In addition to our talented teachers, we have a handful of dedicated and equally talented staff members helping us behind the scenes.
List of 5 items.
Ms. Betsy Davis
Tulane University, BS
Betsy Davis grew up in Long Island, New York, and studied geology and environmental science at Tulane University. Since then she has worked in education not only as a science, math and outdoor education teacher, but also as a Registrar and Database Manager. Before moving in September 2017, Betsy had been to Jackson numerous times for vacation and NOLS training. She is thrilled to work here now as JHCA’s IT Manager and Registrar, while pursuing her love of the outdoors.
Ms. Betsy Davis comes to Jackson Hole Classical Academy with a background both in teaching and school administration. After moving to Jackson only a couple of weeks ago, she has immediately begun work as both a registrar and IT manager for the Academy. Ms. Davis grew up in Long Island, New York and attended the Ethel Walker School in Connecticut. She then received her bachelor of science degree in geology from Tulane University with a minor in environmental studies
After college Ms. Davis moved to New Jersey to teach at Barnstable Academy and then at Montclair Kimberley Academy for five years. There she was a math, science, computer science, and outdoor education teacher. She also coached soccer, softball, and tennis. When her daughter was born, she left Montclair and for the next eighteen years tutored and substitute taught.
In 2010, Ms. Davis began working at the Princeton Day School as a registrar, student database manager, AP and PSAT coordinator and lower school scheduler. At this pre-K—12th grade school there were 970 students. “There are very different numbers here at JHCA!” she says. Ms. Davis sometimes misses the interactions with students that her earlier teaching career afforded. She says, “I enjoyed getting to know students; that is what I loved most about being in the classroom.” However, she has found great purpose in school administration as well. “I like detail-oriented tasks and having projects to tackle. I found that my administrative work is similar to putting a puzzle together. I like to fix problems, especially ones where you can see if you’ve solved it.” Ms. Davis has put her skills to use at JHCA, helping launch Owlnet for the 2017-2018 school.
“It’s no accident that I moved out to Jackson,” Ms. Davis says. In fact, her first memories of the area are from a family vacation when she was nine years old. From there she has visited the valley every few years. “When I was sixteen, my father convinced me to attend Teton Valley Ranch Camp, which was in Kelly at the time. I just fell in love with Jackson. From then I have always wanted to be here.”
Ms. Davis is skilled in both the science and the practical side of the outdoors. She says, “I took my first NOLS in 1981 in the Wind River Range, then another in 1987 in Alaska.” In the past five years, she completed NOLS Alumni courses in Italy, Ireland, and Wind River Range. Ms. Davis looks forward to continuing to pursue her love for the outdoors now that she lives in Jackson. She says, “I love to hike. In fact, I just did Hermitage Point this weekend. In my NOLS certification course, I did long backpacking trips, and hope to do more this summer.” Ms. Davis also skis, and is looking forward to a first season of skiing in the West. She says, “Moving from New Jersey was a big change, but knew I liked the area. Now that my children are grown it’s my big adventure!”
Miss Sarah Knight
University of Georgia, BS
Miss Sarah Knight is was born and raised in Georgia, having lived in both Columbus and Atlanta. She studied childhood development at Ole Miss and then transferred to the University of Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Science. She then spent the next seven years in Atlanta teaching prekindergarten and spending much of her summer breaks working here in Jackson. During that time, Miss Knight learned what is now one of her favorite hobbies, fly fishing. She moved to Jackson to live here year-round in 2016. Miss Knight also enjoys skiing, cooking, and traveling.
Mrs. Sarah Lustfield
University of California, Santa Barbara, BA
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS
Originally from Wilson, WY, Sarah Lustfield graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in the Classics. She went on to attend a program at Christie’s Education in New York City in 19th and 20th century Fine Art, Art Connoisseurship, and the History of the Art Market. After her time in New York, she returned to Jackson where she spent seven years involved in the Jackson Art Market. During this time, she helped Jackson Galleries garner the attention of international art dealers and expand their business and place in the international art world. She then turned her attention to account management and business organization for various local entities including an attorney, a construction company, and a financial services organization. She had spent many years organizing and running large Private Family Trust Companies. She enjoys gardening and spending time with her family: husband Travis, daughter Scarlett, and son Ashton, who both attend the Academy.
Mrs. Lustfield’s connection to the classics began in high school. At that time, Maggie Valiente, who serves today as JHCA’s board chair, was helping the Jackson district high school improve its academic standing. She brought in a Latin teacher to begin a Latin program. It became Mrs. Lustfield’s favorite class. During high school she also worked at The National Museum of Wildlife Art.
While studying Classics at the University of Santa Barbara, Mrs. Lustfield took an intensive Latin program at the University of Washington. She was able to graduate in three years and enter a graduate program run by Christie’s in New York. Mrs. Lustfield says, “While the program was art based, it also taught me how to run a business to sell art. The experience has served me so well working for JHCA!”
Despite the opportunities of New York, Mrs. Lustfield decided to move back to Jackson. “I grew up here,” she says. “It’s a wonderful place to raise children.” Now that JHCA provides the classical education she pursued, Mrs. Lustfield says, “We’re blessed to have incredible educational opportunities alongside the peaceful environment of Jackson Hole.”
Once back in Jackson, Mrs. Lustfield became the director of a local art gallery, did bookkeeping for husband’s construction business, ran private trust companies, and worked as a private wealth manager. All these positions gave her a variety of skills that she now employs at JHCA. Eventually, Mrs. Lustfield was looking for a job that would put her more directly in touch with helping the Jackson community. She says, “I immediately was interested when Mrs. Friess approached me about this work. I love working for a non-profit that is geared towards the education of young minds.”
Mrs. Lustfield’s favorite thing about working at JHCA is seeing her children learn and enjoy school. Her children are in 3rd and 1st grade. She says, “It is a pleasure to watch my children be so happy at school every day. Since coming here two years ago, my daughter has found her place in the world.”
Mr. J.B. Park
JB Park was born in Korea, and grew up near Los Angeles. He’s always loved cooking food and sharing it with others. JB studied Bible, Music, and Liberal Arts at the Masters College in Santa Clarita before moving to Jackson in 2009. Since moving to the valley, JB has driven school busses, cooked, and catered. He looks forward to continuing to make people smile with his delicious school lunches and genial personality.
Mr. John Park, who goes as JB, was born in Korea and moved to the United States when he was three and became a citizen at nineteen. He will be JH Classical Academy’s head chef next year. The JHCA community all got to taste his delicious food at Field Day.
When JB works in the kitchen he bustles with enthusiasm and passion for his food. The topic quickly switches to food in a conversation with JB. He says that cooking and eating was a strong part of his childhood. “When I was a kid, I loved to work with my mother in the kitchen,” he remembers. Another inspiration for cooking comes from his early desire to make food that he liked to eat. He has a more sensitive palate than most people and an excuse for pickiness though. “My tongue can taste more flavors than the usual set of taste buds,” JB explains. “I was tested with a supertaster strip, which has a bitter flavor very few can detect.”
JB attended the Masters College in Santa Clarita, where he received a liberal arts degree in business, music, and Bible. While in college he worked as the college cafeteria manager. One he graduated, JB started out his cooking career by working at a Korean barbeque restaurant in California. He visited Jackson in 2009 and fell in love with his church and the beautiful environment. Someday, he dreams of starting the first Korean barbeque place in Jackson. “Is that a surprise?” He chuckles. “It’s my favorite food.”
Since moving to Jackson, JB has worked as a special events caterer for Jackson Hole high school and as a school bus driver. His outgoing, humble demeanor has made him a favorite with colleagues and students.
JB’s favorite part about cooking is providing a service to others. He says, “I love when I serve a dish and it makes people smile. I enjoy it when someone enjoys my food.”
Food is also a way to make friends. JB says, “I like to get to know people through food. By eating with someone, you can learn so much about what they’re like and where they’re from.” Then there’s the social dynamic to food. He continues, “I like the social aspect to food as well—especially small groups where you can really engage in conversation.”
JB can’t wait to begin working at JHCA. “I am so excited to make delicious dishes for the students and teachers, hear feedback, and tailor the food to the school,” he says.
Mr. Dan Walker
Northeastern University, BS
ADVANCEMENT AND FINANCE MANAGER
Dan Walker hails originally from the forests of New Hampshire. He has lived in Jackson for the past several years with his wife, Ashleigh, and his two children, Finn and Rylynn, who both attend JH Classical. Dan brings diverse job experiences to the position of advancement and finance manager at JHCA. A former defense contractor, he has worked locally with nonprofits and businesses in accounting and financial management. Dan is excited to contribute his skills to the school and its vision.
Mr. Dan Walker began work as the Advancement and Finance Manager for JH Classical Academy on October 16th. He grew up for most his childhood in New Hampshire, where he fondly remembers running around inthe woods from a young age. “Unlike Jackson where the woods are populated by grizzlies and cougars, we really had nothing like that to concern us,” he says, adding, “but at least we don’t have to ski on sheer ice.” He then attended Northeastern University for a five-year degree in international business with the university’s co-op/internship program. During this time he studied at the ESB Business School at Reutlingen University in Germany. Initially scheduled to begin work in Germany following the program, Dan met his future wife Ashleigh while home in New Hampshire, which ultimately expedited his decision to return to the US.
Mr. Walker went on to work as an analyst with BAE Systems, a government contractor. His work with the Department of Defense focused on leading teams of engineers and analysts in developing capability solutions for a variety of programs. He commuted between Virginia and California and worked weekends as a paramedic while also continuing his education as a professional climbing guide and wilderness EMT. These skills afforded Dan the opportunity to join several military training expeditions to mountain ranges around the world. He recounts, “With BAE I ended up primarily working on missile defense and general procurement programs, but for a time I’d been working with the Marine Corps on mountain warfare programs following a successful training expedition in Denali National Park with Norwegian, Canadian, Australian, and U.S. military personnel. It was an exciting couple of years being involved in these kinds of expeditions.”
After living in California, the Walker family moved to Jackson Hole. The new location was a natural fit. His oldest brother Tim had recently relocated to Jackson Hole, and although it was difficult place to work from remotely, Dan and Ashleigh were determined to stay in the valley. “It’s not exactly the easiest place from which to travel to a suitable military base, and there were only so many aspects of the job I could do from Jackson.”
Wanting to remain in Jackson, Mr. Walker went on to work in the outdoor apparel industry at Cloudveil Mountain Works where he headed their retail program. He later began his own business in accounting with his wife, working with several businesses and nonprofits in the region. His knowledge of nonprofit financial management developed significantly during this time.
Mr. Walker is enthusiastic both about JHCA’s vision and his role in it. He says, “I look forward to helping build and advance JHCA. I know it’s well on its way to becoming the best school in the region. The Academy is why our family is in Jackson right now.” Remarking on his work at JHCA, “My focus is on strengthening the ties within this great community of families, organizing the school’s wonderful volunteer base, and helping the school develop a lasting presence in this region.”
The two Walker children, Finnegan and Rylynn, have attended JHCA for the past few years. As a parent, he appreciates the academic rigor and encouraging peer environment. “Our kids love it! Once I had school-aged children I realized how important this kind of environment is. I think back on the most eloquent person I’ve ever known, my grandfather—he was a former chair of economics and political science at the Naval Academy—and I wonder why nobody seems to speak like he did anymore. He received an education like what JHCA offers, and I’m hoping my children might end up more like him.”
Mr. Walker likes angling and camping during his time off. He also enjoys taking his children paddle boarding and kayaking on the local lakes and rivers. He doesn’t climb much anymore—at least until his kids are old enough to teach. When asked of it, he remarks, “My fastest time up the Grand? Ten hours car to car on the East Ridge—that’s nothing compared to what a lot of the climbers out here can do.”
Jackson Hole Classical Academy P.O. Box 7466 Jackson, WY 83002
Nondiscrimination Policy: Jackson Hole Classical Academy admits students of any gender, race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students. Jackson Hole Classical Academy does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, tuition assistance, athletic, arts or other school administrated programs.