Faculty & Staff

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.
— John Steinbeck


Carolyn Roberts enters her third year in the MPMS toddler classroom, and her first as the lead teacher. She completed her Montessori training through NAMC over the summer.

Ashley Wright is entering her second year with our youngest clients.

Lauren Bateman comes to us from environmental education work in the Outer Banks, and a lifetime of helping in her mother’s in-home nursery program.


Sara Drum has been serving the primary ages at MPMS since 1999! She now has twins of her own enrolled in the program.

Brian Lynch brings Montessori experience and training in both 3-6 and 6-9 year old age groups.


Ellen Lewis has led the 3-6 program since the fall of 2013. Ellen holds a Master’s degree in 3-6 Montessori Education from Loyola University and AMI certification. She also taught Montessori for four years in Atlanta before moving to Boone.

Dianne Finch has been involved in the Mountain Pathways community as a parent and volunteer for several years, and is entering her second year as Ellen’s assistant.

Taylor Cody is the true case of ‘what comes around, goes around’ as he starts at Mountain Pathways this fall after graduating from Appalachian State, and he can also claim alumni status here as well. Taylor attended MPMS from preschool through lower elementary!


Justin Hackler has been teaching in Mountain Pathways’ Lower Elementary (6-9 year-old) program since 2004. He earned his lower elementary Montessori certification in 2006 from the Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies.  Justin graduated from Appalachian State in 1999 with a degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Appropriate Technology.  Prior to joining our staff, Justin worked for several years in the North Carolina public school system and related programs with at-risk youth.  He feels that children should be outside everyday to explore the environment around them.

Kristen Cozart started in the 6-9 classroom in the Fall of 2015. She has her degree from ASU in Communication Science and Disorders, and she has most recently worked with AmeriCorps.



Kristy Hackler is the upper elementary (9-12 year-olds) teacher at Mountain Pathways. Originally from the small, rural farming community of Stanley, North Carolina, Kristy attended North Carolina State University to pursue a degree in Landscape Horticulture. After graduation she traveled overseas and lived in Naples, Italy. With a mother and grandmother who were both teachers, Kristy serendipitously ended up assisting at a Montessori school at an international military base called AFSOUTH. It was there that she realized that she truly liked teaching and loved the students. She has been teaching Montessori for over ten years now and continues to discover, learn, and grow along with her students. “The love of learning is an infectious idea that permeates our days both inside and outside the classroom,” says Kristy. “Teaching at Mountain Pathways has been such an enriching and positive experience. I am looking forward to the continuance of watching children grow, learn, and become amazing people because of who they are and what we do.”


Emily Shack has been in Boone since 1997. She attended Appalachian State University and now has 3 children with her husband David. She has spent the almost 10 years involved in childhood education and is in the 9-12 year-old room assisting Mrs. Kristy again this year.


MPMS Director Glenn Grizzard and Matt Alexander share the day in the middle school and the main office, with Matt teaching math and science in the morning while Glenn is in the office, and then swapping hats and chairs as Glenn comes over to do language and social studies for the remainder of the day and Matt takes over the office.