Archive for Curriculum Council

Missy Hammer

Missy joined Five Oaks Academy in 2005 and served as Office Manager from 2005-2009.  She left FOA in the summer of 2009 to work at Furman University as a Department Assistant for both History and Asian Studies Departments for four years.  Missy returned to Five Oaks Academy in November 2013 as Senior Administrative Coordinator and is a current member of our Curriculum Council. Missy Hammer earned a Master of Business Administration from Webster University in 2005.  She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Wesleyan University in 2003.


Amy Kuhl Cox

Amy joined Five Oaks Academy in 2005 and serves as Administrative Coordinator and Creativity Art Directress for the Primary through Elementary program levels and is active in the integration of STEAM into the curriculum at Five Oaks. She received a BFA degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Having been Montessori-educated herself, Amy received her American Montessori Society Primary certification from Lander University and served as a Primary Directress at Five Oaks Academy from 2005-2008. After her son was born in 2008, Amy became a guest lecturer for parent education workshops at Five Oaks Academy and designed Montessori materials that she has sold around the world. In 2012, Amy illustrated a children’s book entitled Am I Like My Daddy?; as a guest artist, she shared her illustration process with Five Oaks Academy students. Amy returned to Five Oaks Academy in 2013 as the Co-Lead Toddler Program Directress and Creativity Program Directress. In 2015, she joined the Upper Elementary team as the Lead Upper Elementary Program Directress and obtained her Upper Elementary Montessori Certification from the North American Montessori Center in Canada. Amy is a member of the Curriculum Council and she is affiliated with the South Carolina Montessori Alliance.

Jessica Greer

Jessica joined Five Oaks Academy in 2012 and currently serves as the Admissions Director.  She served as Executive Coordinator until 2020.  She attended College of Charleston and received a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. Previously, Jessica has been the Business Manager for Cochran’s for 10 years and has worked in all aspects of business development and customer relations. Jessica’s combined business and education background and her experience are an asset to her position at Five Oaks. Jessica is a member of the Curriculum Council and the Greenville Business Chamber of Commerce.

Jill Plumley

Jill is a founding member of Five Oaks Academy circa. 2003, began her teaching career in 1996 and currently serves as the Assistant Director. Jill participated in art studies programs at Tempo Gallery, Furman University, Julia Peters Gallery, and the Patti Brady Gallery. She is affiliated with South Carolina Montessori Alliance (SCMA) and has presented at SCMA and International Montessori Foundation conferences. Jill previously taught at Montessori West, where she was also the Assistant Director of Finance, the Greenville County Museum of Art, Spartanburg County Library Systems, and Inman Elementary. Jill is a member of the Curriculum Council and is the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) Activities Director for Five Oaks.

Jennifer Amick

Jennifer is a founding member of Five Oaks Academy circa. 2003, and began teaching in 2001. In the 2023-2024 academic year, Jennifer will be leaving the classroom and taking on a new role as Community Relations Director as well as a member of the Collaborative Academic Resources for Education (C.A.R.E.) Team as the Literacy Developer.  She will also remain as the Lead Primary Program Directress. She attended Limestone College and received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She holds an AMS 3-6 certification in Primary from Lander University. She is affiliated with South Carolina Montessori Alliance (SCMA) and the Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI). Jennifer previously taught at Montessori West. Jennifer is a member of the Curriculum Council.

Lauren DiTullio

Lauren joined Five Oaks Academy in 2010 and began teaching in 2008. She serves as a Lower Elementary Directress in Lower Elementary I. She attended Lander University and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Primary Montessori. She has earned a Master’s of Elementary Education from Lander University and both her 3-6 AMS Certification and 6-9 AMS Certification from Lander University. Lauren previously taught at E.P. Todd Elementary and has served as a troop leader for Girl Scouts at Camp Wabak.  Lauren is affiliated with South Carolina Montessori Alliance (SCMA) and the American Montessori Society (AMS).

Bonnie Benthall

Bonnie began teaching in 2005 and joined Five Oaks Academy in 2007.  She serves as a Lead Lower Elementary Program Directress and teacher in Lower Elementary I.  She attended the University of South Carolina and received a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Elementary Education. She also received a Bachelor of Arts in Art Studio and a Minor in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina. She holds an AMS 6-9 certification in Lower Elementary from Lander University and a South Carolina Teaching certificate. She is affiliated with South Carolina Montessori Alliance (SCMA), American Montessori Society (AMS), and the International Montessori Council (IMC).  She has presented at IMC and SCMA conferences. Bonnie previously taught at White Knoll Elementary and the Columbia Museum of Art and is the Southeast Coordinator and a Program Associate for Wells of Love. Bonnie is a member of the Curriculum Council and the Core Curriculum Council.

Karen Barrett

Karen joined Five Oaks Academy in 2005 and serves as the Office Coordinator. She attended the University of Richmond and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Political Science with a minor in Education and History. Karen also studied at the University of Salamanca in Spain. She previously worked as a flight attendant with Northwest Airlines. Karen is a member of the Curriculum Council.

Kathleen Trewhella-Grant

Kathleen is a founding member of Five Oaks Academy.  She began her career at Five Oaks Academy as an Educational Consultant as the concept of the school was being formed. She fell in love with the project and became the Executive Director when the school opened in 2003.  Kathleen began teaching in 1987 and became an acting Director of a Montessori school in 1994. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology from the University of S.C.  She holds 3-6 certification in Primary Education from St. Nicholas Montessori Training Center based in London and Maitland, Florida.

As part of her Montessori Training, Kathleen completed the International Montessori Council’s (IMC) Leadership Course, “Building a World Class School”, in Alexandria, Virginia.  She received leadership training from IMC, AMS, and Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI).

Kathleen is a founding and current member of the South Carolina Montessori Alliance (SCMA), a board comprised of public and private Montessori educators located in South Carolina.  For over ten years she has served the group in the roles of Chair and Vice Chair respectively. Previously, Kathleen has served as the Treasurer for MEPI.

Kathleen serves as a member of the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society (IMBES), MEPI, Learning and the Brain, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).  Kathleen is an educational consultant and has presented at state, national, and international workshops and conferences. Kathleen has been a presenter at IMC, AMS, SCMA, MEPI, and Polski Instytut Montessori Leadership Workshop (The Polish Institute of Montessori).

Before joining Five Oaks Academy, Kathleen was the Director of Montessori West, a private Montessori school located in Spartanburg, SC.  She also taught at Parkview Montessori School in Atlanta, GA. Kathleen studied German at International Sprache Dienst (ISD) Institute in Stuttgart, Germany.  

One of Kathleen’s interests is in correlating brain research with the Montessori curriculum and the Study of Happiness as researched by UC Berkeley and “The Greater Good Science center. Kathleen is completing coursework at UC Berkley’s GGSC.