Tasha C. Ring, M.Ed., Founder, Directress and Lead Guide
Ms. Ring is a licensed early childhood and elementary educator specializing in multisensory-based methodologies. She has tutored and taught students of all ages with varied gifts and abilities. Her broad experience in the education field has included sales, marketing and administrative positions with prominent companies such as Kaplan, Inc. and Pearson Education, but her passion remains working directly with students in a teaching capacity. As such, she continues to lead parent-child and preschool classes, as well as some tutoring sessions. Her desire to create more personalized experiences for youth led her to the founding of Meridian Learning in 2008. An early and continuous advocate of a “less is more” approach to learning, she is honored to be among the first innovators of the microschool movement.
Ms. Ring completed her Masterʼs in Education, teacher training and certification at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received an early childhood credential from the American Montessori Society, one of the premier Montessori advocacy organizations. She has extensive training in several methods of reading and language instruction, including Orton-Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell®. Since 2013, she has thoroughly engaged in the study of mindfulness meditation, and she incorporates these exercises into both curriculum and parent-teacher education. She is a longtime practitioner of social-emotional learning and regularly consults with leaders in this field. Committed to best practice, continued professional development and whole child well-being, her current studies include literature on emotional intelligence and attachment theory.
In addition to her work with Meridian Learning, Ms. Ring has written for various publications and websites including The Huffington Post and BabyCenter. She recently started a minimalist Montessori lifestyle blog and hosts a growing online community for others seeking positive change through the application of Montessori and minimalist principles. Her most meaningful role is that of mother to two young children, her greatest gifts and wisest teachers.
Bonnie Nesbitt, Meridian Montessori Co-Guide
Ms. Nesbitt discovered her passion for the Montessori method while giving tours at her children’s school. After volunteering and subbing in the classroom, she began studies at Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education. She then worked as Collaborative Teacher in the Montessori program at Cincinnati Country Day School. Prior to starting her family, Ms. Nesbitt spent a decade working in marketing, advertising and consumer affairs with Jergens/KAO, LINTAS, Sara Lee and Martha White Foods. Observing the child “reveal himself through work” (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind) provides her greatest joy in the classroom. Her strengths include connecting with children to connect them to work, astute observation, and partnering with parents to nurture their child. Outside the classroom, Ms. Nesbitt volunteers with the local food pantry and her faith community. You can also find her on the sidelines or in the audience supporting her family.
Pam Cheyne, Meridian Montessori Co-Guide
Ms. Cheyne is excited about returning to the Montessori classroom. Prior to taking time off to raise her children, she spent five years teaching preschool and kindergarten at Lakeview Preschool and Montessori Center Room. Ms. Cheyne earned a Bachelors Degree in business administration and a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Xavier University where she also completed Montessori training. She received her early childhood credential from the American Montessori Society. She began her teaching career in a traditional preschool classroom, but realized that children learn best through the movement, repetition, concentration, and independence provided in the Montessori environment. A lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ms. Cheyne enjoys reading, being outdoors, and supporting her children’s athletic, musical, and academic activities.
Danielle Smith, Meridian Montessori Assistant Guide
Ms. Smith is currently attending Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she is studying Montessori Education and Special Education with expected graduation in 2020. She has been working with children in a child care setting for five years. Prior to her studies at Xavier, Ms. Smith attended Cincinnati State where she learned about Maria Montessori and her methods in teaching. After taking a tour in a Montessori setting, she decided that this is the setting where she wanted to guide children in their learning.
Hsin-Rou (Sharon) Lee, Art and Mandarin Chinese Instructor
Ms. Lee holds degrees in studio art and illustration from Cuyahoga Community College and the Cleveland Institute of Art. She spent the first 17 years of her life in Taiwan, a little island full of traditional Chinese culture, bustling city life, and yummy tropical fruit. Over the past 11 years she has maintained a private studio where she has taught students of diverse ages, backgrounds, and places on the developmental spectrum to express and discover the strength within themselves through the exploration of art’s many media, cultures, and worlds. The journey with each individual student motivates and challenges her to learn and grow more as a human being. Her history of community involvement includes hosting multiple Asian culture/art workshops at Cuyahoga Community College, teaching Mandarin Chinese and art in two of Cleveland’s private schools, seven years of teaching preschool and kindergarten, and Reggio Emilia art workshops and the design of an interactive mural at St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf in Indianapolis.
Rob Schramm, Technology Consultant
Mr. Schramm, better known as Mr. Rob, designs and builds furniture for our urban microschools and helps maintain the indoor and outdoor learning spaces, including the children’s gardens. An accomplished IT consultant, he also guides our technology and engineering explorations. He believes the Montessori approach to be the key to success in modern society.
Patrycja Johansen, Design Consultant
A native of Warsaw, Poland, Ms. Johansen grew up immersed in the latest designs and fashion found at the center of the European fashion industry. She inherited a love for meticulous craftsmanship and innovation, and spent seven years refining her skills in fashion, architectural, and graphic design before graduating at the top of her class from the top ranked design school in the country, Politechnika Warszawska, with a Master’s degree in Architectural Design. Currently, she is enrolled in a Montessori certification course in Warsaw. Ms. Johansen combines her exceptional talent, European aesthetic and deep interest in the Montessori philosophy as design consultant for Meridian Learning.
Diane Ring, Curriculum Consultant, Floating Assistant Guide and Docent
Ms. Ring is a retired educator with a B.Sc. in Education from the Ohio State University. She is also a certified braillist with the Library of Congress and spent 18 years as a tutor for children with learning disabilities and the visually disabled. Ms. Ring discovered Montessori when she was searching for a way to teach her daughter with autism who was not having success with traditional teaching methods. She subsequently set up an integrated Montessori homeschool environment and co-founded a specialty school for children with autism in northern Ohio. She believes that because Montessori is self-rewarding, it is fulfilling for both the teacher and the children, and she enjoys the opportunity to see confidence and independence blossom as children take pride in their classroom accomplishments. She currently serves as a Cincinnati Parent Child Center docent and a floating assistant guide, assisting children in our preschool prep program to make the transition from home to school, helping parents understand how to apply Montessori principles at home and guiding our classroom garden project.