Meet the Staff
Maryellen is entering her fifth year as the STAIRS Program Executive Director. She grew up in Pueblo, Colorado, where her parents instilled the value of education from a young age. They felt the education system in their local public high schools was broken and looked at many alternatives to further their children�s education (private school being one of them). Rather than relocating, they wrote grants and raised money to establish the IB (International Bachelorette) Program. Through their efforts there has been a positive effect on the quality of education available to children in Pueblo.
After high school Maryellen attended Baylor University and graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration. Because of the effect of the changes her parents implemented in the Pueblo school system, Maryellen has developed a passion to pay it forward and STAIRS has become a natural fit. She now lives in Dallas with her husband and young son.
Elizabeth is entering her third year of participation with the STAIRS program as our English teacher and Program Coordinator. She attended St. Stephen�s School, an independent school in Austin, for middle and high school. Elizabeth graduated from Rice University with a degree in Sociology and taught at Greenhill School in Dallas for one year before attending graduate school. She received her Master of Education in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From there, Elizabeth gained three years of valuable classroom teaching experience at The Lamplighter School (Dallas) and will rejoin the Greenhill staff this year as a middle school history and English teacher. Elizabeth also tutors middle and upper school students at Greenhill and Hockaday as well as tutoring for the SAT, a test similar to the ISEE. Her teaching and tutoring experiences have made her a strong asset to the STAIRS team.
Darryn will be entering his eleventh year with the STAIRS program as our Math teacher. Darryn attended the Greenhill School. From Greenhill, Darryn moved onto and graduated from Georgetown University. After college he returned home to teach Upper School Mathematics at Greenhill and continues to do so today. Among other coaching positions, Darryn is also the Head Varsity Girls� basketball coach at Greenhill. Darryn also tutors students for the SAT and ACT, giving him a good understanding of how to prepare students for the ISEE test. Through his twelve years of experience in independent school education, he has gained great knowledge of how students can be successful through their high school years and beyond.
Olivia is very excited to be entering her first year with the STAIRS Program as the English teacher. Olivia attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Chicago, IL from second grade through 12th. She went on to major in Architecture Studies at Connecticut College in New London, CT. After a brief time in Interior Design, Olivia found her passion in teaching history and coaching rowing. After moving to Texas to be a Lucinda Carter Teaching Fellow at the Greenhill School, she began working on her Master’s in Humanities with a focus on history, which she plans to finish in May of 2013. Olivia is entering her third year at Ursuline Academy of Dallas teaching 9th grade history. Teaching freshmen Olivia sees first hand the skills students need to develop to be successful in high school. She looks forward to bringing her love of teaching and her knowledge of private schools to the STAIRS Program.
Jake Watters is currently a senior at Cistercian Preparatory School. Jake has attended Cistercian since the fifth grade, so he understands what it takes to succeed at a rigorous college preparatory school. His older siblings, each of whom had the opportunity of assisting in STAIRS, first introduced Jake to the STAIRS Program. Jake was a student mentor with STAIRS his junior, sophomore, and part of his freshman year, and now follows in his siblings' footsteps as Mentor Coordinator. His experience and enthusiasm add a lot to our program.