Meet Our Team

We’ve got a long list of things to be thankful for — such as a great, in-town location and a beautiful neighborhood site. But, at the top of that list is the team responsible for guiding your children every day. Over the years, we’ve become an incredible team of knowledge-hungry, caring, spirited pros who continue to push ourselves to learn more, do more, and teach more.

The reason we do it is pretty simple. It’s because we want your children to be the best they can be and want to do everything to make that happen.

Check out our staff and faculty below.

Beth Samples, Co-founder and Executive Director and Carey Logan, Director of School

Our Staff

Beth Samples


Beth co-founded Northwoods Montessori in 1972. She serves as Executive Director and is on the Northwoods Advisory Board. At West Georgia College, Beth majored in education. She was inspired to begin Northwoods after witnessing the effects of the Montessori experience on her older child. As a result, she has made a quality Montessori education available to a broad cross-section of children in the Atlanta community.

Carey Logan

Director of School

Carey serves as the Director of Northwoods Montessori School. A Georgia State University graduate, she holds an M.Ed degree and an AMI diploma for Elementary from the Washington Montessori Institute. With over thirty-five years of experience at the elementary and middle school levels as a teacher and administrator, she began her Montessori journey at Northwoods as the Physical Education teacher before taking the Montessori Elementary training. Carey developed and steered our elementary outdoor program – hiking, biking, and camping. Active in the Georgia Montessori community, Carey serves as Past-President of the board for the Montessori Administrators of Georgia.

Sue Zampella

Accounts Manager

Sue is a native of Bowie, Maryland and attended the University of Maryland. Sue's daughter and son attended and graduated from Northwoods Montessori. She came to Northwoods in 1985. As the Accounts Manager, Sue manages fundraising events.

Linda Spinks

Operations Manager

Linda re-established her relationship with Northwoods when she joined the administrative staff in 2009. Linda's son attended Northwoods as a child. She attended Georgia Perimeter College and worked in the corporate sector before becoming Operations Manager at Northwoods.

Our Teachers

Melissa Jones

Lead Toddler Guide

Melissa attended Northwoods Montessori from age 2-1/2 to 12 years, graduating in 2002. She studied Education and Early Childhood at Georgia Southern University. For many years, Melissa served as a Toddler Community Assistant and Lead in our Toddler Summer Program. She is currently completing her AMI Assistants to Infancy training at the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies in Phoenix, AZ. Melissa will begin her third year as our AMI Guide in our Toddler Program.

Monika Rawla

Lead Elementary Guide

Monika begins her fourth year at Northwoods as the AMI Elementary Guide. She earned her master's degree in Food and Nutrition at Lady Irwin College in New Delhi, India. With over thirteen years of teaching experience at the Primary level, Monika holds both the AMI Primary and Elementary Diplomas from the Montessori Institute of Atlanta.

Jennifer Samples

Lead Primary Guide

Jennifer attended Northwoods Montessori from age 2-1/2 to 12 years, graduating in 1992. She earned an Associate Degree in Sociology from Gainesville College. In addition, Jennifer holds the AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Institute of Atlanta. Jennifer begins her 21st year as an AMI Primary Teacher at Northwoods. Her daughter and son attend Northwoods.

Jen Wells

Lead Primary Guide

Jennifer Wells begins her third year at Northwoods as an AMI Primary Guide. For over seven years, she served as a Primary assistant or guide for Metro Atlanta schools. Jennifer received her AMI Primary diploma from the International Montessori Training Institute in Atlanta. In addition, she earned a Master of Business Administration from Georgia College and State University.

Classroom Assistants

Jacques Jones

Toddler Community Assistant

Jayshree Patel 

Primary Assistant

Hema Dilipkumar

Primary Assistant in Jen Wells' Class

Gianna Vitale

Toddler Community Assistant 

Arijeta Piliqi

Primary Assistant in Jennifer Samples' Class

Alyson Richardson 

Elementary Assistant

Jenn Demer

Primary Assistant in Jen Wells’ Class

Our Montessori Credentials

We, who have tried other methods, are happy to find ourselves working with the child’s own processes. The faculty and staff of Northwoods are proud of our graduates and we are active members of national and international organizations that support the method that has nurtured them.

Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1929 to ensure that her methods and style would be accurately and consistently represented in the schools that bore her name. The mission of the organization is to promote the growth of Montessori education in public and private schools, to promote the development of Montessori teacher training, to promote public understanding of the Montessori method and principles in educational communities, and to provide opportunities for children to develop normally.

Northwoods Montessori School has been affiliated with and recognized at the highest level by AMI continuously since our founding in 1972. We were one of the first schools to be so certified in the Atlanta area. Our certification and recognition means that we closely adhere to the standards and methods promoted in teacher training courses provided by the Association and that we meet the Association’s criteria for consistent teacher training standards, use of Montessori learning materials, classroom sizes, and adherence to Dr. Maria Montessori’s original educational philosophy. We are AMI certified at the birth to three and three to six age levels. From time to time, our school is honored to host student teachers from local AMI training centers for required Observations and for Student Teaching from the Montessori Institute of Atlanta and International Montessori Training Institute. Also, our faculty participates regularly in the nationwide annual AMI- USA Refresher Course, an AMI-certified continuing education course.