Staff Directory

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  • Administrative/Supporting Staff
Steve (Roc) Bonchek (Executive Director)
Steve is a founder of Harmony School. He has served as a director of Harmony School since its founding in 1974. He has been serving as Executive Director of Harmony Education Center since its founding in 1990. Steve’s wife Barb also helped to start Harmony and worked here until retiring in 2014. Steve and Barb’s daughter, Fern, graduated from Harmony in 1993 and in 2000 started her own non-profit organization in Bloomington, People and Animal Learning Services (PALS,, a therapeutic riding program. Steve, Barb and Fern, along with several other Harmony students, started Rhino’s Youth Center in 1990. From 1974 to 1979, he also taught Social Studies at Harmony’s high school.Steve grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1967. In 1971 Steve received his B.A. in the Independent Learning Program with a concentration on History and Creative Writing. In 1978 he received his Masters in Alternative Education from Indiana University. His experience as one of the first graduates of Indiana University’s Independent Learning Program contributed greatly to his ideas for Harmony School.In 1978, he was appointed by Governor Otis Bowen to a Managing Council for State-Wide Job Training Programs. From 1980-82, he served as Chairperson of the Youth Subcommittee for the Council. From 1988 to 1991, he sat on the National Board of the National Coalition for Alternative Community Schools from 1989-91 he served as Treasurer. In 1989 Steve Bonchek was an original member of the Community Alliance for Lifelong Learning, a Bloomington Chamber of Commerce initiative that brings together leaders from business, education and government, and remained a member until 2000. In 1991, Governor Evan Bayh appointed Steve to the Indiana 2000 steering committee. In 1995 Steve was one of the founders of the National Center for Independent School Renewal.
Natalie Bouse (Operations Director)
Natalie is a Harmony parent, and has worked at Harmony since 2013. She has over 15 years experience working in both the public and private sectors, working with children and families, and leading training and development initiatives. Natalie and her husband, Ash, have two children, Jackson and Amelia. Family time is usually full of baseball, movies, and cooking up delicious meals.
Fern Goodman (Development Director)
Fern is a native of Bloomington and has been a part of the Harmony family since she was born, the co-founders of Harmony are her parents (Roc & Barb Bonchek). As a 1993 graduate of Harmony High School, Fern feels that Harmony helped her develop the tools that she needs to be a productive and contributing member of the community. Fern has a B.A. degree in Psychology with a specialization in Human & Animal Interactions. She was the founder of People & Animal Learning Services (PALS) where she was the Executive Director for 16 years. Fern has extensive experience with fundraising and development and is excited to bring this expertise to Harmony School. She is an adjunct instructor at Indiana University School of Public Health (formally HPER) and a 2010 graduate of Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County (LBMC). When not working Fern enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh and children Jude, Nate and Katie and exploring the outdoors and riding her horse “Sunny”.
John Soots (Office Manager)
John Soots is the office manager. If you’ve called the school recently, chances are you’ve spoken to him on the phone. John moved to Bloomington in 1994 to attend Indiana University. After graduating from IU he began working as a photogrammetrist developing 3D topographic maps for aviation radar systems. He then attended college in Portland, OR where he learned as much as he could about graphic and interactive media design. After returning to Bloomington John started working at Harmony where his wife Lana teaches the 3/4 class and children Lucy and Julian are current Harmony students. When he’s not hard at work, John spends his time playing and recording music.
Tonya Walden (Development Coordinator)
Tonya Walden has been part of the Harmony family since 2009 when her son started in the Early Childhood Program. Since that time, her daughter has also started school here, and her husband is on the Technology Committee. In 2015 she took on the role of Development Coordinator and supports the school by coordinating events and fundraisers, performing clerical duties, and facilitating the school’s usage of the Federal Work Study program. Tonya enjoys spending time with her family, geocaching, playing board games, and attending classes at IU, where she is studying Nonprofit Management..
  • Early Childhood Program
Chris Barth (Teacher)
As soon as I moved to Bloomington from Indianapolis to go to school, I knew I had found a long term home. I fell in love with the town, the people, and the surrounding hills. After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in English, I spent the next few years writing and recording music, and playing in a band called The Impossible Shapes. We toured all over the U.S. and Europe. After that exciting adventure, I became interested in Early Childhood Education and creating music with young children. I started doing music sessions at the Bloomington Developmental Learning Center with infants and toddlers. I also taught in the Kindergarten and preschool classrooms for five years.I love being creative with children, helping them to exercise the “imagination muscle” daily. I enjoy hands-on science experiments, learning from nature and unpredictable art projects. In my free time I enjoy exploring the forests of Bloomington, riding and fixing my bicycle, practicing yoga, gardening, writing poetry, and studying cosmology and ethnobotany. I still perform my own music around town and occasionally out of town as well. I am very excited to be a part of the Harmony community.
Linda Lewis (Teacher)
Linda started Harmony School’s Early Childhood Program in 1993. Born and raised in Brown County IN, Linda still resides there with her husband Iuri and their two children on adjoining property with her sister and nephew. Linda took a leave of absence from Harmony during the 1997-1998 school year to learn Portuguese and travel to Brazil where she met and married her husband, who now teaches a Brazilian Cultural Art called Capoeira Angola here at Harmony in the evenings. Linda’s two children, Zeca and Zara, currently attend Harmony School. Her favorite thing about teaching at Harmony is the strong feeling of community she shares with her co-workers, students, and the parents of her students. She believes the supportive environment makes it possible for teachers as well as students to do their best and feel good about themselves.
Summer Vergiels (After School Program)
After School Program Teacher
This is my seventh year working in the After School Program here at Harmony, with this being my second year of running it. I have one child who is in the elementary school and another who is a toddler. I work as a midwife assistant and doula as well as crafting things. For fun I dance with a performance art troupe that specializes with fire dancing. I love being a part of the Harmony community.

  • Elementary School
Lana Beck-Cruce (3rd & 4th Teacher)
( School is very near and dear to my heart. I am not only a teacher here, but also a parent and an alumnus. In fact, my old locker upstairs is still painted as I painted it in the 8thgrade, and if you look really hard you can find pictures of me on the collaged rhinos that sit around the school. I graduated from Harmony in 2000, sent my daughter here in 2008, started working part-time in the ECP in 2009, and started my full-time teaching career here in 2010. In 2011 my husband started working in the office, and in the fall of 2015 our youngest son started in the ECP! After getting my bachelor’s degree in social work from IU in 2004, I moved to Portland, OR with my husband and our baby daughter. I worked as a nanny, a personal assistant, a bio writer, a freelance writer, and a salesperson/copywriter for an educational toy catalog. In 2008 we moved back to Bloomington, and I went back to IU to complete the course work for my master’s in elementary education. In my free time I love to spend time with my family and friends, read, bake, work on projects, and spend time outdoors swimming, hiking, bike riding, picnicking, camping, and more.
Adam Lehman (K6 Teacher)
( was born and raised in Indiana and have made Bloomington my home since 1999. Upon my recent completion of an education master’s program at IU, I am very grateful and excited to become a part of Harmony School. I sincerely appreciate the strong community and unique learning opportunities that Harmony provides. In my spare time I enjoy reading, listening to music, making things, daydreaming and spending time with my wife Hannah and two sons Henry and Teddy.
Claudio Buchwald (1st & 2nd Teacher)
I lived my first ten years in Lima, Peru; my parents were immigrants from Vienna and Prague. I’ve lived in the DC area, the Boston area, Ithaca NY, and now Bloomington since 1992. I’ve been teaching young children since 1985, and I love being at our small school, where teachers and students can get to know each other well. I also love teaching with a partner. Outside of school I enjoy life with my wife Mary Helen, cooking (and feeding), playing soccer and softball, swimming, playing music, being with friends, spending time outdoors, traveling and visiting in the summers, and reading.
Laura Beth Wayne (1st & 2nd Teacher)
I continue to love to teach at Harmony after 6 years. The community is unlike any other around. One of my personal goals is to help preserve childhood. This comes out by allowing children time to explore their own interests and navigate relationships without being watched at all times. It comes from allowing freedom and having a voice. I enjoy a lot of things but my favorite thing is spending time with my two kids and husband and going on adventures.
Jennifer Ruff (K-6th Teacher)
3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
Jen is excited to be joining Harmony. She is returning to Bloomington after several years of teaching in the Bronx. Her classroom has always been full of art, books, and laughter. In her own time, she loves making things, baking things, and most importantly, spending time with her husband, Paul, and her two young children, Clem and Tal.
Matt Rosenthal (3rd & 4th Teacher)
3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
Matt taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grades for 13 years in the Owen County public school system. He is excited to be teaching at Harmony in a more student-centered environment. He loves teaching collaborative problem solving, creative writing, and hands-on science. Outside interests include writing songs, playing guitar, reading, cheering on his Philly sports teams, and listening to selections from his growing record collection. Matt lives in Bloomington with his lovely wife, Emily, his two wonderful children, Oscar and Yabbi, and their dog, Maisy.
Kathy Boone (5th & 6th Teacher)
Being raised in the countryside my favorite memories of childhood are riding quarter horses in fields, forests, and show arenas of the Midwest. I left horses behind when I went to college at Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington. I began my undergraduate career with a scholarship in the business school, although it wasn’t long before the poetry and prose of the English Department lured me toward a BA in literature. Before I graduated, however, I was accepted as a participant in the first IU exchange program with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). While studying at Hangzhou University, I discovered what seems to be a life-long love of Chinese language and Asian history and culture.Since that inspiring experience, I have traveled further in the PRC, Taiwan ROC, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, and Jamaica. After earning an MA studying Chinese Linguistics, I worked for a while with adult new readers. This experience inspired me to pursue a career in education, working with children in the hope that my students would become skilled in the language arts. Soon after receiving my teacher’s certificate, I began working at Harmony School. I currently teach 5th and 6th grade. I especially enjoy teaching writing, literature, social studies, art, and multicultural courses. When not at school, my interests include social justice issues, art, playing softball, hiking, camping, listening to music, and reading. My greatest joy is spending time with my daughter, who is currently a university student. Harmony School is an extended family to me, and I really value the community support it offers.
Zevon Adkisson (5th & 6th Teacher)
I grew up in the small southern Indiana town of Rockport, where I got to experience all the joys of living in a small rural community. I grew up playing and exploring outdoors as much as I could with my family and friends.I left Rockport in 2008 to further my education by attending Indiana University studying accounting in the business school. After a few business classes I realized that this was not the life I wanted to create for myself and left the Business School. A few weeks later I joined the School of Education and graduated with my degree in Secondary Mathematics Education in December 2012.Through my time at IU I was lucky enough to fulfill some of my graduation requirements at Harmony School. After a few days here I realized this was the type of school I would like to be a part of. Although this is my first year of teaching, I feel as if my time already spent here has given me some good insight on what to expect here. I am very excited to become an official member of the Harmony community! Outside of school I am an avid Disc Golfer. I also really enjoy playing sports (especially baseball), reading, playing guitar and saxophone, hiking, Geocaching, video gaming, and spending time with my loving girlfriend Jordan.

  • Middle School
Marty Belcher (MS Liberal Arts/Yearbook)
Marty was born in Gary, Indiana and graduated from Indiana University having studied history and English. He received a Masters’s Degree in Education in 1980, and began teaching at Harmony in 1978 as a 5th & 6th grade language arts teacher. He made the transition to Middle School 10 years later and currently focuses on both language arts & social studies. “Publishing student work has been a fundamental part of my curriculum, with over 60 publications to date.”
Kelli Debikey (MS Math/Science)
I am a country girl at heart from Shelbyville, Indiana. From there I moved to Bloomington to go to school at IU. I have discovered that Bloomington is the town for me and that Harmony is the school for me. You can find me tucked away in my little computer corner working on lesson plans and loving every moment. I am a devout gardener, euchre player, and just love to have an overall good time with life.
Ursina Hastings-Heinz (MS Science/Art)
Ursina Hastings-Heinz teaches Science and Art and integrates the two often, in classes such as: “Out of the Earth – into the Fire”, “From Pinhole to Digital”, and “Color and Light”. She spent time doing research and living with the Lacandones in the rainforest in Chiapas, is a native of Switzerland and was amazed when Amish in northern Indiana spoke her mother tongue. Ursina holds a BFA from Indiana University and lives here in Bloomington with her husband and daughter.

  • High School
Alan Boucher (HS Math)
Alan grew up in Louisville, KY where he attended and graduated from St. Francis DeSales High School in 2002. He went on to the University of Kentucky and received his B.S. in Mathematics in 2006. He stayed at the University of Kentucky and received his M.A. in Mathematics in 2008. While pursuing his M.A. he taught multiple classes as a teaching assistant. Most of the classes he taught were either algebra or calculus. He then moved to Bloomington, IN in August of 2008 with his fiancée, Katie, where he worked at Indiana University tutoring student athletes in math. In May 2009 Alan and Katie were married. In June 2009 he started a Transition to Teaching program at Indiana University, and in April 2010 received his Indiana teaching license for high school and middle school mathematics.In his spare time Alan likes to play his guitar and mandolin, and crochet blankets as Christmas gifts for members of his family. He likes to visit his parent’s 22 acres of land located in Meade County, KY where he and his wife love to fish for bluegill and largemouth bass from their pond. Alan is very passionate about mathematics and will talk about math to anyone who wants to talk about it. “My main goal as a math teacher,” Alan says, “is to make my students just as passionate about mathematics as I am.”
Mark Bell (Digital Media Arts)
Mark stumbled out of the wilds of Toronto, Canada 15 years ago where, in 1993, he received a B.A. in English from the University of Waterloo. He spent 15 years in the software industry and then returned to higher ed to get a Masters in Digital Storytelling from Ball State and is working on his PhD in Mass Media from Indiana University. While at IU, Mark has taught classes on various topics from media literacy to web design and was recognized as one of the best graduate student teachers. He has also published technical books including, How to Build a Website for Free. He is married to Sarah “Intellagirl” Smith Robbins and has a full house of four twelve-year olds: Jack, Morrigan, Teagan and Xander. His passions are music and story so he spends his spare time recording his songs, making movies, writing comics and playing board games.
Sallyann Murphey (HS Social Studies)
Sallyann teaches history, politics and media studies, and serves as the High School Coordinator and the Senior Advisor at Harmony. She began her first career as a journalist and writer at the age of 23, when she joined the British Broadcasting Corporation as its then-youngest producer.In 1985, she came to America to establish the news operation for ‘Good Morning Britain’, the sister program to ‘Good Morning America’ – which brought her to New York where she met her husband, photographer Greg Murphey. The couple eventually moved to Chicago, his hometown, where their daughter, Charley, was born in 1987. Sallyann continued to work as an investigative journalist for a number of publications including the London Observer, IPC Magazines, The Chicago Times Magazine and The Utne Reader – until 1991, when the family moved to a farm in Brown County, Indiana. This change of circumstance gave rise to Sallyann’s first book, Bean Blossom Dreams – A City Family’s Search for a Simple Country Life (Hearst Books, 1994). Four books have followed, including The Zen of Food – A Philosophy of Nourishment (Berkley Books, 1998), and The Metcalfe Family Album – Six Generations of Traditions and Memories (Chronicle Books, 2000). An updated edition of Bean Blossom Dreams was published by Indiana University Press in 2009.Sallyann – who holds a B.A. (Hons) in Politics and Modern History – is a recipient of the “Realizing the Dream Award” from the Independent Colleges of Indiana for inspiring students to expand their educational horizons.
Sarah Swartz (HS Science)
Sarah grew up on a family farm on the outskirts of a small, rural town called Peculiar, Missouri. She moved to Kansas City in 2001, a place she still considers home. During her pre-scholastic decade in the workforce, she worked as a restaurant manager and event planner in both Austin, TX and Kansas City, MO, a union organizer in Milwaukee, WI, and a disaster relief coordinator outside New Orleans, LA. She returned to school in the spring of 2010, first attending Penn Valley Community college in downtown Kansas City, MO. She matriculated to the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO in 2011 and graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Anthropology in 2014. While at Mizzou, she narrowed her studies in on human anatomy and primate evolution in addition to a minor in geology. She was a 2014 recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which she took to Indiana University where she will complete her MS in Geology at Indiana University, focusing on geobiology, vertebrate evolution, and applications of 3D modeling. During her career at IU, she had the opportunity to travel to Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania where her passion for science education and equal access to opportunity was reignited. In her off time, she enjoys knitting (poorly), taking photographs of her cats, cooking from her garden, and playing outside. She began college with the intention of teaching art or history, but rediscovered her childhood love of science along the way. She hopes her unbridled enthusiasm for our Earth and its history will be infectious!
Dale Hartkemeyer (HS Spanish)
Born in Cincinnati, Dale majored in Spanish at Dartmouth College. During that time he participated in a foreign study program, lived with a family in Salamanca, Spain, and traveled fairly extensively in the central and southern regions of the country. This foreign experience really stirred his fondness for cross-cultural experiences, and so five years after graduation he returned to Spain, this time to spend a year living in Madrid and teaching English.It was this first taste of language teaching that pretty much launched and sealed his lifelong interest and professional career in language learning/instruction. After returning to the States, he taught Spanish, French, and ESL in a language school for a number of years before earning an M.A. in Spanish at the University of Cincinnati and teaching the language there at the college level. Over the years he had become increasingly interested in a number of other languages, and the natural curiosity that arises when you compare and contrast structures in different languages led me to want to pursue the study of how languages universally operate as systems, i.e. the field of linguistics. He spent some years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign doing master’s and doctoral degrees in the field, with particular interest in the areas of phonology and historical linguistics.After this graduate education, Dale spent eight years at Central Michigan University teaching Spanish courses at various levels, including a grad course on the history of the Spanish language. In 2008, spurred on by an aspiration to practice Soto Zen Buddhism intensively with a community here, he moved to Bloomington and began teaching Spanish here that fall at Harmony High School on a part-time basis. The arrangement has so far been a happy one: it allows him to balance the two elements of most value and interest to him in his life—spiritual practice and the great satisfaction he finds in language teaching/learning.
Jamie Schmiechen (HS English, ESL, Theater)
Jamie Schmiechen is very excited for his first year teaching Humanities and ESL at Harmony. His classes encompass a range of subjects, including art and technology. He grew up in San Francisco and attended Lick-Wilmerding high school where he learned to rock climb and make things out of wood. In 1997 he received his B.A. in English and Film-Studies from Colorado College, a small school in Colorado Springs. He lived in Austin, TX and built houses for a year before returning home where he taught Language Arts in San Francisco public schools. He moved to Bloomington seven years ago with his wife Sarah to raise kids and tomatoes. The kids, Jacob and Hannah, turned out well. He hopes to imbue his students with an appreciation of vivid stories, passionate arguments and homemade food.

  • National School Reform Faculty
Michele Mattoon (NSRF Director)
Michele Mattoon is the director of the National School Reform Faculty. She works with schools and national facilitators across the country and overseas to implement Critical Friends Trainings, strategic planning sessions and other work relating to collaborative learning. Michele has been a national facilitator with NSRF for 9 years and enjoys facilitating trainings for educators interested becoming coaches for Critical Friends Groups. Michele also facilitates strategic planning sessions for educational and business groups.Before becoming director for NSRF, Michele taught school at Harmony for 26 years. She was awarded the Hoosier Educator Award in 2000 and the Dorothy Johnson Award for Excellence in Education of Young Children in 2001. During her teaching years, Michele created and developed a conflict resolution, mediation and life skills program and still works with schools to transform their cultures into ones of peace, mutual support and collaborative learning. She has been trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and teaches adults and students how to acquire a greater peace of mind and focus.
Luci McKean (NSRF Assistant Director)
Luci Englert McKean is the NSRF Assistant Director. Some of her projects include supporting the organization in developing new materials, new service lines, and a revised website. Luci is also the curator of TEDxBloomington, a freelance writer and presentation consultant, Lotus Festival committee member, resident of Bloomington since 1986, and the parent of two Harmony students.
Dotty Sharp (NSRF Office Manager)
Dotty Sharp provides the NSRF office with administrative, clerical, and accounting support. She makes beautiful jewelry and other art and sells them under the name Black Dog Designs. A native of Bloomington, she is the parent of two Harmony graduates
Ivan Harris (NSRF Operations Manager)

  • Rhino’s Youth Center
Liv Mershon (Rhino's Director)
Liv Mershon is the Director of Rhino’s Youth Center and runs their screen-printing and mural arts program. She began her time at Rhino’s back in 2009 as assistant to the program directors and has worn many hats since. Observing and engaging in the growth of local teens has been an eye opening and life changing experience for her. Liv studied printmaking at IU Bloomington and the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy. When she’s not at Rhino’s, Liv is performing with her bands Ray Creature and Bad Psychic, playing Parks & Rec volleyball, and going to the woods with her beloved furry friend, Ramona.