Meet Our Team

Principal & Elementary Lead

Jamie Watts

Jamie comes to us from Chattanooga where he taught at the Preschool and Elementary levels and directed the Summer Program. Prior to that Jamie worked as the Executive Director of Sylvan Learning Center in Chattanooga. He is a two-time graduate of the North American Montessori Center and graduated Suma Cum Laude from Bryan College. His favorite part about Montessori is seeing the joy that the children express each time they learn something new.

Director of Early Childhood Education

Allison Jones

Allison graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville with a degree in child and family studies and an emphasis on community outreach. She received Montessori training through Montessori Educators International (MEI). Allison has more than 10 years of teaching experience and taught at LRMS throughout her college career before finding a permanent position there in 2011. Her experience is primarily with preschool/ kindergarteners, but was also a toddler lead teacher for two years. Allison believes that Montessori is not only a philosophy of education, but a way of life. Her mother was a Montessori teacher for more than 20 years and Allison was a Montessori child through 6th grade. She says, “The most wonderful part of being a teacher is that we learn just as much from them as they learn from us.”

Early Childhood Lead

Amanda Gienow

Amanda received her Bachelors degree from TTU in Education (K-8). She spent time in public education before moving into non-profit work with children and finally finding her home in Montessori education. She and her husband live in Knoxville and have four children, two of whom proudly attend Little River Montessori. She loves reading, creating, and all things geeky.

Early Childhood Assistant

Tyler Newman

Tyler graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He came to love Montessori because of how his son, Emrys, has flourished in that environment, and how it has given Emrys the independence that he and his wife want for him. Tyler is a photographer in his spare time. He enjoys reading, gaming, and being outside.

Early Childhood Assistant

Blake Jones

Blake Jones is our Early Childhood Assistant. He holds a BS from MTSU in Media Production. About himself, Blake says, “There is nothing I enjoy more than being around children. Well, maybe cheese. Either way, children have brought so much joy into my life and it’s an honor to be able to work with them every single day.”

Office Manager

Emily Guarisco

Emily is a Baton Rouge, LA native who has been involved in education for over a decade. Her experience ranges from aftercare program coordinating, to private school Pre-K teaching, and most recently to teaching in Early Childhood classes of multiple Montessori schools. She and her family moved to Knoxville in 2015. Emily is the mother of two children who also attend LRMS. She is passionate about family, quilting, and education. Along with her family, she enjoys exploring all that Tennessee has to offer. With a long history of admiration for the Montessori philosophy, Emily brings her passion for education and love of Early Childhood to LRMS.


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