Director and Classroom Teacher
It was in her early years alongside her three younger sisters in the Phoenix mountains of the Sonoran desert that Andrea’s life calling became clear: to nurture and cherish the children around her and to forever learn from the wisdom and beauty of nature. After earning a Bachelors in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology, Andrea continued her work and play in the wilderness of Arizona, Washington, Montana, and Alaska before she landed in this beautiful corner of Colorado. Here, she has continued to build her career in education with over 10 years of teaching experience in both traditional and alternative early childhood and lower elementary settings. Her years as a preschool assistant and teacher, traditional first grade teacher, Lower Elementary Montessori teacher, as well as Program/Education Director of a nature based educational non profit have certainly defined her purpose and attracted her to the Waldorf philosophy. Of course, finding time with the canyons, mountains, and rivers with her husband, son and two dogs is also a constant joy. Now, as momma to young Owen, she has shifted her focus to the development of this promising preschool, and finds great humility, growth, and inspiration while on the path of becoming an early childhood Waldorf teacher.
Kathryn Zion- Teacher
Kathryn grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota where she enjoyed camping, boating, snowmobiling and outdoor sports all year as her family owned an outdoor recreation business in Rapid City. She moved to Denver after High School to go to school and fell in love with Colorado. Kathryn has two daughters; one went to Montessori kindergarten and is a Ph.D. and an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the other attended Waldorf preschool through the 8th grade and works as a Parent-Child Home Program Site Coordinator for a non-profit organization in Washington. Kathryn helped start the Front Range Waldorf Preschool in Golden, attended Gradalis Remedial Elementary Training in Boulder, and home-schooled 1st and 2nd grade using Oak Meadows curriculum. She worked at the Denver Waldorf School as a Teaching Assistant 1st -3rd grade for a large class, then attended Rudolph Steiner College in California. She feels blessed to have a Waldorf Mentor in Denver to guide her on this wonderful new adventure at the Dragonfly Preschool. She feels at home in Mancos, where there is a community of supporting and harmonious beings with a plethora of activities to enjoy.
Afternoon Teacher- Marty Lordier
Marty Lordier has lived in Mancos for two years coming from 20 years in Denver and 35 years in Colorado. She is thrilled about working as at the Mancos Valley Dragonfly Preschool, learning the Waldorf method and being involved in the inaugural school year! She is looking forward to forming positive relationships with the young children and their families that will be participating in the new school. Originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming, Marty’s informal learning stems from many years at a Snowy Range family cabin that had no running water, nor electricity and many times of wonder and familiarity with the natural world of high-altitude creeks, hikes, ponds, springs, making art with natural objects, making up “theater plays” and growing close relationships with family. Those experiences guided her to pursuing a BA in Ecology and Systematic Biology to working in Agriculture as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Niger where she taught school gardening and established large community fruit and vegetable gardens. She raised sheep, chickens, and domestic pets, then learned to spin wool, knit and weave. After the Peace Corps, Marty came to Colorado in 1984 to study at CSU in Ft. Collins where she worked in Field Entomology, but realizing that she was more of a people person, she attended Adams State University to earn her Elementary Education degree and Colorado professional teaching license. She taught in English, Bilingual (Spanish) classrooms and English as a Second Language in the Denver Metro area for over 20 years. Most recently, she taught 3-5-year-old students at Jefferson County Head Start for five years. She taught “Spirit Play” to Preschoolers, for several years at the First Unitarian Society of Denver. In her spare time, Marty is out hiking, walking, visiting with family and friends, skiing ,volunteering, gardening, doing yoga or inside knitting, beading, playing with her cat, singing and attending musical events in the SW area. She loves this place of great beauty!
Tari Rank- substitute extraordinaire
Tari and her husband recently moved to the four corners area from Fairplay, Co where they enjoyed life at 10,200 ft. but thought it was time to come down from high altitudes and explore other beautiful areas of the state. They lived in nearby Bayfield for the last 3 1/2 years while searching for their forever place in Cortez. While in Bayfield, Tari taught at Riverview Elementary in Durango as a Para III, with children with significant needs, for 2 years but missed her original calling and went back to teaching preschool at River Mist outside of Durango, before moving to Cortez. Working with young children has been Tari's passion for over 30 years. In Fairplay, she was a lead pre-k teacher, for children 3-5 years old, for 19 years at a quality preschool which consistently received the highest ratings from Qualistar. Puzzled in her week at the preschool, Tari conducted home visits with parents and their children, prenatal to 5 years as a Certified Parents As Teachers Educator, supporting parents in achieving their goals, parenting skills and knowledge in child development. Tari's passion for early education started years before working at the school district. After having two boys of their own, Tari ran a successful licensed daycare business out of their home in Summit County for 10 yrs. Having recently retired from the school district, Tari prefers to keep busy in nurturing the lives of young children. Nothing gives her more joy than to see those big smiles and young, inquisitive minds at work. Tari and her husband enjoy playing hard on the weekends at various outdoor activities and are now blessed with 5 beautiful grandchildren with two living nearby. With many years of experience in working with children, Tari agrees with the Waldorf philosophy and the importance of experiential play, expanding imaginations and curiosity of the world around us, building a firm foundation where learning can take place.