Staff: School Year 2017-2018

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 – 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, 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 2017, Katarina completed an intensive Montessori certification 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 certified for ages 6-9

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 is working her way through an intensive Montessori training program in the summer of 2017. She enjoys sharing her love of learning, crafts, and outdoor activities with the children of Sedona Charter School.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Montessori qualifications: Elementary 1 training through Arizona Montessori Teacher Education Program

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.

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.”

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Arizona certifications: Standard Elementary Education, K-8

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, I 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

Harry Buedel, B.A. — Upper Elementary Classroom

Facilitating Teacher

Harry Buedel joined the Upper Elementary 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 Center 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, and enjoys 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!

Bethany Gray, B.A. — Science grades 4-8

Bethany, who has completed all her coursework for an M.S. degree in Biology from Northern Arizona University, is passionate about science and the outdoors.  A former national park ranger and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service technician, she has spent years studying the ecosystems in this area.  She is able to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with her students in a way that encourages them to seek out more answers to scientific questions.  With an undergraduate degree in American History from the University of California at San Diego, (emphasis on U.S. Environmental History) Bethany has shown us that she has a breadth of knowledge on a variety of subjects, and can elicit student curiosity with her stories and anecdotes.

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 K-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.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Montessori qualifications: American Montessori International Adolescent Studies certificate
Arizona certifications: Standard Elementary Education, K-8

Niel Wilfred O. Pableo, B.S. — Middle School

Facilitating Teacher -- Math Specialist

Niel joins us after spending eight years teaching middle school math and physics in the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.  Known for being strict and yet fun with his students, Niel is always looking for ways to connect math to real life.  The math team he coached in the Philippines did so well that they competed in the World Math Invitational Finals in China in 2015.  With a  Bachelor’s degree in teaching math and physics from University of San Carlos in the Philippines, Niel is a highly qualified and highly effective math teacher.  He looks forward to learning more about the U.S. from our students, and to sharing his experiences in the Philippines and Saudi Arabia with them.

Federal status: Highly Qualified Math and Physics Teacher, Grades 7-12; Math Interventionist Grades 1-12

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 summed up, “she is a force of nature.”

Federal status: Highly Qualified Music Teacher grades K-12

Lucy Schwill, B.A. – Special Education

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.  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

Ana Hansen, M.B.A. — Special Projects

Ana joined our staff in 2016 as a reading teacher for our Lower Elementary students, and as a Title 1 tutor for students at all grade levels who needed extra help.  As we recognized her teaching and administration talent, her duties have expanded to include Title 1 program administration, Peace education, Upper Elementary facilitating teacher (afternoons), and English Language Learner program monitoring.  With B.A. in English, Political Science, and Women’s Studies from the University of Rochester (New York) and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix, Ana is clearly a woman of many interests and many talents.  She continues to teach yoga locally — an inspiration to us all.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher
Arizona certifications: Standard Elementary Education, K-8

Bill Baker — Sports Program

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. After two more years in the Upper Elementary classroom, Bill officially retired–and now runs our after-school sports program, which includes cross-country, volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

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

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.

Lauren Hendler, M.F.A. — Registrar/Admin Assistant

Lauren’s background includes a B.A. in Drama from Vassar College, an M.F.A. in Acting  from Alabama Shakespeare Festival and a career in fitness training and management on the west coast.   Before joining our office staff in 2017, she was Director of Community Health Initiatives for the YMCA of the East Bay in Oakland, California.  In our office, Lauren works to ensure our records are current and complete (no small task) and enjoys interacting with the many parents, students, and community members who come in or call for assistance.  She also stays busy in her career as a screenwriter and enjoys exploring the many trails of Sedona with her husband.

Teri Lechowski, B.A. — SPED Assistant

“Teri the Tutor” has been helping our students succeed since 2013, when she began working in our Title 1 Reading and Math program.  Her laughter, sense of fun and genuine empathy have made her a favorite among our students, who value the time they spend under her tutelage.  Teri has a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Social Work from Northeastern Illinois University.  Most of her career has focused on helping special needs children and adults, and she puts that experience to good use here as a special education assistant.  Beyond her work at Sedona Charter School, Teri enjoys home improvement projects, writing and photography, and most of all spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Federal status: Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher

Joe Falsetto, B.A. — Title 1

With a B.A. from Northern Arizona University in Speech-Language Sciences and Technology, Joe uses creativity, determination and organization to deliver reading and math assistance to our students in the Title 1 program, helping them achieve more than they thought possible.