“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children… to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have combined my experience along with my education to turn my dream of opening a school into a reality! Having had the privilege of growing up in a family of amazing teachers, I have been passionate about education for as long as I can remember. I believe that early childhood education sets the foundation to promote a love of life long learning. I have always had a fervent desire to provide quality education to a diverse population of learners and learning styles.
My professional background includes: a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Humboldt State University in Northern California, a Masters degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education, and an Oregon teaching license. I have over a decade of experience working with young children: teaching elementary and preschool, providing respite care to children with special needs, coaching swim lessons, nannying, and instructing elementary school students in musical theater techniques.
I am an avid nature enthusiast. During my undergraduate studies I was involved in marine mammal research, rescue, and rehabilitation on the northern coast of California. Locally I have explored the outdoor educational opportunities at Sauvie Island, on the coast, and in the Columbia River Gorge with a focus on ecological restoration. I also serve on the board of directors and the curriculum committee for ECO (Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors), a nonprofit that inspires elementary school students to connect to our natural world by providing hands-on ecology enrichment programs. I have found my environmental enthusiasm and experiences have proven to be invaluable when educating my students.
What sets Mighty Oaks apart from other preschools—besides the chickens—is not only my education and experience, but our impressive community resources. In addition to myself, the Mighty Oaks board of directors includes: David Cannon, an AMI certified Montessori school teacher/director and owner of Montessori Children’s House; Ann Summers, a Reading and Math Intervention Specialist, who serves on a committee to advise the Department of Education on measuring school readiness for preschool and kindergarten students; Amanda Fitzpatrick, a SE mother of twins currently attending Mighty Oaks, who is a graduate student studying family health and family systems; Tara Carmichael, a NE Portland mother of a Mighty Oaks alum with a wealth knowledge and experience in art education and working with diverse populations. I am involved with PELC (the Portland Early Learning Collaborative) which serves to promote professional development and collaboration amongst early childhood educators in an effort to evaluate and improve our practices. I have also collaborated with various Portland elementary schools to create a developmentally appropriate curriculum that promotes kindergarten readiness.
Outside of teaching my hobbies include: spending time with my family, hiking, camping, climbing trees, traveling, promoting quality postpartum care for new mothers and families, rooting for the portland timbers, dancing, running, yoga, antiquing, cooking, baking, gardening, knitting/sewing/quilting (poorly), learning German, modern homesteading, and tending to my three chickens (Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose).
Additional Certifications/Qualifications: CPR, First Aid, Food Handlers, RCAN (Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect), Oregon Criminal Background Checked, Step 11 on the Oregon Registry, Postpartum Doula, ESOL Endorsement (in progress).
Masters of Arts in Teaching, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR
Oregon Initial 1 Teaching License, Multiple Subject Endorsement
Early Childhood and Elementary Authorization Levels
Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies Elementary Education, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Zoe: Music Instructor Extraordinaire
Zoe has been teaching music to kids of various ages on and off since 2002. Her music-teaching career kicked off with teaching hand drumming classes to teenage girls at a residential treatment center, which ignited her passion for music facilitation. From 2005 to 2008, Zoe worked at a preschool as a fulltime teacher where, although the students were much smaller than teenagers, their enthusiasm and appreciation for music was not. During that time, her musical repertoire grew and grew, and it continues to grow constantly today.
During a typical music session with Zoe, kids participate musically by playing/using one or more of the following: voices, bodies, rhythm sticks, shaker eggs, kids’ percussion instruments, bells, gathering and small hand drums, play scarves, a parachute, and whatever other cool objects Zoe happens to get her hands on. She also explores vibrational tones with the kids by utilizing sacred singing bowls, tingshas, Tibetan bells, and Acutonics tuning forks (kids LOVE this stuff). Zoe’s go-to set of strings is a ukulele but she also strums a guitar every so often.
Zoe’s music often corresponds with the changing of the seasons, the natural world, time of year, festivities/celebrations, and weather, making the music relevant to what’s going on in our surrounding environment. She loves to write songs, modify the songs of others, and write music and add lyrics to little snippets she finds online. You can find out more about her at www.zazzyzoe.com.
Masters of Arts in Teaching, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Anne: Yoga Master
Anne Geuss is a certified Yoga Calm Instructor trained in helping children flourish by finding health and happiness through yoga!
Drawing upon her years of experience mentoring and teaching with Lynea Gillen, creator of the award winning Yoga Calm program for youth. Anne has created her yoga classes to enrich a child’s physical, emotional, and social confidence. Using a blend of hatha yoga, relaxation techniques, social learning activities, and play to create an inspirational experience. Anne is dedicated to helping her students thrive by leading them toward positive thinking, physical and mental strength, personal awareness, and self-regulation.
Beyond yoga, Anne has 10+ years experience working with children from 6 months to 18 years, in a variety of recreational activities. Her ever-growing repertoire consists of gymnastics, dance, yoga, martial arts, archery, art, music, gardening, wilderness survival, and bushcraft skills. By pairing her experience along with her education and professional background, Anne strives to educate children to be confident, capable, contributing healthy, and happy individuals. You can find out more about her at: www.flexandflourish.com
Additional Certifications/Qualifications: CPR, First Aid, Food Handlers, Yoga Calm Youth Instructor, Oregon Criminal Background Checked
Masters of Science in Education: Policy, Foundations, & Administration, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Leadership for Ecological, Cultural and Sustainability Education
Bachelors of Science in Fine Arts, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR