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Meet Our Team!

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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. 

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Marci Trana

Environmental Educator

Naturalist, Education Specialist

As the former BASP Director at both Longfellow Elementary and Prairie Green School and Assistant BASP Director at Weber Elementary, my passion is playful connection. Through involvement with local organizations and nature exploration, we can help our kids have a real impact on the community they live in and find a sense of belonging and purpose. I believe the more we can connect our children to their world around them, the more successful and kind our future will be. 

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Callie Seylor

K-1 Educator

Reading & 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!

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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!

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Emily Grabowski

2nd-3rd Grade Educator

Social-Emotional Specialist; Lifelong learner

I graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a certificate in Social-Emotional Learning. Because of my experiences in schools throughout Illinois and Iowa, I knew I wanted to teach in a unique setting that allows students to thrive emotionally, physically, cognitively, socially, and more. Tamarack Discovery School allows me to grow alongside my students, as we investigate and learn together in this supportive community. 

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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!

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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 and boyfriend.

I am thrilled to share my passions with the kids at Tamarack!


Our Beginnings

Tamarack Discovery School is what happens when a group of parents, educators, therapists, and dreamers come together to re-imagine education. Traditional education can become a one-size-fits-all box, segregating students by age and ability. We want to offer our community something different! Tamarack offers an academically rich and hands-on, authentic approach to learning that connects kids to their sense of purpose, their natural environment, their community, and each other.

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