Kelli Cahoone has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish with a minor in creative writing from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She studied abroad for a semester at Trinity Christian College in Seville, Spain. During high school she did home stays in Mexico through the “Open School” and also has worked extensively with the Spanish-speaking immigrant population in Denver. She spent six months in Valparaiso, Chile and three years in Buenos Aires, Argentina teaching English to children and adults to get by and singing with jazz and eclectic local bands. Upon returning from South America, she taught children Spanish in various homeschool and private classes and even was an Adjunct Professor of Spanish at Front Range Community College. Not yet sure she wanted to teach Spanish as a career, in 2005 she was hired at the now closed Front Range Waldorf School where she worked under wonderful mentors and discovered the wonder and beauty of Waldorf Education and of Rudolf Steiner, where she taught Spanish and music for two years. Kelli taught Spanish at Compass Montessori in the ninth grade for three years and also started her own business called “Lango” which was started in San Fransisco as a method involving great music and play/movement based language instruction for young children. As a director/business owner she taught, hired, and mentored Spanish, Mandarin, and French teachers to give classes in Denver-area preschools and elementary schools. When Mountain Phoenix came to the Foothills Campus four years ago, she was thrilled to bring her experience and her daughter! She also enjoyed two summers in Spanish workshops at Steiner College in Fair Oaks. She is currently finishing the first year of foundation studies through Antioch College. Her other interests include an extensive songwriting/singing/keys career as “Kal Cahoone” and she enjoys spiritual study, child development study, gardening and cooking.
I was born in La Rioja, Argentina. I am a lawyer. My first language is Spanish. I moved to Denver in 2009 when I married my husband. When I lived in Argentina, I was working in the Senate and I taught International Law in the University. I have been teaching and working as a Spanish tutor for 5 years. This is my second year as a Spanish teacher at Mountain Phoenix. I always say that this is the most rewarding and enjoyable work that I have ever had. Working with children, I have the opportunity not only to teach Spanish but share Latin American Culture through the use of storytelling, songs, plays and even recipes that I used to do with my mom when I was a child.
My husband and I enjoy traveling to different countries and learning about other cultures, food and people. I have visited 25 states in the US and many countries in Asia, Europe and South America. I love to cook, knit, bake and read, but teaching Spanish is ones of my favorites activities.
Mountain Phoenix is a great School where I feel that I am working with amazing people and I hope I can continue be part of for many years to come.
Liza is a second-generation Waldorf teacher. She began her Waldorf journey attending City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she developed a passion for the fiber arts. She attended Naropa University and holds a BA in contemplative psychology with a double minor in education and visual arts. She enjoys bringing art to the classroom and inspiring children to create and appreciate beauty. Liza is thrilled to be MPCS’s new Handwork teacher! Let’s knit!
Physical Education and Middle School Band Director
Kevin Kern received his Bachelors degree in Music Education K-12 (Cum Laude) from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. While attending school, Kevin arranged and taught percussion for the Nazareth Area High School and started their first indoor percussion ensemble that is still performing and is very successful to this day. Near the end of college, Kevin moved to Philadelphia, PA to learn more about urban teaching in an effort to balance his philosophy and experience with education. Kevin taught for two years in Philadelphia providing private in home lessons on guitar, piano, vocals, percussion, brass, and strings while also teaching guitar, adaptive, and general music at the Norristown Area High School. The private school performed four annual concerts which his students always participated in and a few of his students were starting personal recording projects. His guitar students at Norristown did a song writing project and several of them performed these songs as opening acts for the high school band and orchestra concerts.
Currently, Kevin is working for The Lesson Studio in Boulder, CO providing percussion lessons and rock band ensemble classes. The studio has been a great opportunity so far, but he is very excited to be directing the middle school band at Mountain Phoenix and has great anticipation for the coming school year. He is also excited about teaching Physical Education because it has been a huge part of his personal life. He is a certified ASSI Level 1 snowboard instructor and taught snowboarding for 8 years, has worked for a YMCA providing swim lessons for 5 years, and highly values physical activity as part of a balanced lifestyle. Every person is responsible for taking care of their body and learning how to do that in a fun and safe environment is his biggest priority. In his personal time Kevin enjoys performing with the funk trio Two&Four, riding his bike (bmx/mountain/road), being in nature, or learning something new.
Justino Perez studied piano with Dr. Daniella Mineva, Cello with Carol Jacobson, and Composition with Dr. J. Brian Post at Humboldt State University. At Humboldt State he was the recipient of the Van Duzer Scholarship, Fulkerson Scholarship, President of the Music Club, and a Presidential Scholar, and graduated with academic honors. At HSU Mr. Perez had the honor of developing and teaching his own music theory lab courses, under the provision of Dr. Cindy Moyer, and has been a Theory and Cello instructor for The Porterville Intensive Strings Workshop. Justino has also studied Composition with renown composers Stacy Garrop and David Rakowski. In his past, Mr. Perez has participated in the Fresh Inc festival for new music premiering two new works including Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, at The Ravinia Music Festival, as well as I Just Lost to Myself at Hide and Seek, written for The Eclipse Trio. He also frequently premieres works with many ensembles from The Humboldt Symphony College of the Redwoods Concert Band, and The Vipisa Trio. Justino Is an active member of The National Association of Composers, and has been featured by the association on concerts. Justino has been the principal cellist for the Humboldt Symphony as well as had performed in other ensembles such as The Eureka Symphony, The All Seasons Orchestra, and The Humboldt Light Opera Company. Recent composition master classes include working with Dr. Chen Yi. Justino is also a private cello and composition teacher.
Karen came to Mountain Phoenix while in search of a school that was a good fit for her son Riley. She found that and more. She discovered a wonderful loving community with a teaching philosophy that fit right in with her own pedagogy. Karen has more than 20 years experience teaching art to children of all ages. Much of that time was working with students in non-profit organizations. Karen believes art helps students to become life long lovers of learning.
Karen is a multimedia artist who periodically shows her art in the Denver metro area. As an artist, she is constantly learning new materials and styles for creating her art. Her undergraduate studies were in sculpture and modern dance. She graduated from SUNY Potsdam in New York State, spent a year studying at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston, and a semester abroad in England. Karen recently completed her Masters of Arts in Arts Education at University of Northern Colorado. Her thesis explored what curriculum best creates questioning learners.
When she is not making art or sharing her love of art with others, Karen can be found spending time with her husband and two children. She also loves gardening and plans someday to learn to play the guitar.