Our Faculty

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Name: Austin, John
Title: Upper School English, History, Drama, A Cappella
Education: B.A. Anthropology from Duke University, Ph.D. Theatre History from University of Illinois
Comments: Strong habits of mind make an enormous difference as young people grow into adulthood. I came to The Fulton School after 12 years of working in colleges, simply because I wanted teaching to be a larger part of my day. Every day here, my principal motivation is to help students become the kind of students that college professors really want in their classrooms: students who are both fearless and thoughtful, who have well-developed problem-solving and communication skills, and who understand from their experience here that all of us together are smarter than any of us alone.
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Name: Barenkamp, Anne
Title: Upper School History, International Program Director
Education: B.A. from Rhodes College, M.A. from St. John's College
Comments: As a high school history teacher, I have the pleasure of sharing my passion for studying the past while building skills for the future with my students. We are able to examine historical evidence to uncover the values and beliefs of those who came before us, which, in turn, helps us develop our own values and beliefs. As the International Program Director, I enjoy working closely with our international students to provide academic support and promote their success both in and outside the classroom. To foster intercultural awareness and fun in our community, I work alongside international students and student ambassadors to plan activities and events, such as a celebration of the Chinese New Year. I am in my ninth year as a teacher and as a provider of international student support, and I am delighted to be a member of the diverse community of teachers and learners at The Fulton School!
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Name: Crites, Mary
Title: Resource Teacher
Education: B.S. from Southeast Missouri State University; graduate work in Special Education from University of Virginia
Comments: My main gratification from teaching is when I see the light go on when my students finally grasp a skill or concept that they have been struggling to understand. There is nothing better!
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Name: Dicker, Bridget
Title: Preschool / Kindergarten
Education: Diploma: American Montessori Society- MOMTEP Reading Reflex Instructor
Comments: I get to see the joy on children’s’ faces as they exclaim “I did it!” I get to learn as much as I teach. There’s nothing like a child’s perspective to keep you in the present. It’s the best gig in town!
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Name: Douglass, Kara
Title: Head of School
Education: B.A. English Literature and German Studies from Rice University, M.A. Counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary, AMS Montessori Certificate 3-6 year olds
Comments: I love being in an environment where *everyone* is learning to be the best version of themselves they can be. We all take risks; we all grow; we all work as a team to create an ideal learning community. This makes for a pretty happy, fulfilling, and inspiring group!
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Name: Doyle, Sarah
Title: Business Manager
Education: B.S. Accounting from Truman State University; Certified Public Accountant
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Name: Gruender, Michelle
Title: Resource Teacher
Education: B.A. and M.S. Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University
Comments: For the past 10 years I have been teaching, tutoring, and offering ACT preparation. I love mathematics and teaching both those who struggle and those who excel. I love helping the students at Fulton navigate the waters of pre-Algebra and build a strong mathematical foundation for high school!
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Name: Hahn, Laura
Title: Director of Marketing
Education: B.A. English with Journalism minor from Southwest Missouri State University
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Name: Hassan, Shadia
Title: Preschool / Kindergarten, Upper School Art, Arabic
Education: B.A. Fine Arts from Lebanese University, American Montessori Society (AMS) Teaching Certificate 3-6 Year Olds
Comments: I love to see the light go on in the children’s eyes when they learn something new and their energy energizes me. Also, I love and enjoy the newness of each day with the preschoolers. I get a great deal of satisfaction and joy. I love to hear the kids’ questions, explanations and ideas. I love seeing the new discoveries every day.
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Name: Herndon, Carrie Wilson
Title: Upper School Math
Education: B.A. Psychology and Chemistry from University of Nebraska, M.S. Chemistry and Biology from University of Nebraska, AMI (Association Montessori International) Certificate for Orientation to Adolescent Studies
Comments: “Education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.” –Dr. Maria Montessori | Traditional schools operate much like a factory – where each student does the same thing, listening to the teacher dictate new “knowledge.” The Fulton School is different. My colleagues and I collaborate with each other to give students a variety of learning experiences and opportunities to become engaged in real, hands on work. We are able to foster intrinsic motivation, innovation, and creativity by providing a Montessori environment for our students to grow. I look to shape the experience that our students have while they prepare themselves for a future that is largely unpredictable.
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Name: Hurwitz, Seth
Title: Upper School English
Subtitle: Director of College Counseling
Education: B.A. Literature and Language from Bennington College, M.A. English and American Literature from Washington University, Ph.D. English and American Literature from Washington University
Comments: My favorite moments as a teacher come when I realize the conversation has taken off--and that, if I were to leave the room, it would continue; when the students' desire to share their ideas and to learn from one another has overridden their collective notion that teachers only teach and students only learn: when they feel enthusiastic about exploring a poem, pressuring an idea, considering their own writing--when they're joyfully learning, in other words, for the sake of learning. That's when I learn the most and when I know I'm doing my job. And that's when I have the most fun with it, too.
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Name: Kay, Kirby
Title: Lower School Music (Suzuki Instructor)
Education: B.M. from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Comments: I love teaching because of the development I am able to observe with each individual child - both musically and personally. Through the discipline of learning an instrument in a warm and consistent environment, students can learn how to take life’s challenges and grow through them in a way that is meaningful. I am honored to be let into the lives of children to help in any way I can in order to raise children who become thoughtful, capable individuals who can appreciate and contribute to the beauty of our world.
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Name: Kruger, Kristen
Title: 1-2-3, Lower School Art
Education: B.A. in Paralegal Studies from Maryville University; M.A. in Education from Maryville University. AMS (American Montessori Society) Certificate for 3-6 year olds, 0-3 training from MECA, and 6-9 training from Houston Montessori Center.
Comments: Toddlers are attempting to establish their independence and determine where they fit into the world. Anyone can teach a child their colors and shapes. However, helping to foster their independence and find their place in the world is my source of joy and purpose. Creating an environment in which a 2 year old can walk and own every part of is my work of art. It’s not my classroom, it’s our classroom. It’s our place to grow and learn and to try new things.
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Name: Lannert, Tracy
Title: 4-5-6 Language Arts & Social Studies
Education: B.S. Elementary Education from Missouri State University, M.A. Education from University of Missouri-St. Louis, Certifications: Elementary Education 1-9, Library/Media Specialist K-12, French Education K-9
Comments: I love teaching because every day I learn something new about myself, the world and my students and because I work in a place that celebrates every thing that is special about children. I am honored to be teaching some of the most wonderful children on the planet.
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Name: Loyd, Diane
Title: Assistant Head of School | Athletic Director
Education: B.S. Medical Technology from St. Louis University, B.S. Physician Assistant from St. Louis University
Comments: The overall attitude towards students at The Fulton School is one of compassion, support and love. Students are valued for who they are and what they bring to the classroom. While the academics are challenging, the students are supported emotionally and physically as they learn to love learning on all levels. The school is a happy place, filled with curious, engaged students; caring and creative teachers and an administrative staff that supports both. I am proud to be part of this wonderful institution.
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Name: Mertz, Valerie
Title: Farm Manager | Resident Beekeeper
Education: B.A. Biology from Middlebury College (Vermont); M.A. Educational Processes from Maryville University
Comments: I have just retired from Marquette High School after 37 years. I enjoy trying new labs and allowing students to create their own investigations. Through the years I engaged students in outdoor activities including growing and harvesting vegetables, landscaping, and habitat exercises. Those curriculum extensions produced memorable and, on occasion, career-focusing opportunities for students as some pursued applied biology or agricultural sciences as a result.
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Name: Scott, Claudia
Title: Assistant to the Head/Registrar
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Name: Sharma, Audrey
Title: Lower & Upper School PE
Education: B.S. Physical Education from Central Missouri State University; M.S. Kinesiology, Leisure and Sport Sciences from University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
Comments: "Love what you do and do what you love"... I couldn't ask for a better career. My students' energy is contagious, and they keep me excited to come to school each day.
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Name: Toujàs, Gabriela
Title: Upper School Spanish
Education: B.A Education and Fine Arts from National College of Fine Arts P. Pueyrredon (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Comments: I love teaching Spanish because I am able to incorporate and show my own roots, not only through language but also through culture. I grow as an individual when I listen to them ask their questions in Spanish - knowing they want to learn and speak the language. Being a part of this experience is incredible for me!
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Name: Urbano, Lensyl
Title: Upper School Science & Math
Subtitle: Makerspace Director
Education: B.S. from York College (CUNY), PhD Geology and Geophysics from University of Minnesota, Montessori Secondary(I) credential, Houston Montessori Center
Comments: I've always been impressed by the creativity and ingenuity students display when given the opportunity; they learn so much more when they are engaged with the work. I find that my primary role as a teacher is to try to spark students' interests and imaginations, to create an exciting environment where we can all learn.