Our Teachers

Teachers are the most important factor in student achievement. All of our full time teachers are American Montessori Society certified or working towards Montessori certification. All our teachers have at least one bachelor’s degree with most having at least one master’s degree and many holding a PhD. CMS is an AMS affiliate school, and is working towards full AMS Accreditation. We are proud of the cultural and geographic diversity of our teaching staff, which brings us a truly global educational environment. Our average student-teacher ratio is 11 to 1.

The latest changes to our staff include Keisha Beasley, Ph.D., who is joining us as an Elementary Teacher for 4th grade, and who will also teach science for Elementary and our new coding, computers, and robots program. Anne-Valerie Brittan, Ph.D., a French native and director of our music and language programs, has started her Montessori training towards becoming an Elementary Lead Teacher. Carrie Beck, a certified Montessori teacher with a Master’s Degree in Montessori education, is joining us as a Primary teacher, and our two new assistants are Ellie Carlin and Kayla Peck. We are proud to see our outstanding staff continue to develop their classrooms.

Our Elementary Team

Cheryl Gibson

M.Ed. – CMS Educational Director and Lead Teacher, Elementary

Cheryl grew up in New Jersey but moved to Oklahoma with her family and they are happy to be here with a great backyard. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Geography from Boston University. She then earned her Masters of Education from Oklahoma City University, where she specialized in Montessori. She went on to the receive her Montessori Certification for Primary from the Houston Montessori Center, where she is in the process of certification for Elementary levels I and II. She has been working with children for over 20 years in which 10 of those years have been at Children’s House. Cheryl speaks French and enjoys “learning and encouraging children to be the best they can be.” In her free time she likes to cook, read, and play music.

Anne-Valerie Brittan, Ph.D.

French and Music Director, Elementary Assistant
Anne-Valerie holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Musical Composition from the University of Oklahoma, where her dissertation was on Music for Strings, Percussion and Clarinet under Dr. Marvin Lamb, Chair. She holds a Master of Music in Composition and a Bachelor of Music Composition from the same university. She has a D.E.U.G. of Musicology from the University of Nice, France. She has previously taught early childhood music classes and is a certified Music Together teacher. She was born in France and teaches French language for the Alliance Francaise. Anne-Valerie has previously served as part-time language and music teacher at CMS, and she is now a full-time member of our faculty.

Keisha Beasley, Ph.D.

Elementary Teacher
Keisha developed a love of the environment growing up in Maine and Massachusetts. Pursuing that interest, she studied Environmental Chemistry at the University of Vermont (B.S.), Duke University (M.E.M.), and the University of Oklahoma (Ph.D). She is published within her field and has professional experience as an Environmental Scientist with RETEC. As a GAANN fellow at OU, she was drawn to the field of education, and the processes of discovery. She has experience and training in teaching science at the college level, and she is a certified Pilates instructor with ten years of experience. She is currently enrolled in the NAMC Montessori education training and looks forward to being a guide to the children at CMS. In her free time she enjoys reading, going on adventures with her family, playing field hockey, and drinking hot chocolate.

Our Primary Team

Lois Koch

Lead Teacher & Team Leader, Santa Fe Primary Classroom
Lois grew up in Ohio and has lived with her family in Maryland, North Carolina, Colorado and Oklahoma. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University, post graduate studies in Special Education, and recently received her Montessori Early Childhood Certification from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.  Lois has worked with children for the past forty years.  She loves “watching the eyes of a child light up when a concept is grasped for the first time”.   She enjoys hiking, preferably in the mountains, and walking, preferably along an ocean beach.

Sheetal Jaywsal

Lead Teacher & Team Leader, Linn Primary Classroom
Sheetal has her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma and a B.Sc. and post-graduate Diploma in Biochemistry. She recently completed the Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Certification course from the Houston Montessori Center. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, reading, traveling, listening to music, and spending time outdoors with friends. She believes “Montessori ignites the child’s love of learning and nurtures the child’s interests and passions in an atmosphere of respect.”

Na Chang

Lead Teacher, Santa Fe Primary Classroom
Na has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Oklahoma City University, where she specialized in Montessori. She holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Renmin University, China, and she holds a Primary Credential and Certification from the American Montessori Society.

Carrie Beck

Teacher, Linn St. Primary Classroom
Carrie holds a Master of Education in Early Childhood and Montessori and is a certified Primary Montessori Teacher. She has worked as an elementary teacher, Adjunct Developmental Mathematics Instructor for Spanish bilingual translators of the Oklahoma City Public School, Adjunct Professor of Developmental Mathematics at the Oklahoma City Community College, and Basic Skills Specialist at Redlands Community College. Carrie also attended Children’s House, and is our first alumna to join us as a teacher.

Physical Education

Ed Rugh

Physical Education
Ed holds a Master of Science in Physical Education and Recreation with a concentration on coaching and a B.A. in Health and Physical Education. Ed has been teaching children for over thirty years. He is the owner of the Rugh Institute of Tae Kwon Do, an art in which he is a Senior Master Instructor and holds a 6th Dan.

Click here to read a note from Ed about Physical Education at Children’s House.

After School Team

Ellie Carlin

Primary Assistant and Elementary After School Assistant
Ellie holds a Bachelor’s in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. She grew up in Norman and spent a few years traveling abroad, before returning to her roots.  Ellie is working towards her Early-Childhood Montessori Certification and has been working with children for the past five years. She is passionate about Education, Literature, health and wellness and is a Certified Massage Therapist.

Kayla Pelt

Primary Assistant and Elementary After School Assistant
Kayla received a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Arkansas State University in 2015, and she holds associate degrees in arts and arts in teaching. She has experience teaching fourth grade in the public school system and primary in a private school, and she has served as a reading volunteer with AmeriCorps in addition to several student internships in Montessori and traditional schools. Kayla has won several music competitions, recorded an album, and she is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

Former Teachers

Debjani Das, B.A.

Assistant, Elementary Section
Debjani holds a B.A. and a Montessori diploma (AMI), sponsored by Associate Montessori Internationale (Italy), from the Indian Montessori Center at Bangalore, India. She has 25+ years of teaching and administrative experience in various schools in Bangalore and New Delhi. She has taught using a combination of traditional and Montessori methods over this period. She is passionate about teaching children. Her hobbies include cooking, reading and travelling.