Board Members

Christina Halligan

PRESIDENT – thalligan@mountainsongschool.com

I was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina into a military family. I spent the first part of my life in Germany where I was able to attend a German school that held the same values found in Mountain Song Community School. We relocated to Colorado Springs when I was 9 years old and lived here until I joined the Army. I obtained my first degree at Pikes Peak Community College and went onto CSU-Pueblo where I was awarded by Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  I served 20 years in the Army ending my career as a Trauma Nurse in 2015.

I have a blended family with 4 children Anthony(18), Elijah(17), Mackenzie(7) and Maria Sophia(5). I am married to the most amazing man (Jeff) who also served in the US Army and has proudly served as a stay at home dad since 2010 while supporting me with my career. As a family we strive to live a life of self-sustainability in the city and raising our children to appreciate and cherish our earth and what it offers us. We are so excited for our daughters to begin their journey with Mountain Song Community School. Being on the board allows me to become an active part of the school and its future while showing our children how invested we are in their education.

 
 

Aubrey Fennewald

Vice-President- afennewald@mountainsongschool.com

I am a Colorado Springs native, graduated from Widefield High School (go, Glads!) to then earn my BA in Anthropology from CU Boulder, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the School of Public Affairs at UCCS. My love of travel and new experiences has taken me traveling out of the state many times over the years to study abroad and explore in both our North and South neighboring countries, Australia, Great Britain, France and Germany, Puerto Rico, China, and Tibet. My professional experience includes a decade of teaching in the primary and middle school grades, various roles in school administration, and nearly a decade of fund development for charter schools and nonprofit organizations. I am presently employed as the Corporate and Foundations Relations Manager for the Pikes Peak Library District, working toward my GPC (Grant Professional Certification).   

My boys are students at Mountain Song since their Kinder year and now through Middle School, their daddy and I founding members who worked on the original charter to help open the school in 2013. The Waldorf pedagogy and Mountain Song community have proven to be a good fit for our boys’ rhythm, personalities and style, continuing to ring true in the claim to meet each child where he’s at in his unique development as an individual and contributor to our greater community. As parents, we agree wholeheartedly it is Mountain Song to thank for the many compliments we regularly receive of our boys regarding their character, lively imaginations and worldly perspective, their kindness and compassion for others. Having served on the Board of Directors for school years 2016-17 and part of ‘17-18, I return to the Board to aid in the development of Mountain Song Community School in its next chapter of growth and expansion to meet the needs of our growing community.

     

Scott Diebert

sdiebert@mountainsongschool.com

We were fortunate enough to be able to join the Mountain Song Community School family, and it has proven to be a perfect fit for our family. Our son has really blossomed in the school’s Waldorf inspired teachings, and it’s unique sense of community. I feel honored to be on the Board of Directors, and able to help contribute to the success of the school & community that have so significantly enriched our lives.

I have been lucky enough to wear a variety of hats throughout the various chapters of my life. I have spent many years working as a sound engineer, in both live & studio environments, and have had the privilege of working with many unique musicians & artists of various sorts. I feel that keeping one’s eyes & mind open to multiple ideas & viewpoints can tend to prove itself beneficial. The power of intention is an amazing thing, and when paired with hard work & perseverance, the world becomes a plethora of possibilities.

 

Bill Burkett

SECRETARY – wburkett@mountainsongschool.com

With my move to Colorado Springs in 2007, I have now lived in all four continental US time zones. I grew up in Ohio, earning a B.S. in Systems Engineering at Ohio State (I am a Buckeye!). After graduation, I worked for an aerospace company in St. Louis, then moved to Los Angeles, where I lived for 19 years before coming to Colorado Springs. We landed here because my wife and I were adopting a child and wanted to be a one-income family for a while – and you can’t be a one income family in LA and live comfortably.

Our daughter, Anna, is in the 7th grade at Mountain Song. And I follow in the footsteps of my wife, Rita Issagholian, with my Board service. She was a founding member of Mountain Song and served on the Board for several years. So I’m now able to bring the voice of “the community” back to the Board.

 
 

Hilary Hoekenga

Treasurer – hhoekenga@mountainsongschool.com

My wife and I have 3 wonderful children, one adult son and 2 twin girls. The twin girls started school at Mountain Song in 2018 and our family feels we have really found our community and academic home.  We are very much a work hard, play hard family- when we are not working, we enjoy spending time together, swimming, jet skiing, boating, playing games, stargazing, spoiling our animals (3 dogs, 2 bunnies, 1 tortoise) and camping.   
I have had a long experience with medicine throughout my personal and professional lives- I was born in New Mexico to a mother who was a high-acuity nurse and a father who was an accomplished Cardiology physician.  Throughout my career, I have thrived at finding efficiencies and improving operations. Prior to becoming fully immersed in a healthcare career, I was the VP of Operations and part owner of a small, independent record label in Manhattan. I received a double Bachelor’s in Sociology & Religion from Colorado College and hold a double Masters in Business Administration and Healthcare Administration from University of Colorado- Colorado Springs. I tend to get REALLY geeky & excited about strategic planning and data analysis.
 

Alexandra Kogan

akogan@mountainsongschool.com

In 2015 our family moved to Colorado Springs for love nature and to raise our son. We love being outdoors, hiking and observing nature around us. Now that our son is school aged, our research of education that aligned with our core beliefs led us to Waldorf Education. He’s is loving his Kindergarten experience at Mountain Song.

I’ve joined the Mountain Song Board of Directors to play an active part in my community and believe that our school has an amazing future ahead. We are excited to be apart of it and enjoy what Mountain Song has to offer.

 
 

Laurel Sullivan

lsullivan@mountainsongschool.com

I am a current junior at Colorado College studying Sociology and Education. I was born and raised just outside of Boston and decided to move west for my time in College. I am from a large family of educators, so have been surrounded by conversations about education my entire life. While at CC, I have had the pleasure of serving on the Curriculum Executive Committee, working to change our general education requirements. I was a Public Achievement coach at Mitchell high school last year and just finished a semester off-campus teaching environmental education to fifth-graders at Columbine Elementary School in Woodland Park. 
 
In my free time at Colorado College, I enjoy being a member of the Nordic Ski Team, a club team that I joined having never skied before entering college. I also enjoy spending time with my nephews and cooking new recipes! I am interested in pursuing educational policy after graduation and am eager to be involved with the Mountain Song Community School. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this community, and learn from all those involved. 
 

Jamyoung Dorji

jdorji@mountainsongschool.com

Growing up in the small mountain town of Crestone, Colorado, I attended a “non-traditional” public charter school with many of the same values and a similar sense of community that exists at Mountain Song Community School (I also attended Waldorf kindergarten in the LA area before moving to Colorado). I moved to Colorado Springs in 2015 to start my undergraduate experience at Colorado College where I graduated in 2019 with a BA in Asian Studies. I am currently continuing my education at Colorado College, and am in the midst of completing a Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) program with a focus on elementary education. Looking to my future as an educator with my own unique educational experiences, I am very passionate about learning about different educational pedagogies and systems that deviate from our country’s current dominant education system.

I have been lucky to be selected to be a member of the MSCS board for the 2020 calendar year through an initiative at Colorado College. As a future classroom teacher, I am approaching this opportunity as a great learning experience and a way to get new perspectives on education. It is refreshing to be in a school environment that places so much value on the holistic development of children. I am very excited to join the Mountain Song community! 
 

Thank you!

AND A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Neah Bay Douglas – for the tireless effort, countless hours, co-creation, and implementation in the vision, the creation, and the launch of our school.

Stephanie Fernyak – for serving on our Founding Board and all of her hard work and long hours as Chair of the Facilities Committee.

Gary Feffer – of Fountain Colony Realty, for the many hours he gave to ensure we opened August 2013 in a building that is a good fit.

Elise Bowan and Linda Johnson – for serving on our Founding Board and all of their hard work and long hours as Co-Chairs of the Outreach Committee.

Raj Solanki – for the safeguarding of our vision, founding effort, and many hours in support and governance of our school.

Rita Issagholian – for her service as our first Board President, returning for a second Board term, helping to secure the school’s first charter renewal, and her countless hours of hard work and dedication to the creation and continued success of Mountain Song.

Laurie Ristig– for her service as a Founding Board member and Governing Board member and her tireless work helping start the school and seeing to its success in its first two years of operation.

Martin Schneider – for carefully and courageously protecting the vision of the school as a Board member and essential leader guiding us through important transitions.

Eva Manz-Jackson – for dedicated service as a founding family and founding Board member, bringing encouragement and balance to many situations, projects and committees.

Melanie Chadwick – for faithfully safeguarding the school in a time of struggle to find its feet and plant them on firm ground.

Greg Augspurger – for leading the school to safe and firm financial standing as Board Treasurer.

Mike Galvin – for returning to serve the school as a Board member for a year of tremendous growth after having stepping in as Interim Director during its first year.

Aubrey Fennewald – for offering steady footing, a sense of formality and process, and courageous leadership as Board President.

Shannon Root – for bringing a clear focus on strategic planning and process as Vice President, Secretary and President, which raised the Board’s ability to accomplish critical tasks.

Jennifer Barnes – for bringing seasoned and dedicated leadership, and never-ending time contributions as Board member, President and Treasurer:  whenever and wherever needed.

Michael Katzenberg – for his common sense contributions and thoughtful inputs to complex Board items as Board member and Secretary.

Nicole Nicolleta – for bringing her local government experience to the Board and her hands-on contributions to Board operation.

Pedro Almeida – for his strong leadership and steady, clear steering of the Board operation, ensuring the Board was always on-track in meeting its responsibilities.

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