Nancy Monson, Director and 4th-5th Grade Teacher for Language Arts

There has always been in me a desire to learn what life is all about. I have a constant longing to understand and to participate with others in the process of discovery. As a child I used to play school with my stuffed animals. Read more...

Phil Germakian: 2nd-8th Grade Science and Math teacher

As a teacher, I am responsible for providing my students with as many opportunities as possible to be successful.  It is my goal to develop responsible members of society who have the tools to become successful citizens of the world. Read more...

 

Learning to weave in Guatemala on our family's 8 month journey.

Learning to weave in Guatemala on our family's 8 month journey.

Chandra Best: K-1st grade teacher

I have always felt strongly that there should be alternatives to a traditional school model. Traditional schooling works for some kids, but not others, and I am continually inspired by the more natural, organic learning process that happens in schools like Running River. As a teacher, I love watching this magical process unfold, learning about each individual child's strengths and challenges, and doing my best to facilitate and be a witness to their growth. I feel especially honored to work with young children just beginning in school, and to have the opportunity to be a part of this magic right at the start.

Kindergarten and first grade are such precious years in our children's lives, and these years of school should be active, exciting and full of discovery. I love Running River's focus on nurturing all aspects of a child's development, and I feel that a K/1 classroom should embody this goal. Building a sense of community and strong relationships in the classroom is paramount, so that children feel safe to both be themselves and try on as many hats as they want. Daily, student-led class meetings help to create this safe space, as well as a culture of openness, inclusion and respect. This foundation is brought into every aspect of work in the classroom from art to math to literacy to play. Read more...

Amber Arvidson:  2ND-3rd GRADE Teacher  

I have always had a passion for learning and a deep curiosity about our natural world.  I grew up in Montana, surrounded by the intense beauty of the land attended a Montessori elementary school that really helped cultivate my love of the outdoors.  I still remember drawing plants and protozoan and camping and hiking with my classmates. Read more...

Megan with her family.

Megan with her family.

Megan Flaherty: 4th&5th Grade teacher for theme & Math

I have a fascination with the interconnectedness of the earth and the stories behind each plant, each animal. I have a similar fascination with how children learn and how their state of mind, their emotions, affect their learning. A long time educator, both inside the classroom and outside, I am continually questioning my role and how to best work with each child.

I believe that real learning occurs when it arises from authentic experiences that have meaning for the child. Children learn through various means and show their learning in various ways. Learning is a cooperative effort between the child and the teacher. My job as a teacher is to recognize the potential in each child and facilitate their learning process and guide them in taking ownership of their own learning. Read more...

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Crystal Punch: Learning Specialist

Running River is unique in that it attracts a high population of visual spatial learners (VSL). Visual learners are essentially attracted to schools which offer experiential and creative learning opportunities within a relationship centered community. Families and students who attend RR desire an educational environment that honors the uniqueness of each child, teaches them how to learn, and strengthens their ability to communicate their knowledge. VSL’s share common characteristics- They are led by their heart and passions, they tend to be curious by nature and love exploring how and why things work. They will focus endlessly on subjects that they are passionate about. Their ideas are huge and everything is possible.  Their love of learning is palpable, but they need specific support to reach their goals. While they have all of the enthusiasm for learning, they do not have the habits of mind to “suffer” through the details. Simple organization, time management, sequence, prioritizing eludes them. They tend to be big picture thinkers and miss many of the details in their plans. If they are given structures to identify these pieces and strategies to effectively use this innate learning quality, they gain independence and confidence.

As an educator for the last 30 years, I have worked as a secondary math and science teacher. My expertise is in experiential project based learning. I trained to be a licensed Davis Dyslexia Facilitator, Co-authored: Picture IT…Teaching Visual Spatial Learners with Betty Maxwell, and have participated in discussion panels, salons, and education groups on the importance of understanding and supporting the visual students in our classrooms. I have also given many talks to parents regarding parenting the VSL. Read more.....

Art Ives, PE Teacher

Art believes one of the most important jobs in education is to get young children off to the best possible start in sports and fitness by providing a foundation for their further progress and development. As a certified personal trainer specializing in youth athletics and a competitive distance runner and coach he loves making contact with the younger age groups and creates lesson plans for Running River students Read more...

Janet Runyan – Music Teacher

Janet Runyan earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and has taught piano in Boulder for 20 years. She has had a life-long love of music and still enjoys teaching piano privately as well as working at Running River where she teaches music and composes music for many of our school plays and performances. Read more...

Page Zekonis – Art Teacher

Page Zekonis is a local artist who has been teaching art for over twenty years. She has an MFA in painting from Maryland Institute, College of Art and a M.A. in counseling psychology from Bowie State University.  She founded Open Window Studio in 2003 to teach a variety of art classes to both children and adults. Read more...

 

Lauren directing dancing at the Nature Park Celebration

Lauren directing dancing at the Nature Park Celebration

Lauren Beale – Dance Teacher

Lauren is a performing artist, choreographer, contemplative teacher, yoga instructor and active mama. She holds an MFA in Dance from The University of Colorado Boulder with an emphasis in somatic based teaching and collaborative, interdisciplinary performance art. Read more...