Ms. Vanderford was born and raised in the Bay Area, predominantly spending her childhood in San Lorenzo. After University she decided that she wanted to work with children and came to be an Assistant Teacher in the Brown Cottage. She fell in love with the Montessori principles and wanted to learn more. She then had an opportunity to travel and live in London for an extended time, so said goodbye to her beloved Camellia class. As luck would have it, her new job in London offered Ashley a chance to study at the Maria Montessori Training Institute (A.M.I.) and become a Montessori teacher, specialising in working with children ages 0-3 years. After 5 lovely years in the UK she has returned back to the Bay Area and her Brown Cottage team. She strives to encourage independence and a love of learning in the children that come through her classroom. During her free time she enjoys singing with friends, swing dancing and attending aerial circus classes.