Middle/Upper School Faculty

Cheryl Carter - College Counselor

BS in Secondary Education / English from SW Missouri State University, Talented & Gifted Endorsement from the University of Iowa and Reading Endorsement from Iowa Wesleyan College

Carol Chestnutt - Economics

BIE (Industrial and Systems Engineering) from the Georgia Institute of Technology

Cynthia Cornell - SCI, Language Arts Resource

Cynthia Cornell has a B.A. in Secondary Ed. with a major in English and minor in Spanish, an M.A. in Secondary Ed. with an emphasis on Reading as well as 60+ credits above her master's degree. She is currently certified in Secondary Education and English, 7-12, Reading Specialist, K-12, and is a Re-certified Governor (TM teacher since 1976.) She has taught at Maharishi School full-time since 1990 and before that was a full-time high school teacher in Arizona, 1971-1977. She has been a full-time governor in Fairfield since 1987. "I am living my dream by teaching at Maharishi School and plan to continue another 17-20 years, seriously!"

Laurie Eyre - Mathematics

Laurie Reid Eyre is a founding faculty member of Maharishi Middle and Upper Schools (1981). Mrs. Eyre holds a B.A. cum laude in Mathematics from California State University at Sacramento (1970), an M.A. in the Science of Creative Intelligence from Maharishi European Research University (1979) and an M.A. in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland (1987). She chairs the Mathematics department and teaches courses in the Upper School . Mrs. Eyre served as a consultant (1992-1994) and work shop leader (1999-2005) for the Core-Plus Mathematics Curriculum Project. Mrs. Eyre has taught mathematics for over thirty years in public schools, colleges and Consciousness-Based Education settings.
A qualified teacher of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation program since 1973 and a Governor of the Age of Enlightenment since 1977, Mrs. Eyre has taught the TM technique to hundreds of people across the United States and in Bulgaria.
Mrs. Eyre has coached the Pioneer girls’ tennis team since 1992. She has coached two Iowa 1-A state Final Four teams (2004, 2005), one state singles champion (2002) and one state singles runner-up (2006), and two third place doubles teams (2004, 2005).
Mrs. Eyre has a teaching license from the state of Iowa and has been a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics since 1984.


Jane Fleshman - Academic Support

Jane Fleshman has a BA from Maharishi European Research University. She was a teacher at Maharishi Preschool for nine years before coming to the Maharishi Middle and Upper School Academic Support Office, where she has been for three years. She was trained as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation in 1974.

"I love working with Middle and Upper School students and am especially happy to have the opportunity to work with our international students. Working in the Academic Support Office allows me to help foster the strengths of individual students and appreciate their uniqueness. I find that to be the most exciting part of my job."


Kristina Gelfand - World Literature, ELL (English Language Learners)

Kristina Gelfand received her B.A. in Literature in 1988 from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield Iowa and became a Certified English High School teacher, Secondary Education (High School, English) from the State of Iowa. She is a Certified Instructor TEFL/EFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) as of August 2009 from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA.

Kristina Gelfand was born in Helsingør, Denmark. During her teenage years, Kristina traveled extensively throughout Europe as a member of the Danish Junior Orienteering Team and during the winter months, she spend most weekends at a Junior level cross-country training facility in Telemark, Norway. Mrs. Gelfand has taught ESL at High School and College level in both Japan and in the U.S. and currently teaches World Literature to the Senior classes using college prep reading and writing courses, emphasizing both analytical and creative writing.

In her spare time, Kristina rides horses, plays tennis and swims and when she is not cooking for her two teenage sons, she is also an avid endurance road biker.


Lucinda Hall -  Deskop Publishing

Moved to Fairfield from California with an AA in theatre, radio, and television, and completed a BA in literature and a MA in education at MUM. Started teaching at Maharishi School 1986. After three years, took time off to raise children, then came back. Currently, Lucinda teaches 10th girls American Literature, 11th boys and girls Academic Writing, 12th boys and girls Senior Thesis, and 10-12 boys and girls Desktop Publishing. "I love working at Maharishi School because it gives me the feeling that I am doing something significant—a channel for giving—and that’s fulfilling." When not at school, she is home reading, building something around the house, or doing art. She may also be at St. Gabriel’s singing, teaching, or investigating mystical Christianity in forgotten scripture. She is especially interested in the role of women, and women's vision for the future. She is a deaconess for the Liberal Catholic Church, and also one founder of a holy order for women called The Circle of Sophia, celebrating the Divine Feminine. Lucinda's other love is theatre; tech and acting. For 30 years, she has spent hours in theatres fixing, hanging, and designing lights. Adding color and motion to help create a show.



Barbara Hays - Math, Science

Barbara HaysBarbara started her career as an electrical engineer for the Computer Science Department of Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When her oldest son was ready for pre-school, the family moved to Washington, DC so he could attend Maharishi School there. As the second and third son arrived, Barbara became a "stay-at-home" mom and became more involved at the boys' school. By the time they left Washington she had served as lunch supervisor, pre-school teaching assistant, science consultant, and administrator. The family arrived in Fairfield in 1996, where Barbara continued her involvement at this Maharishi School in the Development Office and as Middle School Office Manager. She began teaching in 2000 and has taught various math and science courses to grades 7 to 12. She is currently developing and teaching a project-based authentic learning math and science curriculum for middle school.

Barbara and her husband of 25 years are enjoying being "empty-nesters" with time to travel and explore hobbies.

Barbara publishes her students' work on mshays.com


Richard Incorvia - English, Social Sciences

Richard IncorviaRichard received his BA in Art from Maharishi University of Management in 2001 and his MA in Education in 2005. He was a student teacher under Tom Kepler at Van Buren public school and, when Tom was hired to teach at Maharishi School, took over his English class at Van Buren. Richard came to Maharishi School "because I was interested in teaching the most effective way I could." He is striving to bring education into the 21st century using technology in his classroom.

Mr. Incorvia's students publish work on his blog, http://mrincorvia.com/




Tom Kepler - Language Arts

Tom Kepler is a certified teacher of the Transcendental Meditation Program. He also has been a classroom teacher of language arts for over thirty years, twenty-six in public schools and the rest at Maharishi School. He received his B.A. in English with a specialization in writing poetry at the University of California, Davis, where he studied with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Karl Shapiro.

He has published three books, the most current being The Stone Dragon, a fantasy novel, which was written during his current tenure at Maharishi School and which explores the relationship between consciousness and "magic." As one reviewer wrote, it challenges "the reader to think about the power of thought and attitude and their effect on the place we forge for ourselves in our world."

Regarding teaching at Maharishi School: “Teaching is the most challenging thing I have ever done, and I find that no less true at Maharishi School. The students here are strong, independent, and unwilling to waste their time—but that is good. When I do my job well, that strength of spirit results in higher order learning by the students—the result of their awakened curiosity and intelligence that are naturally accessible when a mind is alert.”

Read more about Tom Kepler at www.tomkeplerswritingblog.com/


Susan Marcus - SCI

Susan Marcus received her undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Iowa and Maharishi International University. She has been teaching Sanskrit and SCI at MSAE since 1998 and have found it to be a very rich experience.

"It is both challenging and fulfilling to share the knowledge of SCI and Vedic Science with students as they are growing in their ability to comprehend abstract ideas and as they evaluate where those ideas fit into their world. I feel very fortunate to have this 'job.'




Suzanna Mullenneaux - Middle/Upper Guidance Counselor

Suzanna Mullenneaux has a BA in SCI from M.U.M. and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Norwich University. She is an alumnus of Maharishi School and has two boys in the school, Avery and Caleb.


Karen Price - Biology, Physiology, Mathematics

BA in SCI from M.U.M. and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Norwich University.


Girma Tessema - Chemistry

Born in Ethiopia, Girma Tessema joined an Agricultural Research College after High School as a technical assistant while taking courses for his degree. He transferred to Addis Ababa University, obtaining teacher training and in 1985 a B.Sc. Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He then taught biology in grades 11-12. In 1988, he joined the International Livestock Research Institution (ILRI) because his 4th year research paper had attracted the attention of a researcher there. Performing laboratory experiments in Rhizobiology, Plant in vitro culture, Plant reproductive biology etc., he also mentored technical staff and students from colleges and high schools while meeting scientists from the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. He also began an M.A. program and graduated from Addis Ababa University with an MSC in Botany, publishing scientific articles in international and national journals.

In 2005, he came to the U.S. for the M.A. degree in teaching at Maharishi University of Management, in Iowa, and was certified by the Iowa Department of Education to teach Biology and Chemistry in grades 7-12.

In 2006, as part of MAT degree and CPT, he was employed by Prince George County Public Schools in Maryland, teaching Science in grade 7 for 2 years.

In 2008 Mr. Tessema accepted a position at Maharishi School, teaching Biology and Chemistry to 9th and 10th grade students. His family members are happy to be in this peaceful environment and their dream is to see their daughters graduate from Maharishi school.

View Girma Tessema's e-portfolio at www.mumstudents.org/~gtessema


Greg Thatcher - Art

Greg Thatcher received his B.F.A. degree with honors from the University of Victoria, Victoria B.C., Canada. He received his Masters Degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in drawing and painting. Greg moved to Fairfield in 1978 at which time he taught in the Art Department at M.I.U. After 10 years, he started working at Maharishi School where he became the Art Department Chair.

The Maharishi School art curriculum has been designed to be seamless from K - 12th grade. The program is based upon developing a strong foundation in design principles and basic art skills. The curriculum is based upon enlivening Maharishi's principles of self-referral, and developing a deep working understanding of the student’s creativity and inspiration.

Greg is a practicing artist working on a series of drawings in England. During the summers, he works on location in England, drawing the yew trees in St. Mary's churchyard. He has exhibited his work in USA, Canada, England, and France. You can view his work and see a recent film on his work at www.gregthatchergallery.com.


Mark Wilkins -  Science of Creative Intelligence, Destination ImagiNation Mentor

Mark WilkinsBA in Humanities from Colorado State University

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End of Year Events

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