Michelle grew up in Delaware and graduated from the University of Delaware in Education, and then while teaching at a local public school she attained her master’s degree. After teaching for a few years, she and her partner ventured overseas to teach and experience life outside of the US. It was an amazing decision, and she continued to observe and participate with children from all over the world in their learning experiences.
She taught elementary – middle school students and then took a principal position at an international school. She was excited to push for the change she felt was needed in schools but continued to see how concerning traditional school was. There was a huge disconnect in what students should be learning and experiencing in their 12+ years of school, and how their motivation and love of learning slowly diminished. Then finishing school and were not prepared for adult life, which isn't that the whole point? She wrestled with this for many years and explored non-traditional education options that existed and were thriving. She began implementing some of these components in her classes and the feedback from her students was so eye-opening. It was a difficult decision, but Michelle left her job feeling hopeful again, and her family returned home to pursue non-traditional schooling here in Delaware.
Michelle is passionate about children, of all backgrounds and ages, finding their passions, and loving the process of learning – this should be a right, not a privilege! She believes that coercion and a top-down teaching approach is not the answer. Her experience teaching children and adults for over 14 years combined with her role as a mother has shown her how holistic this way of education is. Michelle believes fully in this model and wants more families to experience the richness that's to be had in this model!
Dr. Sharni Meyer is an Australian chiropractor living and working in Vientiane, Lao PDR (in SE Asia). Her practice in Vientiane is primarily focused on providing free, accessible chiropractic care to financially disadvantaged locals. This work provides constant reminders of our innate drive to learn, as well as how sensitive we are to both positive and negative influences in our surroundings.
Prior to becoming a chiropractor, Sharni held approximately 30 paid positions and has volunteered in a diverse range of roles. She has lived in six countries, has travelled extensively (on her own and very cheaply) and is often found reading a book or holding someone else's baby.
Sharni sees her time with WSS as a powerful opportunity to support a positive environment for physical, mental and emotional learning and growth.
María Thereza Beauchamp Pagán was born in Bayamón, raised in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico; her family moved to Delaware, USA, in the '90s, where her passion for helping communities led her to belong to the boards of directors of various organizations and groups. She became a renowned human rights activist, organizer, and advocate as a student leader. In several of these organizations, María was the first young Hispanic woman to reach the position of president. With ten plus years in the corporate world in management, business development, and sales, Maria decided it was time to change. Local entrepreneur committed to developing the talents and capacities of the Hispanic communities. Maria saw another opportunity to place Delaware on the map and help grow the arts by founding Delaware Fashion Week. Her work with fashion week and their positive impact was recognized by the City of Philadelphia's City Council as they honored Maria's hard work and dedication in the fashion industry. As a political activist, she promoted and contributed to forming youth leaderships and progressive candidates. Maria has also become a symbol of the fight against chronic diseases since she has Lupus and Dystonia, and despite this, she continues a very active militancy against injustice, ethnic and racial discrimination, and oppressive governments. A recipient of several awards her work in human rights, community service, and entrepreneurship, including the Delaware Governor's Youth Service Award; the President's Volunteer Service Award of two Presidents of the United States, citation and recognition of the city of Philadelphia, recognition of the Dominican community in the city of New York, among others.
In her most recent work, María was part of the people who joined the organization and foundation of the Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (MVC), a political movement that became the third political party and force in Puerto Rico. She also served the MVC as Madam Secretary of the National Transitional Committee and as Director of Communications. María is currently taking part in the foundation of the Wilmington Sudbury School and is serving as the board's secretary.
María is pursuing a degree in psychology and loves to spend her free time with her son Mickey, family & friends. You can catch her reading a good book by the ocean whenever she is not in a meeting.