Resource Team


The faculty and staff at the Life Arts Center are professionally trained and college educated. Each teacher is committed to the emotional, intellectual, and physical development of each child. Where age appropriate, their own children are part of the programs here. They only settle for the best for the children who participate.

Pearl M. Wagstaff-Garff – Teacher/Healer. Artistic Director Life Arts Center and the Mountain Sanctuary at the Summit. “Miss Pearl” has been her beloved title for more than 48 years as she has spun the magic for hundreds and hundreds of emergent learners. Her professional acclaim started as a prote'ge' child in music and sports. At an amazingly young age she was teaching large groups of children for the Salt Lake County Recreation Department under Virginia McDonald. She has graduated from the University of Utah's department of dance and theater with a B.S. Ed in secondary eductionar while teaching with Virginia Tanner under the tutelage of Dr. Naoma Rowan, curriculum designer and mentor in partnership with Life Arts Center, a school of the integrated arts multi-intelligence, emotional and social literacy developmentally appropriate practices for child and families. Her graduate pursuits include, Educational Kinesiology and Brain Gym Certification, Oil Paining and Jungian Dream Work with Dr. Elaine Michelsen, and most recently Shamanic Studies and Light Body Energy Medicine with Dr. Alberto Villoldo, medical anthropologist, psychologist and Shaman. NLP and Soul Retrieval with Linda Fitch, executive director of Four Winds Society. She has written and produced environmental plays for children, Tresses of the Day Star, And, Let There Be Light, Children of the Rainbow Garden, Sculpture Dance, Desert Ocean Dance and poems, Jewels from Heaven, and the works; Opal to be performed 2006, as well as SPIRIT DANCING IN THE BODY a living choreographic healer piece. Miss Pearl can be found in the classroom where the “action” is, as she teaches everyday and has for 48 years. She loves the freshness of children and the ways in which they approach a solution to the myriad of problem-solving techniques. Miss Pearl is a CHILDHOOD ADVOCATE.

George L. Garff – Owner, Administrative Director, Principal. George, because of his commitment to children, sits on two state boards. He is currently President of the UAEYC (Utah Association for the Education of Young Children) which is the Utah affiliate of the NAEYC, and Committee Member of the Child Care Licensing Committee. He has also served on the state Early Childhood Committee. He has attended Westminster College in Salt Lake City and the University of Utah where he has done studies in the Graduate School of Social Work in alcohol and drug addiction counseling. He is an Ordained Minister with the Inner Light Center in Salt Lake City and in his spare time is an accomplished potter. George and Pearl are a husband and wife team and together they are the parents of six sons and have eleven grandchildren and two golden retrievers. All six of their children have been Life Arts Center children.

Joyce Gaskill is the office manager. She has been interfacing with parents and staff for 18 years. Her dedication and commitment to the processes of the Life Arts Center are obvious through her dedication to the children and their parents.

Lisa Murphy, Life Arts House Co-director of Education and Behavioral Management. Healer/Mentor Spirit Dancing in the Body, dba, Dancers' Theatre Company...a moving experience: Healer/Teacher. After graduating from BYU in Social Work '94, Lisa worked at the Children's Center Group Home as a Residential Therapist. Then, after the children were born, she became the Assistant Director, Behavior Management Specialist for Hilltop Christian School. Mother of three children and wife of Shaun Murphy, Sells Manager for Martin Garage Door Manufacturing. Lisa has the most astonishing quiet personality with constant loving energy as her power. The children flock to her, listen to her quiet and soothing voice as she leads them through experiential learning processes. She is an intuitively gifted co-creative energy that our program thrives on, and her skills as a "Healer" are noticed everyday. Because Lisa is a mother first, she works part time at Life Arts House and Overtime in Shamanic Theatre of the Munay ki. (pronounced, 'moon-eye-key', meaning, "I love you"). Lisa is an independent associate in partnership with Miss Pearl 's Client work in "Healing the Light Body", (various modalities Energy Medicine).