Mother and daughter Bertica and Caitlin Spencer may be as close as it gets to a teaching dynasty at MMS.
Between the two of them, they’ve covered nearly every experience one can have at the school. Bertica was first a parent, then a teacher, then an administrator, all between 1991 to 2017. Caitlin, her daughter, was first a student, then alumna, then assistant teacher and lead teacher off and on between 1991 to 2019.
Sadly, the Spencer era at MMS has come to an end (for now), but the duo is so beloved we thought it was time to check back in and see how they are doing.
When we reached Bertica and Caitlin, they were actually together in North Carolina, where Bertica now lives. In 2017, she retired and moved to the western part of the state, near Asheville. For a while, she was helping with admissions at a Montessori school in Black Mountain, North Carolina. “But after COVID started, I slowed down,” she said. “I was taking care of my mother and some other personal things. Now I’m just consulting with the school and teaching movement.”
As Bertica headed south in 2017, Caitlin left her job in D.C. and moved to New York to pick up the Spencer legacy.
“There was a lot going on that made moving back to New York exciting,” said Caitlin, who had been an assistant teacher at MMS in 2009-2011. “The renovations and the new building were happening, and I wanted to come back and see it in a new light. It felt like a passing of the torch, and I knew I’d miss something if I didn’t come back.”
Caitlin returned to MMS from 2017-2019, but ended up moving back to the District with her fiancee Adam, who was starting a new job. The two married in 2018. For nearly two years, Caitlin helped launch a new Montessori program in D.C., but now she is experiencing early childhood in a completely different way—as a mother, to her eight-month old son, Wesley. “It’s so fun to be able to see all these things I had heard about or talked about with other parents.”
After years of living apart, mother and daughter are planning a full-time reunion soon. “We hope to grow our family and move down to North Carolina,” said Caitlin.