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!
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.
She loves being outdoors in nature, whether it is hiking to a sunlit waterfall or gliding through a snowy mountain vista. She has a passion for photography and finds joy in capturing little details or special moments that make life beautiful. She also loves creating arts and crafts, traveling, music festivals, birding, and being a cat-mom to her two fur babies.
Janae believe that students learn best when they are offered a tactile and enriching learning environment. She strives to understand each student's needs and concerns and let them shine in their individuality and talents. She is excited to be a teacher at Mountain Sunrise Academy!
Miranda is a recent graduate of Western Governor’s University and received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies K-8. Upon completing her student teaching at Manila Elementary School, she continued to work within the Alpine school district for the past two years as a Substitute Teacher and a Paraprofessional.
Growing up in West Jordan, she met her future husband as a teen (he was the grandson of her next-door neighbor). They later married, moved to Colorado Springs, and lived there for five years, until she moved back to the beautiful mountains of Utah and her family she had missed so much. She has been happily married to her best friend for 21 years, and her three kids are the greatest blessings in her life. She finds peace and tranquility being outdoors, and frequently takes in nature’s beauty…especially in the mountains that she loves so much. Some of her favorite things to do are camping with her family, going for long drives, watching movies and plays, as well as crafting.
When Miranda was first came across Waldorf education, she immediately fell in love with the pedagogy. She knows that each student is unique and has different needs, and that each child thrives in a safe and nurturing learning environment. She wants to ensure that each of her students can be successful, turn their weaknesses into strengths and help their strengths to become even stronger. Miranda is excited to begin the next adventure in her life, and to be a part of Mountain Sunrise Academy community.
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.
Kenna knew she wanted to be a teacher from the time she was a child growing up in central Florida. At age 18, she moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University and fell in love with the turning of the seasons here (something beautiful Florida doesn’t offer much of!). A few years later, she received a Master of Education from the University of Utah. She spent many of her teaching years in dual-language classrooms where song, drama, movement and visual arts are essential!
Kenna finds peace in nature, strength in yoga, refuge in the mountains, and connection through meditation. She is also passionate about parenting and teaching with the premise that the first step to connection with a child is to accept them as is. It is this acceptance that will allow the child to fly free. Kenna is excited to bring the benefits of these practices along with over a decade of teaching experience to Mountain Sunrise Academy!
Marta is SO excited to be 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!
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.
Catherine received a BS of Elementary Education from the University of Utah. She is a level 2 teacher that has spent many years educating children including 5 years as a third grade teacher. Prior to this, she worked as a 7th grade math tutor. She knows that learning is the natural result of doing. For this reason, she creates educational materials that cause students to look for patterns, make connections and delve deeper.
Some of her favorite teaching moments are with her family. She and her husband are the proud parents of eight wonderful children. They enjoy reading together, going on outings and spending time outdoors.
A few of her children’s accomplishments include DECA and FBLA state championships. Catherine is proudest of her family when they work to overcome a challenge.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” –Benjamin Franklin
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.
Shirley is excited to teach at Mountain Sunrise Academy! She was born in Rosebud, South Dakota on her Native American Indian Reservation and is proud to be a Native American Indian. She graduated from Brigham Young University in education and is certified in Speech and Language Pathology. She has taught for many years, and knows that all students can be successful, especially when they are given the freedom to explore and find their own best method of learning. Shirley loves to read, enjoys sports, jogging, crafts, sewing, traveling, and hanging out with her husband, children and grandchildren. She has completed the St. George Marathon many times. She loved serving as a Unit Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America. Shirley loves Waldorf pedagogy and is looking forward to being part of Mountain Sunrise Academy’s mission!
Jessica is originally from the Sacramento area of California, but has lived in Utah for the past 11 1/2 years. In addition, she is entering her 10th year teaching and just graduated with her masters of Fine Arts in Teaching Fine Arts. She has taught 5th, 6th, and 1st grade previously all over the Salt Lake and Utah Valley. She loves elephants, dark chocolate, and performing in musicals in her spare time. She is so excited to join Mountain Sunrise Academy.
Christian is an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University. He graduated with an MA in Comparative Studies from BYU with a thesis about Waldorf Education's founder Rudolf Steiner, among other things. He is fascinated by Waldorf pedagogy, and though he has no children of his own (yet), he wants to do everything he can to further Mountain Sunrise Academy's mission and to help the children of the future have strong hands, courageous hearts, and clever heads.
Miss Carol Ann Gregory was born and raised in the tree-covered hills of the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks. Craft Fairs, Bluegrass Festivals, Family Vacations Road-Trips, and Camping (in tents) are some of her favorite childhood memories. She attended College of the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri and started her teaching career in a local school after graduating with a B.S. in Speech/Theater Secondary Education. Carol moved to Utah in 2012, and has worked in a variety of school settings including both charter and public schools. She is currently attending BYU for a Master's degree in Educational Leadership Foundations in Policy Studies and School Administration.
Miss Gregory lives in Provo, Utah with her Noweigen Forest Cat, Nairobi. Her hobbies include crafting, home repairs, reading and writing (especially poetry), and learning new things. She is passionate about guiding people to improve and reach their fullest potential. If she had to describe herself in one-word, the top three on the list are Creator, Mother, Teacher.
Kyle Mack has lived all over the United States including: Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Florida. However, he considers Utah to be his home. He enjoys playing co-ed softball with his wife, board games, running, and having wrestling matches in the living room with his two children.
He has enjoyed mentoring youth for the past 8 years through athletics and other programs. His love to see young individuals grow and progress has led him to become an educator. Kyle is thrilled to begin his first year at Mountain Sunrise Academy. The last two years Kyle taught 7th and 8th grade science in West Valley, Utah.
Kyle believes that true learning is not solely academic memorization, but is achieved through meaningful experiences that enlighten and nourish the body, mind and spirit.
Chalice Maddox loves teaching, is an avid hat wearer, and once published a book. She has taught 6th grade for 4 years, 4th grade for 1, and is excited to begin her journey at Mountain Sunrise Academy. Her book is titled "The Point of Magic". In her spare time she attends a writing group and goes on impromptu road trips (this is how she found the ghost town Dragon).
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.
Hello, I am Mrs. Brighton. I am a former PTA President from a Montessori school in Kansas City. So, I embrace the philosophy of educating the whole child. I have been teaching for three years and I have a Masters degree in Instructional Technology from Utah State University and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the USU as well. This is my second year at a Mountain Sunrise Academy.
I believe that a child should be free to express himself or herself and should always feel like learning is a new and fun adventure each day. It is important to shape their minds, hearts and hands with positive healthy responses that will guide and inspire. I am excited to join with the faculty, parents and administration in creating a place where students can learn, grow and become great citizens of humanity.
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.