Our Staff

Here at Stepping Stones, we believe our staff should never stop learning. Every staff member is required to participate in a minimum of 15 hours a year in ongoing training, along with being  CPR/First Aid certified. Our staff has a combined total of over 90 Years of experience working with children. 

We at stepping stones strongly believe "Children must be taught how to think, not what to think" and our amazing staff helps us do so.  

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Executive Director 

Hi everyone! Thank you for checking out our website! Here's a little bit about me: I moved to Crested Butte from the East Coast in 2002 to be a ski bum and go to college at Western State. I graduated in 2006 with a degree in Communication and Theater. I started working at Stepping Stones in 2007. I was a teacher for 9 years before moving up to administration in 2016. I received my Early Childhood Education degree online in 2015. Even though I miss being with the kids all day, I'm happy I can share my experience and knowledge with all of the classrooms and help guide my staff. 

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Alicia Garner 

Bumblebees teacher (ages 12 weeks-13 months) and Assistant Director of the Infant/Toddler building

Hey everyone my name is Alicia Garner. I was born and raised in Colorado. The first time I came to Gunnison was the winter of 2008, and fell in love with the area. I then moved to the valley 2013 and worked at the nursing home for 4 years.  Since starting my family in 2017 all I want to do is be around kids and help them grow. I became a stay at home mom after my daughter was born in 2018. Then in January of 2020 I decided to go back to work and now I work in the infant room at Stepping Stones. And love it every day! Watching those babies grow is an amazing thing. Helping them reach each milestone is why I love it so much. Babies grow and develop so much in the first year of life, and being a part of it makes me happy. In 2011 I got a certificate in photography and from there I got my CNA in 2014. I am now enrolled in the Community College of Denver for my Early Childhood Education and I hope to become an amazing teacher to the babies of the valley. 

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Lead Hummingbirds teacher (13 months-30 months)

and I.T.C Supervisor

Hello! I began working at Stepping Stones in 2012. I moved to Crested Butte from Pittsburgh 12 years ago. In college I studied Art. I have worked with many different age groups at Stepping Stones from babies to toddlers to the 2-3 year olds. But I keep going back to the toddler room. There's something about their intense joy for life and their hilarious personalities that keeps drawing me back.

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Audrey Trautwein

 C0- Lead  Bluebird teacher (2-3 years)

Hello, my name is Audrey, and I am excited to be working in the Bluebird classroom. I had the opportunity to move up with my class this year.  I love the energy and wonder of this age-group. 

I first moved to Gunnison in 2010 from California after falling in love with the mountains. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Western State, and a practical nursing license from Technical College of the Rockies. Over the years, I have worked as a CNA, a nurse, taught kid’s karate classes, helped with summer day-camp, and a children’s trailer park ministry.  

I love watching, and helping children learn and grow, and am grateful to get to be a part of that here at Stepping Stones. 

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Martha Clarkson

Co-Lead Bluebird teacher

(ages 2 1/2-3 1/2)

Martha has worked at Stepping Stones for over five years. After taking 2020-2021 school year off, she will be returning to us and helping Co-Lead our Bluebird classroom. Martha has lived in Crested Butte for 12 years and enjoys anything involving the outdoors! She has over 30 years of experience in Early Childhood education!

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Maia Jourgensen

Lead Coyote Teacher (Pre-K)

Maia moved to Crested Butte from Boulder, Co. in June 2021 in which time she began working at Stepping Stones. Maia has taught many ages including Kindergarten and is thrilled to be going back to her true passion of Early Childhood. Being a Kindergarten teacher for over 5 years, Maia knows what it takes to get the Pre-K class ready for this transition to  the Big School.

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Linnette Lindahl

Lead Bumblebees teacher (ages 12 weeks-13 months)

Hello! I was born and raised in Colorado.  I studied Elementary Education for 3 years.  In 2003 my family moved to Gunnison where I did daycare in my home before turning my focus to homeschooling my children.  I began working at Stepping Stones in the infant room in 2019.  I love seeing the world for the first time again through the eyes of a baby!  I appreciate the quality care ratios and the view of each child as an individual with a unique personality and needs.  I am honored to work with parents to meet the needs of their precious babies and with my fellow teachers to ensure each child feels safe and loved at all times . 

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Courtney Grivas

Lead Marmot Teacher (3-4)

Hi, my name's Courtney. I received my degree in Health and Exercise Science at CSU in Fort Collins. I then moved to Breckenridge where I was a Preschool teacher for 3 years. I moved to the beautiful mountains of CB in May 2020! I knew I always loved kids and I have had a passion for Early Childhood. Stepping Stones' play based and emergent curriculum Preschool is the a perfect fit for me and I'm so excited to be a Marmot teacher and help make the world for a 3 and 4 year old fun, exciting, adventurous and nurturing! 

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Don Mayer

Assistant Preschool Teacher

I moved to Crested Butte from New Hampshire back in early August 2020, and it sure looks like I made the right choice! I'm an avid trail runner, cross country skier and enjoy cruising on dirt roads on my mountain bike. I'm very excited to be here at Stepping Stones, and particularly enjoy reading picture books to preschool kids and engaging them with "text to self" connections.  I served 5 years with the Peace Corps in Kenya and Bangladesh and love sharing these experiences with children. When opportunities arise, I greatly enjoy teaching a bit of Swahili!

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Music and Movement Teacher 

Hello, I'm Miss Bobbie, the music teacher! I have been with the Stepping Stones program for over 30 years. In fact, I started way back before it was even called Stepping Stones. It originated as CB Nursery at the end of Elk Ave. I come to Stepping Stones once a week and do movement and music activities with all of the classrooms. In the Spring I help coordinate a fun performance on the big stage. I have been working with the Crested Butte school of dance for just as long. Little ones bring me so much joy and happiness!

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Monique Rightsell

Assistant Coyote Teacher ( Pre-K) 

Hi! I have been working at Stepping Stones since January 2021. I began in the Marmot class and had the opportunity at the start to the 2021-22 school year to move up with my class. I now teach the Coyotes with Maia! I love working at Stepping Stones because of the joy the children have for life and learning. It is inspiring to see the light bulb go off when the children learn a new skill. 

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