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Meet the Teachers

Meet the Teachers

Get To Know Our Caring Staff

Emily MacNiven
Mrs. Mac, Principal
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As Vista’s principal, I am so lucky because I get to help support teachers and students and do a little bit of everything! I was drawn to Vista because of the personalized and individualized approach to education for which Vista has had a long standing reputation. Not to mention Vista’s students are amazing and our school community feels like a family!

It’s not a secret if you know me that I am a total learning nerd! Besides learning, I am passionate about spending time outdoors in this beautiful area we get to call home, playing in the water, hiking our mountains, and riding the trails.

My absolute favorite part about leading at Vista is assuring that all students in our community have an opportunity to achieve their goals, starting with high school graduation and continuing with a plan to lead them on the path to success beyond high school.

Mrs Kim
Mrs. Kim, Para Engagement Coordinator
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The opportunity to work with teenagers and give them another choice in their educational path. When I’m not spending time with these young adults, I enjoy spending time with my family – Especially my grandkids.

I love working with the students. Every day is a new adventure watching the kids obtain a goal that they never thought was possible.
MarĂ­a Pacheco
María Pacheco, Custodian
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Someone told me it was a good workplace for me, and that’s what brought me to Vista. I am passionate about walking our mountains. I like working at Vista because they let me work at my own pace and all the teachers treat me with respect and equality.
Trigg Skoe
Mr. Trigg, Science Teacher & Career Development
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What I bring to the school is experience growing up in Montrose and connecting with the community. I am also a big advocate for the outdoors and relevancy in education, I strive to incorporate both as much as possible.

I spend my free time exploring the mountains and deserts. I ride dirt bikes, mountain bikes, fly fish, whitewater kayak, river surf, hike, and really anything else that takes me outside.

My career is very fulfilling at Vista Charter School. The teamwork and community are amazing. I really enjoy working with the staff and the student population as we all share a common goal of progress. 
Erin Fields
Ms. Fields, Social Studies & English Teacher
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I teach Social Studies, English and Project Based Learning & Portfolios. I have been teaching in alternative settings for 25 plus years and I wanted to bring my experience to Vista and build a stronger learning environment for Vista students.

I love reading, research, hockey, camping and hiking when I’m not at school.

My favorite thing about teaching at Vista is helping my students find success.
rhonda smith
Ms. Rhonda, Secretary, Administrative Assistant, & Registrar
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I was secretary at Northside Elementary for years. I wanted to broaden my horizons but still stay in education. I found a second home at Vista, an alternative high school giving individual high school options to individual students.

I love to travel. Whether it’s a week in a distant place or a weekend to camp in our mountains. Every new place is an adventure and there are so many I haven’t gotten to yet! So much to do, so little time.

My favorite thing about working at Vista is that we get acquainted with the students. We know everyone’s name and often their hopes and dreams. We give all students a fresh start in a new setting here at Vista.

Alison Harris
Miss Ali, Social Emotional Learning, Responsive Counseling, & Mental Health Coordination
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I have wanted to work with youth in the field of mental health for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate to find Vista Charter School when I completed my Master’s Degree!

I love to read, hike, and play softball! I am passionate about being outside and enjoying nature!

My favorite part about working at Vista is the students. All of them hold such a special place in my heart. I love the family feel of the Vista community.

 

Paul Stucki
Paul Stucki, Math Specialist & Bike Tech Coordinator
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I believe in Alternative Education, and Vista fits my teaching style perfectly. As a former Professional Mountain Bike Racer and Freestyle Mogul Skiing Competitor, I like to spend my time recreating outdoors with family and friends in pursuit of inner peace.

I love teaching at Vista, because they value my passion for weaving my interests throughout meaningful curriculum. I connect well with students, and that can spark interest for them to reach their potential and realize their own goals and future.

 

Kendra Stucki
Ms. Kendra, Teacher
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As a teacher at Vista, my role is to provide support for students that need accommodations in order to make their education more accessible. I work directly with students and parents, as well as our staff to create a team approach to ensure student success as they transition.

Vista has a unique environment that allows education to meet individual student needs by acknowledging strengths and challenges and working with each student to support them in their journey towards success. Vista is a welcoming school that believes that everyone can succeed.

I enjoy working with my hands whether I am preparing creative cuisine, designing a new garden bed, or painting. I am also addicted to being outdoors hiking, trail running, mountain biking, paddle boarding, or skiing. I like to sneak in a good book, yoga, or live music to chill out!

After teaching for many years, in many different settings, I found Vista and the staff to be incredibly passionate about their work. I am proud to be able to contribute to the success that is made possible when everyone is engaged works hard together.

 

Karina Estrada
Ms. Karina, Para Professional
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I came to Vista because it was a great new opportunity to work better hours than my prior job. I also enjoy working around teenagers.

I love hiking and camping.

I enjoy all of my coworkers and, of course, the students. I like that everyday is different and we just never know what’s next.

 

Ms Nancy
Ms. Nancy, Teacher - All Subjects
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I came to Vista Charter School because I believe that every person has the right to an education along with a right to have a productive, happy life.

I enjoy the outdoors, gardening, family, cattle, animals, and laughter.

What I love about teaching at Vista are the students – Their hopes, dreams, goals and how hard they work to achieve them. They have taught me that anything is possible. I give them tools that they need so they can be happy, and have peaceful, productive lives.

 

john mckinnon
Mr. McKinnon, Science Teacher
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I primarily teach Science but I also teach Computer Science, Photoshop, and Video Production.

I taught for 11 years at Olathe Middle/High School and discovered I related to the “alternative” student – the bored student, the under-achieving student, the student who felt like the school system did not give them what they needed. I used to drive by Vista and think to myself, “Someday I will teach here.”

One day, a student I taught in 8th grade, one just like my description above, called me and said, “Mr. McKinnon, Vista needs a Science Teacher.” The rest is history. Thanks for the call, Marissa A.

I am passionate about playing guitar and even building them. I always wanted to play guitar, and at age 29, I bought my first guitar. I have played almost everyday since and even started building acoustic guitars, selling them in Telluride, CO.

Vista is a special place. Many of the kids at Vista remind me of myself at their age. I was lucky in that I had a high school with exceptional teachers that saw something in me and pushed me to achieve when I didn’t really believe in myself. Vista is like that school. Vista has a staff that genuinely cares about their students and the goes to any length to engage them in learning. Once a student finishes and gets their diploma, the satisfaction and pride of the student is second to none.

 

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