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Our Staff

We believe the most important quality of our staff is their warmth and sensitivity to the needs of young children and their families. We strive to create a caring community where children, families, and staff feel supported and enriched by being together.


Sheila Williams RidgeSheila Williams Ridge, Director, Lab School
M.A., Early Childhood Education, Concordia University
10 Child Development
612-624-9543, will0342@umn.edu

The Director oversees the day-to-day operation of the school. She also serves as an information resource for parents, supports the teachers and manages the safety, food and nutrition parts of the program.

 

Ann Ruhl CarlsonAnn Ruhl Carlson, Early Childhood Licensure Coordinator
M.Ed., 1994, Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota
122 Child Development
612-626-7878, ruhlc001@umn.edu

The Coordinator oversees the Early Childhood Teacher Licensure programs, supervises teacher candidates in the community, teaches courses in the Early Childhood Education program, and facilitates quarterly parent discussion groups in the Lab School.

 

Elizabeth CriswellElizabeth Criswell, Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator
M.Ed., 2011, Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education, University of Minnesota
126 Child Development (Office)
612-624-9543, crisw009@umn.edu

 

 

 

Frances DurkinFrances Durkin, Creative Curriculum Specialist
M.Ed., 1999, Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota
127 Child Development
612-625-1900, durki009@umn.edu

The Creative Curriculum Specialist supports the teaching staff and teacher candidates by helping them to incorporate the arts and other creative learning experiences into the classroom curriculum.

 

Amy PierenAmy Pieren, Program Specialist
B.A., 1998, University of Minnesota
123 Child Development
612-625-6549, piere001@umn.edu

The Program Specialist provides administrative support to the Director and staff of the Lab School as well as the Early Childhood programs, and coordinates communications, enrollment, and billing for the Lab School.

 

 

Teaching Staff

Each class has a lead teacher and two or three teacher candidates. The lead teacher remains with the children through the entire school year and the teacher candidates change every ten weeks. The adult-child ratio is generally 1:6. All of the lead teaching staff have Master’s degrees, are highly knowledgeable of child development, and are experienced in working with young children in classroom settings. In the event teacher candidates are not available, well-qualified assistants are hired.

Ayuko Uezu BoomerAyuko Uezu Boomer, AM Lead Teacher
M.S.Ed., 2003, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Sarah Lawrence College
20 Child Development (Classroom)
127 Child Development (Office)
612-624-9543, boome004@umn.edu

 

 

 

Marie ListerMarie Lister, PM Lead Teacher
M.Ed., 2012, Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education, University of Minnesota
50 Child Development (Classroom)
124 Child Development (Office)
612-624-9543, list0019@umn.edu

 

 

 

Ross ThompsonRoss Thompson, AM Lead Teacher
M.Ed., 2008, Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota
20 Child Development (Classroom)
124 Child Development (Office)
612-624-9543, thom1411@umn.edu

 

 

 

Amy VavrickaAmy Vavricka, AM Lead Teacher
M.Ed., 2007, Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota
50 Child Development (Classroom)
126 Child Development (Office)
612-624-9543, vavr0024@umn.edu