Our team


Learning Cooperative Leadership


casey king, Director

Casey King studied Environmental Education and Early Childhood Development at Prescott College.   She has worked in both formal and informal educational settings leading environmental outdoor programs in multiple states. Casey has  lived in West Virginia for ten years and has two sons that attend the Mountain Laurel Learning Center.


Sara Litzau, Administrative coordinator

Sara earned her BA in Education and Environmental Studies from Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. She has a passion for working with children and has done so in a few different states around the country. In 2015, she joined MLLC, first as its Administrative Coordinator and now as Learning Center Director. She enjoys playing outdoors and spending time with her husband and two children.


Learning Center staff

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Shaena Crossland, Primary lead guide

Shaena has served with the Learning Center for over five years. After volunteering for three years, she has been the Primary Classroom Assistant since 2016. Shaena will complete her Montessori certification in spring of 2019 through North American Montessori Center.  Shaena lives with her husband, their children, and their beloved furry and finned family members.


Jody Logar, Lead Lower Elementary Guide

Jody received a Masters of Physical Therapy from West Virginia University and a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Davis and Elkins College. She completed the Lower Elementary Teacher Training credential through North American Montessori Center in 2012 and has been teaching with us since that time. She enjoys outdoor activities with her family and running.

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Shannon McCann, Lead Upper Elementary Guide

Shannon earned a BS in environmental science from Lynchburg College and received her Master of Teaching degree (middle school math and science) from Virginia Commonwealth University. Shannon completed upper elementary Montessori certification through North American Montessori Center in 2016. She has worked in public schools, having taught 7th grade life science for five years and 5th–8th grade math, including algebra, for four years. She enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and hiking with husband Rob, daughter Delaney (an MLLC student), and their dog, Josie.

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Mat Cloak, Middle school Lead guide

Mat received his BA from James Madison University, double-majoring in English and media arts. His work in education began at the Discovery School of Virginia as a counselor. He then earned his master’s degree in secondary education. His Montessori experience began with Mountain Laurel Montessori School (a separate organization from MLLC), where he taught at the school’s secondary farm-based program in Flint Hill, Virginia. Mat’s instructional strengths are literature, composition, humanities, and the arts. 


Jocelyn Gaujot, Elementary assistant

Jocelyn Gaujot has been a Tucker County resident for 16 years. She has a B.S. and M.S. in geology. She helped develop and implement environmental and place-based education for a broad range of school-aged children in both Virginia and West Virginia. She has two children that attend the Mountain Laurel Learning Center, and she loves her role as the Elementary Classroom assistant where she can witness and provide support to the unique learning environment MLLC creates for local children. 


Kristen Behrens (KB), Advanced Practical Life Specialist

At an early age, KB learned from the women around her the value of working with her hands to create things. She enjoys exploring different mediums, including various fiber arts, sewing, knitting, cooking, and gardening.  In 2017, she completed a two-year Herbal Apprenticeship at Owlcraft Healing Ways in Scottsville, VA. She is grateful to be able to share her knowledge of practical life skills with these children and learn more with them, too. She values the natural world and works to incorporate this into the classroom. 


Jessica mash, primary Assistant

Jessica Mash is the projects specialist guide for the primary classroom. She creates specific tasks including art projects, artist studies, special lessons, and introduces and builds on basic kitchen skills. She has lived in Red House, MD for 3 years with her husband, two children (MLLC students), dog, cat, and chickens. 


MLLC Board of Directors


Sarah Deacon, President
Becky Cantrell, Vice President
Maggie Lutz, Secretary


Shannon Anderson

Sandy Frank

Emily Wilson-Hauger