Brenda O. Bernstorf, Institutional Director

  • Ed.D. Organizational Leadership and Development, Grand Canyon University
  • MBA – Trevecca Nazarene University
  • B.S. – Music Education, Asbury University

    Brenda is strategically driven and fascinated by organizational development, specifically engaging people with the organization. She joined the administrative team in 2008 with over 20 years’ experience in business and nonprofits. She is responsible for developing and managing the brand, marketing, human resources, organizational development, continuous improvement, and accreditation.  Her belief in continuous learning, education, and organizational leadership makes her an avid reader and drives the development strategies of the organization. 

    She loves quilting, sewing, cooking, and reading and is busy completing a doctoral program. She and Jim enjoy working together and have been married over 35 years. They have two grown children, and five amazing grandchildren. 

Emily Breaux, IT Level Coordinator/Registrar

  • B.A.- Knox College
  • M.A.- Education, Mt. Mary
  • Early Childhood credential MEI (ages 3-6)
  • Infant and Toddler AMS Credential (ages 0-3) 

Emily has been in the field of education for over 20 years. After receiving her Master’s Degree in Education and a Waldorf certification, she began teaching at a Waldorf school. In 2009, Emily was drawn to Montessori.  She enrolled her 3 children in a Montessori school, and worked to become a certified Montessori teacher.    She has earned two Montessori certifications, anAMS Infant/Toddler (0-3), and an MEI Early Childhood (3-6).  Emily has worked as a Primary teacher, a Toddler teacher, Infant/Toddler Program Director, field consultant, has served on an AMS accreditation team, and given presentations at Montessori conferences. 

​Sara Aronson, Infant/Toddler Director​ 

Sara joined Montessori Academy as a Toddler teacher in fall 2013. She has four children who attend school at MA. Her two daughters are in UE/MS and her two sons are in our Infant and Primary programs.  She lives in downtown Murfreesboro with her husband and children. She is Montessori Infant/Toddler certified and plans to pursue her Master's degree. Her past times include learning more about cooking, Montessori philosophy, and psychology.

Dr. Jim Bernstorf, Executive Director, Montessori Academy, Inc. 

  • B.A. – Philosophy, Asbury University      
  • M.Ed – Masters in Educational Leadership, Trevecca Nazarene University 
  • Ed.D. – Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Trevecca Nazarene University

Jim's educational background includes a Masters in educational leadership and a Doctorate in educational leadership with a dissertation focused on testing and accountability. Jim came to Montessori Academy in 2001 with an extensive background in business. That experience provided a background in sales, purchasing, accounting, operations, and sales management in five different states.  He served as CFO at Montessori Academy prior to assuming the responsibilities as the educational leader in 2013. As Executive Director, he oversees the entire nonprofit organization, Montessori Academy, Inc.

Tanelle Murphy, MTCOB Education Director/EC Level Coordinator

  • B.A. - English/Dance, University of Memphis
  • MAT - Curriculum & Instruction, University of Memphis
  • Montessori Early Childhood Credential (Ages 3 - 6)

Tanelle is a Nashville native who began her teaching career in 1993. Before discovering Montessori education, she was a public high school English teacher and K-12 ESL instructor.  This traditional background gives her a strong understanding of the limits of traditional education and the many benefits of Montessori education.  In 2005, Tanelle toured Montessori Academy for her daughter.  Inspired by those classrooms full of busy, calm, happy children, she joined MA as a Primary teacher in 2007.  After 10 wonderful years in the classroom, Tanelle became Primary Director of MA in 2017.

In addition to working with children, partnering with and educating adults has always been a passion for Tanelle.  While teaching ESL, she was an adjunct professor for an ESL continuing education course and did teacher training at school, district, and regional levels. Tanelle joined the Montessori Training Center of Brentwood as an instructor in 2015 and became the Education Director and Early Childhood Program Level Coordinator in 2017.  Whether working with children, teachers, or parents, Tanelle continues to be inspired by Montessori education.

(615) 833-3610

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