Social Sciences, Program Coordinatorheadofschool@thegroveschool.org
Andrew Christopherson is the Interim Head of School for the 2019-2020 school year. Previously, Andrew acted as the Grove School Program Coordinator and High School Social Sciences teacher, where he has worked since 2006. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Azusa Pacific University and his Master of Arts in School Administration from the University of Redlands in 2014. He is a graduate of the 2008 NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in Cleveland Ohio. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking in the local mountains, running, and the California sunshine.
Reynisha ``Rainey`` Day-Ballinger
English Language Artsreynisha.firstname.lastname@example.org
Reynisha “Rainey” loves being a member of both the Grove School and Montessori in Redlands. She was first introduced to Maria Montessori’s theories as an assistant Primary teacher at Montessori in Redlands. Transitioning to middle schoolers was (and continues to be) incredibly fulfilling for her. She has taught 7th and 8th grade English at Grove since 2017. She is also the adviser for Speech and Debate Club. When she’s not at school, she’s spending time with her two children, Phoenix and Griffin. Rainey enjoys reading fantasy novels, social justice work, Harry Potter anything, writing short stories, going to the movies, crafting, and taking tours of model homes under pseudonyms. Rainey earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Arizona State University in 2015. In 2018, she also earned her Master’s degree in Learning and Teaching and her multiple subject teaching credential from University of Redlands. Most recently, she graduated from the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies over the summer of 2018.
Woodshop and Farm Maintenancepdrinkwine@thegroveschool.org
Peter Drinkwine worked professionally as a woodworker, and taught college level courses in the subject. He has a long history with Montessori education with both his wife and daughter working as Montessori teachers. He hails from the great state of Minnesota and loves a good monster movie.
Social Sciences and Theaterbelliott@thegroveschool.org
Beth has been a member of the Grove team for 15 years. She is awed and inspired by all of the changes that have happened over the years to make Grove a wonderful learning environment and a great place to work. She loves working with adolescents and the collaborative nature of the Montessori learning environment (as well as the goats). Beth received her BS in Anthropology, with an emphasis in biological anthropology, from UC Riverside and her MEd and single subject credential in Social Sciences from National University. She also has a single subject credential in English and graduated from the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies in 2005. Beth taught a college course for high school students in Archaeology in 2001 and discovered a love for teaching. Since 2004 she has been teaching Social Studies and Drama, as well as AP World History, Biology, and many electives at The Grove School. This year Beth has returned as the Thespian Club adviser for both the High School and Middle School and is the Middle School Board Representative.
Robert has been a Spanish teacher at The Grove School since 2011. He has always appreciated the natural beauty and friendly vibe of the school along with his amazing co-workers. His biggest passion is coaching Cross-Country, and he loves to see his athletes go beyond their self-perceived boundaries. His is also very passionate about his subject matter and being a continual learner related to Spanish Language and Culture. As a non-native speaker and promoter of Spanish language and culture, he earned his BA in Spanish Language from CSUSB in 2005. Later, he earned a Single Subject Teaching Credential from the University of Redlands. He is a graduate of the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies (2018).
Melanie ``Mel`` Knypstra
English Language Arts, Middle School Coordinatormknypstra@thegroveschool.org
Melanie “Mel” Knypstra was a Montessorian, long before she knew anything about Montessori. Mel is also a Southern California native who loves travel, food, and activities organized around those things with her friends and family. Mel graduated with a BA in English Literature from UCLA, worked for an archaeological firm for several years, and then, returned to school to get her single subject credential for English Language Arts (ELA) and MA in Teaching from Chapman University. After a disappointing time at a traditional school, she thought she would not teach again, at least until she started at Grove in 2010. Mel graduated from the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies the next summer. She currently has Freshman ELA classes and is the Model UN adviser, Middle School Coordinator, and Head of the Communications Team.
Chemistry and Physicsmichele.email@example.com
Ms. Lieux enjoys teaching science and sharing the excitement of exploring how and why things work. She enjoys any activity, work or play that keeps her outdoors. Ms. Lieux received her MA in Biology from Pacific Union College in 1980 with an emphasis in Marine Biology. She holds Single Subject Credentials in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Ms. Lieux started her teaching career in 1976 at a one room Christian School in Riverside and went on to teach in the Riverside Unified School District where she taught Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at many levels including Advanced Placement. In 2016, Ms. Lieux joined Grove High School where she teaches Chemistry and Physics.
Esther Mendoza graduated from Sta. Isabel Conservatory of Music (Manila, Philippines). She taught Classroom Music for 6 years in the Philippines and directed a Madrigal group who travels throughout the country. In Singapore, she directed a 200-voice choir for an Easter Musical and a Singing Christmas Tree with 500 voices. Holding a California Professional Clear Credential, she taught several choir classes (Madrigals, Women’s Ensemble, Show Choir and Vocal Jazz) for 17 years. At Grove, she directs Canto Corvus and general Choir.
Andrew feels he has found an academic home at the Grove, he feels free to express his love of social science beyond the curriculum. Teaching Human Geography and World History allows him to guide his students through a wide range of subjects. Andrew holds a AAS in Business Admin from Alfred State College (1985), a BA in History from Alfred University (1990) and a MA from Duquesne University (1992). He also completed the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies (2018). He received his first credential from NY in 1994 and his California credential in 2002. Prior to his three years at the Grove he taught young adolescents and high school students at Valley Preparatory School, Hemet USD. Andrew is currently teaching 9th grade Human Geography, Human Geography honors, 10th grade World History, and World History honors.
Ms. Mustafa enjoys being part of The Grove School. She received her masters in education from Whittier College and is a graduate of the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies. Ms. Mustafa has taught mathematics for 5 years and has been at the Grove since 2016 and is also the adviser of Grove’s Math Club.
Art and Yearbook, High School Coordinatoramy.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Grove School is a boon in Amy’s life. She is uplifted every day by her faith in God, the beauty of Grove’s campuses and the camaraderie of the Grove community. She loves spending time with her family, completing projects around the house and yard, yoga, running, and creating pottery. Amy received her BA in Fine Arts, with a ceramics emphasis, from CSUSB (1997), and her single subject teaching credential, in Art, from CBU (2007). She is a graduate of the NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies (2015). Amy taught visual arts and yearbook to grades K-12 for 4 years in Riverside and has been teaching visual arts and yearbook at Grove since 2012. Amy is also the adviser of Grove’s art club and the High School Coordinator.
Biology and Environmental Science, Senior Advisortina.o’email@example.com
Ms. O’Brien is grateful that she works in a community where she has the opportunity to provide her students with a diverse, yet, rigorous curriculum that allows students to construct their knowledge through active involvement. She also appreciates having the opportunity of working side-by-side with her students where she is inspired by their creativity and self-directedness. Before entering into the teaching profession, Ms. O’Brien owned her own business and worked for major corporations. Throughout her life, she has been an avid volunteer for numerous service organizations such as wild and domestic animal rescues, art foundations, education foundations, parent/student organizations, and veteran organizations. Ms. O’Brien was also an AmeriCorp/Teach for America corps member. She earned four AAs in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Biological and Physical Sciences, Environmental Studies, and Real Estate at SBVC and two BAs in Environmental Studies and Geography at CSUSB. Ms. O’Brien also earned an Urban Planning Certificate while at CSUSB. While attending LMU (Loyola Marymount University), she earned a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Biological and Life Sciences and an authorization to teach Geosciences. Tina also earned an MA in Urban Education – Policy and Administration while at LMU. She earned a NAMTA/AMI Montessori Orientation to Adolescent Studies certification in 2018. Ms. O’Brien teaches Biology, Environmental Science, AP Bio, and AP Environmental Science at the Grove. She is also the Senior Project Coordinator, the Environmental Club, Thirst Project, and Senior Advisor. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to historic places, and experiencing the beauty of nature.
Debbie loves the small community feel of the Grove school and enjoys being surrounded by the natural beauty of the campus. Outside of school Debbie values her time with her family, going to church, being outdoors, camping, hiking and doing CrossFit. Debbie graduated with a BA in Mathematics (2004) and Geography and Environmental Studies (2004) from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has taught High School mathematics in Colorado, Iowa and California. She joined Grove in 2018 and she is teaching Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calculus and Statistics.
English Language Artslindsey.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Schmitz is excited to have made her way back to The Grove School after completing her student teaching here in 2014. She loves the positive atmosphere and close-knit community of The Grove. Ms. Schmitz welcomed a new baby boy, her second, in April 2018, and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, drawing, and catching up on sleep! She received her BA in Cognitive Science, with a minor in English, from UC Irvine in 2008, and her single subject teaching credential from University of Redlands in 2014. She taught English in Oro Grande for 3 years, and has been teaching at The Grove since 2017.
Agricultural Science and Farm Coordinatorsuzie.email@example.com
Suzie Tolksdorf loves California native plants, gardening, chickens and most things outdoors. She received her BS in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and did her single subject Biology credential work at Cal State Northridge. Suzie worked in the horticulture and nursery industry at Tree of Life Nursery, the largest grower of California native plants in the state and she is currently working through UCR to clear a Career Technical Education Credential. You can find her on campus out in the fields, chatting with the chickens or in and around the barn!
Health and Physical Education, Athletic Directoreric.firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Vadala teaches P.E., Health, and is also the Athletic Director. He believes in the importance of lifelong fitness and activity. When Eric is not teaching or directing, he can be found taking himself to the next level by practicing many sports and different passions. Some of these activities include yoga, mountain biking, hiking, and soccer. Eric attended Cal Poly Pomona where he received his BA in Kinesiology and also received his teaching credential. He does his best to inspire his students to do their best and never give up. He believes that through hard work, dedication, and perseverance one can overcome any obstacle in their path.
Accounting and Human Resourcescbrown@thegroveschool.org
Connie has worked as the accounting and human resources manager for Grove since 2005. She enjoys interacting with the students on a daily basis and learning with them. She has a BS in accounting.
Jessica looks forward to coming to work everyday at the Grove School and has a lot of fun working in the kitchen with the students. Jessica has been married to a wonderful man for 16 years and together they have two young boys who take up most of her time when she is not at work. Some of her favorite things include baking, being outdoors, dark chocolate, yoga, and going on adventures with her kids. Jessica has been with The Grove School for 6 years and has worked in the food industry for 20 years. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone with a certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts in 2000. She then worked as a full time baker in various locations until 2012, when she began working at Grove as the Sous Chef. Jessica enjoys introducing students to new foods and techniques and is passionate about teaching them the life skill of cooking while also educating them on what food is and where it comes from.
Beth has worked in the Grove office since 2008. She graduated from University of Redlands with a BA in Political Science. She loves spending time with her family, reading and painting watercolors.
Corin joined the Grove kitchen staff in 2017 as the bread baker and prep cook. He likes learning new things in the kitchen and working with the students. He is a Grove alumnus attending college and spends his free time cycling, hiking and working on bicycles and cars.
Sandy has worked as the attendance clerk for the Grove school since 2013. She has a BS in business management. Her youngest son graduated from Grove in 2017. She enjoys country western & swing dancing.
Anke started working at Grove in 2009 as a school counselor. She graduated in 2002 from the Free University in Berlin, Germany, and received her MA in K-12 Counseling in 2010 from the University of Redlands. In her spare time, she likes to travel the world, read, hike and go to the Olive Ave Market.
Mark grew up with families that loved food – all kinds of food, almost every kind of food. While most of his working life has been working with technology he has always cooked. Mark thinks food is such a huge part of our lives, that, in 2009, when he was presented with the opportunity to start cooking for a small charter school in Redlands, he took the leap. With no formal training, and very little experience cooking for large groups, Mark started a new lunch program at the Grove School. They make most everything from scratch using what available produce is grown at the school and range far and wide with the kind of food we serve, avoiding duplication as much as possible. School is about education and why should the food not be part of that education? The lunch program has grown over the years from serving 30-40 kids each day to averaging around 100 meals served every day.