Staff and Board

Staff and Board


HEAD OF SCHOOL – Molly Lord-Garrettson

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Molly’s vision of helping young people create a healthy community and world is now being realized in the opening of Peace Valley School.  After experiencing a wide range of education models around the world, Molly chose a curriculum based on courage, patience, and healthy communication.  At Peace Valley School students’ ideas are put into action as cooperative projects and their agency is key to their self-discovery. Peace Valley School will demonstrate that a One Room, One Farm model of education encourages learning beyond passing a test.

Molly’s teaching journey began in 2000, as a residential counselor at a group home for adjudicated youth, age 12-18. As she helped them with their school assignments, she listened to their personal stories of violence and neglect and became more convinced that dedicating her life to the healthy development of young humans was a path she would travel.

After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Speech Communication from the University of Washington, Molly moved to the East Coast and earned her Masters in Teaching in Secondary Social Studies at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education.  She then spent the next five years teaching in Fairfax Co. Public Schools and living in the D.C. area.

In 2008, Molly’s journey lead her to the American International School in Chennai, India.  The two years teaching AP Psychology and IB history of Asia & Oceania she considers to be the best professional experience of her career.  She enjoyed the freedom, small class sizes, and professional courtesy that the private school offered both her, and her students.

While in Virginia and in India, Molly spent her free time travelling the world.  She took classes on trips to Philadelphia and Civil War battlefields as well as to Athens and Turkey.  She travelled most of Western Europe including a month in Italy and two weeks at a language institute in Malaga, Spain before travelling to France, Switzerland, and Germany.  She has also took the opportunity to visit schools in Accra, Ghana and Adelaide, Australia.  She learned to open-water dive in Belize, and saw the wreckage of Carthage in Tunisia.  She took the Chinatown bus to watch Broadway shows in New York, and has sipped tea in the Russian Tea Room in NYC and at Harrods in London.  In short, Molly likes field trips.  She is proud to have visited every state in the United States and 17 other countries.

Molly moved back to Oregon in 2012 in order to start a family with her husband in Yamhill County where they both grew up.  She has been teaching a variety of classes (including philosophy, anthropology, and economics along with AP US History and AP Psychology) online through Oregon Virtual Education at Northwest Regional ESD and has had the opportunity to build courses using different Learning Management Systems from home while raising her daughter, Grace.



PRESIDENT – Michael McDaniel

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Mike McDaniel is a fourth-generation Oregonian with deep family ties to the Willamette Valley and Yamhill County. Mike grew up in McMinnville where he attended Cook Elementary School, McMinnville Middle School and graduated from McMinnville High School in 1996. He received a B.A. in Geography from Portland State University and an M.A. in Geography from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in New York. Mike’s professional career has focused on cartography and geographic information systems for public administration, land use analysis, agriculture and infrastructure management. He was worked as a geospatial analyst for the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Northwest Natural Gas.

Outside of work, Mike is actively involved with the Oregon hazelnut industry and the OSU Extension Service. He enjoys cycling, travel and studying the early history of Oregon and Yamhill County. Mike is excited to help Peace Valley School share local and global knowledge with the next generation of students.



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Megan was born and raised in Yamhill County, completed her BA at University of Oregon, then headed off to the east coast to make sure Oregon really was the best place in the country.  After years in Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as work-related travel to nearly every state, Megan and her wife Talina returned to settle their family on a small farm near McMinnville.  Megan has worked as a Product and Program Manager for several industry-leading companies for over a decade, and she is excited to bring her love of process and organization to Peace Valley School.

Megan enjoys being outside, both at home and abroad, as much as possible, and believes strongly in both the mission and setting of Peace Valley School.  Although their son is only a toddler now, she looks forward to enrolling him in Peace Valley School fall of 2025!

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BOARD MEMBER – Amanda Countryman

Amanda grew up in McMinnville, Oregon laying down roots of family and friends so strong she never wanted to move very far.  After receiving a BA at Willamette University, Amanda built a life in Salem with her husband.  Always eager to take on new challenges she happily discovered her professional calling in the field of Human Resources.  With an additional HR Certificate soon under her belt from Linfield College she grew her new career from executive assistant level roles to Director of Human Resources in a matter of only a few short years.  Today you will find her running the HR department at Marquis Corp., one of the few employee-owned companies in the state.

As a mother of two amazing children, Amanda was more than happy to join the board of Peace Valley School.  She looks forward to helping this new local non-profit school become a valuable resource to children, families and businesses within the community.


BOARD MEMBER – Brielle Deppe

Brielle is a native Oregonian who grew up in Eugene, went to college for art history in Iowa, then moved to Mcminnville after college with her husband over 10 years ago. She has a 7 year old daughter and works managing and rehabbing properties in McMinnville. Her love for art has turned to improving the aesthetic and functionality of properties. She continues to enjoy learning new things and developing ties in the community through volunteering. She is the current board president of the Library Foundation of McMinnville and is on the board for  Soroptimists BOARD MEMBER – Brielle DeppeInternational of McMinnville.




BOARD MEMBER – Katy Morris

Katy Morris is a proud resident of McMinnville, having been raised in the area since the age of seven.  After attending McMinnville High School, she enrolled at the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon and graduated magna cum laude in 2008.  Drawn back to Yamhill County, as many who grow up in the area are when they have families of their own, Katy now serves as Vice President and Compliance Manager at Columbia Bank and has recently begun teaching at the American Bankers Association Compliance Schools.  She is grateful every day for her wonderful husband, gorgeously unique stepdaughter, and her goofy Labrador named Obi.  Katy is pleased to support Peace Valley’s independent and holistic educational opportunities where it matters; close to home.