STAFF 2022-23

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Susan Burkhardt, Head of School

Susan Burkhardt has been a resident of Charleston SC since 1987, after relocating from New Jersey. Susan earned a Bachelor of Arts at Gettysburg College in English Literature and Studio Art and proceeded to pursue a career as a chef. Starting as a prep cook and eventually owning her own eatery without any formal training, Susan has always been an ambitious learner with a propensity for hands-on education.

Susan discovered Montessori when seeking a program for her own daughters. Enthralled by the method, it became a passion of discovery and immersion as she started her involvement with Charles Towne Montessori as an active parent volunteer. After a short time, Susan became the Administrator and Assistant to the Head of School at CTM, working under 2 consecutive Heads of School. It is under their tutelage that Susan developed skills and knowledge that has allowed her to be selected as the current Head of School, and brings her passion and enthusiasm to the CTM community whole-heartedly.

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Laura Kivett, Lead Elementary Teacher

AMS

Bio Coming Soon.

Heather Wolf

Heather Wolf, Lead Primary Teacher

B.A. Kent State University in Family Consumer Studies, AMI certification for Primary Montessori Institute of Atlanta.

At a very young age, Ms. Heather became aware that her life's work would be to work with and nurture children. She has been working professionally with children since 1998 and has been teaching within the Montessori curriculum since 2000. After graduating from Kent State, she discovered the Montessori teaching philosophy and enrolled into the AMI Montessori Institute of Atlanta. Upon graduating, she taught at Old Peachtree Montessori for three years in Auburn, GA. Then, when her family moved to Atlanta’s west side where no Montessori schools were nearby, Heather founded Tallulah Montessori School in 2009. Heather and her husband, Alex, enjoyed much success running Tallulah together, however, due to the pandemic, were forced to shut the doors.

Fortunately, Heather and her family found their new home in Charleston and at CTM. Heather has two daughters, the younger is attending CTM in its Elementary Program.

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Chloe Eidson, Lead Primary Teacher

AMS Toddler certification

Bio Coming Soon!

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Cosima Franke, Lead Primary Teacher

Bachelor of Science, Winthrop University in Family & Consumer Science, Master's in Education & AMS Montessori Certification for Primary, Lander University

Ms. Cosima has always enjoyed working with children. During her college years, she learned a little bit about Montessori, grew curious, and decided to take a job assisting in a primary classroom in Charleston when she was in college. She has worked in the Montessori setting for over 10 years now. After assisting in the primary classroom, she knew she wast destined to get her Montessori training. She received her Montessori Primary Certification at Lander University in 2016, along with her Master's in Education.  She loves how the philosophy focuses on self-paced learning and independence. 

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Elizabeth McGuire, Lead Toddler Teacher

AMS Toddler certification from Center for Montessori Teacher Education, Raleigh, NC

Ms. Liz completed her American Montessori Society training in Raleigh, NC., in 1991. She began her teaching career with children by working in daycare centers and pre-schools until receiving her Montessori certification.  She held a lead toddler position for five years at Charles Towne Montessori when she left to marry and start a family. She rejoined the Charles Towne Montessori faculty in 2009.

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Irene Howanyk, Lead Toddler Teacher

AMS Toddler certification

Bio Coming Soon!

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George Riekerk, Property Manager

B.A. in Zoology from University of Washington, M.S. in Marine Biology from College of Charleston, AMI Adolescent Certification

Mr. George was raised in the Pacific NW, moved to Charleston for graduate school, finished a master’s degree in Marine Biology, and worked for the SCDNR on Ft Johnson for 22 years. In 2014, he then transitioned to teaching, starting an Adolescent program in Naples, Fl. His wife, Lisa, and he have two children (16 and 19) who are CTM graduates. Mr. George is very excited to be back at CTM in a different role!

Alex Wolf

Alex Wolf, Operations Manager, Director of Admissions, Music Instructor

Mr. Alex has over 25 years of experience as an IT Consultant and Technician, 12 years operating a Montessori school he co-founded in Atlanta with his wife, Heather, and he is a musician, songwriter and audio engineer for over 30 years. Mr. Alex, no stranger to wearing many hats, provides IT support for the CTM network and manages Transparent Classroom, our school database and communication software, admissions, property management, marketing, as well as, direct the music program for student body. Mr. Alex and Ms. Heather have two lovely daughters; the younger is a CTM student.

Becky Tomlin

Becky Tomlin, Director of Finance

Becky relocated to Charleston (for the 2nd time) from North Carolina, in 2016, where she quickly connected to the wonderful world of Montessori. While in North Carolina, Becky owned and operated a gift basket boutique, where she always enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and put smiles on faces. 

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Beth Garris

Toddler Assistant Teacher

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Wendy Gee

After School Coordinator

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Saba Shami

Elementary Assistant Teacher

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Gina O'Kennan

Primary Assistant Teacher

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Megan Moores

Primary Assistant Teacher

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Gloria Clark

Toddler Assistant Teacher

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Sage Mikkelsen

Primary Assistant Teacher

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Martha Ann Nichols

Toddler Assistant Teacher