Our Staff

Karen Olin Darling, Director and Head Teacher

Karen is the Director at Red Oak as of July 2018. She comes with a wealth of Montessori experience, starting 40 years ago with her in-depth mentorship by Mrs. Franca Tidoni, trained in the Montessori method herself directly by Dr. Maria Montessori. Karen has served as a lead teacher from pre-primary ages to middle-school grades, in California, South Carolina and New Hampshire. Karen and her husband Dan have 9 wonderful adult children between them, each of whom benefited from Montessori education in their early years. Karen, Dan and their dog Goldie have lived in Franklin, right on the Winnipesaukee River, since 2012 and immediately immersed themselves in the community. Karen enjoys hiking, camping, gardening and nature photography, and is especially excited about supporting area families and young children in her role as Director and Teacher here at Red Oak Montessori!

Nicole Harper, Teacher 

Nicole 2Nicole began her career in early childhood education working with children of all ages at Child Care Centers, Preschools, and as a Nanny.   She opened her own small Child Care/Preschool and operated that for some time before deciding to pursue college  at the University of Southern Maine.  Her travels with family brought her from  Portland, Maine  where she grew up to British Columbia, Canada.   Back to  Massachusetts where she discovered  A Montessori Preschool and enrolled her 4 children.  Her children thrived in the self-directed program.  New Hampshire is where Nicole and her family have now settled.  She has been busy raising her children whom are now all productive adults. Health and fitness are very important to Nicole.  She is a Certified Personal Trainer and believes healthy eating and fitness is important for children.  In 2021, Nicole completed her Montessori Teacher Training.    Nicole is excited to be a part of the early childhood education program here at Red Oak Montessori School!

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