Getting to know us


Tinora Powell

Head of School & Lead Teacher

(second from right)

Tinora is thrilled to have entered her fourth year at Village Montessori as the new Head of School and Lead Teacher. She received her training from Seton Montessori Institute, of Chicago, Illinois, a world renowned teacher training program. She is excited to lead and encourage students to develop through a holistic and hands-on experience. 


"My number one priority as Head of School & Lead Teacher is to advocate for all children. In order to do this, I aim to educate parents and teachers on what makes Montessori education phenomenal. Within the classroom, my focus is to foster a strong sense of independence, experimentation and excitement in regards to learning. By providing the most authentic Montessori education my staff and I know how, we will be able to prepare our students for what lies ahead after they leave Village Montessori."


Montessori education comes naturally to Tinora. She followed in her mother's footsteps by attending Seton Montessori Institute 37 years later. Tinora feels confident that, like her mother, she will influence the lives of children for many years to come. 


Tinora and her husband, Josh, lead healthy and sustainable lives. At home, they garden, compost and cook. They are also avid cyclists and enjoy riding their bikes wherever and whenever possible. 


Anne Schollenberger

 Director of Admissions & Operations

(far left)

Anne began her Montessori journey in 2004, while looking for a preschool option for her oldest child. She was delighted to discover this method that honored children developmentally- from an emotional and academic perspective. Her children attended a Montessori preschool in Indianapolis, where she volunteered and served as president for one year. They later attended one of IPS's Montessori Magnet schools. While her children attended this school, Anne was a dedicated volunteer both in the classroom and on the MPTA board. She also served as Director of New Family Outreach for five years where she welcomed new families into the school.


She is so excited to be at Village Montessori as the Director of Admissions and Operations.


Anne lives in Butler-Tarkington with her husband Charles, daughters Abby and Sara, and their dog Tootsie.


Michele Johnson

All Day Assistant Teacher

(second from left)

After receiving a bachelor's degree at Indiana University Bloomington, Michele moved to Indianapolis. It was there that she decided to try her hand at child care by becoming a nanny while she settled into the city. During this time she was recruited by Amanda Bennington (co-founder of Village Montessori School) to work as a teacher's assistant. Michele began working at Village in July of 2012. Since then, she has become a pillar of providing an authentic Montessori education to the students at Village Montessori School.


Michele is a multifaceted individual and contributes to Village with a wide variety of skills. Over the past few years, she has offered insight on implementing woodworking and 3 dimensional construction into the classroom, as well as having an in-depth knowledge on Japanese culture and language. Michele has also been paramount in the development and implementation of the sewing curriculum offered at Village. 


In 2016, Michele also began working towards her Body Art and Sciences International Pilates Certification. She is currently working people out at Balance Pilates, located on the grounds of the Riviera Club. Throughout her journey towards becoming a Pilates instructor, Michele remains passionate about Village Montessori School and its mission.


Jeff Beaver

Afternoon Assistant Teacher

(middle left)

Jeff received a bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree in 2006, from Indiana Wesleyan University, with a focus in painting and printmaking. After graduating, he completed one year of graduate observations at the National Art School in Sydney, Australia. Jeff's artwork has been exhibited at a number of studios around the city. Most recently, he has had pieces and shows at the Tube Factory Artspace (still up) and Imoca, and was part of the artist residency with the group Know No Stranger at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. 


After moving to Indianapolis in 2011, Jeff learned about Montessori philosophy and methodology through friend (and former roommate) current Village Lead Tinora Powell. When the afternoon assistant teacher position became available, Jeff jumped at the opportunity to work within a Montessori classroom and alongside an old friend. In addition to overseeing the playground and cracking occasional "dad jokes", Jeff also teaches art to students who stay for our afternoon enrichment program.


"I've had several jobs working with children since high school, as both a camp counselor and a soccer coach. Recently, I taught soccer for Lil' Kickers in Carmel for around 3 years. It was fun noting the physical stages of development as the kids progressed through the classes. I liked to see them advance and be excited about mastering new skills and techniques."


Jeff enjoys watching kitschy B-movies, outsider and fine art, ancient ephemera and soccer. He is also an avid cyclist and previously bike commuted to work for 10 years straight. In addition to working as a member of the Village Montessori teaching team, he also spends his weekends working at Indiana Pacers Bikeshare. 


Jeff is a wonderful addition to our team because of his naturally calm demeanor and keen eye for detail. He has already proven to be an excellent observer of developmental and behavior patterns within the student body. We are excited that Jeff is part of our team and believe he will help us reach new levels of excellence!


Alyssa Dyar

Afternoon Assistant Teacher

(far right)

Alyssa began her Montessori journey at Rousseau McClellan School 91, one of three Indianapolis Montessori magnet schools. While at Rousseau McClellan, she was taught by Lynn Valinetz, a current member of our Board of Directors. Alyssa attended Rousseau McClellan for a total of 8 years.


Alyssa graduated from IU Bloomington in 2012, where she majored in Mathematics and Linguistics and minored in Studio Art. She returned to Montessori education after graduating by accepting an assistant teacher position at Bloomington Montessori School. While there, she was reminded of the wonder of the Montessori method and believes it to be the best educational foundation for creating well-rounded individuals. 


Alyssa recently finished a post-baccalaureate in ceramics at IUPUI and is a self-proclaimed lover of art.


"I love art! I worked in a ceramics studio at IU Bloomington for many years. While there, I co-taught an adolescent ceramics class. Recently, I attended a workshop in North Carolina where I learned all about natural dyes and traditional Japanese dying techniques. I also love traveling and learning all about different cultures."


Alyssa is excited to continue her Montessori journey as the newest member of the Village Montessori teaching team. From the moment she stepped into the classroom, it was clear that she is a natural. From an inside perspective, Alyssa was the missing piece to our puzzle and we are more than thrilled to have her here!

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