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

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.


Lauren Arsuffi


Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Meredith College
Masters of Arts in Teaching Special Education from Western Carolina University.
Montessori teacher training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies

I am a native of Western North Carolina who taught special education for 15 years.  

My public teaching experience through the years has been quite diverse, teaching all ages and grades K-12, exceptional children’s reading and math, self-contained, resource, and co-teaching in the general education classroom, and with all disability categories ranging from mild to severe, as well as serving as a department head with responsibilities outside of the classroom as a teacher leader. 

No matter what role I have played as an educator, my favorite students to work with have always been those just on the cusp of learning to read. There is nothing better than being able to be part of the reading process and seeing things unfold! 

I have always been drawn towards helping others throughout my life.  I look forward to helping foster each child’s growth and development at JSMS.

My interest in Montessori began during my college years and was strengthened again by the birth of my son and during my time at home with him.  

In my opinion, Montessori is the perfect fusion of research to practice in education. Montessori’s method has withstood the test of time, and science is now advancing to prove most of her ideas as best practice in the field. Additionally, after being a full-time stay-at-home mom for a year and a half, my husband and I decided to move to Asheville to allow my son the chance and privilege to grow up with a broader range of diversity, cultural activities, and educational opportunities that Asheville provides. 

I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue my teaching career with Julia Street Montessori. I am looking forward to meeting you and your children very soon. 




Emma Dale


I am originally from Marion, NC, which is 30 miles east of Asheville in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Since I can remember, I have wanted to work with children and have had numerous positive experiences in various professional roles in this capacity.

I discovered The Montessori Method of Education when I moved to Charleston, SC, in 2017, and fell in love with the child-centered educational approach implemented through this method. Before moving back to NC in 2019, I was employed as the Casa Assistant at Sundrops Montessori in Mount Pleasant, SC. Since 2019, I have been working at Asheville Montessori School as an Assistant Teacher.

Every day I wake up and feel so grateful that I have found a career that I love and can continue to grow in. Last year I decided to go back to school full time! I am currently working on a degree in Early Childhood Education and plan on obtaining my Montessori teaching credential.

I am looking forward to helping foster the spirit inside every child here at Julia Montessori School.

I am so thankful to be working beside such excellent teachers, we all make a fantastic team. I’m also so excited to meet all the children and the families 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