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Photo of Tara Schiffelbein
Tara Schiffelbein
Spanish, WIDA Coordinator Modern Languages

My name is Tara Schiffelbein, but I go by Mrs. Tara because a student once told me that my last name scared him. I live with my husband, Jared, and our two fur babies, Bubba and Gertie. When we aren’t working on renovating our almost 4 acre property or trying to get my ’71 Volkswagen Squareback up and running, we enjoy watching movies, attending live music, and eating authentic meals from various cultures.

I teach to help others discover their own personal strengths and joy. I teach for the smiles and for those “aha” moments that are so powerful, especially for struggling learners. I teach so I continuously have the opportunity to learn from fellow teachers and students. I am humbled by the integrity, creativity, and passion I see every day here at TSAS and am so honored to be a facilitator of learning at the greatest school ever!

Email: tschiffelbein@tsas.org

Room: 112 C

Pronouns: She/Her

Educational Background:

  • MA in Teaching English as a Second Language – Oklahoma City University
  • BA in Speech Communication Consultancy and Spanish – Oklahoma State University
Photo of Daniel Sharples
Daniel Sharples
Community Development Director Administration

I have lived in Tulsa most of my life but love to travel as much as I can. I also enjoy reading, writing about television and film, doing crossword puzzles, playing basketball, and walking my dogs in our neighborhood. My wife, son, and I live near downtown Tulsa so you can frequently find us dining or wandering around there.

I’ve been involved in youth development and education for over twenty years now, but I love my work most with TSAS. Our community is a weird and wonderful place to work and I think we’re doing something remarkable in education: It is humane, it is innovative, and it is providing a space for personal growth for all the stakeholders involved. My position allows me to see all aspects of our school’s past, present, and future, and what I witness on a daily basis makes me excited about what is ahead.

Email: dsharples@tsas.org

Room: 112 F

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Educational Background:

  • Master’s in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Oklahoma (in progress)
  • Graduate coursework in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Oklahoma
Photo of Sky Slater
Sky Slater
Math 6 Math

I teach because I enjoy it. I enjoy fostering and guiding someone to that point of discovery because I find it beautiful and expansive for them and myself. I believe that we are all in a kind of student/teacher cycle throughout our entire lives and I wish to embrace that interdependence.

It is curious to me how I can look to the night sky in wonder, and marvel at how well physics has described that celestial dance and our inseparable place in it, yet I feel that often when many of us look upon ourselves, that wonder is no longer present. I want to live a life that encourages that sense of wonder in the individual as well as the whole.

Email: sslater@tsas.org

Room: 304

Educational Background

  • Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University
Photo of Liesa Smith Ph. D.
Liesa Smith, Ph. D.
Lead Principal Administration

Though I was born far away in California, I am proud to be an Oklahoman who has lived for 4 decades in Tulsa. I have invested more than 20 years as a career educator and am grateful for the ways I have been transformed by my years at TSAS, and that my four children had the privilege of graduating from TSAS as well. I love learning and spend as much time as I can reading books, writing, practicing artistic pursuits, cooking, and enjoying nature. I think that good conversations, time with family and friends, coffee, and dogs bring beauty to the mess of life.

I am honored to be a school leader at TSAS because it is a learning community focused on the human experience of teaching and learning. It is a school concerned about the whole person and committed to nurturing the potential and growth of each individual student. The teachers at TSAS care about each student’s academic achievement as well as their human journey. On an almost daily basis I am awed by our relational environment and the ways it supports and encourages both students and the faculty. Our school community is made up of people who care deeply about intellectual pursuits, creativity, innovation and humanity.There’s no place like TSAS and I am honored to contribute to this special school.

Email: lsmith@tsas.org

Room: 201

Educational Background:

  • Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies from Oklahoma State University
  • Masters of Education in School Administration from Northeastern State university
  • Bachelor of Arts in English, Fine Art & Education from the University of Tulsa
  • Associate of Arts in Fine Art from Tulsa Junior College
Photo of Rani Spindle
Rani Spindle
Speech and Debate, Journalism and Media Studies Fine Arts

I love politics, philosophy, poetry, and my cats (Dionysus and Descartes). I have had the privilege of mentoring young debaters and actors for 10 years. I’ve been professionally associated with the Harvard National Invitational Forensics Tournament and OSSAA Speech and Debate. I’m a theatre nerd who has worked in stage production and costuming since 2017. I’m a writer with a special interest in journalism and research; I’ve been published by three newspapers, showcased in two symposia, and awarded for my radio and social media work.

I yearn to be where I’m most needed and to make positive impacts. Communication is our greatest asset. Speech and Debate empowers young people with tools of self expression so that they can advocate for themselves and each other. It empowers them by exposing them to real world issues in political, economic, and philosophical terms and requiring them to see such issues in shades of gray rather than black and white. And it empowers them through the transformative power of performance, which inspires self confidence, mindfulness, and empathy.

Email: rspindle@tsas.org

Room: 207 B

Educational Background:

  • BA in Professional Media with specialization in Philosophy from the University of Central Oklahoma
Photo of Jesse Stallings
Jesse Stallings
Director of Information and Innovation, Librarian Administration

I started at TSAS in 2006 as a substitute barely three years older than my students. I was hired full-time the next year, teaching World Lit, Brit Lit, The Graphic Novel, YA Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Nonfiction, Mythology, AP Lang, and Computers I and II over the next ten years. Seeing a need to better serve our graduates, I created the College & Career Counselor position; then, seeing a further need, I began building our library. When I’m not at TSAS I’m working on my house, building drawing machines, knitting/crocheting, reading, or designing CNC projects.

I do this work because I believe that access to information is an essential right, and that nurturing the wisdom to use that information can bring about self-emancipation. Getting the right books into the hands of a curious student—or the right tools into the hands of a student with an idea—is all I want to do in this world.

Email: jstallings@tsas.org

Room: Collegiate Commons

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Educational Background:

  • Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Rogers State University