Teresa Shippen teaches one of our Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten classes. 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.
Adam Mankoski teaches one of our Transitional/Kindergarten classes. Adam joined our team for the 2022-2023 school year, more on Adam coming soon!
April Pearce teaches one of our two Upper Elementary (4/5/6) clsses. 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.
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.
Kim Powers teaches Lower Elementary, grades 1, 2, and 3.. She previously taught at Dixon Montessori Charter School for many years, working with students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. She attended a Montessori elementary school as a child and holds the Montessori method and philosophy near and dear to her heart. Kim graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Ancient History, from UC Santa Barbara with her Master in Education and from Sacramento Teacher College with her Montessori Certificate in 3-6 year old education. Some of Kim previous experiences have taught her how to do things like repair sprinkler systems, replace a garbage disposal or a toilet, run a forklift and know the difference between a jointer and a thickness planer. Her country home is slowly turning into a small farm with chickens, cows, goats, dogs and a cat. She enjoys spending quiet time with the animals, baking, sewing and planning birthday parties.
Jessi Lusardi teaches Upper Elementary, grades 4th, 5th and 6th. Prior to Sherwood, she was the Science and Outdoor Education teacher at Meridian Elementary School in Sutter County, writing an outdoor education curriculum for K-8th grades. Ms. Jessi received her master's degree in Education Policy and Southeast Asian Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at CSU, Chico. She has over 8 years of teaching experience, including 2 years of teaching as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. She lives in Chico with her daughter and loves to hike, travel, and garden.
Michael Whittemore is our 7th & 8th grade teacher. You may know Michael from his involvement in the Chico music and art scene. Michael joined us an instructional aide and has been earning his credential through the California State University at Chico. More on Michael coming soon!
Happy Yasko My name is Happy and I hold teaching credentials in both Special Education and Multiple Subjects. Prior to teaching here at Sherwood Montessori, I was the Ed Specialist for the 6th grade inclusion class at Palermo Middle School. Before that I taught special ed at Youth for Change in Paradise. It was there that I found my role in the world of education. A professor of mine said it best when she said, “you didn’t find
Special Ed, it found you”. I have found that all can learn, we just need to find the language that makes that possible. My favorite quote from a student is, “You tricked us into learning Mr, Happy”. I am an adventurer by nature. I have gone on a mission trip to the indigenous people of Costa Rica in the rainforest and have also been on 2 trips to Haiti. I am honored to be called a member of the staff here at Sherwood Montessori School.
Anne Adams is one of our Lower Elementary teachers (1st/2nd/3rd). Anne is also an accomplished musician and writer. In her own words: When I was a student, my teachers often said, “You should become a teacher!” and I thought to myself (with all due respect), “What do they know? They’ve always been teachers!” and I set out to find out what else I could be.
After college, I moved to Portland, Oregon and became a copy clerk, a soda jerk, a “professional” musician inasmuch as that’s possible, a music analyst for a commercial database, an ad-writer, a copy-editor, a fact-checker, a describer of diamond rings and wedding cakes, a volunteer organizer of an all-ages music festival, a stop-motion animation movie crew member, a ukulele radio jingle composer, and the city’s only midnight fry-cart dinosaur fortuneteller. My last stop was a six-year sojourn as an arts and theater critic, ‘til finally I decided, “I’ve explored enough. It’s time, after all, to teach.”
I chose to train in Montessori pedagogy because, when practiced as intended, it’s limitless. Maria Montessori calls elementary education “Cosmic Education” because 6-12-year-olds’ appetite for new information and ideas is so vast. Draw a kid’s attention to anything specific, and they’ll impulsively zoom out to see the “big picture” that surrounds it. They earnestly want to know it all, because they’re building a worldview. I can appreciate that, and I can help! I share the few things I know, and I show them how to find out more.
I also appreciate the values promoted by this hundred-year-old teaching tradition—particularly cooperation, courtesy, philosophy, patience, and gratitude. I strive daily toward meeting these ideals myself, and I’m committed to showing students these vital ways of being.
Prior to joining the Sherwood team, I taught grades K-6 in a rural public school in an unincorporated region east of Redding. I’m exhilarated by this new opportunity to work within a larger group of more experienced colleagues and a more diverse group of students.
Hey...maybe that’s why they always told me I should be a teacher.
Anyway, here I am.
Our Administrative Staff
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, attended Sherwood Montessori, which was great motivation to come to work each day with the goal of creating a space where authentic Montessori education can thrive. Both boys now attend Inspire High School with many of the friends they made at Sherwood. In her time off, she enjoys camping with her family and exploring the natural world.
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 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, 21, currently attending UC Riverside and son, Elias, 18, currently attending UC Santa Cruz. Vanessa enjoys spending time with her two kids, coffee, and watching movies, especially action movies. She hopes you stop in and say hello!