about us

Spring House Resource is a source of support for students, teachers, and communities on the Flathead Reservation to help all students in publicly funded schools reach their academic goals and potential. Spring House raises money in order to provide micro grants and services directly to students, classrooms, and community agencies based on need and application.



Anna East was a teacher on the Flathead Reservation from 1999-2021. She started her career at Two Eagle River School, where she taught high school English classes and advised the school literary magazine in addition to a poetry slam group. Four years later she migrated to Arlee and taught a variety of English and history classes, and advised the National Honor Society, Reservation Ambassadors, and drama club. She has also served as the district grants manager and directs programs involving homeless students, mentorship and induction, professional development, and all federal programs. Today Anna works for the Montana Digital Academy.

Anna has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Georgetown University, a Master of Arts degree in English Teaching from the University of Montana, and a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, also from the University of Montana.


In 2013, Anna won the Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching award from Teaching Tolerance, followed by the Distinguished Educator award from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in 2015. Anna is the 2014 Montana Teacher of the Year.




The directors of Spring House provide informal but crucial guidance to the founder for fundraising, outreach, and project approval. 

april charlo

April Iris Charlo comes from the Bitterroot Salish people and is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. April holds several degrees, a master's in educational leadership, a bachelor's in elementary education, and an associate's in Native American Studies. April was born and raised on the Flathead Reservation in Northwest Montana and is a key player in the arena of community wellness. April has been deeply involved in the revitalization of Indigenous language and has worked in the role of Executive Director of Nkwusm, Salish/Pend d'Oreille immersion school. After a time at home with her son Chief, who is now five years old, April has worked for the Special Olympics, Hopa Mountain, and started an organization to support her community during the pandemic. Somehow, she has still made time for self-healing, running, and enjoying her son at home in the Mission Mountains.

anita maxwell

Anita Maxwell has served in multiple programmatic and administrative capacities for a variety of non-profit organizations, all with missions focused on lifelong learning through a connection with place. Anita holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Montana, where she got her first glimpse into the meaningful contributions of nonprofits as an intern for the Montana Natural History Center. She went on to become MNHC’s Director. A former resident of Arlee, Anita now lives in Ketchikan, Alaska where she is the director of the Tongass Historical Museum and the Totem Heritage Center. She believes that strong nonprofits are the foundation of a thriving and healthy community.

Michelle mitchell

Michelle is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. She has 25 years of broad-based experience and passion for Indian education. After graduating from Salish Kootenai College with a degree in education, Michelle became an American Indian Academic Achievement Coach and teacher in Great Falls, MT. From there she moved to the Office of Public Instruction as director of Indian Student Achievement. In 2019 she was hired as the CSKT Tribal Education Director. 

Jill Raad

Jill Raad spent 26 years as an elementary educator, teaching Kindergarten and 1st grade as well as Title I and serving as a literacy coach. Jill retired from Arlee School District in 2020 and began a second career as a speech language pathologist in Spearfish, SD.

Mary stranahan

Mary is the founder of Goodworks Ventures and the High Stakes Foundation. As a result of attending a Play Big Session about a decade ago, she made the decision to leverage her resources to support the people making a positive change in Montana. Her focus is on triple bottom line investments in the for profit arena and rural economic development, leadership development and environmental policy issues in the nonprofit arena.

Bill Swaney

Bill spent 12 years teaching at Salish Kootenai College and served as Tribal Education Director for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He is currently a sanitarian at Elbowoods Memorial Health Center in New Town, ND. Bill is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

holly truitt

Holly Truitt is a social innovation expert who helps organizations catalyze community-based change. With more than 20 years of experience guiding public and private organizations through uncharted transformations, Holly is a nationally respected facilitator, researcher, and leader.