School News

Maharishi School Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

The Maharishi School faculty and staff for the 2014-2015 school year includes new faces, familiar faces, and some familiar faces from last year in new positions. Maharishi School sends everyone an appreciative Pioneer welcome and wishes all an enjoyable and successful year.

Vishal Bakshi, a 2007 Maharishi School graduate and Pioneer Award recipient, is joining us to teach Pre-calculus, Economics, Physiology and the Science Research Elective. Mr. Bakshi received a BS in Civil and Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University in 2011 and then an MS in Structural Engineering in 2013. He then moved on to fulfill a longtime desire to be a teacher, was accepted into the Teach for America program, and spent the 2013-2014 school year teaching math to 9th graders in Detroit. He is happy to be back in Fairfield and looking forward to continuing his teaching career.

Witney Bomzer joins us as a lead teacher in the pre-school’s Star Room for children ages 1.5 to 3.5 years old. She will also teach the 9-12 girls PE. Ms. Bomzer has BA and MA degrees in Education and is starting on a PhD in the same area. She spent the last several years working in a Montessori preschool in the Bay Area. Ms. Bomzer is also active in sports, such as running marathons, and she has also trained as a personal trainer. She moved to Fairfield recently with her son Caleb and her mother Susan.

Cherry Bregenzer will be teaching a new elective course this year, Chinese Culture and Language. Ms. Bregenzer is from Taiwan, where she received her schooling, and has been in the United States for over four years. A s a professional translator of Chinese into English, Ms. Bregenzer works with businesses, translating business plans and marketing materials into English. She is excited to be teaching at Maharishi School and looks forward to teaching her students about the Chinese culture, language, cuisine, and festivals.

Miranda Mallard, a 2004 Maharishi School graduate, is joining us as our music teacher. Ms. Mallard has studied music, voice and dance, receiving in 2009 degrees from the University of Iowa, a Bachelor of Music in Voice and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. She is a professional-level performer and a member of the talented group Rock, Paper, Scissors and has been performing professionally as a singer, musician, songwriter, dancer, and choreographer for the past 5 years in the Bay Area of California. She has also worked in the Bay Area as an assistant music teacher in the local schools as well a giving private lessons. When a Maharishi School student, Ms. Mallard was a 4-year participant in our school’s award-winning speech program.

Sam Rose is joining us as the Dean of Boys and our Sustainable Living teacher. Mr. Rose is a 2010 Maharishi School graduate and a 2014 MUM graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Living. He has coached soccer and track at the school. He recently taught 3 weeks of Sustainable Living in Michael Cook’s class and was a co-leader of the 9th grade camping trip.

Kamesh Tata joins Maharishi School to teach Computer Science. He has been a computer professional for over two decades, and he loves teaching young people, as he did in his former community for many years. Mr. Tata and his family have previously been in the US for over twenty years. The family is moving to Fairfield from India, where they have recently been to support their extended family. His son will be enrolled in the 7th grade.

Jim Turner is returning to Maharishi School to teach American Government, American History and World History. Since his previous 9-year stint as one of the school’s favorite teachers, he has taught in South Africa as the primary teacher for the opening of the Maharishi Institute, for which he recently received a Maharishi Award. Mr. Turner has had 18 years’ experience teaching in private schools. In his time away from teaching at Maharishi School, Mr. Turner has also written a book based on his 30 years of teaching experience, titled Mastering the Art of Teaching.

Jelena Raam rejoins Maharishi School as an assistant teacher in the Preschool, working in the K and Pre-K class. She filled a similar position in 2010-11. Ms. Raam studied early childhood education and special needs in college. She has also studied Vedic Gardening, Sustainable Living and is a Maharishi Ayurvedic technician, a Vedic cook, and a former member of the Serbian Handball Federation.

Anna Hunter joins us as an assistant teacher in the Preschool, working with the middle age group of preschoolers. Ms. Hunter graduated from Maharishi School in the class of 2000. She has worked in arts and crafts her whole life, teaching out of her home, at fairs, and most recently with Danielle Wallace at the GoJindy Craft Cafe in the Roosevelt Recreation Center. Ms. Hunter also has a good deal of experience in sustainable gardening and landscaping.

Tom Kepler is returning to our school in a new role, working in the Development Office and utilizing his writing and social media skills to keep the school in the awareness of the community and our donors. Mr. Kepler had a successful career as a Language Arts teacher, spending 8 years at Maharishi School after teaching in Iowa’s Van Buren County and in Oregon for a total of 26 years. Tom has published novels and short stories, a book of poetry, a non-fiction book on the process of writing, and is an active blogger.

Tammy Thomas joins to head the lunch program. She is a Fairfield native who has worked as a cook and in food service at the Walton Club, the Mansion and at A Taste of India. Tammy has worked as a CNA in the past.

Art Riegel joins us as our varsity boys basketball coach. Mr. Riegel has several years of experience coaching in Colorado and has worked with young people for many years in different roles. Mr. Riegel is happy to have moved back to Fairfield. He has worked in several school systems and is excited about working with Maharishi School students again.

Shifts in roles:
Annalisa Miller has taken over as our Director of Development. She has managed our alumni relations, public relations, writing and website for several years. In the spring she increased to full time to work in the Development Office as well. Now she takes the reins for the office.

Jeremy Jones adds teaching 9/10 boys SCI. His 11th and 12th boys SCI classes will be combined. This creates the space in his schedule for the 9/10 boys.

Karim Nahabet is adding Chemistry to his Math classes. The room in his schedule comes with the shifting of the 9/10 boys SCI to Mr. Jones.

Jane Fleshman is shifting to half-time in her Academic Advisor role. Mrs. Eyre will take on some of her duties.

Juliet Jarmosco will teach the elective Digital Media and also publish the school’s yearbook. Ms. Jarmosco worked this last spring with Lucinda Hall, who is now retiring but will help with some school projects.

Kodie Davis continues as the 5/6 boys teacher from last spring. Ms. Davis completed her Elementary Education degree at Buena Visa University and did her student teaching at Maharishi School. We are happy to have her return on a permanent basis.

Michael Cook continues as our Biology teacher and gives the Sustainable Living classes to Sam Rose.

June Schindler, Trish Fenton, and Joy Smith will each take over various aspects of Adam Terfa’s position as Accounts Payable manager. Mr. Terfa has taken a position in Minneapolis, having recently obtained his CPA licensure.

Christian Hoffmann gives his varsity basketball coaching duties to Art Riegel but will likely continue as an assistant or junior coach in our basketball program.

Taniya Handapangoda continues as our Kindergarten teacher. The Kindergarten class moves to the preschool building for the morning session in a Montessori environment as a combined K / Pre-K class with Rebecca Bellonci co-teaching. In the afternoon, Ms. Handapangoda will teach a Kindergarten in the lower school building.

With the Kindergarten class moving, Emily Timm will take over teaching Kindergarten Art. Karen Valentine will continue to teach grade 1 and 2 Art.

Asha Sharma will be a substitute teacher for the middle and upper school. She will continue teaching Sanskrit in the Lower School but will give up her afternoon duties in childcare. Those duties will be covered by Jelena Raam and Mala Markowitz.

Laurie Baumann and Tasha Jones traded part of their duties last semester, with Ms. Baumann taking on Development of Consciousness and Ms. Jones taking the 9/10 girls SCI class. They continue with these duties.

Cathy Wadsworth will continue managing the school’s Blackbaud database from New Zealand, where she will be teaching in a new Consciousness-Based school for Maori students.

Felisha Durflinger is continuing to work on our Facilities Crew crew early in the morning. She started as a full time MUM student two weeks ago and will be experiencing Consciousness-Based education this year from a student’s perspective.

Human Resources Director Terry Weiss summed up Maharishi School’s personnel changes as follows: “We have had a busy but enjoyable summer lining up our new people and organizing some shifting around. I am really excited with how well everything has come together. We have brilliant new people joining our wonderful continuing roster. It should be a year to enjoy.”

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