Meet Our Staff
Our teachers and faculty are the heart of Neskowin Valley School. They are imaginative professionals who use their expertise to guide each child to enjoy learning and achievement through mastery of skills. The school’s integrated curriculum reflects the rich interests and diverse talents of its teachers. At NVS, each student’s innate intelligence and natural curiosity is fostered in an environment where children can grow confidently.
Head of School
Sari brings extensive experience in education and youth development to the leadership of Neskowin Valley School. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Sari spent her summers supporting the coastal community in immersive camp programming. Sari holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Science Education and Youth Development from the University of Redlands and a Master’s of Education from Vanderbilt University. With an emphasis on studying the unique interactions between the human and natural worlds, Sari is eager to lead NVS in discovering our world’s past, celebrating its present, and protecting our future. In her free time, Sari can be found walking the beach or gardening with her dog Roger.
Originally from Upstate New York, Emily moved to Oregon in early 2021. Emily has a Master's degree in International Relations concentrating in International Security from Norwich University, a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Spanish from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Emily has experience in campaigning, professional and legal writing, and office management. Some of Emily's favorite hobbies include backpacking, camping, kayaking, and scrapbooking her adventures!
PreK Coordinator & Lead Teacher
Miss Rhonda is a Colorado native who has always appreciated the outdoors. She has taught in public schools, private schools, homeschool and charter schools. Her passion for seeing students learn and thrive led her to discover outdoor, student centered, whole child teaching. That discovery led her straight to NVS! She loves nurturing the natural pond she built, growing flowers, observing nature, kayaking, camping and rock hounding on the beach. To her, there is no greater joy than seeing a child discover the beauty of learning, and the power of questioning and problem solving! When she isn't outdoors, she enjoys reading, writing, cooking and taking grad school classes to grow her craft. Her next adventure will most likely be a forest school certification. She loves new adventures!
Elementary School Teacher
Charity brings years of teaching experience to Neskowin Valley School, having taught both special and general education. She loves to learn and is excited to bring that love students. Charity earned her Bachelors in Special Education for Gonzaga University and her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University. When she is not working or reading, she is playing with her own children, gardening, or enjoying the great outdoors.
Elementary School Teacher
Originally from Finland, Manna brings a Scandinavian point of view to the school. Manna has a Masters of Arts in English Philology from the University of Turku and she has worked as an EFL teacher in middle school and high school since 2003. Manna has a student-first approach to education and believes that every child has the potential to do great things. In the past years Manna has worked with her labrador retriever, Leevi, as her co-teacher. Manna has studied dog assisted education and rehabilitation at the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences and together with Leevi, they passed the rigorous field testing for dog assisted education. Her younger dog, Shikla, is now training to follow his older brother’s pawsteps. In her free time Manna likes to go stand-up paddle boarding or wandering in the great outdoors with her dogs. She also loves reading, learning other foreign languages and playing music as well as working on EFL learning material together with three colleagues from Finland. The first part of this material was published in January 2022 and the second part is well underway.
Elementary School Teacher
Originally from Maryland, Marye relocated to Oregon in August 2021. She has experience working in a variety of multi-age classrooms including preschool, elementary, and middle school settings. Most recently, Marye taught at a play-based school in Denver, Colorado. She values the whole child approach as a powerful teaching strategy for learning and development. Marye holds a Master’s Degree of Education from The University of Colorado, where she researched the importance of environmental literacy among young children. Some of her favorite pastimes include hiking, camping, and exploring with her dog, Charlie.
Middle School Teacher
Sam is a teacher who is dedicated to high quality learning through establishing a safe learning environment, and promoting higher order thinking. Sam earned his Bachelors of the Arts in Social Studies from Bard College, and his Masters in the Art of Teaching from Lewis and Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Sam is excited to share his curiosity for global and national issues/crises, and his enthusiasm for positive, diverse, solution-oriented thinking with NVS. Sam teaches the whole child by supporting the development of social-emotional skills alongside critical thinking and content literacy. Sam nurtures the abilities of his students to imagine and actuate a future where they are good citizens, good leaders, and good people.
Beth attended 1 1/2 years of nursing school at Oregon Health Sciences before getting married and moving to Hawaii. During her 3 years in Hawaii she worked as an office manager for a local architect firm. She and her husband moved to Hillsboro, OR in November of 1992 where they would spend the next 28 years. During the early years in Hillsboro she taught preschool for nine years while raising a son and daughter and spent 17 years as youth staff. After teaching preschool she worked in the Hillsboro School District, first as an assistant cook, then becoming a head cook running a grade school kitchen on her own, managing her office and feeding about 300 students. In 2016 Beth began running the restaurant that she and her husband started while he continued with his contracting business. After 5 successful years of being a restaurateur, moving to the coast in May of 2021 marked a welcomed slow down in life and provided the opportunity to work at the school where she is excited to be a part of the education, health, and well being of the families they serve!
Apprentice Teacher & Sustainability Coordinator
Chase is a recent Oregon State University graduate who obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science with a specialization in Aquatic Biology. As a local of the Oregon Coast, Chase has spent much of his time learning about the environment around him and is passionate about teaching the next generation about their role and impact on the ecosystem. He has spent the past three years as a kayak tour guide on the Salmon River Estuary and teaching surf lessons to people of all ages. Chase enjoys surfing, hiking, foraging, learning new skills, and building projects as well as sharing experiences with his friends and family.
Teaching and Learning Consultant
Dawn spent most of her childhood with her nose in a book, therefore it’s not surprising her first job out of college was as a children’s book editor in New York City. While there, Dawn completed a master's degree in Educational Psychology at NYU and began her teaching career at an all-boys school. In 2000, Dawn moved to Oregon and began teaching in the Lake Oswego School District, where she was also an Instructional Leader and New Teacher Mentor. When retired from classroom teaching and moved to the Oregon Coast in 2018, she hoped to find a way to stay involved in education, and couldn’t be happier that NVS has given her that opportunity.
Art Literacy Teacher
Renée's love of art started at a young age when she tried to make a paintbrush from the fur of my cat’s tail taped to a tinkertoy! She grew up and attended college in Pennsylvania, then moved to Oregon in 1980. Renée raised 3 sons while teaching in private and public schools, mostly the Tigard-Tualatin School District. She was trained in Art Literacy at the Portland Art Museum. When Renée retired from classroom teaching and moved to Devils Lake, she continued to work with children and art through “Let There Be Arts,” and “Community Arts Projects,” until finding the perfect place—NVS. Renée has been the Art Lit teacher here at NVS since 2015, and enjoys introducing the students to art, artists, and culture. She especially loves to see the uniqueness and creativity they bring to each project.