Meg grew up moving between Shaker Heights, OH and Minneapolis/ Saint Paul, MN, however, Cleveland has always been "home". She has a dual degree in Geography and Environmental Studies with a concentration in Urban Studies from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN. Meg has experience in grassroots organizing, writing, and community development. She is excited to be a part of the Montessori High School (MHS) community as well as the place-based learning curriculum here in University Circle. Meg also works for Montessori Development Partnerships. In her free time, Meg enjoys singing opera, improvisational comedy, and organic gardening. Meg looks forward to her first year at Montessori High School at University Circle!
Elizabeth Panhorst, Resident Intern
epanhorst (at) montessorihighschool (dot) org
Libby Panhorst holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a minor in English from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. She was Programs Coordinator at The Kenyon Review for three years, where she administered summer writing programs to high school students, college students, and adults. She has worked in a residential capacity for the arts- and writing-based educational programs of, respectively, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Kenyon Review. She loves cats and enjoys working with her hands, especially knitting, drawing, and book arts. In June 2013, she received the Peter Taylor Fellowship in Literary Hybrid/Book Arts to The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, where she wrote, created books, and facilitated course instruction. As Montessori High School’s first Resident Intern, Libby looks forward to providing support to the administration, the residential community, and the academic faculty.
Ellen Rooney, Theater Faculty
erooney (at) montessorihighschool (dot) org
Ellen grew up in the Cleveland area, attended Culver Academies, and then Denison University as a Vail Scholar in Dance. She earned MFA in Dance and MA in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and more recently, a PhD in Theater from Bowling Green State University. Currently, she serves on the Ohio Arts Council’s Project Support Committee. She performs with Women in History and directed and/or choreographed at theaters such as Cleveland Public Theater, Near West, Berea Grindstone Players, and Geauga Lyric Theater. She acted in films and commercials around Cleveland; and in LA, worked at Theater West, Universal Studios, Fox Studios, The Fredrick Pierce Company in association with the Disney Channel, and Magar Pictures. Ellen enjoys golf, gardening, jigsaw puzzles, and sharing two Labradors, Jesse and Darcie, with family.
paulsasaki (at) montessorihighschool (dot) org
Paul Sasaki worked as an engineer for Kennametal, Precise, and Emerson Electric. After 27 years of building products. Paul changed careers and started teaching Math and Science at Phillips Osborne School. While teaching at Phillips Osborne School and later at Andrews Osborne Academy he went to school at Lake Erie College to fulfill the education requirements for education licensure. The licensure process was completed while teaching in Colorado at Denver Academy. In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Paul holds an educators license in secondary education for 7-12 grades in Science from the state of Colorado. In seven years of teaching Math and Science he has brought Experiential Learning and Differentiated Instruction to the classroom.
Nancy Smekal, French Faculty
nsmekal (at) montessorihighschool (dot) org
Nancy combines her heartland roots from Columbus, Ohio with a passion for all things French. She earned her BA and MA in French at Miami University of Ohio and Middlebury’s Graduate School in Paris, France. She has taught French from the kindergarten to the college level in many different academic settings. Nancy and her family recently returned to Ohio from living in Oregon where they loved to ski, sail and hike. Nancy looks forward to an exciting year with all the Montessori students, to the joy of the University Circle advantage and to spreading the French language and culture!
Christina Spackey, Music Faculty
christinaspackey (at) montessorihighschool (dot) org
Christina grew up in Cleveland Heights and holds a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University. She has worked at the Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan and completed the NAMTA Montessori Orientation to Adolescence. Christina teaches violin/viola in the Preparatory Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is the secretary for the Ohio Viola Society. She is looking forward to seeing everyone at an MHS Coffee House soon!
Kris Spintzyk, Operations Manager
Kspintzyk (at) montessorihighschool (dot) org
Kris Spintzyk grew up in the Cleveland area and has spent most of her life here. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Minor in German from Miami University (Oxford) as well as a Master’s in Education from National-Louis University. Kris has experience working in both public and private schools, including an international school in Germany where she lived for 5 ½ years. She has been involved with Montessori education for the last 8 years and has been an active member of the Hershey Montessori School Board of Directors since 2006.
Jeffrey Sutker, Technology Director
David Waski, Visual Arts Faculty
davidwaski (at) montessorihighschool (dot) org
David grew up in Bedford, Ohio, where he spent much of his time exploring the vast Bedford Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks. After completing his foundation years at The Cleveland Institute of Art, David attained his B.A. in Art Education from Cleveland State University. David has also completed NAMTA’s Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies. David taught art, music, drama, journalism, and served as the basketball coach at The Grove School, a public Montessori charter high school in Redlands, California. David enjoys exploration via Frisbee, composing music, and contributing to the local arts community. He is interested in unifying the arts and is excited about helping adolescents reach their full potential.
Mike Waski, Mathematics Faculty
michaelwaski (at) montessorihighschool (dot) org
A native of Ohio, Mike attended Trinity High School in Garfield Heights, Ohio, before completing his B.S. in Elementary Education with concentrations in Music and Mathematics at Kent State University. He also holds an M.A. in Educational Administration and is working towards an M.A. in Mathematics from Cal State San Bernardino. He has completed NAMTA’s Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies,
where he is currently a faculty member. He has also completed the 47th Advanced (Elementary) Montessori Training Course at the International Centre for Montessori Studies Foundation in Bergamo, Italy. Mike has been teaching for twelve years, having taught math to students ranging from second grade to high school calculus. In addition to his years teaching, he has also served as basketball coach, assistant head of school, and head of school at The Grove School, a Montessori charter high school in Redlands, California. He has also been an instructor for geometry and algebra institutes for teacher trainees through Cal State and UC Riverside. In his free time, Mike enjoys playing trumpet and studying number theory and theoretical physics.