Staff

Director and Primary Lead Teacher

Melissa Porter

Melissa Porter

Upon completion of a degree in business, Melissa began her work in Montessori as an assistant. Her love of Montessori led her to pursue her Early Childhood Montessori Credential from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education/ NC. Upon receiving this AMS credential, Melissa then taught as a lead teacher at St. Mark Montessori Preschool for two years. The following year Melissa became the Director of St. Mark Montessori Preschool, continuing to be a lead teacher as well. Melissa has been a primary lead teacher for two years and is going on her fifth year as a primary lead teacher and Director. Melissa has three children, all three of whom went through this Montessori program.

The Montessori method allows me to be a witness to a child’s natural way of learning. We recognize each child as an individual and seek development of the whole child; social, physical, emotional, and academic. We prepare the environment to encourage independence. In a Montessori environment everything is linked and interwoven. Each child is allowed freedom with responsibility.
At Sandpiper Montessori our children are allowed to grow to their potential. All three of my children attended Montessori Preschool. I watched each of them learn and grow in a Montessori environment, allowing encouragement of their individual gifts and talents that have carried them successfully throughout their lives. I now get to observe and cultivate this richness in your child, and for me, this is the greatest gift.

Primary Lead Teacher

Jennifer Wightman

Jennifer Wightman

Coming from an education background, Jennifer received an American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood Credential from The Center For Montessori Teacher Education/North Carolina (CMTE/NC) in 2013. She holds a BS in Education from Ohio University and taught for ten years in North Carolina from Preschool through 6th grade. Jennifer was a  lead teacher at St. Mark Montessori for four years. Jennifer has two children, both of whom went through this Montessori program.
What I appreciate most about the Montessori Method is the understanding that each child has their own blueprint that adults have the responsibility to honor. At Sandpiper Montessori we follow the child, we support their natural growth and give them endless opportunities for independence. Our classroom is rich with varied works for individual interests. It’s a privilege to nurture the absorbent mind of a preschooler and watch them soak up all they need to grow into the adults they were designed to become.