The Sycamore upper elementary class is based primarily on inquiry, research and discovery, and writing. Our curriculum includes writing for both quantity and quality. Writing for quantity affords students opportunity, diversity, habit development, and the nurturing of a “renaissance” mind. Writing for quality allows students to fully explore deeply developed ideas as well as develop expertise on a particular subject. A curriculum based on research, using primary and secondary sources, and writing is so appropriate for this age because children who can investigate, think about, and write about the world can begin to make sense of that world and grow into very effective adults who can find their unique place in it.
Deirdre Sheets has been teaching at BMS since 2005. Her academic training is in English and History. Her traditional teacher training is as a secondary history teacher with endorsements in Geography and Environmental Studies. She has taught in traditional schools and extracurricular art programs. She received her Montessori training under MEPI (Montessori Educational Programs International) and through the Institute for Guided Studies. Her Montessori certification covers all six years of the elementary program. Deirdre’s family includes her music professor husband and their three daughters, all three of whom attend or attended BMS.
Deirdre loves the dynamic BMS community and the many opportunities for learning and growth that she encounters every day.
Sam Cusack has been a teacher at Bloomington Montessori since 2007 in the Sweet Gum and Magnolia rooms and, since 2014, in the Sycamore room. Sam graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in economics and has an Associate’s degree from The Culinary Institute of America. He is married to BMS teacher Eve Cusack and they have two daughters who attend the school. Sam enjoys cooking, birdwatching, and performing in musicals and plays for Cardinal Stage Company.
Sara “S.E.” Waters
S.E. is from New Albany, Indiana, and moved to Bloomington for her undergraduate degree. At Indiana University, she studied English Literature and Outdoor Recreation, and graduated in 2011. After graduation, S.E. worked on an organic farm, led backpacking trips in Vermont with pre-teens and teens, and worked at a Montessori school in New Albany, where she served as a co-lead for a year in both the 6-to-9 and 9-to12 classrooms. S.E. has worked at numerous social justice non-profits in Bloomington, as well. Outside of school, S.E. writes poetry and non-fiction, cooks for clients, and raises a daughter who attends BMS.
Staci Radford-Vincent is originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, she came to Bloomington to attend IU where she earned a B.A. in Biology and a minor in The History and Philosophy of Science. She has done field work studying breeding birds in Indiana, worked as a seasonal interpretive naturalist at McCormick’s Creek State Park, and spent many years doing live presentations with birds of prey and one very cheeky American crow. In addition to those experiences, Staci spent 14 years as a part of the education team at WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology, most recently as the Associate Director of Education, and 11 years as a teacher aide at Monroe County United Ministries pre-school. She has a deep love of science and education and looks forward to devoting her energy and passion to educating children on a daily basis and having a lasting impact on their lives and, through them, our world. Staci lives in Bedford with her husband and son, as well as two dogs and two cats (who are named after sci-fi or fantasy characters).