Becky is so excited to be a kindergarten teacher at Mountain Sunrise Academy! She has in early childhood education for over 10 years. During this time, she has had the privilege of serving a wide variety of children and families. Becky holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and recently graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marriage and Family Studies. Becky believes strongly in educating the whole child through developmentally appropriate curriculum that includes discovery and play. She also feel passionate about strengthening families and family well-being. Becky is aCalifornia native with a love for the ocean. She grew up camping at the beach and swimming in her pool. Becky recently moved to Utah to be closer to her family. Becky and her husband are high school sweethearts with 3 children, 2 children-in-laws, and 1 grandson. Becky loves scuba diving, camping, and most anything out in nature. She also enjoys cake decorating, eating whole foods, traveling, making jewelry, watching movies, and Disneyland.
Jo was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She received her education at University of Arizona, Brigham Young University and Utah State University. Jo holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and a B.A. in Special Education Certificates in Early Childhood Education and Waldorf Education. She has had thirty one years of teaching experience, including positions at elementary schools, high schools, and Waldorf Schools. Jo has a happy family that includes 12 children and 44 grandchildren, with two more on the way! Her keen interests are in reading, storytelling, art, handwork, nature, hiking and bird-watching. Jo loves children and truly believes that education is the most important work of all. To Jo, there is nothing more rewarding or satisfying. Jo believes Waldorf education provides a much-needed alternative to traditional schooling and she is thrilled to be a part of bringing it to more Utah families!
Marta is SO excited to be a 1st Grade teacher here at Mountain Sunrise Academy! Marta feels that Mountain Sunrise Academy is the school that she has been searching for her whole life! She believes it will fulfill her dream of creating a loving, nurturing, holistic environment for her students. Marta believes it will allow her to grow and to expand spiritually, emotionally, and physically. She also believes it will fulfill the dreams of countless families, who have also been searching for the perfect school to help their children achieve a high academic standard in the best environment possible. Marta has taught for over thirty years. She started out by homeschooling her own children. Then, Marta was asked to teach Grades 4-8 at a private school. Marta like it so well, she knew that she had to become a licensed teacher! Marta then spent six years completing a Bachelors in Elementary Education, Grades K-8 and a Masters in English Language Learning at Western Governors University. While going to school, Marta was a substitute teacher and instructor in the American Preparatory Schools, where she also completed her student teaching. After graduation, she became a licensed teacher and finally received her very own classroom while teaching 2nd Grade at Odyssey Charter School in American Fork! While teaching at Odyssey Charter, Marta did her student teaching to receive her Master's. Marta especially loved working with English Language Learners! She feels that they are precious, beautiful children and hold a special place in her heart! Recently, Marta upgraded her teaching license to a Level 2. Marta loves to learn and is always looking for opportunities to increase her knowledge and expertise. In her personal life, Marta loves to garden, grow flowers, and make dried flower arrangements. Her additional skills include knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and sewing. She is also a pretty good cook and baker! In her spare time, Marta likes to paint by number, work crosswords and do jigsaw puzzles. She adores being a mother and grandmother! Marta has eight children and forty grandchildren, with two more grandchildren due by the end of this year! Marta is very excited to begin this new chapter of her life!
Kathleen Somers grew up in Southern California where she attended the University of California, Riverside, earning her BA in English. She went on to receive her master’s degree from BYU, also in English, with an emphasis in early British literature and the works of Shakespeare. Kathleen enjoyed teaching English composition at BYU but came to realize her true passion is for early childhood education. While instituting a Waldorf-inspired homeschooling curriculum, she observed the powerful and meaningful effects of a rich and nurturing education on her own children and subsequently gained the desire to share this knowledge and these benefits with other children. Rudolf Steiner notably said, “Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom.” This is a guiding principle that animates Kathleen’s teaching philosophy.
Kathleen loves the theater arts, literature, photography, crochet, quilting, and all things outdoors. Above all, Kathleen adores her husband and four children with whom she loves to go kayaking, camping, and exploring in the mountains. Kathleen looks forward with great enthusiasm to the meaningful relationships and experiences to be cultivated year after year at Mountain Sunrise Academy.
Maggie Davis was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. She graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 2015 before moving to Utah to attend Brigham Young University. Maggie recently graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). During her senior year, she served as an intern teaching third grade at Art City Elementary in Springville, Utah. She is really excited about the opportunity to teach first grade! Aside from teaching and learning, Maggie enjoys art and making crafts. Finding ways to express her creativity is her favorite thing to do! She loves sweet treats, so baking is one of her favorite hobbies. She is a huge animal person, with cats and llamas being her favorites. Her family has three rescue cats named Gertie, Lucy, and Augusta. Maggie is passionate about Waldorf pedagogy and is so excited to help further Mountain Sunrise Academy’s mission.
In Simone's free time, she enjoys being outdoors, watching movies talking with loved ones, eating ice cream, and reading wonderful stories. Simone is excited for another year of exploring and learning new things!
Matthew Merkley is from American Fork, Utah. Matthew graduated from Southern Utah University in Political Science and received a Masters in Education from the University of Phoenix. He has taught K-12 and excels at meeting students at their level and learning how to best help each student progress and become the best they can be.
Matthew is married and has two children. He has lived in various places. He especially enjoyed living in the Dominican Republic where he learned Spanish and has continued to help translate Spanish to English during his employment.
Matthew is talented in language arts, has a love of history, books, art theater, music, and animals. In his free time, he enjoys reading, watching interesting documentaries, being outdoors, hiking and camping, and he recently took up oil painting. Matthew enjoys serving and teaching and looks forward to working with the great students and children at Mountain Sunrise Academy.
Sarai is a recent graduate of Utah Valley University with a BS in Philosophy. She grew up in sunny Southern California, and though she misses the coastline, she loves Utah's autumn. She is familiar with Waldorf teachings and practices, having graduated 8th grade at the Waldorf School of Orange County as a child, and attending the high school there. She is passionate about education, critical thinking, interfaith work, and good food. She lives in Vineyard with her husband, Joe and sweet son, Forrest.
Charlene Johnson has been a teacher for 8 years. Charlene holds three Bachelor of Arts Degrees (Education, Special Education, and Business Administration). She also has a Masters in Education, with an emphasis on how movement impacts learning. Charlene has taught students K-12th grade in a wide range of subjects including, math, language, science, business and many other areas. She believes each student brings a unique gift to the world that only they can impart and that it is a teacher's job to create an environment that motivates each student's desire to learn.
Charlene lives in Herriman, Utah with her husband, five ducks, four chickens, three rabbits, two cats, one dog and a soon to be baby goat. She loves to garden, cook, can, sew, quilt, embroidery, and crochet. Her desire to always learn began at age three in an art class in Logan, Utah.
Charlene is elated to be part of the Mountain Sunrise Academy team. She looks forward to helping each student to reach new heights and to inspiring them to be life-long learners and contributors in our global community.
Megan Mitchell graduated from Utah Valley University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Master of Business Administration in 2019 from Western Governor’s University. Megan’s volunteer experience includes the following: Literacy and math tutor, Republican Caucus President, Homeowner’s Association President, and various Primary and Relief Society presidencies. Additionally, she served a mission in Spain—Barcelona, and is a fluent reader, writer, and Spanish Speaker. Her work experience includes multiple supervisory positions at financial institutions, substitute teaching roles (K-5, Art, Technology, P.E.), as well as an ESL public school liaison. Megan currently lives in Highland with her husband and 3 children (two sons, 13 & 11, & daughter, 9). She enjoys walking with friends, Iceberg chocolate peanut butter shakes, running 100 miles with her children (1 mile at a time), and rollerblading.
Even is the son of an educator and an artist. He was raised in California, but felt Waldorf Education was a true homecoming. Even has 2 years experience teaching Waldorf and over 20 years classroom experience. He holds a BA in the Study of World religion from UCLA. He loves yoga, baking, gardening, carpentry, backpacking, snowboarding, biking and longboarding with his chocolate Labrador, Enzo. Even has volunteered as a wildflower guide for the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation with his wife Elise and has an earnest interest in local ecosystems. He believes communities are bonded when people share music and stories. Even lives in Sandy, Utah with his wife and two children.
Mrs. McDonald is honored to be part of Mountain Sunrise Academy. She loves ancient literature, poetry, and all of the fine and performing arts. Her love of Waldorf education began at Brigham Young University. At BYU, Mrs. McDonald read about Agency Education and she discovered that the only schools in existence that practiced this type of education were the Waldorf schools. She resonated, in particular, with Rudolf Steiner's philosophical base of understanding that the child comes to us, not as a blank slate, but with an individual mission to perform in the world. It is her hope to allow the light within each student to shine during this school year.
Parents have the right to request and receive information on the qualifications of their child's teacher. If you have any questions or want more information please contact the school's director.