Meet The Staff

Connie Gardner

My name is Connie Gardner and I am the Director at CAM. We opened the school in August 2019 and I have dedicated myself to the staff, parents and students of CAM. My career was in healthcare Administration for elder care. I retired after 30 years.

CAM has brought me so much happiness and fulfillment and my goal is to return that to each and every person I come in contact with. I am so excited to see what the future holds for CAM.

Laure Birchfield

Laure Birchfield is the Upper Elementary Directress. She received her B.A. in History from University of Arkansas in Monticello, and her Elementary Montessori training through Montessori Educators International. She has been teaching for 10 years. She has been with CAM since its inception in 2019.

Leslee Milner

My name is Leslee Milner. I am excited to be joining CAM this fall. I will be teaching 1st-3rd. I have been a Montessori teacher for 13 years.

I am married to a wonderful husband of 19 years and have 2 sons Jacob 18 and David 16. My sons were the reason I wanted to be a Montessori teacher. I was looking for an alternative of teaching for them and the Montessori Method was exactly what I was looking for.

I completed teachers college at the University of Windsor in Canada. From there I spent 3 years in South Korea as an English teacher. This is where I met my husband and started our life together.

My life has been an adventure and I can’t wait to see what this next year brings!

Brittany Privett

My name is Brittany Privett and I am the lead director for our primary class. Before I transitioned to Montessori, I taught k-5th grade in public school for 6 years. I have a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology, STEM certification, as well as a certification for Montessori education. I became a believer in Montessori when my son started attending. I was amazed with the changes in him. He was given the attention he needed and deserved.

Lysa Montante

My name is Lysa Montante. I started with CAM in June of 2020 as a summer care assistant. I have found love in what I do and have decided to go forward to become a Directress through training at CAM.

This year I will be Ms. Deana’s assistant in the PreK-1 room. I have finished my Montessori training and am now a certified Montessori teacher. Looking forward to working with everyone and excited to see what the future brings.

Caila Hare

My name is Caila Hare and I am the assistant to Ms. Brittany in the Pre-K class at CAM.

I am new to the CAM family. I fell in love with the staff and school the first day I toured and immediately enrolled my daughter.

My future plan is to become a Montessori teacher for CAM. I will be attending the classes in July 2023 to begin this amazing journey.

I am excited to be a part of the CAM family not only as a parent but as a part of this amazing staff!

Whitney Hargis

My name is Whitney Hargis and I am the lead director for the Transition class at CAM. I received a B.A. in History from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. My job has always been to listen to people whether that was as a social worker or a hospital guest representative.

Now my job is to listen to children. I became a firm believer in Montessori when my son turned two and I picked up my first Montessori book. His attitude, curiosity, and excitement for everyday life inspired me and brought on my search for a true Montessori education.

I started working at CAM in January 2022. I developed and taught the transitional classroom. I am currently the lead teacher for the Pre-K 4/Kindergarten class. I have attended the first portion of summer training with Elvada Ward under Montessori Educators International. I look forward to my journey with CAM as a teacher and as a parent.

Mickey Conrad - Reading Teacher

Adrian Laird

My name is Adrian Laird and I am the administrative assistant at CAM. I Started CAM in the summer of 2022 as part of the aftercare staff. I Immediately loved the environment of the school and all of the staff.

My daughter is so excited to learn in class each day and I have seen how much she has grown and improved already from being here. I am so excited that we both get to attend and work at this amazing school and watch it grow!

Elvada Ward

I am the teacher instructor at CAM. I have 50 years and counting as a Montessori teacher for ages 2 ½ through 7 years old. I am a Montessori Early Childhood Trainer for Montessori Educators, International, presenter of workshops on various topics. I am also a trainer for Arkansas Early Childhood Professional Development System and Director of Montessori Studies and Staff Development for numerous Montessori schools in Arkansas.

My education is with St. Nicholas Training Centre, diplomas for ages 2 ½ through 7 years of age. I attended St. Nicholas Training Center course for ages 7-11. Certification from Arkansas State University Childhood Services for Montessori Educators, International Training and Internship for Early Childhood Montessori Adult Educator and Instructor; Directors, Administrators and School-age Specialist.

Awarded 50 Years of Montessori Teaching by Mayor Hartwick!

Mickey Conrad - Reading Teacher

Mickey Conrad

Mickey brings a wealth of teaching experience spanning over thirteen years to our team. She is a certified Montessori educator from MidSouth Montessori Educators of Little Rock, Arkansas. Mickey started her career at North Little Rock Montessori School as an assistant teacher for 3-4th grades. Upon completion of her training, she later ventured into the role of reading teacher At Little Rock Montessori School where she excelled at creating individualized and group learning plans for readers from pre K to fifth grade.

In 2019 Mickey was instrumental in starting Central Arkansas Montessori as one of two Directresses. Most recently, Mickey has joined efforts with her trainer/teacher and mentor at Levy Christian Kindergarten in the kindergarten classroom. Outside her classroom duties, Mickey enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with her family, friends and her animals.

Katelynn Burdiek

My name is Katelynn Burdiek and I am a part of the administrative staff. I am currently in college to pursue a career in high school education. I am currently engaged and will be getting married in April 2024! I really enjoy all of the families and staff here at CAM. I love being able to watch this school grow.

Alexa Martinez

Hello! My name is Alexa Martinez and I am one of the two assistant teachers to Ms.Leslee in the 1st-3rd classroom. I started working at CAM in fall of 2021 as an aftercare worker and am excited to start my journey working with the children full time. I love this school and staff and am very proud to be part of the CAM family.

Mya Graham

I am excited to be a part of CAM’s staff as an assistant teacher! I became a part of the CAM family in 2021 as a parent. I love the Montessori method and staff at this school. I enjoy helping children and I’m eager to further my education as a Montessori teacher.

Mickey Conrad - Reading Teacher

Jessica Jones

My name is Jessica Jones. I am excited to be a part of the CAM staff. I will be Ms.Laure’s assistant in the upper elementary class. I’ve worked in a classroom setting for over 10 years. I enjoy working with children. I’m excited about my journey at CAM as the school continues to grow.

Mr. Bob

Mr. Bob brings a wealth of teaching experience spanning over ten years in Children’s Church, twenty years with the youth, and over fifty years in leadership to our team. He spent over twenty years in Healthcare Facility Management as well as fifty years as a Master Electrician and Heating and Air Conditioning. He is a Montessori parent, grandparent and great grandparent. Most recently, he has been an assistant in the Montessori classroom at Levy Christian Kindergarten for two years. He has taken one semester of his Montessori training this past summer. Outside the classroom Mr. Bob officiated Football for many, many years and now volunteers in set building and Public Relations, serving the community at Argenta Community Theatre in NLR.

Mickey Conrad - Reading Teacher

Casey Williams

My name is Casey Williams. I started working at CAM in January of 2024. I am one of the assistant teachers to Ms. Whitney. I’ve worked in childcare for the past 3 years and love every minute. I am very excited to start this new journey with CAM!

Meet The Board

Chris Kennedy

Board President

Brenda Chargualaf

Board Member

Dani Hoefer

Board Member

Donna McNew

Board Member

Krista Ferguson

Board Member

Evelyn Smith

Board Member

Nathan Redd

Board Member