Joaquin is the Executive Director and has the responsibility for day-to-day operations, oversight and strategic planning.
Joaquin has repeatedly proved his ability to lead through diverse and challenging situations. He is an excellent agent of change and has a documented track record of accomplishments that include the turnaround of struggling operations, the management of public health facilities, and the creation and launch of new innovative strategies toward growth in all areas that he has worked. The source of his passion for pursuing work in preservation of cultural practice and language has been a constant throughout his life, but was particularly reignited by being taught the language in 2002 while serving overseas in Operation Iraq Freedom.
He has served in various nonprofit governing boards and public service roles, including as a City Councilman of Elmer City for four years, and as a member of the boards of directors of Hearts Gathered and Conservation Northwest, and as Tribal Liaison for Health Division for impact of climate change work group. He worked for the Colville Tribes for more than ten years in finance, accounting, human resources, health field administration, and grants project management.
He earned a master’s degree in public administration in 2014 and a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne 1-505th Parachute Infantry Regiment after serving three combat tours.
Education Director and
Montessori Elementary Guide
Melissa Campobasso (qʷʕásqiʔ)
Melissa serves as the Education Director overseeing the educational operations. She is also the Okanagan-speaking Montessori Elementary Guide, which is responsible for the Elementary Classroom. The Elementary Classroom serves children ages 6-12.
In 2017, Melissa received a Montessori Elementary Diploma from Montessori Northwest, a teacher training center affiliated with the Association Montessori Internationale. Jointly with the elementary diploma, she also earned a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in Montessori, from Whitworth University. She also earned certification as an Okanogan Salish language/culture instruction from the Colville Tribes in 2017. Melissa earned a juris doctorate degree from the University of Colorado School of Law and became a member of the Washington State Bar in 2000. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Washington in 1994. She is a member of the Colville Tribes and has Okanogan, Lakes, and San Poil ancestry. She has reached an intermediate-low level of proficiency in Okanogan Salish.
Primary Classroom Guide-Apprentice
Korey serves as the Primary Classroom Guide-Apprentice, teaching children ages 3-6. He has successfully completed the academic portion of a training course through Age of Montessori to be certified as a Montessori Primary classroom guide. He will be doing the practicum portion of his training during the 2020-2021 academic year within his own classroom, supervised by his trainers, after which he will receive his Montessori primary teaching diploma. He is also training to become certified as an Okanagan language instructor.
Korey received his Associates of Arts degree at Spokane Falls Community College in 2012. He is a Colville Tribal member and his ancestry comes from the Okanogan, Lakes, Wenatchi, Entiat, Colville, and Moses Columbia bands. Korey is an active member in his community, participating in basketball and Indian relay horse racing. He has volunteered coaching youth basketball at the Omak Community Center since he was 15 years old. Korey strives to encourage the youth to excel in both academics and athletics. Working at the Waterfall School is an honor for Korey, as he sees the importance of incorporating the language and encouraging the youth to pursue their goals through cultural connection.
Okanogan Language Guide
Ted Moomaw (xʷistsmx̌íkn)
Ted is a first-line descendant of the Colville Tribes and an advanced Okanagan speaker. He serves as our Language Guide. A certified language teacher, Ted has taught beginning to advanced college classes in the Okanagan language while working for the Colville Tribal Language Program.
Ted has extensive experience developing curriculum, and documenting and transcribing elder recordings. He has been teaching at the Waterfall School since it opened in 2010.
Tim Erb Jr.
Tim, a Colville tribal member of Lakes and Okanogan ancestry, has been a classroom assistant at the Waterfall School since December of 2015. His daughter was one of the first students enrolled in the school when it started out in 2010. That propelled him into immersing himself in the language, as it has always been an extremely important part of his walk of life. Tim completed training as a Montessori classroom assistant at Montessori Northwest in August 2016.