School Director and Lead Teacher, Holly Wu is an educator and mother. Ms. Wu was awarded “Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Elementary Education” for her graduating class in 2000 from Eastern New Mexico University. She became certified K-8, and her undergrad minor was math. Ms. Wu received her Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico in 2004 and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She earned the credentials to become a reading specialist with this degree, and also became endorsed in English as a Second Language in 2006. She later earned her National Board Certified Teacher credential in 2006 and renewed in 2016.
Her teaching background includes additional experience in Reading Recovery. She spent two years as a K-12 District Math Coordinator and has led countless teacher and academic coach trainings.
As a member of the New Mexico Peace Choir, our Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant Kathy Azar traveled to Europe in 2017 to participate in the World Peace Choral Festival in Vienna, Austria.
She brings her love of music to CSCA’s students as the school’s music teacher, where she encourages the children to use their voices as instruments.
Kathy brings over 40 years of experience to our school. You can find her volunteering for all of the school’s field trips, joining her twin grandchildren who are also Chinook students, where she enjoys watching all the CSCA children experience “Life is Our Classroom.”
Certified Teacher, Audrey Dobek is excited to be a part of Chinook Spirit Children’s Academy (CSCA). She became interested in CSCA while looking for the perfect school for her daughter, Sasha. At CSCA, Sasha has thrived socially, academically, emotionally, and spiritually. Audrey a former kindergarten teacher with Albuquerque Public Schools, and believes that the ideal relationship between student and teacher is one in which mutual respect is apparent.
She incorporates hands-on and supportive learning techniques to educate children based on their own unique learning preferences, in an energetic, focused environment where everyone can learn and grow together. Audrey encourages all of our children to work to exceed even their own hopes and dreams, and to realize their true potential.
Education Assistant, Joan Ellis studied Psychology, Math and English at UNM. When her oldest was an infant, she taught sewing to the neighborhood children’s home. Joan comes to Chinook from a long line of seamstresses, farmers, and teachers. Both parents, maternal grandmother and oldest daughter are/were teachers.
For more than thirty years she worked as a mortgage lender, spending much of that time teaching complex math concepts to adults. During that time she dreamed of being a kindergarten art teacher. When her youngest started school, she volunteered to teach art at Petroglyph Elementary where she first met Ms. Holly Wu.
After retiring from the banking business, she worked at Explora, as well as a small quilt shop, and taught children’s summer camps. This evolved into a short term Art project at Chinook in the fall of 2016. Since then, Joan’s classroom duties and love for the students have grown exponentially.
Education Assistant, Christi Rein has volunteered for many organizations over the years; Casa Angelica, PB & J, CLN Kids, and in 2011 the Austin Safeplace Domestic violence shelter recognized her with an award for being the longest and most dedicated volunteer.
Christi has served on many boards to include Vice President of is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a passion for working with children. She utilizes over 25 years experience of using food to fuel and heal the body, and personal experience understanding the importance of embracing a positive self image, to teach children self respect and respect of others through proper nutrition, gardening, cooking, yoga, meditation, and art.
Christi is a member of the Austin Business Travel Association, President of New Mexico Entertainment & Digital Industry Association, and currently serves on the board for New Mexico S.A.F.E House Domestic violence shelter.