Our Team

Our faculty and staff make education a joyful and challenging proposition.

“At MHS our daughter has found wonderful adult mentors that have truly helped her become a stronger and more independent person. While I believe peer interaction is important, adult mentoring in the teen years is even more important! I feel as though many of the teachers are working with me as a parent to do what is right for my daughter.”

Elizabeth Powell                                   

Spanish Instructor

Elizabeth teaches Spanish I and II at the Montessori High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature at Asbury University and has taught AP Spanish at a private high school in Louisville, KY. Elizabeth is a Lexington native, but she has also lived in Thomasville, NC and Johnson City, TN. Her hobbies include going to Zumba classes, baking from scratch, and taking long walks anywhere beautiful. Together, she and her husband enjoy spending time with family and friends, cooking healthy meals, and playing board games.




Pederson_JenniferJennifer Pederson

Financial Manager, Registrar

Jennifer Pederson has a bachelor’s in Science in Secondary Education from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. She taught secondary science at a local private school prior to staying home with her three children. For several years, Jennifer worked part-time in the Director’s Office at Providence Montessori School, served on Providence Board of Directors for three years, and chaired the Providence fundraising committee. Jennifer’s two daughter’s are now in college after completing their high school career at MHS, and she has a son who is currently attending.

In her free time, Jennifer enjoys a leisurely stroll on the Florida beach, and sitting fireside with a good book as her dogs sleep at her feet.



FullSizeRenderJeff Castro

Student Advisor, Mathematics and Science Instructor

Jeff volunteered at Montessori High in the spring of 2014 and joined the faculty at the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year. Jeff received his master’s degree in Secondary Science Education as well as his bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Kentucky. During the completion of his Master’s degree in Secondary Science Education, he taught science and English at the Gaoxin High school in Xian China.

Jeff, his lovely wife, and their darling daughter, live in Downtown Lexington where they are currently restoring a historic home. When not teaching, hammering, or painting, he likes to rock climb and travel.



Phil Swenson

Student Advisor, English and Humanities Instructor

Phil comes to Montessori High School to teach History and World Literature. Originally from Texas, Phil moved to Lexington to teach writing at the University of Kentucky. Phil holds a Bachelors in English Language and Literature from Tarleton State University and a Masters Degree in American Literature from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Phil is also a Two-time All-American in Track and Field.

When he is not in the classroom Phil enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening, and reading.


kayla pictureKayla Weiglein

German, History, and Leadership 11-12 Instructor

Kayla teaches German, US History, and Leadership 11-12 at the Montessori High School. She earned her Master’s degree in German Studies and has taught German at the University of Kentucky. Kayla moved to Lexington from Atlanta after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs.

Born in Germany, Kayla moved to the states in her high school years. When she has spare time she likes to go running at the arboretum, bake, read, and travel.





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