JaNae was born in Washington but has grown up and lived most of her life in Utah County. She and her 5 siblings are adopted and she has enjoyed growing up with a "colorful" family. JaNae graduated with a bachelors in Social Work from Eastern Washington University and a Master's in Social Work from University of Texas Arlington. She has a passion for working with individuals and their families. She has experience working in residential treatment with adolescent boys and girls. She has knowledge in evidenced-based treatment models including CBT and DBT and helping individuals and their families as they work through depression, anxiety, ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder, crisis intervention and attachment issues. She loves connecting with people and building relationships both at work and in her life. She is known for her fun demeanor, which often helps others to feel at ease around her. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 7 month old son. She loves animals, playing sports and being in the outdoors.
McKay was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. She moved to Utah to attend BYU and study Art Education. McKay has taught several community art classes in Provo, mainly to students with special needs or those battling poverty and homelessness. McKay founded, and continues to run, the art program at Provo's homeless shelter. She also works with Downtown Provo Inc. to help bring more art to downtown. In addition to teaching, McKay is very involved in the local punk music scene. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her ugly bike, rock climbing, going to punk shows, watching movies, and hanging out with homeless people. McKay works primarily with paint, mixed media, and installation work.
Orlinda Vazquez is a mother and a teacher. This is her first year at Walden.
Orlinda has always had an interest in working with children and their learning. Although born and raised in Utah, Orlinda spent 10 years in California after high school working and going to school. She graduated from California State Long Beach, where she spent most of her last two years taking elementary education courses, volunteering at various elementary schools, and working as an assistant at a Montessori school in Laguna Niguel.
Orlinda has a passion for helping children learn all subjects, but has a special interest in guiding children in health and personal growth. It is her goal to have all children succeed and feel successful.
Kat Moulton has always loved learning. Her mom is a high school English teacher and her dad an editor, so academia is in her blood. She has lived in England, New York City, and Montana, but spent most of her life here in Provo and loves this valley and these mountains. She is passionate about the English language, reading, fairy tales and folklore, folk dance, theatre, and history. She is so excited to be a part of the wonderful environment here at Walden, and to help your students grow and learn.
Stephanie Young is beginning her eighth year teaching Language Arts at Walden. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in English Education and immediately looked for a job that was different from the mainstream teaching of the exact same thing, six times a day. After interviewing with Walden, she knew she'd found a place to call home.
Stephanie is a lover of almost any book, both fiction and non-fiction, but mostly enjoys fantasy and science fiction. In her spare time, she also enjoys writing, cooking, baking and playing with her two young children, Paisley and Parker.
Stephanie, her husband, Rhett, Paisley and Parker, moved around the country from 2013-2017. They landed in New York, Texas, Florida, and New Mexico before finally ending up back in Utah. The family is thrilled to be back in Utah so the kids can attend Walden and Stephanie can be back working with Middle School! Stephanie loves the uniqueness of Walden, it's smaller class sizes and the ability it has to offer individualized education to all it's students. She hopes to help all students find a safe place at Walden.
Stephen is a musician and record producer. They're in local bands Officer Jenny and Quiet House. They're married to Erika Eddington and have two beautiful cats, Harold and Maude. They love biking around town, playing video games, and watching horror movies.
Sharon spent her childhood in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington) collecting seashells and climbing trees. Nearly 14 years ago she moved to Utah to study and ended up staying. Sharon has been a part of Walden since it's early beginnings. She has two sons who both attend Walden. Sharon enjoys traveling, running and reading books in the sunshine. She has taught Yearbook, Running and Sewing classes at Walden.
Sharon Beecroft has been educator for over a decade. Her degree is in History Secondary Education, but her role at Walden for the past many years has been primarily in administration. Sharon has filled the role of Business Manager, HR Director and more. She currently is the middle school director and serves on the board of trustees as the secretary and middle school representative. Sharon is world traveler, taking time to visit exotic and far away places on a yearly basis. She loves yoga and spending time with her family.
Melissa Wagner has a Bachelors Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development and a teaching license in early childhood education. She has Montessori training for 3-6 year olds. She has been at Walden for 10 years. She loves the children—they amaze her every day—they are the best part of her job.
Lara Candland has taught literature, creative writing, and English composition at colleges and universities from coast to coast, including the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. After her first child enrolled at Walden more than ten years ago, Candland began her adventure teaching high school language arts. At Walden, she teaches Language and Literature, International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, Language and Literature, International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, Creative Writing, Poetry, and Locavore Cooking and Writing. Candland has a passion for supporting students in finding authenticity in their writing and ways to share and publish their work. She has served on the international Teacher Advisory Board for Scholastic's Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, and is committed to increasing equality of access in public education for all students.
An award winning poet and playwright, Candland is the author of Alburnum of the Green and Living Tree (BlazeVox, 2010) and the forthcoming The Lapidary's Nosegay (Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, January 2018). Her work can be found in many journals and literary publications. She holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College, Mills College, and a doctorate in Literature and Creative Writing (poetry) from the University of Utah.
Tyler Christensen is a professional football tester, retired astronaut, and the world's foremost expert on the relative tensile strengths of various forms of saltwater taffy. Although Tyler agrees with biographers that he was born and raised more-or-less locally, he's always been cagey about the definition of "locally". Tyler has never been involved in tennis, chess club, volunteer firefighting, or paranormal investigations. Despite any evidence to the contrary Tyler has never won an Olympic medal for outstanding performance in downhill skiing. Tyler's biggest dream is that science will one day develop a method for separating beaches (which he likes) from the awful, pervasive scent of damp and decay that is endemic to any large body of water (which he does not like).
Tyler's contribution to Walden includes: righting containers that have been knocked over; setting clocks no-one else is tall enough to reach; reminding students that they did, in fact, receive that homework assignment; seeing to it that important documents are correctly filed, despite the best efforts of the agents of chaos; delivering important memos; making sure students are safe and productive, despite the best efforts of the agents of chaos; making sure fellow faculty members are safe and productive, despite themselves; some other thousand or so mundane tasks that are neither remarkable nor memorable, but without which polite social order would falter, and eventually, civilization would crumble.
Tyler can be contacted by leaving a friendly note and a pile of freshly baked goods in the south building office.
Vanessa graduated with her Bachelor's in Psychology with an emphasis in education in 2004. She has directed and taught at her own preschool program and is currently loving the "Montessori and Me infant and toddler" parent/child class this year. She is beyond happy to be apart of the Walden family volunteering/teaching for the past 5 years. Vanessa enjoys singing, hiking, yoga, meditating and taking her kids on adventures!
Sage has taught early childhood, lower elementary, music, and child development at Walden. She graduated from BYU in 2005 with a BA in Humanities and Art History. Her love of Montessori led her to Walden and the pursuit of her Montessori and Utah Education credentials.
Sage loves to knit, spin wool, garden, and learn new things.
Alice Waldron graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors degree in Biology, and a minor one Visual Arts. Her niche is combining these two seemingly opposite topics, and bringing them together in a unique, and interactive way. She helped illustrate a field guide of insects of the Mohave Desert, published in October 2016. She has a fine attention to detail, and uses this skill to help others see the beauty of the natural world. She has worked with the Boy Scouts, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and recently the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. She also has field experience working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.
This is Alice’s second year at Walden and she is loving every minute of it. Her goal is to get her Masters in Secondary Education from Utah State University.
As a teacher of songwriting and music production, Stuart brings a great deal of experience to the classroom. He studied music composition at BYU. He’s been writing songs and composing music for over 10 years. In 2010 he was selected as one of 10 composers from the Seattle area to participate in the David Diamond Young Composers’ Workshop. In 2016 he was chosen to receive the Barlow Composer Award, which came with a commission to compose a new work for the BYU Singers, BYU’s premiere choral group. He has written and produced multiple albums of music and has written and arranged songs for Shadow Mountain Records and for numerous independent artists. In 2015 he contributed to 13 separate albums that were released that year