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Little Acorns Preschool
Katherine Gifford Huffman joined the teaching faculty of MLA in 2023. She comes to MLA from Morgantown, WV where she ws a pre-school teacher in Taylor County. She has taught extensively in many childhood development centers all around North-Central WV, including Pleasant Day School where she was a lead instructor for 13 years.

Ms. Huffman - known as Ms. Kate - has degrees in Early Childhood Development from Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College. She has done additional coursework at Alderson Broaddus University. Prior to her studies, she served in the United States Army for 10 years.

Ms. Huffman lives in Morgantown with her family.
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Corinne Seese is our Kindergarten teacher. She graduated from WVU in 1993 with a Bachelor's Degree Elementary Education. Corinne started teaching preschool at MLA when it opened in 1995 and is very excited to be currently teaching kindergarten! She believes that it is important to build a family of learners in her classroom and encourages the children to care for and help each other. She often teaches summer workshops at MLA and tutors during the summer and school year. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her three kiddos.
Early Elementary 1
Amanda Cain is our Early Elementary teacher.  She was born and raised in Morgantown. She received her Bachelor's degree in Social Work from WVU as well as her Master of Arts in Elementary Education.  In her spare time she enjoys being with her family, friends, dogs and cats.  She enjoys traveling but is mostly a homebody who can be found relaxing with her dogs and reading a book!
Early Elementary II
Lisa Monday is our Early Elementary-2 teacher. She is excited to join the MLA team after being a proud parent of a MLA graduate for many years. Lisa received her Bachelors degree in Psychology from WVU as well as a Masters of Arts in Elementary Education and Reading. In her free time, Lisa enjoys gardening, kayaking, going on adventures with my family and all things Disney!
Middle Elementary
Alexa Spangler-Davis is our Middle Elementary teacher. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Masters degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelors degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Alexa is a Morgantown native and has worked with our summer program for two years. She loves teaching math and problem solving skills. Alexa enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and four cats. 
Early Middle School
Paula Taylor is our Early Middle School teacher.  She graduated from West Virginia University with a Master's Degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism.  She has been with MLA since 2003, and has taught classes from Early Elementary to Middle School.  Ms. Taylor works closely with the Mountain SOL school and is involved with their in-school, after-school, and summer programs.  Originally from Charleston, she enjoys spending time with her pets and gardening.
Middle School
Claire Doemland is our Middle School teacher at MLA. Originally from New Jersey, Claire moved to West Virginia to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Katherine Johnson NASA IV&V Center in Fairmont where she worked to develop and support K-12 educational robotics programs throughout the state. Claire earned her B.A. in Environmental Education from Warren Wilson College and her M.Ed in Curriculum and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her free time, Claire enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, exploring national parks, and skiing as often as possible.
Jen Osha Buysse, or "Senora Jen", is currently directing and co-teaching the outdoor education program at MLA starting with the Little Acorns. Over the last 14 years at MLA, she has taught geography, WV history, Spanish and music at our school!  Jen Osha is the director and co-founder of the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership Program (Mountain SOL) which provides in school outdoor programming every Thursday for MLA students as well as afterschool and summer opportunities for local students. 

Jen has also taught at the Human Path, the West Virginia Scholars Academy, Yale University, the New Jersey School of Conservation, Salem International University, in the geography department at West Virginia University, and at Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo. Jen received her BA in English from the University of Virginia, her Masters in Forestry from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and her PhD in Geography from West Virginia University.  She is a National Geographic Certified Educator, serves on the National Geographic Advisory Committee for West Virginia, and was a fellow at the WVU Center for Resilient Communities. She is currently training to be an EMT as well.
Ancillary Teacher: Art
Jeff Ryan is the Art teacher at MLA.  He received his B.F.A in Ceramics (with K-12 Certification) from West Virginia University in 1996. He has been teaching pottery, handbuilding, and sculpture in many community based arts organizations for over 20 years. In 2006 he traveled to China to study porcelain production and ceramic history.  In addition to ceramics, he loves paper maché and mask making. Jeff received his Master Gardening certification in 2018 and has since had the opportunity to lead an MLA 4-H club, our school’s vegetable garden, composting and MLA's recycling program.
Ancillary Teacher: Physical Education
Mr. Tristan is originally from New Athens, Ohio. He has been working at MLA since 2018 as a summer camp counselor, substitute teacher, and is our current full-time PE teacher!

Mr. Tristan graduated from West Virginia University in 2020 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Athletic Coaching Education and a double minor in Special Education and Sport & Exercise Psychology. He also graduated from WVU again in 2022 with a Master’s Degree in Coaching & Sport Education with an emphasis in Sport Management.

Mr. Tristan lives in Morgantown with his girlfriend Julie and their dog Moose. He also is a local high school and semi-pro football coach in the area!
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Ancillary Teacher: Music
Dr. Nathaniel Burke is an economics professor, private pilot, and active musician. "Mr. Nate" has been studying music for almost 30 years and is a classically trained violist and jazz-trained saxophone player. 

Nathaniel has performed with off-Broadway theaters in NYC, the Manhattan College Orchestra, Manhattan College Jazz Band, Northern Lights String Orchestra, the University of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the University of Arkansas Theatre, and many more. He taught private and community music in multiple states before joining MLA and serving as a sectional coach for strings and saxophones in Alaska and Arkansas. Nathaniel has extensive experience working with elementary and middle school students in New York, Alaska, and Arkansas. He has been the director for inner-city educational programs, marginalized groups, and educational access and mentoring programs. 

Nathaniel earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Arkansas and received his M.S. in Resource and Applied Economics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Nathaniel did his B.A. in Economics at Manhattan College in NYC where he was also a D1 Track and Field athlete and scholarship musician. Prior to entering his Master's degree program, Nathaniel spent 5 years in the Army on active duty and received an honorable discharge in 2016. While in the military, Nathaniel received an A.A.S. in Intelligence Operations from Cochise College and a Linguistic Certification in Korean linguistics from the Defense Language Institute - Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, CA.
Ancillary Teacher: Spanish
Faviola Aguilar-Burke is excited to be the Spanish teacher at MLA. She graduated from University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She is a native Spanish speaker, and a MLA parent! In her free time she enjoys traveling, teaching Mexican Folklórico dance, figure skating and working with fiber arts!
Ancillary Teacher
Greg began his college education at Columbia Union College in Silver Spring, MD with a  Elementary Education; then pursued a Master of Public Health at Loma Linda University and Master of Curriculum & Instruction from Salem College. After teaching ten years at the Toll Gate SDA School, Greg taught gifted K-8 students in Doddridge County.  For the next fourteen years Greg was the Healthy School Coordinator and Regional Tobacco Prevention Specialist at RESA VII where he developed Teen Institute.  In 2002 Greg went back to the classroom and taught Social Studies and Health for Doddridge County Middle School.  After retirement in 2011, Doddridge County Board of Education contracted with Greg to provide Health Education for grades K-4 in addition to working with administration as Student Assistant Manager doing school programming, coordinating field trips and working to improve school attendance.  During his education and teaching years Greg became a specialist in  Health Education, Social Studies, Gifted Education, and History.  He was a national trainer for Know Your Body Health Education Curriculum, Developing Capable People Drug Prevention Curriculum,  Life Skills Training, Drug Prevention Curriculum and TATU (Teens Against Tobacco Use) as well as a trainer for Get Real About Violence, Violence Prevention Program and  Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Violence Prevention Program.  As over educated as he sounds, Greg is still a pretty normal guy who loves kids and has a tendency to burst out in song occasionally.
It is with special care and consideration that we choose our faculty and administration. The unique blend of personalities and professional strengths found in this outstanding group of individuals helps Morgantown Learning Academy offer its students an outstanding education. MLA has set strict guidelines and high expectations for its faculty and administration. Not only must they be certified in the content area that they teach or administer, but they must also be actively involved in personal continuing education goals. The MLA faculty and administration not only meets these guidelines but also enthusiastically searches for ways in which to become better teachers and administrators for your children.
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