Faculty & Staff


Elizabeth Kahn
BA, College of Charleston; J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law


Elizabeth joined the Montessori School of Florence in 2021 as the Director after an over fifteen year career in litigation. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the College of Charleston and her Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Elizabeth is a strong believer in the Montessori method and was a Montessori kid herself. Over the years, all of her children have received the benefit of Montessori in various settings. Elizabeth serves on several nonprofit boards in the Pee Dee and keeps busy with her husband and their seven children.

Dawn Sumner
Office Manager


Dawn came to work at the Montessori School of Florence in 2018 as the Administrative Assistant. Prior to Dawn joining our school, she worked at Darlington High School for 27 years. In her most recent role there, she served as a Dropout Prevention Facilitator. Dawn’s husband, Ken, is a deputy with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office. She has two children, Lee and Kathleen.

Classroom Teachers



Jacqueline Boatwright
Pre-Primary Teacher

AA, Florence-Darlington Technical College


Jackie joined the staff at the Montessori School of Florence in 2004.  She started as a classroom assistant in the Elementary and Primary classrooms and in the Before/After School Care program. In 2012, she became the lead Pre-Primary Classroom teacher. Jackie graduated from Florence-Darlington Technical College with an Early Childhood Education Associate’s Degree. Jackie has training in RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) and the Pikler Infant-Toddler Program.

Evelyn Thompson 
Pre-Primary Classroom Assistant

Evelyn has been a member of the Montessori School of Florence staff since 2000. She has been an assistant in the Pre-Primary and Primary levels and has assisted with the Before School and After School Care program. Evelyn earned her classroom assistant certification from the American Montessori Society. She is a native of Florence and a graduate of Hannah-Pamplico High School.




Diana Groom
Primary Teacher
BS, Francis Marion University


Diana came to work at the Montessori School of Florence in 2019 as an assistant in a lower elementary classroom. Prior to joining our school, she worked as a substitute teacher in Florence School District One, at The King’s Academy, and Calvary Baptist Church. Diana received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Francis Marion University in 2008. She completed her Primary and Elementary Education certification through the Palmetto Montessori Institute in 2022.

Donna Fields
Primary Teacher
BS, Francis Marion University


Donna has been a member of the Montessori School of Florence staff since 2016 as a Primary teacher. Previously, Donna was a classroom assistant at McLaurin Elementary, first in traditional kindergarten and then in an elementary Montessori classroom. Donna is certified in Primary Education by the Palmetto Montessori Institute.

Maria Dority

Primary Classroom Assistant
MA, Arzamas State Pedagogical Institute


Maria joined the Montessori School of Florence staff in 2022. She is the assistant in Ms. Donna’s class. Previously, Maria was an Early Childhood Education Teacher in Washington, where she worked with primary aged children. She has a Health Coach certification and Child Care Basics training.


Kendall Brand-McGowan
Primary Teacher


Kendall came to work at the Montessori School of Florence in 2017 as a Primary classroom assistant. She is now co-teaching in a Primary Classroom with Alexis. Prior to joining the Montessori School of Florence, Kendall taught at Charlie Brown Day Care. Kendall received her training in Primary education from the Palmetto Montessori Institute.


Gennis Laws
Primary Classroom Assistant


Gennis joined Montessori as an After School Care teacher in 2021. Previously, she worked MSF’s summer camp with pre-primary and primary aged children. She is now the assistant in Ms. Tiara’s Primary classroom. She graduated from West Florence High School in 2017. 

Lower Elementary

Amy Binder
Lower Elementary Teacher

BA, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts


Amy began her teaching career at the Montessori School of Florence in 2009 as a Lower Elementary teacher. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Amy is certified in Elementary education by the American Montessori Society.




Tamel Pierce
Lower Elementary Teacher
AA, Florence- Darlington Technical College
BS, Utah State University


Tamel started at the Montessori School of Florence in 2016 as a Pre-Primary classroom assistant, and a Before and After School Care Teacher. She is now teaching a Lower Elementary Classroom. Tamel received an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Florence-Darlington Technical College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services from Utah State University. Tamel completed her Montessori teacher training in June 2021 with the Palmetto Montessori Institute and is certified in Elementary Education. Prior to joining us, Tamel worked as a classroom assistant at Pee Dee Head Start.

Takiya Rogers

Lower Elementary Classroom Assistant
BS, College of Charleston

Takiya began working at Montessori in 2023 as a lower elementary assistant to Ms. Tamel. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from the College of Charleston and has previously taught in elementary and middle schools in Marion County. Takiya’s previous job was at Butler Academy in Hartsville, SC.

Upper Elementary

Beth Franck
Upper Elementary Teacher

BA, East Carolina University


Beth began in 2005 at the Montessori School of Florence as an assistant in the Upper Elementary classroom. In 2007, she became an Upper Elementary classroom teacher, and she now teaches Language.  Beth received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from East Carolina University. She has her Elementary certification from The American Montessori Society.



Esonya Woodberry
Elementary Classroom Assistant, Building/Grounds Manager

Esonya came to work at the Montessori School of Florence in 1999 as an assistant in the After School Care program.  She has been the assistant in the Upper Elementary level since 2005.  Esonya has also taught Physical Education to Upper Elementary students and is certified as a classroom assistant by the American Montessori Society. She is a native of Florence and a graduate of Wilson High School.  Esonya has two daughters who are MSF graduates and attend college at this time.

Special Teachers

Heather-Lynne Shannon

BA, M.Ed, Ohio University; MT-BC


Heather-Lynne started at the Montessori School of Florence in 2001 and taught music from 2001-2004. In 2008 Heather-Lynne returned to teach music and to assist in the library. Heather-Lynne received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy and her Master of Science in Special Education from Ohio University and is a National Board Certified Music Therapist.