Our Team

Jaime Yaeger

Head Of School

Jaime obtained both a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Child Development as well as a M.Ed. in Special Education from Vanderbilt University. She also holds a Montessori teaching credential from Montessori Educators International (MEI). Jaime has spent 2 decades teaching and directing Montessori programs in both Tennessee and Arkansas. She is also the Executive Director of the Montessori Alliance of Tennessee, a statewide group for nurturing and expanding Montessori in Tennessee. She, her husband, and their three children enjoy visiting bookstores, eating Colombian food, and playing card games.

Morgan Terry

Adolescent Guide

Morgan is originally from Vandalia, IL. She relocated to Clarksville after completing her Elementary Education degree from Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL. She is currently completing the adolescent program (7th-12th) through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She was raised on what her mother referred to as a "toy farm" with lots of animals including horses, rabbits, sheep and many more. Morgan recently married and is a proud aunt of 5 wonderful nieces and nephews. She enjoys sports and staying active. Morgan believes strongly in education through hands on experiences and having an open mind to learning strategies. These ideals led her to Montessori and she has become an advocate for the philosophy.

Andrea Ellison

Office Manager

Andrea received her Montessori Elementary Certification (ages 6-12) through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Sam Houston State University. Her love of travel and exploring new cultures inspires her to learn more, dig deeper and explore our world. This curiosity melds brilliantly with the Montessori elementary philosophy to support autonomy, interest, competence, and relatedness to our world. Guiding the child in the development of their own internal motivation, while supporting the development of lifelong skills, is her focus for each child. Having been at Amare since its inception, witnessing the Montessori Methods ability to positively touch so many lives is one of her greatest joys. Married, with two children, Andrea enjoys traveling, hiking, tennis, reading and spending time adventuring with her family.

Susan Harper

Upper Elementary Guide

Susan relocated to Clarksville from Iowa where she and her husband Dennis spent the past few years restoring their historic Victorian home. Susan has Montessori training in both Elementary and Primary levels. Her prior Montessori experience includes guiding a classroom of 40+ Upper Elementary students with a co-teacher, leading Primary classrooms, supervising adult learners in Montessori training, and administrative work.

Becky Bittner

Lower Elementary Guide

Becky received her Montessori Elementary Certification for children 6-12 years old from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies and her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Memphis. In the past, she has taught in the public-school systems of Shelby and Montgomery Counties of Tennessee. She and her husband Eric have four adult children. Becky spent 16 years homeschooling their children while also enjoying teaching and leading in a variety of classes at her local homeschool co-op. One of her greatest joys is witnessing students’ excitement as they discover and learn new things. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, reading mysteries, watching older classic movies, volunteering, and spending time with her family and friends.

Maria Thomas

Primary East Guide

Maria is certified through the American Montessori Society (AMS). She completed her Early Childhood Teacher Training, ages 2.5-6 years, back in 2017 at the Montessori Training Center of Brentwood. Maria holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communication from the University of South Florida, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has worked with children, going on 15 years, both in private independent schools and as a home educator to her own two children in their homeschooling co-op. She believes in fostering a life long love of learning and caring for others. A personal accomplishment of hers is rescuing and rehabilitating two feral dogs, from a pack in the woods, to join her family. She has a big heart for animals and children. Maria is thrilled to be a part of our Amare community and wants each child to feel loved, encouraged and have a reverence for nature.

Connie Gomez

Toddler Guide

Connie was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, where she worked for several years teaching English as a second language to children and adults. After finishing her bachelor’s degree in General Psychology in 2014, she worked as a Human Resources Manager. Connie married in Clarksville, TN and then lived in New Jersey and New York for two years before moving to Clarksville to be closer to family. Connie discovered the Montessori Method while working in a school in NJ, where she was a toddler assistant and then the Lead Teacher in the Infant room, obtaining Montessori Infant/Toddler training during this time. After being an Assistant in the Primary level for three years at Amare, Connie has recently transitioned to the Toddler classroom. In her spare time, Connie enjoys listening to and singing music, baking, and cooking.

Alexis Beatty

Toddler Guide

Alexis was born in Clarksville, but as a military child, she had the opportunity to live in many places before putting roots down in Tennessee. After working as an assistant in the Toddler classroom for 3 years, she received her AMS Infant and Toddler certification through the Montessori Training Center of Brentwood. She also holds a Bachelor's degree from APSU, a Childbirth Educator Certification, and a Parent-Infant and Child Facilitator Certification. Working with children for over a decade, she has a deep respect for the young child. Alexis is passionate about treating children as whole humans from the moment of birth and spreading awareness about the importance of the first three years of life. She values diversity and inclusivity, creating a welcoming environment for all families. Alexis has three children with her husband James. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading about pregnancy, birth, and child development, creating art, and supporting families to learn more about the Montessori method.

Emily Bailey

Primary East Assistant

Emily was born and raised in Northern California. She attended college in Southern California studying Child Development. She then moved to Nashville, TN where she met her husband and started a family. Before discovering her love for Montessori, she was a career nanny for 7 years working with children of all ages from infancy through elementary age. While searching for a preschool for her son, Jax, Emily discovered a Montessori school where she decided to pursue a career as a Montessori Guide. She now holds a Montessori Assistant Certificate and is set to earn her Lead Nido and Toddler diploma later this month. Emily is grateful to have experience and knowledge in the Toddler community. She is utilizing that training to continue working with children at the Primary community level. Emily has a deep respect for children and a desire to assist children in forming a positive self-view, self-drive, and self-discipline. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, gardening, paddle boarding, and cooking.

Darby Rodriguez

Upper Elementary Assistant

Darby was born in Lawrence, Kansas. Darby’s family moved to San Jose, California when she was entering elementary school and that is where she discovered her love of dance, ultimately leading her to performing arts high schools. She graduated from Nashville School of the Arts with Honors as a Ballet Major. Having attended non-traditional schools and understanding education happens though actively doing, Darby’s interest in Montessori was sparked when her niece and nephew started their education in Montessori. After spending a semester at the University of Kansas studying early childhood education and development, she is excited to jump into the classroom. In her spare time, Darby loves spending time with her niece and nephew, decorating cakes, and sewing.

Julie Rullmann

Creative Arts Director

Julie graduated from Martin Methodist College with an AA in Liberal Arts, then following her adventurous spirit, she traveled to Anchorage, Alaska and received her BA in Humanities, Arts and Communication from Alaska Pacific University and then to Seattle, Washington for design courses at Cornish College of the Arts. Julie has worked as a professional in the Creative Arts field as a Graphic Designer and Creative Director for more than 20 years. She discovered her passion for children’s art education when she volunteered to teach art once a week in her son’s kindergarten class. She continued this practice until given the opportunity to teach art regularly at Pleasant View Montessori. Julie has also served as the choir director at Port Royal UMC and has been actively involved in Community Spirit Inc., a local Theatrical organization. Julie lives with her family on their "Century Farm" in Adams, TN.

Amy Unruh

Farm Guide

Bio Coming Soon

Courtney Hester

Student Services Specialist

Courtney was a special needs facilitator and nanny for 12 years in the Washington D.C. area. She returned to school to study special education in 2003. She graduated from Austin Peay State University with her Bachelor of Science in Special Education in 2005 and her Master’s in Instructional Technology in 2007. Courtney taught in the public school system for seven years and has been with Amare since its opening in 2015. In 2017, Courtney started working on another Master’s degree, this time in Dyslexia Therapy. In 2018, she left the Toddler Community to become the Student Services Coordinator. In 2019 Courtney completed her Master’s degree in Dyslexia Therapy and became a Certified Academic Language Therapist from ALTA (Academic Language Therapy Association). Courtney loves spending time with her son, Ivan, her dogs, and her cat. She is an avid photographer and reader and cross-stitches in her spare time.

Stephanie Bailey

Primary West Guide

Stephanie attended the University of Northern Iowa to study Elementary Education and later received a Master of Science in Psychology. The positive changes observed in her daughter, Charlie, while attending Amare sparked an interest in Montessori philosophy which led to her to enroll in the Primary Montessori Certification program at the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Stephanie believes children deserve freedom and movement in their environment to grow. Stephanie taught in the country of Panama at an English-speaking school years ago. While there, she met people from all over the world and they still keep in contact today! In her free time, she enjoys playing board games and spending time outdoors with her husband and daughter.

Cassie Rullmann

Lower Elementary Assistant

Tracy Calkins

Outdoor Classroom Guide

Natasha Bartelt

Substitute Coordinator

Nancy Rawn

Aftercare Staff

CJ Miller

Adolescent Guide

Originally from Virginia, C.J. has lived in four states and three different countries over the course of her life. As an adolescent, C. J. attended a public school based on the Sudbury model of education from 7-12th grade. She attended New College of Florida from 1983-1987, graduating with a degree in Literature and Anthropology. From there she went to Arizona and then to Japan, where she learned to love languages and teaching. After her first two years in Japan, she moved to England and taught English there to college hopefuls and refugees from the Bosnian War. She was then able to transition back to Japan to continue her teaching career. Returning to the United States (upon finding out that her European teaching credentials would not allow her to teach in the US), she went into technical support, working as a desktop technician, and a network help desk technician, first for DARPA and then for the Pentagon. After 9/11 and the initial stages of the Iraq War, C. J. left the pentagon to raise her daughter, start a business as a freelance editor, and go back to school to get her teaching license. In 2004 she returned to her first love: teaching English. In 2017 she received her Masters from WGU in Curriculum Design. Now, after 14 years with CMCSS in various roles, she is ready to start a new adventure in Montessori, and is pursuing her secondary Montessori certification at the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Being the product of competency based learning programs and believing in the self-efficacy of each student, C. J. looks forward to guiding students to explore their interests, talents, and passions as they transition to higher levels of independent learning.

Heydi Bulnes

Primary West Assistant

Heydi was born in Colombia, South America. As a native Spanish speaker, she enjoys helping people who wish to learn her native language. She and her husband enjoy their two beautiful girls and three dogs. Heydi loves cooking and taking care of her family, enjoying living life to the fullest. Every day she surrounds herself with positive thoughts and energy, always knowing that God has control in every aspect of her life and the ones she loves. Heydi says, "I enjoy the simple things in life, like empowering people to be the best they can be!" Heydi joins many of our other Amare staff members as a Star Wars fan. She is looking forward to observing the students in Primary West grow and develop new friendships this year!