Our Montessori-trained infant and toddler teachers form close bonds with the children, encouraging the development of language and body awareness through movement and exploration.
- Ms. Tracey is our toddler lead teacher. She discovered her love of the Montessori Philosphy and received her Birth to Three Montessori Certification at MECA Seton in Chicago the Summer of 2006. Her and her husband look forward to the winter months because they enjoy downhill skiing. You might see her wearing an item she has knitted! Her favorite quote is “ Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” -Maria Montessori
- Ms. Beverly is an associate toddler teacher. She has worked with children for nearly 20 years. In her space time she enjoys going to concerts, camping, cooking and baking, as well as spending time with her friends, gamily, husband and dog. She is looking forward to continuing her education and to many more years at Brookfield.
- Mrs. Hala is an associate toddler teacher. She started working at Brookfield Academy last spring. Mrs. Hala received her associate degree in Early Childhood from Macomb Community College. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her children and, enjoys cooking.
- Ms. Rachel is an associate toddler teacher. She started working at Brookfield Academy this past summer. She is currently working on her degree at Macomb Community College. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her friends
Preschool / Pre-Primary Teachers
Our Montessori-certified preschool or pre-primary teachers help children build and master important skills at critical periods – the moment they are most sensitive to acquiring a new skill or concept. Meet our Troy preschool teachers.
- Ms. Tina is the Lead teacher in the Pre-Primary classroom. This is her first year at Brookfield Academy. Ms. Tina recently moved from Chicago, IL where she taught and was a Lead Preschool Teacher for 4 1/2 years at a Bright Horizons Center. She has a Bachelor’s in Counseling Psychology and is currently in the North American Center where she will be working towards earning her Montessori certification. Ms. Tina is eager to learn and is passionate about children and teaching them. In her spare time, Ms. Tina enjoys spending time with her family, shopping and starting new crafts!
- Mrs. Brinda is an Lead Teacher in the Pre-primary classroom. She has her Early Childhood Credential from Michigan Montessori Education Center. She has been working in a Montessori classroom since 2008. In her spare time, she loves reading, listening to music and taking care of her family.
- Ms. VanNest is a Lead Children’s House Teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Marygrove College in Detroit and her Montessori Credential from the Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center. This is her 35th year teaching at Brookfield Academy. Ms. VanNest enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
- Miss Stephanie has been an Teacher at Brookfield since November, 2015. She is a graduate of Oakland University with a Bachelors of Art in Art History. As an undergraduate, Miss Stephanie also studied Psychology with a concentration in Child Development. She completed her Associate Montessori certification in January of 2016. During the summer of 2016, Miss Stephanie directed Brookfield’s summer camp program.
Miss Stephanie is passionate about learning and teaching young children. She enjoys reading children’s literature, especially aloud to students. With a background in art, dance, and musical theatre, she loves to have fun and be creative both inside and outside of the classroom.
Toddler / Preschool / Pre-Primary Associate Teachers
- Ms. Leslie Kolly
- Ms. Myra Richardson
- Ms. Deborah Hambry
- Ms. Kaitlin Anderson
- Ms. Rajitha Podishetty
- Ms. Jordan Shadd
- Ms. Ritu Rana
- Miss Leslie is an Associate Teacher in Pre-primary. She has worked at Brookfield Academy since 2000. She enjoys the variety that working at Brookfield brings. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her grandsons.
- Ms. Myra has been an Associate Teacher at Brookfield Academy since 2001. She has a bachelor’s degree in child development and family life from Indiana State University. She is from a family of educators, with a combined 81 years of teaching. In her free time, she spends time with her three daughters, teaches bible school, is the founder of My Sister’s Closet and is a U of M fan. “I just love preschool children because you are working with the foundation of little minds.”
- Ms. Debbie is the associate teacher in room 3. She has her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and has run her own daycare for 28 years. She also been a Lead Latch key teacher and has been an associate teacher for three years. Ms. Debbie has been married for 35 years with a grown son and daughter.
- Ms. Kaitlin is an associate toddler teacher this year, after serving as a summer camp teacher. This is her first year working for Brookfield Academy! Ms. Kaitlin received her Master’s in English Literature from Northern Michigan University in 2017. In her free time, she loves writing stories and playing with her dogs.
- Ms. Rajitha is an associate teacher at Brookifeld Academy. She joined the staff in the summer of 2018. She has four years of experience in teaching preschool children and was trained in Montessori education method. She has a passion and love for helping kids enjoy their learning. Rajitha is married with two children. In her spare time, she loves listening to music, cooking and taking care of her family.
- Ms. Jordan has been working at Brookfield since February 2018. She has been working with children since she was 13 and absolutely loves it. She is pursing her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development at Rasmussen College and plans to get her child psychology degree shortly after. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and playing with her son.
- Ritu has been working as a associate teacher at Brookfield Academy since September of 2015. She graduated from Punjab University in India. She has a degree in Architecture and completed her post gradate work in Ecology and Environment at Sikkim Manibal University in India. Prior to Brookfield Academy, she worked at DLF in India as an Assistant Architect for 5 years. She strives to ensures that every child’s learning style and abilities are address.
Our highly trained elementary school teachers combine high expectations for children with hands-on, challenging, and engaging materials in an environment designed to foster academic success and social skills. Meet our Troy elementary school teachers.
- Mrs. Teresa Khalaf
- Mrs. Allison Harrison
- Ms. Lima Mitra
- Ms. Katie Burkhardt
- Mrs. Stephanie Kattola
- Mrs. Danielle Vernon-Carleton
- Anastasia Bates
- Miss Sarah Raffa
- Mrs. Khalaf is a Lead Elementary Teacher. She has a master’s degree in political science from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Montessori Credential from the Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center in Rochester Hills, MI. She has 10 years of teaching experience and this is her third year at Brookfield Academy. Mrs. Khalaf enjoys reading, writing, yoga, and running.
- Mrs. Harrison is the Upper Elementary math, science, and social studies lead teacher. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Education and also has her Montessori Certification. Mrs. Harrison has been working at Brookfield Academy for 7 years. In her spare time, Mrs. Harrison loves to do arts and crafts, dance, and spend time with her husband, Rob, son, Noah, and can’t wait to meet her baby on the way! Mrs. Harrison also loves her two dogs, Lucy and Oliver.
- Ms. Mitra is a Lead Elementary teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Calcutta, India and her Montessori Credential from Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center. Ms. Mitra enjoys working and challenging children in a nurturing environment. She has been teaching at Brookfield Academy for 20 years.
- Ms. Burkhardt is a Lead Elementary Teacher. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a BX endorsement in Language Arts from Central Michigan University. This is her first year at Brookfield Academy and she couldn’t “Bee” more excited to instill the love of reading in all of her students. In her free time Ms. Burkhardt loves to travel, read and be with her friends and family.
- Mrs. Kattola has been teaching at Brookfield Academy for six years. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Oakland University. Mrs. Kattola is Montessori trained for Lower Elementary and strongly believes in utilizing the Montessori Method and materials. Mrs. Kattola’s goal is to help children develop their potential by believing in them as capable individuals. She believes that each and every child has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world.
- Mrs. Vernon-Carleton is a Lead Teacher. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Saginaw Valley State University. She also received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood from Saginaw Valley State University in 2015. She started teaching at Brookfield Academy in 2018. In her free time she enjoys time with her family, exploring outside, and reading. She is dedicated to creating a positive learning environment for children that recognizes individual needs and differences, enables and encourages children to be problem solvers, and helps to produce competent communicators.
- Ms. Bates is a lead elementary teacher of Math, Science and Social Studies. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education with specializations in TESOL and History from Michigan State University. When she is not teaching, she loves to read, travel and spend time with family and friends.
- My name is Ms. Raffa and I am a lead Elementary Teacher for third grade language arts. This is my first year as a teacher at Brookfield Academy and I am looking forward to helping all students reach their greatest potential. I attended Oakland University where I received my Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education. Working with children is both a passion and a privilege. I am excited to be a part of such an amazing community and doing a job I love. When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My family is my support system and they mean the world to me. I love to exercise, travel, and enjoy the outdoors.
Elementary Associate Teachers
- Ms. Sibani has earned her Bachelor of Arts (Vidyasaga College, India) and Bachelor of Education (Calcutta University, India) degrees. She has been a teacher since 1992 and enjoys helping and teaching the children. It is always a great joy watching them every day when they accomplish the work successfully. Ms. Sibani’s favorite children’s book is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
- Miss Danielle is a U.S. Navy Veteran. During her time in the service, she served as a Military Police officer stationed in Pensacola, FL policing a pilots base. Following the military, she moved to the west coast to live in California; playing and coaching indoor and sand volleyball. Before joining the Brookfield team, Danielle spent the last two years teaching English as a Second Language in Thailand, as well as traveling throughout Southeast Asia.
- Mrs. Sonia is an Associate Teacher. She has her master’s degree in ancient Indian history from India. She has been at Brookfield Academy since 2002. She enjoys working with children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, shopping, and watching movies.
Club Brookfield Teachers
Club Brookfield teachers are sensitive to the social and emotional needs of children during before- and after-school times and school vacation days. They provide a safe, consistent atmosphere that ensures nurturing experiences for each child. Meet our Troy before & after school teachers.
Enrichment & Extracurricular Activities Teachers
Enrichment teachers and coaches foster children’s desires for new challenges and opportunities that celebrate their expanding world. Meet our enrichment & extracurricular activities teachers.
- Mr. Steven Culp
- Mr. Kyle Warren
- Ms. Stephania Monroy-Slack
- Ms. Cori Elizabeth
- Mr. Jim Territo
- Mr. James Cronk
- Coach Culp is the Physical Education Teacher. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in child development from Michigan State University. Coach Culp has 20 years of experience working with children, with three of them being at Brookfield Academy. In his free time he coaches the freshman football team at Troy Athens H.S. and is also the President of the Detroit Spartans Alumni Club.
- Mr. Warren attended Oakland Community College and Mid-Michigan College in Lansing, Michigan. He also is a graduate of The Fire Academy and is a certified paramedic. Kyle has worked for Brookfield Academy Troy both as an associate teacher in child care and as a summer camp counselor. He is married and has a dog named, Luna. Mr. Warren is passionate about computer technology and enjoys spending time with his family, friends and Luna.
- Stephania is the Spanish teacher. She has been teaching since 2010 She has a Bachelors degree in exceptional education with the specialty in speech and language from ENSEJ in Mexico, and a continuing education from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Madrid Spain. Stephania is passionate about teaching about her culture and language. On her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, having coffee and taking pictures.
- Ms. Cori is Art teacher. In the past she has been the Club Director/Summer Camp Director at the Troy Campus. She has worked at Brookfield Academy since 2008. She studied fine art at Adrian College and continues to paint, draw, and create in her free time. She loves being a positive part of each child’s day.
- Mr. Jim Territo studied Education and Composition at the University of Michigan School of Music (BMus, 2001, MMus, 2008). He did his student teaching in Saline, MI. Jim has taught High School, Elementary, and Jazz band at Detroit Country Day School from 2002-2014. He has also worked in NYC as a composer and theatre music director in 2014-2015. He has taught band and general music at the Roeper School from 2016-2018, and worked with the El-Sistema affiliated program “Accent Pontiac” 2016-2018. Jim is also a freelance composer, arranger, and pianist since 1997. He hasseveral published works, and an active performance schedule. He is currently developing his third original musical: “The Daedalus 2 Mission”.
- Mr. Jim has been a teacher at Brookfield Academy for 19 years. He recently moved into the role of Technology Director. Mr. Jim started in the after-school program, worked as a classroom assistant in the Pre-Primary/Kindergarten classroom, taught computers, and has been the Assistant Principal at the Troy Campus. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Oakland University. He takes a hands-on approach to technology and teaches the students how items work, not just how to use them. Additionally, Mr. Jim has been coordinating the annual 5th grade trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama for the past 16 years.
School administrators uphold the Montessori mission to provide children with an individualized education that helps them achieve academic success. They work hand in hand with their faculty and families to nurture each child’s individual, unique potential. Meet our Troy school administrators.
- Mrs. Lisa has been the principal at Brookfield for seven years. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Rochester College and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Saginaw Valley. Mrs. Lisa has taught toddler through 5th grade in her 26 year career. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Mrs. Lisa loves to travel to warm climates.
- Mrs. Hartwig is a Lead Elementary Teacher. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Elementary Education from Oakland University. Mrs. Hartwig loves teaching children because it is exciting to watch them learn and grow. Mrs. Hartwig’s favorite children’s books are the Dr. Seuss series. She enjoys traveling with family, spending time outdoors, reading and riding horses.
- Ms. Kali joined Brookfield Academy as the Business Manager in the summer of 2016, she has previously worked her as an associate teacher and also attended school here as a child. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Resources and Society from Michigan State University. She is thrilled to be a part of the Brookfield team again. Ms. Kali recently got married and purchased a home, in her free time likes to spend time with her family and puppy.