Middle School

Laura Sesso

Laura Sesso – Middle School Guide

Laura Sesso first came to Undercroft in 1998 when her son, Stephen, was three years old. She served as a room parent, PTA Co-Chair and Undercroft board member before beginning her Montessori training and joining the staff as the Middle School Guide in 2005. Mrs. Sesso received her AMS Secondary I certification from Houston Montessori Center. Laura attended the University of Oklahoma and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art History and a Master of Library & Information Studies. She has taught in Tulsa area schools since 1993. She credits the Montessori Philosophy and her association with Undercroft for igniting her passion for helping youth build confidence in their abilities and become independent life-long learners.


Jessica Helms – Middle School Guide

Jessica Helms graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s of Science degree, majoring in secondary education. She holds a state teaching credential and has taught high school science for three years in the  public school system. Since first learning about Montessori education in undergraduate school, Jessica hoped for an opportunity to pursue Montessori education. She was attracted by the principles that facilitate self-initiated learning, and convinced that the Montessori approach to education provides the best means to instill curiosity and love of learning in her students. Jessica completed her secondary training at the Houston Montessori Center and certification as a Montessori guide in 2011.

Jessica Helms
Donna Vandiver 2012

Donna Vandiver – Middle School Intern

Donna Vandiver joined the Undercroft middle school team in 2012, bringing over 20 years of teaching experience in both formal and informal education. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Middle School Education from the University of Missouri and a Master’s of Science in Library and Media Science from Portland State University. She currently holds state teaching licenses in both Missouri and Oregon. In 2013, Donna started her Montessori Secondary I Training through Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program in Cincinnati, Ohio. She will complete her training and become Montessori certified during the Summer of 2014. Donna and her husband Raymond moved to Tulsa when he accepted the position of Executive Director of the Tulsa Children’s Museum. In Portland, Ray was the VP of Exhibits at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. They have one son, Aaron, and he attends Oregon State University and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Donna is excited to be part of the Undercroft community and looks forward to many years of learning and working with the UMS middle school students and program.