Christie Sawyer has been with Leaves of Learning since 2003. Her positive attitude, commitment, and caring nature make her stand out as an effective teacher and administrator. Christie taught in Cabrini Green housing projects in Chicago for five years before moving to Cincinnati. She has a master’s degree from Xavier University in Educational Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Ohio University. Christie believes that witnessing the excitement and joy that a child expresses when he or she learns something new is one of the greatest benefits of being in education.
Diana is the founder of Leaves of Learning and has been the director since the beginning of the program. She loves working with children of all ages and has a passion and commitment to individualize education. She feels that while the goal of an education is to provide skills and opportunities for a child’s future, it is also an important part of the journey, and as such, should be enjoyed. She believes that education should meet children where they are and take them where they want to go, through caring guidance, enthusiasm and support. Her favorite moments at LOL are when students discover their talents and passions for learning and take ownership of their education.
Diana has three children, all of whom attended Leaves of Learning. Diana has taught hands-on science classes for NSF and Leaves of Learning. She was a chemist for DuBois Chemicals and a pharmaceutical representative for Whitehall-Robins. She holds a degree in chemistry.
Lauren Batten received her Master of Science in Education from the University of Tennessee in 2009 and joined Leaves of Learning as our counselor in the fall of 2014. Her genuine smile makes everyone’s day a little brighter, and her positive outlook and gift for creating strong relationships with students and families enhances her ability to meet their academic, social, and emotional needs. Lauren loves that she is able to spend time with kids of all ages and feels extremely lucky to have found such a nurturing and happy environment to call her second home. Her favorite things outside of Leaves are spending time with her husband, Drew, and her three kids, Millie, Tennessee, and Bo, hanging with good friends, and traveling to sunny destinations.
You will find Becky Flanagan at the front desk greeting students and visitors. In 2006 she joined the Leaves of Learning community as a Sign Language teacher. She saw the amazing way Leaves teachers engage and excite their students, so she enrolled her children for classes. She is fluent in American Sign Language and worked as an interpreter for many years, in addition to running an educational business called Signing Safari. When you pass by, give her a wave or a sign! In her free time, she enjoys baking for her three adult children and husband, gardening, crafting, and refurbishing vintage items.
Tonia Sunderman joined the LOL staff in January 2014. She has a degree in Econ/Finance from the University of Evansville and earned her elementary teaching certificate from Xavier University. Tonia has served in accounting/bookkeeping positions for 20+ years. She is also a certified personal trainer, a group fitness instructor, and cross country coach. Tonia is married to Dan, and they have two children, William and Claire. The Sunderman family lives in Sunman, Indiana on a small farm.
Chris has been a part of leaves since 1997. Her two sons, now out of college, attended Leaves for many years. Over the decades, Chris and her husband, Bob, have volunteered or worked at Leaves in a wide range of positions, including teaching, web design, Assistant Director, maintenance, fundraising, marketing, and most recently, building management. Chris and Bob firmly embrace the philosophy that “teaching is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire” and love that Leaves epitomizes that philosophy.
Board of Directors
Leaves of Learning is coordinated by a voluntary Board of Directors.
Dr. David Stark