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 Monday of every month (except July). Meetings are held at 6pm, the 2016-2017 meeting venue will be posted at school and on Facebook. Meetings are always open to parents, and input is welcome.
2016-2017 Missoula Community School Board of Directors
Erin Semmens (Co President): Erin grew up outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania and has lived in Missoula for over ten years. She does public health research and teaches at the University of Montana. After her daughter had such a blast at MCS, Erin joined the Board to stay involved with the school. She especially wants to support the extraordinary teachers and staff at MCS, who make each child feel valued and who are so good at bringing little kiddos out into the world on missions to fill buckets and have fun. She loves to run and ski and play and relax in and around Missoula with her husband, Dan, and two little kids, Franny and Joseph.
Heather McKee (Co President): Heather is an environmental educator, naturalist, writer, rare breed chicken farmer, and mother of 2. Most of her time recently has been spent helping her children (ages 2 and 4) learn more about what they are curious about, and keeping roughhousing to a non-lethal level. She’s managed to squeeze in teaching Nature Writing at the University each year, planting and tending a young orchard of heirloom fruit trees, and occasionally raising animals other than her own, such as pigs and chickens. Education is a passion for her, and she looks forward to helping Missoula Community School achieve its goals of a fun, progressive, mindful education for its young humans.
Alisa Reich (Vice President): Alisa was born in Columbus, OH, but began moving at three months old. After bouncing around for the next twenty some years, she settled in Missoula. She has been a stay-at-home mom since her kids were born, and worked in the conservation field before that. Her family has been involved with the Missoula Community School since 2012. She joined the board because she has been consistently impressed with the mission of the school, and the unparalleled experiences it has created for her two children. She is excited to contribute as a Board Member to further the mission, and to help create meaningful experiences for preschool aged children in Missoula in the future. She enjoys doing just about everything outside with her family, including getting on the rivers, working in the garden, and playing in the snow.
Jamie Phillips (Secretary): I am a proud mom to a current, a past, and a future MCS kiddo, I am originally from St. Louis, MO, but have resided in Missoula for the past 14 years. I cur
rently wrangle kids all day, but prior to slinging sippy cups and changing diapers I worked as a Staff Accountant with degrees in both Accounting and Political Science. Our first child attended MCS for the 2013-14 school year and our second will begin this fall. I joined the Board because MCS is a special place and I wanted to help behind the scenes. I love Missoula and all it has to offer, so you will find me spending time with my family hiking, fishing, camping, and skiing.
Jacque Currie (Treasurer): Jacque grew up in Power, MT and moved to Missoula Christmas of 2007. She currently is working towards a Health and Human Performance Degree at the University of Montana while simultaneously working as MOM to three children. Her family joined MCS in 2013. She joined the board of directors in spring 2015 to focus on parent involvement. She fels this is an important component of our school that helps it run smoothly. Her family likes to take advantage of all the events that happen around town, especially things in Caras Park.
Carissa Benjamin (Board Member): Carissa is originally from South Florida. She moved to Missoula in 2002 to pursue graduate school, and now works as a physical therapist at Axis Physical therapy. Carissa and her husband Tim have two children, one who graduated from MCS in the summer of 2015 and one who will begin in the fall of 2015. They came to MCS on recommendation of friends, and they’ve enjoyed watching how mindfulness has been interwoven into the program in various ways, like listening to the sounds of their body after vigorous play, and paying attention to eating during lunch. Carissa has taken advantage of the mindfulness classes offered by the school to learn tools used at the school and strategies to use at home. She love the sense of community that is instilled in the children including; learning about the local businesses, neighborhood clean up, riding the city bus, and participating in local events. She also loves the use of the Feeleez poster to facilitate communication and conflict resolution at MCS and has found success using it at home as well! Outside of MCS and work, Carissa has fun playing outside, running and biking on Missoula’s gorgeous trails, keeping up with kids on the ski hill, and playing ice hockey- preferably outside during a heavy snow fall.
Kate Gammill (Board Member): Kate Gammill has been a part of Missoula Community School since 2013. Her passion for education and children’s growth of a positive mindset is what keeps her coming back for more. She teaches for Helena College for the Fire and Rescue program and 2nd grade for Missoula County Public Schools. In her free time you can find her crafting with her kids or spinning at the YMCA.
Laura Kirsch (Board Member): Bio to come soon
Dave Kuhnle (Board Member): Bio to come soon