The Missoula Community School is a non-profit educational community, created in the spring of 2001 by a group of teachers and parents. MCS is governed by a Board of Directors made up of no fewer than 5 members and no more than 12. Board members serve a two-year term, with an option to request re-election to a third year if desired.
The MCS Board meets on the second Tuesday of every month (except July). Meetings are held at 6 pm, the 2021-2022 meeting venue will be posted at school; recently the meetings have been conducted via Zoom. Meetings are always open to parents, and input is welcome.
2021-2022 Missoula Community School Board of Directors
Kirsten Kuhnle (President): Kirsten was raised in Tulsa, OK & moved to Missoula after graduating high school. She attended the University of Montana & received a degree in Anthropology & Native American Studies & then returned to get her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She practiced physical therapy in town for 12 years & is currently a stay at home mom to her 2 girls Kenzie & Kiley. They love the wonderful outdoor opportunities that Missoula provides & love to spend time together recreating in this beautiful state. Kirsten’s oldest daughter, Kenzie, attended MCS for the last 3 years & they have been so impressed with the kind, loving, mindful environment that is provided at this school. Kirsten’s youngest daughter will start in the Tree room this fall. Community service has always been important to her & when she had the opportunity to join the board she gladly accepted so she can help foster the explore, create & care mission statement of MCS.
Amy Braig (Treasurer): Amy was born and raised just north in Kalispell, MT. Wanting to stay in the beauty of northwest Montana, she attended the University of Montana to complete her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance. While at the University of Montana, Amy thrived in her role as a cross country ski instructor, overnight ski instructor, and whitewater rafting guide for the Universities Outdoor Program. After graduation Amy was able to work full time as a whitewater rafting guide on the Alberton Gorge of the Clark Fork River and loved every second of it. Teaching people about the outdoors, rivers, and Montana is a strong passion for Amy and one she loves to share with others. Additionally, Amy found time to work as a small business loan underwriter for a local bank more recently. However, outside of work, Amy loves to enjoy Montana by rafting, backcountry skiing, climbing, biking, trail running, fishing, and meeting new friends.
Melissa Lanman (Secretary): Melissa Lanman was raised in Idaho and received her Design & Business degree from the University of Idaho in 2000. She finally made her journey back to the Northwest in August 2018 after having lived in Seattle, New York, and San Francisco over the past 19 years. Melissa’s passions are design, health & wellness, and cooking for her family. She currently is an enthusiastic stay at home mother to her three year old daughter Teddy, but in her spare time continues to consult in the design and beauty industries. She along with her husband Fritz, and daughter Teddy, are thoroughly enjoying all that Montana has to offer from fly fishing, skiing, delicious restaurants, and renovating their very old house. MCS has had such an immediate positive influence on her daughter’s life that she wanted to join the board to support the school and spread the word about MCS’s amazing philosophy and community.
Meredith Lease (Board Member): Meredith was raised in Wisconsin and attended both undergraduate and medical school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She met her husband, Chris, in medical school. After completing their medical degrees, they moved to New Hampshire to complete residency training at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Meredith’s specialty is in pediatrics. After a life spent in the Midwest and Northeast, an opportunity to move to Missoula opened up that they could not turn down. In 2013, they moved to Missoula and settled down in the University district neighborhood. As they began considering preschools for their son, they were drawn to Missoula Community School. Their son started at MCS in 2014, spending three years there, and their daughter started at the school in 2018. Meredith appreciates the loving teaching environment, focus on social-emotional development, mindfulness curriculum, and sense of community both within the school and connection to the larger surrounding community. Meredith joined the board because she is interested in using her professional background to help the school continue to be a successful environment for early childhood development and considering areas for future growth. Meredith and her family spend much of their time mountain biking, both cross country and alpine skiing, playing soccer, swimming, and enjoying everything Missoula has to offer both in town and in the mountains, rivers, and on the trails that surround us.
Kinsey Livingston (Board Member): Kinsey Livingston was raised in California and received her Business Economics & Communications degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009. She has spent her career working in sales and leadership roles at tech companies, which led to her living in Scottsdale, New York and San Francisco, before relocating to Missoula in August of 2018 for a job at ClassPass, one of the few tech companies in Missoula. Kinsey and her husband, Ted, have twin toddlers, Lennon and Tedders, who will be starting at MCS this fall in the Tree Room. They also have a German Shepherd named River, who you may spot on various playgrounds around Missoula. Kinsey’s hobbies include tennis, volleyball, skiing and of course enjoying all the outdoor activities in Missoula. Her latest project with her husband is renovating and decorating a tiny fixer-upper cabin near Disco. After participating in MCS auctions and fundraisers over the past few years, she is so excited to be more directly involved in the MCS community as a parent and board member.
MaryPat Hertz (Board Member): MaryPat has her BS in Early Childhood Education and 21 years of experience working with preschool children. MaryPat started as a parent volunteer in the Head Start program when her oldest child was a student there in 1994. After beginning to work as an aid in the classroom, she moved up into a management position where she worked up until the summer of 2018 when she joined the Origins Education team. MaryPat has a passion for working with children as well as working with teaching staff to help foster a high quality educational experience. MaryPat chose to join the board at MCS because she had fallen in love with the school, the administration and the children and families during the time she was substituting at the school. When it came time for her to move on to her current job, she was very sad to leave the school. Being on the board gives her the opportunity to still be involved in a school that she has become so attached to.
Erika Martin (Board Member): Bio and picture coming soon!
Allison McKinney (Board Member): Bio and picture coming soon!
Ashley Connell Melwani (Board Member): Bio and picture coming soon!