Faculty & Staff
Journey Teacher Mission Statement: We provide a loving, nurturing environment which ignites enthusiasm for lifelong learning as our students reach their full potential and grow to become compassionate, responsible adults.
“Providing an environment that students, teachers, and parents can’t wait to return has been a key goal since the inception of Journey. Children are more receptive and motivated when they feel safe, loved, and excited to come to school. Journey is just that place. It has been an honor to work with every single child since the first year we started Journey. I feel truly blessed as each child, parent, and teacher has stepped through these doors. Journey is an amazing place to learn!”
Cindy Jensen is a native Nevadan from Las Vegas and a graduate of UNLV in Elementary Education with an emphasis in math. She has taught the full spectrum of education from public school, private school, and a few years homeschooling her own children. In 2009 Mrs. Jensen, with her sister-in-law Becky, founded Journey Education based on the principles of individualized education, strong leadership and values. Mrs. Jensen has been married 29 years and is the mother of 4 children.
“I have the privilege of working with an amazing, motivated professional team of teachers, staff, students and parents. At Journey Education, teachers and staff have a passion and love for teaching and working with each student. It’s an honor to connect with and reach the young minds of the future. Journey Education believes in supporting students as individual learners and encourages them to utilize their unique strengths and passions as tools in their academic growth. We believe that every child learns in different ways and at different speeds. Every single student receives an individualized education. Students excel when provided with this type of environment. At Journey Education, we believe in the future….we believe in our kids!”
Dr. Taggart was raised in Southern California. She earned her BA at Brigham Young University and her masters and doctorate degrees from Nova Southeastern University. After spending 31 years in education, Dr. Taggart knows children and how to best serve them. Dr. Taggart is a woman of many talents. She is a professional singer and has had many adventures including the opportunity to perform with many celebrities, including Elvis, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Julie Andews, and Tennessee Ernie Ford to name a few.
“Individualized learning lets every child feel both challenged and successful. I love the character values that are taught daily and are incorporated in every facet of the school. These values help each student realize that they can be a leader at school, home and in the community. Our school truly teaches its students that their Journey through life can be filled with a love of learning, love of their family and a love for our nation.”
Mrs. Jensen has always loved teaching and often corralled her five younger brothers and sisters into playing “school.” She was lucky enough to grow up in the big sky country of Montana on a cattle ranch where she helped raise not only cows, but chickens, ducks, pigs, horses and her siblings. After graduating from high school she attended Brigham Young University, where she studied elementary education. She met her husband at BYU and later settled in Las Vegas. In 2009 she and her sister-in-law established Journey Education where four of her five children have had the opportunity to attend.
“I love the friendly atmosphere of Journey, the kids are wonderful and the staff and teachers are caring and remarkable.”
Ms. Linda, the heartbeat of Journey, has kept the staff in well-running order since 2012. Ms. Linda grew up in Panguitch, UT. She enjoys spending time with her husband of 43 years, as well as her 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren. Ms. Linda is a farmer’s daughter and therefore loves gardening, canning, and raising chickens. She brings many talents to Journey including Microsoft and Website knowledge.
“l Iove that I can teach in a way that I believe in and know would be best for my students. I feel great coming to work knowing that Journey students are getting the best education every day!”
Teaching has been Mrs. Rowe’s passion for 25 years. A graduate of Idaho State University, Mrs. Rowe loves teaching all grades but feels most at home with the younger students. Mrs. Rowe enjoys spending her spare time traveling, reading and spending time in the mountains especially when she is with her husband, four children, and nine beautiful grandchildren.
“Journey Education is a special place. It is here where children can feel safe, respected and loved. Our students are encouraged to reach their full potential. Their academic needs are met through ability groupings which allows the teacher more time to teach and our students to feel at ease with their learning. One-on-one assistance is readily provided due to our smaller class sizes. Our students are happy, enthusiastic learners and strive to be the best they can be.”
Born and raised in the small town of Bloomfield, New Jersey, Mrs. Borusiewicz attended Bloomfield College and the Upsala College. Mrs. B was a semi-finalist in the Miss New Jersey Pageant. Mrs. Borusiewicz is a veteran teacher who recently celebrated her 40th year of teaching! She has been an influential part of thousands of children’s lives.
“The administration at Journey Education is dedicated to the individual’s experience. This means they are concerned with every student’s academic and emotional growth, and with every staff member’s happiness and well-being. Each child and adult feels a sense of ownership and of belonging here at Journey. Each day when we enter the school, we feel as if we are at home.”
Mrs. Swallie has traveled the world living in Nevada, Utah, Illinois, Montana, Germany, Austria, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates. Although born in Utah, Mrs. Swallie spent most of her childhood and part of high school in Germany. She studied abroad at Karl Franzens Universität in Austria, and then finished her education at the University of Utah. Mrs. Swallie’s has taught in different capacities for over 20 years.
“I like being part of a school that is organized and has a real family-friendly atmosphere among the administration and staff. This is a place that cares about the students, allowing him or her to set their horizons as far as they can go and be encouraged to surpass expectations.”
Mr. Higgins was born in New Orleans and lived in Texas for 15 years. He holds two Master’s degrees in physics and has been tutoring and teaching at the middle and high school level for the past four years. Mr. Higgins has been married for two years. He and his wife have a wonderful floppy-eared dog named Helen.
“My favorite thing about Journey is when the kindergarteners give me a hug or the senior grammar kids enthusiastically ask what we’re doing in class. College students don’t give hugs or get that enthusiastic.”
Prior to teaching at Journey Education, Mrs. Higgins taught English and theatre at Moapa Valley High School for nine years. This was a dream come true for her; not only because Moapa High is her alma mater, but also because she had the opportunity to direct students in the theatre named for her father. Mrs. Higgins went on to receive her Master’s degree in theatre from New York University, and in 2013 she moved to Texas to pursue a PhD from Texas Tech University. While in Texas she met her sweetheart and the love of her life who she married October 2016.
“I am so blessed to teach at Journey Education. The administration and teachers are so supportive and kind. Working with small groups allows me to form deeper bonds with the students.”
Ms. Sawyer has lived in Las Vegas since she was 10 years old where she earned both her BS and MEd at UNLV. Her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Peterson, influenced her to become a teacher. She strives to live up to Mrs. Peterson’s example of being loving with all her students! Most of Ms. Sawyer’s family still lives in this beautiful valley and they get together as often as possible to celebrate any occasion. Ms. Sawyer has five nieces and nephews and four great nieces and nephews and a sweet 10-year-old dog, Luci. When not teaching, she loves to read, craft, and work out.
“Journey is very special because it creates an amazing environment where all the kids are watched over, loved, and stretched to reach their potential. Sharing music with children is an amazing experience because music adds so much to my life’s story!”
Music has been a big part of Mrs. Smith’s life since she was a child growing up outside of Sacramento, California. She has always sung in school and church choirs, and as she got older she ventured into musical theater. Mrs. Smith has played many wonderful theatric roles including Mrs. Potts in The Beauty and the Beast, the baker’s wife in the play Into the Woods, and a few years ago she had the extraordinary experience of being a part of Signature Productions Les Miserables.
“I love that Journey Education incorporates individualized learning for students, encourages lifelong learning, and shows student how to be leaders.”
Mr. Viramontes was born in Las Vegas and is currently studying UNLV where he is pursuing his degree in elementary education. He has been doing calisthenics exercises for the past 3 years where he teaches and competes on the team LVbarstarzz. Some of his hobbies include Ninja Warrior training, hiking, baking, cooking, singing and dancing.
“I loved Journey from the moment I stepped in the door. I love the mix of different ages and abilities. Children learn to help and love each other in a very supportive environment. It’s like a small town where everyone knows and watches out for each other. This connectedness makes for a safe, effective learning environment. We are on this Journey together.”
Anne Gifford-Hains is originally from Spokane, Washington and attended High School in Bountiful, Utah. Mrs. Hains earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Western Kentucky University and her Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University in Boston. She was the music teacher at Pittman Elementary for 29 years and now joins the Journey team to teach her second love, Science. She and her husband have seven children and twenty-one grandchildren.
“I have worked in other schools and spent a mass amount of time with children and staff. Being buzzed through the front doors of Journey Education school was a breath of fresh air. They have new, fresh ideas and new ways of growing with the staff and children, not to mention a very nice staff.”
Originally from Cuba, Miss.Blanco has lived in Las Vegas for the past fifty years. She is the mother of four children, who she homeschooled. Miss Blanco has been a teacher’s aide for the CCSD where students instantly fell in love with her understanding ways and her youthfulness. Engaging in sports, Miss.Blanco loves being hands on with all the students. Working with the children, is the most important and exciting things she can accomplish as a teacher’s aide.
“Since being at journey I’ve felt so welcomed not only by the staff, but the students as well. The environment is different compared to other schools and you can really see that in the students and how they treat others.”
Mrs. Waite grew up in California where she spent most of her weekends surfing, playing soccer, and spending time with family. She played on a competitive soccer team for 16 years and played 2 years at Dixie State University where she began her study of Education. Her husband’s job in Las Vegas moved them here where she is continuing her education online. Mrs. Waite lived in India for a month teaching English to orphans and children whose families couldn’t afford an education. Mrs. Waite loves outdoor photography where she can capture nature’s beauty.