Early Childhood Center Faculty |Sun Valley Private Preschools | SVCS
Jennifer earned a BS in Family and Human Services, Education from the University of Oregon where she was recognized as a Diversity Building Scholar. She also holds a MS in Early Intervention, Early Childhood and Idaho Licensure, Early Intervention/Early Childhood from University of Oregon where she studied early childhood philosophies including Reggio Emelia.
“I’m an advocate for child development and the path each individual child takes to grow," says Jennifer. "Working with young children has always been a passion of mine.” In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outside, hiking, camping, and reading. Jennifer and her husband have two young children.
Prior to teaching, Lindsey, a licensed professional counselor, owned and operated her own private counseling practice using child-centered and strength-based methods of talk, art, and play therapy. Lindsey worked at SVCS from 2011-13 as the 1st grade Teaching Assistant. Lindsey holds a MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology & Art Therapy from Naropa University and a BS in Communications from University of Utah.
Her son Jack will be entering Kindergarten at Sun Valley Community School this fall.
Maddy has worked and taught in a variety of childcare settings, both locally and abroad. From 2019-20, she was an English Language Assistant (preK-1st) in Spain and also worked for the Boise School District from 2016-17.
A Wood River Valley native, Maddy is bilingual and is able to offer activities and experiences to the students in both English and Spanish. She earned her BA in Bilingual/ENL Education from Boise State University.
Riley Mott took on the role of ECC 2 teacher starting with the 2020-21 academic year. Prior to this new role, Riley was the ECC Atelierista in the primary room. A former fifth-grade teacher at Hailey Elementary School, Riley brings both experience and a passion for teaching to the classroom. Riley knows Sun Valley Community School well: in addition to attending Community School through eighth grade, she served as a regular substitute teacher and after care program specialist before she took on her current role in the ECC. Riley holds a BA in sociology and elementary education from Whitman College. She and her husband, Tim, have two sons, both students at the school: Jasper '20 and Koa '23.
Amanda Bauman joined Sun Valley Community School in 2016 and is the teaching assistant in ECC 2. Prior to joining the ECC 2 classroom, she was a teaching assistant in the Kindergarten and ECC 3 classrooms, .
Amanda has worked with children in a variety of settings, from teaching skiing in Montana at the Lost Trail Ski School to working as a nanny locally for two years prior to joining Community School.
Amanda has a bachelors degree in healthcare management and business administration from Colorado State University, a bachelors degree in human biology and an associate's degree in science from AB Technical College.
Amanda is a wild land firefighter, a fly-fishing guide for Silver Creek Outfitters, and loves to mountain bike, bake, and garden. She enjoys teaching ECC 3 students and helping foster their growth and development.
Katharine Weekes is a teacher in the ECC and the ECC Department Chair. She joined Sun Valley Community School in 1994, drawn to the school's culture and traditions, the dynamic Outdoor Program, and the Reggio-inspired early childhood center. Katharine is continually inspired in her role by students who feel secure enough to take risks and challenge themselves. "I love watching students evolve and come into their own," she says. "To see a tentative child, blossom and find their voice, is so powerful."
In the ECC, Katharine says, "We foster close relationships with our families and create a classroom environment that feels safe and nurturing, thus allowing our students push themselves out of their comfort zone, to grow and learn."
When she's not teaching, Katharine loves to ski with her family (husband Jack, Sun Valley Community School class of '85, son John '20, and daughter Lucy '25 and hike with the family's black lab, Minnow.
Kindra Acker first joined Sun Valley Community School in 2017 as the school’s After-Care Coordinator, a role she continues to serve in addition to her role in the ECC 1 classroom.
Kindra has a passion for fostering the educational, social, and emotional development of youth combined with an exceptional work ethic. Says Kindra, "I strive to provide a safe, encouraging, and engaging space for students to explore, be creative, and discover their own capabilities." She holds a BS in Human Development from the University of California, Davis.
When not working, she enjoys crocheting, snowboarding, and camping and hiking with her husband and their 2 dogs.
Megan Mahoney joined Sun Valley Community School in 2017 and currently teaches Middle School music and Elementary School performing arts.
She holds a BA in theatre management from University of Massachusetts and a training certificate in musical theatre from CAP21 Conservatory in New York City.
A professional singer and actress, before joining Community School, Megan appeared in local, regional, and national theatre productions was involved, as a performer, choreographer, director, and teacher, in Wood River Valley productions through The Spot, St. Thomas Playhouse, and NexStage Theatre.
Joshua Stone, an accomplished professional composer, conductor, and musician, joined Sun Valley Community School in 2019. In his role, Joshua leads our Elementary School’s music program.
Joshua has composed music for film and television, and his clients have included CBS News, The Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian, The Guggenheim, ABC Television, 20th Century Fox, The Discovery Channel, MTV, and more. He is also an experienced music educator having taught at a number of notable elementary, middle, secondary, and collegiate-level schools.
Throughout his career as an educator, Joshua has found ways to engage and inspire students through unique courses and programming. He taught “History of Music on Earth,” an interactive journey through time for the New York Public schools and a created a city-wide interdisciplinary song project in Syracuse, New York. This project involved schools, libraries, churches, and civic organizations and rallied them behind a collective musical experiment.
Elementary School Head Janet Salvoni says, “We are thrilled to have a musician and teacher as accomplished as Joshua join our team. With his experience, excitement, and passion our Elementary music program will thrive and, most importantly, so will our students.”
Hannes Thum graduated from Sun Valley Community School in 2003 and returned to the school in 2009 as a member of the Upper School science faculty. Before joining the Elementary School faculty in 2019, Hannes taught Introduction to Biology, Advanced Biology, Sensing Place (an interdisciplinary course he co-teaches with English faculty member Elliot Jacobs), Wildlife Ecology, This is Your Brain, Human Physiology, and Field Biology. He also serves as an OLA advisor.
He was known in the Upper School for his curiosity, love of science, his commitment to his students, and his approachable nature. These are traits that will continue to serve his students well. Janet Salvoni, Elementary School Head, says, “I am excited to work with Hannes as a member of our ES faculty. The entire hiring committee was deeply impressed during the search process, not only by Hannes’s vast science knowledge, but also by his commitment to always putting children first, learning from them, and helping them to develop a sense of self.” While it’s difficult to leave behind what he loves about teaching Upper Schoolers, Hannes says he is looking forward to exploring science and education through this new lens within the school.
Hannes holds a BA in environmental earth sciences from Dartmouth College and a MS in science education from Montana State University.
Prior to coming home to the Cutthroat campus to teach, Hannes taught for two years at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, where he was also a ski coach.
Hannes says his colleagues at Sun Valley Community School "inspire me every day," and he appreciates "the community, the support, and the relationships" here at school—as well as the incredible location. He has especially loved the opportunity to teach summer field courses, which allow him to take small classes into the field for a day or a week at a time, providing the group the opportunity to "learn, camp, hike, and collect data all side-by-side."
When he's not teaching, Hannes enjoys being outdoors and enjoying other activities that help him find balance in life.
The ECC is a place where we foster trusting partnerships with our families. If you ask our parents, they will tell you that we truly know their children. Our program offers an unique environment where children are inspired to play and explore. When kids feel nurtured, they will take risks, learn and grow. Whether building with recycled materials, writing a collaborative class book, or snowshoeing around our campus, our students are engaged and intrinsically motivated. Most importantly, we like to have fun!
Katharine Weekes, ECC 3 Class Faculty and Current Parent