Our Team

Teresa ShippenTeresa 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.
AdamAdam 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.

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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.




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.

portrait of our wonderful teacher michael whittemore
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!
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Anne Adams 
Anne is an experienced Montessori public school teacher with high expectations who's eager to collaborate with parents to empower students to succeed. She holds an Elementary Teaching credential in AMI (Association Montessori Internationale), the premier Montessori training organization that maintains a direct line to the original working philosophies of Maria Montessori.
She also holds a Master's degree in Education from Loyola University.
Anne has written more than 30 dedicated songs and "jingles" (including the Sherwood School Song) for her elementary classroom, in order to help inspire students' wordplay and imagination, remind them of behavioral expectations, help them memorize and celebrate core concepts in math and science, and perhaps most importantly, model creativity in a way that empowers students to learn to entertain themselves. In 2023, she was a featured presenter at the National AMI-EAA (Elementary Alumni Association) conference, teaching other Montessori teachers her repertoire of song.
Anne has taught at Sherwood for three years, and remains dedicated to refining and enriching her teaching practice.

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, 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, 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 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!