Greg Biorkman Head of School & Elementary Teacher
Originally from Southern California, Greg, his wife Jennifer, and their two boys moved to Franklin from Chicago in 2019. Greg's wide-ranging experience includes two decades in the business world as well as being a professional athlete. Greg studied Economics at the University of California, Irvine and was the Team Captain of the Men's Tennis Team. Last school year, Greg served as the Assistant Teacher in the Cardinal Classroom as well as the Lead American History Teacher. He is currently attending NAMC for his Upper Elementary Montessori Certification. Greg and his wife Jennifer founded Harpeth Montessori in 2021.
Elizabeth Stead Elementary Director & Lower Elementary Lead Teacher
With over 12 years of Montessori educator experience, Elizabeth brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to our teaching team. She received her B.S. in K-8 Interdisciplinary Education from Lipscomb University and her Primary (3-6) & Elementary I & II (6-12) Montessori certifications from the American Montessori Society. In addition to leading our Lower Elementary classroom, Elizabeth is our Elementary Program Director, developing curriculum scope and sequence, and maintaining fundamental Montessori Pedagogy across our Elementary Program (Grades 1-6). As well as being an accomplished teacher, Elizabeth is a talented photographer.
Ellen Buell Primary Lead Teacher
Born and raised in Michigan, Ellen received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Central Michigan University. She received her Early Childhood (Primary 3-6) certification from American Montessori Society. Ellen moved to Nashville in 2014, where she has spent the last decade teaching in the Montessori communities of Middle Tennessee. Ellen enjoys working out (Burn Boot Camp and running), reading, and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, usually with a cat on her lap.
Martine Swanick Primary Lead Teacher
Martine graduated from Eckerd College with a Bachelor's degree in Biology. She obtained her certification in Montessori Early Childhood (3-6 years old) and is currently working on her certification in Montessori Lower Elementary. Martine recently relocated to the Nashville area after living in Florida for the last 22 years. She is thrilled to be here in TN with her husband of 15 years and her beautiful children. She enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Lauren Sabo Toddler Lead Teacher
Lauren has 20 years’ experience working with children, including 2 years as a Lead Guide in a Montessori Toddler classroom. Lauren has also run an in-home daycare. She is currently completing her Montessori certification through the North American Montessori Council. When she is not in the classroom, Lauren loves listening to music, trying out restaurants, and delving into crochet projects.
Alicia Champion Primary Assistant Teacher
Born in Massachusetts and raised in New Hampshire, Alicia moved to Middle Tennessee in 2014 with her husband. As a mom to two daughters, Alicia has a deep appreciation for the Montessori method and the development of the whole child. She is a graduate of Plymouth State University with a degree in Fine Arts. Alicia has completed the coursework for her Primary Certification through the Age of Montessori. She is thrilled to be teaching alongside Ms. Ellen in the Hummingbird classroom.
Enid Moore Primary Assistant Teacher & Spanish Teacher
Originally from Puerto Rico, Eny has been working with Montessori students since 2011. As a native Spanish speaker, she first started teaching Spanish to Primary and Elementary students, then moved into a teacher's assistant role. Eny has had a passion for teaching long before Montessori and homeschooled her three children K through 12. Eny is married and enjoys trips to the beach with her husband. She is an avid user and sharer of essential oils to improve wellness.
Rosa Cruz Primary Assistant Teacher
Rosa was born and raised in Southern California and is thrilled to now be a resident of Franklin, Tennessee. Rosa has spent the last 2 decades supporting families long term as their nanny and is a professionally trained cook and baker. In addition to being a Nanny for many wonderful families over the years, Rosa raised her own daughter with the simple approach of, trust your children to grow at their own pace. She is excited to be a part of the Harpeth Montessori community.
Tina Royer Primary Assistant Teacher
Originally from Nashville, Tina has been working with children since her adolescent years. She earned her B.A. in English Literature from University of Tennessee. Shortly after graduation Tina started working in a Montessori school and fell in love with Dr. Montessori’s approach to self-care and courtesy for young children. Tina is a huge fan of music and plays the piano and ukulele. She is also an avid reader and spends her weekends hiking, paddle boarding, and camping.
Karolina Dornhofer Toddler Assistant Teacher
Karolina is originally from Costa Rica, and recently relocated to Franklin from Georgia. Since graduating high school, she has worked in childcare and found her passion for helping children grow and develop. When she's not in the classroom, Karolina is spending time with her 4 year old son and operates a small chocolate business called Lina's Chocolate Experiences.
Audrey Johnson Toddler Assistant Teacher
Born and raised in Franklin, Audrey joins us with 6+ years’ experience working with children, infant through 5th grade. Next month, Audrey will complete her B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from MTSU. Audrey’s hobbies include reading, hiking, and gardening.
Leah Emal Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher
Leah received her B.A in English from Brigham Young University. In addition to working with children for 10+ years, Leah has a background in publishing academic journals and books with a focus on research and copyediting. Leah and her husband are raising their 3 children. Leah also enjoys doing freelance social media work, creating content and campaigns for companies to help them gain brand exposure.
Olivia Poindexter Upper Elementary Lead Teacher
Olivia received her B.A. in Elementary Education and Anthropology from the College of Wooster. A native of Nashville, Olivia is passionate about teaching and has a particular love for science. She has many years’ experience teaching STEAM in K-6th classrooms. She is drawn to the Montessori method and is thrilled to join the Harpeth community. This Fall, Olivia will be a newlywed!
Jennifer Biorkman Administrative Director
Jennifer was born and raised in Ellicott City, Maryland. She attended the University of Miami in Florida and received her Bachelor's of Business Administration, majoring in Entrepreneurship. She has 15+ years’ professional experience working in the coffee industry. In 2019, Jennifer and her family relocated from Chicago to Franklin. In 2021, Jennifer and her husband Greg founded Harpeth Montessori. Jennifer enjoys making homemade pasta, reading, and practicing yoga.
Michelle Katina Administrative Assistant
Michelle was born and raised in Oceanside, California and just recently located to Franklin. Michelle has spent the last 17+ years working with seniors and children. She is a nurturer at heart and finds no better joy than caring for chidlren. Michelle and her husband share 9 children and 3 granddaughters. She finds so much joy in watching children learn and grow.
Danielle Ryan Teacher Assistant
Born and raised in Southern California, Danielle moved to Franklin in 2021. Danielle has a passion for working with children and her two children have attended Harpeth Montessori. Prior to becoming a mother, Danielle was a hairstylist for 8 years. Since Danielle was a little girl, she always enjoyed dance. We are excited for Danielle to be supporting our classrooms.
Mark Woodward Music Teacher
Mr. Woodward joins us weekly for Music class with our Kindergarten and Elementary students. He has over 12 years' experience as a K-12 Montessori Music and Drama teacher. He is an accomplished composer, write, producer, and creator of Maria Montessori: The Musical. He is a husband and father to 6 beautiful children.
Harpeth Montessori is an independent, privately owned school, founded in 2021 by a local Franklin family.