Kristal Burns (Director): Kristal has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2004. Her background includes a BS in Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction: Curriculum Studies. She is from Missoula, and her hobbies include fishing, enjoying time with her daughter, and cranking out ‘80s dance moves. Her funniest part of teaching is listening to children socialize in the restroom. A resident of Missoula since 6 months old, you can find her on a mom/daughter date at Café Dolce or adventuring with her dad most any day.
Megan Sorg (Assistant Director): Megan began working at Missoula Community School in 2017. Her background includes spending a year as an AmeriCorps FoodCorps member and receiving her Bachelors in Community Health from the University of Montana. She is from Billings, Montana and her hobbies include gardening, hiking, reading, and cooking fabulous food. The funniest thing she has seen teaching (so far!) was a group of kindergarten students doing nutrient dance moves to show her what “good-for-you” nutrients exist in carrots. A resident of Missoula since 2011, you can find her on the trails and rivers around Missoula with her partner and their lovable dog.
Mardia Parker (Office Manager): Mardia has been working at Missoula Community School since 2013. Her background includes public and private accounting. She has lived in the Missoula area for 45 years and her hobbies include singing and observing the natural world. Her most challenging part of managing the office is remember everyone’s names. You can find her at K&J Cherry Orchard most summer weekends.
Alexa Holliday (Teacher Assistant): Alexa has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2017. Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and she has completed two AmeriCorps service terms working in elementary schools and a children’s museum. She is from Whitefish, Montana and her hobbies include hiking, skiing, yoga and traveling. Her favorite part of teaching is the opportunity to be a positive mentor for students and loves seeing students get excited to learn and explore. A resident of Missoula since 2010, you can find her exploring Montana by hiking and camping in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Allison Garcia (Teacher Assistant): Allie has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2017. Her background includes a Bachelors in Psychology from Sonoma State University in California, however she is also working towards her Speech and Language Pathology degree currently. She is from Huntington Beach, CA, and her hobbies include running, singing, hiking, and spending time with loved ones. Her most humbling part of teaching is no matter how much you think you know, children a quarter of your age can teach you something more. A resident of Missoula since August, 2017, you can find her getting outdoors in any way a California girl can!
Ashlie Vinion (3 year old teacher and Mindfulness Coordinator): Ashlie Vinion has been teaching at Missoula Community school since 2013. She has countless hours of Early Childhood Development training provided by Childcare resources, and the Lifelong Learning Center. She has a little over 10 years of hands on experience working with children of all ages. She spent her childhood growing and exploring the beautiful Northwest corner of Montana, residing in Libby. Her hobbies include reading, painting, crafting, exploring in nature and the community, and generally being active. Her favorite part of teaching is watching children make their own discoveries by asking questions and examining the world around them. You can find her enjoying brunch with her friends and family at the local downtown restaurants on most weekends.
Carrie Wheet (Teacher Assistant and Sign Instructor): Carrie has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2012. Her background includes being a nanny and a degree in American Sign Language Interpretation from Columbia College Chicago. She is from Indiana. Carrie’s hobbies include hiking, being on or with the river and anything outdoors. Her favorite part of teaching is how much love the children give her and how much she learns from them everyday. A resident of Missoula since 2012, you can find Carrie in the woods or on the river any given day.
Gabby Keller (Teacher Assistant): Gabby has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2017. Her background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Montana which included an internship with Missoula Early Head Start, as well as working at Watson Children’s Shelter where she continues to work as an on-call staff. She is from Columbia Falls, Montana and her hobbies include hiking, disc golf, weightlifting, playing tennis, trying out new foods and recipes, and spending time with her family and fiancé. Her favorite part of teaching is building relationships with the children and getting involved in their world through play. A resident of Missoula since 2015, you can find her up Pattee Canyon, one of her favorite places to unwind and enjoy nature.
Julie Reardon (After Care): Julie has been working at the Missoula Community School since January 2016. Her background includes a B.A in Elementary Education with a minor in Environmental Studies. She grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Missoula since 1990. Julie loves spending time in nature and has had her own gardening business since 1996. Her favorite parts of teaching are the curiousity, smiles and laughter the children bring into her life and the world.
Kristen Yoshinaga (3 Year Old Teacher): Kristen has been teaching at Missoula Community School since August 2016. Her background includes a Masters in Teaching with licenses in elementary and moderate disabilities and several years teaching different grades in elementary schools. She is from Honolulu, Hawaii, but has lived in different places because of school and work. Her hobbies include reading, traveling abroad, and taking road trips. Her funniest part of teaching is listening to kids innocently comment on the world around them. A resident of Missoula since July 2016, you can find her relaxing in a shady spot.
Lesa Setters (4 Year Old Teacher): Lesa has been teaching at the Missoula Community School since 2006. She has a degree in fine arts which helps keep her creative juices flowing when she is with the children. She is also certified to teach elementary students in Montana. Lesa was born a mid westerner in North Canton, Ohio. She is the designated “weeder” of the family garden, loves learning about natural science, and trains in the martial art of Aikido. Lesa’s favorite part of teaching is watching children become enthusiastic about learning and coaching them to employ kindness when they solve problems. A resident of the Missoula area since 1982, you can find Lesa tending the garden in summer and at the dojo year round.
Lindsay Regan (Teacher Assistant): Lindsay has been teaching at Missoula Community School since August 2015. Her background includes private and institutional tutoring for all ages in reading, writing, and study skills. She is from Fullerton CA, and her hobbies include dancing, reading, writing, and singing. Her favorite parts of teaching are answering questions and accepting hugs. A resident of Missoula since 2013, you can find her out dancing or in the library when she’s not at home with her furry friends.
Mary Barnett (Foster Grandparent): Mary Barnett has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2012. She has done summer camps since 2011. Her background includes a BA in elementary education and 86 graduate credits for a MA in special educaton with a reading emphasis as well as early childhood. She is originally from California. She has taught 46 years. Mary knows 8 foreign languages. Her hobbies are scrap booking, dancing, calligraphy, singing, swimming and playing piano. She is married to her husband Gary of 46 years and has two daughters and four grandchildren. Mary socializes where ever she goes!
Nicki Wood (4 Year Old Teacher): Nicki has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2015. Her background includes a Bachelors in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology. She is from Puyallup, WA and Helena, MT, and her hobbies include reading, dancing,and comic books. Her funniest part of teaching is singing silly songs! A resident of Missoula since 2014, you can find her at Zootown Brew.
Peggy Schmidt (3 Year Old Teacher): Peggy has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2015. Her background includes an elementary teaching certificate with an endorsement in special education and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies. She is from Stillwater, Minnesota, and her hobbies include running, gardening and spending time with her two teenagers and her spouse. Her favorite part of teaching is sharing funny books with children. A resident of Missoula since 1990, you can find her running or bicycling along the city’s streets and trails most every day.
Robin Bryne (PreK Teacher): Robin began teaching at Missoula Community School in 2015, but had the opportunity to work as a sub in all of our classrooms throughout the previous year. Her background includes many years of teaching preschool at Clark Fork School in Missoula as well as at schools in Great Falls , MT and New Haven, CT. She is from Nebraska but moved to Montana when she was 11. Her hobbies include gardening, writing, hiking, quilting and all manner of mixed media art making projects. Her most engaged aspect of teaching is the relationships that develop with kids around art and natural science exploration. A resident of Missoula off and on since 1985, you can often find her poking around the water or ice in Rattlesnake Creek in Greenough Park on any given sunny day.
Shane (Custodian): bio to come