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 70 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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JENNIFER BURKS

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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Sam O'Brien

Lead Coyote Teacher (Pre-K)

Hello everyone!  I am thrilled to be moving up with my Marmot class this fall and becoming their Coyote teacher! I love this class mainly because everyday is an adventure!  This age group is incredibly curious and ambitious, and I love the children's infectious positive outlooks on life.  I am originally from Chicago, and I went to the University of San Diego where I obtained my B.A. in Psychology with an interest in Child Development in December 2018.  I moved to Crested Butte in October 2019, and I am in love with this beautiful town and everything it has to offer.  I look forward to more exploring here with the Coyotes!

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ALISSA LANEY

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 10 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

 Hummingbirds teacher (13 months-30 months)

Hello, my name is Audrey, and I am excited to be working in the toddler classroom. 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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Chase Crawford

Coyote Teacher (Pre-K)

I was born and raised in Albuquerque New Mexico, where I received my Bachelor's degree in Education. I Moved to Crested Butte in June of 2018. I moved here simply because I wanted to enjoy living in a wonderful place with so much to offer. Going skiing and enjoying scenic views has made my time in Crested Butte so much fun! The people and community in this area are the reason I have stayed in Crested Butte longer than expected. Living in this beautiful valley has opened many doors for me and I have met so many amazing people! Children growing up in Crested Butte have so much to offer. There are few children around the world with the access and opportunity to explore and discover the planet they live on. In Crested Butte, children have a radical curiosity about the world around them and how it operates. I am happy to be a small part of their lives and help the young people examine the world around them as they become the leaders of tomorrow. 

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Linnette Lindahl

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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Alicia Garner 

Bumblebees teacher (ages 12 weeks-13 months)

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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Courtney Grivas

Lead Bluebird Teacher (2-3)

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. A couple months ago I moved to the beautiful mountains of CB! 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 Bluebird teacher this fall, and help make the world for a 2 and 3 year old fun, exciting, adventurous and nurturing! 

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Savannah Hackett

Marmot teacher (3-4)

Hello, I'm Savannah. I come from a very big family and helped raise many of my younger siblings. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be working at Stepping Stones. I have been here since May 2019 and worked with every age group. I love the Marmot age for the curiosity about life and their constant "why" questions. I look forward to a fun year of exploration and discovery with this very enthusiastic class!

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Don Mayer

Preschool Floater

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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BOBBIE REINHARDT

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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MARTHA CLARKSON

 Bluebirds Teacher (2-3 year olds)

Hi! I have been working at Stepping Stones for a total of 4 years now and I love teaching in the 2 and 3 year old classrooms! Such an amazing year of growth and development. I moved to Crested Butte from Vermont about 10 years ago where I accumulated 25 years of Early Childcare experience. I have my masters in E.C.E and Administration but being in the classroom with the little ones brings the most joy into my life :)

I will be taking the 2020-21 school year off but will be back next summer and school year.

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