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.


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.


Colleen Hartbarger

Assistant Teacher

Hello, I am Colleen, and I am thrilled to be an addition to this team of guides. 

Being an Asheville native, I’ve always been drawn by the spirit of creativity and curiosity that flows throughout our city. I discovered my love for working with children in my high school years. Ever since, I have been dedicating my professional life to exuding a positive impact on the lives of young learners. 

Graduating from Western Carolina University, in 2020 with a Parks and Recreation Management degree, the health and wellness of children has always been at the top of my list. I have worked at two other schools, but have still yearned for a more holistic approach where I have a more meaningful relationship with children.

Being a beginner Montessori guide, I bring a fresh perspective and eagerness to apply and grow my skills in creating inclusive environments that inspire lifelong learning. I am always inspired by a child-centric approach to education, and the Montessori philosophy that resonates with my belief in the innate curiosity and potential of every child. 

I see each day as an adventure; a chance to create an environment where children can explore, learn, and develop at their own pace. Through hands-on activities, meaningful interactions, and a commitment to fostering independence, I strive to support children to grow fulfilling, autonomous lives. 

I cannot wait to grow and be a part of this team. 

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