We are so proud to support Jefferson Elementary School and represent our families!
Sara L. Eldridge, Chair
Sara is mom to fifth-grader William and first-grader Claire. She and husband, Blake, relocated to Helena from Klamath Falls, Oregon, in 2018 as a lateral job transfer with the U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Mission Area. Sara was born and raised in Texas but has since lived in New Mexico, Colorado, and Oregon, which is where William and Claire were born. Sara was JPC Secretary from 2018 to 2020 and is now excited to serve as Chair during the 2022-2023 school year. Sara loves to participate in social, academic, and fundraising activities for Jefferson, and she is hopeful for a return to a more “normal” school year that allows Jefferson students to be engaged, have fun, and thrive!
Rachel Carroll Rivas, Vice Chair
Rachel is a rural civil and human rights strategist, organizer and researcher. Rachel has worked to support inclusive democracy and organize communities to respond to hate activity for over a decade, training hundreds of community leaders across the West. She has served on the boards of conservation organizations and a non-profit law firm. She also has helped manage six successful political races in Montana. Rachel loves spending time dancing, hiking and playing with her children and her husband, Diego, who works on renewable energy policy. Rachel was raised in Central Montana by parents who were public servants and instilled in her a strong moral compass and the value of community engagement. Rachel’s collegiate studies were at North Dakota State, University of Montana, Illinois State and Utah State University. Rachel is the parent of two Jefferson students and she hopes to help JPC raise funds and involve parents to make Jefferson school a welcoming community where all students thrive.
Leann Murphy, Treasurer
Leann is mom to one Jefferson Mustang – Alex (3rd grade) and one former Mustang – Connor (6th grade). She attended Montana State University (Go Bobcats!) where she met her husband, Kevin, and earned a BS in Business, Marketing. After college, Kevin and Leann moved to Salt Lake City to gain work experience and enjoy the many outdoor experiences Utah had to offer. After earning her Master of Business Administration at the University of Utah, Leann and Kevin moved back to the Gallatin Valley in 2007 and then to Helena in 2010. She is currently a Principal Business Analyst for AAA. As the Treasurer for JPC this year, she is looking forward to open communication and transparency with all Jefferson parents, teachers, and staff regarding the budget and expenditures of the parent council. In Leann’s free time you can find her playing with her boys, camping in the wonderful Montana wilderness with her family, or curled up with a good book.
Leandra Lipson, Secretary
Leandra currently serves as the Communications and Resource Development Director for Montana Nonprofit Association. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver and a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Montana. Leandra was born in Polson but has spent significant time on the East Coast and in Colorado. She returned to Montana in 2017 to reconnect to her roots and raise her growing family. When not advocating for worthy causes like fostering a vibrant and healthy learning environment at Jefferson Elementary, Leandra enjoys spending time with her son Iggy, daughter Ellie, partner Jody, and recent addition to the family, Gus, a very fun and fluffy doodle dog.
Katja Elias, Volunteer Coordinator
Katja is a strong advocate for Jefferson Elementary and excited to encourage parent involvement to support classrooms and foster understanding. Her background as an editor and writer includes a wide range of content expertise in curriculum development, energy and construction initiatives, and sustainability. Her focus is on collaborative work from content development to copy editing and design. Katja was born and raised in Montana, returning after undergraduate studies in Minnesota for a master’s degree in journalism. She has worked as a managing editor and independent consultant, and earlier spent three years in Berlin as a Fulbright scholar, teacher and translator. Katja enjoys painting, hiking and music with her family. She and her husband Abe love Helena and spending time with their three kids – a fourth grader and two in high school, all who benefited from their years at Jefferson.