Julie Brisbin - 4th & 5th

At the confluence of her love of teaching and the outdoors, Julie Brisbin found her way into the Sierra Expeditionary Learning School community in 2010 as a Founding Teacher. Julie’s seven years of classroom experience range from not only guiding her students through dynamic thematic units and expeditions, but also coaching positions which include CRT Coach, Team Leader, and PLC Facilitator. Julie has taught locally in Tahoe City and Reno since 2005. Prior to teaching in the classroom, Julie was an Environmental Education/ Adventure Education guide for many outdoor education schools in Montana, Colorado, and Arizona. During Julie’s experience teaching for Sierra Expeditionary Learning School, Julie has achieved community accolades for her Fall 2011 Expedition titled “On American Soil,” in which students raised money for the Donner Summit 20-Mile Museum. The class then researched and graphically designed an interpretive sign for their petroglyph site. The sign still stands, prominently featured, at the petroglyph site on Old Hwy 40.

Julie set her sights on Experiential Education (and Expeditionary Learning) at Prescott College, where she earned her undergraduate degree. From participating in fieldwork in a marine mammals course in Kino Bay, Mexico to rainforest ecology in Costa Rica, and all fieldwork in between, Julie not only learned the pedagogy necessary to understanding learning behaviors, but also witnessed the miracle of in-the-field experience- a true cornerstone to education and sense of place. Julie received her teaching certificate at Sierra Nevada College and is one long dissertation away from her Masters in Education.


Julie enjoys the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, two young children, and lab/golden mix, “Crazy-Hazie.” When she is not trail running, skiing, climbing, entertaining her kids, sipping espresso, road-tripping, or grading papers, Julie picks up her guitar and plays a few gigs. A transient musician/ singer/ songwriter for over 15 years, she loves the Americana/ bluegrass genres and loves to sing a tune or two out in downtown Truckee with whichever band she is playing with at the time.


Julie is proud to be a founding team member at Sierra Expeditionary Learning School- a school where academic excellence, reinforcement of positive character, and supportive community produce happy, high achieving students!

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Truckee, CA 96160

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SELS is a 501c(3) non-profit corporation, Truckee Charter School Foundation, dba Sierra Expeditionary Learning School. Federal Tax ID: 27-1627347.

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11603 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA 96161
Portable buildings M3-M7

Email: truckeecharter@gmail.com
Phone: (530) 448-8115
Fax: (530) 448-8223
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On top of all the teaching and learning, I'm struck by the joy in the faces of all the children as they go about their quest for knowledge. Thanks to all the courageous and energetic people who had the vision to make this school a reality. With all the challenges the world faces today and predictions of disaster, these committed teachers/staff, these engaged families, and these beautiful children are a beacon of hope.

SELS embodies everything that I feel is important in my child's education and I am so grateful that she has the opportunity to learn in such an enriching environment. Teaching our children how to think and how to treat others is critical to their future success. I am thankful every single day for all the wonderful staff at SELS.

What an amazing place. It has been everything for my son that I had hoped he could experience in school. Great teacher, stimulating learning environment, and a deeply caring and nurturing place.

I am grateful that my child is encouraged to interpret concepts and think about how they apply to his life, not just memorize and repeat material. I love that SELS asks kids to think about who they are and how they contribute to the community, locally and globally.

I greatly appreciate that SELS is a heart-centered school that teaches ethics and values along with academics. That approach makes SELS a unique and special place.

I appreciate all the teachers and staff and their responsiveness. I also appreciate all the work the staff are doing to help the kids figure out how to fill each other's buckets!

Our son is bubbling over with excitement for learning. This environment is gifting him with life long skills to succeed. We are so thankful for this school.

All the Adults and students challenge each other the THINK!

SELS is amazing in the way they teach topics hands on and allow the children to learn in practical settings. We couldn't be happier seeing our son flourish so much! Thank you.

I am very grateful to the SELS staff for offering my 5th grader their hearts, as well as their knowledge. Better yet, they make learning fun and adventurous! My youngster is THRIVING at your wonderful school!!

We are thankful for many wonderful ideals and principles at SELS, but what really brings those into reality is the caring, hard-working teachers and staff. We wouldn't have thought that someone else would care as much about the whole education of our daughter as much as we do, but there is a whole team of such people at SELS.

I am so thankful that my 5th grade daughter is a member and student of this beautiful community and school. She is receiving a fantastic education with hands on learning, caring, understanding, creative, out of the box thinking and intuitive teachers. She feels included, important, confident and is growing tons in her knowledge and place in this wonderful community. Thank you SELS for being an amazing part of my daughter's education and Life!

I truly appreciate all the staff, students, parents and families at SELS. It is these people that make SELS so wonderful.
This has become a new 'family" for us!

I am so grateful for the amazing staff; they are the most amazing guides. It is an inspiration to watch them help our children learn and grow into thoughtful, independent, productive human beings!
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