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.

Our Elementary Team

Cheryl Paizis

M.Ed. –  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.

Kelly Burchett

Assistant Teacher, Lower Elementary Classroom

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.

Amanda Wolff

Lead Teacher, Linn Street Primary Classroom

Amanda comes to us from Washington state. Where her love of coaching and watching children grow turned her educational path from fitness and dietary studies to a fast track into the world of Montessori Education. She received her Certification and is MACTE Accredited in Early Ed. She relocated to Oklahoma and is thrilled to have found such an incredible group of women and a school with a passion for lighting the fire of learning in each child’s eyes. She considers herself a student of life and is always looking for the next challenge or adventure, life is a journey and one she loves to explore and share with the children in her class.  One of Amanda’s favorites quotes is ” Their minds were not built to sit and be taught. They were built to explore, play and learn. ” 

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