Kasey Davis (she/her) (Director): Kasey has been with Missoula Community School since 2018. She started as the 2-year-old teacher in the Tree Room, and she just recently transitioned to the role of Director! Her background includes over 15 years of childcare experience, a degree in musical theatre, and a love of combining the two passions. She’s lived in Coeur d’Alene, Seattle, Ohio, and grew up in the south, and her hobbies include hiking, dancing, playing with her kids, and relaxing with her husband.
Kasey’s favorite part of her job is getting to know the families of MCS, witnessing an “aha” moment with a child, and the hilarious things kids say! A resident of Missoula since 2018, she quickly grew to love this city, its families, and the easy access to so much natural beauty!
Whitney Miller (she/her) (Assistant Director): Whitney has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2019. Her background includes a degree in Theatre from the University of Montana, 5 years of teaching in early education, several years of educational theatre, regional and national touring under her belt. She is currently pursing an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at UM starting Fall 2021.
A resident of Missoula since 2014, her hobbies include cooking yummy meals with her partner Damian, running beautiful trails around Missoula, and playing outside in our beautiful state. Her favorite part about teaching is watching kids gain their autonomy and independence as a person.
DeAra Randles (she/her) (Tree Room Lead Teacher): DeAra has been teaching at Missoula Community School since August 2021. She is honored to be apart of the MCS family and looking forward to building new relationships and memories along the way. Born and raised in Missoula, MT, she has over 10 years of early childhood education experience. She finds great joy in setting up classroom environments that captivate children’s curiosity and desire to learn. She treasures being a stepping stone in her student’s early years and developing long lasting relationships.
When she’s not keeping up with her two children, Her hobbies include off roading, driving, working out, writing, enjoying nature and making her own jewelry.
Jessie Shott (Tree Room Teacher Assistant): Jessie has been teaching at Missoula Community School since August 2021. She is originally from Missoula and after graduating from the University of Montana in 2008, took a big leap of faith and moved to sunny San Diego. She lives there for the last 14 years working as a paraprofessional in a school district. Even though she was able to call San Diego her home it was time to return to Missoula and start a new chapter back in her hometown. She has an extensive experience working with children, including working as a Teacher’s Aide at Spirit at Play, Paraprofessional in San Diego, ABA in-home therapy and also received her Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Certification in 2019. Recently, she started pursuing a dream of hers to become a certified sleep consultant and is working on connecting and building her business here in the Missoula community.
Her hobbies include, reading, traveling, wine tasting, happy hour, spa days, hiking, sports (Go Patriots!). She’s hoping to get back into skiing now that she’ll be living back in the snow!
Beverly Thomas (she/her) (Tree Room Teacher Assistant)- Bev has been teaching at Missoula Community School since January 2021. She moved from Kansas to Montana in 2017 and started a new career in early childhood education and has taken numerous classes through Childcare Resources. She is a member of and actively involved with the MtAEYC. To further her education for teaching, she likes attending MtAEYC state conferences each year.
Her hobbies include practicing yoga, hiking, travel, gardening, and exploring Montana. You will see her walking all the trails in Missoula and beyond. Her favorite part of teaching is attempting to answer all the many and varied questions of a young child and just being silly with them.
Kristal Crowley (she/her) (3 Year Old Teacher): 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 enjoying time with her daughter (which currently involves superhero movies), cranking out ‘80s dance moves, playing her flute, and singing. 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 adventuring with her family and getting outside to enjoy all Missoula’s outdoors offer.
Maddie Christenson (she/her) (4 Year Old Teacher): Maddie has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2019. Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Montana.
She is from Missoula, Montana, and her hobbies include hiking, photography, and calligraphy. Her favorite part of teaching is reading books with the class. A resident of Missoula since birth, you can find her making wooden signs with her business partner.
Colby Sailors (they/them) (3 Year Old Teacher): Colby has been teaching at Missoula Community school since 2020, though has been working in teaching and Early Childhood Education since 2013. She started as a fine arts teacher, though took more of an interest in early childhood development in 2014. Colby was Center Director for Overlake Kindercare in Bellevue, WA for over a year before finding a home in Montana to delve into more personalized student teaching. She moved to Missoula from her hometown of Redmond, WA in 2017 and enjoys seeing the mountains every day and the warm-heartedness that the community in Missoula brings to its residents. Her hobbies include reading, writing and drawing comics, animation and caring for her guinea pigs. When it comes to teaching, the thing Colby enjoys the most is the natural kindness and curiosity children carry in their hearts and finding ways to develop teaching strategies that further promote these positive qualities.
Her favorite children’s book is “My No No No Day”, because sometimes we all have bad days for no good reason but we can always start over and try again tomorrow.
Nicki Boje (she/her) (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 favorite part of teaching is singing silly songs! A resident of Missoula since 2014, you can find her at the Farmer’s Market.
Brooke Heckeroth (she/her) (Lead PreK Teacher): Brooke Heckeroth has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2019. Her background includes a bachelor degree in elementary education and 3 years teaching at Corvallis Primary School. She is from Corvallis, Mt, and her hobbies include reading, listening to podcasts, hanging out with friends, listening to music and love of Korean things (food, tv, music, etc. I love it!). Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the complete joy and excitement a student radiates when they share something they love and did well on. A resident of Missoula since 2018, you can find her happily scarfing down sushi with friends and discussing her favorite new dance jam!
Gabrielle Renteria (she/her) (Co Lead PreK Teacher): Gabrielle is excited to be joining the Missoula Community School staff this year. She is looking forward to working with the children and families at MCS. Born and raised in Southern California, Gabby moved to Missoula in 2018 to study Resource Conservation at the University of Montana. Her background also includes teaching youth rock climbing classes, outdoor education field trips, and interning with the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program.
When Gabby’s not working in the Yellow Room you can find her hiking, reading a good book, or indulging her love of frogs.
Outside of our 8:30 am – 3:30 pm school day, we have wonderful staff members leading our extended care programs. Many of these folks are Teacher Assistants during the school day in one of our other classrooms as well as teaching in extended care.
Sarah Riggs (she/her) (Aftercare Assistant Teacher): Sarah Riggs just recently started teaching at Missoula Community School in 2021. Her background in Early Childhood Education includes 10 years of experience working in centers and private care. She is also currently attending an online program to earn her BA in Psychology with an emphasis in ECE (Early Childhood Education). Born and raised in Missoula, she loves that she can be a part of such an important part of the community she grew up in and loves sharing all she knows about the area with her students.
Her hobbies include hanging out with her friends, family, cat and her partner, working and attending concerts, music, video games, reading and writing, yoga, biking, exploring Montana and traveling literally anywhere! Her favorite part about teaching is building connections with the students and families!
Before Care: Hours 7:30 – 8:30 am
Beverly Thomas (Bio above in Tree Room)
Brooke Heckeroth (Bio above in Yellow Room)
Aftercare: Hours 3:30 -5:30 pm
Jessie Shott (Lead Aftercare Teacher- Bio above in Tree Room)
Sarah Riggs (Aftercare Teacher Assistant- Bio above in Extended Care)