Meet Our Staff

Our staff is chosen for their ability and commitment that provides quality care that recognizes children individuality and unique needs following our motto "Gille Learning Center- One of a kind" and Our Vision "Providing Holistic Education and Support to Families with Children from Conception to the end of 4th Grade".


Misty Dawn Gilland


I am so excited to be a part of this new academic program in the Valley.  I am a retired teacher with over 20 years of experience much of which was done in our great Mat Su Valley. I hold degrees in both Early Childhood as well as Elementary Education.  During my career, I was able to help many students along the way.  I worked in the district office for the Bering Strait School District as an Early Learning and Reading Specialist.  It was my job to help elementary students stay on track for learning in reading and various other subjects.  I also had the chance during my time in the district to work in a combined Head Start and Kindergarten classroom.  After moving to the valley my husband and I both took jobs in the district.  I went to Snowshoe Elementary and my husband, Shawn Gilland, teaches at Colony Middle.  Later on, I transferred to Teeland Middle to teach Math and Science.  To this day, my husband is still a well-known teacher at Colony Middle School in the math department.  I spent the last of my public school teaching years working at Federal Programs as the Math Specialist for the Alaska Math and Science Grant for our district.  I have now retired and been studying business and finance in order to prepare for this Gille Learning Center, LLC opportunity.  While I am the owner and ultimately the idea maker for this program; it truly does take a team of dedicated and hard-working individuals to help make this dream a reality.  Please consider letting us be the "village to raise a child" that you and your family have been looking for.  We are here to complement the public education system with a program unlike anything else in the world.


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Darean "Gilland" Doniz

Lead Teacher

Mrs. Dare holds a BA in Creative Writing from SNHU and will graduate with her MS in Psychology with an emphasis on Childhood development come July of 2021 from the same school. She has over five years of experience working with children in different capacities as a babysitter, daycare worker, and a nanny. She loves working with children because she recognizes that they are our future, and she wants to have a part in helping give children the best chance for success not just in education but in life in general. When she wasn’t working with children, she was serving in the Navy alongside her now-husband who is still in service. Mrs. Dare is now living in Wasilla, AK with her two dogs and her cat while her husband serves overseas. Some of her hobbies are camping, hiking, gardening, reading, and writing. She looks forward to seeing your children in the classroom and helping them grow to love learning.


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Business Manager






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ASL Lead Teacher

While in high school in my junior and senior years, I was a teacher’s assistant in an ASL course at the local university. I began working with college students teaching ASL with a heavy emphasis in storytelling, poetry and songs. Fast forward ten years later, I was working with autistic children in preschool and kindergarten with the Early Childhood program. I helped the young children learn how to express their needs. I also helped set up the ASL club at a church for their outreach ministry.

My students range in age from toddlers on up to grandparents all with the same need, to communicate in ASL.

I still get excited when I see a former student on stage interpreting, in a classroom teaching, or simply signing with a friend.

As a woman with an entrepreneurial spirit, I am able to reach a wide audience; numerous schools and businesses in the United States and beyond. I have provided private tutoring/lessons to hundreds of students.

My greatest and most enjoyable challenge was, and still is, to teach my 2 daughters who are 26 and 20 years old. They are hearing, and each have their own style and approach to ASL.

I am truly honored and enthusiastic to be part of this exciting new academy in the Valley. It is ultimately a unique education system unlike any I’ve ever seen.

Sheri Burnem

Lead Art Instructor

Sheri Burnem is a local artist in Palmer, Alaska. Her passion is teaching children artistic expression through painting which she does in her studio, The Crooked Canvas. For the past 22 years, she has primarily worked with the mediums of oil and acrylic; however, recently she has discovered soft pastels and for the past year and a half she has had the privilege to study under world-renowned pastellist, Lyn Diefenbach. Sheri is currently the Vice President for the Pastel Society of Alaska. She attends workshops throughout the United States, continually striving to enhance her abilities and techniques in order to provide her students with the best learning experience possible. She hopes to continue to bless others with her artistic endeavors.

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Lead Teacher's Assistant






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Teacher Assistant

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Humble Cleaning Staff

To our staff: We appreciate you and the many others working behind the scenes not listed.


If you're interested in becoming part of our village, please visit our employment page for more information & job openings.


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