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 has been the Director since 2021. 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!
Ally Riggs (she/her) (Assistant Director): Ally is originally from Portland, Oregon, but has been living in Missoula for 6 years now! Montana rapidly became her home, particularly because of the culture of Missoula, and the endless amounts of outdoor activities to be done nearby. After attending the University of Montana, she started working closer with animals. After nearly 3 years working locally as a veterinary nurse, Ally is thrilled to return to her passion of working with kiddos! She has worked with children ranging from 6 months to 18 years in settings varying from swim lessons, nature themed residential programs, humane society summer camps and more.
Tree Room (2-3 Yr Olds)
In her free time you can find Cora taking photos, practicing her vegan cooking skills, skateboarding or in the winter, chasing powder around the Big Sky!
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 lived 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!
Malorie Dahlen (3 Year old Lead Teacher): Malorie has been teaching at Missoula Community School since January 2022. She graduated with honors from the University of Montana in December 2021 with her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Malorie attended MCS when she was 4 years old!
Malorie is from Missoula, Montana and her hobbies include being outdoors, doing yoga, arts and crafts, hanging out with friends, and playing with her niece and nephews. In her free time, Malorie enjoys making earrings out of polymer clay and making projects with her Cricut!
Sarah Riggs (3 Year old Lead Teacher): Sarah was born and raised here in Missoula and has taught preschool for about ten years. She loves being able to build relationships with families and share what is great about our community. She is currently earning her BA in Psychology with Early Childhood Education and when she is not at MCS, you can find her working or attending local concerts! Her favorite thing about teaching is getting to help children experience things for their first time
Jasper Jager (He/Him) (Blue Room Assistant Teacher): Jasper Jager is currently attending University of Montana with a focus on Earth Science and Communication as it relates to Family and Childhood Development. He has experience teaching children as a Science Educator at SpectrUM in both the Missoula Public Library and the Missoula Food Bank.
Jasper was born and raised in Montana. He loves to spend time outdoors hiking, running, and going on bike rides. In the winter months, he likes to spend his time reading by a window with his cat, Douglas. Jasper’s favorite things about teaching kids are the perspectives they provide on new information and all the opportunities for coloring.
Krista Ring (4 year old Lead Teacher): Krista was born and raised in Montana. She grew up in the bitterroot valley and moved to Missoula 10 years ago. She realized her passion for teaching young children when she started volunteering in her daughter’s preschool classroom. Since then she has continued her education and experience and now has 10 years of teaching experience.
She has many hobbies which of course include playing outside in our beautiful mountains and fishing our many rivers and lakes. She also enjoys photography, baking cupcakes and hanging out with her family. She has 2 daughters ages 12 and 14, 1 weiner dog and 1 cat.
Her absolute favorite part of the job is being able to watch children learn and getting to see the world through their eyes.
Gabrielle Renteria (she/her) (3-year-old Lead Teacher/Mindfulness Teacher): Gabrielle is excited to be returning to 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 at MCS, you can find her hiking, reading a good book, or indulging her love of frogs.
Beverly Thomas (she/her) (Green 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.
Brooke Heckeroth (she/her) (Lead PreK Teacher): Brooke Heckeroth has been teaching at Missoula Community School since 2019. Her background includes a bachelor’s 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!
Ash Cofell (Assistant Yellow Room Teacher): Ash is originally from Minnesota and moved here for college to study in the field of developmental psychology. Her path has taken her on a journey which has strengthened her empathic skills to a gold standard and she is a firm believer in the immense benefits of mindfulness practices. She looking forward to applying them in the classroom! She has always been an enthusiastic advocate for neuro-divergent individuals and is excited to help the children in her care know that they are important, cared for, and that they will be heard. Kids will live up to or down to expectations so Ash makes a point to take a highly optimistic approach to each and every interaction.
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.
Our Hummingbird Teacher provides flexible care and guidance in many of our classrooms. You might see them in extended care, subbing for a different staff member, or providing extra support across the school.
Megan Birkett (Hummingbird): Megan has been teaching preschool for 8 years now, and she loves the positivity and joy working with kids brings to her life, as well as getting to know and help out the families in the community where she was born! In her spare time she is working on writing a novel. Megan loves to read, watercolor, watch movies, go for nature walks to find cool rocks, and roller skate. She has two cats named Winona and Bramble who are her fur-babies. She loves working with kids and looks forward to getting to know everyone at Missoula Community School. 🙂
Before Care: Hours 7:30 – 8:30 am
Beverly Thomas (Bio above in Green Room)
Jessie Shott (Bio above in Tree Room)
Aftercare: Hours 3:30 -5:30 pm
Ash Coffell – Lead Aftercare Teacher (Bio above in Yellow Room)
Jasper Jager – Assistant Aftercare Teacher (Bio above in Blue Room)
Megan Birkett – Assistant Aftercare Teacher (Bio above in Hummingbird Section)