Admin & Management:
Founder & Executive Director Genevieve has over 20 years experience in early childhood education. Her first Nanny job sparked a love of teaching that led her to run a preschool through ASUM Childcare while attending college. Genevieve was the Assistant Site Director and Lead Preschool Teacher for two early childhood education programs operating through the Seattle Public School system where she developed a groundbreaking pre-k curriculum.
She moved back to Montana and opened Advantage Academic Academy Preschool in 2002 where she cared for and taught infants through preschoolers as well as providing before & after school care and summer camps for school-age children up to 6th grade. Advantage graduated more than 75 preschoolers into kindergarten over 8 years.
Genevieve then accepted a position as the Executive Director of the non-profit Sustainable Business Council where she advanced the vision of helping Missoula become a prosperous, collaborative community that fulfills the promise of the triple bottom line: a healthy society, economy, and environment by promoting a vibrant local economy built on sustainable practices. After 4 years at the helm of SBC, Genevieve decided to combine her passion for teaching children with her expertise in the principles of sustainability with the opening of Origins Education in 2011. By supporting families in fostering a solid intellectual, emotional, social and physical foundation, Genevieve believes that we develop a love for life-long learning. She created a eco-literacy curriculum that is both play-based and place-based and is honored to teach young children about the earth, it’s fascinating cycles and how to respect and care for it and all of its inhabitants.
Genevieve is passionate about the environment, organic food, gardening, photography and music. When not watching over the magic happening at Origins she is spending time with her family enjoying all the beauty that western Montana offers us.
Administrative Assistant and Office Manager MaryPat has her BS in Early Childhood Education and 21 years of experience working with preschool children. MaryPat started as a parent volunteer in the Head Start program when her oldest child was a student there in 1994. After beginning to work as an aid in the classroom, she moved up into a management position where she worked up until the summer of 2018 when she joined the Origins Education team.
MaryPat has a passion for working with children as well as working with teaching staff to help foster a high quality educational experience. Her many year of Early Childhood Education combined with a strong attention to detail and broad administrative experience make her a welcome addition to the origins family.
Nutrition Director and Infant & Toddler Manager Ariel has over 8 years of experience in a variety of child care settings. She is native to northern Illinois and spent 4 years in Arizona attending Arizona State University studying Dietetics and Nutrition. With her schooling she is specialized in the dietary needs of all age groups, especially children, along with the preparation of food and needs of preparing food such as sanitation, food safety, and sustainable food sources.
Miss Ariel started off at 16 working at White Pines Ranch in Oregon, IL leading activities with children and families from fossil hunts and nature hikes to horseback riding and campfire songs. During her time in Arizona, she worked for the City of Tempe with Kid Zone Enrichment Program as a Nutrition Instructor. During her time with them, she enriched many children’s lives with nutritious food demos and nutrition education through crafts and games. She moved to Missoula in the summer of 2017 to settle down and start her nutrition education career within the community. Miss Ariel believes that setting healthy habits with food and the environment at a young age will establish a healthy nutritious mindset for life.
In Miss Ariel’s spare time, she loves to enjoy time with her dogs and family, from cuddling on the couch to enjoying anything in nature.
Preschool Teacher Miss Jamie is a career professional Early Childhood Educator who is passionate about working with preschool children! She has extensive education and training has both curricula background and work experience. She received her degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Montana-Western, graduating with honors. Miss Jamie joined the Origins Family in 2015 after working for Headstart for 5 years.
Jamie’s style of teaching is warm and responsive, making sure the children feel welcomed, cared for and respected. Her approach is to facilitate children’s learning by planning activities based on their interests in an environment where they can both take risks and make new discoveries. Through hands-on learning and nurturing guidance, Jamie helps children develop problem-solving skills, self-confidence, and positive relationships with others and nature. And Jamie always brings a sense of fun to the day!
Jamie is experienced with multiple early childhood curricula including Intentional Teaching, High Scope, C.L.A.S.S., I’m Moving, I’m Learning, Growing up Wild, Montana Behavior Initiative, Good Talking Words, Talking About Touching, and Zoophonics. She loves involving the children in music, dance and visual arts and the outdoors is a favorite a teaching environment.
Preschool Teacher Miss SeQuoia grew up in a preschool setting and has been working with young children her entire life. SeQuoia brings her passion for music, art and creative play to Origins with her unique and effective teaching style.
SeQuoia has her STARS Preschool Teacher certification and has many years of experience with both infants & Toddlers as well as preschool-aged children. She worked as a teachers aide for 2 years at Advantage Academic Academy Preschool previously and has been with Origins since 2011.
When not working with children, SeQuoia creates high-end custom hula hoops for clients around the country, some of which include her students! Her passions are hula hooping, painting, knitting, cooking, playing the guitar, camping and hiking.
Sr. Preschool Teacher Miss Ashley is a K-12 art teacher and artist originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and Red Lodge, Montana respectively. Ashley has lived in Missoula for the past 10 years and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in painting and art education along with her Montana Class 2 Teaching License, from the University of Montana in 2017.
Ashley’s teaching pedagogy is rooted in social-emotional learning, student-student-center learning, and cross-curricular learning. Her focus is to teach to the whole child—building confidence and empowering learners who go on to become global citizens. She strives to meet a child where they’re at and helping them to grow academically, emotionally, socially, and physically. Ashley has been fortunate to assume the position of an assistant teacher at the Children’s Center, a docent for the Missoula Art Museum, a live-in nanny for two Missoula families, a guest artist and volunteer for the Zootown Arts Community Center, and a substitute teacher and paraprofessional for Missoula County Public Schools. In her free time when she’s not creating art, she enjoys playing in nature, cooking, music, yoga, design, and travel. Miss Ashley values cultivating and sharing her path to wellness with everyone around her.
Early Learners Teacher Miss Hannah returned Montana in 2016 from living abroad in the small town of Mirecourt, France where she worked alongside a team of English teachers as a Teaching Assistant in a middle school and a high school. Before that, Hannah was a student at the University of Montana where she graduated with a degree in French and a minor in International Development Studies and has her Preschool Teaching Certification.
While she was a student, Hannah spent two wonderful years working with elementary aged children as the Lead Counselor for Camp Fire’s after school program at Cold Springs Elementary and also spent two summers as a counselor at Camp Fire’s summer camp. Her experience with the kids at Camp Fire sparked a passion for working with children. She hopes to someday return to school to get a degree in Education and then continue on to work as a teacher in a French Immersion school.
Hannah has a passion for fine arts and music. In her spare time, you can find her working away on a new oil painting or practicing piano. She loves to share her artistic talents with her students!
Preschool Teacher Miss Kait has worked with children for many years, she was a nanny for four years and most recently, she was with ASUM Child Care at the University of Montana for three. She has experience with children between the ages of newborn to seven years. Miss
Kaitlyn believes every child deserves the same chance at education and attention.. No matter their learning style or situation. She enjoys studying those different learning styles and helping every kid be the best they can be. They are the future generations of our world and all of them deserve every opportunity for success.
Kaitlyn enjoys art, music, sports, and Disney movies. Kaitlyn tries to keep up with the latest culture trends in children so she can talk about their passions and hobbies. Between Ninja Turtles and Moana, no conversation with a child is ever boring.
Early Learners Lead Teacher and Floor Manager Miss Danny was born in Missoula, Montana, and attended Target Range Elementary graduating from Big Sky High School in 2004 and received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Montana in May 2016 and has her Toddler Teacher Certification.
Soon after, Danielle joined the United States Air Force as Signals Intelligence Analyst where she met her husband, David. They had their daughter Kyla in 2008 while stationed in Hawaii and Danielle became a stay-at-home mom while her husband continued in the military. They had their second daughter, Oryah in 2010. Danielle moved back to Missoula with the girls in 2012 to attend college at the University of Montana. David and Danielle bought their dream home in Bonner in 2014 as David prepares to be discharged from the military. She loves working with children and hopes to one day obtain her Masters in Early Childhood Education. Danielle has been with Origins since 2016.
Colby is from Redmond WA and has been enjoying living in Missoula for the last year and a half. She has been working in child education for over 5 years as an art teacher for 2 years and was an early childhood teacher for 3 years in WA. She spent the last year before moving to MT as an Assistant Director, working with ages 3 months to 5 years and parents of many different backgrounds. She spent a year at the DigiPen University of Art and Technology in Redmond WA and has CDA accreditation from the state of WA.
In her free time she enjoys drawing comics, reading, writing and playing video games. The endless imagination that children engage in in their early learning years is a huge inspiration for the projects she works on! Colby hopes to encourage children to be always be themselves and hone their natural curiosities into the skills that will help them as they grow.
A student at the University of Montana, Lead Toddler Teacher Kylie is in the process of receiving her degree in Early Childhood Education. Kylie has 7 years of experience in working with children and two years working in licensed child care. Ever since she was little she knew she had a passion for taking care of children, and throughout the years her passion has turned into a reality.
Kylie graduated from Stevensville High School with the class of 2017, and moved back to Missoula to begin college and land her first official job in professional child care. During her four years of high school, Kylie worked as a babysitter for many people within the Stevensville community. She then joined a brand new program, provided by her school, called ‘Big Jacket Little Jacket’. This program involved high school students being partnered up with elementary students to form close bonds and to provide the children with confidence and leadership skills. Kylie enjoyed this program and continued it until she graduated. As the Lead Toddler Teacher at Origins, she is both very excited and eager to further enhance her knowledge and skills in the art of early childhood education.
Infant Teacher’s Assistant Melissa has always had a passion for infants and young children. She has worked with young children in many aspects from babysitting, taking care of her cousins and her younger brother and sister, to teaching young children Cheerleading in summer camp. After graduating from Hellgate high school Melissa decided that working in childcare was what she wanted to do. Melissa is excited about learning all Origins has to teach her and to begin her career in Early Childhood Education.
Besides her love for working with children, Melissa enjoys the outdoors; hunting, fishing, and camping.
Toddler Teacher’s Assistant De’Ara was born and raised in Missoula, Montana and has over 6 years of experience working with children within licensed facilities. She has extensive experience with children ages 0 to 14 years old.
De’Ara strongly believes that there is nothing but magic when it comes to children and that it is up to us to create an environment that captivates their curiosity and desire to learn. De’Ara has a lot of drive, good energy and tons of heart. She put her all into my work and in the early education of children and it makes her feel special knowing that she is, and has been, an important stepping stone in their early success. The relationships she has built with children she has worked with over the years, are truly some of the most meaningful treasures that life has given her.
Aside from spending time with her own two beautiful children and husband, De’Ara enjoys gardening, hiking and camping (spending time in the outdoors in general), working out, and making jewelry.
She am honored to be a part of the Origins family and look forward to building new relationships with the children and families here.
Lead Infant Teacher Kiana
Substitute Teachers & Support Staff:
Preschool Sub & Shift Assistant Miss Theresa grew up in Houston, Texas and moved to Idaho in 1984. She came to Missoula to go to school at the University of Montana where she studied Anthropology, Elementary Education, and Asian studies. Miss Theresa has five grown children and six grandchildren. Her love of children started with her first job, working at a childcare center in Houston while going to High School. Theresa taught kindergarten at a private school for a couple of years then worked at several other early childhood education facilities. Miss Theresa is a certified primary teacher and recently decided to work in childcare again. Theresa brings a joyous atmosphere with her everywhere she goes and she absolutely loves teaching. Theresa enjoys gardening, making clothes and is in the process of writing a book! She feels so privileged to be a part of the Origins family and is looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you.
Former Assistant Director of Origins and Substitute Teacher and Miss Tassia is a Missoula native who has been involved in childcare professionally for the past 11 years. She received her B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Childhood Development from the University of Montana in 2006 and earned her Nursing degree in 2017.
Her experience includes in depth time spent with children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 12 years old. In addition to working long-term for several Missoula families as a private nanny she worked 3 years for the local progressive children’s store, The Learning Tree, and has worked in group settings with up to 20 children for the international group The Dances of Universal Peace.
Passionate about progressive education, Tassia brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to Origins Education. Raised by phenomenal parents Gene Tkatschenko, an independent green contractor, and local Naturopathic Physician Nancy Dunne ND MA, the ideals of organic foods, sustainable living, and healthy community have been rooted in Tassia from an early age.
A lifelong student Tassia values the integrity and wisdom of whole body health, and finds quick connection with children because of their natural trust and primordial intelligence.
Substitute teacher Kasey is from a small farming town outside of Great Falls, Montana. Raised in a tight-nit community with deep set values about family, learning, and growing. She has over five years of management experience, running locally owned businesses. Kasey shares her love for dancing, singing, and expressing yourself uniquely with her active imagination. Getting outdoors and creative learning are her main priority!
Kasey was very active in entrepreneurship programs through out school and has always been inspired to teach by her dad, Pat Volkmar.
She spends most weekends in Great Falls, taking her beautiful grandmother out thrift shopping and getting there nails done. Her other hobbies include hiking, hula-hooping, and getting outside with her dog.has been an incredible addition to the Origins Family. With her magical interactions with children from every one of the schools, Kasey has brought her warmth, compassion and joy to all the children at Origins.
Former Infant & Toddler Teacher and Missoula native Miss Khadija has been a private nanny for 6 years and and worked with both NCBI and GUTS (Girls Using Their Strengths) here in Missoula.
She has had the amazing opportunity to travel overseas where she spent time volunteering in an orphanage in Faridabad, India and is currently in Boston.
Miss Khadija loves to hike, go to concerts, read classic novels and practice yoga. She brings great experience, enthusiasm and love to our littlest ones.
Substitute Teacher for all the classes, Mr. Cameron is a student at the University of Montana working towards his Health & Human Performance degree with an emphasis in Community Health and plans to teach Health Education.
Cameron has been working with children as both a Taekwondo instructor & summer camp counselor for the past five years. Mr. Cameron’s goals are to teach future generations how to stay active and make healthy choices.
Substitute Teacher Miss Josie was born in France and raised in Seattle. She has been working with children in a variety of roles for the past 9 years, and she loves sharing both of her cultures and languages with children of all ages.
Before joining the Origins Education family, Josie spent the past several years teaching in a preschool in Seattle. During this time she has had experience with children as young as six weeks and as old as twelve years. Josie loves every age group, from the sweet, curious infants to the witty, energetic preschoolers and beyond. She values teamwork, respect and compassion and promotes these in her classroom. She brings a sweet and musical exposure to the French language into her classroom where her students are filled with the awe and joy of experiencing new experiences.
Josie is a passionate singer, and has been singing in choirs and acapella ensembles all her life. She brings her love of music to the classroom, where her joy and enthusiasm for the art form are contagious to little minds.
Substitute Teacher Mr John is from Toronto, Ontario and has been living in Missoula for 5 years. John is an attachment counselor for Partnership For Children in Missoula and is a Meditation Teacher.
John has taught martial arts and mindfulness to people of all ages and brings both strength and zen when he’s in the classroom.