Faculty Directory

Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School’s expert faculty provide individualized attention to help students make the most of their abilities.

TJ’s Expert Faculty

Dedicated and supportive faculty challenge, nurture, and guide all students at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School. These highly qualified professional educators, most of whom hold advanced degrees, are experts in the subjects they teach. They exemplify intellectual curiosity, a dedication to truth, and the advantages of living the examined life.

By modeling TJ’s Mission and Honor Code, our faculty hold students accountable for their progress, and help each one of them develop a strong moral compass. These compassionate individuals encourage and support students as they learn to navigate transitions, develop self-discipline, and think critically.

Thanks to TJ’s impressive teacher-student ratio, all students receive the individualized attention they deserve so that they can achieve their full potential—academically, artistically, athletically, and personally.

Tutorial Sessions

TJ faculty members are available after school until 4 p.m. every day to provide their students with extra help, as well as to engage in enrichment. These sessions can help boost each child’s confidence, strengthen subject comprehension, and develop important learning skills.

Teacher Professional Development

TJ faculty are dedicated to improving and building their skills so they can inspire all of their students. Toward that goal, they continuously participate in professional development, taking courses, and attending conferences, seminars, retreats, and workshops.

70%

Approximate number of faculty who hold advanced degrees.

18

Advanced Placement courses.

14

Years your child can study foreign languages.

“I’m confident I am teaching the local, state, and nationwide leaders of tomorrow. I want to impress upon them the type of people they can become.”

Mr. Clayton Carnahan, 5th Grade Language Arts teacher

Laura McDonald

Laura McDonald
Head of School
College Counselor
lmcdonald@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Kenyon College, M.S. Southwest Missouri State University.

Shauna Tharp
Director of Middle and Upper School,
Middle and Upper School History
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 335
stharp@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Michigan State University, MS.Ed. Baker University.

Molly Williams
Director of Early Childhood & Lower School,
Music
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 326
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Northwestern University

Dan Rogers
Dean of Students
Middle School Physical Education, Upper School Girls Basketball Coach
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 334
drogers@tjeffschool.org
B.S. William Jewell College, M.S. William Woods University.

Chris Myers
Athletic Director,
Buildings and Grounds Director,
Boys Basketball and Boys Golf Coach
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 226
cmyers@tjeffschool.org
B.S. Missouri Southern State University.

Clayton Dunaway
Director of Student Recruiting & Admission
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 341
cdunaway@tjeffschool.org
B.M.E. Pittsburg State University, M.M. Missouri State University, D.A. Ball State University .

Alana Hickman
Executive Assistant, Registrar
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 229
ahickman@tjeffschool.org
B.S. Truman State University.

Debie Donica
Business Manager
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 223
ddonica@tjeffschool.org
B.S. Missouri Southern State University.

Terri Davidson
School Receptionist
tdavidson@tjeffschool.org

Brent Pankey
Plant Manager
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 235
bpankey@tjeffschool.org

 

Matt Fussell
Computer, AV Support Technician
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 238

mfussell@tjeffschool.org

 

Paula Briley
Nutritional Coordinator
pbriley@tjeffschool.org

 

 

Robert Carlson
Director of Communications & Technology,
Applied Programming, and Robotics
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 240
rcarlson@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Pennsylvania State University, M.L.A Johns Hopkins University, Six Sigma Master Black Belt Certification Villanova University.

Stephanie Myers
Pre-Kindergarten
smyers@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Southwest Baptist University.

Gretchan Moss
Pre-Kindergarten Assistant
gmoss@tjeffschool.org

Pursuing a Bachelor of Science from Missouri Southern State University.

Michele Dunker
Kindergarten
mdunker@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University and training through the Gesell Institute of Child Development.

Amanda Beard
Kindergarten
abeard@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Pittsburg State University.

Matthew Hickman
Early Childhood & Lower School Spanish Language
mhickman@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Missouri Southern State University.

 

Molly Williams
Director of Early Childhood & Lower School, Music
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 326
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Northwestern University

 

Mark Cole
Lower & Upper School Art & Publications
mcole@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, M.A. Pittsburg State University.

 

Ursula Rincker
Librarian
urincker@tjeffschool.org
B.A. University of Kansas

 

 

Chelsey Cross
Pre-K – 5th Physical Education
Middle School soccer and Middle School Girls Basketball Coach
ccross@tjeffschool.org
B.S. Missouri Southern State University

Matthew Hickman
Early Childhood & Lower School Spanish Language
mhickman@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Missouri Southern State University.

Gay Currence
Lower School Science
gcurrence@tjeffschool.org

B.S.Ed. University of Missouri.

Leanna Lankford
1st Grade
llankford@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, M.S. Southwest Baptist University.

Kimberly Gray
2nd Grade Aide
kgray@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Missouri Southern State University, M.S. University of Kansas.

 

Kalli Smith
4th and 5th Grade Math; 4th Grade Homeroom
ksmith@tjeffschool.org
B.S. Missouri Southern State University

Victoria Baker
2nd Grade
vbaker@tjeffschool.org

B.S. University of Alabama, M.Ed. Vanderbilt University Peabody College of Education.

Jan Bradshaw
3rd Grade Mathematics & Social Studies
jbradshaw@tjeffschool.org

B.S. and M.S. Pittsburg State University.

Terri Conklin
3rd Grade Language Arts
tconklin@tjeffschool.org

B.S. University of Central Oklahoma, M.S. Southwest Missouri State University.

Margot Patterson
4th Grade Language Arts
mpatterson@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Drury University, M.L.I.S. Dominican University.

Mary Arnold
4th & 5th Grade Social Studies
marnold@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, M.S. Southwest Missouri State University.

 

Clayton Carnahan
5th Grade Language Arts,
B.A. Missouri Southern State University,
M.A. Missouri State University

 

 

Molly Williams
Director of Early Childhood & Lower School,
Music
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Northwestern University.

 

John Atteberry
Vocal & Instrumental Music
Concert Hall Director
jatteberry@tjeffschool.org

B.M. University of Missouri, M.M Rutgers University.

 

 

Rebecca Cutler
Lower, Middle, & Upper School Strings
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Pittsburg State University, M.M Illinois State University.

Mark Cole
Lower & Upper School Art & Publications
mcole@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, M.A. Pittsburg State University.

 

Ursula Rincker
Librarian
urincker@tjeffschool.org
B.A. University of Kansas

 

 

 

Chelsey Cross
Pre-K – 5th Physical Education
Middle School soccer and Middle School Girls Basketball Coach
ccross@tjeffschool.org
B.S. Missouri Southern State University

Amanda Almich
Middle & Upper School Art
Library
aalmich@tjeffschool.org

B.A. William Woods University.

 

Brittany Legwold
Middle & Upper School History
blegwold@tjeffschool.org
B.A.University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.A. University of Chicago

 

 

Zina Lewis
Middle & Upper School Latin

zlewis@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Monmouth College, M.A. University of Iowa.

 

Erin Fledderman
Middle & Upper School Science
efledderman@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Marian College.

 

Chris Nash
Middle & Upper School History
cnash@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Southwest Baptist University, M.A. Missouri State University.

 

Gabbrielle Heth
Middle & Upper School English
gheth@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Missouri Southern State University, M.A. Missouri State University.

 

Sam Jack
Middle & Upper School Mathematics
sjack@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Missouri Southern State University, M.A. Emporia State University.

 

Becky Hendrickson
Middle & Upper School Mathematics
bhendrickson@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Pennsylvania State University, M.Ed. Quinnipiac College.

 

Henry Yukevich, PhD
Middle & Upper School English
Upper School Boys Basketball Assistant Coach
hyukevich@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Grove City College, M.A. University of Dayton, and PhD  Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

 

Richard Phipps, PhD
Middle & Upper School Biology & Anatomy
rphipps@tjeffschool.org

B.S. University of Maine, M.S. University of Massachusetts, and PhD Iowa State University.

 

Shauna Tharp
Director of Middle and Upper School,
Middle and Upper School History
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 335
stharp@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Michigan State University, MS.Ed. Baker University.

 

Christopher Rupar, PhD
Middle & Upper School Science, Chemistry, & Physics
crupar@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, PhD University of Arkansas.

 

David Harris
Middle & Upper School History
dharris@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Hendrix College,  M.A. University of Central Arkansas.

 

 

Daniel Tharp
Middle & Upper School English
dtharp@tjeffschool.org

B.A. and M.A. Pittsburg State University, M.F.A. University of Notre Dame.

 

Paula Bohm
Middle & Upper School Mathematics
pbohm@tjeffschool.org

B.S. University of Texas-San Antonio, M.S. Pittsburg State University.

 

Fang Martin
Middle & Upper School Chinese Language
fmartin@tjeffschool.org

B.A. University of Central Oklahoma,  M.A. Missouri State University.

 

Gelmis Cole
Middle & Upper School Spanish Language
gcole@tjeffschool.org</a

B.A. Pittsburg State University.

 

Shannon Bickford
Middle & Upper School Science
Middle School Academic Bowl Team Coach
sbickford@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University.

 

Molly Williams
Director of Early Childhood & Lower School,
Music
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Northwestern University.

 

John Atteberry
Vocal & Instrumental Music
Concert Hall Director
jatteberry@tjeffschool.org

B.M. University of Missouri, M.M Rutgers University.

 

 

Rebecca Cutler
Lower, Middle, & Upper School Strings
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Pittsburg State University, M.M Illinois State University.

 

Ursula Rincker
Librarian
urincker@tjeffschool.org
B.A. University of Kansas

 

 

 

Dan Rogers
Dean of Students
Middle School Physical Education, Upper School Girls Basketball Coach
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 334
drogers@tjeffschool.org
B.S. William Jewell College, M.S. William Woods University.

Amanda Almich
Middle & Upper School Art
Library
aalmich@tjeffschool.org

B.A. William Woods University.

 

Brittany Legwold
Middle & Upper School History
blegwold@tjeffschool.org
B.A.University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.A. University of Chicago

 

 

Zina Lewis
Middle & Upper School Latin
 
zlewis@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Monmouth College, M.A. University of Iowa.

 

Erin Fledderman
Middle & Upper School Science
efledderman@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Marian College.

 

Chris Nash
Middle & Upper School History
cnash@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Southwest Baptist University, M.A. Missouri State University.

 

Gabbrielle Heth
Middle & Upper School English
gheth@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Missouri Southern State University, M.A. Missouri State University.

 

Sam Jack
Middle & Upper School Mathematics
sjack@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Missouri Southern State University, M.A. Emporia State University.

 

Becky Hendrickson
Middle & Upper School Mathematics
bhendrickson@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Pennsylvania State University, M.Ed. Quinnipiac College.

 

Henry Yukevich, PhD
Middle & Upper School English
Upper School Boys Basketball Assistant Coach
hyukevich@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Grove City College, M.A. University of Dayton, and PhD  Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

 

Shauna Tharp
Director of Middle and Upper School,
Middle and Upper School History
Phone: 417-781-5124 ext. 335
stharp@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Michigan State University, MS.Ed. Baker University.

 

Richard Phipps, PhD
Middle & Upper School Biology & Anatomy
rphipps@tjeffschool.org

B.S. University of Maine, M.S. University of Massachusetts, and PhD Iowa State University.

 

Christopher Rupar, PhD
Middle & Upper School Science, Chemistry, & Physics
crupar@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, PhD University of Arkansas.

 

David Harris
Middle & Upper School History
dharris@tjeffschool.org
B.A. Hendrix College,  M.A. University of Central Arkansas.

 

 

Daniel Tharp
Middle & Upper School English
dtharp@tjeffschool.org

B.A. and M.A. Pittsburg State University, M.F.A. University of Notre Dame.

 

Paula Bohm
Middle & Upper School Mathematics
pbohm@tjeffschool.org

B.S. University of Texas-San Antonio, M.S. Pittsburg State University.

 

Fang Martin
Middle & Upper School Chinese Language
fmartin@tjeffschool.org

B.A. University of Central Oklahoma,  M.A. Missouri State University.

 

Gelmis Cole
Middle & Upper School Spanish Language
gcole@tjeffschool.org</a

B.A. Pittsburg State University.

 

Shannon Bickford
Middle & Upper School Science
Middle School Academic Bowl Team Coach
sbickford@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University.

 

Molly Williams
Director of Early Childhood & Lower School,
Middle School Music
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Northwestern University.

 

John Atteberry
Vocal & Instrumental Music
Concert Hall Director
jatteberry@tjeffschool.org

B.M. University of Missouri, M.M Rutgers University.

 

 

Rebecca Cutler
Lower, Middle, & Upper School Strings
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Pittsburg State University, M.M Illinois State University.

Mark Cole
Lower & Upper School Art & Publications
mcole@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, M.A. Pittsburg State University.

 

 

Ursula Rincker
Librarian
urincker@tjeffschool.org
B.A. University of Kansas

 

 

Molly Williams
Director of Early Childhood & Lower School,
Middle School Music
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Northwestern University.

John Atteberry
Vocal & Instrumental Music
Concert Hall Director
jatteberry@tjeffschool.org

B.M. University of Missouri, M.M Rutgers University.

 

 

Rebecca Cutler
Lower, Middle, & Upper School Strings
mwilliams@tjeffschool.org

B.A. Pittsburg State University, M.M Illinois State University.

Amanda Almich
Middle & Upper School Art
Library
aalmich@tjeffschool.org

B.A. William Woods University.

Mark Cole
Lower & Upper School Art & Publications
mcole@tjeffschool.org

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, M.A. Pittsburg State University.

THOMAS JEFFERSON

PREPARATION FOR A MORE REMARKABLE JOURNEY

Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School delivers a rigorous liberal arts college preparatory curriculum in a supportive and nurturing environment.