Staff

Bob Wentsch

Bob Wentsch, M.S. – Lower Elementary Classroom

Principal Educator

Bob received his Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Drake University in Iowa. From 1976 to 1993 he and his wife Terri operated the Rivendell School in Colorado, designed to allow each child to achieve his or her academic potential and become a responsible and contributing member of society. The school began with 7 students and grew to 240 students in preschool through eighth grade. In 1994 Bob was hired as the director of the elementary program at Sedona Montessori School, which led to his becoming the Principal Educator for Sedona Charter School’s Lower Elementary classroom when the school opened in 1995. Montessori teachers from throughout the state come to observe and learn from Bob’s class, 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 Instructor
Montessori Qualifications: American Montessori Society certified, Ages 6 to 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 start 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

Ginny Bianco

Ginny Bianco, B.S. – Lower Elementary Classroom

Assistant Teacher

Ginny joined us in Fall 2011 after 36 years in elementary education in Vermont, including six years as head teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in Art, from Rhode Island College. Those who knew Ginny at her former schools refer to her as a master teacher who laid the foundations for lifelong success with her first grade students. In addition to her passion for teaching, Ginny enjoys art, animals, and life in Arizona.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Instructor

Bill Baker

Bill Baker – Upper Elementary Classroom

Principal Educator and 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.  Now that he has completed the training, Bill says 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

Marsha Johnson

Marsha Johnson, B.A. – Upper Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher, Math Specialist

Marsha joined the Sedona Charter School staff in 2001 after teaching for 13 years in California. Marsha taught in the Lower Elementary class for five years, then took on the Upper Elementary Principal Educator position in the 2006-07 school year. In 2013, Marsha returned to the facilitating teacher role, where she specializes in math education for our Upper Elementary students. Marsha holds a Liberal Arts degree from Mills College in California and took post-graduate courses in education and administration. She grew up in Alaska and worked and traveled in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Marsha particularly enjoys teaching math, art, foreign languages, and geometry. She also enjoys developing curriculum that is interesting and engaging for all children.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Instructor
Montessori Qualifications: American Montessori Society certified for ages 9-12, with training through CMTE/NY; North American Montessori Center trained and certified for ages 6-9
Arizona certifications: Standard Elementary Education, K-8
Endorsements: Structured English Immersion, K-12

Shandra Light Ryan

Shandra Light Ryan – Upper Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

Shandra is a Sedona native and even attended the very first Sedona Montessori Preschool. She and her two children moved here from Flagstaff in 2006, when Shandra joined the Sedona Charter School teaching staff. Prior to her move here, Shandra studied Elementary Education at NAU and worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for six years. Shandra is bilingual in Spanish and English and specializes in cultural diversity education.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teaching Paraprofessional

Kathleen Goglin

Kathleen Goglin, B.A. – Middle School

Principal Educator, Language and Drama Specialist

Kathleen joined our middle school teaching staff in 2010 with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Vanguard University of Southern California and extensive coursework toward an M.A. in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. She loves to travel, and particularly enjoyed the year she spent in Leicester, England working with youth in schools. Her greatest passion in life is working in the theatrical arts and helping students to think creatively as well as academically, as evidenced by the fantastic plays her students put on every spring. Kathleen has found a perfect match for her style of teaching in the Montessori method, with its emphasis on experience-based project work and individualized learning.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Instructor
Montessori Qualifications: NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies Certificate

Keith Okie

Keith Okie – Middle School

Middle School Dean of Students, Math and Choir Specialist

Keith joined our middle school teaching staff in 2012 after spending several years working on organic farms and leading a touring band. He studied music composition and vocal performance at Humboldt State University, California. His background shows in the smooth, engaging vocal performances of his students. Keith never performs any task halfway and is always willing to go the extra mile to help a child learn. His enthusiasm for his work is the kind only borne of true care for the people whose lives he affects every day.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teaching Paraprofessional

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson, M.A. – Middle School

Facilitating Teacher, Social Studies Specialist

Jon joined our middle school staff in 2006. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jon spent several years traveling the world and pursuing his education. He has traveled extensively in East Asia, focusing much of his time teaching English in Taiwan between 1998 and 2001. He is a 1999 graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in both Political Science and Asian Studies. In May of 2006 he received his Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where he also taught U.S. history and government at Mayfield High School. In his free time, Jon enjoys hiking and climbing, activities he shares with his students through the Middle School Hiking Club.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Instructor
Montessori Qualifications: NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies Certificate

Mr. Byrnes

Richard Byrnes, M.S. – Math Instructor

Honors and Advanced Math Teacher, Title 1 Math Interventionist

After gaining both his B.S. and M.S degrees in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Tech in Worcester, Massachusetts, Dick Byrnes embarked on a distinguished career as an engineer and entrepreneur. Though he had taught math and science as a graduate student, Dick’s passion for teaching really ignited when he embarked upon a  post-retirement career in 1998. He taught at Yavapai College and substituted throughout the Verde Valley /Oak Creek Districts before being induced to join Sedona Charter School as a dedicated instructor for gifted math students in 2007. Dick’s responsibilities have since expanded to include advanced math classes for grades 5 to 8, as well as Title 1 Math tutoring. A committed and inspirational mentor, Mr. Byrnes brings an impeccably high standard to the classroom and relishes watching our students respond as he demands the very best from them.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Math Interventionist and Grades 7-12 Math Instructor

Kristina Beachell

Kristina Beachell, B.A. – Musical Strings Instructor

Kristina joined us as our Strings Instructor 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; the M.M. program in Music Education at Northern Arizona University, with an emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy; five years as a strings instructor for grades 4-12 in Massachusetts public schools (Somerville and Cambridge), four years as a Suzuki instructor for grades K-6 in Flagstaff public schools, and three years as an instructor at the NAU music 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 Instructor K-12

Jan Montgomery

Jan Montgomery, M.Ed. – Director of Student Services

Jan Montgomery holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University and a Masters in Educational Administration and Psychology from Southeastern Louisiana. During her thirty-three years of service as a teacher, counselor, supervisor, and district administrator prior to joining Sedona Charter School in 2005, Jan took on many leadership roles and special projects. She traveled to Japan and China to lecture about learning disabilities, and was invited to the Oxford Round Table in England to discuss reform in education.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Instructor and Special Education Instructor K-12
Arizona certifications: Standard Cross Categorical Special Education K-12; Supervisor;
Endorsement: Structured English Immersion, K-12

Teri Lechowski

Teri Lechowski, B.A. – Title 1

Teri joined Sedona Charter School in 2013 as our Title I Math and Reading Intervention Specialist.  She brings a cheerful and upbeat approach to learning, with over 15 years of experience working in the field of education with both children and adults. Teri graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from Northeastern Illinois University and has completed some post-graduate work in psychology.  She has a minor in social work and has a diverse background working in social services assisting developmentally disabled adults and healthy minded young people.   Teri is committed to getting to know her students, tailoring the best teaching methods for each child’s learning style, in order to inspire students to work above and beyond their abilities.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teaching Paraprofessional

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 and studied in the M.A. program for Print Journalism at the University of Southern California. Before moving to Sedona, Alice had a busy career in the San Francisco area. She wrote for and edited a national sports magazine, and developed communications and investor relations materials 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. In her spare time Alice enjoys hiking, dog training, reading, and traveling.

Jane Cathcart

Jane Cathcart, B.S. – Registrar / Financial Assistant

Title 1 Coordinator

Jane joined our office team in October 2012 as Financial Assistant and added the Registrar duties in July 2013.  She has many years of office experience including a strong background in education.  Before moving to Sedona, Jane had a diverse career in marketing, writing and publishing print media, designing marketing materials and working in the field of graphic design.   Jane holds a B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Music and has taught piano lessons for over 20 years.   In addition to her office duties, Jane teaches a piano elective in our Upper Elementary Classroom, serves as our Title I Coordinator and accompanies our strings students in a variety of venues.   Jane is very active in the community and very passionate about passing the gift of music to the next generation.

 

Dolores Biermann

Dolores Biermann – Office and 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.