Our Team

alex headshot
Master of Ceremonies

Alex Alviar was born to Filipino immigrant parents just outside Detroit. He read a poem that inspired him to become a featherweight boxer in Mexico and later to become a Zen Buddhist seminary student for almost ten years at a small temple in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He left Michigan to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing in Poetry at the University of Montana. While there, the residents of Troy, Montana named him 2002’s Poetry Slam Champion of Montana, and he very quickly found himself a wife, a mortgage, two kids, two cats, and a dog.

In order to pay for all that, he joined forces with the Missoula Writing Collaborative as a Poet in Residence in 2004 and has served various schools on the Flathead Indian Reservation and Missoula. He also has served for almost a decade as full time faculty at Salish Kootenai College where he was given the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award for the founding of Ten Sticks Lacrosse, the premier youth lacrosse program of the Flathead Indian Reservation.

When not teaching or tending to his kids, Alex launches small experiments that attempt to bring together his interests in art, entrepreneurship, and education. Currently, he is working on a graphic novel, and he is training as a Graphic Facilitator to help educators and businesses clarify their communications through hand drawn images.

Anna Baldwin is in her 16th year of teaching English on the Flathead Reservation and has enjoyed the last dozen at Arlee High School. She lives in downtown Arlee with her husband and two children. Anna is the licensee and organizer of TEDxArlee.

Anna Baldwin is in her 17th year of teaching English on the Flathead Reservation and has enjoyed the last dozen at Arlee High School. She lives in downtown Arlee with her husband and two children. Anna is the licensee and organizer of TEDxArlee.

 

Jill Couture was born and raised in South Dakota. Moving to Montana in 1994, she has found a home working at the Arlee Elementary School for almost 20 years.  She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Jill Couture was born and raised in South Dakota. Moving to Montana in 1994, she has found a home working at the Arlee Elementary School for almost 20 years. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

 

Marisa Franz was raised in Missoula, and has also lived in Milwaukee, Chicago and Pittsburgh. She has an undergrad degree in Advertising from Marquette University and graduate degrees from Chicago Portfolio School and the University of Montana. You can find her teaching during the school year and running her catering company out of Missoula in the summer. She and her husband Jon spend their time on the river or on the slopes whenever they get the chance.

Marisa Franz was raised in Missoula, and has also lived in Milwaukee, Chicago and Pittsburgh. She has an undergrad degree in Advertising from Marquette University and graduate degrees from Chicago Portfolio School and the University of Montana. You can find her teaching during the school year and running her catering company out of Missoula in the summer. She and her husband Jon spend their time on the river or on the slopes whenever they get the chance.

 

Fran Ryan is the Technology Director for Arlee Schools as well as an alumnus of Arlee High School. He has been supporting teachers’ technology needs for a decade and lives in Arlee with his wife and five sons.

Fran Ryan is the Technology Director for Arlee Schools as well as an alumnus of Arlee High School. He has been supporting teachers’ technology needs for a decade and lives in Arlee with his wife and five sons.

 

Bonnie White teaches math and science to the wonderful students at Arlee High School. Her educational background consists of a BS in Geology and Physics from the University of Montana, an MS in Geophysics from the University of Utah, and she’s just finishing her last class to obtain her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Montana State University. She has worked in many places in the country from teaching classes at the University of Utah, to conducting seismology research for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, working as a production geophysicist for British Petroleum in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, installing computer systems in K-12 schools nationwide, and teaching middle school math and science in Missoula, MT. When she’s not working she enjoys being with her husband, Travis, their two wonderful kids, Trista and Cody, and their big furry Great Pyrenees, Nanook.

Bonnie White teaches math and science to the wonderful students at Arlee High School. Her educational background consists of a BS in Geology and Physics from the University of Montana, an MS in Geophysics from the University of Utah, and she’s just finishing her last class to obtain her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Montana State University. She has worked in many places in the country from teaching classes at the University of Utah, to conducting seismology research for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, working as a production geophysicist for British Petroleum in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, installing computer systems in K-12 schools nationwide, and teaching middle school math and science in Missoula, MT. When she’s not working she enjoys being with her husband, Travis, their two wonderful kids, Trista and Cody, and their big furry Great Pyrenees, Nanook.