[For who to contact about particular issues, see Contact Us or Who Do I Call?.

The following staff list is alphabetical by first name.

All staff members’ email addresses are their first name @arthurmorganschool.org.]


Heather Dawes

Development Coordinator
BS in Nursery Crop Production and Landscape Design, Auburn University
Teacher Licensure for Secondary Science and MS Mathematics, UNC Asheville
Non-Profit Management Certification, Duke University

“Through my work I have the privilege of learning about the history of AMS, and meeting, by phone and in person, some of the people who have supported the school over its 53 year history. It’s a wonderful experience to hear the stories, and realize the deep connections that people keep with AMS throughout their lives.”


JJ Sterling

Co-Clerk, Language Arts and Algebra 1B Teacher
BA in English/ Drama, University of Georgia

JJ has worked at AMS since 2007, currently in the role of Co-Clerk. Before coming to AMS, JJ taught in public school, through-hiked the Appalachian Trail, tended flowers, followed the peregrine way to Santiago, Spain, wrote short stories, and acted professionally in Atlanta. In quiet moments, JJ is writing a young adult novel about a magic-less magician.


Jake Silver

House Parent, Teacher and Outdoor Coordinator
BA in Philosophy, St. Mary’s College

Jake enters his third year at AMS houseparenting in Dewing House and coordinating the schools outdoor activities. Prior to joining AMS, Jake spent a year in Maryland at St. Mary College doing assistant teaching and gardening. He has been a longtime camp counselor at Camp Shilo. He’s an amazing Ultimate Frisbee player and is coaching the AMS Soccer team this Fall. 




Justin Davis Metzner

House Parent, Teacher
BFA in Experimental Studio, Howard University

Justin likes to consider himself a citizen of the world with several languages under his belt and many years of international experience working as an artist and social justice activist.  He relishes the opportunity to inspire AMS students to visualize a better world and develop the skills required to build it.

Kavita Hardy

Farm & Garden Coordinator, Co-Clerk
BA in Chemistry & Economics, Swarthmore College

Kavita has experience as a science instructor and tutor, oral historian, environmental educator and gardener. She was drawn to AMS as a place where experiential work provides the basis for meaningful inquiry. Kavita enjoys hiking, finding mushrooms and wildflowers, running, cooking, board games and gardening.  This is her eighth year at AMS.  


Matthew McGuire

BS in Math and Environmental Studies, Guilford College
Inner Life of the Child in Nature Certificate; Center for Education, Imagination & the Natural World

Matt brings to AMS many years of experience as an educator both in and out of the classroom.  Most recently, after earning a post-graduate certificate in nature education, he led students as an earth guide for the Center for Education, Imagination & the Natural World.  He later worked as the business manager for the same organization, and will continue this work as the AMS bookkeeper in the coming year. Matt looks forward to furthering his practice of combining reflection and action into meaningful learning. In his free time, Matt enjoys taking walks, finding swimming holes, and relaxing – especially with his partner, Sadie, and their children.  



Natalie Monaghan

House Parent, Teacher
BA in Studio Art, Carleton College
Printmaking Concentration, Penland School of Crafts

Natalie is excited to come to AMS after living in neighboring Mitchell County and working at Penland School of Crafts for the last few years.  A native of the Midwest, she is an artist primarily focused on painting and printmaking.  She is happy to make teaching art a more integrated part of her life within the AMS community.  Any free time she has between making art and drinking coffee is usually spent in the woods with her dog.


Nick Maldonado

Language Arts & Math Teacher, Maintenance Coordinator
BA in Communications & BA in Media Arts and Design, James Madison University

Nick is from Shelton, CT. He went to school at James Madison University for degrees in Graphic Design and Technical Communication and graduated in 2000. He worked for a short stint in the corporate district before realizing what he really wanted to do was work with kids. The epiphany occurred while on an Outward Bound trip when his instructor informed him he was physically clumsy enough to help middle schoolers feel confident in their own awkwardness. He has been building those self-esteems ever since. He lives at AMS with his sons, Silas and Ezzy.


Rebecca Snavely

House Parent, English Teacher
BA in Psychology and Fine Craft, The Evergreen State College

Rebecca is excited to begin her second year houseparenting and teaching at AMS. As a native of Spruce Pine, she loves roaming the mountains and sharing the richness of local blacksmithing culture. If you enjoy a good hand of cards or chess, find her for a game at snack time.


Sadie Kneidel

BA in Spanish and Women’s & Gender Studies, Guilford College
MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, UNC Greensboro
500-hour Yoga Teacher Certificate, Free Spirits Yoga

Sadie is excited to continue as a co-clerk this year, while taking a break from houseparenting in order to care for her two small children. She came to AMS after many years of working in international education at the community college and university level.  Sadie is a licensed professional counselor and the author of two books, Veggie Revolution and Going Green.  In her down time, she loves spending time outside with her family, reading, and doing yoga.



Tanner Horst

House Parent, Teacher
BA in Political Philosophy, Bowdoin College
Graduate, Deep Springs College

Tanner grew up in Hillsborough, NJ before going to Bowdoin College in Maine and Deep Springs College in California. Since graduation he has worked as a carpenter, a farmer, a tutor, and a “content developer,” and in his free time from those he reads and writes. He is a believer in experiential education, is excited to be joining the AMS staff this year as a house parent and teacher, and is grateful for the opportunity to work from home.

Ward McAllister

Finance Coordinator
BSE in Industrial Engineering, University of Michigan

Ward grew up and lived in Michigan until 1979 when he and his family moved to Celo. They joined the AMS community in 1980, with Ward and his wife serving as house parent staff members, and their 2 daughters attending and graduating from AMS. After leaving AMS, Ward was a small business owner for many years, working with a variety of non-profit organizations on IT and financial management. In 2014 he returned to the AMS Finance Office, and has become completely charmed by the privilege of associating with the brilliant young staff members and lovely tweeners who comprise today’s AMS community.