Ray Sanders Selected to Serve as Methow Valley Elementary School’s 2nd Grade Teacher

Ray Sanders and FamilyThe MVSD has selected Ray Sanders to serve alongside Hana Baker and Jonathan Stratman as a 2nd grade teacher at Methow Valley Elementary School (MVES). Ray will be filling the position vacated by Katie Hover, who will be serving as a MVES Literacy Support Specialists and Dyslexia Coordinator.

Ray is thrilled to begin teaching at Methow Valley Elementary School! Ray moved to the Methow 9 years ago with his wife Dani Reynaud, Director of Little Star, who grew up here in the Methow Valley. Ray earned his Bachelor’s Degree and teaching certification from Western Governors University and spent last year teaching kindergarten at Brewster Elementary.

While he loved his position and the opportunity to work with students in Brewster, Ray stated, “I’m excited to return to the Methow Valley, be a part of an exceptional team of teachers, and be closer to my wife Dani and two Lion Cubs, Marcel and Rainier.”

It’s clear that Ray loves this community, especially the children. When he’s not in the classroom, he can often be found somewhere outside playing with kids. Living, working, and being closer to his family, he looks forward to beginning his teaching career at MVES and being able to give back to the community he loves by coaching again — baseball, soccer, wrestling — he loves it all!

Please join us as we welcome Ray Sanders, MVES 2nd grade teacher!

Moving Parts: MVSD Announces Changes in Staffing Assignments

As we prepare for the 2019-20 school year, we want to share a few staffing changes taking place within the MVSD. They include…


3rd Grade Teacher, Tirzah Quigley
Tirzah Quigley with StudentsAs mentioned earlier this spring, we are excited to announce the selection of Tirzah Quigley as the new MVES third grade teacher! Transferring from her current position as the REACH Coordinator and Literacy Support Specialist, Tirzah brings a wealth of teaching experience, creativity, and excitement about returning to the classroom.

When asked about her new position, Tirzah stated, “While I have thoroughly enjoyed working as the REACH Coordinator and reading teacher over the past eight years, I am looking for a new challenge.” When asked about being a part of a team, she went on to state, “I’m excited to become a part of this amazing third grade team and am looking forward to my new role in 2019-2020.”


Literacy Support Specialist and Dyslexia Coordinator, Katie Hover
Katie Hover Holding FlowersKatie Hover has been selected to serve as MVES’s new Literacy Support Specialist and Dyslexia Coordinator. Katie has worked at Methow Valley Elementary in a variety of roles over the past 10 years. During her tenure, she has served as a second grade and kindergarten teacher, reading specialist, early childhood specialist, extended school year teacher, Cub Club instructor, and AAU basketball coach. Prior to getting her masters in teaching, she graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in communications/journalism.

For several years she worked in Seattle at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a special events coordinator, fundraising and creating awareness about this genetic disease that affects children and young adults. In her new role, Katie will not only be providing literacy support, but will also be working alongside classroom teachers to support the continued development of a structured literacy program in support of elementary-age students identified as dyslexic and/or struggling with similar literacy-based learning challenges. When asked about her new assignment, Katie stated, “I am excited about the direction our district and school is going in the area of literacy and look forward to stepping into this new position!”


Family and Community Engagement/REACH Program Coordinator, Katharine Bill
Katharine Bill and FriendHaving served as the MVSD’s Early Childhood and Childcare Coordinator, LBHS Internship Coordinator, and more recently, as the Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Katharine will be adding the coordination of the REACH program to her long list of duties. Some of Katharine’s recent work has included the initiation of an exceptional after-school childcare and enrichment program serving approximately two-thirds of the Methow Valley Elementary School students and the development of a rapidly growing community-based internship program for high school-age students attending Liberty Bell.

These programs serve as just a couple examples of her exceptional work that is positively impacting the students, parents, and the community we serve. We anticipate the same will be true as she looks to build upon the great work facilitated by former REACH Program Coordinator, Tirzah Quigley.


World Language Teacher, Eveline Wathen
Evelin Wathen at the Great WallIn an effort to provide increased levels of flexibility and support in the area of world languages, Liberty Bell World Language Teacher, Eveline Wathen will be expanding her services from a part-time to a full-time position.

Our students are so fortunate to have access to an exceptional teacher who speaks several languages!



Please join us as we acknowledge Tirzah Quigley, Katie Hover, Katharine Bill, and Eveline Wathen for ensuring every student can shine!

Adriana Vanbianchi Selected to Serve as MVSD’s New School Nurse

Following in Adriana Vanbianchithe footsteps of Laura Brumfield, recently retired MVSD School Nurse, Adriana Vanbianchi has been selected to serve as the MVSD’s new School Nurse.

A nurse and a paramedic, Adriana is excited to be working in support of her community in a position that combines her healthcare related experience with her love for working with children.

Adriana, often referred to as “Adri,” was born in Kingston, Washington. She began her career as a swift-water rescue swimmer on the rivers surrounding Portland, Oregon. Since, her experiences have included working on an ambulance, as a responder to Hurricane Ike and Gustav, in the inner-city of St Louis, Missouri, and for Aero Methow Rescue Service here in the Methow Valley. Most recently, she has been serving as a clinical nurse at the Winthrop Family Clinic.

In addition to her twelve years working in the field of healthcare, she has worked for a public middle school as a Spanish translator and one-to-one para-educator for a special needs student. Adri has also served as a guide for international education programs and spent extended time in the backcountry working in Wilderness Therapy.

Adri and her husband, Justin Porter have lived in Twisp for five years and have two kids who are three and eight. They attend Little Star and Methow Valley Elementary School. When she’s not working, Adri loves swimming, ice hockey and making a costume entry for the annual Trashion Fashion show! When asked about her new position, she stated, “I am excited and honored to become part of the Methow Valley School District Team.”

Please join us as we congratulate Adriana Vanbianchi, MVSD’s School Nurse!

Beth Anderson Selected to Serve as the MVSD’s New and Expanded College and Career Advisor

Beth AndersonBeth grew up in the small town of Isle, Minnesota. Similar to the Methow Valley, she was lucky enough to have a cross-country skiing unit in PE class. After graduating from Carleton College, Beth ventured west, living in Chelan and coordinating a family literacy program in Entiat, and then moved further west and worked in the high school counseling office at Bellevue Christian School. Beth and her husband Matt have lived in the Methow Valley for a year, and they look forward to many more winters of skiing!

Beth holds a Masters degree from Seattle University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, where she researched teaching and learning in the context of theological education. While in Berkeley, Beth also worked in graduate school admissions and coordinated a writing tutoring program at Longfellow Middle School.

Beth comes to this position with a range of perspectives on post-high school planning. When asked about her new position, she stated, “I’m thrilled to be stepping into this role and look forward to providing personalized support to make sure each student has the resources needed to reach their goals.”

Following her selection we asked LBHS Principal, Crosby Carpenter to briefly describe his impressions of Beth. He was quick to state, “Beth brings a wide range of educational, career, and life experiences to this position, as well as an innate ability to authentically connect with each student. We’re thrilled to have Beth on board and look forward to her continuing the work Erika Spellman has championed in preparing students for life beyond high school.”

Working in partnership with the Public School Funding Alliance (PSFA), the MVSD has significantly increased its investment into the expansion of the College and Career Advisor position. Utilizing the generous support provided by PSFA, the MVSD has grown the position from less than 200 hours four years ago to nearly a full time position beginning this fall.

When asked about the district’s strategic investment into this position, Superintendent Venable stated, “When I spoke to last year’s graduating seniors during my exit interviews, a few themes emerged… Continue to expand opportunities to participate internships and apprenticeships, continue to eliminate barriers in the form of fees, and expand the College and Career Advisor position. Working through our budget development process, equipped with the feedback provided by our students at the forefront, we’ve initiated action by eliminating Pay-to-Play fees, we’ve expanded our Mentorship Coordinator position filled by Kelleigh McMillan at the ILC (using a grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington), we’ve expanded our Family and Community Engagement Coordinator position (Funded by a Local Support Grant, this includes the coordination of LBHS student-interns) filled by Katharine Bill, and we’re expanding the College and Career Advisor position, thanks in large part to the generous support provided by PSFA.”

He went on to state, “The College and Career Advisor position serves as the third leg in the stool. The position matches up well with our broad range of course offerings, expanding community-based internships, and the generous support provided by PSFA, Methow Valley Education Foundation, and others in support of the planning for life beyond high school and scholarships.”

Please join us as we welcome Beth Anderson, MVSD’s College and Career Advisor and thank the Public School Funding Alliance, Methow Valley Education Foundation and the Community Foundation of North Central Washington for their generous support of all of our students and graduates. What a great place to raise children!

Dan Hanks Selected to Serves as MVSD Special Education Coordinator and School Psychologist

Dan HanksDan Hanks, a highly skilled and experienced School Psychologist and School Counselor who is dedicated to helping all students reach their learning potential has been selected to serve as the MVSD’s Special Education Coordinator and School Psychologist.

Dan grew up in Alaska, moved to Montana, and finally landed in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dan graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, and Master’s degrees in School Psychology and School Counseling.

Dan has been working in the mental health field for fifteen years, working in a variety of settings including residential treatment and adaptive community support systems. Dan has worked as a School Psychologist in specialty school environments and as a Mental Health Counselor in private practice. Dan’s counseling specialties include working with individuals with learning differences, persons on the Autism Spectrum, and students with ADHD.

In addition to his work within the K-12 school setting, Dan is a founder of Northwest College Support and Cultivation Counseling in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Working to develop students who graduate prepared to pursue the widest range of post-secondary opportunities possible, we anticipate his experience working with young adults in a post-secondary setting will serve our students well.

When asked to describe himself, Dan replied, “I’m a quixotic combination of therapist, nerd, philosopher, and dog musher”. Apparently he’s somewhat humble as well. Dan isn’t just a musher, but he competes for team USA with his four-legged best friends in the sport of Skijor.

Please join us as we welcome Dan Hanks!

MVSD Appoints Sara Mounsey to Serve as Principal of the Independent Learning Center

Sara MounseyIndependent Learning Center (ILC) Advisor, Sara Mounsey has been appointed to serve as the ILC Principal, beginning in the fall of the 2019-20 school year.

Serving alongside an exceptional team of educators that include ILC Advisor, KIm Odell and Mentorship Coordinator, Kelleigh McMillan, Sara will be adding the title of ILC Principal to her current assignment as an ILC advisor.

Prior to appointing Sara to serve as the ILC’s principal, Superintendent Venable consulted ILC Advisor, Kim Odell. When asked about whether to post the position or make an appointment, Kim was quick to respond by stating, “The ILC as it exists today is a reflection of Sara’s vision. She has inspired all of us to make the vision a reality. I can’t imagine a better person to serve as the ILC’s Principal.”

Sara obtained her administrative credentials from Gonzaga University’s Innovative Leadership and Administrative Credentialing Program. The innovative program of study, affiliated with Big Picture Learning and School Foundry, was designed to promote the development of a select group of transformative, equity-driven leaders… Leaders capable of leading through the change process to cultivate a personalized approach to learning, one student at a time.

In addition to her participation in the innovative leadership program, Sara has lead the establishment of one the first competency-based programs of study endorsed by the State Board of Education, facilitated the development of a rapidly growing network of high schools now offering or transitioning to a competency-based approach, and supported the successful passage of new legislation that firmly establishes a competency-based approach to teaching and learning as a pathway toward graduation and beyond.

When asked about his decision to appoint Sara to serve as the ILC’s principal, Superintendent Venable stated, “There are many leaders, but only a select few that lead… Individuals whose vision, beliefs, and values are visible through their actions. And, their actions inspire us to achieve what we didn’t know was possible.”

Please join us as we congratulate Sara Mounsey, ILC Principal!


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