The U Team


Five Lineups:

Board of Directors, Staff, Community Partners, Donors, & Special Advisors

Scroll down below to view the teammates of each lineup.

Board of Directors


Ryan Brown

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Ryan has 25+ years of experience, with 20 years of that being in leadership and management roles, in the education sector. Starting off as a first grade basketball coach Ryan has built his career in the field of education and has become an innovative and well respected early childhood and school-age educator. His enthusiasm and passion for working with children as well as his engaging stories of experience translate into powerful, inspiring, and informative guidance for others.

  • Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education Administration and Leadership from The University of Michigan.
  • Current member of Washtenaw Community College Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee.
  • Early Childhood Education Lecturer/Student Supervisor at UM-Dearborn.
  • Transitional Toddler Teacher at Allen Creek Preschool
  • Lead pre-kindergarten teacher at Bright Horizons (NAEYC accredited center) in Redwood City, CA. At Bright Horizons, Ryan was recognized by his peers, families, and school leaders with awards such as The Family Partnership Award, The Rising Star Award, and the Teamwork Award.
  • Director of Green Adventures Camp, an Ann Arbor Public Schools/Rec & Ed summer academic enrichment camp.
  • Supervisor of Ann Arbor Public Schools before, kindergarten, and after school child care programs.
  • YMCA Early Childhood Sports Supervisor.
  • Loving husband of Hannah Brown (see below) and father of three boys (17 years,  13 years, and 6 years old).

Lauren Roy

Pedagogy Coach & Art Studio Teacher

Lauren Roy has been serving in early childhood for eleven years! She graduated with honors from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Bachelor degree in Elementary Education and holds Early Childhood endorsements (General and Special education). Eager to discover more about how children learn, Lauren has traveled to conferences in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New York, and Reggio Emilia, Italy. The Reggio Emilia Approach has captured Lauren’s heart as it validates children’s capabilities and partnership in the learning process. Children share what they know, not only with their voices, but also through the hundred languages of representation. 

Children draw, paint, sculpt, sing, move their bodies, (etc.) to tell stories of what they know about the world around them. This dialogue is such a beautiful exchange that holds such incredible value, specifically when adults learn how to listen to their gifts. Her passion is what opened the door to a role as an art studio teacher and later as pedagogical coach to the teaching team here at the U School. 

On a personal side, Lauren and her partner Joel have two children, Brynn and Emmett. Their children also happen to be U Schoolers! The family enjoys traveling, hiking, biking, and games. The U School impacted the Roy Family so positively that they decided to move to Ann Arbor to be part of the community! They are looking forward to connecting more!


Charlie Sutherland

3/4 Lead Teacher

Teacher Charlie has been at the U School since it opened in September, 2015. He is the lead teacher of the 3/4 classroom, and the U School’s resident mindfulness coach.

After beginning with adult ESL teaching in 2002, Charlie moved from his hometown of Ann Arbor to the Bay Area to pursue a credential in public school teaching. After eight years teaching high school English, he made the switch to working in preschools, remaining in California for three more years to teach in Montessori classrooms. When the time came to come back home to Michigan, he heard about a new place called the U School from the family of Ryan Brown’s nephew, who happened to be in Charlie’s class in San Francisco.

Back when he was teaching high school and trying to stay sane, Charlie learned how to meditate using the Unified Mindfulness system, and also received training in how to teach the system to others. He teaches the U Family Mindful Parents & Educators program, and his main interest is in developing more ways to share awareness practice with children, families, and fellow educators.

Kc Moore

3/4 Lead Teacher

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Child Development, Kc has spent the last twenty years serving people of all ages and backgrounds throughout the United States. Be it children, or adults with disabilities, Kc has fostered a love of learning and personal growth as the common thread throughout each of her experiences. She has a genuine passion for understanding how children learn and develop, supporting their individual voices while incorporating Reggio Emilia and nature-focused approaches. Kc takes every advantage to attend professional workshops and trainings to further her own education and has an eagerness to share in the greater community, partnering closely with families.

A Michigan native, Kc has spent time in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and California before putting down roots in Ann Arbor with her husband and son (a U School student). She has a love of the outdoors and gardening, crafting and creating, music and dancing, cooking and baking, all of which guide her work with children.

Lesley Maurer

4/5 Lead Teacher

Lesley is a Michigan native who has taught and worked with children and their families for over twenty years. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Elementary Education. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Chicago, IL and made her home there. She taught elementary school for several years, until she and her husband started their own family. When she returned to work after a five-year break, she began teaching preschool. She discovered early childhood was her passion and has been teaching preschool for the last nine years. Five years ago, her husband’s job change led them back to Michigan. Lesley and her husband David, have two children, Sam (18) and Josephine (15) as well as two dogs, Champion and Frankie.

Joseph Moriarty

4/5 Lead Teacher

I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Central Michigan University. I have worn multiple hats in this field including Lead Teacher (3’s, 4’s, and Young 5’s), After School Program/Summer Program Director/Liaison, and Curriculum Director at multiple early childhood centers as well as public schools. My long term goal is to obtain my Masters degree in Child Policy and Advocacy to help advocate for and assist early childhood centers, teachers, directors, and parents. In my free time, I enjoy attending concerts, hiking, hammocking, and being outdoors. I am super excited to grow and learn with your children throughout this year!

Francesca Terzoli

3/4 Co-Teacher

Francesca was born and raised in South Africa, and moved to Ann Arbor in 2015 for college. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors in Psychology, focusing her coursework on developmental and educational psychology. Through those courses, she discovered a growing passion for Early Childhood Education. Francesca joined the U School team shortly after graduating to explore the field and gain more hands-on classroom experience. Since then, her commitment to this field (and this school!) has only deepened. Inspired by her U School mentors and colleagues, Francesca completed a Masters in ECE Administration and Leadership at UM-Dearborn. She is excited to continue gaining valuable years of experience supporting young children in the classroom to deepen her knowledge of curriculum development and pedagogy, all while working with the most wonderful community of people!

Emma Bunker-Uzelac

3/4 Co-Teacher

Emma was born in Vietnam and raised in Ann Arbor! She used to attend Green Adventures Camp as a young camper and she grew to love the outdoors. She started working with young children in high school as a Rec&Ed volunteer at local summer camps. In college, Emma worked as a nanny for children ranging from newborns to preteens. In her most recent care, she worked at a daycare/preschool teaching in all of the classrooms. She is currently an elementary education major transferring her credits to community college in the fall to receive her Associate’s degree and plans to attend school to acquire her Bachelor’s degree shortly after that. In Emma’s free time, she loves to go for walks and enjoy the sounds of nature, spend quality time with her friends and family, and explore delicious foods from different cultures.

Sarah Carmichael

4/5 Co-Teacher

I am a true Michigander. I was raised on a farm here in SE Michigan and have lived here my whole life and yes, I point to my palm when asked where certain cities are in our state. Being a caregiver by nature and loving children, I started caring for children in their homes at a young age. This led me to studying early childhood education after high school graduation. I earned my associate degree from Washtenaw Community College and have worked as a preschool teacher for 23 years. I particularly enjoy establishing deep relationships with children where they feel seen, heard and valued. I have been intrigued by The U School since it opened and when the opportunity arose for me to become part of this team and community, I jumped on it!  I have 3 wonderful children, who have taught me a lot about child development, growth and changes that occur as infants grow into young adults. I live with my wife and a cat named, “Snoop” who is as curious as a young child. I am looking forward to exciting things to come.

Kathryn Farris

4/5 Co-Teacher

Kathryn (they/them) attended Eastern Michigan University for Children’s Literature/Theatre for the Young and went on to become a copy editor for a short while before discovering The U School. Their dad, David Szczygiel (a profound environmental educator for the Ann Arbor public schools), encouraged Kathryn to become a teacher at an amazing new preschool his friend, Ryan Brown, had just started. This brought them to instantly fall in love with The U school and the philosophies behind it. Six years later, they still refuse to let go of The U School, after all the joy and love it’s given in their life. Outside of school life, Kathryn loves to draw and paint in their free time, and they bring their love of art into their teaching as much as they can. Kathryn is also the illustrator of the U School Lexicon! They live with their husband and cat in Ann Arbor.

Sierra Feaganes

3/4 Teacher

Sierra has been working on her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and has been substituting here at the U school. Sierra has a joy of laughing with children, learning with them, and most importantly creating strong relationships with them and their families! It’s important for Sierra that all of the children’s needs are met. Sierra is so excited to start this new adventure with everyone! In her spare time Sierra loves to travel and enjoy family time.

Forever Bills

3/4 Teacher

My name is Forever and I’m super happy to be part of the U School team! I was born in Jackson Michigan and spent a little time growing up in Oklahoma City. I’m currently attending college at Phoenix University for a financial certification and in the future hope to continue my education in the teaching field. I’ve got 2 younger siblings and many younger cousins I always looked after growing up. Taking care of them is where I gained most of my childcare skills! In my free time I like to watch movies or read books. I also enjoy arts and crafts. I absolutely love working with children as they never fail to make me smile!

Kaitlynn Rodgers

4/5 Teacher

I am a child at heart! I grew up being the oldest of my 3 younger siblings (we are all 5 years apart) so there was always a baby around. I started my journey in early childhood education post high school as a swim instructor at Aqua-Tots Swim School in Woodhaven Michigan. Now, I am more than overjoyed to continue this journey I’ve started within The U School. To continue growing, and to not only teach the knowledge I’ve obtained throughout my years, but to also continue learning from the children, our future generations!

Kenneth Simpson

4/5 Teacher

Ken is a Michigan native who grew up in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Ken graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Digital Media and Production with a minor in Business Management. Ken started his career in childcare working as a summer camp counselor for five years after graduating high school. He would later transfer into early childhood development working for the University of Michigan Health System Children’s Center working as an assistant teacher. Ken loves the idea of teaching through play and art and finds the connection made from these experiences to be great for both him and students involved. In his free time Ken enjoys writing, reading, doing crossfit, playing video games, anything superhero related, and kayaking. One of Ken’s biggest passions is film making, working on three feature films as well as videographer and photographer freelancing throughout Michigan.    

Anyse Malcolm

Building Resource Teacher

I was born and raised on the west side of Ann Arbor. I attended Ann Arbor Open, Forsythe, and Community high school. My child care background began with tutoring at the Family Learning Institute in high school, but I come from a family of educators so working with children has always been a part of my life. My experience includes over seven years of working as a private nanny, and five years supervising a school aged child care program with Rec&Ed. Growing up, my mother worked at Roberto Clemente and I ran track for Pioneer High School so I was fortunate enough to spend time with some amazing pillars in our community such as Joseph Dulin and Bryan Westfield. As a child I would run the halls of Clemente and raid the candy drawer in the office. I also spent many days riding around town with Mr. Westfield after practice learning about the history of our city. From them I not only learned what it means to be an educator, but what it means to be a community.  My hope for the future is to continue to contribute to Ann Arbor’s rich history through education, just as they did. 

During my free time I enjoy going to Zumba, kayaking, traveling, and camping with my family. I am so excited to be a member of the U team, and I can’t wait to see what this new journey has in store for all of us.

Natalie Christian

Building Resource Teacher

Natalie (they/them) has early roots with The U School. After spending a year in South Africa studying child development at University of Cape Town, they returned to Ann Arbor and heard from a friend about a new progressive preschool starting centered around Ubuntu! They were involved with the early U Play Pop-Ups and worked as a lead preschool teacher at Summers-Knoll School mirroring the U School philosophy.

Natalie has taught in the early-childhood field for 12 years and has their MSW from University of Michigan. Their long term goal is to finish their licensing hours as a school social worker and then go back to school for either a Masters in Education Leadership and Policy to advocate for children or a PHD in attachment relationships in early childhood. They love teaching preschool and have not been able to stay out of the classroom for long.

“My favorite thing about teaching preschool is watching a child’s eyes light up as they connect ideas through play and connect with their peers and community” says Natalie. In the words of a four year old friend, “My heart likes to snuggle with Ubuntu.” The U School philosophy is 100% in line with my values, and it feels so good to be home!

Fabio da Cunha (Lobinho)

Capoeira Teacher

Fabio Cosmo da Cunha, known in the capoeira world as “Contra Mestre Lobinho” began training Capoeira in 1998 in Sao Paulo, Brazil under Mestre Coruja of the group Cordao de Ouro. He is full of positive energy, and has a wonderful background working with children of all ages. Coming from Brazil, Lobinho offers a different perspective on life and coming from a close knit community, he offers values and lessons based on his own experiences.

Jeanne Hagadone

Yoga Teacher & Sub

Jeanne has been teaching yoga in Ann Arbor since 2012. After completing a 200 hour yoga teacher certification she has been offering classes to adults in Hatha, Chair, Vinyasa, and Yin yoga. Jeanne has additional training in children’s yoga and very much enjoys the creativity and enthusiasm of preschool yogis.

Jeanne knew within the first few minutes of touring the U School that it was a school she wanted her children to attend. She has loved being a part of the community since 2019.

Rebecca Hunter

Music Teacher

Canadian violinist, Rebecca Hunter is an active educator and performer in the Ann Arbor Michigan area. She has 20 + years of teaching students of all ages (3 through adults). Having started her own violin studies at the age of 2 through the Suzuki method, music has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Passionate about working with young children, Rebecca believes in the endless potential of every child, and shares Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy that music exists for the purpose of growing admirable hearts. Rebecca is excited to have the opportunity to work with the teachers and students at the U School to provide students with the the opportunity to experience and investigate new ways for human connection and self expression through the elements of music.

Rebecca received her BMus in Performance from the University of Western Ontario, a MM in Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK, a MM in Suzuki Pedagogy at Ithaca College, and a DMA from the University of Oregon with a secondary area of Musicology. Additionally, Rebecca is also a licensed Andover Educator, a somatic education which aims to train musicians to move according to their structure, promoting facility and preventing injury and limitations.

Rebecca served as Assistant Professor of Applied Violin and Violin Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina (2010-15), and was the founding director of their Suzuki Strings at USC program. While at USC, Rebecca established official ties between the Saint Lucia School of Music, Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand and the USC.

Presently, Rebecca runs a private studio in Ann Arbor (A2 Hunter Studios), and enjoys spending time with her family; husband Jonathan, and three wonderful daughters- U School graduate Amara, and present U Schoolers Adalynn and Avery!

Hannah Jacobsen

Super Sub

Marinel Gaitan

Super Sub

Ileina Vroman

Substitute Teacher

I’m from Maybee, Michigan, which is a small little farming village near the Monroe area. I am studying at Eastern Michigan University to obtain a degree in Secondary Education- Social Studies and History. I first started work with children by babysitting family friends, and I still try to on occasion. I also have additional experience working with children by volunteering with the Autism Alliance Group located in the DownRiver area. I enjoy camping, trying new food, and seeing theater productions.  I’m so excited to be able to work in this amazing school and get to know everyone more!

Kassie Stelmaszek

Substitute Teacher

Hannah Brown

Child & Family Support Coordinator

Hannah has broad experience working in child and family focused environments. She started her professional career working with children in child care environments where she found a love for working with families and great teams. Those experiences led her to pursue studies in social work, culminating in a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, with an additional certification in School Social Work and training in art therapy. Hannah now holds a Clinical License in Social Work Hannah and has worked with families at Ele’s Place, New Beginnings Academy, Interfaith Hospitality Network at Alpha House, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor Public Schools School-Aged Child Care program, Americorps, and Shelter Networks Haven Family House (a transitional housing family shelter in Northern California). Hannah is the mother of three delightfully charming boys.


  • Amy Grambeau
  • Amy Szymaszek
  • Anne Montague
  • Anupa Bhise-Pierre
  • Bethena Wallace
  • Briana Murphy
  • Candi Gonzalez
  • Caitlin Klein
  • Carol Ludwig
  • Carol Perry
  • Chris Swinko
  • Claudia Repsold
  • Curtis Wallace
  • Daniel Beider
  • Daniela Bach
  • Dave Arbury
  • Deanna Jones
  • Denise Cope
  • Diana Miller
  • Eileen Kreiner
  • Ellen Brody
  • Emily Greene
  • Emma Raynor
  • Eric Zinn
  • Eril Andes
  • Erin Pons
  • Evelyn Yocum
  • Fa’al Yamin Ali
  • Fernanda Repsold
  • Frank Perry
  • Gregor Repsold
  • Gregory Lang
  • Heather Halabu
  • Helen Pankowski
  • Isley Brown
  • Jackson Perry
  • Jamall Bufford
  • Jamie Pons
  • Jan Ulrich
  • Jane Levy
  • Jason DePasquale
  • Jason Steingold
  • Jay Stanton
  • Jeff Hamilton
  • Jeffrey Klein
  • Jen Babycz
  • Jennifer Quadro
  • Jeremy Cavagnolo
  • Jessica Rodriguez
  • Jessica Adelle McCumons
  • Joe Abrams
  • Joe Malcoun
  • Johanna Horn
  • John Stahly
  • Jonathan Gillies
  • Joshua Remsberg
  • Julie Golden
  • Julie Zinn
  • Justin Harper
  • Kadesha Baker
  • Kate Beck
  • Kathi Cohen
  • Ken Ludwig
  • Ken Raynor
  • Ko Shih
  • Laura Pershin Raynor
  • Lauren Stine
  • Linda Robinson
  • Lisa Dengiz
  • Liza Brereton
  • Lizann Amason
  • Lori Stark
  • Lucie Keiner
  • Margaret B. Lansing
  • Maria Cecilia
  • Maria Eduarda Braga Padilha
  • Mariana Repsold
  • Mariann Airgood
  • Mark Miller
  • Martin Smith
  • Mary Mathias
  • Matthew McCumons
  • Mayra Pereira
  • Michael Demps
  • Michelle Carolan
  • Michelle Mendlewicz
  • Mike Perry
  • Mike Zinn
  • Natalia Bae
  • Natalie Christian
  • Nathan Ayers
  • Nathan Klussmann
  • Neil Miller
  • Nicole Arbury
  • Oana Nitulescu
  • Patti Dizon Woods
  • Paquetta Palmer
  • Renata
  • Ricardo Marcondes
  • Robin Schultz-Purves
  • Ryan Rooney
  • Seth Yocum
  • Sharon Watling
  • Sherry Murphy
  • Steve Perry
  • Terri Nelson
  • Theadora Yocum
  • Tim Ludwig
  • Tom Williams
  • Toni Morell
  • Travis Amason
  • Victoria Groom
  • Wendy Carty-Saxon

Special Advisors