top of page

Meet the Team

Katie Tamarack.png.webp

Katie Christiansen

Head of School

lifelong public school educator · lover of non-traditional education 

I taught for 19 years in public education, serving as a Title 1 Reading Interventionist, Classroom Teacher, and Instructional Design Strategist. Both my BA in Elementary Education and MA in School Administration came from the University of Northern Iowa. With each passing year in my career as an educator and administrator, I have more of everything–more questions, more answers, more concerns, more ideas, more complaints, more strategies, more solutions. With Tamarack, I plan to use them all. 

Jo Tamarack.png.webp

Joanna Werlinger

Preschool Educator

confidence builder · explorer

With over twelve years of experience in a variety of schools and childcare centers, I’m thrilled to be a part of the Tamarack team as we work to create an exceptional early learning environment for preschool children. I’m passionate about building confidence, skills, and self-esteem through child-led, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. Together, we can explore and enjoy our amazing world! I look forward to working with you and your child!

Callie 1_edited_edited.jpg

Callie Seylar

K - 1st Grade Educator

reading and language arts specialist

I earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a reading and a language arts endorsement from the University of Iowa. I am dedicated to creating a supportive and engaging learning environment. By providing personalized learning experiences that foster growth through hands-on exploration and collaborative learning, I strive to empower students to reach their full potential. Beyond teaching, I find joy in traveling, hiking, reading, and spending time with my dog. Let's embark on this exciting educational journey together!

Emily Tamarack.png.webp

Emily Grabowski

2nd - 3rd Grade Educator

lifelong learner · lover of non-traditional educator 

After graduating from the University of Iowa in May of 2022 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a certificate in Social-Emotional Learning, I decided to stay in the Iowa City area to pursue my teaching career. Because of my experiences in multiple schools throughout Illinois and Iowa, I knew I wanted to teach in a unique setting that allows students to thrive in a variety of ways. Tamarack Discovery School has allowed me to grow alongside my students in such a special way, which has been more than rewarding and enjoyable! I love spending my free time with my boyfriend and my dog, who are teaching me to both embrace and appreciate the outdoors!

Andy Tamarack.png.webp

Andy Pilkington

4th - 6th Grade Educator

community builder · holistic learning leader

I earned my BA from the University of Iowa in 2007 and have been supporting community-centered learning in Iowa City ever since. My experiences with film, music, and local arts impact my approach to educational discovery. With inspiration from gentle parenting techniques, whole person philosophy, and some good ol’ fashion silliness and fun, my classroom work is a combination of my passions, experiences, and education. I'm excited to continue to strengthen community connections at Tamarack!

Maddy Tamarack.png.webp

Maddy Moloney

Environmental Educator

environmental scientist · yogi · ballerina

I am an Iowa native who grew up on the East Side of Iowa City and spent my summers participating in School of the Wild and exploring the great outdoors. For 15 years, I studied classical ballet, and in 2018, I earned my 200- hour yoga certification. I pursued degrees in both Science and Environmental Science, was an Assistant Preschool Teacher  in Fort Collins, Colorado, and enjoyed backpacking and hiking in the Rocky Mountains with my dog. I  am thrilled to share my passions with the students at Tamarack!

Marci Brick.png.webp

Marci Trana

Environmental Educator

ecologist · naturalist · outdoors woman

I love studying the connections between various organisms. I grew up homeschooled in Eastern Iowa spending more of my days outside than in. I obtained degrees here in Iowa as well as Wyoming before obtaining a master of science in ecology from University of Manitoba. While practicing ecology I’ve studied many animals including polar bears, river otters, beluga whales, snails, bats, and birds. I love teaching science to a wide range of age groups from preschool to college. After spending six years as an environmental consultant I found myself longing for connection to the local community. Becoming a Naturalist for Johnson County Conservation was a dream come true. I was even more delighted when a position as an Environmental Educator opened with Tamarack Discovery School. Getting to expand on our students' individual interests as they span the years of our school means immersive learning in the outdoor space. My focus is to increase our students' resilience, comfort, and knowledge of the outdoors so they feel just as connected in these spaces as when in their own home and with family and friends.

bottom of page