Elementary Staff

drews

Cristina Drews

Classroom Teacher, 1st Grade

Cristina has thirty-eight years of experience working in both public and Waldorf education. Her Master’s Degree in Education specializes in Curriculum Development, Reading Instruction and Children’s Literature. She is a graduate of the Remedial Education teacher-training course at Rudolf Steiner College. She taught public elementary school in New York and California, as well as teacher education and adult literacy classes. She maintains an extensive private library of classic children’s literature, and books on Waldorf Education. She was a cofounder of the Waldorf School of Orange County, now thriving in Costa Mesa, CA. Cristina was a class teacher at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School in Newtown CT, and at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School in Niwot, CO.

Cristina loves singing, flower gardening, nature, dogs, cooking, children’s books, studying Anthroposophy, and talking to people about Waldorf Education.


stevens

Jessamyn Lockhart

Classroom Teacher, 1st Grade

Jessamyn has worked in schools and has been teaching for 8 years. She considers herself a lifelong learner who thrives in an atmosphere that constantly provides learning opportunities. After receiving her Bachelors degree from Tufts University in Boston, she moved to Colorado to pursue teaching and a Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Colorado.

In addition to teaching, she has found that nature provides innumerable opportunities for learning. She loves the outdoors, running, hiking, camping and skiing. She moved to Colorado after college where she could be surrounded by mountains, snow, and miles of running trails.


Kim Cardona

Classroom Teacher, 2nd Grade

Kim received her B.A. in Psychology, Colorado Teaching Certificate for Elementary Education and M.A. in Bilingual & Multicultural Education from the University of Colorado in Boulder. The first five years of her teaching career began in Denver Public Schools working as a second and third grade classroom teacher. In search of adventure and Spanish, she moved to Costa Rica and taught fifth grade at the American International School for two years. While living abroad she traveled to places like Argentina, Cuba, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy and Germany, took University Spanish courses and lived for extended periods of time in Mexico. Kim has been teaching since the year 2000, and has worked with all age levels from preschool to adult. Excited to be back in Colorado near her family, she is thrilled to be a part of the Mountain Phoenix Community, where the whole child is truly valued and nurtured. She was drawn to Waldorf education because she believes school should be a joyful, healthy experience. Kim also enjoys hiking, camping, yoga, swimming and travel.


Michelle Hollandsworth

Classroom Teacher, 2nd Grade

Michelle comes to Mountain Phoenix with twelve years teaching experience, ten of which are in Jeffco Public Schools as a teacher librarian, most recently at a bilingual school. Her path to Waldorf education has been a recent one, but she feels that many of her life experiences have been leading in this direction. She brings a love of storytelling, nature and music, which includes singing and playing the piano, guitar, electric bass, recorder, and pentatonic flute. Michelle is receiving her Waldorf Teaching Training at Rudolf Steiner College in California. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and her Master’s degree in Library Science from Syracuse University. She has her teaching license in New York and Colorado. Michelle is married and has two grown children. She enjoys doing yoga, reading, bicycling and gardening. She is excited to be joining Mountain Phoenix where she can combine her experience in public education with her love of Waldorf education.


Eric Ebert

Classroom Teacher, 3rd Grade

Eric holds a B.A. degree from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, and an M.A. in Waldorf and Integrated Day education from Antioch New England Graduate School. His transformative experience at St. John’s convinced him of the value of a liberal arts education. He has worked to bring that sort of experience to children in a number of settings, including private and public Waldorf-methods schools. A strong believer in the lessons Nature has to teach, he is particularly happy to return to the mountain west.


wottonNoa Wotton

Classroom Teacher, 3rd Grade

Noa followed his Third grade class from last year into Fourth grade this year.  When he visited East Bay Waldorf School at age eight, Noa observed to his mother that his “childhood would be longer here.” Waldorf education taught Noa to balance creative expression with physical work, analysis with imagination, and academic debate with good old-fashioned play.

Graduating from Wesleyan University, Noa began working with children at The Mosaic Project Outdoor School in 2005, where he helped fourth graders learn conflict resolution skills. Inspired by this powerful work, he went on to work with youth in several states and three countries before settling in Colorado to teach in Denver Public Schools. The depth of learning his students accomplish over time and the relationships he builds with students and their families make teaching worth every moment. When he’s not working in the classroom, Noa leads backcountry trips, cooks delicious vegetarian meals, and hones his accordion skills. He is also a certified Wilderness First Responder.


aarynAaryn Munson-Price

Classroom Teacher, 4th Grade

Aaryn Munson-Price holds a BA in Fine Art from the Coastal Carolina University. There she ran track and cross-country. Upon graduation she spent sometime over seas backpacking. In 2009 Aaryn graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2010, Aaryn entered into the Stanley British Primary teacher preparation program and received her certification in 2011. Before coming to Mountain Phoenix she worked as a support teacher at The Odyssey School in Denver. Aaryn deeply values the integration of the arts with experiential learning.

In addition to teaching, Aaryn loves to spend her time trail running, hiking, tour cycling, camping and painting.


rachelRachel Riccio

Classroom Teacher, 4th Grade

Rachel Riccio is an elementary education teacher that has taught in a variety of grade levels and content areas, ranging from pre-school to eighth Grade. She graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education from Susquehanna University in 2004, and began teaching at a Waldorf School in Minnesota later that fall, carrying her class from fourth through seventh grade. Her teaching experiences include both public and private school systems, as well as coaching Varsity Women’s Soccer and directing a middle school choir for several years.

She is originally from rural Upstate New York, but has recently moved from Connecticut’s shoreline to beautiful Colorado. While in Connecticut Rachel taught pre-school, kindergarten and second grade at Hamden Hall Country Day School, a private college-preparatory school where she received specialized training in the Haskins Literacy Initiative developed by Yale University. Rachel is thrilled to reconnect with Waldorf Education, and incorporate art, music and movement into her daily instruction. In her free time, Rachel enjoys painting, gardening, bicycling and Pilates.


jennifer-cainJennifer Cain

Classroom Teacher, 5th Grade

Jennifer taught a multi-aged classroom at our Coal Creek Canyon Campus last year and this year joins us as a Fourth Grade Teacher.  She comes to us from the Pacific Northwest where she taught in a Waldorf and Montessori inspired preschool.  She also developed and ran her own preschool program there.  As an educator for the past fifteen years, Jennifer has worked with people of all ages.  She has developed and implemented classes ranging from ecology to art, both in the outdoors as well as the classroom.  Her family is in Colorado, so she has returned to our beautiful state where she once developed curriculum and programs for children of all ages at Denver Botanical Gardens.  Jennifer brings a love of young children and a passion for integrative education.  She is currently completing her Masters in Education.


ananderJoshua Anander

Classroom Teacher, 5th Grade

Josh graduated from the University of Washington with an emphasis in history and then earned his teaching credentials through a partnership with Regis University. He is entering his sixth year of classroom education, previously teaching second grade at Assumption Catholic School. He chaired the student government council and assisted in preparing and scoring the school science fair. Josh was instrumental in setting up data measures to verify student achievement and growth. He is most excited about incorporating the arts into everyday classroom learning. When not teaching, Josh likes to spend time with his wife and two young children enjoying the outdoors and taking in a baseball game.


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MPCS is an asbestos-free school. Copies of our Asbestos Management Plan are located in both the main and middle school offices for public viewing.