Co-Creators

Meet the educators who are creating Kalmiopsis Community Arts High School! This group of five is forming the school (with help from teens, parents, and other community members) and their future connection to Kalmiopsis will be determined as we approach opening day.

Kaci Elder

I’m a public school kid from a ranching and agricultural town in Central California, a left-handed poet with one best friend of a husband, two kids, two dogs, and five cats, all with a nighttime view of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness from our tiny cabin in the woods. As a first-generation college graduate, I’m a teacher with an unshakeable belief in the innate intelligences of all of us. On my bucket list? Visit every single country.

Sara Kinstler

I grew up in the Illinois Valley and became intimate with its backroads by mountain biking all over the map.  I am a bilingual educator with a double BA in English and Spanish, an MEd and 6 years of experience teaching grades K-12.  During my free time, I love gardening, traveling, and exploring the outdoors, identifying the wondrous mountains, rivers, plants, and fungi that make our Klamath-Siskiyou Wilderness areas unique.

Kimiko Maglio

Born and raised in Takilma, Oregon, I am so happy to call this place home with my husband and our two sons. I believe in resiliency and natural magic, and find it everywhere in our valley–from the abundance of fiddleheads and wildflowers emerging from the charred forest floor, to the smell of summer rain after lightning and the feeling of a cold plunge in the headwaters of the Illinois River. I have been teaching PreK-12 since 2009 and am enthusiastic to continue on this career path, where I can apply my love of teaching and learning in tandem with my deep adoration of the wild PNW.

Melissa DeNardo

For the past 17 years, I have been an educator in the public, private and non-profit sectors. I grew up in the prairie and farm lands of Lily Lake, Illinois. My personal interests have their foundation from the BWCA in Northern Minnesota….canoeing, camping, fishing, hiking and the overall adventure of submerging myself into places of peaceful and pristine beauty.

Ryan Forsythe

Originally from the electrified suburbs of NE OH (Go Bucks!), since 2013 I’ve lived off-grid in the woods of SW OR (Go Ducks!). Free time activities include travel, creative writing, and projects around the homestead. After stints in management and school administration, today I work as a freelance book formatter and graphic designer.