After receiving her Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education and her Montessori training from Oklahoma City University in 1988, Ms. Brander began her internship at Undercroft and continued on as a primary guide. She has since participated in the training program at OCU as an evaluator and supervising teacher as well as supervised interns from several other Montessori training centers.
Mrs. Maiko is originally from Japan and came to the United States at age 19 with a desire to learn about other cultures. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts and Montessori Certification in 2001 from Oklahoma City University, she joined Undercroft as a Primary Guide in 2001.
Mrs. Karmazin received her Montessori Training in 1990 after her son’s first year as a primary student at Undercroft and has been at Undercroft ever since. She established a Montessori materials company in 1994 and began presenting workshops shortly thereafter. She became a Teacher Trainer for the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in 2000 and for the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in 2008. She is also actively involved in the International Montessori Council Peace Academy. Lori is originally from New Jersey and a graduate of the University of Southern California. Her hobbies include landscaping, hiking, bird watching and creating natural habitats for animals. She and her husband have been married since 1981 and have a son an Undercroft alumni who is now an Aerospace Engineer.
Ms. Mia is a graduate of Bishop Kelley High School and the University of Tulsa and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She came to Undercroft in 1998 and worked in the nap room and after care program for 2 years before becoming a primary assistant in 2000. She received her primary training at the Houston Montessori Center in 2002 and has worked at Undercroft as a primary guide since 2003.
Ms. Kate grew up in Tulsa and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1999. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography. In 2004, she began her career at Undercroft as a primary assistant. Kate began her guide training at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado and received her Early Childhood Certification in 2007. In 2012, she earned a Master’s of Education Degree with an emphasis in Montessori Education. Kate is married and she enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, reading, and volunteering with local animal shelters.
Mrs. Barbara first came to Undercroft as a parent in 2011 when her daughter was 3 years old. She fell in love with the school and method and began serving as a substitute. In 2012, she began her primary training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies, and completed her requirements for primary certification in 2013. Barbara received her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in 2004, and worked in Tulsa as a structural engineer for 7 years before joining the Undercroft staff. She lives in midtown with her husband and has 3 children.
Terriann graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1996 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and taught Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten in private and public schools in Dallas, Texas. She came to Undercroft in 2006 as a prospective parent, looking for an alternative to traditional education for her son. Terriann admits she knew very little about the Montessori method and was hesitant, but says the 30 minute classroom observation changed their lives and her career. Her son began his Kindergarten year that fall and their daughter began her first year in primary in 2007. Ms. Terriann began working at Undercroft in 2007 and, in 2009, completed her primary guide certification.
Lynnah began her relationship with Undercroft in 1990 at the age of four and never left. During her high school years, she worked for Undercroft’s after care program and ‘fell in love’ with the method and the children and decided to pursue a career in Montessori education. She attended the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado, in 2006. Lynnah worked her first five years as a co-guide with Katy Brander, who was her guide at four years of age.
Lower Elementary Guides
Lisa ‘Mrs. G’ Goldfarb happily admits she has spent nearly ‘half her life’ at Undercroft. She began in 1983 as a parent and as the part-time Art teacher. During a move to New Jersey, she added AMS Certification for ages 3-6 to her Bachelor’s in Art Education, and in 1985 returned to Tulsa (and to Undercroft) and increased her Certification to include ages 6-9. She is now a lower elementary Guide. Lisa and her husband have 2 children, both UMS alumni; a daughter-in-law (Kelly, a UMS Guide) and two granddaughters. Last but not least, they share their home with their beloved Lab.
Mrs. Langley has been at Undercroft since 1997. Her career in education started when she graduated from Northeastern State University with a degree in Speech Pathology, after which she earned a teaching certificate for working with children with learning disabilities. Traci received her lower elementary Montessori certification from Houston Montessori Training Center in 1998. Traci’s love of nature and the outdoors aligns nicely with Montessori philosophy. She enjoys spending time outdoors, whether working in her flower beds or walking around a car show. Traci also loves many different games and sports. Traci married her husband in 1995 and they live in Claremore with two beautiful children, both of whom currently attend Undercroft.
Born and raised in Tulsa, Barbara graduated from Bishop Kelley High School before moving to Colorado to enjoy living in the mountains of Aspen. She attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and graduated in 1985 with a degree in Sociology. While raising her two children, Barbara operated a home daycare in New Hampshire for 10 years before returning to Tulsa in 1998. Ms. Barbara has been teaching at Undercroft since 1999 and received her Montessori lower elementary certification from the Houston Montessori Training Center in 2000. Barbara says she was drawn to the Montessori method because of its peace curriculum and the desire to help children achieve a sense of inner peace.
Mrs. Massey began working at Undercroft in 2003. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Oklahoma State University and received her lower elementary Montessori certification from the Dallas Montessori Teacher Education Program in 2005. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, both of whom attend Undercroft.
Kelly has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Oklahoma and earned her lower elementary Montessori certification from the Dallas Montessori Teacher Education Program in 2005. Kelly has been at Undercroft since 2004. As she is the daughter-in-law of UMS guide, Lisa Goldfarb, her students continue to call her ‘Mrs. Huebner.’ Kelly and her husband (who is a UMS alumnus), have been married since 2005 and have two daughters, one of whom is now an Undercroft primary student.
Tracy Chappelle – Reading Specialist & Lower Elementary Assistant
Tracy graduated from the University of Alabama with an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in Developmental Studies, which allowed her to combine her interests in human development, psychology and special education. She literally followed her children to Undercroft, in true Montessori fashion! Sheridan is an Undercroft graduate and is currently at Union High School. Davis is starting his middle school adventure at Undercroft. Tracy has been fortunate to assist in every lower el classroom, and was inspired to complete her training and certification as an Academic Language Therapist. In 2013-2014, Tracy is serving as our Reading Specialist three days a week, providing extra support through tutoring for early readers as needed. She continues to assist in a lower elementary class the other two days each week.
Upper Elementary Guides
Mr. Kalon, often referred to as ‘Mr. K’, is originally from Bartlesville, OK. He graduated from Bartlesville High School in 1998. He attended Oklahoma State University and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, with minors in Psychology, Sociology and Art History, in 2004. Ms. Amanda (upper elementary guide) introduced him to Montessori education and, after one day of shadowing, he knew there was something special happening at Undercroft and decided to pursue an unexpected life-path. Mr. Kalon began working at Undercroft in April, 2007 as an assistant in an upper elementary class. He now serves as an upper elementary guide after receiving his Elementary I & II certifications from The Montessori Education Center of the Rockies, in Boulder, Colorado, in 2010. He received graduate credit in the area of early childhood development through the University of Colorado during his Montessori training as well. Mr. Kalon enjoys creating artwork, writing, hiking and backpacking, and enjoys working with students in these areas during his summer school sessions.
Amanda attended the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a professional emphasis in printmaking. She worked as an artist-in-residence for the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa and taught art lessons to at-risk youth in the Tulsa area. Through this work, she fell in love with teaching. Ms. Amanda began working at Undercroft in August, 2005, as an assistant and says she connected right away with the Montessori philosophy. She received her Elementary I and II certification from the Houston Montessori Training Center in 2006 and took over her own upper elementary classroom in August, 2007. Amanda and her husband met in art school and have been married since October, 2003. He is the manager of the Herman and Kate Kaiser Library. They share their home with their 3 cats.
Anita Hundley – Upper Elementary Intern
Anita Hundley received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1995 from Oral Roberts University. After spending 13 years in the information technology field, Anita returned to her first calling, education. She began Montessori training in November 2012 through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies (CGMS), pursuing her Elementary I & II certification. She joined Ms. Amanda as an intern in August 2013. Anita and her husband have one son who is a primary student at Undercroft. In addition to her ongoing interest in information technology, Anita also enjoys crochet, gardening, and reading.
Middle School Guides
Laura Sesso came to Undercroft in 1998 when her son 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 graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s of Science degree, majoring in secondary education. She holds a state teaching credential and 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 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.
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 Montessori certification in 2014. Donna and her husband moved to Tulsa when he accepted the position of Executive Director of the Tulsa Children’s Museum. In Portland, he was the VP of Exhibits at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. They have one son who 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.
Mary Fox – Learning Specialist
Mary Fox came to Undercroft in 2011 with 29 years of teaching experience. She has served students with special education needs and differing learning styles at Jenks Public Schools since 1985. She is a native Tulsan but has also lived in Texas and California. She earned her undergraduate degree in elementary and special education at Texas Christian University and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Tulsa. She loves working with the students, staff and parents at Undercroft to ensure every student is successful.
Debbie French – Art Specialist
Ms. French has been part of the Undercroft community since 1996. Originally from Kentucky, she graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and a minor in Art. After staying home to raise her two children she returned to school to specialize in Learning Disabled and Early Childhood Education. Debbie taught L.D. classes for 3 years in the Broken Arrow school district, where she was named ‘Teacher of the Year.’ She came to Undercroft in 1996 as an upper elementary classroom assistant and began developing an art program in the afternoons and summers until she became our art specialist in 1999. During a brief break from Undercroft, Debbie also worked in the Ceramics Department and the University of Tulsa. She calls her years at UMS ‘extraordinary.’
Teresa Mossburg – Music Specialist
Mrs. Teresa Mossburg believes music is a gift to us all and it is meant to be shared with joy. She returned to Undercroft in 2010 as music specialist after adopting her beautiful two children. While previously at Undercroft (from 1996-2003), Teresa studied the Montessori method and truly respects and integrates the methodology. Teresa graduated cum laude from the University of Tulsa in 1984 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. As a child, she played the piano and joined the school band in 6th grade. While at the university, she majored in Instrumental Music (emphasis on trumpet with a minor in voice and piano). Teresa has been a music teacher for grades pre-k – 12 in and around the Tulsa area since 1984. She is a member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association and has enjoyed various opportunities to study and use the Orff method and the Kodaly music method. She has also taught private piano lessons since 1994.
Justin Kasparek – Steel Drums and After School Band
Mr. Justin’s first experience at Undercroft was as a primary student! He is a life-long musician with undergraduate training in music at the University of Tulsa and Tulsa Community College. He came to Undercroft as a steel drums specialist in 2008 after receiving training through Frank Leto. A life-long musician, Justin has taught private guitar lessons and been involved in various musical projects in Tulsa for several years. He now leads our Steel Drum and Rock Band programs and provides after school guitar lessons.
Carolyn Flippo – Espanol
Ms. Flippo has been at Undercroft since 1990. After residing in South America for 9 years, she returned to the U.S. and began as an upper elementary assistant and Spanish teacher. She moved abroad to Norway, from 1994-1996 and returned to UMS to teach Spanish to the lower elementary through middle school levels. She made a change to middle school assistant in 2005 and in 2009 transitioned back into the role of Spanish teacher. Senorita Flippo now teaches conversational Spanish to our primary, lower elementary and middle school students.
Renee Smith – Dyslexia Specialist
Renee Smith, otherwise known as Ms. Renee, first came to Undercroft in 1997. She returned in 2005 and has continued her role as an independent Dyslexia Specialist and Certified Alphabetic Phonics Academic Language Therapist to serve the needs of students at Undercroft. Her first love and passion (at age 8) was to teach children. She majored in Elementary Education at Oklahoma University, holds a BSN from The University of Tulsa, and completed her Dyslexia Training in 1995 through the Payne Education Center in Oklahoma City. “Being able to unlock the keys to reading, writing and spelling for a struggling child literally makes me do the happy dance. It’s always such a joy to see them learn and gain confidence in their abilities.” Miss Renee and her husband are native Tulsans, have been married 35 years, and have 4 children.
Molly Berger – Speech and Language Pathologist
Molly was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1975, she attended the University of Kansas and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1979. In 1981, she completed her Master’s Degree in Speech/Language Pathology. She has worked as a Speech/Language Pathologist for 28 years in public and private schools. She has served as Speech and Language Pathologist for the Undercroft community since 2000. Molly and her husband, Sheldon, have been married for 30 years and have two children, one of whom is a UMS alumnus.
Jennifer Ramp – After Care and Nap Room
Mrs. Jennifer began working at Undercroft in the fall of 2008 after living in Tulsa just a few days. She has held many exciting jobs including flight attendant and flight attendant instructor for an international airline and one year with VISTA volunteers as a low-income housing community builder in St. Paul, MN. She currently serves as our nap room specialist and primary after care assistant.
Tracy Chappelle – Reading Specialist & Lower Elementary Assistant
Tracy graduated from the University of Alabama with an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in Developmental Studies, which allowed her to combine her interests in human development, psychology and special education. She literally followed her children to Undercroft, in true Montessori fashion! Her daughter graduated from UMS in 2011 and currently attends Union High School. Her son will graduate UMS in 2015. Tracy has been fortunate to assist in every lower elementary classroom, and was inspired to complete her training and certification as an Academic Language Therapist. Tracy is serving as our Reading Specialist providing extra support through tutoring for early readers as needed. She continues to assist in a lower elementary class.
Kelsea began working at Undercroft in 2012 as an upper elementary assistant. She developed an interest in education through her experience as an assistant art director at The Tulsa Girls Art School and in the education department at the Philbrook Museum in their education department. Kelsea was born and raised in Tulsa and was familiar with Undercroft through her little sister, who attended through middle school. She is currently working to complete her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.