Merry Carmichael, ABC-Stewart School Founder, Board President
MERRY STEWART CARMICHAEL, ABC-Stewart School Founder, began ABC Early Learning Centre in 1969 and added Stewart Elementary in 1977. She had previously taught in Indiana public schools. She earned her B.S. and M.S. in Education from Indiana University. She has completed two courses dealing with the Montessori materials and philosophy. Mrs. Carmichael has represented ABC Learning Centre and Stewart Elementary School at a number of national Montessori and other educational conferences. She has taught several education courses at IUPUC. Mrs. Carmichael was included in the publication Outstanding Young Women of America. She has been awarded "The Woman of the Year 2014 by The Republic Newspaper" and the Shining Star Award. She has served as a Deacon and an Elder for her church, served as President of the Hamilton Center Skate Club and been an active swim team parent in the past.
Merry and her husband, Tom, have four children. Merry's children attended ABC, and the three younger children graduated from Stewart Elementary. Cherie enjoys running Marathons, competes in Ironmen, and is the mother of four daughters, Lauren Elizabeth, Madeleine Stewart, Megan Nicole and Allison Lynd Fernandez. Suzie is a licensed social service provider. She and husband, John, are the parents of daughter, Erica, and son, Trevor.
Paul, who earned a Bachelor's in Elementary/ Secondary Education from Indiana University enjoys running. Rebecca is a licensed Mental Health Counselor. Rebecca and husband, John Kleihege, are the parents of Abby and Emma.
Mrs. Carmichael's husband, Tom, a former teacher, is retired from his position as Vice President of the Kroot Corporation. The family enjoys traveling (especially to New England), swimming and music.
Rae McQueary, Office Administrator
Rae McQueary joins the ABC-Stewart staff this 2019-2020 school year. A Brown County native, she received her B.S. in Psychology from Indiana University. Rae has spent many years working in her family’s small business in Nashville, Indiana. Her background also includes working at IUPUC under the Science Department Advisor, as well as aiding in several research studies focused on resilience.
Rae is a proud parent of three sons: Hadley, a 4th year student who has attended ABC-Stewart since 2014, Silas, a preschool student currently enrolled in Children’s Garden and Asa, an active toddler attending the Two's Stars classroom. In her free time, Rae loves adventuring with her family in the great outdoors, traveling as much as possible and making memories with her kiddos doing all things boy.
Kathryn Glover, Accounting
KATHRYN GLOVER has worked part or full-time at ABC-Stewart since her sophomore year at Columbus East High School in 1989. Kathryn is a graduate of ABC-Stewart and holds a B.S. in Applied Health Sciences (Human Development and Family Studies) from Indiana University.
She is married to Dominic Glover, a Columbus attorney in private practice. They are the proud parents of Siena Grace, born in April 2009. Kathryn enjoys her time with friends in a number of local women's groups: literature discussion, cookbook group, magazine club and garden club.
Nikki Crawford, Two's "More or Less" Suns classroom
NIKKI CRAWFORD returns to the Twos' "More or Less" Suns Classroom. She began at ABC-Stewart in 2002. She attended Ivy Tech Community College and also attended the MECA-Seton Montessori Paraprofessional course. Nikki has taken courses in childcare, child development, interpersonal relations and family relations.
Nikki's children, Grace and Abram are ABC Stewart graduates, while son, Benjamin, a current student. Nikki enjoys walking, scrapbooking, reading, attending her children’s sporting activities and spending time with her family and friends.
Laura Donovan, Two's "More or Less"
LAURA DONOVAN continues in the Twos More or Less Class where she began in 2003. She is a Columbus native who attended Indiana University. During the summer of 2010 Laura attended a Montessori Training Session. She has been an active parent since 2001 with her daughters’ enrollment at the school.
Laura and her husband, Ed, have three daughters: MacKenzie, Sidney and Delaney, all Stewart graduates. Laura also has a stepdaughter, Jenelle.
In her free time Laura is an active member of Sigma Phi Gamma sorority, and also enjoys reading, walking, crafts, travel and spending time with her family and friends.
Mandy Moore Two's "More or Less" & Splendid Days
Mandy Moore returns to Splendid Days and the Stars Two's class this year. Mandy's daughter, Presly, attends Stewart preschool.
Whitney King Two's "More or Less"
Whitney King joins Mandy in the Two's More or Less room. She has taught in a Montessori classroom for three years, and is excited to put down roots at ABC Stewart. Her goal is to become certified in Montessori classroom for the 0-3 age group. Whitney has a deep understanding for toddlers and loves to observe them. She works hard to make her students feel respected, supported, loved, heard, and valued as individuals. Each day she brings along her three boys, Carter, Cooper, and Finley who also attend ABC Stewart. Her hobbies include taking her children creek stomping, preparing the environment in her classroom, and all things family.
Stefanie Stafford, Children's Garden Preschool & Kindergarten
STEFANIE STAFFORD, a graduate of Stewart, returned to ABC-Stewart in 2015 where she began teaching in the Two's classroom. Stefanie is now a co-teacher in the Children's Garden Preschool & Kindergarten classroom. She has a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from Indiana University.
Lorna Clark, Children's Garden Preschool & Kindergarten
LORNA CLARK will be returning to ABC-Stewart this year in the Children's Garden Preschool & Kindergarten classroom. Lorna joined the ABC-Stewart staff in 2007, in Splendid Days and as a substitute teacher. She has since worked in many of the classrooms as a substitute and held a position in the Two’s Stars Class for two years before joining the Children's Garden Classroom. In 2009, she completed the Meca-Seton Montessori Paraprofessional course and attends Montessori conferences and workshops when her schedule allows.
Lorna has three children; sons, Orion and Dagan, and daughter, Ava. They live in Brown County, on a small farm, where she volunteers as a 4-H rabbit club leader. Lorna enjoys many fiber arts including knitting, spinning, and weaving with wool from her flock of sheep. She also spends free time training her Border Collie to work sheep and travels for lessons to improve her handling skills. She loves to learn new things and has previously been a member of a performing Taiko drumming group.
Amy Kiel, Children's Garden Preschool & Kindergarten
AMY KIEL began her career at ABC-Stewart in January 1992. She will continue team teaching in Children's Garden. Amy attended Ball State and Indiana Universities. She received training and certification at Meca-Seton Montessori Teacher Training Center and is certified in childcare
Amy and her husband, John, have sons, Henry and William. In her free time Amy enjoys running, gardening and traveling.
Amy is the recipient of the 2010 Reams Family Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Larry Powell, ABC Preschool & Kindergarten Math / Culture
LARRY POWELL is returning in the ABC Pre-school/Kindergarten program, where he began in August 1985. He manages the math/social studies area.
He received his B.A. degree in business and economic theory from Franklin College in 1973, and his M.S. in Elementary Education from IUPUI in 1979. He began his interest in education with volunteer work at Stepping Stone Pre-School and broadened his experience through 13 years of teaching at Children, Inc. Larry was the first recipient of the Reams Family Awards for Teaching Excellence for 2006-07, from the Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County.
Larry enjoys reading, motorcycling, hiking, sports and crafts. He is owner/builder/designer of his home, and has worked as an electrician, apprentice pattern maker and auto body man.
Larry has three daughters: Meghann, Amanda, an ABC-Stewart graduate and a Ball State graduate, and Carly. He has six grandchildren.
Susie Signorino, ABC Preschool & Kindergarten Art
SUSIE SIGNORINO returns as the ABC classrooms' art teacher. Prior to this position she taught in the Twos’ More or Less classroom and in Splendid Days for 8 years, beginning at ABC-Stewart in 2004.
She earned a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, specializing in painting and drawing, from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Susie is an artist who has illustrated and published a children's book May There Always Be Sunshine. She enjoys painting, graphic design, silversmithing and gardening.
Her daughter, Georgia Frances, is a 2015 graduate of ABC-Stewart.
Brianna Cockerham, ABC Preschool & Kindergarten Science
BRIANNA COCKERHAM began in the ABC Classroom in January 2015 while she was completing her student teaching coursework to earn an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech.
When she first began college, she wanted to find something that she was passionate about; she wanted her decision to be something that she was going to love to do for the rest of her life. Thus, Brianna realized that working with young children would be her course of study and would lead her to a career of great happiness and fulfillment. She took an interest in Montessori and she is grateful to be able to participate in this method.
Brianna feels that her first few years with ABC-Stewart School was an incredible start to her career. She looks forward to all the new adventures and memories with her students every year.
Brianna married in 2016 and in 2018 welcomed her son, Travis. She enjoys watching her students interact with Travis in her classroom. She feels that ABC-Stewart is a part of her family.
Doug Warren, ABC Preschool & Kindergarten Reading / Language Arts and Stewart Physical Education
DOUG WARREN returns to the ABC staff in the Reading and Language Arts room where he began in 2017.
Doug teaches P.E. in Stewart Elementary on Tuesday afternoons.
Doug will also coach the Stewart Suns Basketball Team this year with assistance from Jerry Maulin. .
Bobbie K Owens, Stewart Art
BOBBIE K OWENS, international artist and Columbus resident, returns to ABC-Stewart School as elementary art teacher. He taught in this capacity in the early 1990’s and returned in 2002.
Bobbie K's paintings have been featured in exhibitions across the United States, Canada, Japan and Russia. He exhibited his work in the first Visual Arts Exchange project in Russia. He was then invited to have a series of three, one-person museum shows in Bishkek and Moscow. Previously he showed in Soho, New York, at Atelier International Art Gallery.
Over the course of many years of painting and exhibiting work, Bobbie K has had the good fortune to participate in shows with artists David Hockney, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Milton Avery. Some of the artists he has had the opportunity to discuss art with are Philip Pearlstein, Daryl Pottorf, Robert Rauschenberg and Donald Lipski. Bobbie K taught at IUPUC, ABC-Stewart, Art Gallery of Ontario School of Art, Ball State University, John Waldron Art Center in Bloomington, Dayton Art Institute and was resident artist at YMCA's of Greater Indianapolis. He has worked with the NEA, The Kennedy Center and The Center for Arts and Basic Curriculum in Washington, D.C. Bobbie dedicates most of his time to painting, however, enjoys sharing his art knowledge and experiences.
Bobbie and wife, Libby Jewel, have two daughters, Ali, who lives in North Carolina with her family including Bobbie’s granddaughter, and Carleigh, who lives in North Carolina.
Lisa Porter, Stewart Music
LISA PORTER began teaching music at Stewart Elementary in 2016. She has a BS in Chemistry from Ohio State, an MA in teaching from UNC Chapel Hill, and 25+ years of private and group training in choral and instrumental music. Besides teaching at Stewart she also enjoys teaching Chemistry at IUPUC, and working with kids at First Presbyterian in music, drama, and service projects.
Sue Breeding, Stewart IT/Computer, Science & Extended
SUE BREEDING began at ABC-Stewart in the fall of 1997 thru 2002, working in the math room, under the leadership of Founder Merry Carmichael. She returned in August 2014 to the math room. She holds a Bachelor's of Science in Business Management and Marketing from Indiana University, and a Masters in Business Administration and Strategic Planning.
This year Sue is teaching computers in Stewart elementary and assisting in Science. Sue also does the elementary extended and study hour after school.
Sue enjoys traveling with her friend, Bill, writing, reading, and playing the dulcimer. Sue loves spending time with her children Mary Breeding and Matthew Breeding, and her grandchildren.
Lori Lynn Stewart First Year
LORI LYNN joined the ABC-Stewart staff in 1995. Lori earned a degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University Bloomington. She completed an Orton-Gillingham graduate reading course at Butler University. Lori received the Reams Family Awards for Teaching Excellence for 2007-08, from the Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County.
She is one of the teachers in the first-year room in the elementary school. She team-teaches with Tonnie Lane. Lori focuses on teaching reading, while Tonnie concentrates on the math area. The both teach culture and science. She enjoys working with the first-year students and making their transition from the kindergarten programs to the elementary school go as smoothly as possible.
Lori’s children, Bryce and Isabel are Stewart graduates.
Tonnie Lane, Stewart First Year
TONNIE LANE joined the ABC-Stewart staff in the spring of 1998 and returns to the first-year room in Stewart. A graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, Tonnie received a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education with a kindergarten endorsement. She completed an Orton-Gillingham reading graduate course at Butler.
In 2013 Tonnie was awarded the Heritage Foundation's Reams Family Awards for Excellent in Teaching. Tonnie’s daughter, Taylen, is a 2015 graduate of ABC-Stewart.
Jerry Maulin, Stewart Reading
JERRY MAULIN has been a Reading Room teacher for Stewart since 1998. In his time at Stewart he has coached basketball and Spell Bowl. He has also led many summer workshops for the students that include creativity and drama. Jerry graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in Elementary Education. He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award and the Red Apple Award. Jerry received the Reams Family Awards for Teaching Excellence for 2009-10, from the Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County.
His immediate family includes wife, Hanna Guy Maulin, and son, Joseph, a Stewart graduate. The family lives on an old dairy farm near school.
Jerry also is a performing songwriter, with many CD's to his credit. He also enjoys motorcycle riding, racquetball, golf and other sports. While not holding an actual patent, Jerry believes himself to be inventor of Pin Dodge Ball, enjoyed on rainy days here at Stewart.
Christine Butler, Stewart Reading
CHRISTINE BUTLER returns to the Stewart Reading room. She received her B.S. in elementary education from Indiana University, Bloomington. She is an avid reader of children's literature and is looking forward to sharing her love for reading with the students at Stewart.
Christina Varo, Stewart Reading
CHRISTINA VARO returns to the Stewart Reading Room. She has been involved with ABC-Stewart since 1992, beginning as a parent volunteer, substitute, and join the staff exclusively in the Reading Room since 2012.
Terry Hileman, Stewart Science
TERRY HILEMAN returns to the Science room of Stewart School, where he began in 2001. A graduate of IUPUC with a degree in elementary education.
Terry is married fellow Stewart teacher, Autumn Hileman. They have two sons, Ethan and Zeke, both ABC-Stewart students. He enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, and also values time spent outdoors with fishing and golf.
Ashlee Chodan, Stewart Culture
ASHLEE CHODAN began teaching in the Culture room in August 2017. She has previously taught in the Two’s “More or Less” class as well as ABC and Splendid Days. She enjoys teaching children history and geography around the world as well as life skills children need in their daily lives.
Natasha Brockhaus, Stewart Culture
NASTASHA BROCKHAUS joins the Stewart Staff in the Culture Room after assisting and substituting for several years. Her son, August, is a 2017 Stewart Graduate. Her daughter, Rosie, is a current student.
Autumn Hileman, Stewart Math
AUTUMN HILEMAN will return as the lead teacher in the Stewart Math Room. She began in the Twos' classroom in 1998, moved to the ABC Pre-school/Kindergarten Science area, and is now in the Stewart Math area. Autumn received her B.S. in elementary education from Indiana State University.
She is married to Stewart Science teacher, Terry Hileman, and has two sons, Ethan and Zeke, both ABC-Stewart student. She enjoys scrapbooking and time spent with family and friends.
Torrie Rae, Splendid Days
Torrie Rae joins Splendid Days this year. She has a son, Aesop who is attending Stewart elementary.
Amelia Robbins, Splendid Days
Amelia Robbins joins Splendid Days this year. She has a daughter, Claire attending Stewart elementary this year.
Melanie Bachmeyer, Office Administrator
Even as I assume a new role at ABC- Stewart, I feel as if I am able to stay at a home away from home. Originally from a farm south of Shelbyville, IN, where my father was a farmer and my mother was a school counselor, I was surrounded by caretakers. A lifestyle of caring for our home, animals, and others became natural. When I moved to Cincinnati for college, I was drawn to social work for the opportunity to have a profession where I had opportunities to care and support others. After earning my bachelor’s degree from Xavier University I found my work as a case manager in Cincinnati for the elderly and mentally disabled to be extremely rewarding. Over time, I decided to further my education and deepen my understanding in another helping profession.
My husband and I moved to Washington State, where I pursued a Master’s in School Counseling (K-12) at Seattle University. My education at Seattle University gave me a widened perspective on life. Being in a different area of the country, understanding theoretical counseling approaches, and developing my personal counseling skills allowed me to grow as a person. My school counseling work under a supervisor in Seattle Public Schools was significant to my awareness of school needs and professional development. Parenthood and my husband’s work brought us back to the Midwest, where we found a homestead in Columbus, IN. My new life experiences coupled with becoming a new mother had wholly different implications. Staying home with my son, George, and a few years later, my daughter, Hazel, was most important to our family.
By the time my second child was born and we had been in Columbus, IN for a few years, I had developed a homestead where eating as much of our homegrown food as possible led to a contented life. My interests in small farming and homesteading continue on as we maintain a small hobby farm. My volunteer roles in efforts such as the Columbus Food Co-op and Empty Bowls helped us feel more connected to the community of Columbus. My son first started at ABC-Stewart for pre-K where I started to take a deeper interest in the school and seeing where I could be supportive. He is now in second grade and my daughter is in Children’s Garden. Being a part of school events such as the Thanksgiving Feast and substitute teaching has allowed me to know more about ABC-Stewart’s enriching environment. I have seen how positively the emphasis on educating the whole child affects students and their families. I’m genuinely grateful to assist Rae Ann McQueary in the office. The warmth and kindness of the staff, parents, and students here makes this school in many ways like coming home.
6691 W. State Road 46, Columbus, IN 47201
ABC Learning Centre, Inc. of Columbus, Indiana (a not-for-profit organization Fed. ID#35-1178392) is a Montessori-oriented learning environment and has a racially non-discriminatory policy. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national and ethnic origin in its admission policies and procedures, administration of its educational policies, scholarship or other financial assistance programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.
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