Grades Teachers and Assistants

Jennie McArthur-Salyer, Kindergarten

Jennie fell in love with the Waldorf philosophy, especially its emphasis on meeting the developmental needs of the young child and started teaching in 1998. Jennie has a BA in Early Childhood Ed and a Waldorf certification in Early Childhood. She also has completed trainings in Waldorf therapeutic education and nutritional therapy. Contact Ms. Salyer

Gail Spinden, Grade 1

Gail is a Colorado native with 31 years teaching experience all here in Fort Collins, she was a Tongass National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park Ranger, and has been recognized in Who's Who Among American Teachers. Gail offers a caring classroom where students are empowered to assume responsibility for themselves and their learning. Her greatest joy as a teacher is to guide students so they will feel valued for their unique learning styles. Contact Mrs. Spinden

Linde' Rouse, Grade 2

Mrs. Rouse is a Colorado native and Waldorf School Alumna. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Mrs. Rouse was awarded the Jared Polis Teacher Recognition Award in 2016 while teaching at Mountain Sage. She is very excited to be at a school where she can share her love of the richness of Waldorf education. Contact Mrs. Rouse

Madi Wixson, Grade 2

As a Colorado native, I spent my childhood exploring the great outdoors of my backyard and the various wonders nature offered. I am a jack-of-all trades, loving everything to do with creating. I have written stories, painted elaborate pictures, and drawn and sung for as long as I can remember. The freedom and joy that comes from creativity still fuels my life, which is why I love teaching. I received my degree in Human Development and Family Studies and my master's in Education. I have been teaching for six years now and I'm thrilled to continue my journey with second grade this year! Contact Mrs. Wixson

Naama Levy, Grade 3

This is Naama’s first year at Mountain Sage and she is thrilled to join the community. She was born in Israel and moved to the U.S. as a child, and has grown into an avid traveler and appreciator of foreign languages. Naama holds a BA in fine art and a Master’s in Elementary Education. She has taught in a variety of progressive schools and most recently worked at a Quaker school in Philadelphia. She loves playing music, creating all kinds of art, hiking with friends, and practicing meditation in the great and wondrous outdoors. Incorporating wisdom from a broad array of domains, Naama approaches teaching with a holistic philosophy, providing children an open-minded, warm, and joyful learning environment. She is endlessly grateful for the energy of children and the opportunity to share her passion for learning with them. Contact Ms. Levy

Annie Addington, Grade 4

Annie grew up in Eagle, Colorado, and has taught students from pre-k through 12th grade. She feels deep gratitude to be journeying through the grades alongside her class. Annie loves running, and her two sons and husband enjoy skiing, hiking, tennis and family basketball games in their free time. Contact Ms. Addington

Rachel Veach, Grade 4

Rachel is passionate about inspiring children with a life-long love for learning, creativity, and the world around them. She is in her fifth year of teaching at Mountain Sage. Rachel and her partner love backpacking in the mountains, playing music, reading, and traveling with their three children. Contact Ms. Veach

Carlie Pointer, Grade 5

Carlie taught German for grades 1-6 at River Song Waldorf School for 7 years. After having her first child, Carlie was a stay-at-home mom for ten years. In those years, Carlie also helped Mountain Sage come to fruition. Carlie loves Mountain Sage Community School and feels at home and happy here. Carlie and her husband Jon love to spend time with family and to get outdoors and travel. Contact Mrs. Pointer

Dan Van Horn, Grade 6

Dan grew up in Ohio with a family who loved spending time outdoors. After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology, he traveled the country teaching Environmental Education. Before becoming a class teacher at Mountain Sage Dan taught Environmental Science, Games and Math. Dan is currently working toward his Waldorf teaching certificate and master’s degree in education. When he is not teaching Dan loves hiking, cooking, playing music, and exploring on his bike. Contact Mr. Van Horn

Judea Franck, Grade 7

I have been a middle school teacher at MSCS since 2016. I also coach the MSCS cross country team. I believe that learning is a lifelong journey driven by curiosity and that my job as a teacher and coach is to help you become exactly who you want to be. Contact Ms. Franck

Kelly Krieves, Grade 7

An Oregon native, Kelly began her grades 1-8 journey as Class Teacher at MSCS in 2014. She earned her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from AUNE in 2019 during the centennial anniversary of Waldorf pedagogy. Ms. Krieves hopes to foster reverence for the world and responsibility of being in her students. Contact Mrs. Krieves

Jenna Martin, Grade 8

Jenna has a Master's degree in Elementary Education and is endorsed in Middle School Science. She has taught at both the elementary and middle school level. She is a kid at heart herself and loves hands-on, real world learning that is both problem and inquiry based. She looks forward to developing deeper relationships with her students and their families this year. Contact Ms. Martin

Sara K. Woll, Homeschool Enrichment

Teacher K. Woll has worked with youth her whole life in a variety of settings often in Nature. She teaches by building relationships with her students; engaging them in conversation, movement, imagination and play. Storytelling is her superpower. She recharges and relaxes by hiking miles and miles with her scruffly little dog. Contact Teacher K. Woll

Abby Keeler, Mountain Sage Virtual

As an MSCS founding board and faculty member, Abby’s filled many roles through the years. From a Colorado farming community, Abby was homeschooled with many Waldorf-type methods, given a deep connection to local community and the land. She holds an interdisciplinary B.S. from CSU. Abby hopes to use her travels and passion to bring a world lens to her work and form spaces of belonging. Contact Mrs. Keeler

Special Subjects Teachers and Assistants

Barbara Albert, Handwork and Practical Arts

As the 1-8 Handwork Teacher and the Middle School Woodworking Teacher, Barbara brings a broad range of practical skills with artistry and great care to students.  She serves on non-profit boards in the community, reads everyday and is an enthusiastic figure sculptor, weaver, and creator of beautiful things from cloth, yarn and needles. Barbara is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received a master's degree from Colorado State University. Contact Mrs. Albert

Laura Anderson, Handwork Assistant

Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, Laura studied Art at Illinois State University before taking time off to travel and sell her handmade clothing. She started a knitting pattern design business in 2014, which allows people from all over the world to knit her designs. She enjoys gardening, knitting, playing/learning guitar, ukulele, and mandolin, concerts with her family and raising her four daughters. Contact Mrs. Anderson

Holly Bandong, Art

Holly has an undergraduate degree in Art Education from Colorado State University and holds a Colorado teaching license. Holly is also a Holistic Health Practitioner and enjoys bringing creativity into her mindfulness practice. She recently earned her Yoga Teacher certification and looks forward to starting a middle school mindfulness club. Contact Mrs. Bandong

Kirsten Bolton, Spanish Grades 4-8

Kirsten first traveled internationally at age 14, and knew that she would return long-term to the tropical beaches and Latin American people. Her dream of living abroad was furthered by attending the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico and earning degrees in Spanish, Anthropology, and Latin American Studies from Colorado State University. She has since worked as an educator in Colorado, Oaxaca, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador before becoming a founding teacher at Mountain Sage, where she strives to honor the complexity and uniqueness in each of her students. Her experience has come full circle as she now takes Mountain Sage middle school students on international trips to Spanish speaking countries. Kirsten has received Waldorf training at the Rudolph Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA and El Centro de Desarollo Antroposófico in Morelos, Mexico. She enjoys photography, yoga and exploring the Americas with her daughter. Contact Maestra Bolton

Sharon Docherty, Music

Sharon believes that all people are musical and is passionate about bringing people together through song. Sharon blends her experience as a long time Waldorf music educator and her training in mindfulness awareness for a deeply embodied musical experience in her workshops and in the classroom. Contact Mrs. Docherty

Jilli Jackson, Gardening and Sustainability

Jilli has her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in community nutrition. She is passionate about sharing the joy of planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, and eating real food to students of all ages. She believes the garden can make any subject come alive in a meaningful way! Contact Ms. Jackson

Sara Kathol, Spanish Grades 1-3

Sara Kathol has been drawn to travel and outdoor adventure since childhood. She taught bilingual and ESL middle school classes for 7 years in 3 different schools around the world before taking this job at Mountain Sage. Maestra Kathol has a passion for language learning and multicultural education and is thrilled to grow as a teacher and person in this position. Contact Maestra Kathol

Michael Ludolph, Games

Michael grew up in Northern Wisconsin, but has resided in Colorado five years now. He received an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Northern Michigan University, and completed his Post Baccalaureate teaching degree at the University of Northern Colorado. He loves teaching and sharing his knowledge of physical education, while making a lasting impact on his students. He also shares a love and passion for music and coaching. In his spare time, Michael enjoys backpacking, hiking, snowboarding, and anything that involves travel and adventure! Michael is excited to be part of the Mountain Sage community where he can share his passion for movement with students. Contact Mr. Ludolph

Jody Swigris-Winner, Middle School Math

Jody has been involved with Mountain Sage since the beginning. After being on the founding board of directors for 3 years, she became the schools gardening and sustainability teacher. As the school grew, the need for a middle school math teacher became apparent and Jody stepped into the role. She has been happily teaching math to the middle school students ever since. Jody feels blessed that she, as well as her children, Eli and Hannah are at such an amazing school. Contact Ms. Swigris

Student Support

Laura L Brown, Library

I grew up in New Mexico and moved to Ouray, CO, in 1991, where I enjoyed homeschooling my three children. We also enjoyed the homesteading lifestyle while living on the Western Slope. I moved to Loveland in 2000. Contact Ms. Brown

Teresa Caterisano, Paraprofessional

Teresa Caterisano, Miss. Cat, was born and raised in Santiago de Chile.
Miss Cat has been teaching and working with children for the last two decades. She loves many aspects of Waldorf Education including healthy rhythms, outdoor play, connection to nature and hands-on learning. Contact Ms. Cat.

Valeree Doucette, Health Technician

Valeree has lived in many parts of the United States but feels blessed to call Colorado home. She enjoys working at Mountain Sage and being able to help the students who come to see her throughout the day in the Health Office. Contact Ms. Doucette

Kirsten Hundley, Paraprofessional

Originally from northern Illinois. My family settled down in Fort Collins in 2016. I have a B.S. in Psychology: applied behavioral analysis, and a teaching certificate in Art Therapy. You can find me outside enjoying our beautiful state of Colorado during my downtime! Contact Ms. Hundley

Jennifer McKinley, Academic Interventionist

2020 marks Jennifer’s 9th year as an educator and her third year in Waldorf-inspired education. She is enjoying learning more about the Waldorf life and supporting student education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Teaching. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, listening to music, attending concerts, and spending time with her 3 children. Contact Ms. McKinley

Anna Murphy, Integrated Services Lead Teacher

Anna is a Colorado native who has spent her life in the field of education. She started out as a sign language interpreter where she discovered her love of working with students with disabilities. She loves spending time on the water with her husband, her four children and two grandchildren. Contact Ms. Murphy

Logan Nance, Educational Support

Logan's Waldorf background is as a Pre-K teacher and parent. She has been at Mountain Sage since 2014. She holds a BS in Occupational Therapy (1989), a Waldorf Early Childhood Therapeutic Educator Certificate (2001), and will complete her Educational Support Certificate Program summer 2021. Contact Ms. Nance

Kate Vanderleek, Social Worker

My name is Kate Vanderleek, and I am part of the support staff and serve as the school social worker at MSCS. My passion has always been working with children, therefore I hold both Bachelors/Masters degrees in social work. Like many Coloradans, I enjoy the outdoors with my family as much as possible. Lucky to live and work here! Contact Ms. Vanderleek

Facilities

Erica Graham, Facilities Manager

My name is Erica Graham and I have lived in Colorado for the past six years with my partner Tessa, and our two dogs. I have worked in Campbell County, Wyoming for the parks and recreation department, Moffat County School District, and Steamboat Springs School District as a custodian. Over the past eight years I have enjoyed being of service to recreation facilities and school communities. My hobbies are fishing, running, yoga, hiking, spending time with my family and dogs, and more fishing. Mountain Sage continues to inspire me as I look forward to the next chapter of my life. Contact Ms. Graham

Administration

Amanda Griffith, Business Manager

A native Texan, raised with family heavily influenced by the arts, she obtained a degree at TWU. She found her way here via a 15-year journey in New Mexico pursuing a career in purchasing. Her family’s blessed to have found MSCS, supporting an arts-integrated education. She enjoys exploring and sharing Mother Nature’s beauty with those she loves. Contact Ms. Griffith

Liv Helmericks, School Director

School Director of Mountain Sage since in 2013, Liv's belief in the power of Waldorf-inspired education stems from her background in the arts. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Colorado State University and is trained in Collaborative Leadership and Appreciative Inquiry. Contact Ms. Helmericks

Annie Hinton, Enrollment and IT Coordinator

Originally from a small town in Nebraska, Annie moved here in 1995 to attend CSU, and liked it so much, she never left. She loves being able to bridge the willing hearts & hands of our community with the needs of our amazing staff. Favorite things: spending time with family, gardening, canning, bee-keeping, sewing, and making old things new again. Contact Ms. Hinton

Hillary Mizia, Communications and Development Coordinator

Hillary joined the Mountain Sage community in 2012, before the doors had even opened. In 2020 she left her role on the board to join the administrative staff as the Communications and Development Coordinator, bringing with her decades of experience as a communicator, facilitator, sustainability leader, and with nonprofit organizations. Hillary holds a MA in Environment and Community, and a BA in Experiential Education. She and her husband are the proud parents of an MSCS grad and a current middle schooler. Contact Mrs. Mizia

Stephanie Powers, Office Administrator

Stephanie has been involved in the Waldorf community in Fort Collins since the inception of Mountain Sage. Stephanie is thrilled to combine her administrative skills and love of children with her passion for sustainability in being a part of the Mountain Sage administrative team. Contact Ms. Powers

Nancy Sexton, Curriculum and Instruction

Nancy is a founding board member and now serves to help every teacher do their best. She has served the Waldorf education movement since 1996 when she took her first class at River Song Waldorf School. She has been a class teacher, special subject teacher, and held many administrative positions in several Waldorf schools. Contact Ms. Sexton

Beau B. Bump, President

Beau currently serves as President of the Board. He is an attorney with Cline Williams Law Firm in downtown Fort Collins. Beau counts himself lucky to be part of the Mountain Sage community and appreciates the opportunity to serve on the Board.

Melinda Kerst

Melinda’s passion for Waldorf education began over twenty years ago when her children first entered Waldorf school. She is delighted to have two grandchildren currently attending Mountain Sage. Melinda holds a PhD in Psychology from CSU and is a trained Waldorf early childhood educator.

Bryan Kimbell

Bryan has participated on a number of advisory boards for startups and community organizations. Bryan has a B.A. in Communication from the University of Arizona, and an M.S. in Management from the University of Denver. He and his wife have twin boys currently attending Mountain Sage.

Jon Pointer

A mechanical engineer from CSU and a licensed Professional Engineer in CO., Jon joined the founding board in 2012 and is currently leading the long-term facilities committee. He is a father of two graduates from River Song, one MSCS grad now at Poudre HS, and one 7th grader at MSCS.

Eric Richardson, Secretary

Eric is a Software Engineer and Technical Manager with a B.S. in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He and his wife were drawn to Colorado in 1999 by Fort Collins and its active lifestyle. Their two children attend Mountain Sage.

Rachael Sudhalter, Vice President

Rachael has been active in several private and charter Waldorf schools thru the years. She hopes her creative and fiery energy brings great discussion and balance for a healthy social life. In her free time, she and her family enjoy playing Catan, traveling and rocking out to music.

Mary Wolf, Treasurer

Mary is a Colorado native who spends most of her free time with her husband and school aged children. Mary is an Executive Assistant at the local non-profit Animal Friends Alliance and has background in human resources, animal welfare and retail management.