Our teachers provide the dynamic link between the children and the classroom environment.
Our staff consists of loving and highly skilled teachers who have a great passion for the
education of young children and for assisting each child in his or her individual growth. We are
dedicated to following the natural development of each child, to help him or her develop a love
of learning and a sense of independence that allows for exploration and excitement from newly
Amanda Swiger - Director / Montessori Educator
Amanda is the director and lead educator for the Montessori Internationale School [MIS]. She has a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola University in Maryland and her AMI certified Primary Montessori Diploma from the Montessori Institute of Atlanta, now known as the International Montessori Training Institute. AMI, Association Montessori International, is the international authority on Montessori Education. AMI trained teachers undergo rigorous training and examinations to meet the standards of this organization, and teachers attend regular training and workshops to maintain a connection with AMI and its expectations for Montessori education.
Amanda has worked with children in the primary age group for over 15 years. She is a
dedicated and talented educator with a desire to improve our world through the best possible education for young children.
Shirin Boghani - Montessori Educator
Shirin is an AMI certified Montessori teacher and has been with MIS since 2012. Shirin has a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree from Shadan College, Osmania University, India. She received her AMI certified Primary Montessori Diploma from the Montessori Training Research Centre in Hyderabad, India. Since her training, she has worked as a Montessori teacher in both India and the U.S. and offers her rich experience to the children and the classroom as a whole.
Shirin is a dedicated teacher and an active part of our local community, and she gets great satisfaction from watching the children grow and succeed throughout their classroom experience and beyond. The success of the children is the greatest mark of success for a teacher.
Cortney Hliva - Assistant Director/Administrator
Hi there. My name is Cortney Hliva and I am so thrilled to have the honor of joining the wonderful family of Montessori Internationale. I am married and have two children whom both attended Montessori schools through Kindergarten. My daughter graduated from Montessori Internationale in 2016. She loved it here and was so excited when I told her I get to work here now.
I grew up in Charlotte, NC then went on to attend Wake Forest, earning a 4 yr, BA in studio arts, and a minor in Russian. I moved back to Charlotte to be near my family and in 2001, I was called for an interview at Charlotte Preparatory school. Now, I had literally just started a different job which I had applied for at the same time but they insisted I still come for an interview and I am so glad I did. I enjoyed being a Montessori assistant there for 2 years, then a substitute for a year. In between that time, I moved to Portland, OR to get my CELTA (Cambridge University certification to teach English as a second language) then to New York, NY to work for a few months to save money for a flight to Solnechnogorsk, Russia to teach English. I had an amazing experience there but chose to move back to the states.
Eventually, I married Todd Hliva, whom I had been dating since 2000 (we met at Wake Forest). We moved a few times for his work and I did various childcare jobs, Montessori substitute, and even worked as a flower designer at a shop. I am a very eclectic person and my likes reflect this. I love to try everything and go everywhere, but I always come back to Montessori😊 I love it. It’s amazing. I am a lucky gal to be able to do this every day.
Tiffany Bryant - Montessori Assistant Educator
Tiffany Bryant has been working behind the scenes at MIS for many years and moved into an assistant teaching position in January of 2021. She was born into a Navy family in Charleston South Carolina. Her family moved to East Tennessee in 1996 to be closer to extended family. Tiffany has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Pellissippi State Community College and has worked in jobs ranging from Restaurant Management to Banking. She has two nephews that she loves dearly. Her nephews gave her the opportunity to become active with the Boy Scouts of America. She actively volunteers and takes part in scouting events and activities and is proud of her two Eagle Scout nephews!
She enjoys watching the children master new skills and experience new things, but most of all she loves listening to all the funny things that children say in regular conversation. In her free time, she enjoys all things outdoors, especially camping, hiking, and kayaking. The children love greeting Ms. Tiffany daily and really enjoy swapping stories with her about their adventures outside of the school.
Janice Mitchell - Music Educator
Janice first joined MIS in 1997. Janice has a Bachelor’s of Music from Auburn University, AL and further studies at the Universities of Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee. She has many years of teaching experience in public and private schools as well as church choirs, musical theater, and private lessons in vocal production, piano literature, and brass instruments.
Janice loves watching the “Aha!” moment when a three-year old moves like a tree in the breeze to music, or a four-year old feels the “eternal” rhythm of his heartbeat, or the five-year old learns all the lyrics plus motions to a new song. Along with teaching, Janice plays French horn in two orchestras and two concert bands, and plays organ and piano as well as directing an adult choir and hand bell choir in Rockwood. She is active in the Knoxville community in representation of the arts and the revitalization of downtown Knoxville.
Lisa Stalnaker - Substitute Teacher
Born and raised in East TN, I spent a lot of time riding my bike, fishing, and exploring my grandparents’ garden. I enjoyed and excelled at Lenoir City Schools and graduated from UT with a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies with a Minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. As a working student, I did everything from feeding spiders to gluing teeth back into cougar skulls before moving on to an office job after graduation. Years later, after marrying and purchasing a home with my husband, I began a career in environmental compliance. I chose to stay home with our children (now in elementary school), and have re-entered the working world again in a part-time capacity.
I love the outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing, and natural history. I am very passionate about environmental issues and conservation. I love all kinds of music and play the clarinet with the Tennessee Wind Symphony. I like to cook, read and play board games and I love Halloween and all things spooky!
Our daughter graduated from MIS in 2018 and our son in 2022. We love MIS and I am happy to be working to help the school and Ms. Amanda!