Lynn Peesel never set out to live in her hometown of Evergreen – she just couldn’t help herself. Growing up in Evergreen and attending Montessori, Marshdale Elementary, West Jeff Junior High, Evergreen Junior High and graduating in 1992 from Evergreen High School, she had been steeped in the good life. Today she is back at her roots, teaching first, second and third grade at The Montessori School of Evergreen. She recalls attending as a child the original Montessori School, a one-room structure on the Church of the Transfiguration campus.
She headed south to Colorado College for two years and then to Principia College in Illinois. Lynn hesitated and said, “Well so many people know this…” Her decision to stay close the first two years of college was partly in reaction to losing her only brother from a falling accident during her last year of High School. “My parents were amazing – we had to move forward together through that. My high school friendships were so solid. We’re still very close.”
She completed her studies in International Relations. “I felt that I could always teach; it has always been on my radar.” So she spread her wings and studied Education in Developing Countries at American University in Washington D.C. “I really enjoyed my time there, but I realized that I could do more with education than policy.”
Lynn returned to Colorado in 1999 and then attended the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies in Boulder, (where she is now a part-time mentor for new Montessori teachers. “I feel honored to be a part of it.”) and “then I contacted Betsy Hoke [Head of School at Montessori School of Evergreen for 29 years]; she toured me through the school and I was sold.”
In 2001 she and her husband Mark married – right here at home. He had found his way to Colorado through a summer camp, Adventure Unlimited, a camp that provides “enriching activities for thousands of Christian Science young people and families. “We were introduced by a mutual friend and it was meant to be. We did river running,” and other outdoor activities. With Lynn’s job in Evergreen and Mark’s job at the Tech Center, they lived in Washington Park. All it took was Mark’s ability to work from home and Lynn and he headed back to Evergreen. They have two daughters, Zoe (12) and Spencer (9).
“My favorite work is being a mom – prioritizing family time and how much we love taking our kids on outdoor adventures.” Lynn is teaching her children what her parents taught her, to love the out of doors. “Most of our vacations involve camping, river running, hiking, skiing, hut trips” and other outdoor activities. Nature is the greatest teacher.” Lynn doesn’t mess around; last summer their family, including her parents, took a “trip of a lifetime” – a river trip through the Grand Canyon. “What an amazing adventure.”
When Lynn isn’t teaching or parenting, she somehow finds time to coach girls basketball through EPRD. “One of our 8th grade students, Sloan Phillips, volunteers and helps me.” Lynn grew up playing soccer, and “a little bit of cross-country.” Her daughters are also exploring lacrosse, soccer and even Aerial Fabric.
Lynn exudes enthusiasm, but when she was asked to give details about her teaching she really shined. She is in her 15th year of teaching. “I love the kids. Our team of four and the school in general, is so supportive; it’s such a nice environment.” She recognizes that with having team teaching she never feels isolated. “We’re very child-centered. Hands-on materials encourage students to develop independence.” First through third grade students are in the same class. “It’s wonderful when an older student asks to help the younger ones.” She confidently stated that by the time students graduate from 8th grade that “they are prepped for high school.”
She says of Evergreen, “I love living here. I feel like it has changed…but not that much.” She still runs into familiar faces at the store and Post Office. “And best of all, my parents still live here. They’re so much of why I am who I am.”