Staff

2021-2022

 

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Beth Drummond Casey
Executive Director

Beth grew up in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. She attended Smith College where she majored in music. Since discovering her passion for education, Beth has taught and been an administrator at Gilman, Roland Park Country School, and  Park School of Baltimore. She later co-founded the Middle Grades Partnership, a nonprofit focused on bringing public and private school students and teachers together through summer and after-school programming. Beth is a graduate of the Weinberg Fellows Program, an executive leadership program training Maryland’s nonprofit leaders. She is a self-professed “teaching and learning geek” whose mind is always on the art and science of child growth and development during the early childhood years. In her free time, Beth enjoys singing, a good novel, time outside and time with her husband Tom, her three adult children and her brand new granddaughter. She says she loves being part of a support network that allows the parents of young children to live and work in Baltimore. 

Leigh Hibler
Director of Finance

Leigh grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she attended Virginia Commonwealth University to study marketing and English, and then the University of Richmond where she earned her MBA. After college she worked for the coal industry where she worked in marketing and, in her words, “selling coal to Santa Claus.” Leigh’s acquaintance with BHN began well before her time as the financial administrator. Both her sons are alumni and she served on the board of directors when BHN purchased its current building. When she isn’t crunching the numbers in the front office or keeping up with her boys, Leigh enjoys soccer, spending time outdoors, or just relaxing with a good book. Leigh describes the continued appeal of BHN as a “magnetic pull” that has kept her close to the community over the years.

Becky Bauer
Pre-K Teacher 
Assistant Director for Operations & Logistics

Becky grew up just outside of Chicago before attending Goucher College, where she majored in studio art and communications with a concentration in photography. She has worked with kids her whole life, at schools, summer camps, and as a babysitter. She has also worked as a portrait photographer. Becky is a true gourmet and loves to cook for her friends and try new foods and new restaurants around Baltimore. She lives with her husband and two cats, Moe and Max. She can often be found around BHN singing a song and sipping her coffee. She loves working with the twos because they’re at such a formative age and because they “rock n’ roll!” 

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Julie Sutula

Pre-K teacher

Assistant Director for Program & External Relations

A native of Cambridge Massachusetts, Julie studied hospitality administration at Boston University before heading to the French Culinary Institute in New York City where she became a certified pastry chef. She spent ten years working as a pastry chef in restaurants all over the country. She also taught cooking classes to children and adults and discovered her favorite students were children. She left the kitchen for BHN, where she shares her passion for great food with her students. In the start of her 6th year here at BHN, Julie took on the role of Assistant Director of Programs, assisting the office with program quality, staffing needs and school tours. Julie still makes pastries at home, and spends much of her time playing her two dogs or cheering on the Orioles from the stands.

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Mary Casey
Office Manager

Mary grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire. She attended Gettysburg College where she studied History, Anthropology, and Education. She then headed out West to attend the University of Montana, where she shared the campus with grizzly bears and earned her Masters in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies! Before moving to Baltimore, Mary worked in visitor services and horticulture at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she led historic garden tours and helped facilitate education programs for children and adults. Through her work with museums, Mary realized how important it is for children to act on their interests and learn through play. It's important for adults, too! Mary moved to Baltimore in June 2020, and is excited to learn even more about the city when things can safely reopen. Mary enjoys arts and crafts, tending to her plants, and playing with her two kitties, Blue and Watson. The children and staff at BHN make her smile, and she hopes you can share in the joy, too. 

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Sari Bowers
Pre-K Teacher

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Monay Lewis
2s Teacher

Monay grew up in Baltimore and is an alumna of Baltimore Polytechnic. She studied early childhood education at Baltimore County Community College, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood development at Coppin State. Monay is currently working towards her MBA in human resources development. She spent six years working primarily with infants and toddlers at the Homewood Learning Center before bringing her expertise to BHN. She is a passionate helper at heart. In her spare time, Monay volunteers at senior centers, running events like wellness walks, gardening, bingo, and karaoke nights. She also enjoys trying new restaurants as well as travelling, and says Bali has been her favorite destination. Monay embraces new experiences and encourages the kids in her classes to stay just as curious.

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Laura Fitzpatrick

2s Teacher

Sari Bowers in a seasoned educator who grew up in Baltimore but has lived in Texas, Germany, and South Korea. While living in South Korea, Sari also taught English. Sari earned her Bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in Communications, theatre-film and video, from Guilford College and was afterwards drawn to work helping others. She has taught children with special needs at Kennedy Krieger, taught English as a second language, and worked in elder care and child care. Outside the classroom, Sari is a mother, animal lover, and world traveler. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, painting by the numbers, and reading novels. Her experience teaching children with special needs and students of varied cultures has taught her that all people learn in their own unique way, an invaluable perspective she is excited to bring to Bolton Hill Nursery.

Tennille Jackson
3s Teacher

Tennille comes to us from Pocomoke City, “The Friendliest Town on the Eastern Shore.” Though she attended cosmetology school, Tennille’s passion lies in helping rather than hair. She has worked with kids since she was 17. Her extensive experience has taken her from schools to day cares to residential facilities. Her infectious smile and sharp sense of humor is invaluable at BHN, where she brightens the days of kids and grownups alike. Tennille is at home onstage as well as the classroom, whether as a stand-up comedian or a karaoke star, but nowadays dedicates most of her time outside of BHN to her daughter. 

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Trisha Pandohie

3s Teacher

Trisha Pandohie grew up in Howard County, Maryland, with a brief detour to California. She studied elementary education at Howard Community College but quickly found herself in the world of Montessori education. Trisha has taught at three different schools over the past fifteen years, most recently at Greenspring Montessori. Trisha enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and family, doing yoga and pilates and is an accomplished amateur chef. A resident of Mount Vernon, Trisha looks forward to bringing her passion, expertise, and years of experience to BHN.  

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Will Ryerson
Pre-K Teacher

Will Ryerson grew up in Ohio and studied music at Earlham College, but he has lived and worked in Baltimore for fourteen years. Over the years, Will has been a full time teacher and a substitute at BHN, but he is perhaps best known to current BHN families for his weekly music classes. He also taught elementary music in Baltimore City Public schools. Mr. Will is a musician and songwriter, and plays a number of instruments in a number of bands, in styles ranging from funk to children’s music. He also organizes shows for local artists. Though he is a longtime member of the community, Mr. Will is excited to return to a full time teaching position at BHN.

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Teejay Taylor
3s Teacher

Teejay Taylor was born and raised in Baltimore, and attended Patterson High School. After high school he immediately began working in early childhood education in settings ranging from private daycares, city schools, and Head Start programs. Teejay was recently part of Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship, which trains young men to become pre-kindergarten teachers. Teejay is a natural artist and craftsperson, and enjoys painting, graphic design, knitting, and crochet. He also enjoys sports like football and lacrosse. Teejay comes from a big family, and he credits his many nieces and nephews for the joy he finds in working with young children.

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Grant Nickson

2s Teacher

Grant was born in Chicago, but moved frequently while growing up, attending high school in Montclair, New Jersey. It was in Montclair that Grant began working with children, both babysitting and teaching art classes at a local museum. He landed in Maryland to attend MICA where he majored in Illustration, with a particular interest in illustrating for children’s media. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he became a stalwart substitute at BHN where he quickly impressed everyone with his caring and kindness, as well as the massive color-by-numbers sheets he made by hand! He is ready to join the BHN team full time as a Bluebirds teacher. When he isn’t at BHN, Grant continues to make art using multiple media, including animating for music videos. He also enjoys hiking, biking, and reading in his spare time. 

Laura grew up in New York and Connecticut, and attended Massachusetts College of Art where she studied Art Education. Returning to Connecticut after college, Laura taught in a two-year-olds classroom for 14 years. After a few visits, she fell in love with and moved to Baltimore late in 2016 and joined the BHN staff, already a seasoned educator. When she isn’t at BHN she enjoys painting, making soap, and vegetarian/vegan cooking. One of her favorite things to do with children is singing. Laura especially enjoys working with the twos because they are curious and they always make her laugh.

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Najmeh Khorramshahi
2s Teacher

Najmeh grew up in Iran and immigrated to the United States in 2004. She has worked with children for fifteen years. She worked at Bolton Hill nursery for two years before moving to Florida, where she worked in child care at a Naples community hospital. She happily returned to BHN in 2014 after moving back to Baltimore to be closer to her family. In her free time, Najmeh likes to read, watch movies, go for walks, and most of all spend quality time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She loves the team spirit and supportive community of BHN and takes pride in the experience she brings to the school, as well as her intercontinental perspective.

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Rachel Richardson

2s Teacher

Rachel Richardson grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, attended Hamilton College in New York, and received her Master’s in Fine Arts in Fiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has taught creative writing to senior citizens and seventh-graders, as well as composition, humanities, and academic literacy to community college students in both Carolinas and Dundalk. She is a writer, a dog-lover, and a fan of all things small, especially people. She and her partner, a brewer for Union Craft Brewing, and their dogs, Pinto James and Lucy Beth, moved to Baltimore in 2017 and are happy to call Hampden home. 

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Kristen Schmitz
Pre-K Teacher

Kristen grew up in Savannah, Georgia, helping care for the many young children in her extended family. She attended the University of Georgia where she majored in Special Education. Taking her talents to the west coast, she moved to southern California where she worked as a preschool special educator. Kristen later moved to Maryland and moved up to kindergarten special-ed in Baltimore County Public Schools. She took a break from the classroom to raise children of her own, but returned to teaching in 2015. She has been a BHN parent, teacher, and board member. Kristen is conscientious, organized, and brings to BHN her years of experience as an educator and parent. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys trips to the beach, or just relaxing at home with her dog Hazel.

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Brad Wright
3s Teacher

Brad grew up first in New Mexico, then in New Jersey, but has spent most of time in and around Baltimore since attending Goucher College. He majored in English Literature and Secondary Education. He taught Language Arts to 11th graders for three years but has also been a busboy, copywriter, pet sitter, and a driver for a summer camp. When he isn't working at BHN or elsewhere he can be found strolling through the great outdoors, enjoying live music, reading his way through stacks of unread books, watching old movies, or practicing the air guitar. Brad found BHN through some great friends who work there and is thrilled to make the acquaintance of the whole community.

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Carla Blue

Pre-K Teacher

Carla grew up in East Baltimore with her seven siblings, and she has been caring for and teaching kids almost her entire life. She’s worked in more daycare and school settings than can be counted here, including the daycare she ran out of her home, Baby Blues. Her experience in childcare includes infant care, school aged kids, and everyone in between. She worked for the Morgan State Head Start Program, during which time she completed her formal training in early childhood education. Dance is another of Carla’s lifelong passions; she’s been a cheerleader and a cheer coach, and has even danced with Baltimore’s own R&B stars Dru Hill!. Carla is also studying to become a behavioral technician for children with special needs and writing an original children’s book called “The Art Teacher Who Couldn’t Draw Stick People.” At home, Carla enjoys both playing and watching sports with her children.

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Hannah Merrill
3s Teacher

Hannah Merrill was born in Massachusetts, but grew up in New Jersey. Shortly after high school she began her professional life with children by working as a mother's helper, as well as working at a daycare center. She studied Special Education, a study which culminated in a school-to-work program in an all-inclusive classroom. Hannah moved to Baltimore and began work as a nanny, a position she held for seven years. Though she is very close with the family, Hannah is excited for the new adventure of becoming part of a school community. At home, Hannah is an avid host and lover of good food with good friends. She also has a flair for decorating, and takes great pride in beautifying her space. She cherishes time with her family and sees them at every opportunity. Her compassion and pizzazz is a valued combination here at BHN.