We are all works in progress who never stop growing.
At Chrysalis, student instruction is provided by state-certified high school teachers supported by our tutorial staff. Core classes are teacher-led, yet we also provide several online courses for students interested in unique subjects. Every student has an academic advisor who works directly with that student’s therapist and is a member of the student’s treatment team, providing comprehensive evaluation and better outcomes.
Darla was born and raised in northwest Montana. She’s had “Eureka moments” ever since calling Eureka home. She graduated college in Montana (with one year of her study completed in Maine) and went on to graduate school at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Darla holds BS and MA degrees in education with a specialization in reading. She has taught all levels of students, from preschool through college, and has enjoyed each and every grade. Creating cross-curricular unit studies is Darla’s all-time favorite educational pursuit.
In keeping with her comprehensive approach to teaching, Darla has immersed herself in various aspects of our therapeutic boarding school since joining us in 2007 – a major Eureka moment for her. Initially, she joined our program staff, then became food services coordinator, taught English 9 and English 11 and has become our academic director. Darla’s intensive background in education makes her an important and valuable leader as she fulfills her directorial role.
Motivating and encouraging the excellent staff of teachers at Chrysalis is an aspect of Darla’s position that is especially rewarding to her. That said, educating kids has never faded as one of her passions. So along with Darla’s responsibilities as academic director, she continues her commitment to transforming young lives one-on-one by teaching English 9.
Over 30 years ago, Darla fell in love with a Midwestern boy named Marty. She’s still in love with him today. They have five children, three of whom are married, one who works and lives nearby and one teenage daughter at home. A young grandson immensely blesses their lives as well.
Jillian teaches ceramics, mixed media, drawing, painting, and fibers and textiles. She grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and in 2013, she earned a BS in art education from the Pennsylvania State University. She is an oil painter at heart, but loves experimenting with photography, fibers, and ceramics.
Jillian’s goal is to provide students with problem-solving skills and encourage each individual to take artistic risks. She finds that this ultimately arms students with a set of skills that leads to success outside the classroom.
In her spare time, Jillian enjoys the outdoors that Montana has to offer including fishing, climbing, camping, biking, snowboarding, and hanging out with her husband and St. Bernard, Chubbs.
Krysten teaches sophomore, junior and senior English, as well as college prep, at Chrysalis. She grew up in Oregon and attended college in Montana. She completed her student teaching in Australia while earning a BA in English teaching.
After graduating, she worked in therapeutic group homes for teens as part of the direct-care staff and managed weekend programming. She has worked as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional, mainly in special education and English classrooms.
Outside the classroom, Krysten enjoys volunteering to teach hunters, promoting safety and stewardship. For relaxation, she goes for Nordic skiing, hiking and, of course, reading.
Thomas is originally from Kalispell, Montana, with extended family in the surrounding areas of Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula. At the age of five, he moved to Florida, and continued to come back and visit Montana throughout his childhood. He always had a passion for math and graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and began teaching high school math classes, while also pursuing his graduate degree in Secondary Education.
After teaching at the high school level for 6 years, Thomas left the classroom to pursue other avenues in education, which included curriculum development, e-learning, instructional technology, and many others. Prior to Chrysalis he worked at an Instructional Technology position with Saint Leo University, where he specialized in supporting faculty in effective instructional practice with classroom technology.
Over the years, he and his wife dreamed about moving back to Montana, and are so excited to be able to enjoy all of the activities it has to offer. Thomas enjoys all types of outdoor activities, such as hiking, rafting, fishing, and camping. He also enjoys playing the guitar, working with animals, and spending time with friends and family.
Kerri is a native of Montana who spent her early years on a farm wrapping her mind around the natural world. After graduating with a degree in biology, Kerri packed her bags to work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. During this time, she began what would be a lifelong commitment to community development and related initiatives. This experience continues to shape her choices and insight regarding education and social change.
Upon her return to the United States, Kerri once again took a volunteer position, this time as a Rural Outreach Prevention Educator (ROPE) volunteer in Alaska. This work paralleled a growing desire to work with youth throughout her career. Upon completion of her service in Alaska and a flurry of international travel, she embarked on another social movement called Teach For America (TFA). It was after this period that Kerri explored a new direction in making connections with youth. A friend encouraged her to work at a therapeutic wilderness program in Utah. This experience helped Kerri relate to students with a new level of awareness. She found that building genuine relationships with students was just as important as the content she taught.
Then came the most serendipitous job opening at Chrysalis. Kerri was thrilled to apply the synergy of her previous experiences in her new role teaching science at Chrysalis. Since coming aboard, she has embraced making genuine connections working with students.
Spanish and French
Spanish and French
Loree brings 26 years of experience in public education to Chrysalis. She holds degrees in biology and French and earned her master’s degree in integrated arts and education at the University of Montana, focusing on Latin rhythms as her final project. Loree is certified in the state of Montana to teach Spanish, chemistry and earth science as well.
Loree plays piano and composes music as a hobby. She’ll take on the drums, too, and has been known to give the occasional piano student at Chrysalis a few pointers. Teaching at Chrysalis is one of the high points of Loree’s career. She tells us, “In addition to the relationships I develop with students here at Chrysalis, the transformation I see in our girls is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.”
A longtime resident of our area, Loree lives here in Eureka with her husband of 27 years and her mother. She has three grown children and a grandchild that she loves to see every chance she gets.
Jon Storey is currently teaching world history, U.S. History and U.S. government. He is a graduate of Idaho State University with a bachelor of science in secondary education with a major in history and a minor in English as a second language. While at ISU he also acquired an associate’s of applied science in American Sign Language studies. He tutored, student taught and substitute taught in Idaho before venturing to beautiful Montana to teach at Chrysalis.
Leslie was born in California, but then spent time living in Colorado and Alaska before she landed in beautiful Eureka Montana. She has lived here since 1980. Leslie has a passion for helping adolescents navigate their way through the process of recovery from substances. She met founder Mary Alexine and several Chrysalis students through an NA meeting she had started in the Eureka community. After having worked closely with Mary for a number of months Leslie was encouraged to apply at Chrysalis; she has now been working here for 12 years, mostly in a case management and wellness coordinator role.
Leslie brings her knowledge of paring three children to her work at Chrysalis, offering a nurturing, family like approach to her relationship with the students. I was a case manager for a number of years. That involved taking care of the students medical and dental needs along with teaching valuable life skills. I have gone on several international trips, done my share of cooking healthy meals for large groups, co-facilitated recovery groups and also have worked closely with Dr. Houser (our visiting psychiatrist) and the pharmacy to ensure the medication management is going smoothly. I manage the Chrysalis gardens with the students and hopefully instill a passion in the girls for growing their own food!
In my free time I enjoy organic gardening, hiking with my dogs, music, helping others and studying a holistic approach to health. I enjoy making my own salves and harvesting herbs for healing. I love spending time with family, especially while camping.