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.
EVERGREEN LEAD TEACHER - JEANINE CHASE
Jeanine has just recently graduated from Northern Vermont University and made the move all the way across the country to Leavenworth. Here she hopes to combine her love for the outdoors and enthusiasm to encourage children to grow and develop by working at Mountain Sprouts! Her degree is in Mountain Recreation Management with a concentration in Adventure Leadership. Jeanine has also worked full time as the lead teacher in a classroom with 18-24 month-old children. This experience lead her to continue to work as a substitute preschool teacher in Vermont while attending college. She believes that children need to be exposed to the outdoors starting at a young age in order to promote positive interactions and learning experiences with their environment. She spends most of her free time cooking and baking delicious treats and spending time in the mountains snowboarding and hiking!
EVERGREEN LEAD TEACHER - KATIE WALZ
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 LEAD TEACHER - HANNA BRUNING
I moved back to Washington State in 2017, from Coeur d’ Alene ID, after my husband relocated to fight wildfires for the Forest Service. Having grown up on the northern part of the Columbia River our family was excited to put down new roots in this area. We have raised our three boy’s ages, 9, 20 and 21, to be very active in the outdoors and good steward of the land. When I am not in the classroom you will find me hiking and collecting nature items for crafts, fishing on the river or splashing in a lake with our youngest son.
I have worked in the field of early childhood education, in a variety of settings for the past 16 years. I received my Associates Degree in Child Development form North Idaho College and my Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Family Relations, with a minor in the study of psychology, from the University of Idaho. My passion lies in following children’s lead while they explore their environments; I am also a strong believer in the power of interacting with nature. I love to engage in conversations with children about their natural curiosities and support them while they navigate our world.
EVERGREEN ON-CALL TEACHER - INA WARING-ENRIQUEZ
Ina grew up in Washington state and as a child enjoyed exploring the tall evergreen forests and learning from the life in the garden. With this upbringing as inspiration, she received her B.A. in Biology from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. While studying biology, Ina focused upon ecological systems and spent 3 summers studying tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador.
Ina got her first introduction to early childhood education while working at a montessori school in Seattle where she was able to share her passions of science and nature with fantastic, curious children.
Ina moved to Leavenworth in June of 2018 to work part-time at Tierra Organics and fulfill a dream of living at the foot of the Cascades.
Ina is very excited to be joining the Evergreen classroom to learn, grow, and explore with the sprouts.
When Ina is not hanging out with mountain sprouts you can find her digging her hands into the dirt in the garden, nestled down with a good book, or running, hiking, climbing, or snowboarding out in the mountains.