Our Story

Glen Allen Community Montessori School was born from a desire to bring affordable educational options to the larger Richmond community. As parents, we felt there wasn’t an answer for wanting to gift our children with the beauty of the Montessori curriculum without sacrificing so much of our livelihoods to do so.

Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Glen Allen opened their doors to us, seeing a deep connection between themselves and the school’s mission and a shared excitement of the possibilities and goals we could reach together. With this partnership we have plenty of room to grow and access to a beautiful outdoor space established with a welcoming, supportive congregation.

The mission of Glen Allen Community Montessori is to provide a learning environment that adheres to Montessori principles to guide and nurture each individual child in becoming lifelong learners and citizens of our diverse world community through the cooperative efforts of the parent community.

We aim to be active in our area, working with our neighbors near and far to create a better world for us all. We wish for all to have access to the many benefits a Montessori education provides and will work with any interested parties to make this happen. We will evolve to meet the needs of our community while adhering to the foundations of the Montessori philosophy.

The Classroom

GACM currently shares space in partnership with Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Glen Allen. Our home consists of a classroom, ample storage, a separate quiet time/nap area for our little ones and a 3+ acre outdoor space for play and gardening.


Our Staff

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Surabhi Makhija

Classroom Lead / Directress

Surabhi graduated from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai, India with her degree in Business Communication, and later Wilson Technical Community College in Cary, North Carolina in 2003 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. In 2004, she received her Montessori Certification online through The United Montessori Association in Poulsbo, Washington and attended the Center for Montessori Teacher Education/ North Carolina for hands-on training in 2007 and has a total of 14 years of Montessori experience.

In her spare time, she volunteers at the nonprofit organization IAVA (Indian Association of Virginia), is Co-leader of Girl Scout Troop #5085, listening to music, playing and reading with children, dancing, jogging, Crochet, and spends time with her family; husband Vineet Makhija, Her boys, Ayush 21, Ashvin 17, and daughter Simran, 13 years old.


Amanda Lheritier

Classroom Co-Lead

Amanda first learned about Montessori as an adult, and remembers vividly the wonder and comfort she felt the first time I saw a Montessori classroom. Her background as a classically trained French chef was very useful when she began volunteering with Montessori Primary and Elementary students.

As a teacher, she is passionate about Montessori theory and the curriculum. She received her AMS Early Childhood Training from Virginia Center for Montessori Studies and has worked with Primary and Elementary students.

Amanda also speaks fluent French.


Marleny GAitan

Classroom Assistant


Board of Directors

Board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the school has adequate resources to advance its mission.

Brei Stevenson

Vice President
Amanda Bolton

Jamie Gonthier

Renate Morehouse

Educational Chair
Cathy Burgess

Legal Chair
Ben Tyree

Parent Liaison
Cora Matthews

UUCC Liaison
Shellie Smith