Meet Our Staff
I grew up in Boise, Idaho the ninth of ten children. Growing up, every year for Christmas & my birthday I would ask for school & teacher supplies to add to my little classroom in the basement, & every day I would recruit willing friends & family members to be my eager students. Teaching has always been my passion & opening a school like Pine Grove Academy is a lifelong dream. After graduating from high school, I attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah & following an unforgettable student teaching experience in the inner city of Washington, DC, I eventually graduated from BYU with a degree in Elementary Education. Over a period of several years, I taught different grades at the elementary level & earned my Master's Degree in Teaching & Learning from Grand Canyon University. My husband, Mick, & I have five children (two girls & three boys) who are our greatest joy! We moved to the Spokane/North Idaho area five years ago & quickly fell in love with the people as well as the beautiful surroundings. Our two youngest children attend school here at Pine Grove Academy. Our family loves to be on the go doing anything outdoors including skiing, hiking, biking, & boating. We also enjoy music, sports, making & eating good food, playing games, spending time with family & friends, & traveling. I am excited to share my love of children, learning, nature, service, & faith in Jesus Christ with each member of the Pine Grove Community.
Founder, 1st and 2nd grade teacher
One of my greatest joys is discovering new things in this beautiful world! While I am a lover of good books and dark chocolate, I have a passion for teaching! I received my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Utah State University. Following my schooling, I taught in both public (2nd and 4th) and private schools (preK). During that time one of my primary goals was to instill in my students a love of learning and a desire to explore the world around them. After teaching for several years life took me out of the classroom and across the country. Although I was not teaching in the classroom, I found creative ways to continue teaching, including teaching online English lessons, homeschooling my own children, and teaching art and science classes in my community. Now my family and I are happy to be settled in the Northwest. As a family, we enjoy skiing, biking, playing games, reading, and exploring our backyard woods. I am honored to be a part of the Pine Grove Academy community. I believe that until we reach the hearts of students we will never reach their minds.
7th and 8th grade teacher
I am so excited to be a part of this powerhouse staff at Pine Grove Academy! It's interesting to see how our paths have crossed over recent years to make this feel like it's been meant to be. Since receiving my teaching degree in Math Education from Brigham Young University, I taught for three years at a Junior High and have tutored math students regularly since moving to Spokane 13 years ago. My husband, Jon, and I brought our family of 4 kids across the US from NY to make the Pacific Northwest our home and we have loved living in such a beautiful place. Sometimes I joke that my phone has more pictures of the skies and surrounding scenery than of my kids! Jon and I absolutely love to travel and adventure together. Some of our favorites have been exploring small towns in Italy, yearly humanitarian trips to Honduras, and scuba diving in Fiji. Closer to home, I love skiing as a family, coaching a club volleyball team, cooking, watching a good chick flick, reading, and cheering my kids on in their many activities. I've been with Pine Grove since the start, and I count every day with the staff and students as a blessing in my life. I know that Pine Grove Academy offers so much more than an academic education. These middle school years are often remembered as the hardest years for teenagers, but here at Pine Grove they're becoming the best years. Confidence is being built, a sense of self worth and appreciation for uniqueness is discovered and treasured, and when they feel good about who they are what they can accomplish, there's no stopping them. I feel honored to be a part of building your child's resiliency and personal relationships with others and with the Savior.
5th and 6th grade teacher
Staci earned her Elementary Education degree from Brigham Young University- Idaho. She taught middle school math and science, substitute taught in public schools of all grades and tutored middle school-aged students in all subjects. Since then, Staci has spent many years raising five lively boys and mentoring children and youth at church, which she feels has only enhanced her experience in educating and teaching. She is now thrilled to have the opportunity to incorporate her faith and love for God with secular education. Staci loves outdoor recreation (especially mountain biking, hiking, boating, and skiing), yoga, gardening, playing the piano, and reading.
3rd and 4th grade teacher
I’ve always loved being in the classroom and I started volunteering at my local elementary school when I was in high school. I earned my Associates Degree from BYU Idaho and my Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Washington University. Most of my education was in Elementary Education with a focus on Business as well. Throughout my education I was never satisfied with the way schools taught reading and I was always searching for the right approach. My five children are all dyslexic and for the past 22 years I have done all I can to help them learn and grow in the way that works best for them. This has included homeschooling and providing the right reading instruction. I also started a nonprofit over 11 years ago, Enlighten-Dyslexia Understood. I have taught students, parents, and teachers about dyslexia, how to teach and accommodate students in a classroom, and about the correct reading instruction for dyslexic students. I love connecting one on one with students and seeing their joy in learning. I know that every student has a desire to learn and despite learning challenges or differences in learning styles, every student can find success. When I’m not reading, listening to a book, or watching a Gonzaga basketball game, you’ll find me with my family. We love to spend time together, especially near water, my husband and I prefer the ocean, my kids love the lake. We also like to play games, bake, travel, and explore the outdoors.
I have loved being a part of Pine Grove Academy since we opened! This is my 3rd year teaching kindergarten and it has been amazing to see my Explorers grow with the rich language and artwork used in our curriculum. They are able to develop a love for reading! The math portion makes their number sense grow in a short amount of time and they actually have fun doing it! Movement is included in our learning as well as fun activities to cultivate a love of learning! I love our daily adventures with our imaginations as we grow, play and laugh together! However, the best of all is including Jesus Christ in our classroom. The students can feel his love each day! I put my husband through medical school by working in corporate business operations and owned my own photography business that I share with the children. I also love biking, skiing, and paddle boarding with my 4 children.
2nd and 3rd grade teacher
Hello! My name is Kathryn Lichfield and I’m delighted to be part of the Pinegrove Community. I grew up in east Tennessee and moved westward to attend BYU after highschool. I received a double major in early childhood and elementary education and have taught in the public, private, and homeschool settings. I married a Washington raised guy and we have four children in high school to elementary age. I love being outside, creating, and spending time with my people.
Student Specialist & Level teacher
I am passionate about helping all students find educational success through parent, student, and teacher collaboration. I want to inspire children to become life-long seekers of knowledge and personal growth. As Student Specialist at Pine Grove Academy, I am honored to support efforts to provide individualized and differentiated learning at all levels. I hold a bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Utah Valley University and a masters degree in Elementary Education Curriculum and Instruction from Washington State University. My previous roles include 3-4th grade teacher, preschool teacher, certified substitute teacher, special education tutor, and volunteer in both private and public school systems. Still, my greatest joy has come from dedicating my life to three wonderful children and a loving husband. I feel so fortunate to be a part of such a warm and dynamic team at Pine Grove Academy.
Nothing is more fulfilling to me than being a teacher and watching minds learn and grow, and I’m thrilled to be teaching Pre-K at Pine Grove Academy. I have been an educator since the age of 10 when I helped my mom with her preschool and thought she had the best job in the world! Now it gets to be mine! After receiving a degree from Brigham Young University in K-12 Music Education, I worked as a substitute teacher in Portland Or, Richland Wa, and the Spokane Valley. Each classroom was structured differently and after seeing 100’s of classrooms, I have collected many fun ideas to implement in my own classroom. I have been a piano teacher for 25 years, and love finding different ways to help my students learn different concepts. It’s fascinating to see how individual the mind is and how different learning techniques are effective and individualized for every person. My husband and I have been married for 21 years and fill our time with our 4 children (ages 19, 17, 13, & 10) and our dog Cooper. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is working on home improvement projects ranging from tiling, building built-ins, flooring, painting, and organizing. I’m so excited to build a learning environment for your child where we learn through play!