STAFF 2020-21

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.

Lynn Newman, Lead Elementary Teacher

B.S., Carroll College; M.Ed., Loyola University, MD.; AMI Elementary Diploma, Montessori Institute of Minnesota.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in social work, Ms. Lynn worked for several years as a treatment counselor. Because of an interest in working with children, she later decided to pursue a teaching degree and earned a teaching certification and reading teacher license from Cardinal Stritch University in WI. She then worked in Milwaukee Public Schools and the Houston Independent School District as a classroom teacher and as a reading specialist.

When her children were young, she worked part-time as an ESL teacher in the Hong Kong public schools, teaching English to children from first grade to middle school.

Since receiving her AMI Elementary Diploma and a master’s degree in education, she has taught at the upper elementary level in international schools in Tokyo, Germany, and the Virgin Islands. Ms. Lynn now leads both upper and lower elementary programs at Charles Towne Montessori.

Elisabeth Enriquez, Lead Primary Teacher

B.A., The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA; Master’s Degree in Education, Loyola College of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; Primary Certification, A.M.I., Montessori Institute Northwest, Seattle/Portland; Lower Elementary Training, A.M.S., Seattle; N.A.M.C. Upper Elementary Certification, British Columbia.

Ms. Elisabeth began her Montessori career upon her eldest daughter’s recommendation after her daughter had completed her three years of Primary education and was beginning first grade in her Montessori school. This excellent recommendation turned out to change the course of Elisabeth’s life for the best!


Montessori teaching has become a way of life for her, not just a profession. Elisabeth has loved the training and the experiences at each level of Montessori from Primary through Upper Elementary, and after most recently teaching in the Upper Elementary at a Montessori public charter school, she has decided to return to her Primary roots, here at CTM.

Valda Hathaway, Lead Primary Teacher

B.A. Eastern Tennessee State University, AMI certification for Primary Montessori Institute of Atlanta.

Ms. Valda is both a teacher and a parent of 2 students at Charles Towne Montessori. She has 10 years teaching experience in the Primary Classroom including lead positions in Atlanta, Knoxville, Charleston, and Bali, Indonesia. Valda held a lead teaching position at Charles Towne Montessori before teaching in Bali, and has returned first as a parent and most recently as a Primary Lead, once again.

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, was 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 with Ms. Valda.

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.

Kathryn Williamson, Lead Toddler Teacher

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

Ms. Kathryn has been a lead toddler teacher at Charles Towne Montessori for 4 years. She received her Montessori Infant/Toddler Credential in North Carolina at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in 2014. She enjoys working in the toddler community and being part of such a special school.

George Riekerk, Lead Adolescent Teacher

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!

Katie Costantin, Spanish Instructor

Ms. Katie studied Sustainable Development and International Development at Appalachian State University.  She completed her minor in Spanish abroad in Spain and has lived in various Spanish speaking countries. After receiving a TESOL/ESL certification she went on to complete her AMI primary training and M.Ed in early childhood education at Loyola University in 2015.   After graduating she became a founding member and lead primary guide at a public charter Montessori school in Washington, DC.  In 2017 she moved to Guatemala and worked as a lead Montessori teacher in a Spanish speaking classroom.  Her work in the Guatemalan community led her to become the Director of Education for a sustainable Guatemalan coffee company.  She is now back in the states combining her love of Montessori education and the Spanish culture and language as our elementary and adolescent Spanish teacher. 

Alex Wolf, Operations Administrator, 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, will provide IT support for the CTM network and new technologies for databasing and communication, as well as, direct the music program for student body. Mr. Alex and Mrs. Heather have two lovely daughters; the younger is a CTM student.

Becky Tomlin, Administrator

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. 

Terri McNeil

Chloe Eidson

Laura Kivett

Jaimie Decker

Elementary Assistant Teacher

Elementary Assistant Teacher

Primary Assistant Teacher

Primary Assistant Teacher

Tori Newman

Emily Lawing

Elizabeth Pak

Cody Dixon

Primary Assistant Teacher

Toddler Assistant Teacher

Toddler Assistant Teacher

After School Assistant Teacher

Chamel Adams

Wendy Gee

Kirsten Galuppo

After School Assistant Teacher

After School Coordinator

After School Assistant Teacher

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Charles Towne Montessori does not and shall not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin.

Contact Us

Tel:  (843) 571-1140



56 Leinbach Dr

Charleston, SC 29407

© 2021 Charles Towne Montessori