Elementary 1

Elementary 1 Class (ages 6-9) (grades 1-3)




Kat Taylor – Co-Lead Teacher

Originally hailing from Germany, Kat’s childhood was spent globetrotting with her small, military family.  At a very young age, she got to experience the art, food, architecture and traditions of many different cultures, and was appreciative of every moment she spent traveling with her family.  She settled into North Carolina, after her father retired in Raleigh, and fell in love the the Appalachian Mountains.  She attended UNCA, where she received a degree in Art, and quickly discovered that forcing creativity for cash was not her calling.  She delights in exploring many career avenues, including veterinary technician, nanny and working with the special needs population.  Having heard of the Montessori philosophy before, teaching had been on her back burner for many years until the fates would have her working as a one-on-one worker with a student at MESA.  Instantly, she fell in love with not only the philosophy, but the school itself.  This fueled her decision to enter a MACTE accredited teacher certification program for both upper and lower elementary, from the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.  She now holds an Elementary I & II (ages 6-12, grades 1-6) Montessori Certification.  She shares her wealth of knowledge in the fields of biology, environmental science and social science.

In her time away from the classroom, Kat enjoys exploring and foraging with her dog in these beautiful mountains (mushrooms are among her favorite finds).  During warm months, she is an avid gardener and wildlife rehabilitator, with Winter brings time for painting, drawing, reading and fiber arts.



Canaan Brackins – Co-Lead Teacher

Canaan spent most of his life in Johnson City, TN where he attended East Tennessee State University.  There he received a Bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in writing and earned a minor in Art.  After graduating, he spent a year as an Educational Assistant in an 11-15 Special Education classroom.  After learning about Montessori Education from graduate classes, Canaan quickly moved to Greenwood, SC to earn a Master’s of Education in Montessori Education along with his 6-9 American Montessori Society certification.  He spent the next three years teaching in a 6-9 classroom in Simpsonville, SC.  His love of Montessori Education, however, is not limited to the classroom; he has attended the last three annual conferences of the South Carolina Montessori Alliance (SCMA) as well as a weekend at the Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI).

After his brief stint in South Carolina, Canaan is happy to return to Appalachia and currently lives in Alexander, NC with his wife, Cara Beth, and daughter, Stella Fae.  He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors, drawing, painting, writing and meditating.

Sarah Hunter – Art/French Teacher

Sarah was raised in Atlanta in an art-loving family.  She fell in love with photography in high school so much that she majored in it at Guilford College where she received her Bachelor’s degree.  She went on to get her Master’s degree in art at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  From studying art in France, to owning her own photography business, Sarah brings a wealth of knowledge to share with the students of MESA.  She has worked students at the pre-primary level through middle school.  Sarah has been teaching children in a Montessori environment for 15 years.  She now lives in Weaverville with her husband and 2 daughters.