Meet Our Staff
Michelle McNabb is a long-time educator who combines a passion for teaching and learning along with awe and interest in the natural world. She holds a bachelors degree in elementary education with a K-12 reading endorsement. She enjoyed five years teaching 3rd grade with Olentangy Schools and one year as a Reading Specialist with Westerville and Olentangy school districts. Michelle homeschooled her three children for eight adventurous years. She also taught gymnastics for 19 years as a preschool instructor and team coach at Buckeye Gymnastics where she helped kids develop body awareness and confidence. In her work with children, Michelle honors the whole child while providing a supportive, nurturing framework for learning. She loves teaching because every day she can observe and participate in students' joy, excitement and journey through learning. Outside of school, Michelle's interests include bicycling, reading, hiking, gardening, and traveling with family.
Maureen Alley is an educator at Red Oak and one of the founders of the school. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Maureen took the lead in creating the curriculum and setting the tone in the classrooms at Red Oak. Her emphasis on developmentally appropriate practices has helped to create a culture of respect for our students. Most recently, she has added a well-received social justice curriculum to our program. When she's not at school Maureen enjoys deepening her yoga practice, reading science fiction, and exploring local creeks.
Bethany Fillipow began teaching as a naturalist with the Massachusetts Audubon Society in a summer camp program. Since then, she has continued to grow as an educator, working as an elementary and middle school S.T.E.M teacher. She was one of the first teachers hired by Red Oak in our first year, and therefore was instrumental in guiding the initial curriculum and culture of the school. Today she continues teaching science, math and environmental studies. When she's not at school she enjoys running, hiking and creeking with her family.
Meridith Kiyosue lived, studied, and taught in Japan off-and-on for 14 years, most recently during a year teaching abroad in 2015. During that time, her child enjoyed time with Japanese grandparents and attended shogakko (elementary school). She found her time in Japan as a mother more educational than all her previous experiences combined. Her favorite part of school is seeing a child's world expand with each new word or cultural concept they encounter and helping them become global ambassadors of heiwa (peace). She is passionate about introducing world languages and cultures to students earlier rather than later, and her favorite teaching tool is storytelling through kamishibai or paper theater- a Red Oak favorite! Outside of the classroom, she's still studying Japanese or planning her next trip to see family and friends in her second home- Japan!
Sarah Clement began teaching school-age children at the Indianapolis Art Center where she focused on teaching ceramics which a connection to nature. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and has been a student of botany and Western herbalism for more than a decade. During that time, she has led potion-making classes for children and been an preschool teacher at School for Young Children (SYC), and mother. At Red Oak, she is leading an interdisciplinary study of nature and art through botany, music, and creativity. When she’s not teaching school, she operates her herbal product business Jeanne Wildherb Botanicals, explores parks and woods with her family, and plays in the mud (a.k.a. clay).
Kali Sites got her first taste of teaching as a swim coach, working alongside her mother in her hometown of Jamestown, North Dakota. She completed undergraduate studies at Bowling Green State University, majoring in Physical Education (PE) with a minor in Adaptive PE. Through her years at BGSU, she led Wood County Special Olympics, coaching 10 sports for over 350 athletes. Since then, Kali spent 7 years homeschooling her own three children, including organizing events and classes for other homeschool families. In addition to teaching in the 2-day ROCS program, she is the owner and purveyor of Two Blocks Away Farm in Pataskala. In her spare time Kali enjoys gardening, listening to books, and going on adventures.
Cheryl Ryan is our School Manager and one of the founders of Red Oak Community School, a nature-based elementary school. She’s been managing the school from its inception in 2015, guiding it's policies and structure as it has grown. She has a background in business management, with a collaborative approach that works well at a community-driven school like Red Oak. She has a strong belief that access to the outdoors and unstructured play at school should be a basic right of all students. When she's not at Red Oak, she loves hiking new trails, unplugging on primitive camping trips, and finding adventure within the nooks and crannies of Columbus.