Matthew Robert Harper

Before Matt got involved in Tallgrass, he had been unschooled since birth. Seeking more of a community, Matt was a student starting in 2013. He spent two years as school meeting chair, giving him a seat on the board of directors, and participating in hiring as the chair of the staffing committee. Matt graduated from Tallgrass in 2017, coming back as a volunteer in the 2017-2018 year. Matt loves to cook, spend time outside, and teach younger and older people new things. As an Eagle Scout, Matt says, “Camping is knot a problem.”

We are excited to welcome Matt to the Tallgrass staff team!  


Elizabeth Lund

Elizabeth has been involved with Tallgrass since 2010, first as a volunteer and now as a full-time staff member. She is a writer of young adult books and a professional editor. She grew up as an army brat and has lived in five states and three countries. She holds an English degree from St. Olaf College.

Elizabeth went to conventional public schools, but has had a lifelong interest in alternative education. She became involved with Sudbury education after staffing at Not Back to School Camp, a camp for unschooling teens. Her other interests include investing, birds, singing and dancing for the joy of it, and the academic study of children's and young adult literature, especially the work of Maud Hart Lovelace.  


Helen Tornquist

Helen graduated from DePaul University with degrees in Elementary Education and Spanish. She then spent two years working as a staff member at Tallgrass before traveling around South America on a motorcycle for a year. During her time abroad she visited seven countries and spent the last month of the year interning at A Casa da Árvore, a Sudbury School in Brazil. Helen is very happy to be back as a staff member at Tallgrass this year. Apart from traveling and motorcyle riding, Helen enjoys camping, sea kayaking and writing.

Melissa Bradford

Melissa holds a master's degree in Education (K-9) as well as a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Northwestern University. For 7 years she taught in the public school system, teaching Jr. High School science. She is now an adjunct faculty member at Joliet Junior College - teaching math and science in her spare time when not staffing at Tallgrass Sudbury. She is a doctoral candidate at DePaul University.

"I became involved in Sudbury education 20 years ago when my children were toddlers.  I love the way students are empowered and able to pursue their passions at Tallgrass Sudbury School."