Our Team


“To stimulate life, leaving it free, however, to unfold
itself–that is the first duty of the educator.”
–Dr. Maria Montessori

Our Dedicated & Passionate Team

What we all have in common is a dedication to the classroom, to the vitality of the school, and to the Montessori philosophy.


Melanie Accinno

Teacher, Owner and Director
American Montessori Society Certified Teacher

New England Montessori Teacher Education Center

While studying Education in college in Vermont, I observed in a Montessori classroom for a class project and immediately fell in love with the method.  I hold an early childhood teaching credential and administrative credential in the state of NC. Before buying Julia Street Montessori, I worked as a lead teacher for over seventeen years and in administration for three years in both the profit and nonprofit Montessori sector.

Working over the years with many different Montessorians, families, and children have brought so much joy to my life.  These experiences have offered me a solid foundation and continued to foster my love for the Montessori method. I bring this knowledge and passion to Julia Street Montessori school.

I have a passion for nurturing and guiding each child, helping to foster a love of learning, and preparing a beautiful enriching environment. With a special interest in fostering a sense of community within the classroom helping assist in the child’s full development. 

I am dedicated to organizing local and international service-learning opportunities for children and families to participate in and experience firsthand.

I have come full circle and feel like I’m living a dream come true in owning and operating Julia Street Montessori school, it is where my oldest son Noah attended as a four-year-old and was my first teaching job in Asheville over 20 years ago.

I live in Black Mountain with my husband and have two children, one graduated in 2020 from NC State University and one who graduated in 2020 from Owen High. In my free time, I enjoy mountain biking and gardening.  I am also an avid hockey fan especially favoring the Washington Capitals.


Jessica Gerson

Lead Teacher
American Montessori Society Certified Teacher

Center For Montessori Education, New York

Originally from southeastern Michigan, I have lived and worked in Asheville as a Montessori Teacher and school owner since 2006. Always loving children, I came across Montessori in 2000 while working as an assistant at a local school and quickly found that this is how I felt children should be learning.

I attended my Montessori training in 2004 in New Rochelle, NY, where I met my Montessori teacher husband. I completed my internship in Maryland and moved to Asheville in 2005. As a lead teacher for AMS for 5 years,(and teaching summer camp at Julia St in 2006) I grew and learned so much as a Montessori professional.

In 2009 my husband and I founded Montessori Elementary School of Asheville(MESA) in Woodfin and enjoyed providing authentic elementary Montessori education to the north Asheville community until 2020 when we decided to close our doors and move on to other adventures in life.

I enjoyed Montessori homeschooling my two children for the 20/21 school year but felt called to return to the classroom and foster my deep love for the 3-6 year old child and the joy and wonder that this age group holds. It fills my heart to watch the magic of the Montessori methods guide a child’s development at this age. I feel grateful to join the Julia St family and look forward to building relationships within the community.

In my free time, I love to garden, hike, and cook delicious, healthy food. I love being a mama to my children, Amelia and Levi, and raising them by Montessori principles of love, respect and kindness. 


Nicole Lupo


I’m a very bubbly, warm-hearted gal with a genuine passion and dedication for early childhood education. Over the past decade, I’ve been extremely fulfilled being a nanny, postpartum doula, and a Montessori preschool teacher!

Being a Montessori teacher has been a beautiful honor in guiding and nurturing the child’s natural curiosity to learn and flourish in themselves, with others, and in the world around them. The Montessori Method has taught me many lessons in my own life as well. I’m a certified yoga teacher with an additional certification for teaching kids’ yoga. I enjoy integrating this practice into the classroom!

I’m originally from New York. I have been here ten years now and am incredibly grateful to be part of such a wonderful community. I live in West Asheville and enjoy gardening, going on hikes with my dog, practicing yoga, and working with fiber arts.

This coming Fall will be my second-year teaching at JSMS and this summer I will be starting my Montessori Early Childhood Education program to become a certified Montessori teacher! I’m really looking forward to sharing all the knowledge and passion I take in from this course with my students, community, and teachers!

I’m so very excited to meet and connect with everyone this coming school year, and I’m pleased to be part of this unique community here at Julia Street Montessori School.

Julia Street Montessori School truly is an extraordinary place. I cannot imagine a more nurturing school to meet my daughter’s early educational needs while lovingly supporting her emotional and social development. If you are looking for an exemplary certified Montessori school that will prepare your young child for future academic endeavors while maintaining a warm, family vibe, look no further. Our whole family adores JSMS and we are so grateful for Ms. Melanie, Ms. Nathalie, and Ms. Susanne.

–Amy Fox


15 Julia Street
Asheville, NC 28801


(828) 254-6014