Who We Are
Faculty and Staff
Edy Dingus is a devoted advocate for quality education for all Mississippians, and especially works to support young children and their families. Edy graduated with a degree in English literature from the University of Mississippi, then immediately charted a course to teach English as a Second Language on the other side of the world. She was the lead English and music instructor at a pre-school in Dalian, China, where she emphasized to participants the necessity of accessible kinesthetic learning environments and helped to triple program enrollment. Upon her return home, Edy began her first term of national service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA, one of her lifelong goals. As a VISTA, Edy supported local educators, families, and children as part of the ongoing work of the early childhood education coalitions housed at the United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County. In 2017, she joined the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement as the AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader for the North Mississippi VISTA Project, where she supported the successes of more than 40 VISTA members and the 30 amazing non-profits they served. Now, Edy sustains her passion for improving educational opportunities in Mississippi by maintaining an active presence in local anti-poverty organizations like LOU Excel by 5, the local chapter of the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading, and Team 36. As the executive director for Magnolia Montessori School, Edy strives to support families from every background in an effort to build community and impart the importance of quality education for all.
Edy would love to hear from you at email@example.com, or give her a call at (662) 380-2340.
Brooke Fly Spears
Elementary Classroom Lead Guide and Director of Curriculum
Ms. Brooke is a Montessori elementary teacher with nine years of classroom experience. She taught for five years at Near North Montessori, an AMI-accredited school in Chicago, working with children ages 6 to 14, and taught fifth grade science in the Mississippi public school system at Quitman County until she returned to Oxford to help support and grow the local Montessori movement. She holds a Mississippi teaching license, an Association of Montessori Internationale Montessori Elementary Certification, a Master of Education from Loyola University-Maryland, and a Bachelor of English from the University of Mississippi.
You can catch Brooke (and baby Thomas!) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Manager and Early Care Lead Guide
Ms. Katelyn is an administrative tour de force! Ms. Katelyn is an Oxford native with more than seven years' experience in business management and administration. Ms. Katelyn is as capable in the classroom as she is behind the desk, and loves every student interaction. She supports event coordination and fundraising, community outreach, and classroom success, but is especially good at reading in silly voices as often as she can.
Read to Katelyn in a silly voice by contacting email@example.com.
Director of Sustainability Programming and Aftercare Lead Guide
Ms. Katelynn is a native of Metairie, Louisiana. She earned a Bachelor's in Biology from the University of Mississippi, and has extensive experience in environmental education. Ms. Katelynn has worked with the Oxford City Market, Oxford Wonder Walks, the University of Mississippi Office of Sustainability, and Good Food for Oxford Schools, among other environmental organizations. Every day, Ms. Katelynn is very excited to share her passion for the outdoors with MMS students and families, and looks forward to every new adventure!
Ask Katelynn what kind of plant that is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elementary Classroom Support Guide
Ms. Katie moved to Mississippi in 2014 to be closer to her parents, and the whole family fell in love with Oxford. Ms. Katie graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor’s in Communication. This is Ms. Katie’s fourth year at Magnolia Montessori School. She has worked in all three classrooms at MMS, and she and Ms. Brooke are make an excellent team - sometimes they even seem capable of mind-reading! Ms. Katie is passionate about the Montessori Method and will complete her AMI elementary Montessori certification at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in Summer 2019. Congratulations, Katie!
Congratulate Katie at email@example.com.
Primary Classroom Lead Guide
Ms. Emily is a native North Mississippian with a vested interest in quality early education. Since the birth of her courageous and adorable daughter, Ms. Emily practices Montessori at home, owing her passion to the revelation of the importance of a child's "prepared environment." She holds her Bachelor's in Hospitality Management and brings more than ten years of service experience and a keen facilitation of communal spaces to her role in the Primary classroom. We are so happy to have Ms. Emily as part of our MMS community, and are beyond excited for everyone to meet this kind, intelligent soul!
Ask Emily about her favorite record at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Primary Classroom Support Guide
Ms. Edna moved to Oxford from her hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi, to study music education at the University of Mississippi. She is the director of the youth and adult choirs for Springfield M.B. Church in Abbeville, Mississippi, a certified nurse assistant, and the resident "song bird" of MMS. Ms. Edna brings her boogieing spirit to the Primary classroom every day, and looks forward to helping to expand the school's music education opportunities this year!
Congratulate Edna on her new nuptials at email@example.com.
Toddler Classroom Lead Guide
Ms. Leah holds a master's degree in early childhood special education, a bachelor's degree in music therapy, a bachelor's degree in psychology, and is a board certified music therapist. She has more than a decade of teaching and administration experience. Ms. Leah is a native of Canada and is fluent in French. She is a gifted "naptime ninja," and her creativity is second-to-none!
Give Leah and the Toddler classroom crew a big Bonjour! at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toddler Classroom Support Guide
Ms. Sierra has more than five years of experience working with young children and is a passionate champion of children's educational programming. She has volunteered as a literacy tutor with Oxford's Leap Frog program and counselor at Memphis' All Days are Happy Days Summer Camp. The soft-spoken and sunshiney Ms. Sierra is a gift to our Toddler community, as well as our big MMS family!
Send a kind "Hello!" to Ms. Sierra at email@example.com.
Anna Keskin & Nicole Yenter
Ms. Anna earned her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education from Florida State University and her Master of Early Childhood Education from the University of Mississippi. She and her family have lived in Oxford for five years. Ms. Anna loves learning about the Montessori Method at work, and brings untold grace to our community!
Tell Anna about your favorite part of Montessori at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Nicole holds a Master of Education in Counseling, and is a certified school counselor in Mississippi. She worked as a school counselor in Connecticut and Montana before relocating to Oxford with her family. Ms. Nicole is a gifted facilitator of big conversations with tiny people, and has a hilarious sense of humor to boot!
Ask Nicole about her cross-country summer vacation at email@example.com.
Board of Trustees
Drew Lefmann, Chair, works as the Coordinator of Advising Recruitment and Retention in the Department of Social Work at the University of Mississippi. He holds a master's in social work from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Katie Young, Vice Chair, earned a bachelor's degree in English from Niagara University and a juris doctor from the William and Mary School of Law. She worked as a corporate attorney in Houston, Texas, before moving to Oxford with her family in 2014.
Praveen Panickar, Treasurer
Katey Roe Haltom, Secretary
Jacob Jenkins, Trustee, is manager of Facilities and Technical Resources at Insight Park and owns his own information technology consulting business. He has degrees in political science and classics from Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi. He moved to Oxford in 2000 after serving as an officer in the Army at Fort Hood.
Audrey Floyd, Trustee
Brenda Luckett, Trustee
Kellye Makamson, Ex Oficio Member, an instructor in the University of Mississippi Department of Writing and Rhetoric, earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from Mississippi State. She taught at St. Louis Community College and Columbia College, and also worked in editing and education facility design. She is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and moved with her family to Oxford from Pass Christian in 2014.