EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - MIA BRETZ
As the ED, Mia is the head of operations. She has a BA in Environmental Issues and Land Use Planning, and a BA in Natural Resources Economics. She is a mother of three Sprouts alumni. Mia is passionate about her family and their education as well as climbing, surfing, snowboarding, and laughing as much as possible!
Office Hours: By appointment
EDUCATION DIRECTOR - BRITTANY THURLOW
As the Ed Director Brittany is the head of programming.
She has her degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Central Washington University. She has since taught in schools that have shared her philosophy of teaching and that honor the individuality, uniqueness, and strengths of each child.
By teaching to the whole child and facilitating an environment where they are able seek out the answers to their curiosities, she believes the love and joy of learning will be fostered in each child.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Brittany spent most of her childhood outdoors. Even still, in her free time she can be found enjoying a hike with friends, playing on the water, rock climbing, or reading a good book at the beach.
Education Director Office Hours: By appointment
ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR - TAYLOR SWEIGARD
Taylor has her Associates of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Wenatchee Valley College and many years experience teaching in early childhood. She taught pre-k through third grade with an emphasis on working with children who have special needs.
As a teacher, Taylor works to build a nurturing environment where every student can gain self worth and accomplishment, solve problems, accept others for their differences and express themselves. She strives to encourage independence, exploration, and creativity that promotes life long learning.
In her free time she enjoys reading, baking, running, and yoga.
EVERGREEN LEAD TEACHER - GIANNA STARBLE
Gianna recently moved to the Wenatchee Valley and is so excited to join the team at Mountain Sprouts! Originally from Colorado, she came out to Washington for a little change and to be in a beautiful setting with quick access to the outdoors. She got her introduction to early childhood education from working at a childcare center in Denver, where she lead a classroom of 12-18 month olds. She received her Early Childhood Education Certificate from Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, CO. She is thrilled to have found Mountain Sprouts, where she can combine her passion for working with young children and using nature as a platform for learning! When she’s not teaching, you will find her exploring the trails on a run or a hike, singing to anyone who will listen, or cooking and baking a new creation.
EVERGREEN LEAD TEACHER - BROOK HERRON
Brooke was born and raised in Southern California and has recently moved to Wenatchee. She is
so excited to be apart of the Evergreen Junior class. Brooke has been working with children
between the ages of 2-12 for over 5 years. She has received her degree and certificate in Early
Childhood Education from Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, CA. She loves to encourage
imagination through the natural world and has a passion for children’s growth and development.
In her free time, she enjoys fishing, hiking, gardening, hanging out with her pups and cat,
refurbishing furniture and visiting her family.
SEASONAL PROGRAM LEAD TEACHER - RACHEL BISHOP
(Seasonal Programs: Willow Preschool and Summer Camp)
Rachel is excited to be a part of the Mountain Sprouts community. Connecting youth to the natural world is a passion of hers and what better place to do that than the eastern slopes of the North Cascades.
She has her BA in Environmental Education with a minor in Environmental Science. The past seven years Rachel has been working as an Environmental Educator, facilitating stewardship and a sense of place in the young people soon to run the world.
When she is not teaching you will find Rachel doing something outside: climbing, skiing, mountain biking and/or birding.
WILLOW LEAD TEACHER - KARMEN OHME
Karmen was born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley and grew up on an apple and apricot orchard. She has deep roots in the mountains and forests of the Eastern Cascades. She received an Associate of Arts and Science Degree, with special attention on creative writing, art, and biology. She believes when a child's curiosity is fostered, and nurtured it has the power to create momentum not only to grow, but to thrive! She believes ever child has a gift, and wants to help bring that out. In her free time you can spot her climbing rocks, hiking mountains, playing her guitar, reading, or even napping in a tree!
WILLOW ON-CALL TEACHER - HANA BUTLER
Hana’s early childhood exposure and passion for the outdoors led her to pursue a degree in Outdoor Recreation at Western Washington University. Her love for adventure, challenge and service learning led her to an early career as an outdoor educator for Outward Bound and other environmental education organizations. For the past 10 years, she has been Experiential Programs
Coordinator for WSU Chelan County Extension working with youth and adults of all ages and stages in classroom and outdoor based learning, challenge course facilitation and natural resource leadership programs. As a teacher, Hana strives to create a caring culture of compassion where every child knows they matter and to facilitate experiences and that engage students on a deeper level with themselves, their community and their environment.
Hana is excited to be raising her own wild child in her home town community and experiencing the joy of wonder and discovery of the world on a daily basis. She also enjoys whitewater rafting, yoga, hiking and backpacking, yoga, good food, family and good books!