Faculty & Staff

Bunny Class – 3 1/2 to 6 years old

Bunny classroom

Tere Lee, /Co-lead preschool teacher

Laura McCloskey

Laura McCloskey, Kindergarten teacher/Co-lead preschool teacher

“I love coming into the homey atmosphere of Little Earth School every morning and wondering what new thing I will learn that day. I love art, nature and guiding young children.
At Little Earth I am surrounded by creativity. I am able to be outdoors and explore nature with the children for a significant portion of every school day. The children are motivated to learn, explore and experience the world in ways I have never imagined. These educational opportunities make me excited to teach and come to work with new ideas.
I love that I have never gotten the same response, reaction or product from the children over the six years I have worked at the school! I love that at Little Earth the staff is so dedicated to the spontaneity of learning, to guiding young children to be creative and to think outside the box, to be close to and respect nature, and to be respectful to themselves and others.”

I have been working at Little Earth School for nine years.
BA in Studio Arts and Elementary Education, College of Santa Fe, 2003
State of New Mexico Elementary License K-8, 2004.

Anna Connell, Assistant preschool teacher

I have been working at Little Earth School for four years.

Prairie Dog Class – 6 to 8 years old

Linda Brody, Lead teacher

“I feel lucky to be at a school where I have the opportunity to continually create and refine a curriculum that is both exciting for me to teach and really addresses both the academic and developmental needs of each child in my class. When I come to school each day, I think not only about what I am going to teach, but what I am going to learn. At Little Earth, I am always learning along with my students and fellow teachers – we are a true community of learners and thinkers, and I feel this environment is so important to instilling a life long love of learning in our students.”

15th year at Little Earth School; B.A., German, University of Chicago, 1980; M.S.T., University of Chicago, 1982; Illinois Teacher Certification, 1992; New Mexico Department of Education Elementary License, K-8, 1994

Isidro Urtiaga, Assistant teacher

“ I wish I had the opportunity to go to Little Earth School when I was a child. The children at Little Earth are learning valuable skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Other schools often overlook these skills. Children at Little Earth are learning how to learn, not just memorizing and taking tests. I love teaching here because Little Earth is part of our community and has a history in Santa Fe. Little Earth provides learning experiences that parents and students will always remember, as will I!”

I have been working at Little Earth School for eight years. I am studying towards an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education at Santa Fe Community College.

Ravens Class – 9 to 12 years old

Juli Curtis, Lead teacher

“At Little Earth, I have found my home within a family of educators committed to offering the best education that honors a child’s unique love of learning and fosters a connection to the natural world around us. I feel honored to come to work each day, eager to see what the day holds and what we will discover together, whether it be in the classroom, out in the yard or up a tree.”

3rd year at Little Earth School; I hold a degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in the Sciences from SUNY Plattsburgh in New York State. I also studied Ecology and Environmental Technologies at Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks and have been an environmental/outdoor educator and trip leader for the past 15 years. I have been teaching upper elementary grades for the past 13 years and this is my third year at Little Earth School.

Specialty Teachers

Amy Buetens, Art Teacher

“I feel honored to teach at a school that so highly values the child as a creative, expressive and free-thinking individual. My intention for Little Earth’s art program is to provide opportunities to make art about ourselves and the world around us, and to create an environment where children can develop the confidence to freely self-express through art. My interest in art stems from my belief that art is the catalyst for self-discovery.”

I hold a degree in fine art and art history from the College of Santa Fe, and bring 10 years of teaching experience to Little Earth School. I am a glass and ceramic artist, working professionally as a glass caster and mold maker for a local sculptor.

Sally Spencer, Music teacher

“There are so many reasons I love teaching at Little Earth School. The primary one is the students. They are a joy to work with. They are eager, fresh, enthusiastic, lively, creative and filled with fun. These are students who radiate an air of being consistently treated with a lot of care, respect and love. They are self-confident, motivated, and love their school and teachers, as do I. The staff are full of heart and warmth, supportive and kind, hard-working and conscientious. It is a lovely team to be a part of! The third aspect I love is the community—very warm, friendly and unpretentious. The site is also wonderful: cozy rooms, a large play yard and my superb classroom—a yurt! “

I have taught for over 20 years, primarily music, kindergarten and movement education. Of the over ten schools in which I have taught, Little Earth School is one of my top two favorites.
BA in Humanities with minor in music, Reed College; Waldorf Teacher Training Certification.
I have been a teacher and parent at Little Earth for three years.

Michaela Knox, Dance teacher

“Teaching dance at the Little Earth School, I have had the opportunity to work with brilliant young people in a supportive creative environment. I have always felt encouraged in taking an “outside the box” approach to dance education, empowering the students to create their own styles of movement while giving them the tools to be safe.
I have always appreciated the respect that the teachers show for the Little Earth studnets. Each child is treated as a unique individual. I am happy to be a part of this team.”

Michaela Knox has been teaching dance and drama for 10 years in Maine and New Mexico. She received her B.A. in Dance and English from Dickinson College. She then moved out to Santa Fe in 2003 to work for the National Dance Institute where she was a teacher and Associate Director for five years. Michaela teaches Creative Movement, Modern, and freestyle Jazz. Her greatest passion is teaching the art of making dances, and she is currently building a new curriculum in dance-making. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in Educational Leadership at UNM.

Administrative Staff

Carolyn Brandi, Administrative Assistant

“I love working at Little Earth because I believe in the quality of education that we are providing. I love being a part of the process that enables children to obtain the gift of a love for learning that they will carry with them on their journey through life.”

4th year at Little Earth School as Administrative Assistant.
11th year as a Little Earth Parent. 9 years Administrative office experience.

Ellen Souberman, Director

“Little Earth School is every educator’s and every child’s dream come true. I feel honored to work with teachers who are so dedicated to their profession, who understand so well what the true education of young children requires, and are willing to work hard to achieve it for the benefit of every child in their classrooms. I know that children at Little Earth will acquire the academic skills they need to succeed. But equally important to their success as individuals, I know that each child at Little Earth, whatever their culture, ethnicity or economic status, is recognized and respected for who s/he is and encouraged to pursue his/her interests. I know that children at Little Earth are encouraged to question, to think, to feel, to be curious and creative. I know that children at Little Earth are taught to be comfortable with, and interested in, diversity; to listen attentively and respectfully to the opinions of others; to directly experience the natural world and be stewards of the earth; to problem-solve and resolve conflicts non-violently; and to stand up for what they believe in and for the rights of others. I know that children at Little Earth are encouraged to play, and to experience and celebrate life with all their five senses. I know that with this kind of education, a better world must be possible.”

B.A., Psychology, Rutgers University, 1969; J.D., University of New Mexico School of Law, 1976; legal practice focusing on education, family and adoption law, 1976-1987. Co-edited with Michael Cole, Vera John-Steiner and Sylvia Scribner, Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, by L.S. Vygotsky, Harvard University Press, 1978.
Director of Little Earth School for 25 years.