Our team consists of members of our community who are invested in the work we do to revitalize Okanogan Salish. We are committed to learning our language and using it as a medium of communication in our daily lives.
Valerie has the responsibility for day-to-day operations, oversight and strategic planning.
Valerie is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes of the Arrow Lakes people.
Valerie is a 2008 Graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor's degree in Human Development. She is currently working on her Master's of Business Administration.
Valerie has a diverse background in the Education field. She has several years of teaching experience ranging from birth-adulthood. She has taught in child care settings, Head Start, public schools, and college. Valerie has a very strong background in social services and administration in addition to her experience in Education.
When Valerie is not working, she loves spending time with her family. She enjoys hunting, camping, fishing, sewing, and beading. She also enjoys supporting her children with sporting events and rodeos.
Education Director and Montessori Elementary Guide
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 instructor 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.
Okanogan Language Guide
Ted is a first-line descendant of the Colville Tribes and an advanced Okanagan speaker.
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.
Primary Classroom Guide
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.
Jill Nanpuya Moonmaw
0 -3 Classroom Guide
Jill is a member of the Colville Tribes, descending from the Colville, San Poil and Methow tribes. With over 20 years of experience working in tribal legal affairs and leadership, Jill brings considerable valuable contacts to her board position. Notable is her position as a gaming commissioner for the Colville Tribal Gaming Commission. Her valued experience of years sitting on two previous boards for the Native Vote Washington and the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling will bring great collaborative works. Jill has worked with profit and nonprofit organizations, tribes, and local, state and federal governments. Jill earned a bachelor’s degree in law and diversity from Western Washington University in 2005.
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.
Elementary Classroom Assistant