faculty and staff
Kate Riley - Head of School; Lead Teacher, Upper Elementary
Kate Riley founded Holy Trinity Montessori in 2009 to provide Nashville children and families with an affordable, Christ-centered Montessori educational experience. As our Head of School, Kate leads and mentors our teaching staff, ensures adherence to the mission and values of our community, and casts the vision for the future of the school. Kate also leads our Upper Elementary teaching team, which daily offers her the opportunity to experience her favorite aspect of education – teaching in the classroom.
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 taught for over 13 years and also served as 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).
KaToya Jackson - assistant head of school; LEAD TEACHER, PRIMARY A
KaToya has been working in early childhood education throughout her entire career and has been a part of Holy Trinity Montessori since we opened our doors in 2009. Prior to joining our staff, KaToya worked with young children in a variety of aspects, including in daycares and after-school programs in the Metro Nashville school system. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University, she completed her Montessori certification and went on to complete her Masters of Teaching at Belmont University. KaToya is a member of the American Montessori Society (AMS). In addition to her role as Lead Teacher for Primary A, KaToya also serves as our Assistant Head of School, in which she works closely with the Head of School to provide overall educational support for parents and teachers.
Hannah smith - Lead Teacher, Toddler Community
Hannah began her education career working in a Special Education department for Elementary aged children. It was here she discovered her passion for child advocacy and unique learning styles. Hannah joined a Montessori community as staff support and later decided to study the Montessori philosophy. After obtaining her 0-3 Montessori credentials, she led both infant and toddler environments. Now, the Montessori Philosophy has become a way of life for Hannah and her family, and she feels at home every day as she builds her career. She truly believes that “peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child,” as stated by Maria Montessori.
Hannah is a member of the American Montessori Society. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, hanging out with her family (even the goofy dogs), and drinking coffee!
Ann Forbes - Assistant Teacher, Toddler Community
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.
brooke coyle - assistant teacher, primary A
After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education from Auburn University, Brooke taught in several 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 for several years. Brooke also holds certification as a Positive Discipline Parent Educator.
Regan Pearson – Lead Teacher, Primary B
After discovering the Montessori method during a college visit to Xavier University, Regan knew she had found her calling as a Montessori teacher. She earned a degree in Early Childhood Education as well as a degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Xavier University, and received her Early Childhood certification from the American Montessori Society. As the former co-President and Secretary of the XU Montessori Education Club at XU, Regan will continue to encourage rising Montessori teachers by serving as a teacher peer mentor for those in student teaching placements.
katie levan - assistant teacher, primary b
A California native, Katie graduated with her degree in Criminal Justice from Cal State Long Beach. After moving to Nashville, Katie began her career in social work focused on helping children and families. Throughout her career, Katie has always loved working with children. During her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature with her two dogs and husband.
edie butler - lead TEACHER, PRIMARY C
Born and raised in Illinois, Edie attended Illinois state university for her degree in family relations and human development with a minor in children's literature. Upon graduating she studied Montessori in Chicago and began teaching in the toddler classroom at South Loop Montessori. Edie met her husband and a few years later they moved to Nashville. She began teaching primary at The Childrens House of Nashville. In June of 2020, she welcomed her first child, Ada, and began teaching at home. In November of 2021 she welcomed her second child, Runi. Having the opportunity to witness the magic of Montessori within her own home has been a dream these past few years. She realized it was time to find a community of like minded friends and family. After exploring the many amazing educational programs Tennessee has to offer, Edie's family felt Holy Trinity was the place they wanted to be. She feels truly honored to be apart of such a beautiful school and is looking forward to being apart of your child’s life and a partner in their development!
When out of the classroom, Edie enjoys being in nature and spending time with her family. They love to camp and travel. She also enjoys cooking, gardening and taking care of their chickens, and their next adventure…bees!
Sydney Hutson - co-Teacher, Primary C
After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Belmont University, Sydney spent several years working as an ordained youth minister, but soon realized she wanted to focus her efforts on younger children. She decided to work with infants in a preschool setting and then with children in public schools in a Special Education classroom. After serving children on the autism spectrum, Sydney was drawn to the Montessori approach to education, and her decision to pursue Montessori training was solidified as she observed her own preschool-aged daughter thrive within a Montessori environment. Sydney studied at Montessori Education Center of the Rockies and graduated with her Infant and Toddler certification, finishing her practicum year of Montessori training as our Toddler Community Intern before taking on the role of Lead Teacher in our Primary C Community.
In her spare time, Sydney enjoys spending time with her family and English bulldogs, thrifting, decorating, serving in her spiritual community, and participating in social justice work.
annette Hickey - Lead Teacher, Lower Elementary 1
A fun fact about Annette is that she was a professional figure skater and, at 18, toured with Disney on Ice. Annette Hickey graduated from DeSales University with a BA in Theatre. She holds a Primary MACTE certification in Montessori education from CGMS and an Elementary 1 and 2 MACTE Certification from The Christian Montessori Training Center at Bethany Global University. Annette has completed the IMC Building a World-Class Montessori School from the Ground Up course. She has been married to her love, Tom, for 23 years and has three children.
Tracy Aszkler – Co-Teacher, lower Elementary 1
Tracy has twenty years of experience teaching in the traditional classroom ranging from PreK to sixth grade. Her husband’s job transferred the family numerous times and provided the opportunity for Tracy to teach across the country. They settled in Nashville in February of 2010 and have enjoyed raising their two children in Bellevue. For the last eight years she has been teaching PreK4 at a local school and the last two years has also been the Director of Preschool. Tracy’s PreK classrooms were child centered with a mix of self-directed activities, hands on learning and collaborative play where the children were able to make creative choices in their learning as she guided the process offering age-appropriate strategies. She was most happy teaching the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to the students.
Tracy holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Xavier University and a Master of Science in Educational Computing from Buffalo State College. She earned a certificate in school management through Villanova University. Tracy completed the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program Level I. Through this, Tracy became interested in learning more about the Montessori philosophy. She is working online toward Montessori Lower Elementary I credentials and couldn’t be happier to be teaching at Holy Trinity Montessori next year. Tracy is a member of NAEYC, NAAEYC and CGS. She holds a professional teaching license for PreK-6th grade in the state of Tennessee and is permanently certified in the state of New York.After earning her undergraduate degree in Middle Childhood Education with a specialty in Social Studies and Language Arts from Miami of Ohio University, Cassidy joined the teaching staff in our Upper Elementary community in 2018. Once she completed her first year of teaching, Cassidy earned her Montessori certification through Montessori Live's Upper Elementary training program.
Jaime Moran - Lead Teacher, Lower Elementary 2
Jaime started her career in the food industry after earning undergraduate degrees in both Biology and Dietetics from Central Michigan University. After a few years, however, she discovered her true passion was working with children. When her children were students at HTM, Jaime served our community in numerous ways, helping to develop our gardening and cooking programs and providing support in other areas as well. Soon after, she received her Lower Elementary training from Northern American Montessori Center and returned to begin her teaching career in our Lower Elementary program.
cathy gardner - Assistant Teacher, Lower Elementary 2
Cathy Gardner has worked with children for over 30 years. She achieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and received her K-8 teaching certification from Middle Tennessee State University. Since then, Cathy has taught multiple age groups from Preschool through 6th grade. Although most of her teaching experience has been in the traditional classroom, she has seen Montessori practices in action and fully believes in its philosophy of how children should be educated. After assisting in the Primary classroom at HTM in 2014, she returns as co-teacher in the Lower Elementary 2 classroom.
Margaret powell - CO-teacher, Upper elementary
A Nashville native, Margaret attended Father Ryan High School before earning a degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in English and Social Studies from Mississippi State University. Margaret plans to pursue Montessori training in the near future. When not in the classroom, she loves spending time with her family, her fiance Jackson, and her dog Sophie.
Sarah Mixon - Assistant Teacher, Upper Elementary
Sarah Mixon serves as Assistant Teacher in our Upper Elementary community. 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. After returning to Nashville, Sarah first came to HTM as a substitute teacher and soon after joined our Upper Elementary community.
Abbie DeBlasis - Lead Teacher, MIDDLE SCHOOL
A Nashville native, Abbie graduated from Miami University with a degree in Finance and a minor in Gerontology. She then attended Wake Forest University School of Law, where she acted as the Editor-in-Chief of the Wake Forest Law Review. She went on to practice law at national and regional law firms in Charlotte, North Carolina, and here in Nashville, Tennessee, focusing her practice on lending and health care operational and regulatory matters. For six years, Abbie was a law professor at Belmont University College of Law. During her time there, she published multiple law review articles, including one about applying Montessori principles in the law school classroom. Here at HTM, Abbie leads our Middle School language arts, history, U.S. government, and economics studies and directs our school forensics team.
Richard Friedman - Math and Science
Richard Friedman joined Holy Trinity Montessori in 2020 as our Math and Science Teacher. Originally from Queens, New York, Richard graduated from Queens College CUNY with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Science Secondary Education. After teaching in the NYC Public School System, Richard earned a PhD in Molecular Genetics from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. After a career in both Basic Science and Medical Research, Richard returned to teaching and tutoring students in math and science at the middle and high school level. Richard feels that children are some of the best scientists, as their minds are curious about the world around them and want to know why things are the way they are and how things work. Richard is a fantastic guide for our students as they explore and discover more about the worlds of math and science.
amanda wells - learning services
After growing up in Michigan, Amanda attended the University of Tennessee where she earned both a Bachelor of Science in Special Education with a minor in Elementary education and a Masters of Science in Special Education. Amanda comes to HTM from Metro Nashville Public schools, where she worked with students with a variety of learning differences in both teaching and consultation roles for the past 18 years. Amanda has a passion for helping all learners achieve success, and is excited to become a part of the HTM family.
In her spare time Amanda enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband and 2 children.
Meghan Nash - break support
Throughout her career, Meghan has enjoyed working with kids in a number of roles. She got her start as a camp counselor in high school, then ran an after-school program during college, and spent years as a substitute teacher. Meghan also worked for many years as a legal assistant and medical typist before serving as a substitute assistant at HTM, where her daughter was a student. She joined our staff full-time after falling in love with the Montessori approach to education. Meghan holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
When she's not working, Meghan enjoys spending time with her family and pets (two dogs, a guinea pig, gecko, and fish). She's passionate about the outdoors and animal care, which is why you can often find Meghan and her family taking care of the goats and chickens at HTM. We are so grateful for their love and support of our campus animals!
Karla Loftus - Catechesis Teacher
Karla serves the HTM community as our beloved Catechesis teacher, and there’s no one we’d rather have caring for the spiritual and moral development of our students. She has enjoyed an outstanding career in education, serving in both public and private schools for over 30 years, with previous roles ranging from Kindergarten Teacher to Enrichment Coordinator to High School Counselor. Karla is like a 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. 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.
holly moses-carmona - art teacher
After earning her degree from Covenant College, Holly worked as a Store Director for major brands J. Crew and Madewell, with whom she opened retail stores across the country. Following this, Holly worked with a well-known fabric designer as an assistant and buyer for the designer’s fabric store. Each year, Holly makes it a priority to learn new skills from teaching artists and has received specialized training in sewing, pottery, screen printing, photography, enameling, and metal work at various Arts and Crafts schools throughout the Southeast. When she’s not taking classes herself, Holly enjoys hosting classes to teach others.
aleah downey - agriculture manager
Aleah is a Washington State native transplanted to Nashville by the way of the U.S. Army. A self-described lover of nature for all her life, Aleah has practiced homesteading for more than a decade. She loves to share her knowledge about agriculture with our students as they participate in cultivating our gardens on campus.
harry lange - music teacher
Harry has been an active member of the Nashville music scene as a professional touring, recording, and performing musician since 2008. Harry is looking forward to guiding and encouraging our students as they discover the joy of making music together.
Gette rech - physical education teacher
Kristina Bassett - administrative & Admissions Coordinator
Kristina serves the HTM community as our Office Administrator and Admissions Coordinator. Prior to joining our team, Kristina studied Meeting and Event Planning from San Diego State University and enjoyed working in business development and office management as well as wedding planning. She wears many hats (literally and figuratively!) around our school, is a friend to staff and students alike, and is an indispensable member of our administrative team.
Laura Frith - finance coordinator
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.
jeremy white - development coordinator
Jeremy began his career as an Emergency Medical Technician and a licensed First Responder instructor, teaching CPR and First Aid classes. From there he went on to serve high school students as a science teacher and tennis coach for ten years. He also spent extensive time as an international missionary, serving in various missions in over 40 countries around the world. Most recently, Jeremy served as Director of Education at Narrow Gate Ministries, heading up an international woodworking initiative to train individuals in impoverished countries to build their own sustainable businesses. An HTM parent for many years, Jeremy has also served the HTM community as a member of our Board of Directors for some time.
Jeremy earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Samford University and went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Teaching from Belmont University, a Master of Counseling and Human Services from Capella University, and a Masters of Divinity from Lipscomb University. He is currently pursuing a PhD of Leadership and Biblical Studies from the University of St. Mary’s of Twickingham, London.
board of directors
Holy Trinity Montessori is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. A Board of Directors, composed of parents and community members from the Nashville Area, oversees Holy Trinity Montessori and operates under an established set of Bylaws. The Board of Directors is responsible for hiring and evaluating the Head of School, overseeing the school’s financial status and conducting strategic planning for the school.