Secondary Faculty

Dr. Kym Elder, Ed.D, Leadership, HS Language Arts, HS Coordinator


Dr. Kym Elder, Ed.D, is the Executive Director and founder of Island Village Montessori Schools. She received Montessori educator certification from the American Montessori Society in both early childhood and elementary levels and has worked with students from three years old to ninth grade in Montessori environments since 1994. Kym is a graduate of Pine …

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Whitney Carter, Registrar, Secondary Admin., Faculty Montessori Live

Whitney Carter

Whitney Carter joined the IVMS family in 2009 as a PE educator.  She has since become a part of the administration team as the Registrar and works as the administrator of the Secondary program.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education And Recreation from Western Kentucky University. Before joining IVMS, Whitney worked for the …

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Nancy Clarke, Language Arts, Choir, Team Leader 6th/7th

Ms. Nancy headshot

Nancy Clarke graduated from Clemson University with a BA in secondary education – English 6-12. She holds her Florida certification in language arts, and has integrated curriculum 5-9 certification.  Nancy has been an educator since 1995, including the nine years she was co-owner of The Study Center, a local supplemental education service.  In both private and …

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Kim Michiels, Big History, World History, Civics, ESE


Kim has over 22 years experience teaching Montessori at the lower and upper elementary levels. Kim has a B.A. in human development from Eckerd College and her AMS Montessori credential for Elementary I and II (grades 1-6.) Kim has her Florida certificate in elementary grades K-6, and has a Florida social studies 5-9 credential. Kim has …

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Matt Minton, Civics, American and World History, Digital Arts, Technology Support


Matt moved to Sarasota in 2006 from Maryland. He attended Venice High School and graduated in 2010. Matt graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2014. His senior thesis topic was entitled: Margaret Thatcher: Dividing the Union and Uniting the Kingdom. Matt thoroughly enjoys studying modern British history, ancient …

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Krista Bertelson, Language Arts, Spanish

KristaBertelson (1)

Krista has been in the field of experiential education for 20 years and joins the IVMS faculty in 2015. With a strong background in outdoor education and engaged learning, she takes learning outside of the box.  Krista completed her BA in International Relations and Spanish at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  She later returned to complete …

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Tony Neff, Educator, Social Studies, PE


Tony joined the IVMS team in 2015. He is originally from Wisconsin and attained his Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Broadfield Social Science along with minors in History and Psychology with emphasis on deviance and social control from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Tony has experience in corrections as he was an …

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Rachel Cheriyan, Mathematics


Rachel Cheriyan joined Island Village Montessori School of Venice as a secondary math teacher in 2014. She has lived around the Sarasota County area for the past 20 years. Rachel has a MS in Accounting and an extensive accounting background as a certified accountant, beginning her career in the State of New York. Out of a …

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Katherine (Beth) Moore, Life Science, Physical Science


Katherine joins the staff of IVMS in 2014. She has lived in Sarasota County for 20 years and has taught middle school science for 2 years. Before becoming a science educator, Katherine worked as a biologist for over 10 years in south Florida and as a laboratory analyst at an environmental testing laboratory. Katherine has …

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Barbara Shelby, Biology, Geometry, Algebra, ESE


Barbara is a native of Long Island, NY. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Florida and went straight into working in medical research at University of Florida’s Department of Medicine. After her daughters started school, she chose to go into education and started teaching science in 1999. From …

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Monica Ribbe, 6th/7th Math, General Science, Engineering

Monica Ribbe

Monica joined IVMS in 2014 after moving to the Venice area.  Monica has 22 years of teaching experience with children from early childhood  to 8th grade.  Most recently, she taught math and science to middle school age students, including the PLTW (Project Lead the Way) design and modeling curriculum to teach engineering skills. Monica looks …

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Megan Criswell, School Counselor, ESE, Test Coordinator


Megan joined IVMS in 2014 with seven years of experience teaching secondary level math. Megan earned a BA in Mathematics from the University of Tennessee and completed her MA in School Counseling from Argosy University in 2014. Megan has ESE K-12 certification.  Megan will act as the school counselor for both elementary and secondary students, as …

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Diana Siwicka, French, Latin, MS Spanish


Diana Siwicka joined IVMS in 2014 as a foreign language specialist with 8 years of teaching experience. She has earned her BA in French and Italian Studies. She also has a MA in French Literature from the University of Minnesota. Diana also studied linguistics and Latin at the graduate level. In her free time, she …

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Ursula Fortner, ESE and ESL Support, German


Ursula has been with Island Village Montessori School since 2006. Ursula recently completed her Master’s in Montessori Teaching from Sarasota University. She is a Florida certified educator for elementary education grades K through six and for secondary mathematics education grades six through twelve. Ursula also holds endorsements for the education of speakers of English as …

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Michael Fingerle, Physical Education


Michael Fingerle returned to Sarasota after having taught and coached at Chattanooga Christian School for 27 years. He attended Covenant College where he earned a BA degree in History and Secondary Education and where he later completed a MA degree in Educational Leadership. Working for a small private school, he found himself teaching a variety …

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Jamie Marshall, Coordinating Director, IVMS Arts Programs, Piano, Brass Instruments


  Jamie grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Muskingum University, and did graduate work in Jazz Studies at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Before becoming a teacher, Jamie worked as a professional trombonist for 20 plus years.  He began his playing career recording and performing in …

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Peter Simms, General Music, Guitar, Strings, Community Liaison, Secondary Support, Faculty Montessori Live

Peter Simms

Peter Simms has spent 30 years as a professional musician and instructor. Peter studied classical and jazz music at Cabrillo College & Chabot College in California. He studied privately with jazz greats: Don Haas (Benny Goodman), Smith Dobson (Gary Burton), Dave Smith (Joe Pass), and Ray Brown (Stan Kenton). From classical, rock, reggae, ethnic, and …

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Tasha Robinson, Orff, Harp, Piano, Elementary and Secondary

Tasha Robinson

Tasha Robinson holds a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance from studies at both the University of Toronto and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Tasha has taught harp at many levels, from being an adjunct professor of harp instruction to running her own private studio, Golden Harp Studios. Tasha uses a mixture of both the …

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Michelle Maulucci, Drama


Michelle graduated from SUNY College at Buffalo with a BA in Theater Arts.  She immediately moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting and worked with many greats in the business, including the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Howard Sackler, and Emmy winner, Tom Fontana, who directed her in several plays. Michelle is …

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Jill Wright, Art, Elementary and Secondary


Jill Wright joined IVMS in 2010 part-time while finishing her bachelor’s degree.  She graduated from USF in 2011 with a B.A. in history.  She also has an A.A. in art.  Originally from Ohio, Jill moved to Florida in 2002 after living in the west for a number of years. She has been working as a …

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Glenna Dame-Baker, Art, High School


Since 2002, Glenna and her family have been involved with Island Village. She has a broad range of experience with IVMS, including working with After School Program drama productions, early childhood/VPK and elementary levels, music, art, and the IVMS board of directors. Glenna continues support of the arts, returning to Island Village in 2015 having …

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