Word on the Curb – May 14th, 2017

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council. 


Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?! 

Nate Wolfcale and Cara Nelson are parents to Axl Wolfcale, who will be 11 on May 17th, in Carme’s 5th grade class.

Parents: Where are you both from originally?   What places other than Missoula have you lived?

Nate was born in Fairbanks, Alaska.  He moved to Missoula for High School and went to Sentinel.

Cara grew up on the east coast, outside of New York City.

We both spent much of our adult lives around Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains of Washington.  We met 19 years ago in Seattle, but moved to Vashon Island, Washington shortly after we met.  We still have a house on Vashon and usually spend the summers there.

Parents: What is/are your occupation(s)?  Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

Cara is a professor of restoration ecology at University of Montana

Nate is a contractor, who mostly works on residential remodels.

Our favorite things to do are to spend time with friends and family, bike, hike, ski, skate, go salmon fishing, catch red and king crabs, read, travel, find buried treasure with a metal detector, practice archery, and play with our dogs, Little Iggy and Big Max.

We spent last year in Concepcion, Chile.  Axl went to a Chilean school, Kingston College, for 4th grade.  In some ways, the school was a lot like MIS, with the same feeling of community.  But in other ways it was really different:  all the kids had to wear uniforms, there were weekly exams in all his subjects everyone was very concerned about grades, and all the recesses were inside (kids even played soccer in the hallways!).  The parent parties were “asados” (barbeques) that started at 10 PM and lasted until morning.  We lived near the mouth of the Bio Bio River.  One of our favorite things to do was to hike the high bluffs over the Pacific and look for sea lions and otters.  We became great friends with the stray dogs at the beach and always had their company on our hikes.  We would be happy to talk about our experience living abroad with other MIS families who are thinking of living internationally.

Word on the Curb – April 30th, 2017

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council. 

Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?! 

Scott and Hillary Wandler are parents to 11 year old Grace, in Ibrahim’s 5th grade class.  She has been at MIS since 4/5 year old preschool.

-Parents: Where are you both from originally?   What places other than Missoula have you lived?

Hillary was born and raised in central Montana near Lewistown and Scott grew up in Helena, where we went to high school together.  After we were married, we lived and went to school in Fargo/Moorehead at NDSU (Scott) and Concordia (Hillary). We have lived in Missoula since 2001 except for one year in San Francisco in 2004-2005.

-Parents: What are your occupations?  Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

Hillary is an attorney and professor at the University of Montana Law School.  Scott is the Superintendent of Larchmont Golf Course.

-Favorite hike or bike anywhere?

Our family loves to hike and run around on The Elephant Rocks near the family ranch in central Montana. They are sandstone formations in the middle of nowhere.

-Favorite piece of parenting wisdom?

To always remember that you’re the adult.

When your child can’t seem to hear you, just whisper “ice cream”.

-Favorite things to do together as a family?

Things we like to do together are playing Ticket to Ride board games, Wii U, skiing, and throwing the football and Frisbee around the yard.

-Anything else you would like to share?

We’ve been married for 19 years. We have 3 dogs, Tucker, Lancelot, and Patrick. Grace is a swimmer for MAC on the gold squad, a member of the BeeBots Lego Robotics team, and will be the tallest member in our house in a year.

Word on the Curb – March 26, 2017

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council.

Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?!

Gabriel and Melissa Silverman are parents to 4 year old Oliver, in Jenny and Diana’s preschool classroom, and 2 year old Elliot who attends preschool at Clark Fork.  Baby number three is scheduled to arrive in mid-March!

-Parents: Where are you both from originally?   What places other than Missoula have you lived?

Gabriel was born in Paris, France but moved to Missoula when he was one. After graduating from Hellgate High School, he moved to Oregon for college and then to Chicago before moving back to Missoula in 2009.

Melissa was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She went to college in Bloomington, Indiana and graduate school in Chicago, Illinois. She then moved to Missoula with Gabriel in 2009.

-Parents: What are your occupations?  Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

Melissa is a Speech Pathologist.  Gabriel is a graphic designer.  Together they own a graphic design and marketing firm, Gecko Designs, which just last year celebrated it’s 20th year in business!

-Any hobbies you enjoy?

Melissa loves running, skiing (all forms), hiking, cooking/baking, reading, and  puzzles.
Gabriel loves hockey, skiing, sailing, mountain biking, and woodworking.

-Favorite meal/music/cultural event?

We love to travel and wish we could do it more often. We love exploring new places, trying new foods, meeting locals, and experiencing the culture. We look forward to traveling more as our children get older.

Word on the Curb – March 12, 2017

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council.

Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?!

Meet Lara Dorman and Deb Poteet! They have two wonderful children. Isabelle is 10 years old and in Karim’s 4/5 multiage class. Isaac is 8 years old and in Patricia’s 2/3 multiage class.

-Parents: Where are you both from originally? What places other than Missoula have you lived?

Lara: I grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and moved to Montana to finish college. I loved it here so much that I stayed! I also lived in Germany for 3 years and was an exchange student in Toluca, Mexico for a semester while I was in high school.

Deb: I was born in Indiana and grew up outside of Indianapolis in Moorseville. I moved to Montana to attend the University and fell in love with the beauty of this state.

-Parents: What are your occupations? Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

Lara: I have been a realtor for 13 years and I am currently with Portico Real Estate. I am also a travel writer for Hilton Hotels and more specifically their family website which provides reviews and tips for family travel. I also manage and provide content for my own travel website, 2 Mom’s Travel. In my spare time, I love skiing, traveling, singing with the Missoula Symphony Chorale and just being with my family.

Deb: I am the president and owner of Poteet Construction, which is a highway road construction and traffic control company. I started this company 30 years ago and it’s been quite rewarding pushing the envelope as a woman owned business in this industry. In my spare time I enjoy fishing, hiking and spending as much time as possible outside exploring with my family.

-Favorite hike or bike anywhere?

We love to get on our bikes and ride into the Rattlesnake wilderness! We feel extremely lucky and blessed this amazing piece of paradise is nearly in our backyard.

Word on the Curb – February 26, 2017

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council.

Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?!

 

Natalie and Christian Baker are parents to Aspen and Welles. Aspen is in Virginia and Andrea’s K/1 multiage class and Welles is in his first year of preschool in Mishel and Ana’s classroom.

-Parents: Where are you both from originally?   What places other than Missoula have you lived?  Natalie was born in Iowa City, Iowa and lived there until she was 10. She grew up in both Tuscon and Bozeman. Christian was born and raised in Eufaula, Oklahoma.  As a married couple, they have lived in Stillwater, Oklahoma and Austin, Texas.

-Parents: What are your occupations?  We are teachers at MIS! Christian teaches Physical Education and Natalie teaches Music. Both of us teach all ages and have a blast getting to know your children! Thank you for sharing them with us.

-Favorite meal/music/cultural event? Favorite family dinner is simple, easy and delicious… take out pizza from McKenzie River.

We love to go to the Saturday Farmer’s Market and also enjoy an evening at “family fun night” at the Top Hat.

-Favorite hike or bike anywhere? We took our family on a backpacking trip to upper Holland Lake. By far, this was a favorite family adventure. Natalie and Christian plan on taking their family to Crystal Park this summer.

Christian loves to rock climb at Lost Horse, just south of Darby.  Rock climbing puts him in his “happy place”!

-Favorite things to do together as a family? Travel! Any adventure where we can pack our bags and spend time together. We recently went to Disney World where we made amazing memories.

Anything else you’d like to share? We love being a part of the MIS community and we are thankful to call you all family!

Word on the Curb – February 19, 2017

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council.

Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?!

Scott Pankratz and Julie Osborn are parents to 9 year old Natalie, in Carme’s 4/5 multiage classroom, and 6 year old Lucas, in John’s K/1 multiage classroom

-Parents: Where are you both from originally?   What places other than Missoula have you lived?

We are both from California, and lived in Moab, Utah before moving here. We’ve also spent time living abroad in Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador.

-Parents: What are your occupations?  

We are the founders and directors of Ecology Project International, an educational non profit that teaches science to high school kids.  MIS partners with EPI to lead the 8th graders capstone field trip in Mexico!

-Favorite meal/music/cultural event?

We have waffles every Sunday. It’s a Pankratz family tradition with a special recipe from Scott’s mom!

We also love Missoula’s parades, and Michael Franti concerts 🙂

Lucas and Natalie both play the violin.

-Favorite hike or bike anywhere?

We like to walk or bike around the block or up to Pineview Park, and the kids take the bus to school every morning!

-Favorite things to do together as a family?

Play outside, especially on rivers. We love river rafting and we spend a couple of weeks every year floating, camping, and playing on the water. We even live on the creek. We also love to ski together.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We spent a semester in Mexico when the kids were 3 and 6 and we love the Spanish language immersion that MIS bring into our lives!

Word on the Curb – January 29, 2017

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council.

Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?!

Nick DeCesare and Yvette Ortega are parents to (almost) seven year old Alina, in Virginia and Andrea’s K/1 multiage classroom, and four and a half year old Marco, in his second year of preschool with Ana and Mishel.

-Parents: Where are you both from originally?  What places other than Missoula have you lived?

Nick is from Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Yvette is from Los Angeles, California.  Collectively, we have also had stints in Alaska, Vermont, Berkeley, and Chicago.

-Parents: What are your occupations?  Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

We are both research biologists, with Nick focusing more on big animals (moose currently) and Yvette on the more delicate (songbirds and plants).

We both love the outdoors.  Nick is crazy about hockey and Yvette about dance!

-Favorite things to do together as a family?

One of our favorite weekend adventures is camping!

Anything else you’d like to share?

We love the teachers, warmth, and multi-culturality of MIS!  Yvette’s mom is from Peru and being at MIS helps to connect us all to her family, heritage and the world.

 

Plans for New Building Move Forward

   

We are making great progress on our project for a new home for MIS, “Mi casa es tu casa.”  We have been working with the architects since last fall to develop the schematic design for the building. The next step is to develop the construction documents. The design team is on track to break ground this summer.

Thank you to those of you who joined the MIS Board of Trustees at the Winter Parent Meeting last Wednesday. The gym was abuzz with excitement and wonder about our new drawings and the approaching reality of a new school!

At the meeting, the Board and a few supporters of the capital campaign, MIS parents Kay Grissom-Kiely and Daniel Kiely and MIS grandparent and Trustee, Ray Aten, issued a call to action to the MIS Parent community:

  1. Be sure to re-enroll your kids for next year – the deadline to return your re-enrollment paperwork is Wednesday, January 25.
  2. Support our Annual Fund to ensure our continued quality of education for your child.
  3. Invest in our Capital Campaign to help us move into our new building in August 2018.

In case you were unable to attend the Winter Parent Meeting last Wednesday, we are seeking your thoughts and comments on the plans as an important step in the schematic design phase. You can see the latest drawings displayed in the hallway at school with a comment box in front – or by clicking here. Email Julie, jlennox@mismt.org, with your comments or questions.

To quote Daniel Kiely, we hope each and every MIS family will “dig deep and invest as much as you can in the future of MIS. It is not a ‘cost;’ it is an investment in our children’s future, as well the future of our community.”

Word on the Curb – January 22, 2017

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council.

Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?!

Parker

Megan Parker and Mark Johnstad are parents to 11 year old Cooper in 6th grade.

-Parents: Where are you both from originally?   What places other than Missoula have you lived?

Megan is from Missoula and Mark is from Minneapolis, but they both grew up in Montana.  They have lived internationally quite a bit, Mark in Mongolia and Megan in Africa and Guatemala.  Cooper is lucky and gets to travel often with his parents!

-Parents: What are your occupations?  Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

Megan is a biologist and trains detection dogs for conservation projects. She oversees the organization’s (Working Dogs for Conservation) work in Africa, where dogs and scouts work to find ivory, rhino, bushmeat, cat skins and other wildlife contraband, as well as illegal guns and ammunition and illegal lumber.

Megan loves to hike, run, walk dogs, skate ski, cross country and downhill ski, swim and snorkel, and enjoys making art and cooking.

Mark went to law school and is a consultant on natural resources, working internationally, and he also owns a fly fishing business in Mongolia.

His hobbies are fishing, hunting, skiing, hiking and watching movies.

-Favorite meal/music/cultural event?

Favorite cultural event is the Day of the Dead parade.  Favorite meal is sushi.

-Favorite hike or bike anywhere?

The next hike and the last hike are our favorites! We love hiking and biking in the Rattlesnake and Blackfoot.

-Favorite piece of parenting wisdom?

Feed them protein. Breathe.

And sometimes whiskey.

-Favorite things to do together as a family?

We love to play outside, watch movies, eat and travel.

Word on the Curb – January 15, 2017

 

A fun way to get to know families at MIS, brought to you by the PA Council.

Who knows what you may have in common with this week’s family?!

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Tom and MC Jenni are parents to 14 year old Ellie and 13 year old Ruby. Ellie graduated from MIS last year and is now a freshman at Hellgate. Ruby is in 7th grade, back at MIS after attending school in Portugal this Fall.  

Ruby went to Portugal because of a scholarship to a dance academy specializing in Cuban classical dance technique for Fall 2016.  She returned to MIS in January.

-Parents: Where are you both from originally? 

MC was born in New York City and lived in Virginia until she was 10 years old. She then moved to Missoula.

Tom was born in Missoula at St. Patrick Hospital in 1968.

-What places other than Missoula have you lived?

MC spent her junior year of high school in Denmark as a foreign exchange student. She went to school in Boulder, CO and spent a year abroad in France, followed by a year living in Japan. MC lived in Reno, Nevada, and then spent 10 years in Bozeman before landing in Missoula.

Tom has lived in Boulder, CO; Japan; Reno, Nevada; and Bozeman before moving back to Missoula.

-Parents: What are your occupations? 

MC works at First Step (Children’s Advocacy Center and sexual assault response) at St. Patrick Hospital as their Care Coordinator.

Tom is a fly-fishing outfitter and owns Tom Jenni’s Reel Montana.

-Do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

Anything outdoors that is active and connected to nature.

-Favorite meal?  

Our favorite meal is one where the four of us sit down together.

-Favorite hike or bike anywhere?  

The Flume Trail above Lake Tahoe.

-Favorite piece of parenting wisdom?  

Listen, listen, listen, resist the temptation to interject, and listen, listen, listen some more.

And, do not take “I’ll be upstairs in my room” personally.

-Favorite things to do together as a family?

Eat sushi, travel, hang around together at home.

-Anything else you’d like to share?  

We are grateful for MIS.  It has been a good fit for our family.