Our Teachers

Early Childhood Education Consultants





Jon Swarthout, Founding/Artistic Director of TrICA

A native of Boise, Jon started acting in local theater productions at age 13. He discovered dance at 15 and received a full scholarship to study at the Houston Ballet Academy. He danced professionally with Joffery Ballet, Feld Ballets/NY and Oregon Ballet Theater. In 1996 he returned to Idaho and began teaching dance, acting as the director of educational outreach for the Idaho Dance Theater, and launching an interactive school program for local elementary schools. In 1999, Jon established Dance Rascals (known as Treasure Valley Institute for Children’s Arts), a children’s dance enrichment program designed to teach a love and appreciation for the art of dance. Jon received the 2007 Mayor’s Arts Award for Arts Education in Boise and serves as a guest instructor for the National Dance Institute (NDI).








Aaron Messinger- Music Instructor

Aaron Messinger is a music teacher in the Boise district. He has been teaching for two years, both as the music specialist at Pierce Park elementary. In addition to Pierce Park, he also taught band for one year at Liberty elementary and an adaptive music class at Capital high school for one year. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Boise State University.

Aaron enjoys teaching, collecting/finding/playing instruments, and performing in the community. He plays saxophone for the Treasure Valley Concert Band, percussion in the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, and teaches a few private lessons on the side. He’s the type of guy who probably played on pots and pans as a kid. You might catch him at a store trying to make instruments out of fishbowls, vases, garbage cans or anything that can make a sound.

Aaron is excited to meet you and your children and to make some music this summer!


Julie Valenzuela, Owner/Instructor of Dos Mundos

Julie graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Modern Languages, with an emphasis in Spanish. She has lived and continues to travel throughout Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries in order to further her knowledge of the language and Hispanic culture. Julie created this program to be “hands on”, which means she believes that young children learn more quickly be doing and being involved.







 Lisa Peterson, Self Defense Teacher

Lisa Peterson has been practicing karate for over 18 years and is the owner/instructor at Boise Kokondo Martial Arts Academy. Through karate, she teaches children about confidence, self respect and respect for others. She currently teaches our Explorers class as well as our after school kids, the Tigers and Vipers