Staff

meKristal 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.

MardiaMardia 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.

arielAriel Brand (Before Care Teacher and Permanent Substitute): Ariel has been teaching at Missoula Community school since 2015. Her background includes being involved in several after-school programs and teaching English in Spain for two years. Currently, she is going back to school for a Master’s degree in school counseling at the University of Montana. Ariel was born and raised in Connecticut, but feels that she carries a bit of home from all the places she’s traveled to and lived in. Finding art & music outside, creating, being in nature, and random discovering are some of her favorite things. Some of her favorite parts about teaching are watching children engage creatively and act kindly towards one another, as well as letting her silly bones giggle and shake with them. A resident of Missoula since 2015, you can often find her drawing or dancing in both conventional and odd places.

AshlieAshlie 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.

CarrieCarrie 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.

Julie Reardon (After Care): bio coming soon

KristenKristen 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.

Laura Arvidson, Head ShotLaura Arvidson (Teacher Assistant): Laura Arvidson has been teaching at Missoula Community School since August, 2016.  Her background includes teaching preschoolers through adults, farming, rare carnivore monitoring and trail work.  She is from Kalispell, MT, and her hobbies include boating, yoga, aerial arts, skiing and hunting.  Her funniest part of teaching has been spiralizing and chowing raw local beets with students for Valentines day. There were so many happy pink faces learning to make healthy food choices.  A resident of Missoula from 2005-2009 during her undergraduate degree, she is excited to be in Missoula again. You can find her floating the Alberton Gorge in her packraft and bicycling downtown in search of delicious food.

LesaLesa 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.

lindsayLindsay 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.

Grandma MaryMary 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!

NickiNicki 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.

Nicole Ichtertz (Teacher Assistant): bio coming soon

peggy july 6 2015Peggy 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.

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Robin Bryne (PreK Teacher): Robin is new to Missoula Community School this year, 2015, but has had the opportunity to work as a sub in all of our classrooms throughout the last 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