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Sarah Anne came to our Preschool as a parent and continued her relationship, first as a substitute and then, in 2005, as a teacher. Her degree is in Early Childhood Education K-4, with preschool certification “Circle of Childhood N.C.” In addition, she minored in psychology and has completed prerequisite courses for entering an occupational therapy degree program.

Sarah Anne loves helping young children express themselves through movement and music. Another source of joy for her is to explore the garden and surrounding forest wtih the children. Supporting young children’s relationships by helping them find the words and the body language to express their ideas is of special importance to her. She finds the social and emotional work that children are capable of to be very empowering for them as they come into relationship with each other. Sarah Anne loves the honesty of children and the wonder, the laughter, and the surprise of everyday learning!

Fran’s teaching career spans nearly thirty years, the last ten of which have been at Sabot. Her undergraduate degree is in English with a minor in Art, and she holds a master’s degree in Christian Education.

Why does Fran teach? “I never planned on teaching. I was going to be a writer! But, during a required internship at a demonstration kindergarten, I was utterly entranced by the thinking of young children. They said exactly what they thought, without any filters. They were honest about their feelings but didn’t hold onto them for long. They were the epitome of mindfulness! Their view of the world was so different from mine, and in listening to them, I found myself wanting to know more. Being with the children brought me joy.” Fran also credits a wonderful mentor. “I loved how she related to the children: she was so patient, kind, and endlessly comforting. I wanted to be just like her.”

Fran loves working at Sabot for the opportunity it provides her to question, learn, wonder, and inquire, right along with the children. “Each year is a new adventure as we adapt to one another and to our ever-changing world.”

In addition to teaching at Sabot, Fran writes book reviews for “North of the James” magazine. She has two grown children and a house full of cats and dogs. She enjoys spending time in the mountains with her family (two-legged and four-legged!) and is very interested in mindful living.

Sara has been teaching in Sabot’s preschool since 1996. Over the years she has worked with children in Ireland, Scotland, France and the United States, both as a teacher and as a children’s librarian. As part of her ongoing fascination with education, she has visited the preschools of Reggio Emilia in Italy, established a strong relationship with a Reggio-inspired school in Northern Ireland and studied for a year with a group of Freinet teachers in France.

Sara enjoys being part of a dynamic learning community that recognizes the power of children and the magic of childhood. Her particular interests are in documentation—an extraordinarily powerful communication tool with the ability to reveal the multiple layers of learning. She is also fascinated by how children respond to a sense of place, and she appreciates being part of a community that supports learning through relationships.

Tiffany joined Sabot’s preschool faculty in 2015. Mother of two former Sabot preschoolers, Tiffany holds a B.S. in Art Education and has been adjunct faculty at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for the last 14 years. Prior to joining the Sabot faculty, she was the VMFA Preschool Program Coordinator.

Tiffany loves the exchange of ideas between children and among teachers, observing the children’s research of our world and reflecting on relationship building, forming, and strengthening. She is excited to share their curiosity for materials, environment and space.

Lisa Kelly’s passion for working with young children began with her first job as a mother’s-helper. “Learning the language of children” led her to earn a BS from Virginia Tech in Family and Child Development and a MS from University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Child and Family Studies with a specialty in Special Education.

Lisa’s career path has allowed her to work with children with a wide range in abilities and from diverse backgrounds including Head Start, university lab school settings, and Tennessee’s Early Intervention System. She also has presented widely at local, state, regional, and national conferences, as well as consulted with preschools on environment and curriculum and for seven years, taught early childhood education courses at John Tyler.

Lured by Sabot’s reputation in the field of education, Lisa says, “I witnessed the benefits of Sabot’s approach first hand when our oldest son attended Sabot at Grace Street and continued to be inspired when our younger son became a preschooler” at Sabot at Stony Point where he remains “a well-rounded Lower School student.” The time at Sabot with her own children led Lisa to realize, “how much I yearned to work with children again, exploring the world with them, and feeling astounded by their profound thinking on a daily basis.”

Lisa’s path has come full circle, back to the classroom with children where, she says, “My days are filled with wonder and challenge working as a Sabot teacher researcher.”

Shannon earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and has played numerous roles at Sabot for many years, including leading the lower and middle school Extended Day Program. She has four children and has been a part of the Sabot family for 17 years.

Before becoming a parent, Shannon taught 1st Grade in Richmond Public Schools. She knew at an early age that she wanted to work with children. She didn’t always have positive experiences during her own schooling so she became a teacher to be able to reach out to students to help them stay connected with their natural love of learning. She wanted to provide a safe learning environment so that students would be able take risks and realize their potential has no limits. Shannon believes in and loves Sabot’s approach to education. Her goal as Lower and Middle School Extended Day Program Lead is to provide an environment that encompasses Sabot’s philosophy and feels like home.

Elaine holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her undergraduate degree is in Anthropology from the College of William and Mary. After spending three years in Nottingham, England, Elaine rejoined our preschool faculty in 2011. She had taught at Sabot for two years prior to moving to England, and also co-led a pilot program with Henrico County Schools, the Richmond Children’s Museum, and Sabot to establish a play group for two year-olds.

Elaine loves nature – plants, the forest, little critters, starry skies, and she brings whatever she can into the classroom- nests, insects, bones, etc. to share her passion with children. She also wants to share her experience with other educators and has presented about her work with children and nature at two of Sabot’s biennial Symposiums, and she presented at Lewis Ginter’s Natural Connections Conference for Educators in spring 2017.

What keeps Elaine coming back to teach at Sabot? “The way we teach- we teach children to have a voice, to listen to others’ voices thoughtfully, and to manifest their thinking in myriad ways. We encourage children to learn how to manage themselves, versus managing their lives- their thinking, their behavior- for them.”

 

Andrea was drawn to Sabot at Stony Point by the school’s respect for children’s interests and ideas, by the opportunities for students to make connections between subjects and disciplines, and by the ties to nature that the program fosters. She used to dream of starting her own school, but no longer needs to now that she’s found one that matches her own vision! Andrea has taught second and third grades since joining our faculty in 2009. This year, she moves into the kindergarten classroom.

Andrea’s work was presented at the Journey of Possibilities Conference in Calgary, Canada in 2011 and in 2012 at Lesley University. Most recently, Andrea presented Shadow Thinking: Third Graders Explore the Physical World at the 2013 Sabot Institute and at William and Mary’s SURN Leadership Academy. She holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from Brigham Young University.

Stephanie discovered Sabot when relocating to Richmond in 2012 and was energized and inspired while attending Sabot’s Personal Pathways and Paradigms Institute. She identifies with the collaborative learning community and spirit of inquiry at Sabot. Forever fascinated by the wonders of nature, she is particularly intrigued by the close relationships that children share with their natural environment. One of Stephanie’s favorite things to do is put on a backpack and head into the wilderness. Her longest trip, so far, is a nine-day adventure in Yosemite National Park!

Stephanie taught in California for four years before moving to Richmond, where she began exploring the Reggio-Emilia Approach. Prior to teaching, Stephanie spent eight years as an international event planner. Her travels, both professionally and personally, have contributed to her sense of global awareness and social responsibility.

Stephanie received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000, which included a semester at The American Intercontinental University in London, England. In 2010, she earned a Child Development Associate Teacher Certificate from Mesa College and in December 2015, Stephanie earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Mary Baldwin College.

When Stephanie was 15 years old, she told her parents that she intended to get a degree in business, work in that field for about 10 years, and then become a teacher. She is proud to have followed her dreams and made teaching and a commitment to lifelong learning a part of her journey. So are we!

We first met Elisabeth in 2012, when she was completing her Master’s degree in Education and was preparing to move with her family back to Virginia. That first move landed the Tams in Northern Virginia. We are delighted that they are finally re-locating to Richmond and joining us at Sabot.

Elisabeth’s work over those 4 years has been as a 1st Grade teacher at the Capitol Hill Day School in Washington, D.C. As a member of a classroom level teaching partnership and grade level team, Elisabeth has developed a teaching practice that emphasizes the importance of a respectful climate in which children can flourish personally and intellectually. She is well versed on the curricular work of elementary education and also understands the power and value of integrating the arts in teaching and learning.

Elisabeth is a graduate of VCU (B.F.A. in Theatre Studies) and of Antioch New England, (M.Ed. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education). She brings a solid background, both in training and in experience. Her work is grounded in the same beliefs about children, teaching, and learning that serve as the basis for Sabot’s program. We feel fortunate to have her bringing her passions and her expertise to Sabot.

For the last 20 years, Jen has been composing her teaching career, starting as an assistant in a 2nd Grade classroom in New York City. Her work, prior to moving to Richmond, blended teaching English as a Second Language to both children and adults and as a grade level teacher for students ranging in age from kindergarten through 2nd grade. Jen has a strong interest and a good deal of training in the visual arts. We have witnessed and benefited from that interest and skill during the years Jen spent working with Studio Teacher, Anna Golden, to establish our school-wide Materials Center and as a member of our preschool faculty.

Jen is a graduate of Brown University (B.A in Educational Studies) and of the Teachers College of Columbia University (M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language). She is an educator who is curious, engaged and engaging, hard working and well prepared, collegial and creative.

Nicole is a rare example of an educator whose passion for student-led learning stems from her own experience as a learner. As a graduate student at Goddard College, Nicole lived, first hand, the transformative results of learning through a student-centered, progressive approach. Consequently, she is passionate about the opportunity to teach as she was taught and to facilitate the engagement, learning, and empowerment of the children in her class.

Nicole’s most recent teaching post has been at MLK Middle School in Richmond Public Schools. She is eager to bring her beliefs, content knowledge, and experience to younger students and to have the opportunity to foster social, emotional, and intellectual development as a member of the lower school faculty.

In addition to her graduate degree from Goddard (M.A. Secondary Education), Nicole holds a B.A. in International Studies from American University.

Nicole believes that her teaching is most effective and satisfying when done in collaboration with teaching peers. We welcome, Nicole to the collaborative community of Sabot teachers!

Christine came to us as a student teacher in our kindergarten classrooms in early 2012 and was lead teacher in our first-grade class from Fall 2012 – Spring 2016. This year, Christine moves to teaching third grade.

Christine is drawn to work with elementary-aged children whom she describes as “fearless explorers of ideas and concepts.” She is attracted to Sabot at Stony Point’s collaborative culture and to our curriculum’s combination of creativity and rigor. When asked why she teaches at Sabot, she replied, “The rigor that Sabot demands of its students is no less than what is demanded of its educators. Children need to be respected for their boundless intellect, curiosity, and creativity, and it is my privilege to be able to share my energies with students to help them explore their imaginations. Sabot has given me – and my students – the academic and artistic freedom to do so.”

After working professionally with art and science museums in Washington, DC, Christine began exploring her strengths as an educator when she moved to Richmond in 2005, first as a Master Educator at the Children’s Museum of Richmond and later as an art instructor at William Fox Elementary. As a Youth Studio Educator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Christine continues to teach art and architecture classes.

Christine’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Art History from New York University, a master’s degree in African Art History from Howard University, and a post-baccalaureate degree in the Teacher’s Licensure Program from the University of Richmond’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. She was the 2012 recipient of the UR/SPCS Samuel E. Perry, Jr. and Nancy B. Perry Book Award in recognition of excellence in the Teacher Licensure Program grades K – 6. For our recent 2015 Sabot Institute, Christine presented Finding Empathy: Letting Students Be The Compass and The Guide, the story of her students’ work, as part of Sabot’s Our Richmond umbrella project, in Richmond’s historic Monroe Park.

Melanie has been a career teacher for 21 years, and she joined Sabot at Stony Point’s faculty in 2010. She earned her undergraduate degree in education in England, her Master’s in Education at the University of Virginia, and she has completed a Virginia state endorsement in teaching the gifted and talented, also from the University of Virginia.

Before coming to Sabot, Melanie taught at St. Christopher’s and Millwood School, where she designed a geometry curriculum for the elementary grades that uses modern abstract art; she also directed student-created musical plays through the Creating Original Opera program.

Melanie has always wanted to teach. She loves discovering the new alongside her students and she loves that she learns as much as they do each year. “Sabot’s learning community is congruent with my own teaching and learning philosophy: that education needs to be an engaging, collaborative process. Children’s ideas should be respected and their learning meaningful.”

In addition to her work at Sabot, Melanie is now an assistant teacher at Mary Baldwin College where she teaches a course on Assessment.

Jon comes to us after nearly twenty years teaching at Walden School, a progressive school in Berkeley, California. Jon holds a BA in English from Humboldt State University and gained his teaching credentials at Holy Names University.

He believes that “the process of learning takes various shapes, but the skillful teacher provides opportunities for finding and making meaning on multiple levels and through various strands, without necessarily holding a fixed set of answers for questions which arise.” Jon will co-teach with Melanie Nan classroom and will bring with him his passion for literature and history. Ultimately, Jon believes that the purpose of education is “to help [children] be present as their lives unfold, and be prepared for a future we cannot see.”

Marla is fascinated by virtually all subjects, but she is particularly dedicated to helping her students become thoughtful and engaged readers and writers. She is an expert on the canon of children’s and young adult literature, and her classroom culture is one in which genuine excitement about reading is a daily shared experience. She has visited the schools of Reggio Emilia as part of a summer institute and attended a conference led by Lucy Calkins, director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. Marla received her teacher training at Towson University and has taught at the elementary and preschool levels.

Erica, aka Sra. Barba, joined the Sabot faculty in the fall of 2016 bringing more than a decade of teaching experience with her. Erica’s career as a Spanish teacher and curriculum specialist has included work with children from 3 years through high school age. She has encountered her youngest students as a World Language teacher and curriculum advisor to ENB Languages – a local, world language enrichment program. Erica worked with ENB while also teaching fulltime in elementary programs in both Chesterfield and Richmond Public Schools.

The middle school years were the focus of Erica’s work – for 2 years – at the ACS Doha International School in Doha, Qatar. While at ACS, Erica served as a Spanish teacher and as the Curriculum Coordinator for the Department of World Languages. ACS’ approach was based on the International Baccalaureate Program. Erica also implemented the IB program on the high school level at Richmond’s Thomas Jefferson High School.

Erica has earned her degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University (B.A. in Spanish) and University of Phoenix (M.A.Ed degree in Curriculum and Instruction).

Outside of her work at Sabot, Erica is actively involved in the Richmond community. She has led the Hispanic club at Redd Elementary and works with Richmond Public Schools’ Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) program, which “encourages family and community involvement through training, outreach, community collaboration, education and awareness to improve student achievement.”

Erica’s world view is informed by extensive travel. She has lived in Spain, Mexico, Paraguay, Poland, the United States, and Qatar. She has traveled North, Central, and South America; the Caribbean; Western and Central Europe; the Arabian Gulf; and northern Africa. Much of Erica’s undergraduate university years were spent abroad in both Spain and Mexico, and she received a certificate in Hispanic Studies from the University of Salamanca, Spain.

Dan is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a major in Accounting and Finance. Dan worked for Deloitte and Touche in the audit department for 10 years from 1985 to 1995 before transferring to the Audit Software Development group where he was responsible for developing user requirements and professional development for major software rollouts within the U.S. firm. In 2001, he took on responsibility for the management of the development group.

In 2003, Dan left Deloitte to switch careers into teaching. In 2005, he completed the career switcher program at the University of Virginia and began teaching science at Tuckahoe Middle School. “It was a baptism by fire, I had never worked so hard for such an extended period in my whole career, but everyday something happened in the classroom that made all the effort worth it! Children never cease to challenge and amaze me with their work. It inspires me; it is why I teach.” Dan earned the TMS 1st Year Teacher of the year award in 2005/6 and the Gilman Teacher of the Year award for TMS in 2011/12. Dan taught at TMS for 7 years which included development of the physical science IB curriculum that was implemented in 2011/12 when TMS began its I.B. program and the reintroduction of the Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) independent research project program.

In August 2012, Dan joined the faculty of Sabot at Stony Point as a Science Teacher and Science Specialist where he has been teaching Physical and Earth science to the 7th and 8th grade ever since. Dan loves teaching at Sabot because we teach the way all children should be taught – with a focus on challenging and diverse assignments that ask children to step out of their comfort zones and think about and document their understanding within a learning environment that encourages collaboration and thrives on providing a space for children to share their thoughts and opinions.

Dan introduced the VJAS independent research project program to Sabot and wrote the kindergarten through 8th grade science curriculum for the school. In 2016, Dan received the E.C.L. Miller Science Teacher of the Year award from the Virginia Junior Academy of Science. Dan has been the administrative Director of Sabot’s middle school since 2013.

Dan has three children who were educated at Sabot at Stony Point, Fox Elementary school and Maggie Walker Governors school. His eldest graduated MLWGS and attends Loyola University in Baltimore. His youngest child graduated Sabot in 2017 and attends MLWGS along with her brother who is a senior. Dan has lived with his wife Brenda in the City of Richmond since 1997.

Kara has been teaching at Sabot since 2007. She taught in the preschool for two years and then moved to teaching science in the middle school. She currently serves as the 6th grade homeroom teacher, teaches Health and Human Sexuality to students in 4th – 8th grades and serves as the School Nurse.

Kara has spent most of her working life focused on the health and well-being of children. She is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to Sabot at Stony Point, she conducted research on HIV/AIDS at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Survey and Evaluation Research Lab; directed the Community Partnership for the Protection of Children in Jacksonville, Florida; and served as a Nurse Epidemiologist for TB control in the Philadelphia Department of Health.

Kara enjoys getting to know each student and is especially fascinated by their ability to collaborate with one another; whether in a classroom setting or when supporting a friend who has a scraped knee. “Children are inherently kind and compassionate; supporting them to continue to develop this empathy and understanding is rewarding work wherever it occurs.  Students bring such fresh eyes to everything!”

Kara’s role allows her to support individuals, classrooms, or cohorts of children as well as faculty throughout the school. The role of school nurse includes not only bandages and ice packs but a willing and patient ear. Kara reports that it is a privilege to contribute, in one small way, to the health and wellness of the Sabot community.

 

This is Michael’s first year teaching at Sabot and in the United States. He’s returned to his hometown after more than a decade abroad teaching in Prague, Czech Republic, and Istanbul, Turkey.

Michael is the creator of Turkey’s first comics and sequential art curriculum. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in English, he’s taught, developed curriculum, and directed departments at demanding private and international schools at the primary, middle, secondary, and undergraduate levels. He speaks frequently at various international comic cons, library and teacher conferences in America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East about storytelling, media, and student engagement.

He looks forward to collaborating with teachers and students to develop curricula which engage while entertaining and preparing students for the rigors and rewards of being a life-long learner.

Sarah first came to Sabot in 2016 as the parent of an enthusiastic kindergartner. She quickly became an active volunteer, and by the end of the year was working in kindergarten as a lunch teacher and in the middle school as a substitute. Sarah taught 10th grade English for many years in Prince William County Public Schools and then in Henrico County Public Schools. During that time, she found her passion in the creative process of teaching writing and literature, often collaborating with members of the community to inspire and engage her students.

Sarah earned a B.A. in English and Secondary Education from James Madison University, and she has a M.A. in Non-fiction Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Sarah has also presented as a teacher-researcher at the Northern Virginia Writing Project at George Mason University and has several years of experience writing for both the private and nonprofit sector.

Outside of the classroom, Sarah is passionate about Richmond’s performing arts, local food, and public parks. Her philosophy of education is best summed up by author Taylor Caldwell, “Learning…is an illustrated excursion into the mind…not a conducted tour through jail.”

Margo joined Sabot’s middle school faculty in 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early and Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning (specializing in preK – 6th grade) from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She is excited to teach at Sabot because she shares the school’s vision that students should construct their own knowledge and play a significant role in their own learning. She believes that learning can take many shapes and that students should have access to a variety of experiences in their quest to gain an understanding of the world around them.

In addition to her teaching role, Margo serves as the Homeroom Teacher for 7th Grade.

Margot is a passionate outdoors person – she has solo-hiked 220 miles on the John Muir Trail, and she loves to be outside and to inspire others to share her love for nature. Lucky for her (and Sabot), Sabot’s campus includes 28 acres, much of it wooded, and is adjacent to the 100-acre Larus Park. Margot spends a lot of her free time kayaking on the James River.

Pete has been teaching for ten years, and he joined our middle school faculty in the fall of 2014. Prior to getting into teaching, Pete was a youth sports coordinator at the YMCA.

Pete holds a BS in Business from Bridgewater State University and a MS in Sports Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. He became a teacher because he enjoys working with students and helping them cultivate the best versions of themselves. At Sabot, he has found “a community that is unlike any other – accepting, supportive, caring…”

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Pete is the 8th grade homeroom teacher and he coordinates Sabot’s athletics program.

Pete is married and has three daughters. When he is not teaching, he enjoys playing and watching sports and spending time with his family.

Bruce has been teaching in Sabot’s middle school since 2010. Having previously taught high school history in New Jersey, he enjoys incorporating his deep love of literature, baseball, popular music, and film into his teaching. Bruce earned a B.A. in Government from Dartmouth College, and an M.A. in Colonial American History from the University of Virginia. He has presented at the Virginia Association of Independent Schools’ statewide conference about Sabot Middle School’s Exploratory curriculum and his innovative 8th grade Civinomix curriculum, which includes a student-written and staged documentary play.

Bruce feels called to help animate and excite others to understand and learn – about things he is interested in, about things he thinks are important, about things he thinks are interesting, and especially about how all this stuff – Bob Dylan songs and sabrmetrics and literature and freedom of conscience and historical causality – are all related. And, how you can’t understand many things without understanding how a bunch of other stuff is connected. “Sabot at Stony Point is great because we have the freedom to experiment, to be wrong and to succeed, well outside the box.  As teachers we have the license to embody the very principles of hypothesis and exploration we expect our students to live by.”

In addition to being a teacher, Bruce is the Director of Programs at Read to Them. In this role, he supervises his family literacy program – One School, One Book – designed to help schools support parents in reading chapter books aloud to their children at home. He has developed materials and spread the One School, One Book program to over 1,400 schools in North America.

Jasper joins Sabot’s middle school faculty this fall. He has a B.A. in African American Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.

For the past ten years, Jasper has dedicated his life to advancing social justice issues across Virginia. He organized with college students to encourage Virginia colleges to source their sports apparel from companies that foster worker’s rights. He spent time in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia working with retired coal miners and other residents in fighting the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining. In his hometown of Roanoke, he worked with undocumented immigrants seeking to pressure local officials to end practices of harassment.

Jasper is passionate about history and global issues. He looks forward to engaging his students in learning about the history through the stories of everyday life, not just the stories of war and politics and those of people in positions of power.

Erica, aka Sra. Barba, joined the Sabot faculty in the fall of 2016 bringing more than a decade of teaching experience with her. Erica’s career as a Spanish teacher and curriculum specialist has included work with children from 3 years through high school age. She has encountered her youngest students as a World Language teacher and curriculum advisor to ENB Languages – a local, world language enrichment program. Erica worked with ENB while also teaching fulltime in elementary programs in both Chesterfield and Richmond Public Schools.

The middle school years were the focus of Erica’s work – for 2 years – at the ACS Doha International School in Doha, Qatar. While at ACS, Erica served as a Spanish teacher and as the Curriculum Coordinator for the Department of World Languages. ACS’ approach was based on the International Baccalaureate Program. Erica also implemented the IB program on the high school level at Richmond’s Thomas Jefferson High School.

Erica has earned her degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University (B.A. in Spanish) and University of Phoenix (M.A.Ed degree in Curriculum and Instruction).

Outside of her work at Sabot, Erica is actively involved in the Richmond community. She has led the Hispanic club at Redd Elementary and works with Richmond Public Schools’ Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) program, which “encourages family and community involvement through training, outreach, community collaboration, education and awareness to improve student achievement.”

Erica’s world view is informed by extensive travel. She has lived in Spain, Mexico, Paraguay, Poland, the United States, and Qatar. She has traveled North, Central, and South America; the Caribbean; Western and Central Europe; the Arabian Gulf; and northern Africa. Much of Erica’s undergraduate university years were spent abroad in both Spain and Mexico, and she received a certificate in Hispanic Studies from the University of Salamanca, Spain.

Chris came to Sabot in 2006 as a “lunch bunch lady.” During that same year, she was also a long-term substitute in the preschool. She became a regular faculty member in 2007 and taught in the preschool for four years before taking on a leadership role in the Preschool Extended Day program, which is now used by more than half of our preschool families. Chris’ responsibilities also include making sure we are in compliance with licensing standards set forth by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Chris earned a degree in business administration from The Pennsylvania State University, and after working in sales and marketing, realized that her heart is with children. She has been caring for children for more than 32 years.

Chris, who is also twice a grandmother (soon to be thrice!), experienced six different preschools while raising her five daughters, and she is “100% certain that no where else in Richmond compares to Sabot’s nurturing, loving, respectful way of listening to and being with children.”

Maeve began working at Sabot in 2015. They (preferred pronoun) have a BFA in Sculpture and Extended Media and a BA in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; both from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Maeve experiences teaching as a continuation of their own education. In the classroom, they see themself as a role model and facilitator with the goal of helping children be better teachers to themselves and to each other. Creativity is an inherent piece of relationship building, connecting us to the world around us. The byproducts and outcomes of caring relationships are the artworks in our world that Maeve wants to pay attention to and cultivate.

As their understanding of the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning has deepened, Sabot really has been a revelation for them. “This school offers students a learning environment that breaks from the standardized practices that were so stifling to me when I was in school.”

Maeve is an artist, teacher, and activist. The common threads interwoven through these parts of their identity are: the drive to discover new perspectives, building and fostering community, and the pursuit of creative growth.

Ashley joins the Sabot faculty this year. She brings with her a passion for working with children as they explore their world and discover their strengths and preferences in learning. She is also passionate about exposing children to dance and creative movement as a way to explore and express their learning.

Ashley is thankful to teach at Sabot because “I am among fellow educators who value the child and put children at the center of the learning process – and who are willing to go the extra mile to give kids the environment and experiences they need to develop a love for learning.”

Ashley has a dual degree in Elementary Education and Dance Performance from Butler University in Indiana. Previously, she has taught English in South Korea and directed an Extended Day Program at Osan Air Base, South Korea.

Mary has been a member of the Sabot community since her children, now both in middle school, were in preschool. Her teaching experience includes work as an early childhood special educator with Children’s Hospital, Infant and Child Development Services, and District 19 Early Intervention Services. Mary earned a Master of Education with an endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Working with young children and helping them discover themselves and the world brings Mary joy. She chooses to work at Sabot because of the respect with which children are supported and nurtured as they learn.

In addition to Mary’s role as an Extended Day teacher and preferred substitute teacher, she is known as “that crazy lady at carpool trying to pet all of the dogs in the cars!”

Cris brings her art background to her work with the children in our Early Childhood Extended Day program. Prior to teaching in Extended Day, Cris spent nine years teaching in the preschool. As an artist, she loves to explore the many ways in which recycled materials can be used. Cris believes that children are never too young to begin thinking about recycling and helping to preserve and restore the environment, and she brings that idea to her work at Sabot.

Sarah has been a member of the Sabot community for the past ten years, and she has worn many hats in those ten years – parent, front desk support, lunch teacher, office assistant, and substitute teacher. For the past two years, Sarah has been a member of our preschool extended day staff.

Sarah is originally from Margaretville, NY and holds a BA from the University of Richmond and a MEd from Fordham University. She has taught elementary-aged children in Richmond City, Henrico County, and at the Richmond Waldorf School. Sarah’s two children are alumni of our school; one is now a teacher in Henrico County, the other is a sophomore at Texas Christian University.

Joyce Chatham has over 30 years of experience working with children – first as a licensed hairdresser, later as a volunteer, and ultimately as a teacher. Both of her children attended Sabot’s preschool and during those years she was an active parent volunteer. When her children moved on she remained as a teacher and taught in Sabot’s preschool from 1999-2009. In 2012, when she found she was missing the joy of working with young children and seeing the wonder in their eyes, she returned to join the Sabot at Stony Point Extended Day staff.

Joyce grew up in the mountains of southwest Virginia, so being at Sabot with its forests and gardens is the perfect environment for her. She brings her love of nature to the children by helping them explore their natural surroundings. She finds learning together with the children about Sabot’s array of wildlife and plants very satisfying.

If you have ever spent time with Joyce, you will not be surprised to learn that two things she is passionate about (and good at) in the classroom are empowering children with finding their voices and supporting them as they learn to solve their problems.

Ann joined the Sabot faculty in 2011, bringing a wealth of experience from her previous work as an elementary school counselor. In addition, she has worked with children and adults in a variety of settings, from day care to assault prevention workshops.

Ann earned a B.A. in English Literature and Women’s Studies from the University of Virginia, and she holds a Master’s of Education in School Counseling from the College of William and Mary. She is an active member in the Virginia School Counselor Association and the Virginia Counselors Association.

When asked why she teaches, and why at Sabot in particular, Ann responded: “Everyone needs an extra friend and additional support during this journey of life. It’s an honor to share life’s ups and downs with children and families. I was drawn to school counseling, in particular, because it allows me to work with children during the years when social/emotional skill-building can make a life-long difference. Sabot’s focus on communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence make this a rich and rewarding environment for a school counselor! I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work within a community that places such a high value on respectful understanding – between children, staff and faculty, and parents.”

As an Assistant Professor at Mary Baldwin College and a true lover of art and culture, Kerry has brought her talents to Sabot in many ways for over 20 years. She is the creative and logistical energy behind our after-school enrichment program, Beyond the Classroom; GROW, the community garden project; and Music in the Garden, our spring concert series.

Kerry was a Visiting Scholar at the Smithsonian, a lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, and has been published in art journals. She holds a Masters in Art History. Kerry’s commitment to passionate learning and intrinsic motivation drive her. Giving people the space to experience and ask questions is the basis of her work as a teacher.

Renee has a a passion for getting children excited about moving and establishing healthy lifestyles that they can carry with them into adulthood. She believes that sports and physical pursuits are a great tool for practicing collaboration and she is thrilled to teach at a school that values the physical body as well as the mental.

Prior to joining Sabot’s faculty in 2009, Renee worked as a Director at the YMCA for GirlForce/GuyForce programs. These youth programs included curriculum development and implementation in the areas of fitness, nutrition, body image, emotional intelligence, and smoking prevention. Renee has also worked as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and coach for adults and kids (swimming, basketball and triathlon).

Renee graduated from Lynchburg College with a B.S. in Athletic Training and earned a Master’s degree in Health and Movement Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. She enjoys competing in triathlons and has completed several 140.6 Ironman races. She also enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and children and chasing her one- and four-year old girls around!

Cat began her career in education as an elementary teacher and was instantly captivated by developmental mathematics. She holds a K-8 Math Specialist Endorsement and supports Sabot teachers in implementing best practices in mathematics teaching and learning. In addition to working with Sabot teachers and students, Cat has taught graduate level math methods courses to both pre-service and in-service teachers at area colleges and universities. Cat is the co-author of It’s Elementary: A Parent’s Guide to K-5 Mathematics, published in October 2015 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Cat holds a Bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Virginia Commonwealth University. She loves to teach mathematics because “I want students to feel the same thrill I do when suddenly the world starts to make sense (and even when it doesn’t). Also, I learn so much more about math when I am working with students – math is at its best when it is a shared experience.”

Cat particularly likes her work at Sabot. “My teacher colleagues and the students they teach are the reasons why I love coming to work every day. There’s no place in the world quite like it. You can really sense the deep respect for children and their ideas.”

Anna has been teaching at Sabot at Stony Point since 1996. She went to unconventional schools growing up and has never stopped trying to figure out how people learn. She studied photography and printmaking, K-8 education, and art education. Anna is a volunteer for community radio, teaches teachers at Mary Baldwin College, and is an artist working in paint and mixed media. Anna’s Atelierista blog is read by educators and people from around the world who are interested in progressive education. Her whole family are artists and musicians. She and her husband feel rather surprised that their daughters are both in college now.

Lauren started working at Sabot at Stony Point in January 2015, following her thesis research on visual art in constructivist settings. She previously taught art at Calvert, an independent school in Baltimore, and was the Visual Arts Specialist for the Children’s Museum in Baltimore as well as an educator at the Children’s Museum of Richmond.

Lauren received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design and an Masters of Art Education from Boston University, suma cum laude. Lauren dreamt of working alongside children in a school environment that honors the visual arts as a vital language to make student learning visible. Now, when helping children to powerfully transform media for representing and clarifying their thinking, she shares in their enthusiasm and wonder. The Sabot community, and this way of working with children and teachers in the studio, invigorates her teaching practice and artist spirit. Lauren also enjoys exploring the magic of our natural world with her two daughters and the students at Sabot.

Pippin is a musician and master craftsman – a true Renaissance Man. He has traveled the world playing music with avant-garde groups such as Idio Savant, The Orthotonics, Roof, Curlew, Tom Cora, and Nimal. He has also lent his craftsman talents to many local landmarks – Maymont’s Barn, Plan 9 Records, The Red Door Gallery, and World of Mirth.

As the parent of a former Sabot preschooler and middle schooler, Pippin has loved and cared for the school for a very long time. In addition to maintaining the campus is working order – no small feat on a 28-acre property with a 90-year-old house!, Pippin works with GROW – the community garden project, and leads both the summer BUILD camp and our Beyond the Classroom’s BUILD workshops.

You may see Pippin around town playing music with the Ululating Mummies, the Happy Lucky Combo, and the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra.

Kara has been teaching at Sabot since 2007. She taught in the preschool for two years and then moved to teaching science in the middle school. She currently serves as the 6th grade homeroom teacher, teaches Health and Human Sexuality to students in 4th – 8th grades and serves as the School Nurse.

Kara has spent most of her working life focused on the health and well-being of children. She is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to Sabot at Stony Point, she conducted research on HIV/AIDS at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Survey and Evaluation Research Lab; directed the Community Partnership for the Protection of Children in Jacksonville, Florida; and served as a Nurse Epidemiologist for TB control in the Philadelphia Department of Health.

Kara enjoys getting to know each student and is especially fascinated by their ability to collaborate with one another; whether in a classroom setting or when supporting a friend who has a scraped knee. “Children are inherently kind and compassionate; supporting them to continue to develop this empathy and understanding is rewarding work wherever it occurs.  Students bring such fresh eyes to everything!”

Kara’s role allows her to support individuals, classrooms, or cohorts of children as well as faculty throughout the school. The role of school nurse includes not only bandages and ice packs but a willing and patient ear. Kara reports that it is a privilege to contribute, in one small way, to the health and wellness of the Sabot community.

 

Irene Carney, Ph.D., brings over 40 years of experience in education to her role as Sabot at Stony Point’s Head of School. That experience has included: extensive study of child development and learning theory, most recently as adjunct faculty in VCU’s School of Education 2005-2006; research and writing on the critical relationships between parents and educators (pursued through her dissertation and research faculty focus at the University of Virginia, 1981-1986); participation in organizational development and independent school governance (she served on the Board of Trustees of Richmond Montessori School, 1996-1999, and on the Board of Directors of Orchard House School 1998-2000).

Prior to the merger of Sabot and Stony Point Schools, Irene served as Sabot School’s Director for 14 years, and as Consulting Head of School at Stony Point School for the 2006-2007 academic year.

In 2003, Irene received the Outstanding Woman Award in the field of Education from the Richmond YWCA. In 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Irene to serve on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s School Readiness Committee, which will help Virginia to improve how we train early childhood educators to prepare every student to succeed.

Since 1995, Sabot has been Marty’s working home. Marty leads us into our 3rd decade of Reggio-inspired teaching in the preschool. She holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology, earned her master’s degree in Child Development from Virginia Tech, and she has completed three study tours of the municipal preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Marty has presented at numerous national early childhood and Reggio-inspired conferences, had an article published in the inaugural issue of the Early Childhood quarterly, and has contributed chapters to Teaching and Learning: Collaborative Exploration of the Reggio Approach (2002) and Nature Education with Young Children: Integrating Inquiry and Practice (2013).

In recent years, committed to disseminating and sharing the work of our teachers and students and inspired by the possibilities of collaborating with other educators, Marty successfully piloted Sabot’s semi-annual “Open Doors: Visiting Educators Days” and our biennial “Sabot Symposium.”

Why does she teach? “Listening to and observing the powerful curiosity and understandings of children is, in and of itself, compelling enough to keep one in the field, but add to that the experience of living daily within the stimulating paradox of the teacher-researcher – teaching what you haven’t learned – and collaborating with bright, inquisitive people to develop ideas, solutions, and directions from “the we” and not “the me,” and the work is addictive!”

Susan brings a strong research background, expertise in curriculum development, and extensive teaching experience to her role as Director of Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Virginia, and her B.A. from Amherst College. She believes that a teacher cannot simply fill students’ minds, but must inspire and support them as they construct their own knowledge. Learning should combine joy and rigor; for Susan, one of the greatest rewards of teaching is students’ discovery that hard work is a source of pleasure.

Not only has Susan taught in schools near and far, from Richmond to Narok, Kenya, but she has taught at all levels, from lower school to college. Her high school and college experience provide an insider’s understanding of the preparation students need to pursue their education after Sabot, at competitive high schools and beyond.

Dan is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a major in Accounting and Finance. Dan worked for Deloitte and Touche in the audit department for 10 years from 1985 to 1995 before transferring to the Audit Software Development group where he was responsible for developing user requirements and professional development for major software rollouts within the U.S. firm. In 2001, he took on responsibility for the management of the development group.

In 2003, Dan left Deloitte to switch careers into teaching. In 2005, he completed the career switcher program at the University of Virginia and began teaching science at Tuckahoe Middle School. “It was a baptism by fire, I had never worked so hard for such an extended period in my whole career, but everyday something happened in the classroom that made all the effort worth it! Children never cease to challenge and amaze me with their work. It inspires me; it is why I teach.” Dan earned the TMS 1st Year Teacher of the year award in 2005/6 and the Gilman Teacher of the Year award for TMS in 2011/12. Dan taught at TMS for 7 years which included development of the physical science IB curriculum that was implemented in 2011/12 when TMS began its I.B. program and the reintroduction of the Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) independent research project program.

In August 2012, Dan joined the faculty of Sabot at Stony Point as a Science Teacher and Science Specialist where he has been teaching Physical and Earth science to the 7th and 8th grade ever since. Dan loves teaching at Sabot because we teach the way all children should be taught – with a focus on challenging and diverse assignments that ask children to step out of their comfort zones and think about and document their understanding within a learning environment that encourages collaboration and thrives on providing a space for children to share their thoughts and opinions.

Dan introduced the VJAS independent research project program to Sabot and wrote the kindergarten through 8th grade science curriculum for the school. In 2016, Dan received the E.C.L. Miller Science Teacher of the Year award from the Virginia Junior Academy of Science. Dan has been the administrative Director of Sabot’s middle school since 2013.

Dan has three children who were educated at Sabot at Stony Point, Fox Elementary school and Maggie Walker Governors school. His eldest graduated MLWGS and attends Loyola University in Baltimore. His youngest child graduated Sabot in 2017 and attends MLWGS along with her brother who is a senior. Dan has lived with his wife Brenda in the City of Richmond since 1997.

A Virginian at heart, Christine spent time working internationally before joining the Richmond community. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in Political Science & Legal Studies and then from VCU’s Master of Public Administration program. Christine brings experience in higher education and nonprofit administration to Sabot. She is thrilled to be a part of the Sabot community.

Julie’s career has taken her into both the large, for-profit and small, non-profit worlds. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and has discovered that her favorite place to work is in a school environment. Julie was thrilled to join the Sabot at Stony Point community in April, 2014. Hearing the happy voices of the preschool children whose classroom is directly above the Business Office is a highlight of her day. When she is not at school, Julie enjoys spending her free time with her husband, 2 children and her 4 pets, 2 of which have been adopted by way of fellow school employees!

Maggie is the daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, and she spent many of her formative years living overseas. This exposure fueled her interest in all things international, and she received her Bachelor’s degree in International Economics from the George Washington University. Despite a successful career in financial and operations management, she elected to take a hiatus from work after the birth of her daughter.

In 2007, Maggie returned to work, joining the Sabot staff as Admissions Director. She has a deep interest in working with families to help them find the right educational solution for their children, knowing that there is no such thing as “one size fits all.”

Grace brings marketing and communications experience to Sabot from both the corporate and independent school realms. After earning her B.A. from Lynchburg College, Grace spent a year teaching English in Madrid. She was born and raised in Baltimore and is happy to return to Virginia and make Richmond home.

Kathleen Sams was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Virginia has been her home since she came to the commonwealth to attend college. She holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Sweet Briar College and an M.S. in Marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Kathleen has a background in business development and spent many years as a community volunteer, focusing on nonprofit work related to children and writing. As Sabot’s Community Engagement Coordinator, she enjoys working with both students and their parents and cherishes the Post-it note drawings that the lower school students create to adorn her computer. Kathleen loves spending time with her own two children and appreciates Sabot’s respect for children’s ideas.

Elizabeth brings a varied background and unique perspective to her work at Sabot at Stony Point. She obtained a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan, taught on the faculty at Virginia Military Institute and the United States Naval Academy, and also served eleven years as a Naval Officer. She is a Richmond native and the daughter of an independent school administrator.