University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover


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.

Administrative Staff

Barbara Murphy

Barbara Murphy, Director

M.S., 1979, Child Development, Northern Illinois University

125 Child Development
612 624-9035, murph028@umn.edu

The Director is a faculty member of the Institute of Child Development. Approximately fifty percent of her time is devoted to administering the Lab School. She also teaches courses in the Early Childhood Education program, oversees the student teaching experience and fulfills faculty responsibilities as the Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Teacher Licensure Program.

Sheila Williams Ridge

Sheila Williams Ridge, Assistant to the Director

M.A., Early Childhood Education, Concordia University

10 Child Development (Health Office)
612 624-9543, will0342@umn.edu

The Assistant to the Director oversees the day-to-day operation of the school. She is on duty during class times to conduct health checks on arriving children, maintain health records, provide basic first aid (if necessary), and implement health and safety policies. She also serves as an information resource for parents, supports the teachers and manages the food and nutrition part of the program.

Ann Ruhl Carlson

Ann Ruhl Carlson, Early Childhood Specialist/Enrollment Administrator

M.Ed., 1994, Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota

122 Child Development
612 626-7878, ruhlc001@umn.edu

The Enrollment Administrator coordinates enrollment and tours of the Lab School, facilitates quarterly parent discussion groups, supervises student teachers in the community and teaches courses in the Early Childhood Education program.

Francis Durkin

Frances Durkin, Creative Curriculum Specialist

M.Ed., 1999, Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota

127 Child Development
612 625-8051, durki009@umn.edu

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

Amy Pieren

Amy Pieren, Administrative Assistant

123 Child Development
612 625-6549, piere001@umn.edu

The Administrative Assistant provides administrative support to the Director and staff of the Lab School as well as the Early Childhood/Early Childhood Licensure program and oversees tuition statements and billing for the Lab School.

Teaching Staff

Each class has a Lead Teacher and two or three student teachers. The Lead Teacher remains with the children through the entire school year and the student teachers 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 student teachers are not available, well-qualified assistants are hired.

Ayoku Boomer

Ayuko Uezu Boomer, AM Lead Teacher

M.S.Ed., 2003, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Sarah Lawrence College

20 Child Development (Classroom)
110 Child Development (Office)
612 626-8136, boome004@umn.edu

Marie Lister

Marie Lister, PM Lead Teacher

M.Ed., 2012, Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education, University of Minnesota

50 Child Development (Classroom)
110 Child Development (Office)
612 626-8136, list0019@umn.edu

Lisa Mitchell

Elizabeth Criswell, PM Lead Teacher

M.Ed., 2011, Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education, University of Minnesota

12 Child Development (Classroom)
127 Child Development (Office)
612 625-8051, crisw009@umn.edu

Ross Thompson

Ross Thompson, AM Lead Teacher

M.Ed., 2008, Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota

20 Child Development (Classroom)
127 Child Development (Office)
612 625-8051, thom1411@umn.edu

Amy Vavricka

Amy Vavricka, AM Lead Teacher

M.Ed., 2007, Early Childhood Education, University of Minnesota

50 Child Development (Classroom)
110 Child Development (Office)
612 626-8136, vavr0024@umn.edu


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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
Last modified on June 24, 2009