Monica Akens grew up in a quiet rural town in east Texas. She attended college at the University of North Texas, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Education (Special Ed and Elementary Ed).
Monica has several years of teaching experience, working in a variety of schools in places far and wide. She taught at a residential school for children with emotional and behavioral challenges in Jackson Hole, WY. There she enjoyed working with children in a wilderness based therapeutic program, as well as a ski program. She also taught Special Ed at the public high school in Jackson Hole for two years.
She then spent a few years living, traveling, and teaching abroad, at International Schools in Thailand and Colombia, where she taught KG, first, and third grade. After moving to Flagstaff with her husband in 2008, she opened a Waldorf inspired playschool in her home, where she worked as a stay at home mom for eight years. She joined Pine Forest in 2016 as an assistant in the kindergarten, and now works as a kindergarten teacher. She has two children who attend school at Pine Forest, and feels lucky to get to go to school with them each day. Her classroom, Sparrow's Nest, is her home away from home. She loves going to work each day, taking in the beauty surrounding her, and experiencing the awe and wonder of her students that is such an integral part of the Waldorf Kindergarten program.
In her free time, Monica enjoys outdoor adventures with her family; hiking, river running, skiing, and camping. She loves trail running with her dog, gardening, handcrafts, being creative in the kitchen, and traveling. She considers herself a lifelong learner, and enjoys learning new ways to apply the Waldorf philosophy to her teaching experience.