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, and has served both as an English teacher abroad and a national service member at home. As an AmeriCorps 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. Later, 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 North Mississippi anti-poverty organizations like Move On Up Mississippi, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com.
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 as much as the last. She supports event coordination and fundraising, community outreach, and classroom success, but is especially good at reading in silly voices!
Read to Katelyn in a silly voice by contacting 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. 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 Co-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 has become a powerful proponent of the Montessori Method, owing her passion to the revelation of the importance of every 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. Ms. Emily is currently working to earn her Montessori Early Childhood Education certificate through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. We are so happy Ms. Emily plays such an integral role in our MMS community, and we look forward to many more years working beside this kind, intelligent soul!
Ask Emily about her favorite record at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Primary Classroom Co-Lead Guide
Ms. Bekah earned her Bachelor's degree in art from the University of Mississippi and is a certified early childhood educator through the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools. She's taught pre-school for eight years, and is currently working to earn her Montessori Early Childhood Education certificate through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. Ms. Bekah is a big fan of her husband Matt and two boys, Abe and Oliver, and their family loves to camp and kayak together. Ms. Bekah has also been a passionate gardener for ten years. We are so grateful that Ms. Bekah is passionate about sprouting seeds and young minds, and are so excited she will join our mighty staff!
Ask Bekah about her heroes (hint: they're Felder Rushing, Roald Dahl, and her dad) at email@example.com.
Primary Support Guide and Director of Sustainability Programming
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 is a gifted and engaging educator who's worked with the Oxford Community 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 her class of 3-6 year olds and other MMS students and families. She treasures every new adventure!
Ask Katelynn what kind of plant that is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toddler Classroom Lead Guide
Ms. Stacy earned her Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas and her PhD in American history with a focus on immigration from George Washington University. She has seven years of teaching experience, and of those her favorite were the four years she spent working with young children ages zero to five. A native of Austin, TX, she moved to Oxford with her family in 2015 with a strong interest in returning to early childhood education. Ms. Stacy loves the outdoors, movement and music, and engaging conversation with the three-and-under set. She is thrilled to be part of the MMS family.
Ask Ms. Stacy about her amazing carpentry skills at email@example.com.
Toddler Classroom Support Guide
Ms. Jas has a background in childcare and is also fluent in American Sign Language, which she tries to incorporate in the classroom every chance she gets. She loves teaching kids and her heart "bursts with happiness to see their light bulbs go off!" We are so lucky that Ms. Jas is a part of our Toddler Classroom Community because she is the equivalent of a sunny day every day!
Ask Ms. Jas how to sign your favorite word at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toddler Classroom Support Guide
Ms. Rosy has more than ten years of early childhood classroom experience and holds her Bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Ms. Rosy is a native Spanish speaker and loves teaching her students new vocabulary words and songs in her beautiful language. Ms. Rosy also leads our afterschool Spanish Clubs for children 3-4 and 5+. MMS is so grateful to spend time with Ms. Rosy's calm and hilarious personality every day!
Say "Hola!" to Ms. Rosy at email@example.com.
Chef Huong "Gloria" Harris
Chef Gloria grew up in a Vietnamese community, brings more than 15 years of culinary experience to the MMS kitchen, AND has purple hair - in short, she's the coolest! She has worked as both a coffee and candy expert, and is a gifted pastry chef who's worked with two Food Network competition winners. At MMS, Chef Gloria loves developing partnerships between the school and local food distributors and growers, and works closely with the Sustainability Director to drive our schoolwide goals to grow more of our own food and regularly compost and recycle. MMS loves Chef Gloria, and not just for her delicious dishes!
Ask Chef Gloria about her favorite food at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Chef Gloria's Instagram, a story of travel, one cat, and food, by following @glo.h.harris.
Aftercare Lead 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 beloved member of our big MMS family!
Send a kind "Hello!" to Ms. Sierra at email@example.com.
Friends of MMS (You may see these wonderful folks helping out from time to time!):
Edna Luckett Gipson
Board of Trustees
Katie Young, 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, Vice Chair
Katey Roe Haltom, Secretary
Audrey Floyd, Trustee
Drew Lefmann, Ex Oficio, 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.