Jessie was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. At 18 years old, she left the East Coast for the first time to attend Brigham Young University, where she received a B.S. in Early Childhood Education. She later obtained licensure in Early Childhood Special Education from Utah State University. Jessie is passionate about the importance of a child’s earliest years of life and finds joy in nurturing wonder and empowering families to embrace the opportunities of this unique window of childhood. She has had the privilege of teaching in a variety of settings, including early intervention preschool, Head Start, homeschool co-ops, Tinkergarten, Sports Academy Preschool in Logan, Utah, various English language learning programs, and (most importantly) at home with her 3 boys (ages 11, 8, and 6). On a typical day, you can find Jessie out adventuring with her 3 sons. Some of their favorite excursions include hiking, swimming, and exploring nature. They also love to visit museums and search for great books at the library to read together. After living in Peru for 1 ½ years and developing a deep love for its people, language, and culture, Jessie hopes to one day return to adventure there with her boys. Jessie loves children’s literature and storytelling, enjoys musical theater, delights in baking and trying new (mostly vegetarian) recipes, and values sharing the simple beauties that each season of the year brings with her family (although she struggles to fully embrace winter!). Jessie was first introduced to Waldorf education while living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and was immediately drawn to it. She incorporated some of its guiding principles into her home and personal philosophy, and dreamed of one day having the opportunity to embrace it more fully. She is thrilled to be a part of the Mountain Sunrise Academy family and to help educate the heads, hearts, and hands of its incredible students.
Elizabeth Barbosa grew up in Southern California and moved to Utah in 2021. She and her husband have 4 children that were homeschooled off and on. She was previously a Sunday school teacher and very much enjoys the company of little ones.
Elizabeth enjoys hanging out with friends and family, baking, cooking and gardening. She is very excited to join Mountain Sunrise Academy.
Katelyn is excited to return for another year as part of the Mountain Sunrise Academy Team! She has a lot of experience with Waldorf Education as she was a Waldorf student for many years. She enjoys music, cooking, theatre, and traveling.
Ryanne grew up in Southern California with her three younger siblings. She moved to Utah after High School and has lived here for four years now. Ryanne plans to graduate college as an orthopedic technician with a minor in art studies. She has no children of her own but is excited to work at MSA and be able to share her talents and passions with the students here. She loves plants and succulents even though she’s not super great at keeping them alive. Ryanne loves taking long road trips where she kayaks in lakes all over the west coast with her dog Charlie and one day she plans on having a pet skunk!
Alli is from Eagle Mountain, Utah, and graduated from Westlake High School in 2020. She is an avid fan of all things Marvel, Harry Potter, and Taylor Swift, and enjoys musicals, movies/tv shows, and books. Alli loves nature, camping, and being in the mountains, but hates the heat! She looks forward to sweater weather every year, and wears sweaters throughout the year, even during the summer. If you were to ask her what her favorite summer activities are, she would likely say, “camping, boating, and staying inside, pretending it’s not 80 degrees outside.” So, don’t be surprised to find her walking around wearing long sleeves, even if it’s a hot day outside!
Alli worked in a crisis nursery for just under a year, after volunteering there throughout her senior year of high school. She joined the MSA team as an aide in January 2021. She is extremely passionate about working with children and loves getting to spend time with them everyday at work. She hopes to eventually get her degree in elementary education and become a teacher herself. She is excited and optimistic about working at Mountain Sunrise Academy!
Trisha Vale is a graduate of Viewmont High School and has lived in Utah throughout her life. She is currently a resident of Eagle Mountain, where she has lived with her family for the past 18 years. Together with her husband of 24 years, she has dedicated her life to raising and nurturing their 3 children.
Trisha is an avid reader, TV show connoisseur, and loves exploring nature. But, her favorite hobby is spending time with her family. Her love of the ocean and bodyboarding take her and her family to California annually to enjoy the sun, waves, and of course, Disneyland.
Trish’s passion for serving others and love of youth has brought her to Mountain Sunrise Academy, where she plans to explore a career in education.
Elisa Brazell has a love for education and learning, having taught 5th and 6th grades in the past, but more recently, she has been sharing her love of music as a guitar instructor. She is also an entrepreneur, building an online business, Journey to Become. Elisa is passionate about self improvement and helping others to live up to their highest potential, through healthy living and healthy thinking. Being a checklist person, she loves to track things and create systems to help herself and others achieve success.
Elisa loves to hike, walk in the mornings and evenings, read and listen to great books, and play board and card games with her family and friends.
She is excited to be a part of the Mountain Sunrise community!
Aspen Meek is a recent graduate from the University of Utah with a BA in Environmental Sustainability. She is a lover and learner of organic gardening, permaculture and Biodynamics. She enjoys roller skating, frogs and the color purple. Her dream is to run her own sustainable/regenerative farm where there are lots of mini cows and all the produce that grows is purple (orchid purple to be exact).
Karee has been happily married to her husband Michael for over 38 years. They have two children and two granddaughters. Her family lived in Loveland, Colorado where Karee worked in the Thompson school district for many years as a special education paraprofessional. She moved back to Utah in 2004 and then became an early childhood center director for a licensed preschool and childcare program.
Susan grew up in Sandy, Utah and has since lived in Las Vegas and Montpelier, Idaho. She has three boys ages 22, 20, and 18 whom have all been raised right here in Saratoga Springs. Susan is looking forward to helping teach your wonderful children.