Asheville Montessori School

Ms. Elenore's Class


Elenore Vena – Lead Teacher “Hi I’m Elenore Vena and I’m so pleased to be starting my 4th year at Asheville Montessori School. I’m originally from Little Rock, AR but have lived in Swannanoa for the last 6 years. I graduated from Warren Wilson College with a BA in Visual Art with a focus in Intaglio Printmaking and a minor in Environmental Science. I am thrilled to be starting my first year as a lead teacher and am so excited to be completing my Montessori training. I live with my partner Ryan Frank and our cat Luna and enjoy spending time with them. I love gardening, seeing live music and spending time with friends and family.”

Assistant Teachers


DSCN4239 - Version 2Jennifer Nance – Hi! My name is Jenn Nance. I began my life journey in Columbus Ohio. At 16 I moved to the beautiful state of Utah where I resided for 2 years exploring the red rocks. Living in Utah was a very special part of my life as I was able to delve into my connection to the outside world. Moving to Asheville was a rather spontaneous decision and has proven a fantastic choice! I attended the Aveda Institute of Columbus where I studied and practiced cosmetology. My passion for “art work of the hair” faded as I was presented with more opportunity to have interactions with a movement in people. In April 2010 I began working for a wilderness therapy program as a wilderness field instructor for “troubled adolescents”. I spent 8 days at a time with students in the stunning mountains of the Pisgah National Forest followed by 6 days off. I did this intense work for 2 1/2 years before settling into the idea of following my dream of teaching kindergarten. I was presented with this wonderful opportunity to be an assistant teacher here at AMS entering with a big smile and open heart. I feel very connected to small children and their ever present joy. Montessori education would have changed my educational experience! I am so grateful to be here everyday waking with a feeling of excitement.

I enjoy spending my time on a yoga mat, trotting through the mountains, swimming in the mountain streams, capturing life through a camera lens, walking my dog, cuddling my cat, making stained glass art, reading poetry and when inspired even writing my own!

Sarah Benson Sarah BensonHello! I’m Sarah, one of the newest additions to the staff here at Asheville Montessori. I’m very excited to be starting here and look forward getting to know your children and the Montessori method.

I’m originally from Charlotte and have lived here in Asheville since 2004 when I started at UNC Asheville. When I graduated in 2008 I got an assistant teacher position at an arts based preschool program, and my life was forever changed at that point. I knew that I wanted to work with preschool aged children. I recently graduated from AB Tech with my Early Childhood Education degree and was introduced to the Montessori method through my studies. It wasn’t until I visited this school that I had any idea how wonderful Montessori really is! I was impressed with how calm and engaged the children were and how the teachers looked relaxed and focused- a very different picture than what I was use to with other preschool classrooms.

In my free time, I love to work in my garden, spend time with my boyfriend Matt and our three cats, practice yoga, and do crafty things.