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.
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.
Lori Karmazin – Primary Level Coordinator
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.
Kelsea Hetherwood – Primary Intern
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 completed her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and is currently working toward her Montessori primary certification.
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.
Necia McClendon – Primary Intern
Necia graduated from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education. She taught kindergarten and first grade in both public and private schools for nine years. Her brother and sister-in-law have sung praises over the last several years about the Undercroft Montessori School experience with their children. Intrigued by Montessori education, Necia decided to pursue a primary position at Undercroft, beginning in the Fall of 2018. She began her training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in June of 2018 and is currently working toward her Montessori primary 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.
Ms. Rachel is a graduate of Jenks High School and the University of Arkansas and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. While attending the University of Arkansas, Ms. Rachel played soccer for the Lady Razorbacks. She began training for Montessori primary certification at the Center for Guided Montessori Studies in 2014, where our own Lori Karmazin was her instruction guide (IG) and field consultant. She started working at Undercroft as a substitute in 2013, and completed her internship at Undercroft. Ms. Rachel served as the nap room and after care specialist during the 2015-2016 school year and completed requirements for her Montessori primary certification in the spring of 2016. Ms. Rachel still enjoys playing soccer and being outdoors.
Lower Elementary Guides
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.
Emily Caine – Lower Elementary Intern
Emily graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2013 with a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. Prior to joining the Undercroft community, she taught kindergarten for three years in the Tulsa area. Emily enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her dog, friends & family. She loves traveling and especially enjoys spending time in the mountains hiking or skiing. Emily was born and raised in Tulsa, where she still currently resides, and has been a member of the Undercroft community since 2016.
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. Kelly.’ Kelly and her husband (who is a UMS alumnus), have been married since 2005 and have two daughters, both attend Undercroft as primary students.
Holly Vicari – Lower Elementary Intern
Holly has her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Science Education from Northeastern State University. During her Master’s program she focused on outdoor education and inquiry-based learning. She also took part in a teacher education program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She has a 2-year old daughter and enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her home state of Indiana. This summer Holly began her Montessori Elementary I & II Training and Certification through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.
Upper Elementary Guides
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 an upper elementary student at Undercroft. In addition to her ongoing interest in information technology, Anita also enjoys crochet, gardening, and reading.
Gretchen Sterba attended undergraduate and graduate school in Pittsburgh, PA. Her undergrad studies focused on ecology, working in the woods close by, the eco-regions of Costa Rica, and the wetlands of New Jersey. Through these experiences, she fell in love with hands-on learning. After graduating with a B.A. in Anthropology and concentrations in Chemistry and Ecology, she traveled and camped around the U.S., working with the U.S. Forest Service and various National Parks. A few years after completing her M.S. in Environmental Science and Management from Duquesne University, she decided to follow her passion of working with children and the natural world. She started working at a small Montessori school up the country road from her home in Ithaca, NY. She loved the focus on guide preparation and the hands-on learning Montessori provides each child. She joined Undercroft in 2017 after completing her Montessori Elementary I and II training through the CGMS. Two of her three children were enrolled at Undercroft that same year. She is happy to have found her way to Tulsa with her spouse, three children, and her extended family!
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 at the Central Library in downtown Tulsa. They share their home with their 3 cats.
Barbara Stuart – Upper Elementary Intern
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.
Middle School Guides
Laura Faudree 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. Laura received her AMS Secondary I certification from Houston Montessori Center, 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.
Annie Ferris – Art Specialist
Annie grew up in Tulsa and graduated from Cascia Hall Preparatory School in 1996. She attended the University of Oklahoma and went on to receive a Bachelors of Art in the field of Psychology with a minor in Fine Art. Annie has worked in the arts in various capacities over the course of her career, including both as a professional artist and as the owner of MAKE : Modern Art for Kiddos Everywhere, which provides classes and camps designed with creative and engaging curriculum inspired by history, music, art, culture, and social issues to inspire and motivate youth. Annie and her husband have a daughter who has been enrolled at Undercroft since 2013 and joined the staff as art specialist in 2018.
Teresa Mossburg – Primary 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.
Michelle McCarver – Lower Elementary Music Specialist
Michelle McCarver has her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and Master’s degree from Louisiana State University, both in Music Education. She has taught kindergarten through fifth grade music for the last ten years in Oklahoma in both public and private school settings. She has completed additional training in both the Kodaly method and the Orff Schulwerk approach. In 2013 she attended the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria for more authentic training in this music education philosophy. She is now presenting on the state and national level for music teachers at Orff Schulwerk workshops, conferences, and certification courses. Her primary musical instrument is the oboe, which she plays in her church orchestra. Her life outside of the wonderful world of music, includes her husband of 12 years and their precious 1 year old baby boy.
Mike Grimes – Steel Drums, Rock Band, after school Jazz Band
Mike Grimes comes to Undercroft with 36 years of music experience, including professional work in song writing, performing and teaching. He was born and raised in Mississippi, just south of Memphis. His interest in music began at the age of 5, with his first instrument, the accordion. He was hooked and went on to play piano, trumpet, bass, guitar and drums. His core training in classical and jazz styles, led to full music scholarships at NWCJ and Delta State University. Mike moved to Oklahoma in 1987 and has taught children and adults both theory and the love of playing music. In addition to teaching music at Undercroft, Mike teaches drumline and guitar at Bishop Kelley.
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, 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.
Tracy Chappelle – Certified Academic Language Therapist
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. Her children attended Undercroft from Primary through Middle School. Since 2006, Tracy has served as our Lower Elementary Assistant and since 2013 serves as our Certified Academic Language Therapist, providing intervention to early readers.
Baxter Smith – Physical Education Baxter received his Bachelor’s degree in business from Louisiana State University. His love for physical activity is what fuels him to teach the students the benefits of fitness and teamwork, while building confidence in learning new skills. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys anything that involves the great outdoors and spending time with his new wife, a UMS alumna, and their golden retriever, Rosie. Andrea Sawyers – Nap Room and Primary After Care Specialist/Facilities Assistant
Anna Dodgen – Upper Elementary Assistant and After Care Specialist
Rikesha Lewis – Nap Room and After Care Specialist