Mount Ellis Academy Welcomes New Faces
For the past six academic years, Mount Ellis Academy (MEA) in Bozeman enjoyed the continuity of an unchanged staff. But this past summer saw the staff saying farewell to two much-loved teachers.
Monte Saxby relocated to Skagit Adventist School in Burlington, Wash., where he teaches math to various grade levels. During his years at MEA he brought depth to the math program and was the de facto leader of the MEA sports team supporters, the Blue Crew.
Anita Strawn de Ojeda followed her husband, Pedro, as he took over duties as the new principal at Holbrook (Ariz.) Indian School. Through Strawn de Ojeda's years at MEA, students received a greater appreciation for literature and senior plays were incredibly memorable.
In their places come Matthew Lukens and Matthew Engle. Here's a bit more information about them and other new staff members.
Before coming to MEA, Lukens and his wife, Amy, were in Chicago, where he taught English at North Shore Adventist Academy for six years. They have already fallen in love with Montana, saying, "If Bozeman is the dimple on the face of Montana, Mount Ellis is part of what makes this place so wonderful." They have two dogs and are expecting their first child.
Engle taught two years of math in China before getting married this summer and moving to Bozeman. Teaching all the math classes MEA has to offer and helping coach soccer keeps him busy. He and his wife, Marisa, enjoy traveling, cooking, hiking and camping.
"Mount Ellis kind of gets in your blood," Graham says as she explains why she came back to MEA. Graham and her youngest daughter, Shelby, moved from Kalispell so that Shelby could attend MEA. Graham works in the cafeteria as the assistant cook and likes to garden.
Binder is the boys' assistant dean and brings a unique perspective, having graduated from MEA only three years ago. He loves rock climbing, backpacking and helping coach soccer. He thinks MEA is a great school, and he loves working with the faculty and students.
After four years away, Greenwood has returned as the assistant maintenance director at MEA. He says he missed being at MEA because he loves the area and likes how MEA incorporates the outdoors into school.