Lesley Byrne-Steedly – Director
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Lesley completed her teacher training for both primary and elementary levels at the AMI Montessori College, Dublin. In 1992 she moved to Greenville, NC to establish an elementary program at Greenville Montessori School. It was the beginning of an inspiring and genuinely fulfilling career working with children and their families in both private and public school settings.
In 2011, Lesley moved to Blacksburg, VA, where she worked at Salem Montessori School as Educational Director. Moving from the mountains to the sea, Lesley and her husband, Chip, relocated to Pawleys Island in 2013, where Lesley was delighted to find a nurturing Montessori community with a genuine love for working with children and a commitment to offering the best to each child every day.
Lesley enjoys yoga, beach walks with her dachshunds Harvey and Mabel and trips back home to her Irish family.
Melanie Neidig – Office Administrator
Melanie started with MSPI in 2015 as the school’s Office Administrator after being a stay-at-home mom for five years. Her two sons, Hunter and Alex, both currently attend St. James schools. She was born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania and has lived in Murrells Inlet since 2008. She enjoys spending time on the beach with her boys.
Leigh Roper – Lead Teacher
Leigh designed and founded this program and serves as Coordinator and Lead Teacher of our Infant Program. She has an infant toddler Montessori certification from The Center for Montessori Teacher Education, N.C., and has a degree in health science and dental hygiene.
Born in Pennsylvania, Leigh grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, and moved to the beach in 1994. She is married and has two children currently receiving Montessori educations. In 2010, her daughter, Ragan, was the youngest student to ever attended MSPI.
Brie Anderson- Teaching Assistant
Paget Graham – Teaching Assistant
Dolores Michalski – Teaching Assistant
Delores retired from the Pediatric Dental Department of Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland and moved to Pawleys Island in July 2011. It is the best move she ever made.
She started working at MSPI part-time in the infant room in 2013 and enjoys the experience of watching the infants grow into the toddler stage and beyond.
Shauna Sterle – Teaching Assistant
Regi Yonkers – Lead Teacher Primary 1
A true local, Regi Yonkers grew up in Pawleys Island and comes from a family of educators (her sister and mother are also teachers). She studied art at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA, after gradating from Waccamaw High School, then received her Montessori Infant and Toddler certification from the North American Montessori Center. She firmly believes that kindness is the most important virtue, it is felt in her classroom. In her spare time Regi likes to travel, cook, garden, and read.
Kaye Beckroge – Lead Teacher Primary 2
Jane Hall – Teaching Assistant
Lee Williams – Teaching Assistant
A South Carolina native, born and raised in Columbia, Lee received a BS in psychology from the College of Charleston and moved to Atlanta to earn a MS degree in counseling and psychological services. She enjoyed a career in Atlanta as a Licensed Professional Counselor working with children, adolescents and families and also enjoyed working in the pharmaceutical research industry in the Atlanta area. After 24 years in Atlanta she moved to Pawleys Island to enjoy golf, the beach, reading and spending time with friends and family. Her two Bichons Frises, Norman and Lucy, bring extra happiness to her life.
Gabrielle Griggs – Teaching Assistant
Pamela Rhodes – Lead Teacher
Pamela has been with MSPI since 1996, when the school was knows as Pawleys Island Montessori Day School and was located in what is now Landolfi’s. She started as an elementary assistant and primary assistant. In 2001, she completed her Montessori certification at the North Carolina Center for Montessori Teacher Education and has been a Lead Teacher in Primary since2001. Pamela has lived in Pawleys Island since 1992, and enjoys traveling, gardening, walking, biking, reading, DIY projects, and spending time with my family.
Kristin Croker – Lead Teacher
Heide McCarty – Teaching Assistant, Music Teacher
Karen Moree – Teaching Assistant
Karen has been part of the MSPI family since 2010, as both a Toddler and Primary teaching assistant. She was born and raised in Washington DC, and has lived in Pawleys Island since 1998. Karen has two children and three dogs and loves being part of the MSPI community.