Montessori Learning Collective


“The best instruction is that which uses the least words sufficient for the task.”

Our Vision

Montessori Learning collective was founded on October 8, 2018. We share a vision of creating an educational community devoted to Dr. Montessori’s method of educating and caring for young children. Our school serves children from 3 months through 6 years. As a community we focus on supporting the whole child as they grow during the most intensive stage of development throughout early childhood. Each day we strive to enrich the whole child: social/emotional, physical, cognitive and spirit. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to the values we hold in our community.


MLC Program Overview

At Montessori Learning Collective we provide care for children 3 months through 6 years. We have an infant/nido class, a toddler/casita class and a Primary/ Casa dei Bambini class. Care is offered five days a week, 12 months a year from 7:30am-5:30pm with school day and extended day options. Summer camps are offered to children 3-7 yrs. Highly qualified Montessori guides lead each class with assistant teacher and enrichment teachers. Enrichment includes


MLC Team

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Director/ co-owner

Bianca Swinburne

Co-creator of the Montessori Learning Collective in August of 2018, Bianca is serving as the Director and Primary Lead Guide for MLC. This is Bianca’s 21st year as an educator. She loves all levels of early childhood development from birth through 9 yrs. including: natural childbirth, post-partum care, early childhood nutrition, gardening/naturalist curriculum, cultural education, language curriculum/instruction and peace education initiatives. Bianca is an educational consultant for families of young children holding small group and individual family workshops throughout the year.



  • B.S in Elementary Education

  • M.Ed in Early Childhood education


• Montessori training at CMTE/NC for Infant/Toddler, Primary, and Lower Elementary levels
• MACAR training at the Shelton School in Dallas, TX


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Karalee Nielsen Fallert

Karalee is a local restaurant entrepreneur leading All Good Industries. She is dedicated to serving the Low Country through the non-profit, The Green Heart Project, installing and maintaining learning gardens in local schools. Karalee is also a parent at the Montessori Learning Collective.


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Assistant Director

Liz King

Liz King is our Assistant Director. You can see her smiling face when you enter our school and she handles admissions, recruitment, payroll, and all things financial. She’s an important person to know! Liz came to Charleston from California 20 years ago, she got her Bachelors at UC Berkeley in 1995, and then got a Masters in Social Work Administration from Savannah State University in 2001. She worked as a social worker in the therapeutic foster care setting for 10 years, and, more recently, worked with a job training program for underemployed adults. "3 Wednesday, March 13, 2019 She also does the financial management of her husband’s vet clinic, Pet Vet, in Mount Pleasant. Liz loves yoga, tennis, dancing, spending time with her two teenage daughters (when they’ll let her), and listening to live music.


Erynn Ball

Lead Nido Guide

Erynn Ball

Erynn is coming to us with a background in behavioral analysis. She had a passion for children’s education. She is looking forward to completing RIE training this summer.  She loves going to the beach, cooking, and playing soccer. Erynn is also the parent of MLC Primary student, Elia.  We welcome their whole family to our school.


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Lead Casita Guide

Sarah Forseth

Leading the Casita environment, Sarah brings 19 years of experience as an educator to the team. She holds a Master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina. Currently Sarah is an instructor for Montessori educators at the infant/toddler level for ICGS. Sarah is a dynamic guide with incredible leadership in environmental design, behavior management, individualized education and all areas of early childhood development. Sarah is also an educational consultant assisting families with environments and routines to support the development of young children.


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Floating guide and art teacher

Megan Day

Megan is an assistant guide in the Casita environment. She has a teaching degree from James Madison University as an Art Educator. She has a creative spirit that nurtures deep connections with children, loves to travel and listen to live music. Megan brings joy to our learning community. She also teaches art to the Casa dei Bambini children and will lead Art Camps this summer at MLC.


Emmy Brandon

Lead Primary Guide

Emmy Brandon

I graduated from the College of Charleston in 2001 with a BA in German. I moved to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands in 2006 and that is where I became a teacher’s assistant at St Croix Montessori for the Primary class and had my first real experience with the Montessori method and loved it! In 2018 I started working towards my EC Montessori credentials at Sandhills Montessori Institute while working as an assistant in a Primary class at Brockman Montessori School in Columbia. This will be my first year as the lead teacher and I am very excited. My daughter, Eileen (4) and I love traveling (quite a few road trips under our belts), going to the beach, music festivals and visiting our family and friends up and down the east coast.


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assistant Guide


Mikala is an assistant teacher for MLC, and actually floats into all of the class rooms.  She is currently studying to be an esthetician at the College of Charleston transfer program at Trident.  She was a competitive gymnast until her Sophomore year in high school, and then coached gymnastics throughout the rest of high school.  In her off time, Mikala enjoys going to the beach and out on the boat.


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Assistant Guide

Ana Maria Champo

Ana is an assistant teacher in the infant room.  Ana is currently studying to become a speech pathologist at the College of Charleston. She has a passion for working with children and helping them achieve personal goals.  In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach with her dog and traveling.


Cayenne Barnett

Assistant Guide, Casita

Cayenne Barnett

My name is Cayenne-Lee! And I am so happy to be apart of the MLC team! I am South Carolina born and raised with much Gullah Pride. I have been teaching, counseling, and caring for children for 10+ years.  Helping children to develop is more than just my “career” of choice, it is my calling and my passion.  So I do it with dignity!



Nido Guide


My name is Apple! I'm from Guam and I came here to South Carolina in 2017. I'm the assistant teacher in the Nido room. I have my BA in Elementary Education Major in SPED. When I came here to Charleston, I worked with infants for year and I just fell in love it. I've always had a passion for working with children and making even a small difference in their life.



Noodle McDoodle


"The vision of the teacher should be at once precise like that of the scientist, and spiritual like that of the saint. The preparation for science and the preparation for sanctity should form a new soul, for the attitude of the teacher should be at once positive, scientific and spiritual.

Positive and scientific, because she has an exact task to perform, and it is necessary that she should put herself into immediate relation with the truth by means of rigorous observation...

Spiritual, because it is to man that his powers of observation are to be applied, and because the characteristics of the creature who is to be his particular subject of observation are spiritual."

— Dr. Maria Montessori, The Advanced Montessori Method

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Apply to be a Guide at MLC