About Our Team

"Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission."  - Maria Montessori

Molly Hardy
Lead Guide, Opossum Class

Molly has been working with children and youth for over a decade in a variety of roles, and in diverse educational environments. After graduating from Warren Wilson College in 2011 she did a year of service with City Year in Boston public schools. Molly came to Montessori in 2013 and, like many Montessorians, found her pedagogical home. After assisting in a 3-6 classroom for two years, she pursued lead teacher training at the New England Montessori Teacher Education Center in Boston, MA and earned her AMS Early Childhood credential in 2015. In 2019 Molly completed a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at Mount Holyoke college, which allowed her to align her passion for the Montessori method with her belief in public education. In her classroom, Molly strives to create a learning environment where every child feels loved, safe, and joyful. 

Molly says when she is not in the classroom, she is still "a giant Montessori nerd". Molly is also a musician, lapsed bookworm, blundering (but enthusiastic) gardener, and doting aunt to her sweet nephews.

Lucy MacGregor
Lead Guide, Dragonfly Class

Lucy is deeply honored to spend her days with children.  She is inspired daily by their love, curiosity, authenticity, and presence to life.  While she is a guide to their learning at school, she is clear that each day, the children are teachers to her.  

Lucy is a career educator with a focus on early education, serving students aged three through Kindergarten. She believes that early childhood is a sensitive and powerful time in a child’s life as young students learn and grow through self-directed, hands-on exploration with the environment. She creates a rich and nurturing learning space where children can explore their interests, discover the wonders of the world, learn about themselves, and develop friendships

Lucy holds a Master’s Degree in Education through Antioch University, her Early Childhood Montessori credential through The Center for Guided Montessori Studies, and a B.A in Sociology through Oglethorpe University.  She is certified as both a children’s yoga instructor and as a Mindful Schools mindfulness educator. Lucy has an extensive background in educator development with a focus on school culture and integrated social emotional learning. 

Lucy’s own childhood was spent in Northern Ireland where she grew up before her family immigrated to the United States. Her roots and family have grown here in North Carolina. She has two teenage children, Elijah and Rowan, and many furry animal friends. Lucy enjoys spending time in nature, gardening, painting, and adventures.

Kay Chapman
Assistant Guide, Dragonfly Class

Hello there, my name is Kay. I have been teaching Preschool for 3 years now and working in education for 11 years in many different environments. I love to hike, read, train my cat Astro and make jewelry. I am so excited for the school year and to be at Little Grove.

Sha'Ketia Simpson
Assistant Guide, Multi-Classroom

Sha'Ketia comes to Little Grove with a number of years of experience in Early Childhood Education. She is a credentialed Montessorian at the Primary level, and mom of two teens. Her calm and kind guidance helps to support all of the students and staff at Little Grove, and we are honored to have her on our team.

Mirabel Winston
Assistant Guide, Opossum Class 

Mirabel grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended a Waldorf school as a child. This fostered her passion for connecting through art music, and creative play. She has since worked with children in a variety of environments. Mirabel is also a Kripalu certified Yoga instructor, and a mom to two young Montessorians. She brings grace and compassion to the classroom, and offers a warm, empathetic presence with the children. 

Courtney Sullivan

Hello! I'm Courtney, the founder and director of Little Grove Preschool. My background in early education spans nearly 20 years, and includes the philosophies of RIE, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia. I am a former children’s dance and yoga teacher, and still enjoy sharing creative movement and mindfulness play with children. 

I opened my first preschool and toddler program, Buddha Babies, in New Orleans, a city I called home for 10 years. When my family relocated to Asheville, I brought that program with me, and it was no surprise that a play-based, yoga-inspired preschool quickly became popular here. In early 2020, plans to expand were halted as we closed our doors due to the pandemic. During that time, I returned to school to further my education in Early Childhood administration, and began my work as an advocate of public Montessori in Asheville.

I was one of the founding developers and charter writers for Mountain City Public Montessori, and am thrilled to form this partnership of schools which allows me to continue supporting their mission while returning to my passion for early childhood education.

As the Director of Little Grove Preschool, I look forward to serving families and children with evidence-based, developmentally appropriate educational experiences, while supporting educators with high-quality development opportunities and support through our partnership with Mountain City Public Montessori.

Outside of school, I can usually be found working in my gardens or baking yummy treats. I live in West Asheville with my husband and our daughter, 2 cats, and lots of houseplants.