Administrative + Educational Support Staff
- Rachel Aanestad '94, Librarian + US Arts
- Hannah BenDavid, SVSA Assistant Program Coordinator + Assistant Dorm Director
- Tana Dean, Accounts Payable Manager
- Maura Doyle, Associate Director of Admissions
- Lisa Emerick, Assistant Controller
- Anne Marie Gardner, RN, Health Services Coordinator
- Christy Giles, Associate Director of Admissions
- Oliver Guy, '18 IT Systems + Network Administrator
- Cecilee Heath, LCSW, School Counselor
- Celeste Holland, Outdoor Program Associate
- Christian Hovey, Associate Director of Development + Gift Management
- Yvonne Inman, Middle School Administrative Assistant + SAT Supervisor
- Elliot Jacobs, Associate Director of College Counseling
- Keith Keim, Facilities Manager
- Vicky Kelley, Assistant Residence Hall Cook
- Sarah McDermott, Upper School Administrative Assistant + Registrar + Assistant to Head of School
- Royce Mussman, Director of College Counseling
- Rob Landis, Outdoor Program
- Pilar Lindahl, Translator
- Robin Seitz, Elementary School Administrative Assistant
- Anneliese Turck, Part-Time Communications Associate
- Clay Wawner, Director of Residential Life
- Richard Whitelaw, Director of Athletics + Varsity Boys Soccer Coach
Rachel Aanestad ’94 joined Sun Valley Community School in 2013 as Assistant Director of Development and currently serves as the school librarian and also teaches Architecture in the Upper School.
Rachel holds a BA in architecture and a BA in theater, both from University of Oregon.
Rachel’s decision to return to Sun Valley Community School as a faculty and staff member was a result of her love for the school community and the approach to education that guides learning here. “I appreciate the independent thought, genuine love of natural places, creativity, and uniqueness that are still foundations of this incredible place,” she says. In her teaching role, Rachel is inspired by her students’ love for learning and by her colleagues. “I am constantly amazed by the students capacity to create, absorb, and learn, and by the incredibly inspired and talented faculty with whom I work.”
When she’s not at school, Rachel loves to spend time with her two young daughters and enjoys hiking and doodling.
Hannah BenDavid joined the Sun Valley Ski Academy staff as its Assistant Program Coordinator in 2023. In addition, Hannah will be the Assistant Director of Rufus M. Brown Hall.
A recent graduate of Brandeis University, Hannah holds a BS in Neuroscience and a minor in French. Hannah brings experience teaching Upper School- and collegiate-level students and has a strong grasp of the sciences. Most recently, she was a Science Teaching Assistant at Steamboat Mountain School in Colorado where she assisted in teaching 9th-grade Biology and 11th/12th-grade Anatomy and Physiology; she also led outdoor expedition trips and assisted with residential staff duties for the school’s boarding students. During her time at Brandeis, Hannah was a Teaching Assistant for the Quantitative Biology Research Community, an Undergraduate Researcher for the Turrigiano Lab, and a Neuroscience Undergraduate Department Representative. She is proficient in French, is Wilderness First Aid-certified, and was the President of the Brandeis Mountain Club.
Tana Dean joined Sun Valley Community School in 2008 and currently serves as Accounts Payable Manager.
Tana has held a variety of business management positions across the hospitality, health care, and construction industries. Currently, in addition to her role at the school, Tana and her husband own and operate Wood River Stables, a horse boarding facility.
Tana says, of her work at Sun Valley Community School, "my favorite part of working at the school is the people, whose commitment to and passion for their jobs is wonderful, and the relationships that I've developed with my colleagues over the years."
When Tana is not working at the school, she loves spending time with her my family, horse activities, and farming the ranch she and her husband own.
Maura Doyle, a graduate of Merrimack College, joined the Admissions Department December 1. She spent her first year after college working for Americorps with homeless youth in Yakima, WA before working as an Assistant Director of Admissions, Development Officer, coach, and dorm parent at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire. Maura most recently has been working at a wilderness therapy program in Utah and she is excited to be joining a school that shares her passion for outdoor education. Her experience in education, admissions, and boarding programs, and her commitment to DEIJ work will contribute new perspectives to the continued growth of our Admissions work. Maura will be involved in the application process with all three divisions for this first year as she gets to know our school community.
Lisa Emerick joined Sun Valley Community School on September 8, 2020 and serves as the Assistant CFO. Prior to assuming her role at SVSC, Lisa spent over 30 years at the Friedman Memorial Airport performing various business management positions and held the position of the Contracts/Finance Administrator.
As a Wood River valley native, Lisa enjoys her time away from work with her fiance Rob enjoying outdoor activities and local events.
Anne Marie Gardner has worked for St. Luke’s Family Medicine in Hailey since 2014 as a Registered Nurse, Triage Nurse, and Clinic Nurse Manager, performing clinical nursing duties, supervising a nursing staff of 23, and managing daily clinical operations. During her time with St. Luke’s, she worked in pediatrics, general health, and helped set policy. Anne Marie holds a BS in Environmental Science and Education from Huxley College at Western Washington University and an AS in Registered Nursing from the College of Southern Idaho.
Prior to her position at St. Luke’s, Anne Marie shared her passion for the outdoors with others through guiding, teaching, and organizing river trip logistics. Her past roles include professional ski patroller, avalanche forecaster, and helicopter ski guide. When her three children all entered grade school, she decided to pursue a degree in nursing to combine all of her wilderness first aid and education into a professional role. Her goal? To become a school nurse. Her vision of combining her background in education and nursing in a school setting that is centered on the whole individual and their place in the environment is her ideal.
The creation of this new position is a dream come true for Anne Marie and she is thrilled to become a member of the team at SVCS and serve the student and parent community.
Christy Giles joined the Admissions team 2017. Christy brings invaluable experience in admissions and recruiting to this role, having served as Assistant Director of Admissions at The Bush School in Seattle and as Director of Admissions and Recruiting for the University of Washington College of Education Seattle Teacher Residency (STR) Program. Prior to her work at Bush, Christy worked for five years as the Senior Trainer and Curriculum Developer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
As Associate Director of Admissions, Christy works with Sun Valley Ski Academy Program Director Jonna Mendes and Director of Admissions Alessia Carega in a variety of capacities throughout the admissions season. Christy holds a BA from the University of Washington and a Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University. Christy and her husband, Eric, are proud parents to Jackson ’21, Brady ’23, and Kenzie '25. Christy loves that all three of her children, with very different interests, have all found a place to pursue their passions at SVCS.
Oliver Guy '18 was born and raised in Sun Valley, Idaho, and is a 2018 SVCS graduate. He has always enjoyed his time in the outdoors as well as pursing his passions of photography and learning about different parts of the Information Technology field. Oliver currently attends Boise State, majoring in Information Technology Management and Business Analytics. He also works as an IT Administrator for DECKED LLC, and as the Systems and Network Administrator for Sun Valley Community School. During his very limited amount of free time, you can find Oliver outside exploring the wilderness or shooting photos somewhere in the PNW.
Cecilee Heath joined our Cutthroat staff in December, 2020. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) Cecilee most recently worked as the sole Social Worker for St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center. While working at St. Luke’s, Cecilee also maintained a small private practice holistically treating primarily trauma and trauma-related disorders.
Cecilee has extensive history working with children of all ages and is trained as a play therapist. Prior to her work at St. Luke’s, she served as a School Social Worker for the alternative high school in Blaine County School District for approximately three years before relocating to Boise temporarily to work as the Clinical Director for the Idaho Youth Ranch. While with the Blaine County School District, she coordinated the Social Emotional Learning Program, taught AP Psychology to 11th and 12th graders, and trained many district staff in Restorative Practices.
Cecilee’s education runs deep. She is a Licensed Trainer for the International Institute on Restorative Practices (IIRP), she is certified to teach Trauma-Informed Care, and also created a parent education program that was delivered through The Blaine County Community Drug Coalition for over five years and is trained in the Community Resiliency Model. She holds a BS in psychology and a Master of Social Work from Boise State University.
Email: Cecilee Heath
Phone: 208.622.3960, ext. 244
Location: Engl Hall
Celeste Holland, a graduate of St. Lawrence University with a BA in Environmental Studies and Philosophy, serves as Outdoor Program Associate. She served as an Outdoor Program intern for the 2020-2021 school year.
Celeste is an avid outdoorswoman who has led trips throughout the West for Wilderness Adventures and spent a semester living “off-the-grid” in yurts. Celeste participated in the Teacher Training Academy program for the 2019-20 school year and worked with a variety of students across grade levels. This included the Upper School English Department as well as the fourth grade class. She thoroughly enjoyed her time with students of all ages. She is excited to continue to work with a variety of age groups and explore the outdoors with students.
Her favorite part about being a part of Sun Valley Community School are the countless opportunities to step outside of the classroom in order to learn or appreciate where we live!
The Development Office welcomed Christian Hovey as its new Associate Director of Development in 2023. A 2021 graduate of St. Lawrence University, Christian earned his BA in English (primary major) and History/Multi-Language (secondary major) and a minor in Caribbean, Latin American and Latino Studies.
Prior to joining SVCS, Christian was a Youth Health Promoter for the U.S. Peace Corps in Cordillera, Paraguay where he led health-related volunteer efforts in collaboration with numerous officials, including health post staff, ministry of health officials, emergency care units, and administrators and faculty from six primary and secondary schools. From 2021-22, Christian worked for The White Mountain School in New Hampshire as a Humanities and ELL Teacher and prior to that served as a part-time manager at Wild Waters Outdoor Center. He is proficient in Spanish, French, and Guarani and is also Swiftwater Rescue Certified.
Yvonne Inman joined Sun Valley Community School in 1999 and currently serves as administrative assistant in the Middle School and
CS SAT Supervisor, SSAT Assistant Administrator.
Prior to joining the school, Yvonne's professional experience included working as a Legal Secretary, A/R & AP clerk, real estate appraisal assistant, and State of Idaho health and welfare self-reliance specialist.
In her work in the Middle School, Yvonne is inspired by the mission of the school and "the sense that we are all here to inspire, guide, and teach our students to not only survive in the world today, but also to excel at their passions and make a positive difference in and outside of our community." She enjoys all the various ways she can support the school, students, and families: "I am always willing to help out when needed, so whether it is a school BBQ for Engl Cup, driving students to Sagewillow for P.E., covering a period in a class for a teacher, or assisting with the 20/20 Lunch Program, I know that people feel that they can ask me for help knowing that I am willing and reliable. I enjoy helping others!"
When Yvonne is not at school, she loves to spend time outdoors hiking in the Valley and around the West.
Elliot Jacobs joined Sun Valley Community School in 2008. Until 2022, he taught a variety of Upper School English courses, including: English 9, Multicultural Literature, Revisions in Literature and Science, and Nature Writing. He joined the College Counseling Department in 2022.
Elliot is a graduate of Bowdoin College earning a BA in English and Philosophy. He also earned his MA in English and MEd in Curriculum Instruction, both from University of Montana. Elliot was also awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching for 2015-16 and has had his writing published in a number of teaching and adventure publications.
He spends his time outside the classroom reading, writing, running, and sliding on dance floors and ski hills. He and his wife, Kate, have two children.
Keith Keim joined Sun Valley Community School in March 2007 and serves as Facilities Manager. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations and maintenance and construction management of the Trail Creek, Dumke Family Sagewillow, and Ketchum Campuses. This includes over 100,000-square-feet ft buildings and over 40 acres of grounds.
Prior to joining the Cutthroat team, Keith spent 21 years in construction and construction management in the Seattle area.
The Residence Hall welcomed Vicky Kelley as its new assistant cook starting in the fall 2022. In her role, Vicky will cook healthy breakfasts and assist with dinner. Vicky brings a plethora of experience cooking at private schools and restaurants. Prior to joining Sun Valley Community School, Vicky was a hot lunch provider at Lighthouse Christian School. Since 2014, she also worked for Ketchum’s Rasberry’s Catering and Bistro, where she assisted with catering needs and food prep and planning.
Sarah McDermott joined Sun Valley Community School in summer of 2020. Her professional background is in education as a school counselor. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Virginia and a BS in Psychology from the University of Mary Washington. She most recently worked as a counselor for Positive Connections Plus, LLC based in Bellevue, Idaho. From 2017-2019, she worked for Essex High School in Virginia as a school counselor. Sarah is a National Certified Counselor and is a current member of the American School Counseling Association and the Virginia School Counseling Association.
Royce Mussman joined Sun Valley Community School in July 2018. Currently he serves as Director of College Counseling.
Prior to joining Community School, Royce served as Associate Director of Admission at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Additionally, he was an Assistant Dean of Admission at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Royce has also served as a high school counselor/college counselor at two international schools in Asia - Taipei American School and Jakarta Intercultural School. Due to Royce’s significant international work he is familiar with many university admission processes outside of the US, including but not limited to the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong.
Royce holds a BA in Asian Studies from Bowdoin College and a MEd in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University. Royce is excited to move to Idaho and join his family - parents who live in the McCall area and a sister and three nephews who live in Boise. When not working you might find Royce traveling, reading, cooking, or pursuing photography.
Rob Landis joined the Community School faculty in 1998 and has served as a learning specialist and eighth grade team teacher. He presently serves as the Outdoor Program Assistant Director. Rob first attended the University of Colorado, took a short twenty-year break, and then completed his degree in earth science education at Boise State University. During his short break, Rob facilitated his addiction to wilderness adventures through jobs that included chef, river guide, NOLS instructor, director of ski operations at Galena Lodge, and Nordic coach for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Rob is a Wilderness EMT, Outdoor Emergency Care Technician, CPR Instructor, Leave No Trace Master Educator, Level 3 Avalanche practitioner and an American Avalanche Association professional, AMGA Single Pitch Climbing Instructor, licensed USSA Nordic coach, licensed Ham radio operator, and a licensed Idaho ACA Kayak Instructor. Rob is passionate about wild places, his family, and introducing students to the amazing world of wilderness travel. He lives in Hailey with his wife Amy; daughter Annika graduated from Community School in 2016.
Pilar Lindahl, a native from Spain, received her Bachelors at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid with a major in Philology and a minor in English. Pilar started teaching Spanish at SVCS in 1988 and has taught all levels from Elementary to Middle to Upper School. In 1990, she became the World Language Department Head, a position that she held for 26 years. She received her Masters in Hispanic Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While she was taking a year sabbatical in Spain (2019-2020), she became the school translator, a job that she continued while teaching the upper levels of Spanish in the Upper School. After 34 years working as a teacher at SVCS, she decided to retire from the classroom in 2022 but is still connected to the school by continuing as the school translator.
Robin Seitz joined Community School in 2005 and serves as the Elementary School Administrative Assistant.
Robin holds a BA in Psychology from Edinboro University and a MA in Counseling from Idaho State University.
Prior to joining Community School, Robin held several different counseling positions at College of Southern Idaho and for the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare.
Robin loves the variety each day offers at Community School and is continually inspired by her colleagues.
When she's not at school, Robin can be found running local trails, reading, making art, and spending time with her family. Robin and her husband, Reid, are parents to Quentin and Norah '21.
Anneliese Turck joined Sun Valley Community School in 2015 and serves as a part-time Communications Associate. She assists the Director of Marketing + Communications with internal and external communications for the school, including the school's biannual magazine, website, newsletters, social media, marketing, press, advertising, public relations, and photography.
Prior to joining the school, Anneliese spent 18 years in New York where she served in editorial roles for American Express Publishing's Travel + Leisure Golf, and numerous freelance and volunteer positions in the field of journalism for organizations such as CNN, NY1 News, Pelham Art Center, PACT, Prospect Hill Elementary School, and Junior League of Pelham. She is a Bay Area native, having grown up in Los Altos Hills, California.
Anneliese holds a BA in Rhetoric from University of California, Berkeley where she played Division 1 Field Hockey for all four years. She also holds a MS in Journalism from Columbia University. She and her husband, Matt, have two children, Parker (Wood River High School Class of '23) and Easton (SVCS Class of 2025) and a Mountain Humane rescue mutt named Harry (1 year). When she isn't taking photos or writing, Anneliese can be found behind the wheel of her car driving her kids to soccer, hockey, equestrian events, and ski competitions. When she isn't driving, she enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering for Mountain Humane.
Clay Wawner joined Sun Valley Community School from Miller School of Albemarle in Charlottesville, Virginia, where, since 2013, he served as Dean of Students, history teacher, Community Service Coordinator, Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach, Residential Duty Team Chief, Student Advisor, and Senior Administrative Team member. In addition to his extensive academic, residential, and coaching experience, Clay has over ten years’ experience as an outdoor education instructor, having led wilderness experiences around the U.S. and globally, including two summers employed as a fishing and river guide for The River Company in Stanley. Clay is a graduate of Denison University, where he captained the men’s lacrosse team for two years and graduated with a degree in history. Clay enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife Maggie and their three sons.
Richard Whitelaw initially joined Sun Valley Community School in 1992 as boys' varsity soccer coach and currently serves as Director of Athletics, boys' varsity soccer coach, and Middle School P.E. assistant.
Richard is grateful for the opportunity to pass along his love for sport to students, and he comes to work each day inspired the Cutthroat family. "Being surrounded by young, talented, intelligent students, and empowering, caring, positive faculty is a gift," he says. "I have the greatest job in the world."
In his many years coaching boys' varsity soccer, Richard has been committed to sharing a love for the game and a spirit of sportsmanship among his players. "I strive to instill in these young men that it's not about the wins or championships, it's about making the most of your short high school career, experiencing all the emotions associated with a successful team, playing to the best of your ability, and exuding good sportsmanship every step of the way."
Richard's love for the game of soccer doesn't end when he steps off the field. His favorite way to spend his time away from school: "Watching soccer, reading about soccer, writing about soccer, thinking about soccer . . . soccer never sleeps."
Isabel joined in 2012 manages maintenance staff and projects across our three campuses. Isabel says she loves her job and appreciates the people she feels lucky to work with each day.
When she's not at school, Isabel loves to spend time with her family, including her three children and two grandchildren.