Countryside Montessori High School
Teaching Staff Biographies
2012-2013 School Year
I arrived in North Carolina in June 2008, after a 25 year career teaching Advanced Placement English in Rochester, Michigan. I was born and raised in Blacksburg, VA; I am excited to be back south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I am married to Phillip, have one daughter Jenn, and a remarkable granddaughter, Elise. I love to scuba dive, travel and read, and was more than happy last year to sell my snow skis. I am looking forward to preparing my newest students for success at Countryside Montessori High School.
Lindsay Van Loon:
A native of Michigan, I fled my small hometown early on and lived in many places in the U.S. and abroad before settling on Charlotte. After receiving my degree in English and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame in 2001, I went to teach English literature at the American School in Mexico City, Mexico. I completed my Master’s degree in Humanities at the University of Chicago in 2004 and returned to teach at the American School once again. Eventually I ended up at the Culver Academies in Indiana, where I had the opportunity to teach Humanities for three years and experience the boarding school lifestyle. I am excited to be part of the Countryside family. I am a voracious reader and traveler, and I am interested in just about everything the world has to offer, so I will refrain from listing it all here. Most of all, I love to learn, and I love to facilitate learning for my students. I am happiest when working with my students, who teach me more every day.
My wife and I moved to Charlotte in 1993 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our adult son and daughter soon followed. We now enjoy their families including five grandchildren living in the Charlotte area. I have seven years teaching experience with a 35 year industry career between years six and seven. I'm having fun being back teaching and being with the students.
When the weather is nice, you can find me outside either riding my bike or playing ultimate Frisbee. As a multisport athlete, I have competed in an Ironman Triathlon and was a member of Team USA during the 2008 Duathlon World Championships in Geel, Belgium. When the weather is not nice, I am probably sitting by the window, waiting for it to clear up. Coming from an engineering background, I hope to emphasize the application and sound fundamentals of upper level mathematics. I received a bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering from the University of Georgia and am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Teaching from UNC Charlotte.
I have a degree in Zoology from Duke University and attended Winston-Salem State University to become a certified science teacher. I've taught for 10 years on the middle and high school level. I've been married to my wonderful husband for 20 years. We have two children to keep us busy. I spent 12 years as an at home mom and substitute teacher. I'm delighted to be back in my own classroom at Countryside. When I have free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, solving puzzles and going for long walks.
I grew up in different parts of the world: Thailand, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I came to the United States as a graduate student in Physics at Purdue University. After getting my Ph.D. in 1995, I was a research associate for two years at Michigan State University (MSU). For the next two years I was an education outreach coordinator for a materials research center supported by National Science Foundation at MSU. Then I took a short break from work after I had my son, Linus. I have been teaching physics part time as a lecturer since he was a toddler. I taught at California State University Northridge for four and half years before moving to Charlotte in 2005. I am currently also teaching at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. My hobbies include reading, crafts and gardening. As a graduate student, I was a counselor in a summer science camp for junior high school girls. I also taught physics to middle school students for summer camp for gifted students at Purdue University. While I was at MSU, I started a summer science camp, Sensing Our World, for junior high school students. I enjoy teaching science to students. I feel rewarded when I am able to generate excitement and interest in science in young minds.
Ideation is my strength and learning is my passion. I get a thrill from trying new things, listening to others and helping others learn. My passion was ignited during my early childhood. In Ohio, I grew up in a rural environment and was able to attend Montessori school. In 1996 I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in from Ohio Dominican College as well as my teaching license. I immediately started teaching in 1996, in 2001 I earned my National Board Certified Teacher status, and in 2002 I published the first version of my science activity book. I enjoy sharing my passion for learning with my family: Tom- wonderful husband, handyman, and teacher, Kate- super polite, gorgeous, and creative 7 year old, and Ellie- my daredevil, headstrong, and beautiful 3 year old. I will play volleyball at any opportunity, I enjoy participating in sprint-triathlons, I love to watch movies and read, and I collect glass objects.
When I arrived in this country sixteen years ago I didn’t realize to what extent my life would change. I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia; obtained a degree in Elementary Education and English; got married very young and worked for Hyundai Corporation for 10 years. Ever since my arrival in Charlotte, I have been connected with education. I had the opportunity to teach at a private school in Charlotte for three years until my first son was born. The joy of having a son after many years of marriage changed my perspective about life and concentrated on learning more about human behavior. I went to UNCC and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and French in 2010. I joined Countryside Montessori last year and taught Spanish to Countryside’s younger minds, 1st to 3rd level. Besides teaching Spanish, I translate websites from English into Spanish. I enjoy traveling as much as possible, running and taking care of my two sons as well.
I earned my B.A. in International Business from Juniata College and spent twelve years in the business world in international logistics and trade. A mid career change to teaching twelve years ago allowed me to share my passion for the Humanities, particularly History and Political Science. The unique world of Montessori education allowed me to explore teaching opportunities available to few educators, teaching a wide age range of subjects from fourth grade through high school. After one year of teaching, I received my Montessori certificate of adolescent education from the Hershey School. I have completed my Masters course work in history at NCSU and plan on finishing my degree here in Charlotte. While not teaching, planning for teaching, researching and reading for teaching, I enjoy training for triathlons, fly fishing, camping and most outdoor activities.
I grew up in Pennsylvania and taught for several years at the very high school where I had been a student. Wanting to expand my horizons, I accepted an opportunity to teach at a university in Nairobi, Kenya. The experience inspired me to pursue a PhD in Public Policy, which I am currently working on at UNC Charlotte. I have a Bachelor’s degree in government from William and Mary and a Master’s of Education from Penn State. I have taught in a wide variety of settings, but I think the Montessori approach opens the doors to opportunities in teaching and learning I have not experienced in my past positions. I enjoy the outdoors and traveling; one of my goals is to run a marathon on each continent (but I’ll probably skip Antarctica).
I was born and raised in Syracuse, New York and earned my Bachelors of Fine Arts from East Carolina University in Musical Theater in 2005. After college I became a performer in Walt Disney World’s “High School Musical” and “Playhouse Disney Live” in Orlando, Florida. I have performed professionally throughout the United States and am a member of the Actors Equity Association. After moving to Charlotte in 2008, I was a lead soloist in Charlotte’s own Carolina Voices “Singing Christmas Tree.” In my spare time I teach private voice, piano and acting lessons and enjoy performing in live theater. My husband and I love traveling and caring for our two cocker spaniels.