolescent Community Guide

David enjoys his role as a generalist guide, teaching Drama, Writing, Occupations, Humanities and more. Prior to Hershey, he was a guide at Hudson Montessori School's Adolescent Program, during which time he completed the NAMTA Adolescent Orientation. His undergraduate work included poetry, literature, natural sciences, and education at Middlebury College and U.C. Berkeley. David also holds a Master's degree in Creative Art Therapy and Applied Psychology from New York University in the Steinhardt Graduate School of Education. Having worked as an individual and group therapist, David brings a very caring and knowledgeable psychological understanding to his work as a guide. An avid Shakespearean scholar and actor, David has produced and performed in many states. He has traveled extensively, living and working in different cultures, and is thrilled to settle into such a beautiful area. His wife, Elizabeth, is a nurse at a local hospital; and their children, Lucy and Cormac, attend Hershey at the Concord Campus.


Judy Venaleck

Judy Venaleck
Adolescent Community
Program Director
Adolescent Community Guide
Occupations, Humanities, Math, Creative and Physical Expression

Judy has been with Hershey Montessori Middle School Program for the past 16 years. Her background includes an Environmental Education major which includes a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate. Before coming to Hershey Montessori School, Judy worked at the Holden Arboretum, the Shaker Lakes Nature Center, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Judy has been involved in many areas at the Huntsburg Campus and in addition to being Program Director, she also teaches Occupations and Workshops regularly. Judy's interests include nutrition, gardening, cooking, knitting and a variety of sports. She looks forward to offering workshops in these areas to the students this year. Judy is married to Jim, and has three children: Kyle, Lucas, and Makenna. Her children have attended Hershey Montessori School. She and her family reside in Concord, Ohio. 


Rachel McKinney

Rachel McKinney
Adolescent Community Guide
Supervising Adult for Farm Operations

Rachel joined the Hershey community in 2002. Rachel McKinney earned a B.A. in Biology from The College of Wooster and an M.A.T. in secondary education from Kent State University. She had many adventures teaching in experiential education programs in both North Carolina and the Catskill Mountains of New York and was a naturalist in South Carolina and Ohio. Prior to coming to the Hershey Adolescent program, she managed an organic market farm and non-profit organization. She also taught middle school science and math in a school near Akron, Ohio. She grew up on a diverse family farm and enjoys almost any activity related to the outdoors (hiking, cross-country skiing, biking). She also enjoys knitting and playing old-time banjo with other local string band musicians. She resides in Huntsburg.

Tony Losasso

Tony Losasso
Adolescent Community Guide
Humanities, Occupations, Woodshop, Creative and Physical Expression

In 1989, Tony received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Zoology from Kent State University. After working for Lake Metroparks as a naturalist and manager of The Wildlife Center, he assisted Laurie Ewert-Krocker in her (9-12) elementary classroom at Hershey Montessori from 1993 to 1996. In 1997 he completed the (AMI) Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Course in Washington D.C. While at Forest Bluff Montessori in Lake Bluff, Illinois he accrued seven years of experience as guide of both lower (6-9) and upper (9-12) elementary level classes. His work with the adolescent includes assisting with Ruffing Montessori’s first two-week adolescent farm experience in 1996. He was also the lead guide for The Greenspire School, a Montessori Junior High located in Traverse City, Michigan. In 2006 the opportunity arose to move back to Ohio to rejoin the Hershey Community as an adolescent guide. Amy, his wife, and their daughters Gwendolyn and Julia reside in Geauga County.


Ana Reljanovic

Ana Reljanovic
Adolescent Community Guide

Ana Reljanovic grew up in the Geauga County area. She received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor concentration in Spanish from Colgate University in 2012. Before coming to Hershey, Ana taught ESOL Introduction to American Culture and Costume Design and tutored in every subject to all levels of high school students in New Lebanon, New York for two years. Outside of academics, Ana has pursued various philanthropic avenues including volunteering and fundraising for the Hope for Honduran Children Foundation, volunteering at Fieldstone Farm's Therapeutic Riding Center, and writing grants while serving on Colgate University's Student Philanthropy Council. In her spare time, Ana enjoys traveling, crafting, ballroom dancing, and babying her dog, Daisy. She has a passion for both interior and bridal design. She will be teaching Spanish, Humanities, and other projects at Hershey Montessori Adolescent Community.


Elizabeth Seney

Elizabeth Seney
Adolescent Community Guide

Elizabeth Seney received her B.A. in Psychology from National University and an M.A. in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University and is a licensed middle school mathematics teacher. She attended the NAMTA Adolescent Orientation in the summer of 2011. Before coming to Hershey, Elizabeth taught 7th grade mathematics and high school Algebra in Durham, North Carolina for four years. Prior to that, she wrote and taught the computer curriculum for Kindergarten through 6th grade in Irvine, California for Alderwood Basics Plus. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and working out. She is also an artist who works in acrylics and graphite pencil portraits. She will be teaching Algebra, Occupations and Humanities at Hershey Montessori Adolescent Community. She will also be leading various art projects and outdoor Physical Expressions.


Huntsburg - Residential Staff

Paige Huggler-Olson,
Adolescent Community Residential Staff

Paige Huggler-Olson recently completed her Master's in Education at Loyola University. She has an undergraduate degree in Social Work and is Montessori trained for the elementary and adolescent communities. Paige lives with her husband, Tyler, and their two dogs in Cleveland Heights. She enjoys hiking, camping, knitting, coffee, going on walks with her husband and dogs, yoga, reading, and traveling.


Andrew Marshall,
Adolescent Community Residential Staff

Andrew Marshall received a B.A. in Film and Television from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Prior to joining the Hershey community, he had a varied career as a photographer, graphic artist, video editor, and filmmaker. This is his second year as a houseparent in the Adolescent Community. Andrew recently completed the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies where he received his AMI Adolescent Certification. He enjoys reading, running, weight-lifting, mountain biking, cooking, playing chess, and long-distance outdoor adventures.

Rachael Shaw Marshall,
Adolescent Community Residential Staff

Rachael Shaw Marshall holds a B.A. in Vocal Performance and an M.A. in Speech and Theater. She gained her AMI certification during the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescent Studies in 2011 and became a houseparent in 2012. Before coming to Hershey, Rachel was a Humanities guide, lower elementary assistant, and drama/music teacher for a Montessori school in Georgia. She also taught music and drama through various theaters and private studios and organizations. Rachael performs professionally in her spare time and enjoys running, walking her two dogs on the farm, cooking, and outdoor activities.

Cassie Sorrells

Cassie Sorrells
Adolescent Community Residential Faculty (Part-Time)
Cassie received her BA in Multidisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in Anthropology, Biology, and Linguistics, from West Virginia University in 2012. She comes to the Hershey community after spending a year in Madrid, Spain, where she received her TEFL certification and had the opportunity to teach English to children aged 3-10, as well as adults. Cassie is a Montessori alumna, and was drawn back to her roots when she realized that she wished to pursue a career in education. Cassie is absolutely thrilled to be joining the Residential team at the Hershey Farm School, and looks forward to sharing her interests in yoga, reading, theater, and Spanish, with the boarders there.


Head of School
Huntsburg (The Farm)
Employment Opportunities

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Concord Campus: 10229 Prouty Rd. Concord, OH 44077
Huntsburg Campus: 11530 Madison Road, Huntsburg Twp., Ohio 44046
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