Bob Wentsch

Bob Wentsch, M.S. – Lower Elementary Classroom

Principal Educator

Bob has been our Lower Elementary Principal Educator since Sedona Charter School school opened in 1995. The 2014-2015 school year will be his 20th year with us! 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 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 Teacher
Montessori qualifications: American Montessori Society certified for 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 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


Ginny Bianco, B.S. – Lower Elementary Classroom

Facilitating 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 Teacher
Arizona certifications: Elementary Education, 1-8
Endorsements: Structured English Immersion, K-12


Katarina Houser, B.A. – Lower Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

Katarina joins 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. When she is not in the classroom, Katarina may be found coaching the Sedona Red Rock High Cheer Squad or at The Hike House, advising tourists on the best trails in Sedona.

Federal status: Highly Qualified Teacher — preschool through grade 3


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
Montessori qualifications: CMTE/NY trained for ages 9-12


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 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

jim leinbach

Jim Leinbach, M.S. – Upper Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

Jim comes to us in fall 2014 from Phoenix, where he was teaching ages 6 to 12 in a Montessori school. Though he began his working career as a geophysicist, Jim found a new passion as a Montessori teacher after his children began attending a Montessori school. He has been an AMI-certified elementary teacher since 1996, and has spent 17 years teaching in Montessori schools in the U.S., Canada, and Switzerland. Jim holds a B.S. in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in Geophysics from Flinders University of South Australia. He particularly enjoys sharing math, geometry, space exploration and banjo music with his students. Jim enjoys hiking and mountaineering, and looks forward to exploring the many trails around Sedona.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Montessori qualifications: Association Montessori International (AMI) certified for ages 6-12.


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

Kristina Beachell

Kristina Beachell, M.M. – 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; 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 (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 Teacher grades K-12


Teri Lechowski, B.A. – Title I

Teri joined Sedona Charter School in 2013, working with students in our Title I Math and Reading intervention program.  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.

Dolores Biermann

Dolores Biermann -Classroom and Office 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.