Faculty

Lynn Pollitt, Homeschool Program Coordinator and Games Teacher

From the moment Lynn came to MPCS in 2016, as a substitute teacher, she knew she was home. She feels that her nearly 50-year career of working with and for children and families has come full circle. The Waldorf philosophy and way of teaching is in alignment with everything she feels and believes about teaching.

Lynn is certified in early childhood, has a Bachelor&’s degree in English and sociology from Peru State College and completed training in developmental movement through the Waldorf Movement for Childhood. Lynn is currently enrolled in Building Bridges program for Waldorf teacher education through the Center for Anthroposophy and Antioch University.

She has two grown children and three granddaughters. In her spare time she likes to travel, read, garden and play with her two Schnauzers- Friskin and Button.

Cecilia Alban, Spanish

148482-150x200Cecilia 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 second year as a Spanish teacher at Mountain Phoenix. 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 many countries in Asia, Europe, and South America. She loves to cook, knit, bake, and read, but teaching Spanish is one of her favorites activities.

Cecilia believes Mountain Phoenix is a great school and feels that she is working with amazing people. She hopes she can continue to be part of MPCS for many years to come.

Eve Panning, Orchestra Teacher

Eve Panning is an accomplished musician and educator with a passion for various styles of music. Eve began taking violin and piano lessons at the String Academy at Indiana University when she was just six years old. She was also exposed to a rich culture of traditional folk music that was an integral part of life in the small town she lived in with her family. Social gatherings revolved around music, from potluck get-togethers to the Tuesday night jam session in the Walmart produce department. These gatherings allowed Eve to experience the joy and community created by music, as well as develop a repertoire of fiddle tunes. This community of music provided a springboard for the Panning Family Band -also known as FiddleFire- that became a large part of Eve’s life. Performances included the National Fiddle Contest in Weiser, ID, appearances as guest artists with the Grand Rapid’s Symphony, and opening for Cris Cagle and Depue Brothers’ concerts. The family also performed as the headline band at contradance weekends throughout the midwest.

Eve continued to be active in the classical world. During college, Eve studied classically with Mihai Craioveanu at Hope College in Holland, MI. During this time she had numerous performance opportunities, including solo performances with the Hope College orchestra, performing in showcase concerts, presenting recitals, and even performing at a TEDx event. She also performed as a section violinist with the Holland Symphony, where she was a featured soloist after winning their concerto competition. While in college, Eve studied music education as well as violin performance. As she observed, taught, and traveled with student groups, Eve developed a passion for helping young musicians interact with multiple genres.

Immediately upon graduating, Eve underwent an extensive audition process and was selected as a member of Barrage 8, a choreographed, high energy string troupe. With Barrage 8, Eve completed tours of Europe, the United States, and Canada, and recorded an album with the group at a live-in studio in London, Ontario. Along with opportunities for performing and recording, work with Barrage 8 continued to fuel Eve’s passion for education. She served as a Courtesy Faculty Member and Artist in Residence at Florida Gulf Coast University, and led clinics in string programs across the United States. Most recently, Eve travelled to China with the Hollywood Film Music Orchestra to perform at a film festival in Nanjing.

In her spare time, Eve enjoys horseback riding, reading, hiking, and camping. She has spent multiple summers working on a guest ranch in Wyoming, where she developed and implemented a Kids’ Program, provided musical entertainment in the evenings, and had as many adventures as possible. She is excited to explore Colorado and be a part of the Mountain Phoenix Community.

Karen Smith, Handwork

142622-150x200Karen came to Mountain Phoenix while in search of a school that was a good fit for her son Riley. She found that and more. She discovered a wonderful, loving community with a teaching philosophy that fit right in with her own pedagogy. Karen has more than 20 years of experience teaching art to children of all ages. Much of that time was working with students in non-profit organizations. Karen believes art helps students to become life-long lovers of learning.

Karen is a multimedia artist who periodically shows her art in the Denver metro area. As an artist, she is constantly learning new materials and styles for creating her art. Her undergraduate studies were in sculpture and modern dance. She graduated from SUNY Potsdam in New York State, and she spent a year studying at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston and a semester abroad in England. Karen recently completed her Masters of Arts in Arts Education at University of Northern Colorado. Her thesis explored what curriculum best creates questioning learners.

When she is not making art or sharing her love of art with others, Karen can be found spending time with her husband and two children. She also loves gardening and plans someday to learn to play the guitar.

Susan Skokan, Kindergarten

Susan-bio-pic-150x200Susan has been caring for children full time since 2007. She dove in to Waldorf methods the summer of 2011. During that school year she cared for teacher’s toddler children, as well as providing before care for grades students and private after care for ECE students. After two years successfully running her own licensed, mixed-age home preschool; she was thrilled to return to Mountain Phoenix in 2014. She was the ECE Float and ASE Assistant and is now entering a full-time position as Laura’s assistant.

She took her ECE courses through FRCC and is a photography major at Metro. Susan earned her LifeWays Early Childhood Certification in May of 2013 – a “Sister to Waldorf” program that focuses on birth to age 7. Since 2011 she has attended as many of the WECAN monthly continuing education classes that Nancy Blanning hosts as she is able (9 during the 2012-2013 school year) and is currently in the Foundations studies that MPCS is hosting. She has been blessed to observe classes at six other Waldorf schools in the area and is a voracious reader – hungry for more and more knowledge of child development and Waldorf pedagogy.

Susan adores getting to know all the children at MPCS. She has two adored sons who have attended Mountain Phoenix for all of their schooling (barring preschool for the oldest).She especially loves to paint, felt wool, sing, garden and lazure. She loves to practice eurythmy, yoga and swim. She is enjoyed volunteering in one of the 3rd grade handwork classes and working on becoming better friends with knitting and crochet. She is inspired by these rhythmic yet dynamic days.

Over the summer she was the afternoon Grades Lead Teacher at Denver Waldorf’s Summer Camp and is coming away from that experience with new knowledge and exhilarated to dive back into early childhood.

Every day, she strives to take each moment as it comes, see the chance for meeting the children with spiritual reverence and remembering that THERE IS TIME! Over time, she finds this more and more true, especially using slow, gentle movements to give a child warm nurturing moments in their day. “It’s so fun when they want me to sing a song again and again, because I know they’ve enjoyed it.” Susan loves to watch leaves fall with them, discover snow, stare at the sky or a ladybug, tell stories, and just look into light-filled eyes.