Kate Winters will join us as director of student support this fall. Kate will partner with Melanie Yeager (school counselor), JoAnn Currie (student support specialist, early childhood intervention), and Jeannie Stanford (student support specialist, reading) to ensure all students have the tools and resources to unleash their full potential.
Kate brings an unmatched combination of Montessori expertise and special education experience. After receiving both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education in special education, Kate taught for six years in public elementary schools. In 2003, Kate joined a Montessori magnet school as a lead teacher and member of the student support team for a population of more than 400 children ages 3 to 12 years. Since then, Kate has earned American Montessori Society teaching credentials in both Elementary 1 (ages 6 to 9) and Elementary II (ages 9 to 12) and a credential in Montessori Leadership and Administration.
Like all our faculty and students, Kate is more than her résumé. We loved speaking with her about Montessori, "Survivor," and more.
GMS: How did you learn about Greensboro Montessori School?
KW: After recently deciding to move closer to Greensboro, I started to look into the Montessori schools in the area. Having heard such great things about GMS, I knew it would be a great fit for my career path.
GMS: Thanks for sharing that. We're grateful for our strong reputation in the community. What is it about the director of student support role that speaks to you?
KW: As a long time educator, spending a significant amount of time in both the Montessori community and working with students facing challenges, I found this position to best fit both of my career passions. I look forward to the opportunity to work directly with students while also supporting staff and families however I can.
GMS: So the role is a good fit. What about our School is a good fit?
KW: Having been in the Montessori world for the past nineteen years as a parent, teacher, and leader, I have come across many Montessori environments and interpretations of the culture and philosophy. After visiting the campus and meeting part of the team, it was apparent that GMS is by far one of the highest quality programs I have encountered. From your campus to your facilities, to the team, GMS embodies the dream Montessori environment.
GMS: Wait until you meet our students. They are amazing! What is your favorite part about working with children, whether in small groups or on an individual basis?
KW: Building relationships and making connections, that’s what it’s all about for me. Throughout my adult years, I have often thought of the educators in my life that made a difference. I hope to make an impact on the lives of the children at GMS and support them to be their best in all they do.
GMS: What is your go-to gesture to help a child who’s having a difficult day?
KW: Great question… I would say that doing my best to make eye contact, but not forcing it upon the student, would be my first move. This will hopefully allow them to feel seen. After that I want them to know that I am there for them, so I would probably offer a listening ear or just an opportunity for them to reset. Often it is just the act of holding space for them to release the challenges of the day, and sometimes it may develop into a conversation of support.
GMS: In addition to supporting students, you will also support members of our team. How do you perceive yourself as a leader?
KW: Having served schools in multiple leadership roles over the years, I value the team approach; I lead with transparency, compassion, and support. I work to empower my team to brainstorm ideas and act upon them while focusing on the individual student’s needs and honoring the philosophy.
GMS: Okay, last question about GMS. What are you excited to learn from our community, and what are you excited to bring to our community?
KW: I am really looking forward to getting to know the children, staff, and families of GMS. One of the things I have always treasured about Montessori schools is the culture of being a village. I am excited to bring my love and passion for children and the Montessori philosophy to GMS. I also pride myself on my abilities of helping parents navigate challenging behaviors in the home, so I hope I can be of support in that area, as well.
GMS: On to you. What are your hobbies?
KW: These change often, as I love trying new things. I have always enjoyed reading, listening to books/podcasts, doing puzzles, writing poetry, knitting, playing board games of any kind, painting, and really doing just about anything crafty. Now, if I only had the time to do these things.
GMS: You're moving from Charlotte to join our School. Is there anyone else making the move with you?
KW: I am moving alone and am excited to join my partner, Amalie. We will live in the Lindley Park area.
I have two amazing daughters who both live in Colorado. Morgan is 22 and after completing her degree, now works in human resources; Mackenzie is 20 and currently works in the restaurant industry. They are the reason I am so very passionate about the Montessori experience, as they were fortunate to attend Montessori schools for their entire schooling from toddler/primary through high school. They continue to amaze me each day with their levels of independence, confidence, and compassion for others. They are my inspiration.
GMS: Love that photo of you and Amalie at at Hoppers game! What else are you excited to do in Greensboro?
KW: I’m most excited to make Greensboro home. As my career and family needs have made the past 25 years quite an adventure, I am ready to settle down and unpack for good. I love the downtown area of Greensboro and am enjoying checking out all the unique eateries nearby. Amalie and I love to adventure up into the mountains but also enjoy a stroll to the local shops in our charming and friendly neighborhood.
GMS: What is your favorite indulgence?
KW: Must I admit this? Ice cream, chocolate, coffee, chia, okay so I can’t settle on just one. Clearly, I have a sweet tooth, but my favorite food would probably be chips and guacamole.
GMS: What was the last show you binge watched (or if you’re not into television, the last book you read for fun)?
KW: I love to binge on some TV and my interests are all over the map. The last thing I can remember is "This is Us." It was an emotional series to watch but many of the story lines paralleled my own life, so I valued the work that went into creating such a realistic story. I am also a sucker for reality TV and a longtime "Survivor" fan. My youngest has a dream of competing on it one day, so who knows maybe I’ll get to visit her in action.
GMS: Binge-watching is one of those things that is so different from how many of us grew up ... when you had to wait for the next episode to enjoy your show. Traveling a bit further back in time, who would you like to meet from history and why (other than Maria, of course!)?
KW: Hmmmm, that’s a tough one. I first thought of wanting to meet some of my ancestors, but I think I would most like to meet Mother Teresa or Maya Angelou. When Morgan was in second grade, she portrayed the most adorable Mother Teresa in our Montessori Wax Museum and through her research, I became quite fascinated by this selfless individual and all the amazing work she accomplished. I believe it was in 2005, I attended the AMS conference in Chicago where I was honored to hear Dr. Angelou speak. I have since become a collector of her poetry and I value her perspective on life and the wisdom she shared in her writings.
GMS: We have loved chatting with you. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
KW: Gosh, I feel like this was well thought out and asked all the great questions. I guess the only thing I might add is that I enjoy dabbling in acting and have been in and directed a few plays. It’s been quite some time since I’ve done much with it, but I hope to connect with a community theater once I get settled.
GMS: We have just the show you might enjoy helping with (here's looking at you, Upper Elementary).