Staff Information

Ruth Jones, founder of Mead Montessori School. Ruth opened Farragut Montessori School in 1987, a strong and vibrant Montessori School serving children ages 3-6 in a beautiful farmhouse located in Farragut. In 2009, seeking more room for expansion, Ruth moved her school to its current location in the Island Home neighborhood, changing the name to Mead Montessori School to reflect the unique history of the building. Ruth passed away in June 20, 2010 but her legacy lives on each day at Mead Montessori School.

ellaElla Jones, Head of School, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Tennessee.  She received her AMI Primary Montessori training from the Montessori Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon, and her Master’s Degree in Montessori Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. Ella was a Montessori child and has extensive experience caring for all ages of children and teaching in both Montessori and conventional educational settings with children ages 15 months to 15 years. A Knoxville native, she and her husband have a daughter and son who both attend Mead. Following her mother’s legacy, Ella has expanded the reach of Montessori education through Mead’s growth and community ties to many children in East Tennessee.

Theresa Melloy, Toddler Lead Teacher and West Campus Director, holds an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Pellissippi State in Knoxville, Tennessee. She received her Assistant to Infancy Montessori training from the Minnesota Montessori Training Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, an AMI training facility. Theresa was a classroom assistant at Farragut Montessori before pursuing her AMI training.  Following her training, she returned to Mead Montessori School to lead its first Toddler Community.  She has over ten years of experience working with children in Montessori and other childcare settings. Theresa loves to sew and craft Infant and Toddler materials for both school and home.

Tiffany Allen, Toddler Lead Teacher – South Campus, began as a Toddler Assistant at Mead West in the Spring of 2016. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies. During her time as a student, Tiffany served as a tutor, nanny, babysitter and child-care worker in a variety of settings. Tiffany is passionate about child development and has a great deal of experience working with young toddlers. Tiffany enjoys dancing, reading and crafting. She plans to begin AMI Assistant to Infancy training in the Summer of 2019.


Miah Weaver, Primary Lead Teacher – South Campus, has been an employee at Mead since 2012, working with all ages of children – she started helping with our school when she was in 8th grade!  Her natural ability to care for and teach children has been evident from the start.  Miah completed her AMI Lead Teacher training at Montessori Northwest in May of 2017, and her Master’s Degree in Montessori Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland in the Summer of 2018. In her spare time, Miah enjoys kayaking, yoga, hiking, sewing, crafts and enjoying the great outdoors!

Montessori Teacher

Anna Marie Reno-Ware, Primary Lead Teacher – West Campus, was a Montessori child and has extensive Montessori teaching experience with young children.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Tennessee in Studio Art and a Master’s Degree in Montessori Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland.  Anna Marie received her AMI training in Portland, Oregon, at the Montessori Institute Northwest.  She then worked as Director of a Montessori school in Sherwood, Oregon, for two years.  Following her experience in Oregon, she became a Lead Guide and Director of a Montessori school in Nashville, Tennessee, for five years before returning to her hometown of Knoxville.  Anna Marie loves the arts, adventure and the great outdoors.

Jackie Tucker, Primary Lead Teacher – South Campus, completed her Montessori Primary training in 2004. Prior to joining Mead, Jackie was a Primary Lead Guide at Nature’s Way Montessori for 12 years, and volunteered as a Big Sister at Christenberry Elementary School and for Kids Hope USA. Jackie is a natural in connecting with children and fostering development of their full potential, independence and love of learning. The passion and energy she brings to the classroom each day are beyond compare. In her spare time, Jackie enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.

Erin Salter, Elementary Lead Teacher and Educational Training Coordinator.  Erin has been the lead Elementary teacher at Mead since the program’s establishment in 2010. She has worked with children in Montessori schools (of ages ranging from 2 to 12) since 2000 and has experience supporting the growth and development of both young and established Montessori schools. Erin has Montessori diplomas at both the Early Childhood and Elementary levels and holds a Master’s Degree in Montessori Elementary Education. While teaching in Tokyo, Japan, she collaborated with the school staff and community to undergo an intensive accreditation process. In addition to guiding the Elementary Community here at Mead, Erin acts as the Educational Training Coordinator and aids in the training of classroom assistants and Lead Teacher support on all levels. Her depth of understanding of the Montessori method and perspective as a seasoned teacher is a wonderful resource to our staff. In addition to working as a Montessori teacher, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, camping, traveling, gardening and making art. She also enjoys learning about art & design, hiking, yoga and culinary exploration.

EllenEllen Adams, Adolescent Lead Teacher, is a Tennessee native that studied Biology at University of Tennessee Knoxville. After graduation she spent two years with Americorps, leading service projects in Knoxville and working at a high needs school in Denver. She then spent time at an outdoor education center leading and educating youth in the mountains of southern California. After traveling around for a year- farming, hiking, climbing, and teaching- she decided to come back to Knoxville as she loves the community and the surrounding outdoors. She is invested in the education of youth and found that Montessori schools truly reflect her views on how students should learn. She is AMI certified through her attendance at the NAMTA Montessori Orientation ot Adolescent Studies in Huntsburg, Ohio. Her training has helped her develop an occupation-based curriculum to deeply connect the students to their core areas of study, while integrating into the unique and special Knoxville community. In addition to her love of knowledge and passing that along, Ellen can be found biking, exploring with her dog, cooking, reading or outside in her garden.

4190_86100513599_1817813_nAllison Watson, Office Manager, provides administrative office support and assistance to all classes.  Her twins are current Mead students.  Allison received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Tennessee Technological University and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee College of Law.  Allison worked extensively with families and children of all ages in her 12 years of legal practice.  She has served as a director on various boards in her community advocating children’s rights and human rights for disabled persons and was a founding member of The House of Hope, which provides support and services for displaced children.  Allison has been a public speaker for criminal and social justice reform and at high schools regarding challenges faced by teenagers. She continues to serve as Trustee over scholarship funds for students who would likely be overlooked by other financial assistance services.  Improving the lives of children has always been her lifelong passion.


Additional staff within the school serves as teaching assistants, language teachers, and art and music teachers. All strive to meet AMI recommendations and take advantage of AMI conferences and workshops when available.