6th Grade - Katie Buckley grew up in Ann Arbor and Dexter, MI. She majored in English and secondary education, as well as minored in history, at the University of Michigan. She taught for a semester after graduation in Ann Arbor public schools, and then moved on to teach high school English in Southwest Detroit. After four years in Southwest, Katie took a break from the classroom and helped run a tutoring center outside of Detroit. Charlotte Mason Community School drew her back to her calling of being a classroom teacher. Outside of school, she is a member of Woodside Bible Church, she writes and performs music, and she loves running. In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to see live performances, and dreaming about owning a dog.
Kindergarten (Co-teacher) - Simone Cato is a wife and mother of four children, three of which are all currently attending Charlotte Mason. She was born and raised in St. Catherine, Jamaica and has lived in Detroit for over 15 years. Simone loves people and has served children for years by working as a youth minister in Jamaica and the US, a high school information technology teacher, camp counselor and mentor for young people. She is energized by listening to good music, dancing, writing and engaging in good conversation. One of her greatest joys is to see people live up to their full potential despite challenges and setbacks. Simone looks forward to the adventure of serving in the kindergarten classroom at CMCS.
1st Grade - Toni Gibson grew up in Albuquerque and after graduating from the University of New Mexico got her first preschool teaching job in Hawaii. That’s where she met her husband, John, a Michigander, and when he was discharged from the Navy they moved to Michigan in a January snowstorm. It took her a few years to get used to cold winters but now she loves it. Toni continued teaching in public and private schools in Whitmore Lake, Mason, St. Clair Shores and Detroit at several grade levels including kindergarten, 3rd and 5th grade. In 1995 she received her master’s degree from Wayne State University in Early Childhood Education. Toni loves books, gardening and ballroom dancing and she is delighted to be teaching first-grade at Charlotte Mason Community School.
4th & 5th Grade Teacher - Artinia (Tina) Huff graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s in Communication. She earned her teaching certification through Madonna University in 2015. She has worked in the field of education for over 10 years and this will be her fourth year teaching. Tina is a proud Detroit native. She loves spending time with her husband, Jonathan, and with family and friends. She enjoys decorating, traveling, dancing, singing, good movies, volunteering, and nature. Tina is an active member of Evangel Ministries Detroit. She cherishes her relationship with God, her first love, and Gods' Word.
Facility Manager - Bruce Jones is awesome!
Movement / Music - Shirel Jones grew up in Brooklyn, New York and started to take ballet lessons at age 5. Her passion for dance grew exponentially and it led Shirel to attend the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing arts as a dance major. During that time Shirel also trained at The Alvin Ailey School, the American Ballet Theater, and Central Pennsylvania youth ballet intensives. She majored in performance and choreography at the California Institute of the Arts. Upon graduating, Shirel discovered a love for teaching and after a few years of teaching in CA and NY Shirel moved to Detroit in 2015. Shirel joined the CMCS family in the winter of 2017. Outside of school, Shirel runs her own early arts dance program called Lil Dumplins and can be found playing with her two kids, dog, cat and three chickens!
2nd Grade - Seth Lehman-Martin grew up in central PA with his mom, dad and eight brothers and sisters. He began teaching third graders at the church he grew up in during his teens. After high school, he moved to South Carolina and studied in a broad range of fields, culminating in an MA in English. Seth and his wife Cassie met in 2008 and now have three children. He has always loved teaching and children of all ages (being a bit reluctant to grow up himself) and has spent his “grown-up” life teaching children and teens in a variety of church settings. In 2015, Seth and Cassie and their children moved to Detroit where Seth and a friend merged their online bookstores into the Detroit Book Exchange. He is now excited to fulfill his lifelong teaching dreams full-time, helping children discover themselves, their Creator and the beautiful world they live in.
Left to his own devices outside of school, Seth would typically hole up in a quiet place with a good book of stories or poetry or a novel and some delicious food. But with an extroverted wife and three vibrant children six and younger, he’s more likely flying around the living room in a dance party or surrounded on the couch reading The Wind in the Willows or The Hobbit or, later on, sitting at his table late into the night with friends.
Principal - Ann Pattie graduated from the University of Michigan in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She has been involved in education in Detroit for the past sixteen years as an elementary school teacher, the director of a community-based literacy clinic, and a board member of the Charlotte Mason Association of Detroit. She resides on the Eastside of Detroit with her husband and six children---four of which attend Charlotte Mason Community School. Ann is currently working on a Master of Education degree at Calvin College and is an active member of Mack Avenue Community Church. She enjoys sports and is a fan of the Lions, Tigers, Wolverines, and any team her kids play on.
Lead Teacher - Therese Racklyeft attended Detroit Bible College in the middle 70s, and transferred to Wayne State University, receiving her BS in Education in 1980. She taught in Catholic and Lutheran schools, and while raising her children, discovered the writings of Charlotte Mason. She, Evelyn Hoey, and Bonnie Schow were among the founders of Charlotte Mason Community School, where she acts as Assistant Principal, develops curriculum, and teaches Literature, Math, and History to various grade levels. Her interests include reading, writing, crosswords, classic films, hiking and traveling.
7th & 8th Grade Teacher - Joseph Ratcliff studied Music Education as a Presidential Scholar of Wayne State University. He graduated with a B.A. in Music and currently holds a JQ Provisional K-12 Music Teaching certificate. As of late, he is pursuing a M.Ed in Teaching and Learning, while concurrently adding endorsements in Elementary Education and Elementary Mathematics. His pursuit of these additional endorsements will qualify him to teach the children of Detroit in core content areas, particularly math. It is his firm belief that our students are very well capable of attaining proficiency in core content, and he desires to see them shine in their capabilities. With these additional credentials and endorsements, he plans to help his students silence the naysayers. Truly, they can!
Teaching has always been his dream, gift, and calling. As a elementary school boy on Detroit’s Eastside, he would play “school” with his neighborhood friends. However, this game often evolved into helping them with their homework and enthusiastically sharing with them what he learned in school that day. Even now, he vividly remembers those days and their special classroom on his grandmother’s front porch. It was truly a magical place and time in his life! Little did he know, his heart was falling in love with the idea of becoming a teacher. For the past decade, he is proud to say that teaching has been his life’s work, a dream realized, gift given, and calling fulfilled. He has had a lot of experiences as a classroom teacher and leader in the schools for which he has worked. His experience has included coordinating curriculum, leading assemblies, training staff, and much more. However, even with all of these contributions to help students learn and improve schools, there is no place like the classroom.
3rd Grade - Ninoska Rice graduated in 2011 from The University of Michigan-Dearborn with a double major in Sociology and Urban and Regional Studies. She has been the recess coordinator, a teacher's aid and Spanish teacher at CMCS, for the past 3 1/2 years. Ninoska lives in Southwest Detroit. She enjoys being newly married to her husband Ricky, playing music, making art, and working towards justice for the poor and needy.
Science Teacher - Joshua Rock experienced an invitation from Jesus 20 years ago and in response to God's call came to live among God's people in Detroit. His wife Yvette moved to the city the same day, and two years later he married 'the girl next door.' They have four wonderful, independent, and creative children who bring them beauty, challenge, and great joy. Joshua spent six years teaching middle school science at Cornerstone Schools, and nine years helping to lead YouthWorks-Detroit. Joshua is currently embracing the adventure of building relationships centered around Jesus and his teachings, and joyfully reengaging teaching in the classroom at Charlotte Mason Community School.
Social Worker - Vanessa Simkins grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. She obtained her Bachelors of Psychology and Masters of Social Work at Wayne State University. Vanessa's oldest daughter attends CMCS and that sparked the interest for her to become more involved at CMCS by becoming the school social worker and using the gifts that she has. Vanessa lives in the North End with her husband Sam and six children. Her passions are reading, adventuring, naturing, decorating, playing tennis, crafting, hanging with the neighbors, and eating great food!
Teacher Aid - Bobbie Simpson loves children. She loves their curiosity, innocence, and their ability to love without conditions. She appreciates the Charlotte Mason philosophy because she has always felt that children need to express themselves freely while they are exploring the world. She is the mother of six: two boys & four girls, ages 3, 9,10,11,15, and 24. Bary, the 11 yr old, attends CMCS. She was born and raised in Detroit. She attends Mack Ave Community Church. She gets to hang out with, teach, and learn from children for a living at Charlotte Mason... She's in heaven!!!
Office Manager - James Worden graduated in 1996 from the University of North Texas with a B.A. in English Literature. He is a russophile and lived in Moscow, Russia for 2 years at the twilight of the 20th century. Having traveled extensively, he has developed a passion for cycling. In his spare time, he enjoys operating a community bike repair shop with a couple of his neighbors on the Eastside of Detroit.
Kindergarten (Co-teacher) - Kristen Van Andel hails originally from West Michigan, but after 6 years in Plymouth and 13 years in Detroit, Southeast Michigan has become her home. She holds degrees from Calvin College (BSW) and the University of Michigan (MSW). She loves spending time with her husband Mark and their three sons (2 CMCS graduates and a current 7th grader). They have particularly enjoyed traveling around the country and visiting a variety of National Parks. She has a long history of serving with children in a variety of settings (church, school and home) and is excited to love and learn with the Kindergarten class.
4th & 5th Grade Co-Teacher - Darcie Yobp earned her bachelor's degree in public relations from Westminster College in 2001 and her master's degree in special education from Loyola Marymount University in 2005. She grew up mainly in Pittsburgh, but spent most of her adult life in Los Angeles, where she taught special ed language arts at Pacoima Middle School for 8 years. She, her husband, Matthew, and her daughters, Charlotte (8) and Ruby (5), moved to Detroit a year ago, looking for deeper community, a more sustainable day to day life, and to be closer to family. They live on the Eastside and attend Mack Ave Community Church. Darcie enjoys painting, drawing, singing, cooking, reading, thrift shopping, and repurposing, and is passionate about social justice.