LIVELY ARTS HOMESCHOOL DIRECTOR
From the moment Lynn came to MPCS in 2015 as a substitute teacher, she knew she was home. The Waldorf philosophy and way of teaching is in alignment with everything she feels and believes about teaching. This led her to teach full-time again at MPCS as a games and movement teacher for grades 1-3 and homeschool. She feels that her nearly 50-year career of working with and for children and families has come full-circle.
After starting her extensive career as an early childhood educator, Lynn went to work for Campfire Boys and Girls in Wichita, KS directing programs and camps. Then with the Lincoln, NE YMCA she taught preschool, served as a Youth and Family Director, and was the Environmental Educator for Camp Kitaki.
Moving out of non-profit work for nearly 15 years, she was a communications director for a large computer company, then at First National Bank of Omaha she managed a marketing department and served as an HR manager, specializing in organizational design and management training.
Her love for non-profit work with youth and families drew her back to Girl Scouts of Nebraska as Chief Operating Officer and finally, before retirement, she served at the YWCA – Women’s Center as the director for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program.
Lynn has certifications in early childhood education, experiential education, and Nature Explore Classrooms. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Sociology from Peru State College. She is also certified in developmental movement through the Waldorf Movement for Childhood program. Lynn has completed the Building Bridges Waldorf teacher program through the Center for Anthroposophy and Antioch University.
She has two grown children and three granddaughters. In her spare time, she likes to sing, tell stories, travel, and read.
Erin was born and spent most of her childhood in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Her family moved to the United States when she was in high school. After graduating from Pomona High School in Arvada, Erin moved on to the Colorado School of Mines where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. For the next decade, she worked in data analysis and finance for a large telecom company.
After a break from the workforce to raise her two children, Erin returned to data analysis and finance at another telecom company in Boulder. After several years of a draining commute and long hours, she decided to refocus her career in order to be closer to her children and work on their school schedule. She has been an employee of Mountain Phoenix since 2018 and thoroughly enjoys working with the Lively Arts program.
In her spare time, Erin enjoys reading, watching hockey games, traveling, playing pickleball, and spending time with her family and pets.
Ms. Erica is a Colorado native, growing up and currently living just down the road in Lakewood, Colorado. She graduated from The University of Colorado Denver with a Bachelor’s Degree in French with the intention of going on to teach high school. However, after having her own children (two of which are current MPCS students and one MPCS alumnus who will graduate high school in the 2021-2022 school year) she fell in love with the wonder of early childhood. Ms. Erica is ECT certified by the state of Colorado and thrives in continuing her education by attending numerous trainings in subjects ranging from “The Potentials of Cardboard” to
Ms. Erica has worked in an early childhood school setting for 15 years in many capacities including; teacher, trainer, and administrator. She has been a member of the MPCS faculty since 2018. She is excited to be joining the Lively Arts Homeschool program as a member of the Kindergarten teaching team. Seeing each moment of discovery as an opportunity for learning, she believes that children hold newness, wonder, creativity and hope. She believes that healthy, whole individuals make happy collaborators and she recognizes education as a collaboration between caretakers, a teaching community, the child, and their classmates. Above all, Ms. Erica regards listening as the greatest act of love, therefore working to create a safe classroom space where all members feel heard!
Ann has been in early childhood education for 20 years. She began as an assistant at a Montessori school in Conifer in 2001. As a single mom it seemed a natural course of action to study child development and pursue an occupation that would support the growth of her daughter, Juniper. In 2003, Ann received her primary teaching certification from The Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. She taught at the Montessori School of Evergreen and then for 10 years at Cornerstone Montessori in Golden.
Ann took a hiatus in 2017 and began working at a local organic farm. There she developed curriculum and lead a farm camp for children 7-10. During this time, she began volunteering with Jeffco Public library at a local pre-school as a "story-time lady." Ann also began working as a substitute teacher at Mountain Phoenix Community School where her daughter Lyla started first grade. Pre-COVID, Ann taught as an assistant in the Dandelion classroom in the ECE department of MPCS. The last year and her experience with the Waldorf philosophy lead Ann to a greater appreciation of a rhythmic home-based life as a global citizen and she is thrilled to be part of the Lively Arts Homeschool.
Ann is an amateur naturalist and bird watcher. She recently had her poem, Magdalena Lagoon, published in the Spring/Summer issue of the Cold Mountain Review.
Solomon St. John
LOWER GRADES TEACHER
Solomon has been a student and a teacher for most of his life. He attended 12 years at Denver Waldorf School then went to Massachusetts for undergrad at Hampshire College. His first experience working with children was at the Mizel Museum in Denver working for an art camp. He later worked at several schools around the Denver area including several public schools in Douglas county and a Montessori in Stapleton. Solomon has also taught English in several countries besides the United States. He taught at a private school in Esquipulas, Guatemala, an American School in Pachuca, Mexico and a public university in Bogota, Colombia. Solomon has worked at Mountain Phoenix community school for 7 years and Lively Arts Homeschool for the last 3. Solomon promotes creativity, humor and practical arts in his classroom. He values the hard work that homeschool families put into their students education. As a professional he prioritizes the individual needs and learning goals of all his students. He tries to stay mindful and present while teaching and applies the principles of restorative justice when conflicts arise.
A fun fact about Solomon is that he knows a lot about the wild edible plants that grow in Colorado.
UPPER GRADES TEACHER
Lauren is a dynamic educator who has worked in a diverse range of educational institutions spanning five countries and ten years. She has held a wide range of roles at these schools, parishes, and community centers from lead teacher to athletic coordinator. She has worked with students of all ages, from five years to adults, but most of her experience is with elementary and middle school students.
Now in her 4th year at Mountain Phoenix, she is a teaching assistant in a third grade class, as well as the upper grades teacher in the homeschool program. She holds a BA in English Literature with a minor in Spanish from the University of San Diego. She teaches Spanish to her homeschool class. While in college, Lauren ran for the cross country and track teams.
So far, her experience teaching abroad has been exclusively in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries but she is looking forward to using her recently acquired Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate to teach in a different region of the world in the future.
MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER
C.J. started her teaching adventure over 20 years ago when she stumbled randomly on a job working with 5th and 6th grade students at an outdoor science school in the mountains of California. That was it, she was hooked! She fell in love with teaching! After working in outdoor education for 4 years, she obtained her teaching credential in 2002 and has worked in education since. She stayed true to her outdoor education roots by starting an outdoor naturalist camp that she co-directed for 4 years.
Throughout her exploration of the Waldorf philosophy and her 6 years at Mountain Phoenix she has worn many hats. She brought a class from 5th grade through graduation in 8th grade which culminated in a community service project in Costa Rica, highlighting the importance of different perspectives throughout the world. For the last 2 years, she has worked both as the Middle School Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator for MPCS and as a Lead Classroom teacher in the Lively Arts Homeschool Program. She is also a member on several school committees that work towards the betterment of the school.
Besides her love of learning, she enjoys travel and brings her experiences back to the classroom when appropriate. Her first adventure was through a college course in which she studied wildlife management in Kenya, Africa. She also took a sabbatical from teaching to work for the United States Antarctica Program, and she spent two seasons at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. She loves to travel with her husband and MPCS 1st grader whenever they get the chance, whether it is local or far away. Some of C.J.’s favorite hobbies are art, building things, snowboarding, playing with family, making forts, playing billiards, whitewater rafting, hiking, and learning about history through travel.
SPECIAL SUBJECT TEACHERS
Cecilia was born in La Rioja, Argentina. She is a lawyer and her first language is Spanish. She moved to Denver in 2009 when she married her husband. When she lived in Argentina, she worked in the Senate and taught International Law in the University. Cecilia has been teaching and working as a Spanish tutor for 5 years. This is her 6th year as a Spanish teacher at Mountain Phoenix.
She loves teaching in the Lively Arts program. She always says that this is the most rewarding and enjoyable work that she has ever had. Working with children, she has the opportunity not only to teach Spanish, but to share Latin American culture through the use of storytelling, songs, plays, and even recipes that she used with her mom when she was a child.
Cecilia and her husband enjoy traveling to different countries and learning about other cultures, food, and people. She has visited 25 states in the US and 18 countries in Asia, Europe, South American, and Oceania. She loves to cook, knit, bake, and read, but teaching Spanish is one of her favorite activities.
Megan came to Colorado nearly 20 years ago when she and her husband heard the siren song from the East Coast. She grew up in Maine, received her BA in Latin and Classical Studies from Brandeis University, and later earned her Masters from CU Boulder in Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology. After working in museums for numerous years, her original plan to teach through exhibit programming took a different turn after the birth of her two children, both Mountain Phoenix students.
The love of fiber arts runs strong in Megan’s blood. Both grandmothers were craftswomen; one was a Home Economics teacher in the 1950s, and the other taught Megan the nearly lost art of tatting when she was 2-years-old. Megan taught herself to knit when she was 10 and hasn’t stopped since. She is adept at knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, embroidery, and hand sewing.
Megan is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the Homeschool Practical Arts program, as well as assist with the full-time grades students.
Jordin Dearinger graduated in 2018 from Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts, where he studied Music Therapy. Originally from Southern Maryland, Jordin grew up singing and playing many different kinds of brass, wind, and stringed instruments, and has 8+ years of extensive vocal training under his belt. Jordin moved to Denver in 2020 with the intention of finding innovative ways to pursue his passion for music while simultaneously giving back to the community. Having many years of experience working with children of all ages, Jordin hopes to always enrich the lives of the children he encounters by providing a safe space to be themselves, as well as providing a positive learning environment to encourage developmental and emotional growth.
Susie Frey is the proud owner of Altitunes. Susie enjoys spending her time facilitating music with families. Her favorite part is experiencing the excitement with the kiddos and bringing people together with music.
Susie received her undergraduate degree from VIterbo University in Vocal Performance. After graduating, she performed in the midwest area. Susie now enjoys singing with the Colorado Symphony Choir. Susie holds a Master's Degree in Music Therapy from Colorado State University and is a board certified music therapist (MT-BC).