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, Lead 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

  • KaToya Jackson, Lead 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 Lead 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!

  • Heather Schnoor, Co-Teacher, Primary A

    Heather joined Holy Trinity Montessori in the spring of 2015 as a support teacher. During that time she developed a love and an appreciation for the Montessori way and in 2016 received her certification in Early Childhood from North American Montessori Center. Heather attended Garden City Community College and then Fort Hays State University, where she played college volleyball and obtained a BA in Music. When Heather is not teaching she is performing or singing, cooking in the kitchen, and/or cheering on her Nebraska Cornhuskers.

  • Priscilla Arjes, Lead Teacher, Primary B

    Priscilla Arjes joined Holy Trinity Montessori as the co-teacher in Primary B in August of 2012, and has since accepted the role as Lead Teacher in this classroom community. As the daughter of a Montessorian, Priscilla knew at a young age she would someday follow in her mother’s footsteps to become a Montessori teacher. In 2009, Priscilla completed her AMI Montessori training at The Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. After completing her training she began her career at Children’s Workshop Montessori in Plymouth, MN where she taught for two years. Priscilla joined our staff after relocating to Nashville, and she has proven to be a wonderful addition to our community. Priscilla has a joyful spirit and a kind heart, and she brings light and happiness to our school. In her spare time Priscilla loves traveling with her husband (travel tips are always welcome!). Good food is her ultimate love language, so trying new Nashville restaurants with friends is always a must-do on the weekends. 

  • Brooke Coyle, Co-Teacher, Primary B

    Brooke is overjoyed to be joining the Holy Trinity Montessori community as the co-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 are excited to welcome her to Holy Trinity Montessori! 

  • Molly Fox, Lead Teacher, Primary C

    Molly joined Holy Trinity Montessori in 2013 as Co-Teacher in Primary A, and then took the position of Lead Teacher for our Primary C classroom when it formed in 2016. After graduating from Belmont University with a BA in Religious Studies, Molly obtained her AMS Early Childhood certification from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado. Molly continues to be a fabulous asset to Holy Trinity Montessori, and our students are drawn to her gentle nature and insightful spirit.

  • Cara Erbe, Lead Teacher, Lower Elementary

    Cara Erbe began her work at Holy Trinity Montessori as a Primary teacher when we opened our doors in August of 2009. After five years in that role, Cara transitioned to Lead Teacher in our Lower Elementary community. Cara holds two Montessori certifications: Early Childhood (Belmont University) and Elementary I (Montessori Education Center of the Rockies). She also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Belmont University, Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Shepherd University, and her Tennessee State Teaching Licensure for Pre-K – 3rd Grade. Cara is a member of the American Montessori Society (AMS).

    Cara’s playful, caring personality shines through to all her students, who benefit from her passion and love for the Montessori methods, as well as her background as an artist. Teaching is truly a calling for Cara, and we are so glad to have such an amazing teacher on our staff. 

    Cara lives in the Franklin area with her husband and their daughter, who attends HTM. In her spare time, Cara enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and being outdoors. 

  • Jaime Moran, Co-Teacher, Lower Elementary

    Jaime joined our Lower Elementary community as a co-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.

  • Sam Bennett, Classroom Assistant, Lower Elementary

    We are happy to welcome Sam to our HTM community this year. Sam received her Bachelor degree in Early Childhood: Child and Family Studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. For many years, Sam has worked with children in a variety of different fields. Sam knew that she wanted to make a difference by positively shaping the future for children in any way possible.By joining the HTM family, she believes she will now be able to make her goal happen.


  • Jessica Polsteen, Lead Teacher, Upper Elementary

    Our Upper Elementary friends are blessed to have Jessica Polsteen as their teacher! 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, and 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. 

  • Lisa Florence, Co-Teacher, Upper Elementary

    Lisa Florence, Co-Teacher in our Upper Elementary classroom, became a familiar face around our school as a parent when her oldest son was enrolled in our Lower Elementary community. Lisa loved the Montessori method so much that she decided to officially make a career change, and began her Montessori training during the summer of 2016 at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. 

    Prior to shifting her focus to Montessori, Lisa built a career as a brand manager in the music industry, helping her clients find and express their voice. She also moonlighted as a photographer after earning her Bachelors degree from the Art Institute of Minneapolis. Both of Lisa's sons attend HTM, and she loves spending time with them at home; she also enjoys art, reading, and yoga in her spare time. Lisa has a patient and kind spirit and loves to be creative and have fun with her students. We are happy to welcome Lisa to our teaching staff at HTM. 

  • Gabriel Vinci, Support Teacher

    After pursuing another career, Gabe decided to make a major change to become a Montessori educator. In his role as Support Teacher, Gabe assists each classroom community throughout the day and provides additional support to our staff as needed. When not at school, he enjoys cooking new dishes and reading at home. We are thankful that he found HTM and are excited to cheer him on as he pursues his credentials in the summer of 2017. 

  • 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. 

  • Laura Frith, Director of Development

    Laura joins the HTM family in the 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.