Faculty & Staff

  • Kate Riley, Head of School

    For many years, Kate Riley was on a mission to provide Nashville children and families with an affordable, Christ-centered Montessori educational experience. In 2009, Kate realized the fulfillment of that dream when Holy Trinity Montessori opened its doors. 

    Until 2013, Kate continued to serve as a teacher in several of our classroom communities as well as Head of School. As the school grew, Kate eventually transitioned out of the classroom and now focuses on leading our amazing teaching staff, administering the school, and working tirelessly to expand HTM  and bring as many resources as possible to our families and students. Although her role has changed, Kate's heart will always be in the classroom, so she still finds time to visit each one at HTM regularly as both a teacher and a staff mentor. 

    Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Montessori Education from Xavier University and a Masters of Teaching in Special Education from Belmont University. She received her Montessori Elementary training through the North American Progressive Montessori Training Program, and completed the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Training Program, Levels I and II. Before opening HTM, Kate acquired over 13 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools, serving children ages 18 months through 9 years. Her most recent role was Adjunct Professor, Internship Coordinator and Field Consultant for the Montessori Teacher Education Program at Belmont University. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC) as well as the American Montessori Society (AMS).  

    Kate and her husband Mike live in the Bellevue area with their two daughters, both of whom attend Holy Trinity Montessori. 

  • Heather Dennis, Teacher, Toddler Community

    We have a treasure in our Toddler Community Lead Teacher, Heather Dennis, who joined HTM in the fall of 2010. Heather’s Montessori journey began as a Montessori Elementary Student at Rising Star Montessori School in Lafayette, IN. While her time as a Montessori student was short, it made a huge impact on her. She realized her love of working with children and Montessori Education. 

    Heather began Montessori Infant and Toddler Training straight out of high school. She simultaneously studied Montessori with the Center for Montessori Teacher Education and Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. Heather became a co-teacher (with her Mom!) at Rising Star. In 2001, Heather and her husband relocated to Nashville, and Heather received her Primary certification (3-6) and a Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) from Belmont University in July of 2010. She is a member of the American Montessori Society (AMS). Heather also serves as a field consultant for the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

    Just as Heather enjoyed a Montessori education as a child, her son is also a student at Holy Trinity Montessori. Outside of her time at HTM, Heather enjoys going to Village Barre, gardening, and hanging out with her family

  • Ann Forbes, Toddler Classroom Assistant

    Ann joined the Holy Trinity Montessori family as a Classroom Assistant in our Toddler community in 2016. Prior to coming to HTM, she spent more than twenty years working with children in a variety of educational, non-profit, and ministry programs before taking time off to raise her own daughters. Ann earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Guilford College and recently discovered the Montessori approach to education, in which she plans to continue her training. When she’s not in the classroom, Ann enjoys kayaking, playing volleyball, and reading, but she is most passionate about her faith and her family. Ann’s calming and kind nature make her a perfect fit for her role in the Toddler classroom and she’s a wonderful asset to our school.  

  • KaToya Jackson, Teacher, Primary A

    KaToya Jackson brings a wealth of knowledge regarding early childhood education to Holy Trinity Montessori. She has been working with children in a variety of aspects for over 13 years, ranging from daycares to after-school programs in the Metro Nashville school system to now holding the position of Teacher in our Primary A Classroom. She completed her Montessori certification as well as her Masters in Teaching at Belmont University and is a member of the American Montessori Society (AMS). KaToya is a favorite among our students and families because of her loving, consistent approach and her patient and calm nature. We have been blessed to have her as a part of HTM from the very beginning!

  • Brooke Coyle, Teacher, Primary B

    Brooke serves the Holy Trinity Montessori community as a teacher in Primary B. After receiving her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Auburn University, Brooke taught in traditional schools before choosing to stay at home full-time with her children for a season. While pursuing her Catechesis of the Good Shepherd certification in 2012, Brooke discovered and fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. This led her to obtain her Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Center in 2014, after which she taught in a Primary classroom at another Montessori school. Brooke also holds certification as a Positive Discipline Parent Educator. 

    When she's not teaching, Brooke enjoys time at home with her husband and their four sons, singing, gardening, and spending time with family and friends. Brooke's kind and engaging spirit makes her a natural fit for our community, and we love having her as a part of Holy Trinity Montessori! 

  • Sarah Mixon, Primary Support Teacher

    Sarah Mixon serves as a support teacher, floating between Upper Elementary to Primary and overseeing naptime. A Tennessee native, Sarah was a Montessori child herself – in fact, her mother started and ran a Montessori school in their rural hometown. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory University, Sarah moved to Nashville and began working in a Montessori environment. During this time she met her husband Bo, an Army officer, and after they married they moved frequently due to his military position. By the time they were ready to start a family they returned to Nashville, where Sarah has kept the home fires burning through her husband’s multiple deployments to the Middle East. She first came to HTM as a substitute teacher and accepted an offer for a permanent position soon after. Sarah’s daughter Meredith is now in high school, and her son Drew attends HTM. When Sarah's not at school, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and coaching girls’ gymnastics.

  • Britney Bussell, Teacher, Lower Elementary

    Britney Bussell has been a teacher for 12 years in a traditional setting, working with both special and general education students. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Austin Peay State University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Trevecca University in Nashville. Britney completed her Early Childhood Montessori Certification from North American Montessori Center and joins our Lower Elementary teaching team at Holy Trinity Montessori. Britney lives in Bellevue with her husband Eddie and their three children, Lane, Macy, and Nora Kate. When she is not teaching, Britney enjoys running, hiking, and camping with her family. 

  • Jaime Moran, Teacher, Lower Elementary

    Jaime joined our Lower Elementary community as a teacher in the fall of 2014. Prior to that time, she served HTM in numerous ways, most significantly as a Support Teacher. During this time, Jaime developed our gardening and cooking programs, two areas that have become vital and thriving parts of our school. When the opportunity arose for Jaime to take a permanent position in a classroom community, it was a natural fit. 

    Jaime graduated with degrees in both Biology and Dietetics from Central Michigan University, and after working in the food industry for some time, she found her true passion in working with children. Jaime then received her Lower Elementary training from Northern American Montessori Center. Along with her husband Todd and their three children (two of whom attend HTM), Jaime resides in Bellevue. When she's not at the school, Jaime always has time for a good book and loves to play volleyball whenever she gets a chance.

  • Jessica Polsteen, Teacher, Lower Elementary

    Jessica began her HTM journey as an Upper Elementary teacher, and she will be joining our Lower Elementary teaching team for the 2017-2018 school year. A native of Brentwood, Tennessee, Jessica began her own educational experience in a Montessori school and says she was “over the moon” about becoming a Montessorian herself. She received her Early Childhood Education (K-3) degree from Middle Tennessee State University in December of 2011, then taught preschool and substitute taught for a public school system before re-discovering the Montessori philosophy. She was so inspired by everything she learned that she decided to become a Montessori teacher. 

    Jessica obtained her Lower Elementary certification from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in 2014 and returned to earn her Upper Elementary certification in 2016. Jessica is a nurturing and caring teacher who challenges her students to explore their interests with a passion. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys hiking, photography, playing music and hanging out with friends and family. 

  • Elissa Pugh, Teacher, Middle School

    Originally from Maryland, Elissa Pugh has called Nashville home for almost seventeen years. She has a vast background in education, including over fourteen years experience teaching in Montessori early childhood, elementary, and middle school classrooms. She has also taught both English and English as a Second language to adults in college and community education settings. Elissa holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Sweet Briar College and an MA in English from Belmont University. She has received her Montessori training in ages 6-9 and started her adolescent training in Cincinnati through CMStep. Elissa lives in East Nashville with her three children, who are all very excited about joining the HTM community. 

  • Karla Loftus, Catechesis Teacher

    HTM is blessed to have Karla Loftus on board as our Catechesis teacher! Karla has enjoyed an outstanding career in education, serving in both public and private schools for over 30 years. Her previous roles range from Kindergarten Teacher to Enrichment Coordinator to High School Counselor, so she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our team at HTM. Karla holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University, has completed Level I certification for “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd,” and is currently working to complete Level II.

    Karla is a mom of 4 daughters (including Head of School, Kate Riley!), grandmother of 9, and surrogate grandmother for every HTM child. In fact, you’ll probably hear our students call her “Nanny,” the term of endearment from her own grandchildren that we’ve all adopted. We all love Karla - there’s no one we’d rather have caring for the spiritual and moral development in the hearts of our young friends at HTM!

  • Anadara Arnold, Music Teacher

    Anadara became part of the HTM family as our Music Teacher in the fall of 2011. As a child in San Diego, Anadara was fortunate to attend a Montessori school during her Primary and Lower Elementary years. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Vocal Performance from Syracuse University, with a minor in Theater. Since then, Anadara has released two solo albums and received numerous songwriting awards, but her favorite song is still the official school song she wrote with the help of the Lower Elementary class of 2012/13, called “We Are All Friends Here.” 

    Prior to coming to HTM, Anadara also taught for The Music Class in Nashville, a music education program designed to unleash the musical potential of young children. She is passionate about sharing her love for music with children, and is especially grateful to be part of the HTM community!

    Anadara lives in the Bellevue area with her husband and their two young sons, both of whom attend HTM. She enjoys taking vocal jazz classes with the Nashville Jazz Workshop, leading worship at her church, and spending time with family and friends. 

  • Whitney Enoch, Admissions Coordinator

    Whitney recently joined the HTM family as our Admissions Coordinator, and she also provides general administrative support for the school. She fell in love with HTM during her very first visit for a Parent Tour, and she decided since she can’t enroll as a student herself, working here was the next best thing! Whitney brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her years in the music industry, where she worked in artist management, booking, tour management, and as an Executive Assistant for the president of a major record label. We love that she manages to stay organized, calm and collected while injecting humor into almost every situation. When she’s not in the office, Whitney loves to go on adventures and make memories with her family. Whitney lives in Nashville with her husband and four children, all of whom now attend HTM.

  • Laura Frith, Director of Development

    Laura does an amazing job in her role of Director of Development, in which she works diligently to spread the great news about our school. She is responsible for coordinating our Capital Campaign, meeting with current and potential school partners, developing our annual fundraising efforts, and more. Prior to joining our staff, Laura worked for over ten years in the areas of marketing and financial services, where she helped affluent corporate clients and individuals build customized financial plans. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science from Birmingham Southern College. She and her family live in the Bellevue area, and both of her sons enjoy attending Holy Trinity Montessori.