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Hershey Montessori Staff

"The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say 'The children are now working as if I do not exist.' "
 
Paula Leigh-Doyle

Paula Leigh-Doyle

Head of School

Paula joined Hershey Montessori School in 2007 as Head of School, supporting the Concord and Huntsburg campuses. Paula holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Goddard College in Vermont, and an AMI Primary Montessori diploma from Sion Hill College in Ireland. Her experience includes eight years of teaching, and thirty-one years of specialization in Montessori education for economically and developmentally at-risk children. She was also the founding Executive Director of an AMI Montessori school in Cleveland. Her dedication to education includes twenty-one years of headship at independent Montessori Schools. Paula is a presenter for national and international education and Montessori conferences, and published in North American Montessori Teacher Association journals. Paula treasures her time on her mini-farm, as a steward of sheep, horses, and various pets and also growing food. She enjoys learning about living systems and contributing to community wellbeing.
Concord Staff & Assistants
Concord Staff
Lashawn Caldwell

Lashawn Caldwell

All-Day Young Child Community Guide

Bio coming soon.

Tierney Dewan-Saperstein

Tierney Dewan-Saperstein

Parent-Infant Community Guide

Tierney earned her undergraduate degree from Xavier University in Social Science in 1998. Tierney received her AMI Primary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute and her Master’s in Education from Loyola University in Maryland in 2002. She earned an AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma in 2004 and has been with Hershey Montessori School since 2002. In her time away from school, Tierney enjoys teaching group fitness classes and spending time with her husband, Josh, and their daughters.
Luisa Mendez

Luisa Mendez

All-Day Young Child Community Guide

Bio coming soon.
Karen Hannan-DeWalt

Karen Hannan-DeWalt

Children's House Community Guide

Karen received her AMI Primary diploma at the Ohio Montessori Training Institute in Cleveland in 1998. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Hiram College with a minor in environmental studies. Karen assisted in the Young Child Community at Hershey Montessori for two years prior to becoming a teacher at the Primary level in 2000. Karen enjoys yard work, playing in rivers and handywoman work.Karen’s three sons have been long-time students at Hershey beginning in the Parent-Infant program.
Hind Hassan

Hind Hassan

Children's House Community Guide

Bio coming soon.

Johan van der Wee

Johan van der Wee

Children's House Community Guide

Johan earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the International Agricultural College in the Netherlands, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Dayton. Wanting to further explore a career in education, Johan enrolled in the Ohio Montessori Training Institute, earning his AMI Primary diploma. He also completed the Montessori Orientation Program to Adolescent Studies. Johan has been with Hershey Montessori since 2014. When he is not teaching, Johan enjoys running (he has completed nine marathons, including Boston!), biking, painting, and spending time with his beloved dog, Betsy.
Jennifer Finan

Jennifer Finan

Early Elementary Community Guide

Jennifer attended Ohio University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences. After serving as an Elementary Assistant at Hudson Montessori School, she was inspired to enroll at the Washington Montessori Institute where she received her AMI Elementary diploma. Jennifer has taught both Upper and Early Elementary since joining Hershey Montessori in 1993. Jennifer enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, cooking, and photography. 
Saren Peetz

Saren Peetz

Early Elementary Community Guide

Bio coming soon.
Venus Kohler

Venus Kohler

Upper Elementary Community Guide

Venus has been working with children in the Montessori environment since 2004 in Washington state.  She went on to pursue her AMI Elementary training in 2006 at the Montessori Institute of Milwaukee.  She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Mumbai and a Bachelor of Science in Education, as well as her Master of Science in Education.  Venus also assisted in Montessori curriculum alignment with state standards.  Venus joined Hershey Montessori in 2012.  Venus and her husband Eldon have two sons and a daughter.  In her spare time Venus enjoys baking, organic gardening, home improvement projects, reading, and writing poetry.
Sarah Tetzloff

Sarah Tetzloff

Upper Elementary Community Guide

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, and received her AMI Elementary diploma from the Washington Montessori Institute, along with her Master’s in Education in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Maryland. Sarah spent 18 years teaching and directing youth in theatre arts and additional time as an Outreach Director helping school faculty incorporate the arts into their curriculum. Sarah joined Hershey Montessori School in 2007. Sarah enjoys playing volleyball, bird watching and researching her family history.
Leslie Steelman

Leslie Steelman

Concord Campus Office Coordinator

Leslie joined the Hershey Montessori School community in December of 2016.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Holy Family University in Philadelphia.  Following her undergraduate degree, Leslie served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in the West African country of Niger.  While living in Niger, she worked with her town’s middle school to promote girls’ education through extracurricular activities.  Leslie has prior substitute teaching experience with area public school districts and administrative experience with a local accounting firm.  She and her husband Lyle enjoy traveling and taking road trips whenever they have the chance.
Zaynab Twaddell

Zaynab Twaddell

Young Child Community and Children's House Support Coordinator

Zaynab has a master’s degree in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Maryland and received her AMI Primary Diploma in 2003 from the Foundation for Montessori Education in Toronto, Canada. She has spent the last 8 years living in China with her family, where she held various roles including being a stay at home parent, running a small Montessori Children’s House, and later working at a large Montessori School in Shenzhen, China. Zaynab worked at Hershey previously as admin support in the Development Office, as well as did substitute teaching at all levels. She is thrilled to be back with her whole family, her husband working at the Huntsburg campus teaching Mandarin Chinese, and her two young boys attending the program. Zaynab loves singing with children and has experience with the Music Together In-School curriculum. In her spare time, she enjoys going for nature walks, healthy cooking, building community with family and friends, and wants to learn how to play the guitar!

Huntsburg Administration & Support Staff

Judy Kline-Venaleck

Judy Kline-Venaleck

Associate Head of School, Huntsburg Campus Director

Judy serves as Associate Head of School and Huntsburg Campus Director, as well as a guide for Hershey Montessori. She holds an environmental education major, including a secondary education teaching certificate. Judy is involved in many areas at the adolescent community, regularly teaching workshops. Judy joined Hershey Montessori in 1997. Judy’s interests include nutrition, gardening, cooking, knitting and a variety of sports.
Robyn Dill

Robyn Dill

Administrative & Admissions Manager

Robyn earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in communication from Miami University. Her farm experience led to a career in the commercial horticulture industry as a trade magazine editor, writer and marketing professional prior to joining Hershey. She interfaces daily with students, staff and parents at the Huntsburg Campus. Robyn joined Hershey Montessori in 2011 and lives in nearby rural Geauga County.
Laura Jolliff

Laura Jolliff

Office Manager & Technology Advisor

Laura is a native Northeast Ohioan and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a Music minor from Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining the Hershey Community in 2018 when the Upper School building opened, she spent twenty years working in corporate information technology. Outside of school, Laura enjoys supporting local food organizations, hiking and spending time with her family.

Tania Bertolone

Tania Bertolone

Middle School Director

Tania earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Miami University and minored in sociocultural studies. In her first year out of college, she traveled the eastern half of the U.S. as a puppeteer for MadCap Puppets. Tania moved to California to study theater in Los Angeles, and simultaneously began writing, recording and performing her own music. In 2006, Tania moved back to Ohio to pursue a teaching degree at Notre Dame College. She spent numerous years teaching math to elementary students at a local public school district prior to joining Hershey. She was asked to serve as a board member for the Ohio Montessori Alliance. Tania joined Hershey Montessori in 2015 and enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, hiking and spending time with family.
Wes Wilson

Wes Wilson

Upper School Advancement Director

Wes has been teaching in independent schools since he graduated from The University of Virginia with a BS in Biological Chemistry in 2005.  He began his teaching career teaching upper school sciences and athletics at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia followed by 11 years at Hawken School in Gates Mills, OH.  He is a native to Huntsburg, Ohio, and grew up only a few minutes away from Hershey’s Adolescent Campus.  Wes completed his AMI Certification for the NAMTA Adolescent Studies and is began his work at Hershey in 2018 as the Upper School Coordinator and a guide for Upper School sciences.

 

Joyce Cole

Joyce Cole

Farm Manager

Joyce comes to Hershey with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Hiram College.  She also holds a post-baccalaureate certification in secondary education from Cleveland State University. For the past 15 years, Joyce has lived with her husband, Tom, and their two children, Ella and Tommy, in rural dwellings outside of Cincinnati and Cleveland (Geauga County). Inspired by a deep curiosity to live sustainably on the land and a long-standing dream to farm, she studied herbalism, worked on farms and fed her family locally-grown and foraged foods. From her current home in Chardon, Joyce enjoys shepherding both her goats and her two adolescents, practicing yoga, and helping her husband build their unconventional silo and shipping container home.   She is honored to share her passion for farming with Hershey Montessori’s Adolescent Community.
Katie Poe

Katie Poe

Nutrition & Kitchen Coordinator

Katie joined Hershey Montessori School in 2014, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science. As the nutrition manager, she is responsible for menu planning, daily meal preparation with students, and interaction with local vendors. She takes pride in sourcing local products and utilizing as much of the home-grown fruits and vegetables from our farm in the kitchen as possible. Meals are planned to maximize a diverse, nutritious diet. Katie’s hobbies include being a mom to two awesome children who have both attended Hershey, gardening, softball, and traveling.
AJ Bissell

AJ Bissell

Whole School Facilities Manager

A.J. grew up in Chardon and resides in Burton with his wife Tracy and their son Ben who is a student at the Hershey Upper School.  Currently he is the Whole School Facilities Manager for Hershey, managing the Concord and Huntsburg campuses.  He worked in the construction industry for twenty years, including six years living in the Catskill mountains in New York learning the timber framing, plumbing, stone masonry and heavy equipment trades.  A.J. enjoys being outdoors, mountains, streams, golfing, motorcycles and cooking. 

Huntsburg Staff 

Aaron Twaddell

Aaron Twaddell

Mandarin Guide

Aaron grew up in the Cleveland area and, after a year in Japan as a high school exchange student, attended Case Western Reserve University, where he obtained a BA in International Studies and Asian Studies and began study of Mandarin Chinese. Since university, he has spent most of his life in various cities across China, studying, teaching and starting a family. Along the way, he completed the AMI Elementary training and a Master of Education in Montessori Integrative Learning. He has experience teaching English and Chinese in university in China, and working in Montessori elementary and early childhood programs in China and the US. He returned to the Cleveland area to be closer to family and join the Hershey community with his wife, who is now a Hershey Children’s House guide, and their two young boys. He is excited about joining the Adolescent Community and opening a new chapter in its World Language program. He also enjoys tennis and basketball, singing and dance, meditation and yoga.
Sara Guren

Sara Guren

Visual Art Specialist

Sara received her degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2000.  She began working with adolescents both during her time at Michigan and afterwards as a backpacking trip leader in the Western U.S. and British Columbia wilderness’ for a teen adventure company, Adventures Cross Country.  She then went on to work and travel in New Zealand, Ski Patrol in Lake Tahoe California, and earn her certificate in Photography in two summers at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana. She completed the AMI Orientation to Adolescent Studies in 2010 and has served as an art specialist for Creative Expression classes both at Hershey and Marin Montessori School in California.  In addition to teaching photography at Marin Montessori School she and her husband became house parents for their boarding program for a year. She and her family returned to Ohio last year and as a Hershey Montessori graduate, Sara is thrilled to be able to join the staff on the Farm as well as to have her two girls enrolled at the Concord Campus.  Sara’s interests include trail running, art art and more art, gardening outside with her kids and curling up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea.
Huntsburg Staff – Middle School
Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller

Guide

Michelle joined Hershey as the tutor for the adolescent community in 2017. She grew up in the Cleveland area and holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Eastern Michigan University with minors in Mathematics and Science.  While at Eastern, she participated in The Renaissance Partnership for Improving Teacher Quality, which was endorsed by the US Department of Education. Michelle is a military wife and has traveled, lived, and taught children in many states over the last 15 years.  Prior to being sent to their first post in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she taught fifth grade for six years.  While in San Juan, she tutored ESL students of all ages.  Since returning home to Ohio in 2012, Michelle and her husband Aaron have been busy raising three sons.  In 2019, she became a middle school math guide for Hershey.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her family, hiking and playing sports with her boys, and curling up with a good book.   
Aaron Miller

Aaron Miller

Guide and Physical Expression Specialist

Aaron grew up in Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio and attended John Carroll University and Lake Erie College earning a degree in History. He was a two-sport athlete at JCU playing baseball and basketball. Aaron is in his eighteenth year with the United States Coast Guard as a reserve at Station Cleveland Harbor, Ohio. The past two years he worked part-time at the Middle School teach Humanities and Physical Expression. This year, Aaron is a full-time guide and classroom assistant at the Middle School. He has a family of five. His wife Michelle is a lead guide at the farm. Their oldest son was born in Puerto Rico and their twin sons were born in Burlington, Vermont. Aaron enjoys coaching the Riverside Youth Travel Soccer Team and is a member of the Riverside Riverhawks Youth Football Board. He also sells real estate for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty on the Michael Kaim Team in Mentor, Ohio. Aaron is an ordained minister and conducts wedding ceremonies for family and friends.

Marty Moushey

Marty Moushey

Guide

Bio coming soon 

Huntsburg Staff – Upper School

Valerie Raines

Valerie Raines

College Counselor

Valerie Raines provides educational advising that is focused on college admissions, scholarships and financial aid, and degree completion. Her career encompasses three decades of service in education and philanthropy with positions at Laurel School, Oberlin College, Connecticut College, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, United Way, and KeyBank Foundation. Valerie earned her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University and her master’s degree at Case Western Reserve University, and is president of VRaines Consulting. She enjoys kayaking, biking, jazz, and home improvement projects.
John Buzzard

John Buzzard

Humanities Guide

As an educator for over 26 years, John has served as a teacher, administrator, curriculum director, and teaching coach. He has a love for many subjects, including Mathematics and Science, but is excited to return to teaching in his first love, History and Humanities. John earned a B.A. in LIberal Arts at St. John’s College in Annapolis, and went on to earn a M.Ed. in Administration and Leadership. John is a lifetime practitioner of project-based and student-centered learning. John has lived all over the United States and has camped in, driven through, and explored 46 states. With his wife Kacie and three children, Vivian, Caroline, and Gideon, he is excited to be an active participant in the Hershey Montessori community. In addition to his passion for academic learning, John is also passionate about cooking and games.
Jill Levin

Jill Levin

English Language Learning

Jill has five years of experience teaching in middle and high schools, three of which were at the former Montessori High School at University Circle and two at Ratner Montessori middle school. Jill has been teaching at Lake Erie Ink, A Writing Space for Youth, since 2017 where she is also the program director and has served as a Parent Partner providing practical and emotional support for families and adolescents in crisis at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Dorene Milanowski

Dorene Milanowski

Spanish Guide

With twenty years of experience teaching Spanish, predominantly at the middle and high school level, Dorene returns to Ohio after teaching in Chicago since 2013. Her prior experience teaching Spanish includes five years at Gilmour Academy’s middle and upper school. She spent seven years at Ruffing Montessori School in Rocky River, teaching elementary and middle school grades. In addition to teaching Spanish, she taught English as Second Language for seven years: five in Spain and two in the U.S. Dorene spent two years studying at la Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, outside of Madrid, as well as teaching English in Madrid for five years. She has developed high standards for teaching and engaging her students. Many of her students, who chose to compete in the National Spanish Exam, placed in the highest rankings over multiple years. Dorene holds the Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Training certificate, in addition to a Bachelor degree in Education and a Master degree in Spanish.

Matthew Sorrick

Matthew Sorrick

Science Guide

Matt brings twenty-six years of experience teaching environmental and related sciences to elementary through college level students. Beginning as a middle school science teacher and coach including three years at University School, Matt subsequently became the Director of the Center for Science Education, Hiram College, and coordinator of Environmental Outreach for Hiram College’s Field Stations, where he taught community education programs for elementary through adult learners. Serving as Adjunct Faculty at Hiram, Matt has been student teacher supervisor and mentor of teachers in the science education licensure program. . Matt and his wife, Roxanne, a teacher education professor at Hiram College, have two children who are now in third level education.

Joel Rabe

Joel Rabe

Mathematics Guide and Campus Math Chair

Joel’s sixteen years of experience teaching mathematics (geometry, algebra, calculus and AP calculus) includes three years at Hawken’s middle and high school, three years at The Wellington School, Columbus, and most recently at Cuyahoga Christian Academy. Joel also continually served as advisor and coached basketball, cross country and track and field. He is particularly drawn to project-based learning and fostering positive mindsets about mathematical thinking and collaborating with colleagues for inter-disciplinary learning. Joel and his wife will live on the Huntsburg Campus and are excited to enroll two of their three young children at the Concord Campus.

Doug Cornett

Doug Cornett

English Language Arts Guide

Doug taught English, World History, and Humanities at both middle and high school levels for the past ten years at Northwest Academy middle and high school in Portland, Oregon. He has also been teaching college credit English through Portland State University and began his career teaching writing as adjunct professor for a year there. He has published a middle grade novel, Finally, Something Mysterious, by Knopf Books, and anticipates the sequel to be published in 2022 in addition to many literary magazines and fiction writing honors and prizes. He has a passionate vision for theory, practice, assessment, and growth, for both teaching and learning. Doug is also looking forward to returning to his family roots in Hudson, Ohio, with his wife and two young children.

Huntsburg Staff – Residential
Joy Langmaid

Joy Langmaid

Residential Guide

Joy was raised in Coatesville, Pennsylvania and attended college in Ankeny, Iowa, majoring in Elementary Education.  She met Paul shortly after moving to campus and has greatly enjoyed the journey of living and working in eight states together.  Joy enjoys building connections with children and adolescents since she was a young child.  She is excited by the opportunity to begin creating and establishing relationships with the students at Hershey Montessori School.  Joy and Paul have been house-parenting and living with boarding students together since 2013, and they welcomed their daughter into the lifestyle as well.   Fresh air, sunshine, people and animals are all things that invigorate Joy’s spirit.  When not on campus, Joy can be found somewhere outside with Micaela, gleefully exploring a new playground, park, or swimming pool.
Paul Langmaid

Paul Langmaid

Residential Guide

Paul grew up in a small town in Michigan before gaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Youth Ministry.  After spending six years as a youth pastor, he stepped into the world of being a houseparent where he worked for six years with at-risk youth and adolescents, before joining Hershey Montessori School.  When Paul is not working with youth, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Joy, and daughter, Micaela.  Paul’s interests include riding his motorcycle, woodworking, and training his two golden retrievers, Midas and Lucy.
Sharyn Laux

Sharyn Laux

Residential Guide

Sharyn has studied theater, art, French, philosophy, business and English literature. She holds the AMI Primary certificate and has worked with Primary students for over twelve years. Most recently she has worked in Residential Life, initially as head of the food program and then director of residential life. Sharyn adores her son Avery, God, and her dog Hank. Her passion is running trails.
Whole School Administrative Staff
Julie Loxterman

Julie Loxterman

Development Coordinator

Julie is a Montessori parent, who joined the Hershey community in 2012. As a business owner and a community volunteer, she motivates success in others. Julie graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development. Always looking to bring out the light in whom she meets, Julie finds peace in her daily life practice of yoga. Entering the community first as a volunteer giving energy as an advocate for the ways of Montessori, gave the opportunity for Julie to now take a leadership role as Development Coordinator. Julie, her husband John and their two daughters are proud and excited to continue the family advocacy for Hershey Montessori School.
Deanna Meadows-Shrum

Deanna Meadows-Shrum

Marketing and Communications Director

Deanna joined Hershey’s administrative team in the spring of 2019. A graduate of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with emphasis in Public Relations. Deanna has more than 20 years of experience in related fields of marketing and communication. Her career has taken her from farmlands in the heart of Ohio to the United Nations in New York City. She has built marketing and communication programs for both large and small organizations by tapping her unique passion to “grow things that matter.”  Her most important and revered role is being “mom” to her three children. Helping them grow brings her great joy and reward.  In her downtime, Deanna seeks the outdoors, relishing time on her bike, kayak, sitting around a fire, and being barefoot in the grass.
Shelley C. Morgan

Shelley C. Morgan

Human Resources Administrator

 

 

Lynette Ruple

Lynette Ruple

Director of Finance

Lynette joined Hershey Montessori School in 2014 as Director of Finance. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Bowling Green State University with concentrations in accounting and international business. She also studied at the University of Alcalá in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Lynette has earned the designation as a Certified Public Accountant and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant; she is a member of both the OSCPA and AICPA. Lynette enjoys downhill skiing, golfing and spending as much time as possible being outdoors with her family. She and her husband Jon reside in Geauga County with their two sons. Together, they love being a part of the amazing and inspiring Hershey community.
Lakisha Wingard

Lakisha Wingard

Director of Admissions

Lakisha joined Hershey Montessori School in August 2016 and completed her AMI 6-12 Montessori Orientation (also known as the AMI Montessori 6–12 Assistants Certificate) in May 2021. She graduated from Xavier University with a major in Communications and minor in Gender and Diversity Studies.  Prior to joining Hershey, Lakisha was the regional director for a national nonprofit focused on dropout prevention.  Additionally, Lakisha is a former college admissions professional and has worked in admissions at Macalester College, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Auburn University at Montgomery. The common thread to her professional career has been relationship building and service to students and adults from all life experiences. She is grateful to share the Hershey Montessori School journey with her spouse and three elementary aged children.