Teachers & Staff
Pre-K & Kindergarten
Charla has been a member of our school community since 1984. As a parent and then as a teacher, she has seen Clear Spring develop and is a vital part of our family.
Charla specializing in early childhood education, has extensive Montessori training, is a member of the Junior Master Gardeners Program, and has studied Neurological brain development of children as well as their Social-Emotional growth.
"We do not teach children to learn through harshness but by paying attention to what amuses them."
Head Teacher & Lower Elementary
Rigdon has a bachelor's degree in fine arts, a master's degree in education, and 25 years of teaching experience. Throughout his time as an educator, he has received many awards for his work including Teacher of The Year for the Bentonville, AR public school district for the 2005/06 school year and The Walton Arts Center Outstanding Educator Award. He also has participated in extensive educational training, including Skill Path Leadership Training, Love and Logic Training, Arkansas A+, and Great Expectation of Arkansas Institute.
"I love working for Clear Spring because I am given the freedom to allow my students to learn through discovery and hands on learning. It is truly a student-centered curriculum.”
Ginny has a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in French. She has been a youth mentor and tutor for over 15 years. She has spent time teaching English in France and also teaching French to students in Arkansas.
"Kindness begets kindness, respect begets respect; learning is infectious when you make it fun! I appreciate the freedom teachers and students at Clear Spring have to explore concepts in multiple ways, to pursue their true interests and learn self-reliance at a young age."
Chris has worked in education for over 15 years. He studied drama at the University of Arkansas. A Clear Spring alumnus, he worked in the Pre-Primary for 10 years, as well as in other education facilities around the state. He returned to Clear Spring in 2018 as the core Lower Middle school teacher, where he is passionate about sharing his love of hands-on learning and community engagement.
Sam G. Faulkner
Upper School Blocks
Sam has been an educator for over fifteen years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies. Sam is an Arkansas A+ Fellow and is well versed in project based learning and experiential education.
“I believe in order to create a more humane and responsible world, it is the duty of educational systems to empower students to think critically, take ownership of their emotional worlds, and develop compassion for themselves and the world around them.”
Upper School Math & All School Music
Heather has been teaching for over 15 years. She got her start teaching private drum lessons in Evergreen Colorado in high school and never looked back. She attended the University of Northern Colorado with studies in Music Education, Music Performance, and Music Composition.
“Clear Spring isn’t a job. It is a way of life that I have fallen in love with. The staff, students, and parents feel like a family. As teachers we have the freedom to follow the student’s interests and help use their passions as vehicles for education. Clear Spring is home.”
Health & Wellness
Victoria is a Health & Wellness Professional. She and her husband own Eureka Integrative Wellness. Victoria offers our student a variety of health & wellness curriculum in her classes including yoga, preparing healthy foods, self-care and nutrition.
Beekeeping & Gardening
Bethany Smith directs the Clear Spring School’s Beekeeping and Edible Garden Program.
She’s been a successful beekeeper and small-scale homesteader for several years and is the owner of Sedge and Bees Apiaries, LLC. Her honey was awarded 3rd in the Bemis Honey Bee Farm state-wide competition in 2017. Bethany’s family moved to Eureka Springs in 2018, and her son attends Clear Spring. All children need the experience of caring for living, growing beings very different from themselves, the knowledge that they can do hard things, skills and confidence to create their own food and supplies, and encouragement to appreciate the natural world around them. Bethany enjoys providing these opportunities for the kids at Clear Spring.
Juanita is a professional naturalist and a member of the Kings Rivershed Partnership. She is an expert on water and land use and teaches a variety of environmental studies blocks including river studies and geology.
Sewing & Fiber Arts
Mark has been sewing since the age of nine. He spent 25 years in professional theatre as a costume designer in his hometown of Little Rock before moving to NW Arkansas in 1997 for a life change. He designed and constructed period-appropriate costumes for the Arkansas State Parks system but soon became interested in designing natural-fiber clothing for women. In 2000 he opened his own boutique, Regalia Handmade Clothing in downtown Fayetteville, then moved it to Eureka Springs 14 years ago. Mark is very excited to be working with the Clear Spring students because he knows that sewing increases hand/eye coordination, problem-solving, and opens a world of creative possibilities.
Wisdom of the Hands Program
Doug has been a professional woodworker for 40+ years and is the author of 13 woodworking books and over 90 articles in woodworking magazines and educational journals. He carries a BA in political science, and has been with Clear Spring School since 2001.
Doug was named an Arkansas Living Treasure by the Arkansas Arts Council and Department of Heritage in 2009.
"I believe that children and adults learn best (most thoroughly, most efficiently and to greatest lasting effect) when their hands are engaged and they are doing real things in service tot their interests and those of their families and community."
Fine Arts & Woodshop Assistant
Shilah has worked in lots of art media and shares her enthusiastic creative approaches with all the students in her art classes.
Staff & Administration
Jessica FitzPatrick, PhD.
Head of School
Jessica is Head of School, at Clear Spring School this year. This is a return to her educational home. She began teaching at the Pre-School with Charla in 1999 and worked her way through the grades at Clear Spring until 2010 when she left to explore education from a global perspective. She taught in South Korea, Uganda and studied in New Zealand and has now returned to Eureka and Clear Spring School. She has a Masters in Progressive Education from Goddard College in Vermont and has just completed her PhD. In teacher professional development and the assessment of 21st century skills through the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Jessica@clearspringschool.org
Director of Finance
Carrie has a variety of roles as Director of Finance. She works with all aspects of the school's financial requirements from fundraising to scholarships.
Stephanie is the welcoming face behind the front office desk. She helps the office with a variety of tasks from managing attendance, sending notices to parents and scheduling visits and meetings.
Jeremy keeps everything running at Clear Spring School. He helps with repairs, setting up technology and driving the school vans.
Director of Development
Dawn has a Ph.D. in Arts Education and a Masters in Studio Art. She taught studio art, art education and art history at the college level for over 26 years. She works with the board, volunteers, and staff to promote the school. She also coordinates our fundraising events, writes grants and designs promotional materials.