Faculty and Staff
Founder/Head of School
The Journey School is a private, non-profit, middle school founded by Christina Thomas in 2015. Christina recieved her Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary's College of Maryland and a Master of Arts in Leadership in Teaching with a Maryland State Teacher Certification from College of Notre Dame of Maryland and has over 20 years of teaching experience. She left her Howard County middle school teaching position to pursue her dream of opening her own Montessori-based middle school. Having experienced Montessori as a mother of two Montessori educated girls and seeing the impact that a deep, meaningful, and developmentally appropriate program had on them, she wished to see this continue into the middle school years. Dr. Montessori's method for elementary-aged children rang true for Christina as an educator, and she desired to see it used for older children who would benefit from the freedom, independence, and responsibility of being thoughtfully engaged in their own learning. Noting that most Montessori programs end at the upper elementary level (grade 6), she saw an opportunity for one that focused on the middle school years and developed a program that would attract a variety of students from all backgrounds - Montessori, public, private, and home schooled. Christina received her certificate from the AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies and opened The Journey School, a Montessori Middle School in 2015, that expanded to include an elementary school in 2019.
Lower School Director
Mrs. Carrie Weitzman holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She holds an American Montessori Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education from the Princeton Center for Teacher Education. She served as Montessori head teacher for five years as well as a Director of Admissions for 4 years. Her volunteerism includes serving as President of Mater Amoris Montessori Parent Teacher Organization and Room parent. Carrie is dedicated to spreading the Montessori method of education that teaches the whole child, developing a love of learning, independence, and a deep understanding of the world around us. Because of her deep appreciation for the Montessori pedagogy, Carrie has been a member of The Journey School board since its inception and now joins as a faculty member serving as the Director of the Lower School. She lives in Fulton, Maryland with her husband and 2 children. In addition, she loves traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Lead Adolescent Teacher - Math and Science
Mrs. Carrie Sanidad earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Math Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was in the University Honors Program and also played volleyball for their varsity team. She started her teaching career as a high school Math and Computer Science teacher in the Montgomery County Public School System. After taking time off to raise her family of four children, Ms. Carrie is excited to be returning to the classroom, especially in a Montessori setting. Although she likes all mathematic and science disciplines, her favorite is Geometry. She has served as a middle school and high school head volleyball coach and an assistant swim coach for all ages. In her spare time, she likes to knit, quilt and cross stitch.
Adolescent Teacher - English Language Arts
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 Bachelor of Science in writing from Towson University, where she later also earned a Master of Arts 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. 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 the world.
Upper School Environmental Educator and Microeconomy Manager
Ms. Linda has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from The University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington. She is an experienced Montessori classroom assistant and has worked as an environmental educator at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center in Seattle, Washington. Ms. Linda has worked at TJS since the Fall of 2018 as a substitute teacher and chicken wrangler. In addition, she volunteers to take Willow, her Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.), to the Onley Library to read with children. She enjoys helping students increase their own personal resilience, harmony, confidence, and sensitivity by being tuned in to the natural world. She is the mom of 4 boys, including 1 TJS Alumni!
Lower School Assistant and Afterschool EnrichmentMs. Laura is an experienced youth art instructor and mentoring program leader. In addition to joining the Journey School staff last year as the after-school art teacher, she has extensive experience in county-wide after school arts education and leading summer camp programs at Glen Echo Park. Ms. Laura encourages each student to find their creative spirit through exploration and self-expression. Previously, Ms. Laura launched and led the Great To Learn life skills program at Northwood High school. Outside of work, Ms. Laura is a volunteer clown bringing laughter and joy at community events for groups like The Easter Seals and Walter Reed Medical Center.