My philosophy as a Christian teacher is twofold loving well and providing a joyful learning experience. Loving well encompasses my personal relationship with Jesus, my intentional connections with students and families, and fostering student relationships with each other, the community, and their own relationship with Jesus. Joyful learning grows out of that space of feeling cared for and valued. It has been my privilege to be a teacher and create learning environments where students have been able to flourish since 2003.
My husband Dave and I were married a few years ago…in 1988. We are proud parents of four adult sons and their wives. One of our greatest joys is to be grandparents to their children. We love the beauty of nature that God has artistically designed, we also enjoy cooking (Dave is the griller and I am the baker), and we appreciate time spent with friends which often includes a game or two being played.
Giving back and helping others is a reciprocal action within my own life. Teachers were an integral part of the “good stuff” of my childhood. They inspired me to pay that goodness forward into the lives of the students that enter my classroom. I have also had the opportunity to reach out into communities through church and school activities. That has included volunteering in VBS programs, Nativity productions, mission trips to Mexico, raising money for wells in Africa, and helping reach the unhoused community or those that need food assistance. Ralph Emerson provides this inspiration, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
THEODEORE CHESTER (THEO)
Canin Good Citizen (CGC) - AKC
The Greek origin of Theodore is “gift of God,” which is a true statement in this instance.
Theo, an AKC standard poodle, was born in 2019. He was the last of the litter, the runt, and had to be resuscitated. He attached himself to his owner, Melony, like glue. At 10 weeks old, he still did not have a forever home, likely because of the intensity of which he clung to Melony. Knowing I had recently lost my 8-year-old dog, Melony reached out offering to gift Chester to me. My heart was still aching, and I was unsure if I was ready to give my love to another dog. God spoke into the fear and sorrow of my heart and gave me the courage to step forward. Bringing Chester home, came with the choice to give him a new name. Asleep that first night, I woke up suddenly with the urgency to look up the name Theodore. As I read the words “gift of God,” I knew that this was the pup for me and for my classroom.
Theo is a gentle dog who knows it’s his job to love children. He does this well. When a child falls on the playground, Theo is there beside them. If a child is sad, Theo stays with them. Students who have experienced tremendous loss are Theo’s favorites. He seeks them out letting them pet him and lay with him while their hearts heal. Recess is a favorite activity for Theo and students. He loves to play keep. They throw the ball, and he retrieves it, but won’t give it back, enticing them to chase him. He is the sentinel of the school, sitting posture perfect watching the cars and people that come and go, alerting us when he sees someone he doesn’t recognize. His tail wags the most in the morning. He loves to greet “his” students hello and doesn’t want to say goodbye. He loves all people, but children are far and above his preferred humans!
Staff and Volunters
Sheila Armstead - PreK/K Teacher and Principal
Jennifer Crider - School Board Chairperson
Minnette McCart - School board Secretary
Kathi Farrell - School Board Treasurer
Jeff Metherell - Pastor of the Missoula Seventh-day Adventist Church
Burdette Millard - School Board Member
Sandy Cooper - School Board Member