Tasha C. Ring, M.Ed., Founder, Directress, and Principal Consultant
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 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, and her Bachelor’s in Arts and Entertainment Management at Eastern Michigan University. 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, 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. Ms Ring is also a specialist in arts integration; having spent many years studying dance and designing dance programming for several organizations including Indianapolis Parks, she is a fervent advocate for all art forms and their continuous value in learning and in life.
In addition to her work with Meridian Learning, Ms. Ring has written for various publications and websites including The Huffington Post and BabyCenter. In 2017, she started a mindful Montessori lifestyle blog, and she now co-hosts a large and growing online community for others seeking positive change through the application of Montessori principles. Her most meaningful role is that of mother to two young children, her greatest gifts and wisest teachers.
Aubrey Wallen, Cincinnati Parent Child Center Lead Guide
Ms. Wallen is an IMC trained Montessori Assistant to Infancy, serving families with children age 0-3. She has led multiple parent-child classes at CPCC and serves as the lead guide of the Montessori Mornings toddler class at CPCC. Ms. Wallen is also trained as a Montessori Lower Elementary (6-9) teacher, and spent five years teaching prior to having her twins in 2017, which inspired her shift to the younger age group. She has implemented Montessori’s ideas and methods in her home with her children since their birth. As co-owner of CASA Design, she offers Montessori-inspired home design services as well as supportive family connection information. Her love for families extends beyond interest in and devotion to children’s well-being and development. She relates empathically to parents and caregivers, which has been her purpose since becoming a teacher and a mother. She offers acceptance, love, and support to all who join her environment.
Sarah Corney, Meridian Micro Lead Guide
Ms. Corney is passionate about teaching and motivating people of all ages to enhance their awareness of nature, understanding of environmental issues and to engage in sustainable living practices. She earned her degree in natural resources at The Ohio State University, and worked as an interpreter at both the Columbus and Cincinnati zoos. Though native to Ohio, their career journey has taken her and her husband to Virginia, Minnesota and back to Ohio. In Virginia, she served as education coordinator for the Claytor Nature Study Center and as a naturalist for the city’s Parks and Recreation. In Minnesota, she volunteered as an educator for the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve while raising their three young children. Prior to joining Meridian, Ms. Corney served as the environmental education specialist at the Montessori School of Wooster, creating and conducting nature and science programs for K-8 students. She believes that empowering young people to care for the world they inherit is the responsibility of every generation; elementary children in particular have an energy and desire to solve problems and create change, and her goal is to help guide them to do so. The child led pedagogy is what initially led Ms Corney to the Montessori approach, and in her quest to continue learning new methods, she is currently enrolled in a International Montessori Council (IMC) elementary training course.
Pam Alexander, Meridian Montessori Guide
Ms. Alexander is a certified AMI Montessori-trained teacher of children ages 3-6. She received her Montessori certification in 1981 and a Bachelor’s degree in Montessori education in 1987. She has been passionate about teaching children of this age for the past 38 years, and has integrated the Montessori philosophy within her own life and in the raising of her adult son. She first worked at a parent cooperative Montessori school where she learned the value and importance of being closely involved with families. She then worked at a variety of schools in Colorado, helping to start a new toddler program and a new primary classroom during her time there. Ms. Alexander has a great love of animals and true love of nature. She lives in the country with numerous pets, including 2 horses, 2 ducks, 1 pot bellied pig, 3 dogs and 3 cats, and she is also a friend to Monarch butterflies. Prior to her return to Ohio and discovering Meridian Montessori, Ms. Alexander lived on a Washington island with her family, which she counts among her greatest experiences. Her approach to Montessori is centered around a belief that if you teach children about the beauty and importance of nature and caring for the earth at a young age, they will have a lifelong respect for the earth and all living things. She is especially drawn to Montessori for its peace education, noting that it has been wonderful to witness the love children share with each other and their desire to be peaceful.
Hsin-Rou (Sharon) Lee, Art and Mandarin Chinese Guide
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.
Allyse Sonnega, M.Ed., Yoga and Mindfulness Guide
Ms. Sonnega is a special education professional and teacher of yoga, mindfulness, and contemplative practices. She’s also a mother to four daughters ages one through 14. She holds a masters degree in Early Childhood Education with a license to teach children ages 3-9, and an Intervention Specialist license for grades K-12. Currently, Ms Sonnega teaches special education at Mercy Montessori Center, and she’s in the process of obtaining her Secondary Montessori certification. Her bachelor’s degree is in Parks & Recreation Management, and she loves playing and exploring outdoors.
Rob Schramm, Maintenance and Tech Support
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.