Interim Head of School and Curriculum
Gennifre is our current Interim Head of School and our school Curriculum and Program Director. Her personal mission is to improve the lives of people, and she does this through connecting genuinely with students, faculty and parents; changing the status quo regarding education; and creating ethical, safe experiences for people who want to learn about the world and, in turn, make their differences.
Gennifre has spent the past 25+ years working in education, working as both an outdoor educator, a classroom teacher, and at the helm as Head of School. Gennifre is the founder of The Traveling School, a local non-profit overseas high school; she worked as the Head of School for Great Beginnings Montessori School during their expansion efforts; and has worked for Montana State University for the past decade.
Additionally, Gennifre has spent 350 weeks in the field as an international guide and academic instructor. She’s taught 90-odd courses for various schools, universities, and outdoor education organizations in 54 countries. She has B.A. in Journalism from University of Oregon, and an M.A. in English Education from University of Montana.
Along with her work in education, she’s been a university instructor, an international and wilderness guide, a leader, an entrepreneur, an Executive Director, a novelist, a career coach, a peace advocate, a philanthropist, a journalist, and more. A unique career path driven by her innovative spirit, diverse background, and creative opportunities. She additionally works, consults, and volunteers across the non-profit, education and outdoor sectors.
Gennifre believes that when people are inspired to grow both personally and professionally, every single one of us has the ability to change the world. Aside from her career, she is passionate about travel, wilderness, skiing, and is a voracious reader and writer.
At HWA since 2018
Leandra Hill -
Leandra is at the center of everything for our school community. She was trained in musical theater, has her Music Ed K-12 teaching degree from Montana State and spends her free time doing film, television and local performances. She is currently performing at Last Best Comedy doing improv Musicals!
She also has 15 years in the financial services, insurance and banking industries here in Bozeman and helping agents and advisors nationally.
Leandra has a special love for nonprofits! Before coming to Headwaters Academy, she assisted the Three Forks Chamber of Commerce as their Executive Director and loved helping with their Farmers Market. She has also been a THRIVE CAP mentor for over a decade, coordinated the Gallatin Valley Ag Committee annual dinner this year and is especially proud of her focus on making sure everyone in our community gets access to healthy food.
Leandra brings dedication, organization, and transparency to Headwaters Academy. She works with all constituents with care, honesty, integrity and work ethic, doing anything and everything that is needed. In addition to her big heart, she is an important resource for families and an incredible asset to our school.
At HWA since 2021
8th grade Math & Science
"Mr. Nando" is a fundamental part of the inclusive and adaptive learning community here at Headwaters Academy. Before joining our staff, he worked in the school district as a math interventionist and a resource para. He brings with him an undergrad degree in Environmental Engineering with a Masters of Science in Science Education from Montana State University.
Originally from South Mississippi, born into an immigrant family, he learned the value of building your own foundations through watching his parents build a place for themselves in a new country. Through his formative years, he traveled extensively overseas; this gave him a unique perspective in the importance of diversity and openness which he brings into his teaching philosophy.
At Headwaters, Mr. Nando prioritizes self-reliance and ownership of the learning process, while serving as a mentor and an ally to his students.
At HWA since 2021
7th grade Math
Kimberly teaches seventh grade math at Headwaters. She received an Undergraduate degree in Health Promotions from Montana State and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a certificate in Elementary Education. In addition to tutoring students of all grade levels for 17 years, she worked with Thrive as the CAP Coordinator at the Middle School level. When not at Headwaters, Kimberly is often found adventuring with her family in the mountains around Bozeman and Cooke City.
At HWA since 2017
7th grade Science & Geography
Zack teaches 7th grade Geography and Life Science, and is excited to continue to be a part of the Headwaters team. He loves exploring natural curiosities and encourages his students to ask questions, especially if they are questions where no one knows the answers.
Growing up, Zack spent the majority of his life living in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he developed a passion for athletics and a craving for the mountains. He completed his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education Social Studies Broadfield at Montana State University.
In his free time, you can often find him at the gym, or running, or pedaling around the mountains with his dog, Cody.
At HWA since 2022
6th grade English
Elizabeth is our 6th Grade English teacher. Before making the transition to teaching, she earned an MA in Humanities from The University of Chicago and worked as a journalist and editor. Most recently, however, and for many years, she taught English and writing to middle school students in Bellevue, WA. She loves inspiring her students to find the magic in all forms of literature, including their own. When she is not teaching or reading a good book, she’s often with her family, exploring a new trail, cooking a favorite recipe, or skiing at Bridger Bowl. Elizabeth is excited to join the Headwaters Academy community and to learn all that Bozeman has to offer.
At HWA since 2022
Kristen Wolf -
6th & 8th grade Spanish
Kristen ND Wolf (@LaLobaLista) is a dynamic educator and presenter. Her background as a Montessori & Spanish teacher has led her to understand the process of language acquisition and human development in profound ways. La Loba Lista’s (the ready/ clever Wolf) teaching style is engaging, holistic, and supported by language acquisition research (Communicative Language Teaching).
Kristen earned the distinction of Montana Language Teacher of the Year in 2019, as decided by the Montana Association of Language Teachers (MALT).
Kristen loves getting outside and enjoying the beauty of Montana and its vibrant communities with her family and dogs. She encourages you to come to participate in or observe a class, online or in person.
At HWA since 2021
Paúl Gomex of 406Cirque
We are thrilled to Welcome
406Cirque here at Headwaters Academy!
406CIRQUE is a school of circus and performing arts. It is a place where students can explore while being respected and encouraged instead of judged, for just the act of sharing a moment of vulnerability requires a lot of courage.
The word Circus often refers to a specific type of activities: trapeze, clowns, jugglers, etc. We place the focus on the act of being on stage fully present, of expanding our presence and sharing our passion with the world.
At 406Cirque we are never in competition with other students, always in collaboration. 406Cirque wants to change the world by creating a community that practices positive self talk.
They believe in the power of play,celebrating small goals and accomplishments. Welcome Paúl!!!!
At HWA SPRING 2022
Director of Advancement
Marianne’s combined understanding of program and fund development, expertise in child development, and business accounting make her a uniquely qualified candidate for Headwaters Academy.
Marianne recently moved to Bozeman to join the administrative team at Headwaters, and is inspired by the school’s vision. Her reputation of pursuing next steps with curiosity, tenacity, and a refusal to accept anything but excellence make her a perfect fit for our team. She believes in dreaming big, saying 'yes' and taking calculated risks to develop diversified revenue streams and partnerships across sectors.
Her guiding motto is from Dr. Stuart Ablon who says, "kids do well when they can." She ascribes to Dr. Bruce Perry's philosophy that adversity arıd stress impact the development of the brain and consequently, the body and behavior. Her education and experience inform her philosophy that body-based approaches, movement, and physical activity, particularly when coupled with consistent, positive relationships, promote resilience and mitigate negative effects of early challenges.
Marianne has a Masters of Arts in Behavioral Health Services and has worked as a Mental Health Therapist. She additionally has a Bachelors of Business Administration, in Accounting from Voldosta State University.
At HWA since 2022
Admissions and Program Coordinator
Hannah is thrilled to be part of the Headwaters Community and has moved from the classroom to an administrative role. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the administration with her vast experiences in local, independent schools. Engaging students in educational experiences has been a life-long career for Hannah as she has enjoyed teaching learners of all ages. Additionally, Hannah is a local performer who has held various roles with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Intermountain Opera, the Ellen Theatre, the Verge Theatre, and the Shane Lalani Center for the Performing Arts.
Hannah graduated summa cum laude from Chadron State College with a B.A. in Theatre Performance and a B.A in Business Administration/Finance.She lived and attended school in Chatellerault, France where she studied economics. She taught French language and culture for grades K-5 in the Bozeman School District as part of the World Languages program, as well as taught French in Montessori schools.
She is an impassioned traveler, and has spent time studying culture hands-on in India, Fiji, Panama, Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Mexico, and Canada. When she is not performing or traveling, she loves to spend time with her family hiking, kayaking, and camping in our beautiful state.
At HWA since 2017
8th grade English & US History
Ani teaches 8th grade Humanities at Headwaters Academy. She passionately instills creativity in her students while leading out of the box activities and projects. She believes that she learns as much from her students as they learn from her. Human connection fuels Ani’s fire and she seeks relationship building opportunities wherever she goes.
She grew up in Breckenridge, Colorado and graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO with a Bachelor's degree in Education and a Minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She loves teaching Humanities with a cross-curricular approach where students often ask: “Wait, are we in English or History?” Teaching at Headwaters Academy is her dream job and she hopes to continue to challenge the norm of education for years to come. When she isn’t in the classroom, she loves spending time outside with her dog Gus, skiing and playing the violin.
At HWA since 2020
7th grade English & Spanish
Shannon has a passion for teaching, learning, family and the outdoors. After earning a degree in English from UC Berkeley, she pursued a second degree in Education and an M.A. in English from Montana State. Shannon has previously taught ESL on the Montana State University campus and writing at both MSU and Gallatin College. Outside of the classroom, Shannon can be found running in the mountains, chasing her two boys, skiing Bridger, or riding her mountain bike.
At HWA since 2017
Heather Swanson –
6th grade Math & Science
Heather comes to our school with over a decade of classroom experience across all grade levels, though most recently served in a non-classroom position as the Education Coordinator at the Montana Science Center. She is passionate about facilitating deep and diverse learning experiences for students, and excited to be back in the classroom at Headwaters. Prior to moving to Bozeman, Heather was the Lead Science Instructor at Long-View Micro School in Austin, TX, where she established a strong NGSS-aligned science program rooted in the authentic work of scientists and engineers. She is looking forward to exploring the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics with our sixth grade learners this year.
Heather has a MS in Science Education Montana State University, a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Washington, and an AAA in Culinary Arts from Kendall College. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and two labradors here in Bozeman.
At HWA since 2022
6th grade World Cultures & 8th grade Art
Emily is a truly genuine person, as well as a passionate and dedicated teacher. She puts her relationship with students first, and uses this strength to challenge and inspire students in their work. A native Montanan, Emily grew up in Three Forks and understands the deep local history of the Valley.
Emily is motivated and driven to create a classroom learning environment where her students are challenged intellectually and also provided opportunities to guide and drive their own learning.
Emily’s greatest strength is her ability to remain flexible and constantly maintain realistic expectations as to what may happen at any given time during a “normal” school day. Student teaching during Covid forced Emily to be creative and flexible, making changes and accommodations to her classes, curriculum, and materials in order to keep her students excited and engaged with the material. Emily recently earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education Broadfield from MSU.
Emily works hard to help her students stay motivated to do their best work from start to finish. She sets high standards, and as a result the students are pushed to rise to the occasion. She also treats her students with a great amount of respect, and honors and understands individuality. This allows students to be who they are in her class, so Emily can meet them where they are at in their educational journey.
At HWA since 2022