Staff: School Year 2016-2017

Bob Wentsch

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.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Montessori qualifications: American Montessori Society certified for ages 6-9. Trained through CMTE/NY
Arizona certifications: Standard Elementary Education, K-8
Endorsements: Reading Specialist and Structured English Immersion, K-12

Terri Wentsch

Terri Wentsch – Lower Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

Terri has been teaching as Sedona Charter School since its founding in 1995. Prior to this she taught and co-managed Rivendell School with her husband Bob for 17 years. Before joining Rivendell, Terri taught in a school for underprivileged children and in a Montessori school. Terri has completed Montessori training for ages 6 to 9. Beyond teaching, Terri’s duties include expanding the classroom arts and technology curriculum. When she has a spare moment she devotes some time to her passions for computer arts and fiber arts.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teaching Paraprofessional
Montessori qualifications: Training through CMTE/NY for ages 6-9

Katarina Houser

Katarina Houser, B.A. – Lower Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

Katarina joined us in fall 2014 after working in a primary Montessori program in a district school setting. She has a masterful way of getting young children to focus on the task at hand while keeping them engaged with her infectious enthusiasm for a wide variety of subjects and activities. Katarina holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University, where she also studied English Education. She was raised in Sedona and actually attended Sedona Charter School. In 2016, Katarina completed an intensive Montessori training program for teachers of first- to third-grade students. When she is not in the classroom, Katarina may be found hiking the trails of Sedona with her family.

Federal status: Highly Qualified Teacher – preschool through grade 3
Montessori qualifications: American Montessori Society accredited training for ages 6-9 (South Mountain Community College).

Amy Tedrick

Amy Tedrick, B.A. — Lower Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

After working part-time in the Lower Elementary classroom, Amy Tedrick joined the Lower Elementary teaching staff full-time in the 2016-2017 school year.  Though Amy has extensive experience working with people in retail settings, she found that jobs she enjoyed the most were working in classrooms as a member of the teaching staff, including one where she become skilled in American Sign Language.  With a son enrolled at Sedona Charter School, she knew this is where she is meant to be, helping students get the best possible start on their educational journey.  Amy has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hofstra University in New York, and in the summer of 2016 she completed an introduction to Montessori education. She looks forward to sharing her love of learning, crafts, and outdoor activities with the children of Sedona Charter School.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher

Dolores Biermann

Dolores Biermann – Lower Elementary Classroom

Classroom Assistant

Dolores has been a presence at Sedona Charter School since 2000, when she began working in our office.  After 5 years, she took a brief retirement, but was soon back on campus as an invaluable member of our staff, helping ease the transition to school for our youngest students, and helping all of our staff stay organized.  In her spare time, Dolores enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling to see her children and grandchildren.


Lisa Hirsch, EdD – Upper Elementary Classroom

Principal Educator

After an extensive search for just the right person to take the lead in our Upper Elementary classroom, Sedona Charter School welcomed Dr. Lisa Hirsch as Principal Educator for grades 4 to 6 in 2015.  For more than 20 years, Lisa has been a key leader in Sedona district schools, serving as a founding teacher for Sedona Red Rock High school, then district Curriculum Coordinator, then Principal of West Sedona Elementary School for seven years. She holds a B.A.  in Economics with a minor in English from Tufts University in Massachusetts, an M.A. in the Teaching of Social Studies from Columbia Teachers College in New York, and a Doctor of Education with Distinction from Northern Arizona University, where her emphasis was Curriculum and Instruction.  Lisa brings with her a deep knowledge of the local community and its resources, outstanding leadership and administrative skills, and a passion for learning. She has served as a consultant on school reform in several states, and has led seminars and workshops on conflict resolution. Her many awards and honors include being named the Phoenix Suns and America West Outstanding Educator and receiving the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award. Lisa has always been a strong supporter of Montessori education, and completed a Montessori course in early childhood education prior to joining our staff.  She enjoys working with our team of dedicated and experienced Upper Elementary teachers to give our students the foundation they need to become outstanding adults.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-12 Teacher
Arizona certifications: Principal and Standard Secondary Education – English and Social Studies
Endorsement: Structured English Immersion, K-12

Maija Alanen

Maija Alanen, B.A. – Upper Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

Maija joined us in 2015 after spending three years in Scotland, where she developed the only elementary Montessori program in the country. Prior to that, she taught in Montessori schools in Alaska and Minnesota, and was a beloved teacher for 12 years at a Montessori elementary school in Henderson, Nevada.   Maija earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Luther College in Iowa, and she is one of a very few teachers to be Montessori certified to teach ages 3 to 12.  In her teaching, Maija emphasizes outdoor, experiential opportunities, peaceful collaboration, and academic excellence.  She says, “After three fascinating and fulfilling years teaching in Scotland, was ready to come stateside and put down some roots once again. I chose Sedona because of the tremendous opportunity to work with a dedicated and committed staff in a school that demonstrates great integrity, academic excellence and global awareness in a caring and supportive environment. I enjoy sharing my love of Montessori and the world with the children of Sedona Charter School!”

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Montessori qualifications: American Montessori Society certified for ages 3-12.  Trained through Mecca-Seton and Montessori Education Center of the Rockies


Bill Baker – Upper Elementary Classroom

Science and Wilderness Specialist

Prior to joining our Upper Elementary staff in 2006, Bill Baker worked with children and young adults for more than 20 years in schools in California and in Mesa, Arizona. In Mesa, he worked as an animal handler for elementary schools, conducting classes with live indigenous animals from all over Arizona. He also led science camps for Arizona schools in various outdoor settings including the Grand Canyon. He spent several years as an instructor for grades 7 through 12, developing individualized curriculum for students to meet and exceed Arizona state standards. Bill especially enjoys teaching science and geography, and coaching volleyball and tai chi. He has hiked over 3,000 miles in the Grand Canyon and has ridden a bicycle across the United States from Ventura, California to Key West, Florida. In 2013, Bill spent an intensive summer at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New York, focusing on teaching for ages 9 to 12.  For the next two years, he served as our Upper Elementary Principal Educator, steadily raising the academic standards in the classroom. This year Bill returns to his role as a facilitating teacher, and reports that he is more excited than ever about working with the students at Sedona Charter School, helping to expand their knowledge and build their character.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teaching Paraprofessional
Montessori qualifications: CMTE/NY trained for ages 9-12

Harry Buedel

Harry Buedel, B.A. — Upper Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

Harry Buedel joins the Upper Classroom staff in the fall of 2016 after building and enhancing Montessori programs in Arizona and Washington, and after 14 years of teaching math and science to adolescents.  In addition to a B.A. in Education from Arizona State University, Harry holds an adolescent teaching certificate from the Houston Montessori Centre in Texas and is completing Elementary 1 Montessori certification from the Montessori Educational Institute of the Pacific Northwest in Washington state.  He also undertook graduate studies in Montessori education at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.  Having taught students ranging from preschool through 9th grade, Harry has a deep understanding of where our Upper Elementary students are coming from and where they are going!  Harry is an avid photographer, is looking forward to sharing that passion and skill with our students.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Montessori qualifications: American Montessori Society certified for ages 12-15; finishing training for ages 6-9.
Arizona certifications: Standard Elementary Education, K-8
Endorsements: Structured English Immersion, K-12



Jacquie Randall – Upper Elementary Classroom

Teaching Aide

Jacquie began helping out in the Upper Elementary classroom in 2015, and quickly become a key member of the staff.  As an aide, she helps students stay on task and helps ease the paperwork load on the teaching team.  Her bright spirit is infectious, and the whole classroom benefits from her tireless energy.  Jacquie’s history includes 12 years in school administration for students in elementary school through college in California–and 10 years sailing the world experiencing a variety of nautical adventures.  After moving to Sedona in 1991, Jacquie devoted herself to making the Sedona Humane Society a well-respected and effective organization:  She was Board President for 10 years, Volunteer Coordinator for six years, she coordinates the Kids and Kritters Summer Camp, and since 1998 she has written the “Paw Prints” column in the Sedona Red Rock News. We are indeed lucky to have such a multi-talented person working with our Upper Elementary students!

jenn jordan

Jennifer Jordan, M.Phil. – Middle School Classroom

Principal Educator

Jenn Jordan took the helm of our Middle School classroom in fall 2014 after spending six years as the founding teacher of the middle school program at Chemung Valley Montessori School in New York, followed by five years at the University of Cambridge in England. At Cambridge she earned a Master of Philosophy in Educational Research and is completing a Ph.D. in Education with a dissertation on adolescent moral development. Jenn has a strong background in science, having earned a B.A in Biology from Reed College in Oregon and Master’s degrees in Education and in Physical Anthropology from Ohio State University. She is New York state-certified to teach grade 7-12 biology, and brings extensive scientific exploration to the classroom. Because her passions also include hiking, beekeeping, gardening, pottery, and poetry, look for them to become a part of the Middle School experience as well. Even though Jenn has earned a plethora of academic credentials, it is her proven ability to connect with adolescents that makes her an outstanding teacher.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher and grades 7-12 Biology Teacher
Montessori qualifications: North American Montessori Education Association Certificate for Adolescent Studies


Tim Marsh, M.A. – Middle School Classroom

Middle School Teacher and K-8 Math Interventionist

Tim Marsh joined us in the summer of 2014 as our Math Interventionist and advanced math teacher. Prior to moving to Sedona, he was a middle school math teacher in Page, Arizona, where he also trained other teachers on the fundamentals of Common Core math. Tim was a Teaching Fellow in the prestigious TNTP Arizona Teaching Fellows program, where he specialized in math instruction. He has experience leading school chess club and yearbook programs, as well serving as an 8th grade writing teacher. With a B.A. in World History and an M.A. in American History from the University of Houston at Clear Lake, Texas, Tim leads our Montessori Model United Nations program and teaches history and social studies.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher and Math Interventionist, and Highly Qualified grades 7-12 Math, Social Studies, and History Teacher
Arizona certification: Standard Secondary Education – Math


Kristina Beachell, M.M. – Orchestral & Strings Studies

Kristina joined us in February of 2011, bringing with her a strong background in music education that includes a B.A. in Music Education from Berklee College of Music in Boston; a Master’s degree in Music Education from Northern Arizona University with an emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy; five years as a strings instructor for grades 4-12 in Massachusetts public schools, four years as a Suzuki instructor for grades K-6 in Flagstaff public schools, and an ongoing role as a master teacher at the NAU Community Music and Dance Academy for ages 3 to 16. Kristina’s diverse musical background includes singing with the Boston Conservatory Choir and the ASH Jazz Choir, touring and recording with rock and jazz bands, and performing leading roles in dramatic and musical productions. She firmly believes that developing the performing arts in a child is vital to cultivating intellectual growth. She shares her passion with her students, and leads them to inspirational achievements. As one parent recently said, “she is a force of nature.”

Federal status: Highly Qualified Music Teacher grades K-12


Lucy Schwill, B.A. – Special Education and Peace Education

Dean of Students

Lucy immediately became a key member of our teaching team when she joined our staff in 2014.  She makes sure we meet the needs of our special education students by working closely with students and well as their primary teachers, and staying current on the many developments in the field.  As our Dean of Students, she is our staff liaison on the Peaceful Leadership committee and she spearheaded our schoolwide implementation of the Children’s World Peace curriculum in the fall of 2015.  Lucy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education from Lynchburg College in Virginia, and taught in a variety of special education settings in Arizona schools for more than 25 years before joining Sedona Charter School.   She has additional training in Montessori education and as a Crisis Prevention Intervention instructor.  As a master teacher, she has mentored new teachers finishing up their education and helped them build skills from her wide repertoire of techniques for classroom management, student engagement, and individualizing instruction.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Arizona certifications: Special Education, K-12
Endorsements: Structured English Immersion, K-12

Alice Madar

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.

Katie Austin

Katie Austin, A.A. — Registrar/Admin Assistant

Katie joined the SCS office team in spring of 2016, and has made an immediate and positive impact.  Hers is the upbeat, can-do voice you hear on the phone when you call the office.  Katie holds an A.A. degree in Art from Red Rocks Community College in Colorado, and she is finishing her B.A. in Communication at University of Colorado.  Her work history includes administrative positions as well as serving as a teacher’s aide in an early learning childcare center–and a year working on a horse ranch.  In her spare time she enjoys gardening, drawing and painting, and spending time outdoors with her family.

Noelle Reeves

Noelle Reeves – Registrar/Admin Assistant

Spanish Teacher

We welcomed Noelle to our office staff in the spring of 2016.  She has become our student database maven, helping to ensure our information is correct and interfaces with the state properly, and that parents, students, and teachers can access the information they need online.  Fluent in Spanish, Noelle will be teaching conversational Spanish in grades 7 and 8 during the 2016-2017 school year.  When she is not working at Sedona Charter School or studying to complete her B.A. in Spanish, Noelle enjoys hiking, backpacking, and rock climbing.