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Silver SPRUCE Academy Staff


We have a wonderful, educated and talented staff here at Silver SPRUCE Academy.

All of whom are here to help with your school choice needs. 

Executive Director

Program Teacher

Natalie Horn-Howard

As a lifetime Colorado resident, Natalie enjoys the outdoors, learning, and exploring her world for knowledge. She graduated from Ignacio High School in 1999, attended Fort Lewis College earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and continued her studies in a distance education program at CU Greeley earning a Masters in Education in Administration and Educational Leadership. 

Natalie and her family have a great appreciation for nature, embarking on family adventures, and learning new things each day.

Natalie has worked with school choice families since 2005. Her outgoing and bubbly personality create a social environment for students that exemplifies group interaction and allows for ample opportunities for students to engage in educational experiences. 

Natalie quotes, "I love learning and I love inspiring others to learn. Each person is unique and is skilled in certain qualities, the key is celebrating each child's special gifts and exploring education with that at the forefront."

"Natalie's motto to teaching is organized chaos with no box!"

Executive Assistant
Program Teacher

Janna Potter

Janna was born and raised in the Four Corners area and graduated from Ignacio High School in 1999. She became certified as a Medical Transcriptionist in 2006 from San Juan College and Career Step. In 2014 Janna obtained a certificate from The Photography Institute in digital photography and became a certified user of Quickbooks. She maintains a substitute teacher license through the State of Colorado each year. Janna earned her first certificate Marriage, Family, and Human Relationships through Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2021. 

Janna and Natalie have known each other since preschool and connected again through the school choice program that Natalie previously directed. Janna was excited when she heard that Natalie was starting Silver SPRUCE Academy because she believes in the value of school choice.       

Janna and her family enjoy Jeeping, boating, camping, and traveling. She states, "A traveler's destination is not a place, but what you see and experience"

Program Assistant
Stephanie Grijalva

Stephanie was raised in the Four Corners area exploring the canyons and mountains all around. After traveling and living in other places, she decided this is home. Along with her husband they put down roots and began to work within the community.  

She has worked within several nonprofit organizations for the past 17 years, including leadership and administrative roles. Stephanie and her husband established a local nonprofit specializing in care for the unhoused population. Stephanie has homeschooled her daughters for over 10 years, while keeping them engaged in community events and local co-ops.  

When the chores are done, Stephanie, her husband, and their four daughters can be found camping, hiking, or whittling away summer days at the lake. She also loves talking through a good movie…or a bad one, much to her husband's chagrin. Stephanie loves to organize all sorts of things, people, and schedules, often being called a schedule ninja for being able to make it all work. She is looking forward to working with Silver SPRUCE and it's amazing educational opportunities for our homeschool community. 

Program Teacher
Trudy Kremer

Trudy has lived and raised her children in the Pine River Area. One of her sons still lives in the area. Trudy enjoys riding horses, ranching, roping, barrel racing, and raising dogs. Trudy went back to college after raising her kids. Teaching was her first choice, but after working for the Forest Service spraying weeds and working fires, she realized that she would rather stay outside. She has taught swimming ever since graduating high school in Bayfield. She has worked for the Southern Ute Community Center since it opened. She learned to scuba dive and has spent 10 years working for LandShark Scuba as a cook on their dive trips. Trudy has also taught horseback riding lessons and worked for a substitute teacher in Bayfield, Ignacio, and Las Cruces School Districts. Being around kids keeps a fresh perspective on everything, and she quotes, “It is important to count your rainbows and not your thunderstorms.”

Program Teacher 
Stephanie Lewis

Stephanie is from Albuquerque, but has lived in the Four Corners area for 11 years. She graduated with her bachelor's in education from Lubbock Christian University in 1999. She spent several years teaching in different school settings before homeschooling. Two of her children have graduated high school; one of them has already graduated college! She greatly enjoys the outdoors: hiking, camping, gardening, water activities, and animals. Her hobby farm of horses, goats, chickens, and gardens keep her very busy and entertained!

Stephanie quotes, "Get out and enjoy life! Explore the things around you, and never stop learning!"

Program Teacher 
Tara Douglas

Tara Douglas is originally from Angleton Texas and graduated from Angleton High in 2005.  She and her family moved to the Four Corners area in August of 2018 and fell in love with the area and people. They love hiking and exploring the outdoors. Tara is a mother of 4 and has been homeschooling for 9 years. She has over 10 years experience in child education including Classical Conversations and being a Youth Leader and Director at her church. Tara is passionate about the educational growth of every individual child. When she teaches, she offers a unique learning style that includes hands on and physical activity. Tara dives in 100% when there is a goal to be reached and teaching children is one of her biggest passions! 

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