Our Faculty

Meet Our Faculty

Jason Bengel, B.A., Physical Education Teacher

Jason Bengal is our physical education teacher. Jason has a BA in Sports and Recreation Management. For the last 16 years he has worked as a coach, physical education teacher and various other roles working with children.

Jason’s passion is physical fitness for each child. He devises various creative games to build endurance and sports skills.

Lucy Bratt, K-1 Teacher

Lucy has an extensive international background in education.

“After a classical grammar school education in the UK, I gained my bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of London and followed that with a masters postgraduate degree in Geoarchaeology. My first job was demonstrating Environmental Science labs to undergraduates at the University of Wolverhampton, and it was during that time that I fell in love with teaching.

“As a teacher with nearly 25 years’ experience across all grade levels, I feel most passionate about Early Years education and know this is where I want to teach and where I belong. I also love New Morning School; its principles and ethos follow the basis of my own teaching beliefs which focus on a student-centered approach to education. We did, after all, choose this school for our two youngest children and are grateful they are able to benefit from its unique setting and the opportunities it provides. I am honored to now be a part of providing those same opportunities to some of the school’s youngest learners just starting out on their education journey where key skills are so important.”

Hannah Diaz, M.A., Elementary Teacher

Hannah Diaz is our newest teacher in the elementary class. She grew up in Central and South America and is fluent in Spanish. She received her bachelor’s in early childhood education, Spanish, and a 4th and 5th grade endorsement with a teaching degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio. She received her master’s in intervention (special education) most recently. Hannah has worked as a tutor with America Reads and has presented at the National Association of Education of Young Children conference. Hannah’s philosophy of education statement reads like New Morning School. She comes highly recommended as she begins her first year at New Morning School.

Marisa Downs, B.S., Preschool Teacher


Marisa Downs is a graduate of the teaching program at Eastern Michigan University.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree, and minored in math, science, and social studies.  She has experience teaching through eighth grade, but has a natural affinity for preschoolers.  Her patient and loving personality, combined with her enthusiasm, make your child’s first school experience wonderful and exciting for the whole family.  She respects the thoughts, feelings, and ideas of children, and is able to nurture and support them on their learning adventures both academically and socially.

Linda Hyde, M.A., Middle School Teacher

Linda brings experience to the middle school team. Linda was a high school English teacher for 20 years in Detroit Public Schools, followed by a year as a college admissions counselor. She then taught middle school English in two schools followed by tutoring at Brightmont Academy. Linda has her master’s degree in educational leadership from Madonna University. Linda brings us strong English and social studies skills. She likes to combine English/ literature studies with history. Linda brings us strong classroom management skills implemented in a style that will be positive for our students. Her calm demeanor will have a positive impact on the group. Linda took an early retirement from Detroit Public Schools, but realized she wanted to be back in the classroom. New Morning is a perfect fit.

Christine Jansen, M.A., Elementary School Teacher

Christine Jansen at New Morning School, elementary classroom.

Christine earned her bachelor’s in elementary education and her master’s degree in learning disabilities at Madonna University. She taught at the Reading and Language Arts Center – a remedial reading tutoring service. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham, an approach that assists struggling readers. Christine’s sense of humor and ability to set firm, kind limits have allowed many students to experience success.

Andrea Schroeder, B.A., Art Teacher

Sch.NMS.testimonialAndrea received her bachelors of arts from Western Michigan University in International Relations and Spanish. She enjoyed a corporate career as the director of marketing for a business-to-business software company, working both in the US and abroad, but her personal passion has always been art. She has been commissioned for large- and small-scale projects in the community and has taught children art and creative expression in school and church.  As an example, the kindergarten students were given a taste of art history while practicing different art forms, navigating the artistic process through hands-on experience in creating, discerning and persevering.  Andrea wants to teach children to express themselves creatively and without limitations, encouraging everyone to find their own artistic voice and giving them the confidence to try.

Cynthia Weber, B.A. Elementary Teacher

Cynthia graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s in elementary education, with a major in math and science, and a double minor of language arts and social studies.  Cynthia has also been trained in Orton-Gillingham, a structured reading method.  She has had the privilege of working at New Morning School since 1999. She is enrolled at Madonna University and is working on a master’s in learning disabilities in an effort to find ways to make learning accessible and fun for all levels of ability. Cynthia is our in-house expert on project-based learning, having led many elaborate learning projects with the students. She also provides parent educational tips to assist their children at home on her website Parent Child Education.