In a Sudbury school, students elect staff! Elections will be held at the end of every school year to make staffing decisions for the following school year. Read below about members of the founding team.


Alexis Franklin

Full-Time Staff, board President

After a few years living and learning in Japan and Indonesia, Alexis resolved to bring the Sudbury model home to the St. Louis area. She dreams of making childhood autonomy accessible for more young people. Alexis has worked locally as a K-12 substitute teacher and as an early childhood educarer, with training in RIE philosophy, which advocates the treatment of young children as active participants rather than passive objects. Other than Self-Directed Education, her passions are rainforest conservation, great apes, and anthropology. As a staff member, she (along with her baby sidekick) will relish the unique creativity and cooperativeness of humans.


Britni Wige

PART-Time Staff, Board Member

Britni graduated from DePaul University with a BA in History. She planned to teach high school and community college, but she started to wonder if standardized schooling was the only way. Her own self-directed journey started shortly after her daughter was born. Realizing the immense satisfaction in learning about a passion or genuine interest, she decided to homeschool her daughter. Before long she discovered Sudbury philosophy, and she dove in. She consumes everything she can about democratic schools and how self-directed, playful learning is an integral part of a child's education. She believes all children have the right to learn and grow in a space they feel heard, respected, and honored for who they are. Her daughter is a St. Louis Sudbury student.

Julie Gill

Part-Time Staff, Preschool Director, Board Member


Matt Rustige

SUBSTITUTE staff, board Treasurer

Matt is a husband and father of two boys who believes strongly in the merits and freedom of self-directed learning. He has been involved with the formation of the school and is excited see Sudbury as an option for those in the St. Louis area who are interested in this path for their children. Matt is an actuary by trade and currently serves on the board as Treasurer. Matt enjoys cycling, yoga and learning new things! 


Rebecca Tucker


Rebecca is a huge advocate for children and the joys of self-directed learning. She is thrilled to be a part of the St. Louis Sudbury community! Proud mother of three daughters, she is excited to see her youngest become a Sudbury student. In 2013, Rebecca supported her two oldest daughters in their choice to unenroll from the local public school—this choice changed the whole trajectory of their family! For six years she has given her children the freedom to be authentic self-directed learners, while mentoring other families. When Rebecca is not supporting her family, she enjoys singing, songwriting, growing plants, road tripping, or relaxing and watching Netflix!


Katelyn Horn

board Secretary

Katelyn is dedicated to building a culture of self-directed learning in the St. Louis area. Her other efforts include co-directing the local chapter of Free Forest School, which is dedicated to building community through child-directed play in nature. She also co-founded Play-MO, a nonprofit which hosts pop-up adventure playgrounds in area parks and serves as an educational forum for playwork: the discipline of supporting play without directing it. She has three small children, including one awesomely autistic son who teaches her the true value of neurodiversity and the importance of trusting children to direct their own learning, no matter what that looks like. In her life before kids, she was a classical pianist and earned several master’s degrees in music theory and music cognition.


Patrick Goldberg

Board Member

Patrick recently moved from Chattanooga, TN to St. Louis with his wife and two children (11 and 3). Patrick’s alternative schooling journey began when his daughter opted out of her private school at age six due to bullying and lack of consideration for her dyslexia, after which his family spent the five years radical unschooling. He saw his daughter delve into art, video games, and video game production. Patrick and his family enjoy roadside-attraction focused road trips. These trips have taken them thousands of miles through 23 states in the past three years. Patrick has an MS in Educational Psychology. He works as an executive at a technology company and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education at Vanderbilt University.


Alyssa Catlin

Board Member

Alyssa was a homeschooled student then a self-directed teenager in the beautiful state of Idaho. She moved to Missouri and received her degree in classical guitar performance from Webster University in 2009. She has been a guitar instructor with the Childbloom Program for 13 years. Ever since visiting a Sudbury school in Florida, she has felt the deep need for a similar educational opportunity to exist in St. Louis, so participating in the opening of the St. Louis Sudbury School is a dream come true. Alyssa lives with her partner and their two children, plays guitar as a free-lance musician around the city, and wants to help bring more beauty and truth to the world. 

Emily Zalasky

Board Member


Brian Tucker

Board Member

Brian is a dedicated husband and father to three daughters. His passion for self-directed learning has grown since his daughters started homeschooling in 2013. He has worked as a machinist since 1998—a unique job making aircraft for many companies. His interests are building models, restoring classic cars, and most recently: smoking many different kinds of meat! He is very excited to be involved with Saint Louis Sudbury School!