- President, Steven Paley (Parent Representative)
- Secretary, Brenda Man-Fletcher (Parent Representative)
- Susan Ashley (Upper Elementary Principal Educator)
- Lauren Rondeau (Middle School Principal Educator)
- Alice Madar (Director of Finance and Administration)
- Gail Olson (Sedona Montessori School Administrator)
- Bob Wentsch (Lower Elementary Principal Educator)
Steven Paley O.D. – Governing Council President
Originally from Ukraine, Steve grew up in New York City. After obtaining an undergraduate degree from New York University, he studied at SUNY College of Optometry where he received his doctorate degree. In his spare time, Steve enjoys hiking the trails of Sedona, swimming with the Sedona masters swim team and scuba diving the deep waters of Hawaii. Over the past year Steve has had the pleasure of serving on the Sedona charter school governing council as a parent representative. He strongly believes in the Montessori system of education that supports individualized approach to learning, yet fosters teamwork and respect for the community.
Brenda Man-Fletcher J.D. – Governing Council Secretary
Brenda brings a wealth of experience to the Governing Council. Currently a media consultant, she is also launching her Personal Coaching business to support clients as they declutter and reorganize their living spaces. She has worked as an attorney, the Town Manager of Jerome, and as a teacher. After receiving her B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, she completed her law degree at Widener University in Delaware. Brenda has been an avid volunteer for Sedona Charter School helping with Teacher Appreciation Week, grant writing, and the silent auction. Wanting to contribute even more Brenda, recently joined the Governing Council.
Suzi Ashley, B.A. — Upper Elementary Classroom Principal Educator
After an extensive search for just the right person to lead our Upper Elementary classroom (grades 4-6), we were thrilled to find Suzi Ashley, a teacher who particularly connects with this age group. Suzi comes to us with 15 years of teaching experience, including four years in Mexico. With a B.A. in Education from Arizona State University, she is Arizona and Colorado state-certified to teach the elementary grades. Those who know her refer to her as an excellent teacher who is creative and dynamic, keeping the students moving both physically and academically, and who is particularly strong at building collaborative relationships. She teaches “to build better humans,” and enjoys using varied teaching strategies to address the learning needs of all her students. In her spare time she loves running and travel—which may explain why the first marathon she ran was in Florence, Italy. Suzi has spent time in 15 different countries and believes “the best way to understand a culture is to experience it first-hand.”
Lauren Rondeau, B.A. — Middle School Principal Educator
Lauren Rondeau comes to Sedona Charter School with 13 years of experience teaching and directing Montessori middle schools. During her 10 years at the Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff, she designed challenging curriculum and motivated her students to do their best–and middle school enrollment steadily grew as word of her outstanding program spread. Although she is comfortable teaching all core subjects, Lauren is most passionate about teaching literature and writing. She has also developed yearbook and newsletter programs, and organized multi-day river trips for her students. With a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Northern Arizona University, Lauren is Arizona state-certified to teach grades 1-8 (multi-subject) and holds a Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies certificate from the American Montessori International (AMI) training program. She recently returned to the U.S. after teaching in Abu Dhabi for a year, and looks forward to continuing our middle school tradition of academic challenge, social development, and outdoor adventure.
Alice Madar, B.A. – Director of Finance and Administration
Alice has been involved with the operation of Sedona Charter School since 1997. After two years as President of the Governing Council and as project manager for the Kachina campus construction, Alice was hired as Business Administrator in 2001. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of California at Davis, studied in the M.A. program for Print Journalism at the University of Southern California, and has completed the Arizona Association of School Business Officials coursework for school business specialists. Before moving to Sedona Alice worked in San Francisco, where she edited a national sports magazine and developed publications for companies that included Hewlett-Packard, Levi-Strauss, and Pacific Telesis. She has found her true passion serving Sedona Charter School, helping to ensure that other children will benefit from the outstanding educational experience her own son received at the school. As Director of Finance and Administration, she oversees finance, facilities, and administrative operations outside the classrooms. You may often find her writing another grant to fund some of our extracurricular programs, or networking with colleagues across the country on current education issues, or reaching out to a parent or community member who can share their knowledge or skills with our students. In her spare time Alice enjoys hiking, dog training, reading, and traveling.
Gail Olson Governing Council
Gail is a strong proponent for Montessori education. She has been on our Governing Council since 2006. She has also been the Sedona Montessori School’s administrator since 1993 and works in the classroom as a primary teacher. Gail’s experience, dedication and organizational skills are great assets to our Governing Council.
Bob Wentsch, M.S. – Lower Elementary Classroom Principal Educator
Bob has been our Lower Elementary (grades 1-3) Principal Educator since Sedona Charter School school opened in 1995. Before moving to Sedona, Bob and his wife Terri founded and operated the Rivendell School in Colorado for 17 years. Bob began his career in the Teacher Corps in Iowa at the same he was studying at Drake University for his M.S. in Education, with a focus on Effective Teaching. In 2005 Bob completed his Montessori certification, and today Montessori teachers from throughout the state come to observe and learn from Bob’s classroom, which has developed a reputation as a model of student choice within a safe and dynamic structure, where students develop responsibility, independence, and a strong foundation in academics, arts, and music.