The most frequent compliments heard at Oakstone Academy are in reference to our faculty. By far, we have one of the most talented, intelligent, and dedicated faculty a school could hope for. Although a small, private school, Oakstone Academy has recruited exceptional educators and professionals to serve our students and their families. By way of example, here is a look at the credentials of some of our lead teachers who support other teachers in the areas of curriculum, instruction, planning and assessment:
Anita Chillog is a seasoned teacher with more than 12 years of experience as a reading and writing specialist. After completing her undergraduate degree in child and family studies at The Ohio State University, she earned her teaching certificate for grades 1-8 at Otterbein University and her Master's in Education from Marygrove College. Anita came to Oakstone in 2008. She currently teaches 5th grade reading and writing and serves as a lead teacher-mentor for other middle school teachers.
"Teaching here is like no other place! To begin with, we establish a relationship with all of our students. We are allowed and encouraged to know our students as individuals and as a family. Teaching in a classroom with other certified teachers is a teacher's dream: it allows you to team teach and allows you to really be able to work with children in a small group setting or even one-on-one if needed," says Chillog. "I am proud of the work we do here at Oakstone and to see the wonderful changes we make within our students and families lives."
Erica Clark attended Wittenberg University as a National Merit Scholar and member of the honors department. She graduated summa cum laude and received the Silver Apple Award for outstanding pre-service teaching. Before joining Oakstone Academy, Erica worked in Columbus Public Schools where she was named a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar. Erica came to Oakstone in 2003, teaching kindergarten. In 2004 she completed her Masters in Literacy at The Ohio State University with a 3.8 grade point average and a specialty in reading and writing development. Today, Erica is a team leader for the elementary building and also consults school-wide on reading issues. Erica also serves as a mentor for the Resident Educator program, a state-sponsored program for beginning teachers.
"I like teaching at Oakstone because here the focus is on children before ANYTHING else. Each child is embraced for his or her unique characteristics and strengths, and their academics can be tailored to provide the appropriate challenge level for children. Social and emotional development is promoted as well. That being said, we provide a comprehensive curriculum. Children are expected to make progress in their academic development. Teachers are empowered to make choices regarding curriculum and instruction that benefits each class as a unique group of children. Teachers are trusted to use professional judgment to maximize student learning. Children are viewed as individual thinkers and learners, capable of making progress that is measured many different ways. Because our families choose to come here, the parent involvement is very high, so you truly have partnerships and relationships with children, parents, and even extended families."
Ruth Friend attended Indiana Wesleyan University where she completed her undergraduate degree in elementary education followed by student teaching in Korea. After joining Oakstone in 2007 as an elementary teacher for 3rd and 4th grades, she worked on earning her master's degree in literacy from The Ohio State University. Along with this master's degree, Ruth also earned a special reading endorsement for kindergarten - 12th grade. Ruth's role as a classroom teacher in reading and writing expanded in 2011 as she helped initiate the school's inaugural character and leadership program for middle and high school students.
"Oakstone differs from other schools in the amount of individualized attention its teachers are able to offer. With class sizes in surrounding public districts constantly increasing, it is refreshing to teach in an atmosphere that is continually able to maintain low teacher to student ratios. Additionally, the environment at Oakstone combines multiple supports- such as leadership, character, and social development- to provide an optimal learning environment for all of its students."
Even before she started her college education at Bowling Green University, Samantha knew she wanted to be a teacher. It was her private work with a child with autism that encouraged her to study early childhood education with a minor in special education. After completing her degree, she began working at Oakstone in 2006. Today, Samantha works as a lead teacher in charge of the transitional kindergarten program that prepares students for elementary school. She also lends her talents by providing support for the school's home programing team.
Samantha was also instrumental in starting the school's swim program which teaches basic swim skills and water safety to children six months to high school. Currently, she is working on obtaining a master's degree from The Ohio State University.
"At Oakstone, a child's success is driven by a team of people: administrators, classroom staff, therapists and parents who all work together on behalf of that child. It's this approach that makes our children thrive."
After completing her undergraduate degree in communications and biology from Wilmington College, Kimberly Kelly worked in public relations for a number of years before she found her passion in teaching when she worked as a substitute. She earned her teaching certificate and went on to complete her master's degree in educational administration from the University of Cincinnati where she also completed credentials for a principal's license in grades 4 through 12. Today, Kimberly is a lead science teacher at Oakstone Academy where she teaches biology, physical science and 8th grade science.
"What I find most rewarding about teaching at Oakstone is the profound interest each student has in the value of education: they care about learning and their grades. The small size of the school also creates a more personal, family type environment where teachers and students really care about each other. Because of this, there's no room for cliques and everyone is very accepting of differences and what makes each student unique."
Since coming to Oakstone in 2005 as a middle school math teacher, Lisa Wenzke's talented teaching style and leadership capabilities have been expanded to include her more recent role as lead mentor for the entire math program at the middle and high school. In her new role she is responsible for all content, assessment and supplemental work that is provided to students and she serves as a resource coach to teachers. Lisa has a degree in mathematics education and an MBA from The Ohio State University. Before coming to Oakstone, she worked for Hilliard public schools as a math teacher for eight years.
"What I like about the teaching atmosphere at Oakstone is that students are accepted for who they are and how they learn regardless if it's different from typical learning styles. Every child is treated as an individual here."
Spanish teacher Emily Massie received both her bachelor's degree in Spanish and her master's degree in foreign and second language education from The Ohio State University. At Oakstone, she teachers grades 7 through 12.
"I love working with the close-knit group of teachers, students and families."