Christina Thomas – Head of School – Humanities
Christina Thomas has over 15 years teaching experience in the 7 – 12th grade public and charter school environments. She has taught Reading, Technology, and History as well as serving as a Media Specialist, Education Technology Director, After-school and Summer School Coordinator and At-risk youth counselor. She has her BA in Anthropology/Sociology, MA in Leadership in Education, and is Maryland State certified 7-12th grades in Social Studies with credits in Special Education and Reading. In addition, she holds a certificate in AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies. She is thrilled to be starting a new adventure of combining her love of teaching and learning with the methods first laid out by Dr. Montessori that match her own belief in children’s development and potential.
Mary Hanyok – Lead teacher – Science and Mathematics
Mary Hanyok’s love of learning started at a young age. She decided in fourth grade that she was going to get her doctorate before she died, and that she was going to be a teacher so that other children would also love to learn. Throughout her youth, she conducted numerous “studies” (i.e. science fair projects) on how children learn, comparing different types of lessons and teaching aides to see what was the most effective. As she went off to college, she became fascinated with anthropology and philosophy, for what could be more interesting than looking at the different ways that people interpret the world and looking at the nature of things? She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Anthropology and an Honors Certificate in the Humanities. Her first job out of college was as an assistant in a Lower Elementary Montessori classroom. Maria Montessori herself was both classically trained and trained as an anthropologist, and her learning system is based entirely on astute observations of the children and philosophical exploration of the deeper forces at work in child development. It was a perfect match. Mary spent years working with these young children, aged 6-9, before she continued her education, first earning at M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, then a M.Ed. from Loyola University of Maryland, and her AMI Elementary Montessori Teaching Certificate from the Washington Montessori Institute. She has spent the past five years teaching Upper Elementary children, aged 9-12, taking delight in watching her students teach themselves and grow into capable, confident, adolescents. She’s very excited to begin working at The Journey School, and seeing what these amazing adolescents are capable of! She’s still working on that doctorate, but first she needs to decide what to study next!
Samantha Gloss – Specialist – Writer’s Workshop
An odd mix of wordsmith and mathlete, Samantha Gloss is also a lifelong learner, lover of nature, and believer in people. Fueled by her interest in many things, she has explored various opportunities to grow and share her love of learning with others. Her experiences include teaching middle school English, writing and editing for federal social justice and wellness contracts, tutoring adults in writing, and analyzing data to improve programs and processes. She has been a writer since she could hold a pencil and earned her B.S. in writing from Towson University, where she later also earned an M.A. in teaching. While earning her M.A., Sam found herself drawn to the ideas of Maria Montessori. She strongly believes in everyone’s ability to have fun while leading their own learning experiences, and she is excited to be part of a community that values the asking of questions and the journey to finding potential answers. When not at The Journey School, Sam works to end poverty with a nonprofit in Silver Spring. She is excited to guide TJS students to discover the power of their words and ideas—and to help them use their ideas to positively change their world.