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Middle School Teachers

Our extraordinarily caring, dedicated, and involved faculty and teachers are committed to public Waldorf educational values and ongoing training.

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Kresta Christenson
(Sixth Grade)

Kresta Christensen is teaching 6th grade. She has taught secondary mathematics in many different states since 1998. Kresta loves the many outdoor activities available to her in Utah and Colorado. Kresta enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, skydiving, base jumping, slacklining, and highlining. She has a passion for excitement and travel. She feels very much at home here, and plans to stay on the beautiful Western Slope of Colorado for many years to come.



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DAWN COOPER (Seventh Grade)

A very dynamic and student-centered educator, Dawn Cooper has dedicated her professional life to creating authentic learning experiences. She loves sharing this enthusiasm with her students and the community at Juniper Ridge Community School.

Dawn brings an extensive and diverse instructional background- in the back country and in the classroom. She has 10 years of classroom teaching experience in traditional and non-traditional school settings. She has developed and run wilderness academic summer programs and place-based after-school programs for youth. Dawn’s love of learning has led her to live, travel, and study around the world.

When not teaching, Dawn can be found sharing her passion for mountain biking and local adventures through her business, Boneshaker Adventures, or welcoming travelers from around the world to the guesthouse she runs out of her home.

Dawn loves being outside, cooking, traveling, dancing, and exploring in her VW Westfalia with her two dogs.



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Maile Simpson (Eighth Grade)


Maile is married with three sons (two are here at Juniper Ridge and one is in the Navy). She moved here from Georgia 4 years ago and feels like she has found our true home. The snow is her favorite part since she didn’t have that down in the South.

Maile has been teaching for 18 years and has taught 7th through 12th grade. She received my Masters degree from Georgia State University and is also National Board Certified in Math. This is her second year at Juniper Ridge. After seeing the great experiences her children were having, she knew she had to join them!

She loves reading, hiking and playing board games with her boys.