Rixa is a long-time early educator who is passionate about centering children’s humanity and believes that the role of adults is to work alongside them as facilitators of learning. Rixa has been in the field of early education and care for more than 25 years all over the world. The mother of two children, her son is a wildland firefighter, and her daughter attends Colorado State University. In Alaska, Rixa developed a play-based, outdoor-focused, experiential program for children 6 weeks to 12 years. Her observations highlighted the capacity that children inherently possess to pursue their own curiosity. A graduate of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Rixa brings a deep love of learning and a commitment to both a child’s right to an environment that is reflective of their unique story, and to joy as the parameter for a child’s learning journey.