Meet our Full Time Staff:
Jackie Lutz, Executive Director
Jackie Lutz is the new Executive Director of Mountain Kids, and is excited to share her knowledge and experience with our organization as we grow! Jackie holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration & Marketing from the University of Missouri - Columbia, and has an extensive background in program development, entrepreneurship, and leadership. We can't wait to see where she takes our organization, and know there are big plans ahead. When not working for Mountain Kids, Jackie serves as the Music Teacher, Worship Leader, and Social Media and Marketing Lead for Main Street School. She aims to foster a love and skill in music by taking a unique, hands-on approach to learning. When not working, Jackie may be found with her family.
Emily Noonan, Camp Director/Grant Writer
Emily Noonan began working with Mountain Kids as a high school intern in 2005. Upon leaving the organization to complete her education, she returned to the staff in 2009 as the Smart Beginnings Coordinator for Smyth and Tazewell Counties. In 2012, she opened the Attitude Arts Academy, a local nonprofit for children and adults, offering classes in music, art, dance, drama, martial arts, and more! Emily serves as the Executive Director and Dance Instructor for the Attitude Arts Academy, and the Camp Director and Grant Writer for Mountain Kids, raising close to $500,000 for Mountain Kids over the past ten years. Emily holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health with a minor in International Studies and Dance Communication from East Tennessee State University, and Master's Degree in Public Health Administration from Walden University. She loves creative and performing arts, dancing, playing guitar, baking, homesteading, her family, and above, all, God.
Meet our Summer Staff:
Aligrace Traas, Counselor
Aligrace Trass started out as a summer intern, and has been welcomed to our full-time summer staff! Aligrace is a student at SWCC, with dreams of becoming an aerospace engineer. We have no doubt that she will accomplish every goal she sets in life, and can't wait to see where life takes her. We refer to Aligrace as one of the most responsible teenagers we've ever worked with - she keeps the campers in line, jumps in whenever and wherever needed, and is a huge asset to our organization.
Amanda Queen, Lifeguard
Amanda Queen is our lifeguard and medical lead. Amanda has been part of Mountain Kids since the beginning, growing up with the Hudson girls. During the school year, Amanda may be found at Richlands High School, teaching government and history classes, leading the Student Government Association, and helping with prom. Amanda is working on her doctorate degree, and will be Dr. Amanda soon! Her family is her greatest accomplishment, and she cherishes every moment with them.
Colleena Owens, Arts & Crafts
Colleena Owens is our on staff artist! There is nothing she can't paint, draw, craft, or sew. She joins us for every week of summer camp, and helps lead Ooey Gooey Art Camp. Colleena's creativity and love of all things crafty make her the perfect fit to our summer staff. When not working for Mountain Kids, Colleena works for the Attitude Arts Academy as the After School Arts Program Coordinator, Art Instructor, and Tae Kwon Do Little Dragon Instructor. In her spare time, Colleena enjoys photography, creating digital content, and spending time with her family and pets.
Nick Weitzenfeld, Music
Nick Weitzenfeld is brand new to our Mountain Kids staff, and we can't wait for you to meet him! Nick is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter hailing from the small town of Floyd, VA. Bringing a spherical enthusiasm to all things music, Nick is captivated by the possibilities of stretching traditional roots instrumentation beyond the notion of genre. Now living in Johnson City, TN, Nick is the guitar player and lead singer for the Tray Wellington Band. His debut solo project, Shuttered Blind, was released at the end of 2022. Rooted in bluegrass but interested in almost every type of music, Nick is prepared to dive into whatever excites his students.
Nyoka Muawad, Theatre & Drama
Nyoka Muawad currently serves as the Communication, Speech, & Theatre Instructor at Southwest Virginia Community College. She began teaching experience at age 14 with Mountain Kids and is so excited to return to the Mountain Kids' team! She received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Emory & Henry College and an MFA in Acting from Regent University. She has worked professionally at the Virginia Stage Company, the Detroit Opera House, and the Detroit Masonic Temple. She also has experience working with all abilities, and one of her favorite directorial projects was The Addams Family Musical, Jr. with the Arts Inclusion Company in Virginia Beach. Nyoka particularly enjoys movement and dialect work as well as period pieces. If she wasn't working locally, her dream job would be portraying a DiMera on Days of Our Lives.
Olivia Lint, Counselor
Olivia Lint has been with Mountain Kids for almost ten years! Starting as a camper, then a volunteer, she joined our summer staff in 2022. Olivia is a trained gymnast, and teaches tumbling and gymnastics classes for the Attitude Arts Academy, the Grundy YMCA, and Peak Gymnastics in Bluefield. This past spring, Olivia was seen on stage with the Buchanan County Guild as Jan in the local production of Grease. Faith and family are the defining points for Olivia. She is engaged and currently planning her wedding, and can't wait for another summer at the farm.
Stephanie Joseph, Counselor
Stephanie Joseph joined our summer staff in 2022, but has been a part of the Mountain Kids Family for years. She is the manager of Clinch River Farms, and also works for H&R Block. Stephanie's imagination and creativity shines as she works with campers. She is a big kid at heart, and loves jumping in and participating in all of the activities alongside the campers! Stephanie's family is her stronghold, and she is excited to become a grandma in the fall!
Meet our Board of Directors:
Dr. Richard C. Hudson