Our Staff

Meet the incredible staff of educators at Pioneer School. All of our teachers hold current teaching credentials in the State of Washington.

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Betty Burley-Wolf - Founder

 

Betty Burley-Wolf, founding director. Betty has a master's degree from Whitworth in gifted ed, has taught grades K-3, has been the director of Pioneer School since 1980, 39 years! She has grown 2 daughters, Rebecca and Margaret. Rebecca lives in Bozeman, MT and is mom to twin boys - Emmett and Elliot. Margaret is finishing her doctorate in hydro-geology at the University of Utah. Both daughters coach ski racing on the weekends. Her husband, Gary, is a retired college chemistry teacher. She lives at Liberty Lake and is a retired Schweitzer ski race coach. Betty serves on the SARS board of directors, the Spokane County Health Dept. School Advisory Committee, and teaches a class for teachers at the ESD on gifted education. Betty loves being a grandma!!

 

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Tina Davis - Kindergarten Teacher

 

Welcome! I joined the Pioneer staff in 2001. I have taught in a variety of capacities in grades ranging K-6 including Curriculum Director, Reading Specialist, Summer School, and Classroom teacher. However, I really started my career when I was in pony-tails and my Kindergarten teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. As I counted to 100 while licking my tootsie roll lollipop, I quickly replied "A Kindergarten Teacher!"

 

I have a Master of Curriculum and Development from the University of Idaho. I also hold an Idaho State Computer Competency Certificate from Boise State University. I have a great love for teaching and for children.

 

What I enjoy most about teaching is looking at the smiles, hearing the laughter, and watching the "Aha!" moments on the student's faces. Each day is filled with excitement and wonder, is ever changing, and never boring.

 

In my spare time I enjoy writing, photography, and watching my bird chase my dog around the house. I am also an artist and a member of the F.R.S.A., which is the Fellowship of the Royal Society for Arts.

 

 

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Jennifer Henry - 1st Grade Teacher

 

I am a huge fan of Pioneer school and am beyond excited to be teaching here! I recently moved back to Spokane after living in Indiana for four years. While in Indiana, I helped my husband with his business, coached soccer and pole vaulting, and was a substitute teacher. Before moving to Indiana, I taught P.E. at Pioneer. My best days are spent with children or hiking with my family and my dogs. I also enjoy reading, working out, and training my dogs. 

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Angelica (Annie) Ginelli - 3rd Grade Teacher

 

I joined our school in 2019.  I moved here from California and fell in love with Pioneer as soon as I discovered it.  I have my bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies (this is what they call their elementary school teaching degree) from California State University of Fresno with a concentration in science education. My favorite type of lessons require a lot of clean-up, but bring out the smiles every time. I love seeing my students' creative sides and enjoy the challenge of furthering their thinking. In my free time I enjoy rock climbing, drawing, hiking, and reading.  

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Jordana Rees- 2nd Grade Teacher

 

Jordana has a BA in Marketing with an emphasis in Finance from Washington State University and a master's degree in Elementary Education from Whitworth University.  She attended Pioneer in the 1990s, so is thrilled to be rejoining the Pioneer family as a teacher. Before coming to Pioneer, she taught 5th grade in the public school system.   When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys live music, fly fishing, board games, spending time with family and snowboarding.

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Nicole Bronson - 4th/5th/6th Grade Teacher

 

I began teaching at Pioneer School in 2006. It has been an exciting and joyful learning environment to work in! I love the small class-size, the community of families and the spirit of creativity that Pioneer embodies. We work very hard and get the most out of everything we do. Our school is truly a place that promotes the ideal of a scholar and nourishment of the whole child.

 

I came to teaching after a decade as a park ranger and environmental educator. I love the outdoors and natural sciences. At Pioneer, I have been able to continue getting kids out in nature on learning expeditions, and bringing the wild kingdoms back into our classroom as

well. We use art as a vehicle to study every topic, and I enjoy bringing the artist out in my students. My bachelor’s degree is in biology (botany and ecology) from The Evergreen State College. I earned my Masters in Teaching from Whitworth.

 

My husband, Ken Meinhart, and I have a daughter, Nyomi, and a son, Arthur. Nyomi is in 5th grade at Pioneer school now and will be moving on to District 81 Odyssey program after this year! Arthur is currently in 2nd grade at Pioneer school. Both of my children have been raised at Pioneer and “tagged along” on many school jaunts. It has been an

adventure becoming a teacher, then a mother, and finally a Pioneer teacher and mom at the same time. But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

 

We have camped out at Mt. Rainier, done field studies at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, hiked Chewelah Peak and lived in Yellowstone National Park for a week. Pioneer School is a happy place for me, and now my family as well. I have made so many wonderful memories here.

 

 

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Amy Wartinger - 3rd/4th/5th/6th Grade Teacher

 

My adventures at Pioneer School began over 15 years ago when my daughter started school here. Since then, three of my children have attended Pioneer, and it has become like a second home to our family. Over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed being a parent volunteer, a 4th/5th-grade art teacher, and a 2nd/3rd-grade classroom teacher. I taught 3rd grade at Pioneer school 3 years ago and last year I taught the middle school pod. This year I have been teaching 2nd grade art, 3rd grade language arts and co-teach 4/5/6 grade with Nicole.

 

I received my teaching degree from the University of Idaho. My areas of emphasis were English, and Biological Science, which remains among my favorite subjects.

 

I also love all kinds of music, traveling, watching Gonzaga Basketball, being outdoors in nature, and spending time with my family. 

Support Staff

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Leah Kliment

Teaching Assistant

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Nidhi Sharma

Teaching Assistant