The River Room

Julie Weiss, Kristin McConnaughey and Beth Pratt-Russum

Julie Weiss, Kristin McConnaughey and Beth Pratt-Russum

Kristin McConnaughey is our River Room co-teacher. She began work at Harmony as an Assistant to our founder, Jude in November 2000. For years she had worked with children many in different capacities, mainly as a nanny, but it wasn’t until she found Harmony and learned more about Montessori that she discovered her true calling in life. She continued her work as an assistant the following year and then began her Montessori teacher training and certification through North American Montessori Center, while co-teaching for two years with Jude. She has been guiding the River Room at Harmony since 2005. Kristin’s life away from Harmony includes a passion for music and the outdoors. In her spare time she enjoys playing her guitar, singing, and exploring Oregon’s wild and scenic areas with her husband Jim and daughter Mesa.

“It is such a blessing to truly love the work you do! Everyday I feel inspired and uplifted through my interactions with the Harmony staff, parents, and especially the children. Together we are building a brighter, more enlightened, and peaceful future.” -Kristin

Julie Weiss is happy to join the Harmony family as a co-teacher in the River Room.  She started with us in 2013 and spent four years prior in a Montessori environment as an assistant and a lead guide.  She has also enjoyed spending her summers as a Camp Counselor at the Oregon Zoo and Tryon Creek Nature Day Camp.  She received for AMI Primary diploma in 2011 at the Montessori Institute Northwest and her Masters of Education in 2013 from Loyola University Maryland.  Julie also received her B.A. in Theater in 2005 at San Francisco State University.  She loves spending time with her friends and family, biking, hiking, dancing, yoga, cooking, theater, movies and comedy.

“I love being part of a school that embraces the Montessori Method, where love and support fill the halls, peace, respect and the love of learning fill the classrooms and where everyone excepts and loves everyone for their differences.” -Julie

Beth Pratt-Russum began at Harmony as the Aftercare Assistant in 2010 shortly after moving to Portland in search of work in a Montessori classroom.  She began helping out in the River Room in 2012 where she is now the Assistant.  She has her undergrad degree in Youth Ministry from Eastern University.  Eventually she hopes to continue her education with Montessori training.  Outside of the classroom, Beth enjoys spending her time with her husband Mark, son Kade, and dog Oliver.  She enjoys volunteering with her Quaker meeting, loves all things crafty (especially knitting),  adventuring outdoors, and advocating for evidence-based maternity care.


The Lake Room
The Ocean Room
The Waterfall Room
The Forest Room



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