Meet Our Team

Meet our faculty and staff who engage with your students daily to understand who they are and how they learn. Teacher-Student relationships are the foundation of a student’s educational journey.

Shawn Kelly

Chief Executive Officer & Mountain Academy Head of School

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Shawn Kelly

Shawn Kelly was named TSS Chief Executive Officer in September 2021. He also serves as the Mountain Academy Head of School.

Shawn’s professional journey in education started during his time working with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Sri Lanka on a reef conservation project and assisting with the development of a shrimp farm. He had the opportunity to lecture at several universities and international schools on the importance of marine resources in the tropics. Shawn also had previous summer experience teaching filmmaking and physics to high school students, and all together, these educational opportunities convinced him to dedicate his professional life to the pursuit of education. Over the course of his career, Shawn has taught a myriad of courses in both the sciences and the humanities to students ranging from preschool to the undergraduate level. He values the transformative power of experiential education and has made it a point to help students engage with their learning in a way that connects course material to their lives. Most recently, Shawn held head-of-school roles at two independent schools: St. Peter’s School in Philadelphia, PA, and The McClelland School in Pueblo, CO. Shawn graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a B.A. in Marine Affairs. He earned an M.A. in teaching and learning from the Harvard School of Education. Shawn and his wife, Tiffany, have two children, Eva (9) and Jack (2). Relocating from Colorado Springs, CO, they look forward to exploring their new backyard and connecting with the local communities.

Claire Lewis

Executive Assistant to the CEO and Head of School

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Claire Lewis

Claire Lewis joined Teton Science Schools in the fall of 2022 as Executive Assistant to Shawn Kelly, CEO. Previously, Claire worked in Enrollment Management at an independent all girls school in the Philadelphia suburbs. Claire supports Shawn in his leadership role in the daily operation of Teton Science Schools and Mountain Academy, and the Board of Directors and standing committees in their ongoing governance. Claire enjoys belonging to an organization which has, at its core, the principles of best practice in placed-based education. She was drawn to TSS by its committed educators and connections to people, place and nature.

Claire loves daily early morning walks with her two dogs, and likes to read, knit, and cook dinner for friends. She is actively involved in stream restoration work, stormwater management and the preservation of green space in her community.

Leila Poutiatine

Associate Head of School, Teton Valley Campus

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Leila Poutiatine

Raised in New England, Leila first experienced the majestic mountains of the west at college in CO. Comforted by the humbling impact of living near vast natural places, she settled on the CA coast for 18 years before moving with her family to Teton Valley in 2018. Her own early fascination with exploring the natural world led her to pursue a BS in biology from Smith College. She put her science skills to use teaching 7th grade biology when she launched her career in independent schools in 1994. Most recently she has been honing her love of teaching and learning in schools committed to honoring the natural curiosity and wonder inherent in unique learners of all ages.

Heather Zuckerman

Director of Studies

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Heather Zuckerman

Heather joined Mountain Academy in 2021 and is currently the Director of Studies. She was drawn to Mountain Academy because of its amazing students, collaborative teachers and the opportunity to be creative in her pedagogy.

When Heather isn’t at school she enjoys spending time with her family, Dan and her daughter Waverly, skiing in the Tetons and exploring our beautiful surroundings.

Catherine Maguire

Lower School Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Catherine Maguire

Catherine first came to Mountain Academy back when it was called Journey School when she was visiting a college roommate (Molly Nash!) and she fell in love with the school and its mission. Catherine was determined to find a way back to the valley permanently. She waited quite a number of years, but in 2019 she was able to make the move from NYC to Jackson Hole and has been with Mountain Academy ever since. From the first walk around campus, Catherine knew that she loved the amazing amount of light and nature that came in through those floor to ceiling windows in the lower school buildings — especially after years in the basement of a public school building in NY.

Outside of teaching, and preparing to teach, Catherine loves to do puzzles (and frame them when they’re done), play with her puppy Lebowski, tend to her raspberry bushes, cross country ski, rollerblade and soak up as much sun as possible — with sunscreen of course!

Dan Zuckerman

Director of Community Life

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Dan Zuckerman

Dan has been at Mountain Academy for three years serving as a Middle School division head and Director of Student Life. His daughter is a 4th grade student on the Teton Valley Campus of Mountain Academy. Dan was drawn to the flexible, common sense, celebratory nature of Mountain Academy. He enjoys being able to develop learning experiences that are responsive to the passions of his students.

When Dan is off campus you can find him skiing, hiking, woodworking, tinkering with small engines, gardening and seeking wild places.

David Porter

Head of Upper School, Jackson Campus

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David Porter

David was drawn to Teton Science Schools in 2001 to teach in and lead the Upper School. Since then, he has honed his craft in the English classroom to include place-based and project-based education approaches and to deliver the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The most fulfilling aspect to working at TSS is centered around relationships: collaborating with peers across the organization and working with students to help them become confident, life-long learners. And, David loves Jackson Hole, its inspiring people and stunning mountains and rivers. David was drawn to the area because of TSS’s reputation for being a national leader in experiential, hands-on learning, and the area is perfect for his active, outdoor lifestyle.

David enjoys spending time with his family, cycling on single-track and asphalt, reading, fishing, skiing, and hunting.

Elsa Rall

Office Manager, Jackson Campus, Middle School Faculty

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Elsa Rall

Elsa completed a remote AmeriCorp term with the Teton Science Schools during the summer of 2020 where she established a great appreciation for place-based education and the TSS community. Most recently, her experience as a Mountain Academy preschool summer faculty member reinforced her passion to inspire young learners through outdoor education and by sharing her passion for the natural world. While at William & Mary, she played division one lacrosse and earned a degree in history with a minor in anthropology, which guided her to pursue a masters degree in American studies. Her enthusiasm for history and the environment emerges in her masters research focused on women in the American West and the Adirondacks in conjunction with the environment. These experiences strengthened Elsa’s belief in creating an inclusive, understanding, and empowering environment, while also allowing students to grow simultaneously with the world around them.

John Morgan

Director of Development and Outreach

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John Morgan

John wishes he grew up going to Teton Science Schools! Fortunately, he gets to experience the school through the eyes of his daughter. Since 2017, John has worked closely with independent school families as a member of the Development and Admissions departments. Every day, John welcomes prospective new students to our campuses and helps current parents deepen their engagement with the school. As part of our Leadership Team, John shares the perspective of student parents and families from both campuses. If you would like to become more involved with your student’s school experience, John is a great resource.

Porsche Adams

Registrar, Enrollment Data Manager

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Porsche Adams

Porsche joined Mountain Academy in 2021 as the registrar and recently began working with admissions in addition to her registrar role in 2022. Porsche was drawn to Teton Science Schools and Mountain Academy through a desire for mission based work with a love of nature and passion for education.

When not working, Porsche enjoys travel, photography, journaling, reading and playing video games.

Becca Thomas

Lower School Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Becca Thomas

Prior to moving to Jackson Hole, WY Becca wanted to find a program that supported her philosophy that children learn by doing and exploring the natural world around them. Mountain Academy was a perfect example of why she loved teaching and it was a place where she could continue to flourish as a teacher and learner.

Outside of school Becca is a mom of 5 (one out the door) and four here in Jackson, WY. They love to play and get outside! Skiing, swimming, hiking, camping, fishing, and biking are activities that BEcca and her family love to enjoy! She is a lover of music, dance, and art and she is always looking for beauty within the natural world. Becca loves to identify flowers, trees, and wildlife and understand their life cycle and habitat.

Amelia Nebenzahl

Upper School Humanities Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Amelia Nebenzahl

Amelia joined Mountain Academy in 2019. She teaches 9th and 10th grade Humanities as well as 11th and 12th grade Theory of Knowledge. She is also an 11th and 12th grade advisor. Amelia spent much of her early career facilitating transformative experiential education opportunities for teens. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of place based education that allows students to connect what they are learning with their own lives and experiences while recognizing their influence in the larger world.

Amelia loves almost any activity involving snow or moving water. She’s also a big fan of a beautiful bike ride to check out some epic views and is an avid lover of theater.

Beth Caputi

Director of College Counseling

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Beth Caputi

Beth has spent over 20 years in college counseling roles, both at the college and school levels. She joined Teton Science Schools in 2017, where she offers upper school students highly personalized attention to help them showcase their individual qualities and unique place-based high school experience. Beth visits the Jackson campus from her home in Maine six times a year to work directly with students and their families; she is always available for virtual meetings throughout the year. Beth earned her BA in Psychology from Williams College and received a Public Policy Fellowship from the Coro Foundation in New York City. She loves getting to know so many wonderful Teton Science School students and their families.

Brooks Taylor

Middle School Faculty and Middle School Co-Division Coordinator, Teton Valley Campus

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Brooks Taylor

Brooks joined Teton Science Schools through the Graduate Program in 2018, and Mountain Academy the following year as a teaching fellow. Brooks currently is a Division Coordinator and Humanities faculty on the Teton Valley Campus Brooks was drawn to Mountain Academy through his love of hands-on, experiential, and Place Based Education. Brooks has been immersed in “place” from studying the Civil War at Gettysburg College as an undergrad, to retracing the Lewis and Clark trail in a homemade canoe.

Outside of teaching, Brooks is a fishing guide for Three Rivers Ranch in Warm River, Idaho and lives with his wonderful girlfriend and dog, Katie and Leo.

Chris Philbin

Preschool Faculty, Teton Valley Campus

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Chris Philbin

Chris was born in Rhode Island and moved to Teton Valley about 18 years ago. He has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Granite State College and has worked as a teacher for the past 12 years. Chris enjoys children’s curiosities and provides opportunities for children to build positive relationships, build empathy, and spark creativity through the wondrous world of play and engaging experiences. He enjoys spending time with his wife, three children, and dog, snowboarding, hiking, swimming, camping, cooking, and playing music.

Christa Carson

Upper School Math Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Christa Carson

Christa Carson joined Mountain Academy in 2020 and currently teaches Upper School Math and Science. Mountain Academy’s creative educational approach appeals to Christa as a teacher of science. She relishes the opportunity to anchor learning in place-based, relevant issues.

Outside of the school building, Christa spends time on graduate work toward a Master of Science in Science Education in addition to developing her small business creating hand-thrown pottery and teaching pottery courses through the Art Association of Jackson Hole. She also takes every opportunity to get outside and play in our incredible backyard.

Danny Martin

Preschool Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Danny Martin

Danny arrived in Jackson Hole first through the Teton Science Schools Graduate Program in 2019 following nearly a decade of sharing his passion for the natural world with young people in unique experiential learning environments. He spent two years teaching in the lower school on the Jackson Campus, in the 4/5 classroom and the K/1 classroom, and is now an outdoor explorations teacher in Early Childhood Education. Danny was drawn to Mountain Academy for its whole-child approach and its focus on social-emotional and nature-based learning.

In his free time, Danny may be found in the woods hiking, biking or reading in a hammock, at home cooking, meditating or playing board games with friends, or dancing anytime the mood strikes.

Elise Pierce

Preschool Faculty, Preschool Co-Division Coordinator, Teton Valley Campus

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Elise Pierce

Elise Pierce joined the preschool team on the Teton Valley Campus in 2019 and has been there ever since. She was drawn to the early childhood program’s focus on hands-on, place-based, emergent curriculum and building relationships with the natural world both in and outside of the classroom.

When Elise is not teaching, she is traveling to far away places, spending time with family and friends, playing outside, digging in flowers, veggies, and growing things in the garden.

Hannah Pagel

Middle and Upper School Science Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Hannah Pagel

Hannah first worked with Teton Science Schools through leading stargazing programs for Field Education groups. She joined the Mountain Academy faculty in 2019 and teaches middle and upper school science. Hannah was drawn to Mountain Academy by the opportunity to use hands-on experiences to combine her passion for science education with her love for exploring the natural world.

When she’s not in the classroom, Hannah can be found hiking in the Tetons or stargazing with her telescope.

Heidi Kohler

Fine Arts Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Heidi Kohler

Heidi’s son, Leo attended 8th grade at the formerly called Journeys School of Teton Science Schools in 2013/14. Heidi completed her student-teaching for her Wyoming certification during that year and got hired as the Art teacher starting in 2014. Heidi was originally drawn to the school’s unique location. The connection to Teton Science School and its deep foundation in Place Based Education was another important attraction. Furthermore, Heidi enjoyed the various community building efforts and activities that were carried out by the teachers during the school year.

Heidi enjoys Skiing, hiking, biking, paddle boarding, drawing, painting, reading, cooking and eating delicious food.

Jan Suiter

Lower School Faculty, Teton Valley Campus

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Jan Suiter

Jan Suiter joined the Teton Valley Campus Mountain Academy team as part time support staff for 4/5 in 2021-2022. Jan will be assisting 4/5 again, and “float” as needed throughout the TVC campus. Jan recently retired from a place-based education school in Hawaii. Discovering Mountain Academy right here in Teton Valley, (which she also calls home), happily brought her out of retirement.

Jan is an avid swimmer and has been involved in aquatics for over 30 years. She volunteers for Teton Valley Aquatics, and feels passionate about water safety education.

Kate Swisher

PreKindergarten Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Kate Swisher

Kate received her Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing with Honors from Whitman College, and has since celebrated powerful storytelling within learning environments. Kate got her start in primary education as an intern for the San Francisco-based nonprofit, 826 Valencia, and later worked as an assistant Kindergarten teacher within the California public school system. Seeking to find ways to merge her love of the natural world, limitless imagination, and passion for inquiry based learning, Kate found her way to TSS, first as an AmeriCorps member and now as a teacher on the Preschool team! She describes herself as a lifelong learner who constantly seeks inspiration from her students.

Katie O’Connell

Lower School Faculty, Teton Valley Campus

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Katie O’Connell

Katie O’Connell started at Teton Science Schools (TSS) in the Graduate program in 2018. After completing her Masters in Place Based Education and a fellowship on the Teton Valley Campus Katie stayed on the team as a K/1 teacher. This is Katie’s fourth year on the Teton Valley Campus in K/1. Katie loves TSS because of its sense of community and connection to the natural world. Place-based Education and Project-Based Learning are two passions of Katie’s and special parts of this school for her.

While not in the classroom, Katie can be seen walking her dog Spud, hiking, running, skiing, and working on lots of crafts.

Katie Rose Griffith

Director of Farm and Garden, Outdoor Education

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Katie Rose Griffith

Katie Rose Griffith joined Mountain Academy in 2017, after spending time working for Mountain RootS Education in the garden. She is currently the farm and Garden and Outdoor Education Director. Katie Rose was drawn to the experiential learning through outdoor classrooms at the Teton Valley campus garden.

When Katie Rose isn’t teaching she is in the mountains and visiting the ocean.

Kelsey Mitchell

Upper School Science Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Kelsey Mitchell

Kelsey joined the Mountain Academy team in 2019 and has enjoyed working in both the Lower and Upper School communities. She currently teaches science in the Upper School. As someone who began connecting nature and learning at an early age, Kelsey was drawn to Teton Science Schools’ commitment to place-based education and meaningful outdoor experiences.

When Kelsey isn’t teaching she enjoys spending time with family, reading, playing volleyball, horseback riding and rafting.

Kelsie Leu

Middle School Faculty and Middle School Co-Division Coordinator, Teton Valley Campus

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Kelsie Leu

Kelsie started her journey at Teton Science Schools in 2014 as an AmeriCorps member. She then worked in Field Education as a lead instructor and eventually a faculty member. Kelsie joined Mountain Academy in 2020 and teaches middle school math, science, and project lab on the Teton Valley Campus. Through her professional experiences in environmental education and youth development, Kelsie cultivated a teaching philosophy that prioritized the intersection of place and people. She is eager to develop the next generation of leaders and thinkers who are curious about the world around them.

In her free time, Kelsie enjoys exploring the surrounding mountain ranges on foot and on bike.

Lee Zderski

Learning Support Team Coordinator, Teton Valley Campus

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Lee Zderski

Lee Zderski joined TSS at the beginning of the 21-22 school year, as a Learning Specialist and Faculty Member. She continues her role as a part of the Learning Support Team on the TVC campus. Lee was drawn to Mountain Academy’s dedication to Place Based Education (PBE). Lee is also IB PYP certified, she embraces how IB brings the real world into the classroom while honoring the child’s attributes. She believes PBE takes an additional step to this by facilitating real world experiences within our students’ community, environment, culture and history.

Skiing has drawn Lee and her family to the valley for over twenty consecutive years. Lee also loves to read, play tennis, and cook. Exploring the beauty of ‘home’ with her family is a priority.

Lulu Orne

Preschool Faculty & Preschool Co-Division Coordinator, Teton Valley Campus

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Lulu Orne

Lulu started at Mountain Academy in the summer of 2019 in the Early Childhood program. Lulu currently works in the Early Childhood program on the Teton Valley Campus where she is the ‘Outdoor Explorations Lead Teacher’. Lulu is passionate about supporting children in developing their personal relationships to the land and supporting children in developing confidence and self-knowledge through ‘risky play’ and inquiry.

When not at school, Lulu can be found exploring the mountains and rivers of Teton Valley with her dog Gus, sitting at her sewing machine, or working on her in depth analysis of the Twilight Saga.

Megan Cobb

Lower School Faculty, Lower School Division Coordinator, Jackson Campus

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Megan Cobb

The keystone of Meghan’s educational foundation was her experience at Tower Hill School in Wilmington, DE. While at this college-preparatory independent school, Meghan learned the importance of engaging in an educational experience that focuses on the development of its students as inquisitive, creative and character driven individuals in a diverse world. Mountain Academy’s mission and core values drew Meghan to apply for the 1st year preschool role in 2021. She has enjoyed building community and growing as a professional educator at Mountain Academy. Meghan’s passion for education is fundamentally rooted in creating an environment that cultivates team building and partnership, mutual respect, collective responsibility.

Outside of the classroom, you can find Meghan fishing, hunting, hiking or camping with her husband. She also coaches for Jackson Hole Lacrosse Club.

Molly Nash

Lower School Faculty, Teton Valley Campus

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Molly Nash

Molly began teaching as a Journeys School intern at Teton Science Schools in 2015. She taught all sorts of things in the lower school before settling into kindergarten and first grade. Molly taught on the Jackson Campus until the 21-22 school year, when she transitioned to the Teton Valley Campus. Molly experienced place based education as a student and believes wholeheartedly in the power of authentic learning opportunities. She is grateful to teach and learn in a community that values the natural world and its stewardship.

Molly loves to learn. Her latest hobbies include gardening, canning, and embroidery. Molly also enjoys hiking with her dog, Otis, and swimming no matter how cold the water is. Her perfect day would include reading in her hammock on the front porch, cooking with friends, and a swim in the river.

Nora Suman

Learning Support Team Coordinator, Jackson Campus

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Nora Suman

Nora joined Mountain Academy in 2021 as the 2nd/3rd grade teacher on the Jackson Campus. She is currently the Early Childhood-12th grade Learning Support Coordinator at the Jackson Campus. Nora was drawn to the Grand Tetons, cooler temperatures, and simpler small town life amongst the National Parks. Mountain Academy reinforced her passion for supporting all learners, while spending time in the outdoors.

When Nora isn’t teaching, she is sitting in her hammock relaxing and being present with her dog Odin nearby. She also enjoys going on long walks along Snake River as well as sitting by the campfire with her friends.

Paige Fisher

Prekindergarten Faculty, Preschool Division Coordinator, Jackson Campus

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Paige Fisher

Paige Fisher attended the TSS Graduate Program in 2014-2015 and then went on to earn her Master’s Degree at the University of Wyoming. She returned to TSS in 2016 as a preschool faculty member on the Jackson Campus. Paige is now the Director of the Jackson Campus Preschool and loves teaching our youngest learners. Mountain Academy Preschool believes that the Reggio Emilia Philosophy and Nature Based Practices is how our youngest learners do place-based education well. This matches her own beliefs in the profoundness of teaching about nature through a sense of place and letting our youngest members be the drivers of their own learning. She is deeply passionate about early childhood education, believes in the capacity of children and strives to inspire curiosity, joy and empathy in children through their play and discovery of the world around them. Paige believes that Mountain Academy is a place where this magic happens each and every day.

When Paige isn’t teaching she loves spending time exploring the Tetons, floating the Snake, enjoying good food with her husband and friends or spending time relaxing with her cat Chipi.

Steve Spence

Upper School Math Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Steve Spence

Steve Spence embarked on a second career after working in high tech for many years. He got his teaching credential and a Masters of Arts in Education and is starting his third year as a full-time Math teacher at Mountain Academy’s Jackson Campus. Previously he taught AP Computer Science and Math at an all-girls Catholic high school in California. Steve was drawn by the outdoor science emphasis and the journeys taken by upper school students.

When Steve isn’t teaching he enjoys fly fishing, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, skiing, reading good books, and traveling.

Tim Gruber

Lower School Faculty, Lower School Division Coordinator, Teton Valley Campus

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Tim Gruber

Tim Gruber joined the Mountain Academy community in the fall of 2021 as a lower school faculty member on the Teton Valley Campus (TVC) and now serves as the Division Coordinator for the lower school on the TVC. Tim loves the unique opportunity to form deep relationships with kids, families, colleagues, and community members.

Outside of the classroom you can find Tim running, reading, and sharing stories.

Zach Singer

Fine Arts Faculty, Music, Jackson Campus

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Zach Singer

From the moment he first stepped on stage as a teenager, Zach has had a passion for musical performance. This led him to perform in some of the greatest music halls in the world with some of the most talented and wonderful people. After earning his Master of Music Performance from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2014, Zach moved to Jackson Hole to spend a summer with his sister. Since then, he has been an active part of the community as a musician and educator. His love of music is something he is happy to share with the students at the Jackson Campus.

Nate Musser

Counselor

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Nate Musser

Nate is the school counselor for Mountain Academy and started this role in the summer of 2022. He was drawn to the history of what Mountain Academy and Teton Science Schools represents and for the potential of what the organization can be.

In his free time, Nate can be found spending time in the mountains with his dog Murphy or playing pickleball (without his dog Murphy).

Melissa Hafter

Spanish Department Chair

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Melissa Hafter

Nate is the school counselor for Mountain Academy and started this role in the summer of 2022. He was drawn to the history of what Mountain Academy and Teton Science Schools represents and for the potential of what the organization can be.

In his free time, Nate can be found spending time in the mountains with his dog Murphy or playing pickleball (without his dog Murphy).

Tiffany W. Kelly

Mountain Academy Director of Enrollment Management and Interim Head of Client Engagement and Experience for Teton Science Schools

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Tiffany W. Kelly

Tiffany is a Mountain Academy parent for her daughter, Eva, as well as the Mountain Academy Director of Enrollment Management and Interim Head of Client Engagement and Community Engagement for Teton Science Schools. Tiffany was drawn to the Teton Science Schools because of the hands-on-learning and focus on the outdoors to deliver a more meaningful education for all.

When Tiffany isn’t on campus you can find her running, spending time with her family, cooking or baking, and reading.

Courtney Popp

Office Manager, Teton Valley Campus

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Courtney Popp

Courtney Popp is the office manager on the Teton Valley Campus. Courtney appreciates the like-minded, outdoor based community at Mountain Academy and the ways in which the community feels like home. She was drawn to the Place Based Education model that the school has because it is much like the education Courtney grew up with, which aligned with her passions and beliefs.

When Courtney is not in the office she enjoys practicing/teaching yoga, fly fishing on the rivers and snowboarding on a powder day in the winter.

Kerry Keating

Upper School Humanities Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Kerry Keating

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Alison Missler

Middle School Faculty and Division Coordinator, Jackson Campus

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Alison Missler

Alison Missler currently serves as the Division Coordinator for the JC middle school and teaches English. With small class sizes and a focus on full student development, MA allows for Alison to focus on what she cares about most: creating learning that moves beyond the classroom walls.

When she isn’t in her classroom, Alison can be found reading, writing, or exploring somewhere outside.

Matt Bisk

Middle School Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Matt Bisk

Matt was a graduate of the Teton Science Schools Graduate Program in 2021. After some time spent that year on the Teton Valley Campus, Matt joined the Jackson Campus faculty to instruct middle school math. Matt came to Mountain Academy for the opportunity to build community through place-based education. By connecting learning to the human and more than human communities in the area, he is hoping that students can engage in a holistic learning approach to math.

Matt can be found hiking or backpacking on trails in both the Teton and Gros Ventre ranges, hopefully to a lake or creek in which he can take a dip. Otherwise he can be found reading, practicing yoga, biking, cooking, playing board games, listening to music, or watching new films.

Anna Varley

Lower School Teaching Fellow, Jackson Campus

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Anna Varley

Anna graduated from the TSS graduate program in June 2022 and is now a teacher’s assistant with the JC Lower School. Anna was drawn to TSS because of their place based ideologies and their focus on building a strong community.

When Anna isn’t teaching she enjoys spending her time outdoors or sharing the joy of reading with her other job at the Valley Bookstore.

Claire Johnson

Learning Support Team Specialist, Lower School Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Claire Johnson

Claire is new to Mountain Academy this fall, as a Kindergarten/First Grade Teacher and as a Learning Support Team Specialist. Claire is most excited to be teaching elementary students to read, write and spell using her science of reading, structured literacy skill sets and approach in combination with the Mountain Academy’s brand new structured literacy curricula. She has learned that explicitly teaching students to read in a sequenced and systematic way ensures that most students will learn to read proficiently.

When Claire isn’t teaching, she enjoys spending time studying, hiking, playing tennis, cross country skiing, snowboarding or watching her daughter’s gymnastics meets.

Trisha Lavery

Lower School Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Trisha Lavery

During Trisha’s time as a fellow at Walking Mountains Science Center, which was modeled after the Teton Science Schools graduate program, Trisha taught natural science based field programs to students throughout the Vail Valley- while simultaneously taking courses in science education. Trisha began her journey at Teton Science Schools as an instructor in field education. From there, she went on to co-teaching the K-1 class of Mountain Academy on the Jackson Campus. Most recently, Trisha has taken on the role of Lower School Science Faculty on the Jackson Campus. She is passionate about the power of place-based education and its ability to deepen the connection between students and their communities. Mountain Academy’s location within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem makes it a glorious place to explore science through a place-based lens.

Outside of school, Trisha is an avid fly fisher, skier, and artist.

Grace Werner

Preschool Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Grace Werner

Grace Werner joined TSS in the summer of 2022 as the Coordinator of Preschool Summer Camps. She is now teaching preschool in the first-year program on the Jackson Campus. She strongly believes outdoor education is one of the best avenues for helping students build understanding and compassion for themselves, their peers, their mentors, and the natural world around them. Paired with the Reggio Emilia philosophy of Mountain Academy’s preschool, Grace gets to support our youngest learners in pursuing their authentic curiosities that leads to whole-hearted learning.

Grace loves to hit the ski slopes and hiking trails. Paddle the snake in a canoe and sleep in a tent when possible. After school, She relaxes with a walk and a good audiobook.

Claire Caputi

Preschool Faculty, Jackson Campus

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Claire Caputi

Claire is the after school coordinator and assistant faculty for Pre-Kindergarten on the Jackson Campus. She is excited by the unique beauty of both Mountain Academy campuses, as well as the magical places we get to explore through journeys. Seeing this place through the eyes of our youngest students has reinforced Claire’s joy for learning and exploring the outdoors.

Besides spending time at the Pre-Kindergarten, Claire enjoys playing music with her friends, hanging out on the water, and when the winter rolls around she tries to ski as much as she can.

Allison Swan

Preschool Faculty, Teton Valley Campus

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Allison Swan

Allison started working with Mountain Academy in 2021 as the after school teacher and is now a full time preschool faculty member on the Teton Valley Campus. Allison was drawn to the place-based, nature-based early childhood program.

In her free time, Allison enjoys hiking, birding, and exploring the woods and water with her favorite field companion, her pup Boulder.

Sally Miller

Lower School Faculty, Teton Valley Campus

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Sally Miller

Sally Miller learned about Mountain Academy while working with the Teton Arts Center in the summer of 2021 and is now one of the 2/3 teachers on the Teton Valley Campus. Sally was drawn to Mountain Academy because she has a passion for exploring different approaches to education.

Outside of the classroom, Sally likes to ski, bike, kayak and make pottery.

Carolyn Modlish

Lower School Faculty, Teton Valley Campus

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Carolyn Modlish

Carolyn Modlish joined Mountain Academy in 2022 and is currently the 4/5 teacher on the Teton Valley Campus. Carolyn is a passionate educator who is invested in the power of meaningful learning; learning that lights a fire in students. Mountain Academy represents the impact authentic, learner-centered experiences have in the development of curiosity in students. Experiences that lead to meaningful learning, and inspire humans!

Outside of school Carolyn is taking in all the Teton Valley and greater Wy-daho region has to offer. She is excited to continue to become a part of the people, the places, and all the little things that make this community so uniquely special.