Meet our staff!
Meadowlark School is lucky to bring together an incredible team of early childhood and education professionals. Our teachers have a passion for working with children and see it as their calling. Each of our teacher brings an unique background and expertise that helps shape a diverse, nurturing, and rich environment for our children. Collectively, our staff has decades of experience working with youth, raising their own children, and researching child development. We are thrilled to be able to bring together such a caring, creative, and competent staff.
Lead teacher and founder
Matthew is the founder and lead teacher at Meadowlark School. Since receiving his BA in Outdoor Education from Sterling College in 2009, Matthew has worked with young people in a variety of settings. Matthew brings a wealth of experience from working at The Howard Gardner School, The Eastern Ridge School (Reggio Emilia), and Windsor Street Montessori School. Matthew has also been working with Wild Folk's summer program, introducing kids to beautiful parks and forests around Columbia. He loves tinkering, gardening, wood work, cooking, cycling, and spending time with his family. After four years teaching and studying the Montessori Method, he is excited to get back to the Nature and Arts integrated Reggio inspired approach that first inspired him to teach early childhood.
Hope taught at a Nature-Based Reggio Emilia inspired school in Northern Virginia, and has a background in yoga instruction. She is a maker and creative soul, through and through, and has shared her artwork throughout the community. She is always knitting, sewing, or spinning wool. She also loves cooking, reading, and setting up projects for her two children. She is excited to share handwork, yoga, and music at Meadowlark. One of the things Hope enjoys most about the Reggio Emilia is the way art and nature are tied together and presented to the child so that they may use their own experience and creativity to express themselves.
Teacher and Garden Educator
Lori began her professional career as a preschool teacher, as well as serving as a nanny for multiple families over the years. Additionally, she taught a multi-aged group with special needs in a private elementary school.In 1997, she graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies:Emphasis in Early Childhood Education.
From there, her path continued as a parent educator in a home visitor capacity with the Early Head Start Program. She has also worked as a Crisis Intervention Specialist with families at risk of having a child removed from the home. And in this role, Lori served as a family advocate within the court system.
In the early 2000’s Lori intentionally slowed the pace and opened a home daycare when her own son was a toddler.
Then in 2010, she began volunteering as a Missouri Master Naturalist, supporting schools in developing their school grounds and mentoring teachers in outdoor education. That morphed into being an Outdoor Classroom Program Manager at the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture. In fact, she helped with the installation of the rain garden that now thrives at Meadowlark School!
All her life, she’s had an appreciation of nature and believes it is one of our greatest teachers!
Grandmother Barbara is the ultimate nurturer! She has been caring for children at a local Waldorf school for the last two years. With over a decade of work and research into child psychology, education, and communication, she brings so much wisdom and mentorship to our program. Most recently, she has obtained a Certificate in Family Life Coaching from Simplicity Parenting. Barbara will be sharing music, puppets, storytelling, and lots of creative art explorations with Meadowlark students. Barbara is the mother of five children and the grandmother of three. She has been intuitively incorporating Reggio methods into her caregiving for years. Barbara has a passion for cooking and is also a master gardener.