Middle/Upper School Faculty

Cheryl Carter - Academic Counselor

BS in Secondary Education / English from SW Missouri State University, Talented & Gifted Endorsement from the University of Iowa and Reading Endorsement from Iowa Wesleyan College

Carol Chestnutt - Mathematics, Economics

BIE (Industrial and Systems Engineering) from the Georgia Institute of Technology

Cynthia Cornell - Language Arts, Sanskrit, SCI

Cynthia Cornell has a B.A. in Secondary Ed. with a major in English and minor in Spanish, an M.A. in Secondary Ed. with an emphasis on Reading as well as 60+ credits above her master's degree. She is currently certified in Secondary Education and English, 7-12, Reading Specialist, K-12, and is a Re-certified Governor (TM teacher since 1976.) She has taught at Maharishi School full-time since 1990 and before that was a full-time high school teacher in Arizona, 1971-1977. She has been a full-time governor in Fairfield since 1987. "I am living my dream by teaching at Maharishi School and plan to continue another 17-20 years, seriously!"

Laurie Eyre - Mathematics, Tennis

Laurie Reid Eyre is a founding faculty member of Maharishi Middle and Upper Schools (1981). Mrs. Eyre holds a B.A. cum laude in Mathematics from California State University at Sacramento (1970), an M.A. in the Science of Creative Intelligence from Maharishi European Research University (1979) and an M.A. in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland (1987). She chairs the Mathematics department and teaches courses in the Upper School . Mrs. Eyre served as a consultant (1992-1994) and work shop leader (1999-2005) for the Core-Plus Mathematics Curriculum Project. Mrs. Eyre has taught mathematics for over thirty years in public schools, colleges and Consciousness-Based Education settings.
A qualified teacher of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation program since 1973 and a Governor of the Age of Enlightenment since 1977, Mrs. Eyre has taught the TM technique to hundreds of people across the United States and in Bulgaria.
Mrs. Eyre has coached the Pioneer girls’ tennis team since 1992. She has coached two Iowa 1-A state Final Four teams (2004, 2005), one state singles champion (2002) and one state singles runner-up (2006), and two third place doubles teams (2004, 2005).
Mrs. Eyre has a teaching license from the state of Iowa and has been a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics since 1984.

Lawrence Eyre - Social Studies, SCI, Tennis

Lawrence Eyre is a founding faculty member of Maharishi Middle and Upper Schools. A native Iowan, Mr. Eyre holds a B.A. cum laude in American Studies from Yale (1970), an M.A. in New Testament Studies from Yale Divinity School/Luther Seminary (1981) and an M.A. in Maharishi’s Vedic Science from Maharishi University of Management (2007). He chairs the Social Studies department and also teaches Science of Creative Intelligence courses.
A qualified teacher of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation program since 1976, Mr. Eyre has taught the TM technique to hundreds of people across the United States and in Bulgaria. Mr. Eyre served as academic and administrative director of Maharishi School in Silver Spring, Maryland from 1984-86.
A tennis teacher certified at the Professional 1 level by the United States Professional Tennis Association since 1991, Mr. Eyre founded the Maharishi School boys’ tennis team in 1988 and the Pioneer girls’ tennis team in 1990. Mr. Eyre’s Pioneer boys have captured sixteen Iowa 1-A state championships in singles, doubles and team tennis, including consecutive ‘triple crowns’ in 1999 and 2000. Mr. Eyre was honored as the Iowa Tennis Association’s Coach of the Year (2000), USPTA-Missouri Valley Coach of the Year (2008) and USPTA National High School Coach of the Year (2009).


Jane Fleshman - Academic Support

Jane Fleshman has a BA from Maharishi European Research University. She was a teacher at Maharishi Preschool for nine years before coming to the Maharishi Middle and Upper School Academic Support Office, where she has been for three years. She was trained as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation in 1974.

"I love working with Middle and Upper School students and am especially happy to have the opportunity to work with our international students. Working in the Academic Support Office allows me to help foster the strengths of individual students and appreciate their uniqueness. I find that to be the most exciting part of my job."

Kristina Gelfand - World Literature

Kristina Gelfand received her B.A. in Literature in 1988 from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield Iowa and became a Certified English High School teacher, Secondary Education (High School, English) from the State of Iowa. She is a Certified Instructor TEFL/EFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) as of August 2009 from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA.

Kristina Gelfand was born in Helsingør, Denmark. During her teenage years, Kristina traveled extensively throughout Europe as a member of the Danish Junior Orienteering Team and during the winter months, she spend most weekends at a Junior level cross-country training facility in Telemark, Norway. Mrs. Gelfand has taught ESL at High School and College level in both Japan and in the U.S. and currently teaches World Literature to the Senior classes using college prep reading and writing courses, emphasizing both analytical and creative writing.

In her spare time, Kristina rides horses, plays tennis and swims and when she is not cooking for her two teenage sons, she is also an avid endurance road biker.

Lucinda Hall - American Literature, Academic Writing, Senior Thesis, Deskop Publishing

Moved to Fairfield from California with an AA in theatre, radio, and television, and completed a BA in literature and a MA in education at MUM. Started teaching at Maharishi School 1986. After three years, took time off to raise children, then came back. Currently, Lucinda teaches 10th girls American Literature, 11th boys and girls Academic Writing, 12th boys and girls Senior Thesis, and 10-12 boys and girls Desktop Publishing. "I love working at Maharishi School because it gives me the feeling that I am doing something significant—a channel for giving—and that’s fulfilling." When not at school, she is home reading, building something around the house, or doing art. She may also be at St. Gabriel’s singing, teaching, or investigating mystical Christianity in forgotten scripture. She is especially interested in the role of women, and women's vision for the future. She is a deaconess for the Liberal Catholic Church, and also one founder of a holy order for women called The Circle of Sophia, celebrating the Divine Feminine. Lucinda's other love is theatre; tech and acting. For 30 years, she has spent hours in theatres fixing, hanging, and designing lights. Adding color and motion to help create a show.


Barbara Hays - Math, Science

Barbara HaysBarbara started her career as an electrical engineer for the Computer Science Department of Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When her oldest son was ready for pre-school, the family moved to Washington, DC so he could attend Maharishi School there. As the second and third son arrived, Barbara became a "stay-at-home" mom and became more involved at the boys' school. By the time they left Washington she had served as lunch supervisor, pre-school teaching assistant, science consultant, and administrator. The family arrived in Fairfield in 1996, where Barbara continued her involvement at this Maharishi School in the Development Office and as Middle School Office Manager. She began teaching in 2000 and has taught various math and science courses to grades 7 to 12. She is currently developing and teaching a project-based authentic learning math and science curriculum for middle school.

Barbara and her husband of 25 years are enjoying being "empty-nesters" with time to travel and explore hobbies.

Greg Holland - Art, Photography, Sustainable Living

Greg received his BFA in Painting and BA in Secondary Education from M.U.M. in 2002, where he was also awarded Outstanding Student of the Year in the Education Department. Greg completed his student teaching at Pekin Community Schools, and since graduating, has taught in the Van Buren and Cardinal School District in Iowa, Eldon R-1 School district in Missouri, and was the Art Teacher at Fairfield Middle School from 2006-2010. Between 2008 and 2010, Greg ran his own wedding photography business, Holland Family Arts.

Greg joined Maharishi School in the fall of 2010 as a teacher of Art, Photography and Sustainable Living and Assistant to the School Head. Joining him is his wife Stephanie who teaches Kindergarten and is the Assistant Director of the Preschool, and daughter Sophia who currently attends preschool. Greg continues to pursue his passion for painting, drawing, and photography; and playing the drums which he's done professionally off and on since 2000.

Richard Incorvia - English, Social Sciences

Richard IncorviaRichard received his BA in Art from Maharishi University of Management in 2001 and his MA in Education in 2005. He was a student teacher under Tom Kepler at Van Buren public school and, when Tom was hired to teach at Maharishi School, took over his English class at Van Buren. Richard came to Maharishi School "because I was interested in teaching the most effective way I could." He is striving to bring education into the 21st century using technology in his classroom.

Mr. Incorvia's students publish work on his blog, http://mrincorvia.com/

Tom Kepler - Language Arts

Tom Kepler is a certified teacher of the Transcendental Meditation Program. He also has been a classroom teacher of language arts for thirty-one years, twenty-six in public schools and five at Maharishi School. He received his B.A. in English with a specialization in writing poetry at the University of California, Davis, where he studied with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Karl Shapiro. He has published two books, Love Ya Like a Sister, a young adult novel, and Bare Ruined Choirs, a book of poetry. He is currently seeking publication of The Stone Dragon, a fantasy novel.

Regarding teaching at Maharishi School: “Teaching is the most challenging thing I have ever done, and I find that no less true at Maharishi School. The students here are strong, independent, and unwilling to waste their time—but that is good. When I do my job well, that strength of spirit results in higher order learning by the students—the result of their awakened curiosity and intelligence that is naturally accessible when a mind is alert.”

Read more about Tom Kepler at www.tomkeplerswritingblog.com/

Angela Mailander - ELL (English Language Learners)

Dr. Angela Mailander was born in Germany. She attended schools there, in the U.S. and in Paris, France. Fluent in four languages, she taught her first class of English Language Learners (ELL) at age fifteen. By the time she was nineteen, she was teaching graduate students.

Angela went on to earn two Ph.D.’s, and taught in the U.S., Germany, Greece, India, and China. Her M.A. degrees are in Translation Studies and Art Criticism. She has taught Literature, Linguistics, Creative Writing, and Philosophy. But whatever she was teaching, she was also always working with ELL. She began developing her own approach in 1963 and has used it with great success teaching students from pre-school to grad school. In China some of Angela’s results were so far beyond expected norms that the standardized tests to measure the results do not yet exist.

One of the most interesting and unique things about her method is that it can be adjusted to the needs of students from specific language backgrounds. Dr. Mailander won a teaching award in 1982 for making her approach responsive to speakers of Arabic. Dr. Mailander calls her method “Dao of English.” It is a simple but effective practice in the same sense as Tai Chi is a practice. If students practice as instructed, they will correct habitual errors and will truly understand how the English language works. One of her students has said, “I never imagined learning [English structure] could be sooo easy!”

Angela enjoys the international students at Maharishi School very much. In addition to ELL, she teaches American History and American Government. In her spare time, she is an artist and a writer. Her work can be seen at a local gallery. Several chapbooks of her poetry have been published, and some of her poems are featured in a recent anthology of Fairfield poets.

Susan Marcus - SCI, Sanskrit

Susan Marcus received her undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Iowa and Maharishi International University. She has been teaching Sanskrit and SCI at MSAE since 1998 and have found it to be a very rich experience.

"It is both challenging and fulfilling to share the knowledge of SCI and Vedic Science with students as they are growing in their ability to comprehend abstract ideas and as they evaluate where those ideas fit into their world. I feel very fortunate to have this 'job.'

Suzanna Mullenneaux - Middle/Upper Guidance Counselor

Suzanna Mullenneaux has a BA in SCI from M.U.M. and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Norwich University. She is an alumnus of Maharishi School and has two boys in the school, Avery and Caleb.

Karen Price, Physiology, Mathematics

BA in SCI from M.U.M. and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Norwich University.

Girma Tessema - Biology, Chemistry

Born in Ethiopia, Girma Tessema joined an Agricultural Research College after High School as a technical assistant while taking courses for his degree. He transferred to Addis Ababa University, obtaining teacher training and in 1985 a B.Sc. Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He then taught biology in grades 11-12. In 1988, he joined the International Livestock Research Institution (ILRI) because his 4th year research paper had attracted the attention of a researcher there. Performing laboratory experiments in Rhizobiology, Plant in vitro culture, Plant reproductive biology etc., he also mentored technical staff and students from colleges and high schools while meeting scientists from the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. He also began an M.A. program and graduated from Addis Ababa University with an MSC in Botany, publishing scientific articles in international and national journals.

In 2005, he came to the U.S. for the M.A. degree in teaching at Maharishi University of Management, in Iowa, and was certified by the Iowa Department of Education to teach Biology and Chemistry in grades 7-12.

In 2006, as part of MAT degree and CPT, he was employed by Prince George County Public Schools in Maryland, teaching Science in grade 7 for 2 years.

In 2008 Mr. Tessema accepted a position at Maharishi School, teaching Biology and Chemistry to 9th and 10th grade students. His family members are happy to be in this peaceful environment and their dream is to see their daughters graduate from Maharishi school.

View Girma Tessema's e-portfolio at www.mumstudents.org/~gtessema

Greg Thatcher - Art

Greg Thatcher received his B.F.A. degree with honors from the University of Victoria, Victoria B.C., Canada. He received his Masters Degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in drawing and painting. Greg moved to Fairfield in 1978 at which time he taught in the Art Department at M.I.U. After 10 years, he started working at Maharishi School where he became the Art Department Chair.

The Maharishi School art curriculum has been designed to be seamless from K - 12th grade. The program is based upon developing a strong foundation in design principles and basic art skills. The curriculum is based upon enlivening Maharishi's principles of self-referral, and developing a deep working understanding of the student’s creativity and inspiration.

Greg is a practicing artist working on a series of drawings in England. During the summers, he works on location in England, drawing the yew trees in St. Mary's churchyard. He has exhibited his work in USA, Canada, England, and France. You can view his work and see a recent film on his work at www.gregthatchergallery.com.

Amy Epstein Thiel - SCI

Amy Epstein ThielAmy Epstein Thiel received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz in 1978 and also majored in acting at Bennington College in Vermont from 1974-1976. She also studied Law and Psychology and Dance Therapy at Harvard and studied acting at Lee Strasburg Theater Institute in 1978. She taught Transcendental Meditation in Cambridge, MA from 1981-1982 and in White Plains, NY in 1989. She began teaching SCI at Maharishi School in 2008 and finds it gratifying on so many levels. The students are inquisitive, insightful and hugely creative.

Her senior Psychology thesis at UC Santa Cruz explored the relationship between trends in fashion with the social psychology of women. She performed an indepth statistical analysis of 20 years of Vogue Magazine, between the 1950's to the 1970's, and correlated her findings with the changes in women's roles during that period. The thesis received great recognition from the psych dept at UCSC.

In high school, she worked with a team of teachers, students and administrators to start a public alternative school. This peaked her interest in education and was a pivotal point in her schooling. The alternative school began in 1972 and was extremely successful. She learned TM at that school along with half the student body. They had group meditations, advanced lecture and SCI. The school continues today.

Brendan Thomas, Speech

In addition to coaching speech, Mr. Thomas is studying Education and Literature at Maharishi University of Management.

Mark Wilkins -  Science of Creative Intelligence, Destination ImagiNation Mentor

Mark WilkinsBA in Humanities from Colorado State University




Dr. Richard Wolfson - Physics

Richard Wolfson holds a B.Sc. in mathematics and physics from the University of British Columbia (Canada) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in theoretical quantum physics from MUM. From 1980 to 1983, Dr. Wolfson was on faculty at MUM and director of the Math Skills program. Currently, Dr. Wolfson is adjunct faculty at MUM, as well as faculty at Maharishi School. Over the last five years while Dr. Wolfson has been teaching at Maharishi School, he has taught physics, mathematics (precalculus), and computer web design courses.


Councilman Halley Encourages Students to Volunteer

City Councilman, Michael Halley, addressed Maharishi Upper School students Tuesday to share his experiences with volunteering. He encouraged students to get involved this summer in the... 
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