Overfield Staff

TODDLER STAFF

Jennifer Lightcap

Toddler Teacher

Jennifer has taught in all of Overfield’s classes during her long tenure here, but she’s been a fixture in the toddler classroom since she returned from a break while her children were young. “This place is dear to my heart for many reasons.” Jennifer graduated in 1993 from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Child and Family Studies. She earned a Pre-K teaching certificate there in 1994 and a Master of Education Degree from Wright State University in 2007. She and her husband Chris have three children, Nick, Nathan and Hailey, all Overfield alums.

Jennifer Lightcap

Heather LaVielle

Toddler Teacher

Heather has studied Reggio-Inspired curriculum since her undergraduate program at The Ohio State University and continued to make it a central focus during her graduate program at OSU as well. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Science and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, her heart led her to seek out schools in which child-centered, project-based curriculum was central to the program. She taught in the Program for Young Children (ages 3-Kindergarten) at Columbus School for Girls for over eight years and came to know Overfield through common professional experiences. When her husband’s job brought them back home to Dayton, she knew that Overfield was the place for her family. Her daughters, Lakyn and Ciel, are both students at Overfield and love every minute of their time at this Brigadoon of schools! Heather initially settled into Overfield by subbing in each classroom and quickly became part of our community. She values her time spent with each age group and is enjoying time with the youngest brilliant minds as she learns and grows along with the Toddlers.

SOUTH SIDE STAFF

Shandar Thompson

South Side Teacher

Shandar brings athleticism and an artistic flair to our faculty, making her a great asset in our goal to nurture the whole child. She was hired in 2010 as a South Side teacher, where she taught for three years before into Multi-Age, then North Side and back to South Side again. Shandar earned her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Miami University, where she also played basketball for four years. Shandar then did her student teaching at a Reggio-inspired school and served as Assistant Director at a preschool in Trenton, Ohio. She lives with her husband, Curt, her daughter Mckayah (an Overfield alumna), their son Gage, a current Overfield student, and their youngest daughter, Laylah.

Shandar Thompson

Melissa Anderson

South Side Teacher

Melissa was drawn to the field of early childhood by the love she had for watching her first daughter learn. She quickly enrolled in Edison State Community College, where she earned an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Development. She went on to earn a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Cincinnati, and joined our faculty as the Toddler Assistant in 2011. Melissa has been teaching in the North and South Side classrooms since 2013. Melissa loves to run and has successfully completed the Boston Marathon, twice! She enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, and her daughters. She is a parent to four Overfield alumni: Caitlin, Taylor, Noelle, and Ava.

Melissa Reineke

Carla Briggs

South Side Teacher, Music Leader, and Librarian

Carla has a song and a book for almost any situation that arises, and she’s been sharing her love of classic songs and literature with us since 2003. “Kids are my favorite people,” she says. “They’re phenomenal thinkers.” Carla studied education at Bowling Green University in the early 1970s. She went on to teach at a Waldorf school in California and worked for many years as a librarian in Russia, Ohio. Carla and her husband David live in Piqua and have four children – Julia, Reuben, Ben and Kevin – and one grandson, Ty.

Carla Briggs

NORTH SIDE STAFF

Sarah Stevens

North Side Teacher

Growing up in a family with several teachers, Sarah was always interested in education, and inspired by her family members’ stories of teaching. After volunteering in a Kindergarten classroom in High School, she quickly realized her love for working with young children and the creativity involved in early learning. Sarah received her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Northern Kentucky University. Outside of work, she loves to cook and try new food, and go on hikes with her dogs.

Sarah Stevens

Annemarie Nemeth

North Side Teacher

This is Annemarie’s first year teaching at Overfield. She brings a wealth of experience to our team, drawing on twenty five years in education, both in the preschool through third grade classrooms as well as in school administration. Annemarie earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Wright State University. She has been extremely impressed with Overfield since touring with her daughter when looking for a school for her grandson. She has two daughters, Lauren and Julia, and three grandchildren, Mason, Natalie and Bo. Mason is currently in his third year at Overfield.

Augusta Johnson

North Side Teacher

KINDERGARTEN STAFF

Laura Daehnke

Kindergarten Teacher

Laura has taught all but the youngest students at Overfield, working in every classroom except Toddlers, and moving to Kindergarten in 2012. She has often supported her students here in design-build projects, one of which resulted in the construction of the wooden train on our playground. Laura earned a B.A. in Early Childhood Education at the University of Toledo, and came soon after to Overfield, where she has taught ever since. “It’s like no place else,” she says. Laura and her husband Nick have three children: daughter Alex, an Overfield alum, and twins Stella and Max, current Overfield students.

Laura Daehnke

Beth Beane

Kindergarten Teacher

Beth’s love of adventure is a big part of what brought her to Overfield. An avid traveler and musician, Beth has spent her entire career working with young children in the U.S. and overseas. After earning a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Miami University, she worked for many years with families of children with special needs aged birth to three at Riverside of Miami County, Board of MRDD. Beth then spent a year in Indonesia teaching preschool and managing the infant toddler-program at Semarang International School before joining us as a teacher at Overfield in the spring of 2012. She also gives piano lessons to dozens of children.

Beth Beane

1ST – 2ND GRADE STAFF

Erin Luring

1ST – 2ND Grade Teacher

Erin seeks inspiration and simple joy in her daily life which makes her a natural advocate for the importance of childhood and the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning. With a variety of experiences guiding her, from teaching preschool in the city of Chicago to directing an early learning program in Piqua, she has intuitively found her way to the Overfield School. As the first and second grade teacher, Erin finds value in extending the Reggio Emilia style of learning to primary grades because of its ability to support the individuality of each child while asserting higher level thinking in a natural learning environment. Erin holds an undergraduate degree in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and is a current graduate student at The University of Dayton. She is earning her Early Childhood Education teaching license with a specialization in pre-kindergarten special needs. Beyond the classroom Erin has gained knowledge of the world and its diverse splendor through travel. She spent a week in Takahashi City, Japan in 2000, studied abroad in Gaming, Austria in 2008, and in 2015 backpacked throughout Europe for six months. Erin lives in Troy with her husband Andrew (Overfield Tavern alum), and their two cats, London and Artemis.

CROSS CLASS STAFF

Stephany Deeter

Administrative Assistant, Before Care, Lunch Bunch

Stephany joined our staff in 2013. She wears many hats, working with families as the administrative assistant and with children during Before Care and Lunch Bunch. In each of these roles, Stephany maintains a warm and welcoming presence. “I feel very blessed and honored to have the opportunity to work here with the children and staff,” she says. A nature lover, she enjoys baking, cooking, gardening, camping and attending various county & state fairs. She and her husband, Roger, have two grown daughters, Christina and Jessica, and three young grandsons and a granddaughter with whom they love spending time.

Stephany Deeter

Deb DeCurtins

Naturalist

Deb seeks to spark imaginations and offer adventure in her work with children. Imaginative and adventurous herself, she has had a long and varied career in Troy as a designer, antique seller, curator, entrepreneur, and most recently as an educational naturalist for the Miami County Park District, where she coordinated their popular Eco-Splorers Summer Day Camps. Deb is also the founder and coordinator of the beautiful and long-running “Lost Creek Garden and Antique Show,” an event that will impress anyone who attends with Deb’s eye for the beauty of nature. Deb loves to garden and be with animals. She has three dogs, rides horses, and keeps bee hives.

Deb DeCurtins

Elizabeth Perry

Atelierista

Elizabeth was drawn to teach at Overfield in 2009 by the value it places on art and nature as integral parts of learning. As Atelierista, a.k.a., Studio Artist, she loves getting to work with all ages and to see them grow from Toddlers through Second Grade. She earned a B.A. in Art at Williams College, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Elizabeth has loved Overfield since she attended the school herself in its original Overfield Tavern location. As a student there, she loved playing outside, hammering at the work bench and climbing into the loft to look at books, pastimes that she still enjoys in slightly varied forms to this day. She lives with her husband, Wayne and his daughters, Grace and Lauren, both Overfield alums.

Elizabeth Perry

Carla Briggs

South Side Teacher, Music Leader, and Librarian

Carla has a song and a book for almost any situation that arises, and she’s been sharing her love of classic songs and literature with us since 2003. “Kids are my favorite people,” she says. “They’re phenomenal thinkers.” Carla studied education at Bowling Green University in the early 1970s. She went on to teach at a Waldorf school in California and worked for many years as a librarian in Russia, Ohio. Carla and her husband David live in Piqua and have four children – Julia, Reuben, Ben and Kevin – and one grandson, Ty.

Carla Briggs

Stacey Ward

Extended Care

OFFICE STAFF

Erin Johnston

Business Lead

Erin brings her experience and perspective as the former Treasurer of the Board of Trustees (2009 – 2015) to her role as Business Lead of the school. She was hired in her full time role as part of the Leadership Team in August 2015. As a CPA who formerly practiced in public accounting, she brings a strong sense of professionalism and business knowledge to ensure the administrative side of Overfield is strong and sustainable.

“I’ve watched the young children here develop a greater sense of respect for their peers, themselves, and the environment through seeking solutions to problems they encounter in a school full of reverence for art, nature, and life. Being witness to this has instilled a deep belief in the mission of Overfield and its impact on our future-adult citizens.”

Erin has a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Dayton and a Masters in Accountancy from Wright State University. She and her husband, TJ, live with their two children, Liv and Jake, both Overfield alum.

Erin Johnston

Stephany Deeter

Administrative Assistant, Before Care, Lunch Bunch

Stephany joined our staff in 2013. She wears many hats, working with families as the administrative assistant and with children during Before Care and Lunch Bunch. In each of these roles, Stephany maintains a warm and welcoming presence. “I feel very blessed and honored to have the opportunity to work here with the children and staff,” she says. A nature lover, she enjoys baking, cooking, gardening, camping and attending various county & state fairs. She and her husband, Roger, have two grown daughters, Christina and Jessica, and three young grandsons and a granddaughter with whom they love spending time.

Stephany Deeter

LEADERSHIP TEAM STAFF

Erin Johnston

Business Lead

Erin brings her experience and perspective as the former Treasurer of the Board of Trustees (2009 – 2015) to her role as Business Lead of the school. She was hired in her full time role as part of the Leadership Team in August 2015. As a CPA who formerly practiced in public accounting, she brings a strong sense of professionalism and business knowledge to ensure the administrative side of Overfield is strong and sustainable.

“I’ve watched the young children here develop a greater sense of respect for their peers, themselves, and the environment through seeking solutions to problems they encounter in a school full of reverence for art, nature, and life. Being witness to this has instilled a deep belief in the mission of Overfield and its impact on our future-adult citizens.”

Erin has a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Dayton and a Masters in Accountancy from Wright State University. She and her husband, TJ, live with their two children, Liv and Jake, both Overfield alum.

Erin Johnston

Beth Poronsky

Program Lead

Beth Poronsky works as the school’s Program Lead, after spending much of her career in environmental education, including 11 years as Overfield’s naturalist. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Marquette University, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Biological Science from Miami University. The Reggio Emilia philosophy drew her in immediately, and the close relationships that are a hallmark of Overfield have kept her a part of the school since 2002. She has always been involved in education in some capacity, and found that Overfield provides the perfect place to study the intersection of nature, art, and education, and to lead others in exploring these fields. She has two alumni children, Liam and Gavin, and one current Overfield student, Helaina.

Beth Poronsky