Our Team

Teresa ShippenTeresa Shippen teaches our Kindergarten class. Teresa began her teaching career in Live Oak, California working at a three room school out in the orchards. She taught 3-4th grades for eight years, and loved being a part of the community of Live Oak. Teresa left this job to be a stay-at-home mom for her two young children. During the thirteen years that she stayed home she had a third child. Jacob, her oldest, currently attends Chico State and will be graduating this Spring (2016). Jessica is currently a sophomore at the University of Oregon in Eugene and Peter, her youngest is currently 13. Teresa began her path back into teaching Kindergarten at Chico Montessori, a then private school in town. Her Montessori training was a great fit for the way she felt education should be.


 

Eric ParishEric Parish teaches one of our three Lower Elementary (1/2/3) classes. Eric came to Sherwood Montessori in January 2010. Prior to that he was teaching 4th grade at Dunbar Elementary in the Sonoma Unified School District and was an aide at River Montessori in Petaluma. Eric received his Masters in Education and Montessori training at Endicott College.  His multiple-subject teaching credential  was earned at Sonoma State University. Eric loves to play and coach soccer. He has played professionally and even played and lived a few years in the Netherlands. Eric now lives in Chico with his wife Tanya, his eight year old son Fletcher and five year old daughter Anouk.


 
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April Pearce teaches oe of our three Lower Elementary (1/2/3) classes. She entered the Sherwood community in the 2016-2017 school year, substituting in every class and acting as a resource for some of the teachers, while working on her Masters in Education. April jumped at the chance to lead a classroom at Sherwood because she loves living in Chico and she is an avid Montessorian who believes in free, quality education. She is continuing to pursue her degree while teaching. April has a Bachelor of Arts in Lingusitics and a TESOL certificate from Chico State, in addition to AMS Early Childhood and Elementary I-II credentials from Montessori Teacher Education Center in the Bay Area.  She has eight years of experience teaching in Montessori classrooms, preschool through sixth grade.  Her hobbies include sailing, going to concerts, making piñatas, and walking with her dog Rusty Bones.

 
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Marlo Knox teaches one of our three Lower Elementary (1/2/3) classes. Marlo Knox has more than 23 years of teaching experience. She has earned a Liberal Arts degree with an emphasis in Sociology, a Masters in the Art of Teaching, a Bilingual, Cross-Cultural Language and Academic certificate for teaching in Spanish in California, and a Montessori Lower Elementary diploma. She considers her religious freedom, her role as mother, and her family to be her passion and inspiration.


 
 
 

DebbieDeborah Zimmerman teaches one of our two Upper Elementary (4/5/6) classes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sheng Vang teaches one of our two Upper Elementary (4/5/6) clsses. Sheng has been in education for 13 years. Within those 13 years, she has been a Bilingual Liaison, After School Enrichment Teacher, Classroom Teacher, Paraprofessional, and a After School Coordinator and Curriculum Developer. She received her Bachelors degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Child Development from Chico State. Sheng says she loves being in education because you never stop learning and growing! During her free time, she enjoys gardening, crafting, and spending time with her three boys and husband.

 
 
 
  

Falyn BeshwateFalyn Beshwate Falyn Beshwate is our 7th/8th grade teacher. She comes to us with 5 years of teaching experience, 3 of which were working with middle school students. She received her BA in Ceramics from San Francisco State University, moved to Chico for a few years, then spent a year at University of Florida studying ceramics before living in Savannah, Georgia for another year. After she got tired of the humid weather in the South, she moved back to Chico. There she pursued her MA Ed and multiple subject teaching credential concurrently thought the Rural Teacher Residency Program. When Falyn isn't teaching she is adventuring outdoors with her husband Matthew. She likes costuming and primitive camping (Ranger Corps!), CrossFit, eating, traveling, hedge-witchery and working on restoring her 1972 VW Super Beetle, "Old Blue".


YanaIoanna Lekkakou teaches our Middle School this year. Ioanna (or Yana) started her teaching carrier in 1999 back in Greece, her home country. She taught 1st-6th grades for eight years, and then moved to the United States and started teaching K-12. She holds a BA in Education, a MA in Teaching Language and a PhD in Theater in Education issued by the National University of Athens, Greece. She taught Modern and Ancient Greek at the Sacramento State University, and the Sacramento City College, she trained language teachers, presented papers in several national World Languages Conventions and designed immersion language curricula. Ioanna has been working for charter and public schools in CA since 2007. She strongly believes the Montessori Education represents the most successful way to educate the whole child. During her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, spending time with her family, translating literature from French, and working on her second poetry book.


 
 
 
 


Our Administrative Staff

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Michelle Yezbick is our School Director. She taught in Montessori classrooms for thirteen years before becoming Sherwood's first Director when the school opened in 2010. Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her Master of Arts in Language and Literacy Development from San Francisco State University. Michelle's sons, Ari and George, attend Sherwood Montessori, which is great motivation to come to work each day with the goal of creating a space where authentic Montessori education can thrive. In her time off, she enjoys camping with her family and exploring the natural world. 


 
 
Heather Fisher, Administrative Assistant

Heather Fisher is our Administrative Assistant. She has been with Sherwood Montessori since it's inception and has enjoyed watching it grow into a exemplary Montessori charter school. Heather received her Bachelor of Science degree from Humboldt State University. She has lived in various states before settling in Chico. Her passion for Montessori started when her oldest daughter attended a Montessori pre-school in Minnesota.  Prior to Sherwood Montessori, Heather served as the Director of a small Montessori elementary school.  All four of her daughters attended Sherwood and attributed their success to the teachers and friends they had at the school.

 
 
 
 
Vanessa
Vanessa Aripez is the Office Manager. She has been with Sherwood Montessori since 2016.  Prior to Sherwood Montessori she lived in Temecula CA and worked for Temecula Unified School District for 7 years. Vanessa is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English. She has a daughter, Debora, 18, and son, Elias, 15. Vanessa enjoys spending time with her two kids, coffee, and watching movies, especially action movies. She hopes you stop in and say hello!