Our Faculty

Middle and Upper School Faculty

Dr. Richard Beall

School Co-Head
AP Psychology Teacher
CCLS Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2008

rbeall@maharishischool.org

Maharishi School Head Dr. Richard Beall

Dr. Richard Beall

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What inspired me to teach

Love of learning, love of teaching/sharing, love of people and discovery about them

My teaching style

Is enthusiastic, hopefully engaging, and ever-evolving

Favorite job perk

Just being with students and colleagues; continuing to learn; my cool office

If I had to brag

Pioneering work: helping start Maharishi School, the TM organization in Bulgaria, and Carolina International School

How I would describe myself in high school

Athlete, student leader…not a highly motivated learner

Hardly anyone knows that…

I’ve been to every state and every major league baseball stadium

My favorite place in Fairfield

Walden Golf Course

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

Students openly express pride in completing an assignment and when alumni return and express their gratitude

My favorite food

Corn on the cob and my Mom’s elderberry pie

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TOM CORBETT

English Language Arts Teacher
Social Studies Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2016

tcorbett@maharishischool.org

Tom Corbett

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What inspired me to go into teaching?

Working with the youth to be an enthusiastic vehicle for knowledge, cultivator of curiosity, and a passionate advocate for my subjects. I also realized that teaching was my dharma from aged 9, inspired by my dad and teachers in the family.

Hardly anybody knows that

I’ve made 28 round trips across the Atlantic. Even I’m amazed.

My Favorite Food

My mother’s Irish Stew – there’s nothing like it. Oh, and Rebecca Bellonci’s baking, especially her cupcakes, muffins, and banana bread.

If I had to choose I’d be a ninja/superhero/pirate

Superhero. Doing good is more evolutionary that being a pirate – even a half good one. And anyway, teaching is a bit like saving lives.

Favorite Place in Fairfield

“Revelations” – love being surrounded by all those books, the ambiance and service staff! Pity about their short opening hours. “Cafe Paradiso” comes a close second.

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CYNTHIA CORNELL

English Language Learners Teacher

With Maharishi School since 1990

ccornell@maharishischool.org

Cynthia Cornell

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The book, movie, work of art, or piece of music I cannot imagine life without

my 300 movies and many books that delight, enchant and enrich my heart–no violence!

What inspired me to go into teaching

the enjoyment I derive from watching people grow in confidence and a sense of empowerment through gaining knowledge and developing skills. Education should be a lifelong process.

If I had to brag

it would be that I was raised by parents who never tolerated prejudice in any form.

My teaching style is

to meet each student at his/her own level of strengths and weaknesses.

My Favorite Food

If it’s Mexican, I’ll eat it, except menudo!

If I had to choose I’d be a ninja/superhero/pirate

If I had to choose, I’d be myself. My internal dialogue keeps me constantly amused.

Favorite job perk

being part an incredible, dynamic, caring, and fun team of students, faculty, and administrators who live by the motto “the world is my family” and mean it!

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SHAWN DAUDI

Computer Science & IT

With Maharishi School since 2020

sdaudi@maharishischool.org

Shawn Daudi

Mark Ellinghaus

LAURIE EYRE

Math Teacher
Math Department Chair

With Maharishi School since 1981

leyre@maharishischool.org

Laurie Eyre

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What Inspired Me to Go Into Teaching

The success I had in high school tutoring math students.

I am proud that

My husband and I are founding faculty (1981) of this school where we met and married in 1982.

Favorite Job Perk

A schedule that allows me to do group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program and living in this special community.

If I had to brag

I climbed Mount Whitney at 53 years. My sisters and I took six days to walk the last 120 kilometers of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, 2015.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

My students come back to visit me to let me know how much they have appreciated my high expectations and rigor, which prepared them for college.

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Lawrence Eyre

Brendan Higgins

Sheila Higgins

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  • My teaching style…is largely project-based, and hinges upon hands-on learning. I strive to create an environment in which students are able to ask questions, make discoveries, and truly bring learning to life. 
  • I know I’ve been a successful teacher when…my students ask “why”? I love to enliven a sense of curiosity & wonder within each and every one of my learners. Seeing them dig deep into big ideas lets me know that a spark for knowledge has been ignited. 
  • The students call me…a modern-day Ms. Frizzle!
  • When not in the classroom, I can be found…in my garden, playing with my dogs (Indie & Willow), or teaching a yoga class! 
  • If I had to brag…I’d let you know how nerdy I am by reciting the first 50 digits of Pi from memory.

  • My favorite food…anything in the Brassica family! I also have a sweet spot for some goooood dark chocolate.

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KAYE JACOB

Academic Director, Director of Middle & Upper Schools
English Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2017

kjacob@maharishischool.org

Kaye Jacob

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What Inspired Me to Go Into Teaching

My parents were teachers; I love being around young people and provoking thought and empathy through literature and writing.

The book, movie, work of art, or piece of music I cannot imagine life without

Robert Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony and Elton John’s “Your Song,” both equally important.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

A student finds their voice

If I had to brag

It would be about my daughters. They are wonderful women!

Hardly anybody knows that

I am pretty open; someone somewhere knows everything about me!

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DR. LYNWOOD KING

Math Teacher
Physics Teacher

With Maharishi School since 1999

lking@maharishischool.org

Dr. Lynwood King

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If I had to choose, I would be a ninja/pirate/superhero

I would like to be a nice pirate, as Glenda the Good Witch of the North is to witches, or Robin Hood is to thieves. Per pre-arranged staging and choreography, I would board cruise ships and give chests of doubloons to all the newlyweds, and smaller bags of pieces-of-eight to all the guests, captain and crew. I like to give of what I have, as I give of my time to all my students today. I also envy the expanded vision pirates enjoy: they always know what’s happening and where.

Favorite Place in Fairfield

Long before I learned about meditation, I seemed to have an affinity for the transcendent. My boa constrictor’s name was Waldo, after Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was Thoreau’s Walden that inspired me to move into my Plains Indian teepee and seek a transcendental experience in nature. In 1973 I found TM and began fathoming the transcendental depths with effortless regularity. In this light, my favorite place in Fairfield is the transcendent, and my favorite place to be in the transcendent is Fairfield.

The book I cannot imagine my life without

Scaramouche by Raphael Sabatini 

Hardly anyone knows that

I was Secret Santa in 1998, and I made my acting debut and finale in 2000 as Samuel Chase, the Representative from Maryland in the play, 1776.

How I would describe myself in high school (e.g., nerd, jock, brown-noser, rebel, performer, other)

I was all of the above except a brown-noser. I had friends in the smart bunch, cut classes (not too many) with the pre-dropouts, ran track, cross country, and was in the Monogram Club, learned to play guitar from wild thespians, enjoyed hanging out with my fellow hunters and bass fishers, and had very understanding, trusting parents. Furthermore, I had a super fun English roadster with wire wheels and an unlimited gas allowance. In short, those were remarkably happy years.

If I had to brag

I soloed a sailplane (glider) at 14, earned my private license for sailplanes at 16, and soloed a Cessna on my 16th birthday. I still draw on my knowledge of flying during physics discussions.

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Susan Metrican

DAVID POHLMAN

CCLS Teacher
Residential Life Director

With Maharishi School since 2017

dpohlman@maharishischool.org

david pohlman boarding

Dr. David Pohlman

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The book, movie, work of art, or a piece of music I cannot imagine life without

Ah, the music of Rufus Wainwright. Feeds my soul.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

…I have a “flow” or “zone” experience while teaching.  I cannot control what someone learns or doesn’t learn,  but I know I am at my absolute best when my words rise up in my mind from someplace that feels beyond me.

How I would describe myself in high school

At age 17, I wrote a six-page essay and won a $15,000 scholarship in a statewide essay competition. I enjoyed “15-minutes” of fame through newspaper and radio interviews and a phone call with the Governor of Ohio. I became full of myself.

When not in the classroom I can be found

on the basketball court, softball field, flag-football field.

My teaching style

My teaching style resembles jazz… improvisation, spontaneity, flow, on top of a basic structure.

My Favorite Food

Mexican. Thai.

If I had to choose I’d be a ninja/superhero/pirate

When I was a child, I often prayed at night for the power of flight so I could quickly get to people in need and help. For a while, I woke up each day to “test” if the ability had come during the night. I’d let myself “slip” out of the top bunk bed to see if I’d float. It only worked a few times. 😉

Superheroes save and protect. I have those same instincts.

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Amy Rushing

ASHA SHARMA

Science Teacher
Sanskrit Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2010

asharma@maharishischool.org

Asha Sharma

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If I Had to Choose, I Would Be a Ninja/Pirate/Superhero

Superhero, so that I can solve everyone’s problems with my superpower.

Hardly anybody knows that

I never spoke English before I came to Fairfield and I was the naughtiest in my class

If I had to brag

I know how to have fun in every situation and I can make my friends happy

How would I describe myself in High School

Performer and all-round student with top grades

When not in the classroom I can be found

My office or anywhere in Maharishi School

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MARK WILKINS

CCLS Teacher
Destination Imagination program Director

With Maharishi School since 1997

mwilkins@maharishischool.org

Mark Wilkins

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If I had to choose, I would be a ninja/pirate/superhero

None.  I would just be who I am.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

When I see that “Aha” look on a child’s face.

What inspired me to go into teaching

Kids, especially middle school kids.  I felt I had something to offer in the making of good human beings.

Hardly anybody knows that

I have a degree in Gemology.

If I had to brag

Always about the kids.

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Pradeep Aikar

Upper School Math
Physics

With Maharishi School since 2020

paikar@maharishischool.org

Pradeep Aikar

Avani Bhakta

Middle School Math

With Maharishi School since 2020

abhakta@maharishischool.org

Avani Bhakta

Josephine Ruffin

CCLS Teacher
Computer Science Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2020

jruffin@maharishischool.org

josephine ruffin newsletter middle school teacher

Josephine Ruffin

Preschool and Lower School Faculty

ANNE BALF

Grade 1-2 Teacher

With Maharishi School since 1987

abalf@maharishischool.org

Anne Balf

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My teaching style

My teaching style has always been nurturing and relaxed, which is perfect for young children. I am sort of like their grandma! I really love and understand the little ones.

What inspired me to go into teaching

I was inspired early on in my teaching career by working with VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). As a volunteer with VISTA, I served as a resource teacher and focused on the children who needed extra help… and this was in the 3rd poorest county in the nation.  My college degree was in political science but that year clarified my desire to serve children.

I know I was successful as a teacher when

the children are happy and I am having fun.

If I had to brag

Believe it or not, my great grandfather is Franz Liszt. My great grandmother was singing in a choir in Budapest and met the older Franz Liszt who was considered something akin to a rock star. My father and grandparents immigrated to the US in 1910 to avoid the impending war.  So I’m half Southern Belle and half Hungarian.

Unfortunately, I have no musical talents whatsoever. I grew up with a grand piano in the living room but we used it as a bookshelf to store our books!

Hardly anybody knows that

I am a really, really good ping pong player!

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Katie Bell

ELYSE HAMILTON-SOARES

Lead Toddler Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2013

esoares@maharishischool.org

Elyse Hamilton-Soares

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Hardly anyone knows

I was a spelling bee champion as a child.

How I would describe myself from high school

Eclectic and shy.

Favorite place in Fairfield

Maharishi School

What inspired me to start teaching

the education offered at Maharishi School.

Favorite food

Salmon and rice

Favorite job perk

being in the same building as my own children every day!

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DIANE JAMES

Grade 3-4 Teacher

With Maharishi School since 1989

djames@maharishischool.org

Dianne James

Diane James

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What inspired me to start teaching

An inner knowingness all my life.  I loved to play teacher with my cousin.  She’s a teacher too.

Hardly anyone knows

I lived on an island off the Great Barrier Reef alone for 3 days.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

I hear or see the students applying the knowledge that they have learned.

If I had to brag

I have 3 fabulous children and a cute grand dog named Rambo.

Favorite place in Fairfield

Nature Trail

Favorite food

Toast with butter

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LYNN SHIRAI

Lower School Director
Grade 3: Reading/Writing Teacher

With Maharishi School since 1996

lshirai@maharishischool.org

Lynn Shirai Lower School Director

Lynn Shirai

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Hardly anyone knows

I love camping, hiking, fishing, mushroom hunting, and being in northern Iowa in the summers.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

my students are able to challenge themselves, think independently, and enjoy learning.

What inspired me to start teaching

Volunteering at my children’s school inspired me to work with children, and working in Los Angeles for the Foundation for the Jr. Blind gave me a nudge in this direction.

Favorite food

I love food that is anything Japanese or Hawaiian.

Favorite job perk

Being fortunate to have such delightful and sweet students to work with.

If I had to brag

I have the BEST family! Kids, grandson, and husband are all close and supportive.

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KATHERINE WALMSLEY

Grade 2: Reading/Writing/Math
Librarian

With Maharishi School since 2008

kwalmsley@maharishischool.org

Katherine Walmsley

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What inspired me to start teaching

I love children and I love how they think—simple and full of heart.

Hardly anyone knows

I worked on a #1 TV show on Nickelodeon called, “You Can’t Do That on TV”.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

I know I’ve been successful when the children don’t want to leave the classroom!

Favorite place in Fairfield

The Library and Revelations Cafe are my favorite places because I love to read books.

If I had to brag

I am Canadian but plan to become an American citizen.

Favorite job perk

I get to come to school to be with my other family. But it’s really the students that are my favorite job perk!!

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CHARLOTTE ZMACHINSKY

Grade 5-6 Teacher

With Maharishi School since 1993

czmachinsky@maharishischool.org

Charlotte Zmachinsky

Charlotte Zmachinsky

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The books I cannot imagine my life without

For 5-6th graders: Small as an Elephant, Home of the Brave, Because of Winn-Dixie, Thief of Always. They are wonderful stories with deep life lessons like ‘life doesn’t have to be perfect for one to be happy’ or ‘there’s always someone available to help you beyond your parents.’

My teaching style

I consider myself more of a guide than an instructor: a guide with high standards.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

students come to class happy; when they’re proud of what they do; when they’re confident; when they develop as self-starters and become independent learners.  Witnessing this fills my heart with joy and it’s so energizing.

When not in the classroom, I can be found

Knitting, being in nature, making art, travelling.

The part of teaching I love most

The foundation of my life is developing myself with the knowledge and experiences through Maharishi’s Vedic Sciences. I also love children and teaching. So teaching here is the perfect job for me.  It combines the things that I love most. I have the best job in the entire world. (There are, of course, times when I lose sight of this. I’m human.)

Favorite food

Anything delicious! I adore trying new foods from other cultures. Bring it on.

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Susan Harper

Lower School Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2020

sharper@maharishischool.org

Susan Harper

Summer Loetz

Preschool Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2021

sloetz@maharishischool.org

Summer Loetz

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Favorite Job Perk

The joy and excitement that children bring.

Hardly anyone knows

I know how to crochet.

I know I’ve been successful as a teacher when

My students are enjoying their time learning.

Favorite place in Fairfield

The Farmers’ Market.

Favorite Food

Fruit, almost any kind.

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Camille Morehead

Lower and Middle School Art Teacher

With Maharishi School since 2020

cmorehead@maharishischool.org

Camille Morehead

Camille Morehead