Meet Our Staff

We are Kind, We are Passionate, We have Integrity, We are Progressive & We put our Communities and Families First

Our staff has over 50 years of combined experience

Ben Poswalk

Ben Poswalk

Executive Director

Hello, I’m Ben Poswalk (a.k.a Mr. Ben), and have had the honor of serving as the Executive Director of Paradise Place Preschool since 2011. Prior to becoming the director, I was a teacher in both our Doves and Whales classes for 3 years. I have BA in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in Human Performance emphasis in Education K-12 from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Additionally I have earned my Director Qualification form Arapahoe College in Denver. When I’m not enjoying spending time with the children and families of Paradise Place; I like to spend it with my own family. We do our best to take advantage of the many opportunities that the Crested Butte Community has to offer like skiing, concerts, hiking, camping and so much more! I welcome the opportunity to get to know you and your family soon. It is a privilege to share in this wonderful time of growth and development in these little one’s lives. Mr. Ben
Personal Info:

Title

Executive Director

Degree

Kinesiology and Applied Physiology; Human Performance

Years at Paradise Place

10

My Hobby

Getting Outdoors: Skiing, Hiking, Camping.
Gwyn Grier

Gwyn Grier

Program director

My favorite thing about early childhood is experiencing first hand young children’s joy of learning and their love for their peers and teachers. Really, I love it all – even the hard stuff – there is never a dull day in preschool and the children always challenge me to be a better teacher and person.
Personal Info:

Title

Program Director

Degree

Early Childhood Education

Years at Paradise Place

10

My Hobby

Teaching Aerial Dancing, Skiing, Climbing, Running
Allison Poswalk

Allison Poswalk

Lambs Teacher

Working with the families in this community has been such a rewarding career choice for me. After raising my two daughters as a stay at home Mom I have a unique perspective on the benefits of early childhood education. In fostering warm and loving relationships with the students and their families we are able to help nurture and support healthy social emotional development as well as form a solid foundation for academic success.
It is amazing to watch the growth from the first day in the Lambs classroom to graduation in the Whales class. It brings such joy to watch the positive impact we can have through these relationships with our Crested Butte families. I truly believe in the positive impact of early childhood education and feel privileged to be a part of our Paradise Place community.
Personal Info:

Degree

Childhood Education

Class Educator

Lambs

Years at Paradise Place

7

My Hobby

Hiking, Skiing, Snowshoeing
Megan Wilson

Megan Willson

Lambs Teacher

Hello! I’m Mrs. Megan and I joined the Lambs class in May of 2020. It has been such an exciting and rewarding experience! I love coming to work each day as I am greeted by happy little smiling faces! I am passionate about caring for children & being able to help them learn & grow. My husband and I moved to CB in November of 2018.
I feel very grateful to live, work, and play in this beautiful valley. When I am not at Paradise Place you can find me hiking, paddle boarding, camping, skiing, and ice skating. We have three furry four-legged children named Peanut, Oliver, and Pearl who love the mountains just as much as we do. I am looking forward to making a positive impact in our community and in the lives of the children here in CB for many years to come!

Class Educator

Lambs

Years at Paradise Place

1

My Hobby

Hiking, Paddle Boarding, Camping, Skiing, and Ice Skating
Carie Mitchell

Carie Mitchell

Child Find Coordinator

Carie is the Child Find Coordinator and early childhood special educator for the Gunnison Watershed School District. She has recently completed her Pyramid Plus trainer certification and is also a Pyramid Plus coach. Carie works in Crested Butte coaching teachers in social-emotional development.
Personal Info:

Degree

Childhood Childhood Special Education

Years at Paradise Place

4

My Hobby

Hiking, Biking, Skiing

Andreea Nisbett

Hi, I’m Andreea. Born in Eastern Europe (Romania) my desire for travel brought me to the states where I chose to further my passion for working and helping children grow and develop. In 2012 I began my career in child development. It has allowed me to gain the insight and knowledge to help grow young minds and influence them to be productive and inspirational leaders in the community.
I do believe that, even they will not remember me once they will become adults, my words will be stuck in their mind and actions forever.

Karen Jansen

Music/Spanish

One of my greatest joys is sharing my love of music with children!  I have lived in Crested Butte over half my life, and have been a teacher of some sort the entire time. I began Munchkin’s Music and Dance (classes for the youngest musicians) over 15 years ago, and also run a successful private teaching business (where I offer classes in piano, guitar, and mandolin).  I also enjoy teaching Spanish–I taught preschool and kindergarten in Costa Rica for a couple years, where I grew to love the language.  Besides singing and playing music, I love to write and be outside hiking, biking or Nordic/backcountry skiing whenever possible.

website:  www.musicincb.com

Mia Hill

Doves Teacher

My name is Mia Hill. I am a senior at CBCS. I will be doing a work study in the dove room. I am so excited about this opportunity . I can not wait to get to know your children. This will be such a good experience as I plan on pursuing a career with children. After my senior year I hope to study to become a pediatric nurse.

Ally Kitkowski

Hello, my name is Ally Kitkowski. I moved to Gunnison a little over a year ago with my boyfriend, Eric, and our cat, Charlie, following my boyfriend’s career transition. Prior to Gunni I was living in Breckenridge and Denver, pursuing art and graphic design. I’m originally from Wisconsin, where I received my bachelor’s degree in design and fine arts. Some of my favorite hobbies are snowboarding, yoga, and running. I look forward to meeting you all!

Madison Spialek

Hi! My name is Ms. Madison or Ms. Madi and I’m a new teacher at Paradise Place. I grew up in Denver, Colorado and moved to Gunnison in May with my boyfriend. I graduated from Naropa University in 2017 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Psychology. I love to spend my free time outdoors, especially in the mountains. Some of my hobbies include: gardening, fly fishing, rafting, hiking, camping, and snowboarding. Early childhood education runs in my family – my mom was a preschool teacher and then she began working at the elementary school I attended and she recently retired. Children have an innate curiosity and as a teacher my hope is to inspire and nurture their curious minds through hands-on experiences. I’m looking forward to helping our students flourish and bloom.

Jessica Noll

My name is Jessica Noll and I am 200 hour certified yoga teacher and a 95 hour certified children’s yoga teacher. I have worked with children most of my life as a nanny, preschool teacher, and a behavioral therapist for individuals with Autism. I love children and am passionate about sharing tools of mindfulness and strategies for peace to help support them in their lives now and in the future. I am excited to be working at Paradise Place to get to make relationships with the children and support the mission of revealing children’s inner light! When I’m not at the school, I am teaching after school yoga or doing yoga myself. I love to ski, hike, camp, and play in our beautiful valley!

Victor Ferri

I’ve been in the valley for about five years now going to college and as I finish up my college career I want to be as connected as possible with the people in the valley. When I saw the opportunity to try a hand at early childhood education I knew it’d be the perfect way to be as connected with the community as possible before the time comes I have to leave.

Asya Stillo

I’ve been in the valley for about five years now going to college and as I finish up my college career I want to be as connected as possible with the people in the valley. When I saw the opportunity to try a hand at early childhood education I knew it’d be the perfect way to be as connected with the community as possible before the time comes I have to leave.

Myka Huddleston

Hello, My name is Myka Huddleston. I am a new member of the Paradise Place Preschool team. I was an Elementary teacher in Bryan Texas prior to joining this wonderful school. I have a B.S. degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Special Education. When I am not working with these wonderful students you can find me reading, hiking, skiing and playing with my three fur-babies named Korah, Bat and Sparrow. I am excited to be engulfed within this amazing community and cannot wait to see where the future takes me. 

Degree: Kinesiology with a minor in Special Education 

My Hobby: Hiking, Reading, Skiing, Dungeons & Dragons, and Scuba Diving 

Philosophy: Children First. Always.

We promote physical, mental and moral growth using the Pyramid Plus Model in our Reggio Emilia inspired classrooms.