MEET THE IVY SCHOOL STAFF

These are the amazing people who make The Ivy School so special
Nikki Jones

Nikki Jones

Executive Director

Nikki comes to the Ivy school with over 17 years of experience in Montessori education as a Teacher, Coordinator, Principal and Program Supervisor. She served for five years as the instructional leader and Head Principal of a pk-12 grade Montessori public school. Her Montessori experience ranges from birth to high school and when asked which age group is her favorite she tells us, “I honestly don’t have an answer.  Each stage in the development of a child is a precious and meaningful experience.”

After earning her bachelors in Group Science with an emphasis in Biology and Minor in Elementary Education, Nikki began her career in education as a traditional classroom teacher but was soon fascinated by the Montessori program that her young daughter attended at the time. After one year as a traditional teacher she decided to accept an early elementary Montessori teaching position. She earned her Montessori Certification at the elementary level the next year from an American Montessori Society (AMS) accredited teacher training center. Upon successfully leading a Montessori classroom for 8 years she was promoted to Montessori Coordinator of a large school district and was soon the Principal of a Pk-12 public Montessori school.

Nikki is a mother of a college age daughter and feels deepened from the experience of being a mom. She treasures quality time with friends and family and enjoys quilting, reading, traveling, outdoor activities, cooking, learning and growing. She is looking forward to working with staff, students and families to ensure all students at Ivy receive a quality Montessori education.

Please join us in welcoming Nikki into the Ivy family! Nikki will be spending the last couple weeks of June working with the current leadership team and will return in August to prepare for the coming school year. Thank you to the Ivy community for your patience and support during the hiring process and a special thank you to members of the hiring committee who spent hours interviewing prospective candidates and who were instrumental in bringing Nikki to our school.

PRESCOTT CAMPUS

Lower Elementary, grades 1, 2, 3 and Middle School grades 7 and 8

Amy Stuhr

Amy Stuhr

Campus Support Coordinator

Hello!  My name is Amy Stuhr.  I am looking forward to my sixth year at Ivy and my fourth in a student support/campus support role. I cherish this community of talented educators, curious, creative, loving children and supportive parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  I worked in alternative education, charter education, at Portland  Community College and at Jefferson High School before landing at Ivy.

I graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies and found my way to Oregon in 1989. I worked in the non-profit sector until my daughter was born in 1996. In my freetime, I enjoy watching my twin boys play baseball at Madison High School and doing anything outside, especially if it involves water!

Cassondra Salazar

Cassondra Salazar

Administrative Specialist

My name is Cassondra Salazar and I have been at Ivy for almost 9 years. I have 4 children, ages 47,46,22, and a 14 year old who graduated from Ivy last year. I am from Albuquerque New Mexico.

I have worn many hats at Ivy, from preparing lunches, driving kids from one campus to the next, Ivy After School, covering for office staff, toy drive, graduations, Equity Team. There are not to many things that I haven’t done at Ivy. My grandson took his first steps at Ivy while I was doing childcare for the P.T.A.

I am looking forward to meeting new parents and children this year.

Sauvie Island Classroom

Crystal Miyamoto

Crystal Miyamoto

Lead Teacher

Hello!  My name is Crystal Miyamoto.  I am very excited to start my second year at the Ivy School as the Iead guide in the Sauvie Island classroom!  I am passionate about the Montessori philosophy and curriculum, and believe in it’s effectiveness wholeheartedly.  My general goal in the classroom is to foster a lifelong love of learning in my students and to guide each student to experience success and achieve his or her personal best.  I hold diplomas from the American Montessori Society (AMS) at both the lower and upper elementary levels, as well as state teaching licenses in Colorado and Oregon.  Since the year 2000, I have taught in Montessori classrooms in Colorado, Hawaii, and Oregon in both public and private sectors.  In addition to my teaching credentials, I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese and Psychology.  I love sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm for the Japanese language and culture with my students! 

In my freetime, I enjoy bike rides and long walks.  I love animals (My mini-poodle, Denny, is my favorite!), travel, and learning about world cultures.  I spend my summers and school breaks in Hawaii with my daughter and granddaughter.  We enjoy experiencing live theater together and swimming in the ocean!

Genevieve Kukurugya-Rabat

Genevieve Kukurugya-Rabat

Assistant Teacher

My name is Genevieve, and I have been working in education since I graduated from college. I worked as an English teaching assistant in Paris, served as an AmeriCorps VISTA working with illiterate adults in Muskegon, Michigan, and then moved to Portland where I have been an art teacher, preschool assistant, nanny, and Ivy After School teacher.

I love making art, speaking French, caring for plants, and swimming in the ocean.

St. John's Classroom

Clary Gasper

Clary Gasper

Lead Teacher

Hello Ivy families, I’m so delighted to be joining the Ivy school team. I’m a Pacific Northwest girl through and through. Born in California, I’ve lived most of my life in the Seattle area and am looking forward to the relative quiet of Portland. I asked my mother what to tell you about myself, and this is what she said. As a child I was a bit different and needed a non-standard educational experience in order to meet my needs. Because she was able to find it for me I succeeded in school and gained the foundations for a great adult life. I believe that every child deserves the same chance for an education which will lead them to develop strong self-esteem, academic and life skills. As a teacher, it is my privilege to do all I can to honor each child’s individual strengths, to meet them where they are and work with their family to help them grow into their best self.

Teaching was not my first job, but it is the only one I’ve loved. Varied experiences along the way give me many stories to share with students. After two years assistant teaching, I have had my own classroom for 11 years now, mostly in the first through third grade level. I have my Montessori certificates for grades 1-6, and have attended the training for younger students as well so that I have tools to support students at any level of learning. I also have a bachelor’s degree including a mix of science and humanities classes, and a Master’s degree in education. I speak French and a little bit of Mandarin Chinese, and I understand a little Spanish.  In my personal time, I love being outdoors, walking, gardening, exploring, and taking pictures. I adore the ocean and studying the living world around us. I have a lot of fun reading, writing, doing home improvement projects, crafts, painting, sewing, and learning new things.

Rebecca Kon

Rebecca Kon

Assistant Teacher

Hello, Ivy Community. My name is Rebecca Kon, and I’m excited to be joining the school as the Assistant Teacher in the St John’s classroom. I completed my undergraduate studies at UCLA, where I majored in History. After receiving my B.A., I worked for three years at a constructivist charter school in Los Angeles, where I served the school community as a Teaching Associate., Long-Term Substitute, and Special Projects Coordinator. My passion for education led me to pursue a M.A. in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan, where I was first introduced to Maria Montessori’s philosophy. I have a special affinity for supporting students’ socio-emotional development, and for helping them build strong connections with their communities. I am excited to get to know the students and families of Ivy, and to engage with the Montessori educational method.

When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, mosaic art, and any other activities that deepen my understanding of the world around me.

Fremont Classroom

Travis Eddy

Travis Eddy

Lead Teacher

It feels so exciting to say that I am beginning my sixth year with the Ivy Middle School Program!  I have really enjoyed spending the past five years working with five very different groups of students across both campuses.  I received my Masters in Teaching from Lewis & Clark College in the area of integrated science. While science will always be my first love, I also enjoy working with students in the humanities, and integrating curriculum across subject areas.

What I love most about Ivy is having the ability to really get to know each student and work with them to create meaningful learning experiences, and provide individualized opportunities to show what they know.  This connection with students is something that I have not experienced in other settings, and makes teaching more fun as well as more effective. Of course, the opportunity to spend lots of time out in the world, and engage students with projects helps too.

When I’m not teaching, I mostly enjoy spending time with my four-year-old daughter.  With any time that is leftover, I like to grow vegetables, scour the wild for rocks, and pet cats.

Jenny Edwards

Jenny Edwards

Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Jenny Edwards and I am excited to start another year at The Ivy School! I was born and raised in Eugene, OR, where I graduated from Churchill High School and Eugene International High School. I then went on to the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!), where I graduated with my Masters in Education. I moved up to Portland in 2007 to be with my husband, and I began substitute teaching throughout Portland Public Schools. Within a couple months I was hired on to teach middle school math at the Young Men’s Academy housed at Jefferson High School. With the closing of the program, I was transferred to da Vinci Arts Middle School, where I taught 7th and 8th grade math. My husband and I started our family and I spent time working at a Montessori preschool, and then started my own in-home childcare business. Once our kids started school I went back to teaching and found Ivy, where I teach middle school math and work with some of the most amazing students around!
My husband, De Angelo, works Campus Security and coaches football at Cleveland High School. Our son, DJ (De Angelo Jr.) is in 4th grade, and our daughter, Amira, is in 3rd grade. They are in the Spanish Immersion program down the street at Harvey Scott School. We had our 3rd child this spring, baby Julian, and he’s adorable! I enjoy spending my free time with my family; going to the arcade, being outdoors, hiking, camping, riding bikes, swimming, gardening, and working on projects around the house. I’m looking forward to another great year at The Ivy School!
Revi Shohet

Revi Shohet

Assistant Teacher

Hello! My name is Revi, and I’m so excited to join the Ivy community this year. One thing I love about the Montessori approach is how it fosters the thirst for knowledge inherent to every child. I’m really looking forward to connecting with our students and exploring big ideas together.

I have always been enthusiastic about learning and curious about the world, and ever since early childhood I’ve kept myself surrounded by books. After high school I studied at MassArt for two years, and later on I graduated from PSU with a degree in Social Science. Along the way I’ve been a nanny, a tutor, and a teaching assistant. I have experience with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages (ranging from preschool to middle school to incarcerated youth to adult learners), and I am deeply committed to the work of building a more just and equitable society.

In my free time I am often found knitting, baking bread, riding my bike, practicing yoga, and going on adventures with my little dog Noa.

Broadway Classroom

Brie HillerHannan

Brie HillerHannan

Lead Teacher

Hi Ivy Community! I am so excited to be joining Ivy this year!  I have 10 years of experience being a Lower El teacher in a public Montessori school in Tucson, AZ. Before that, I worked with middle schoolers, high schoolers and begun my educational path in a Montessori early childhood classroom committed to social-emotional growth and problem solving through developmentally appropriate communication. My educational belief system is based on teaching the whole child with my overarching interests being social justice, community building, and the emotional growth of children all while engaging students in the quest to be life-long learners.

I am strongly committed to individualized education and differentiation and have been successful at running a classroom that meets all these standards with attention to children who have individual needs and abilities, intellectual disabilities, students with English as their second language and children who are have exceptional academic proficiency. Like Maria Montessori, I believe in the potential of all students and I believe the job of a Lower Elementary teacher is to sow the seeds of interest so children can find what inspires them. I hold a Masters in Education, a lower elementary Montessori certificate from AMS and from NAMC and a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) endorsement. I co-chaired the Ecology Team at my school for over five years and ran a weekly Farmer’s Market with my class. I hope to be able to bring some of those lessons to my class here as well as learn from my students and families more about gardening in the Northwest.  

In my time not in school I am often reading, playing board games or riding bikes with my two children. I also have a monthly writing group and practice a type of meditative yoga that focuses on breath work. I am from Tucson AZ, and lived in Portland for several years a long time ago and then a couple of other places. I am thrilled to be back in Portland and to be joining your community!  

Dakota Russell

Dakota Russell

Assistant Teacher, Lower Elementary, Broadway Classroom

Greetings students and families! My name is Dakota and I am so excited to begin another year as the Assistant Teacher in the Broadway Bridge classroom! Although I’m far away from home (having moved to Portland from New York City last year) the Ivy community feels like family.

As an Elementary student my favorite subject was recess. In the classroom I enjoyed writing and illustrating my own stories. As I got older I wrote more songs than stories and I eventually ended up at Sarah Lawrence College where I was able to major in songwriting, acting and general “silly-ness making” as a Performing Arts student. Once out of college I worked as a Teaching Artist for Elementary and Middle School students. I discovered the joy of a Montessori environment as an Assistant Teacher at a Montessori Preschool shortly before beginning at Ivy. I am currently pursing a Masters of Arts in Teaching at Concordia University. In my freetime I can be found riding my bike, making music or adventuring with my quirky dog, Rufus. I am happily looking forward to another year of exploring, making and learning together!

Morrison Classrooom

Caroline Halaby

Caroline Halaby

Lead Teacher

Hi! I’m Caroline Halaby, a recent Oregon transplant having spent the last six years living and teaching in DC. I grew up in Palo Alto, CA and moved to the East Coast in 2008 to attend Davidson College, where I earned my BA in History with a Music minor. Having assisted my mother’s Art Camp many summers during high school and college, I realized that teaching was my calling. After college, I joined a Montessori school in Arlington, VA as a Primary assistant for two years. It was there that I first learned about and fell in love with all things Montessori! I realized that I wanted to work with older children, so my school sent me to get my Elementary Montessori degree (AMI) from the Washington Montessori Institute and a Master’s in Education from Loyola University of Maryland. I then returned to my school and taught in Lower Elementary for three years. While there, I also started an after-school Art class, inspired by my mom’s Art camp.

I felt a pull to return to the West Coast to be closer to family, so I made the move to Portland in July 2018…and here I am! In my free time, I enjoy wandering around new neighborhoods, watching music and comedy shows, reading, cooking, and most importantly, sampling delicious food!

Kristin Bowen

Kristin Bowen

Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Kristin. I was born in a small town in central Pennsylvania and have lived in Portland, OR since 2003. I am a wife, mother, teacher, nature lover, and creator.

My career path has been like a meandering river, always with beautiful, insightful scenery along the way. What has been true all along for me is that I want to help others. After graduating from college with a B.S. in Biology and English minor, I went on to earn a Masters in Environmental Policy. This led me to a career in wildlife conservation for a time that was amazing but also hard and sad to know of all the habitat loss and hardships of the wild creatures. Next I owned and managed a small business called Sun Gate to bring meditative practices and healing music to our community. This was very joyful and an incredible learning experience! We created a sanctuary in the city where beloved community could gather for self-care and support one another.

Teaching has always been a natural part of who I am. I have and always will be a lifelong learner, and love to instill that love of learning in others. Most recently, I earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from our local Concordia University. During this program, I student taught here at the Ivy School in the St. John’s classroom! I enjoy alternative forms of education and, during my time at Ivy, I fell in love with the Montessori philosophy and rhythms.

Outside of the classroom, I play music with my husband Ryan as “One Root,” practice and teach self-care via qigong and meditation, and I also love to hike, camp, swim (in rivers or the ocean, especially), garden, write and illustrate stories, snuggle with my kitties, and create crafty art or make messy science with my son, Cassan, or for the classroom. My next learning goal is to become fluent in Spanish. I am confident that all of my previous experiences have prepared me to be the best support I can be for your child. I am excited to get to know your young learner.

MORRIS CAMPUS

Upper Elementary, grades 4, 5, 6

Anne O'Neal

Anne O'Neal

Administrative Coordinator

My name is Anne O’Neal. This is my tenth year at Ivy!  I am excited to start as the Administrative Coordinator. I started as a parent volunteer and have served the community as a PTA officer, Board member, and most recently as Morris Campus Support Coordinator. My oldest son graduated from Ivy last year and my younger son is in Upper Elementary.
I have just completed my first year of medical herbalism training and am looking forward to delving deeper in the coming months. In my free time you can find me working in the garden, hiking, camping, or baking. I love making things and spending time outside.  It’s my favorite when those two things come together and I can make something with plants I’ve grown in my garden!
Melissa Warren

Melissa Warren

Campus Support Coordinator

Hello! I am Melissa Warren, and I am so excited to be returning for my fourth year at Ivy! Working here has been an incredible growth and learning opportunity, and such a positive experience.

I have been teaching and working with children since 1998. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Teaching Certificate in Music Education, grades K-12. For 12 years, I taught public school general music classes, piano classes, and music and movement classes for toddlers, preschoolers, and their caregivers. During this time, I led numerous educator workshops showing how to incorporate music and movement into the general education environment. In 2010, I earned my Masters in Teaching Degree in Elementary Education, along with a Certificate in Gifted Education from Pacific University.  I have since taught in early childhood Montessori education, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary classes. I love to merge all these worlds into my current class: freedom of movement, inspired by Montessori as well as my music/movement background and freedom of choice and respect to the individual, inspired by Montessori and informed by my Gifted Education studies. I am so excited to be returning to Ivy for my third year!

I grew up in rural Kentucky (child of two music educators), and have lived in Oregon with my spouse and two children for most of the last 15 years (there was that brief return to Kentucky in 2011; you can ask me for that story sometime). I absolutely love camping and hiking here in Oregon, and return to work each fall full of new adventures to share!

Tomás Custer

Tomás Custer

Administrative Assistant

After one year subbing in Special Education classrooms in both PPS and Clackamas ESD, I decided to stay in the Education field and am happy to have landed here at Ivy.

Prior to that, I did a lot of other things. Professionally, I designed and developed websites for 20 years. I was a citizen journalist for 10 years and am still active in keeping the stream of Hispanic / Latino / Chicano news flowing on social media. I practically grew up in a TV station. I worked in Media, Higher Education and a Silicon Valley Startup with various position titles and duties. Basically, I am a jack-of-many-trades.

Today in the sweet here now, I am an artist again. 

I was born and bred in Chicago, spent a year in Spain, lived in Columbia, Missouri for years, “visited” Ohio for one year, and now have been in Portland for almost five years.

I have two children. In the fall of 2018, one will be attending OSU after two years at PCC and the other will be starting at PCC.

Steel Classroom

April Stephens

April Stephens

Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is April Stephens. I am excited to join the Ivy School community as the guide in the Steel classroom. I cannot wait to see what this year brings!

I am originally from Georgia and moved to Portland twelve years ago. I have always been a teacher of some kind. Whether it was coaching artists as a curator, being a big sister, being an aunt, as a teacher or as a gardener manager. I have always been an enthusiastic “sharer” of the things I know. Just as I love to share; I love to learn. Working with children is such a fulfilling and refreshing way to see the world. We keep one another engaged and excited making school a place to be creative and have fun.

In 2010, I earned my Masters in Education at Lewis & Clark College. Upon completing the program, I taught at various Portland area schools ranging from preschool to 8th grade. My teaching style is based on providing beautiful spaces that promote individuality, respect, hands-on learning, and creativity. I am an artist, a seasoned crafter, an avid gardener and I love to cook. I also love spending time with my husband, Jef, our two kitties and I always make time for camping and gaming with friends.

 Kedemah Evans

Kedemah Evans

Assistant Teacher

Hi y’all! My name is a Kedemah Evans and I am excited to join the Ivy School community as an Assistant Teacher.

I am originally from Dallas, Texas, and I lived there until I went off to college at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I studied International Development and French and I had some amazing opportunities traveling through many countries to support various humanitarian agencies serving Syrian, Iraqi, Burmese, Somalian, and Eritrean refugee families. Following my time in college I decided to move to Washington along with my family, who were transferred by the Army & Air Force Exchange. During my time in Washington I continued working with vulnerable populations specifically among the Indigenous peoples of the Nisqually Valley. My first experience working in a school was through AmeriCorps in an Indigenous tribal school and I fell in love with teaching! I have continued working in elementary schools in various capacities, which has led me to begin the process of attaining my teaching certification . Most recently I worked at a lovely Montessori school outside of Tacoma, Washington and I have come to greatly appreciate Maria Montessori’s philosophy of education.

In my free time I love to read, cook my Granny’s Southern soul food recipes and travel as often as I can. I’m looking forward to what this school year has in store as I start my teacher education program and move to Portland!

Hawthorne Classroom

Ray Luongo

Ray Luongo

Lead Teacher

Greetings Ivy families! My name is Ray Luongo, and I am the Lead Guide in the Hawthorne Bridge classroom. I have been happily married to my partner Carolyne for 27 years! I am originally from Brooklyn, NY, where as a teenager I launched my first career as a chef. In my early 20s, I received my Associate in Applied Sciences for hospitality management from the New York City College of Technology, and went on to work as a chef in New York City, Northern Italy and then Chicago. I began my second career teaching elementary age children when I lived in Madison, WI, where I founded a Taekwon-Do school for children. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with diverse and vulnerable populations, teaching kids life skills and empowering them using Taekwon-Do as a vehicle. While in Madison, I began my formal education in teaching at Edgewood College, while working in special education in an inner city elementary school, and teaching TAG camps for the University of Wisconsin.  We relocated to Portland mainly because of the weather, and the profound beauty of the Northwest! When we moved here in 2007, I continued my studies at Concordia University, where I received my BA in Curriculum and Instruction, my M.Ed. and a literacy endorsement. Along with my partner, I now run a community based Martial Arts program at three schools in Northeast Portland. I am so excited to begin my FOURTH year at The Ivy School! I am looking forward to an engaging and fun year working with your children and helping them to learn and grow. Let’s do this!
Tess Meier

Tess Meier

Assistant Teacher

Aloha! My name is Tess Meier. Growing up on a small island, I was instilled with a great appreciation for community, and within the Montessori framework I’ve found that same sense of care and compassion. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Hawaii, I was naturally drawn to teaching. This has taken many different forms over the years, from swimming and yoga to a myriad of formal education settings (preschool – college, Montessori – special needs). The students I’ve worked with have ranged in age from two to twenty, varying greatly in terms of abilities. Truthfully, I’ve reveled in every experience. It can arguably be said that one cannot be an effective educator without  the humility and willingness to be a lifelong student. I’m incredibly excited to show all that I have to offer to the Ivy School, and am confident that we’re going to have a blast!

Being newer transplants to Portland, my partner and I have found a seemingly limitless world of adventure. Between hiking, biking and general exploration, we keep pretty active. Travel is also an important part of our lives. Whether it’s traversing the jungles of Belize or taking a simple road trip down the coast with our fur baby, Churro, we’re on a mission to experience all that this world has to offer. Possibly the biggest adventure yet; Jenn and I are currently working on expanding our exploration team by one over the next year. Future Montessori student? You betcha!

Ross Island Classroom

Amy Hutchinson

Amy Hutchinson

Lead Teacher

Hi!  My name is Amy Hutchinson, and I’m thrilled to be joining the Ivy community this year as the guide in the Ross Island classroom.   

My career in Montessori began as a 3 year old, when I attended Sun Garden Montessori School in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I wasn’t lucky enough to attend a Montessori elementary program, but greatly enjoyed my experience in public elementary, middle and high schools before joining the Scots at Macalester College for my undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Geography.  There, I spent most afternoons on the soccer field, but also took full advantage of opportunities to do field work via dogsled in Northern Minnesota and by boat in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, satisfying my appreciation and love of travel, meeting new people, sharing food with friends and napping in the sunshine.

I found my way back into the Montessori world after two years teaching at an outdoor education program on the Northern California coast, a job that fed my academic interests in science and my personal passions for exploring the outdoors and working with children.  I began work as an assistant in a private Montessori school in Portland in 2010, and then took a year off to complete the Elementary training at the Montessori Institute Northwest and Masters degree in Education from Loyola University of Maryland in 2012.  Since returning to the classroom, I’ve enjoyed co-teaching, collaborating and lead guiding a large and dynamic upper elementary classroom with many incredible educators, and am so excited about the connections, community and year ahead at Ivy.

McLean Cannon

McLean Cannon

Assistant Teacher

Greetings! My name is McLean Cannon and I am entering my third school year, as a part of the Ivy community. I started in After School Care, at the Prescott campus, where I worked the past two years, before transitioning into an Assistant Teacher role last spring. I have loved working with the students in both settings and feel very fortunate to be returning this year. Originally, from Juneau, Alaska, I graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in Journalism in 2015. After college, I spent a year in Cleveland, OH, serving with Jesuit Volunteer Corps. During my year of service I worked at a community center, serving homeless populations, where I coordinated the arts program and taught classes in the employment clinic, before returning to Oregon. In addition to my work at The Ivy School, I have worked with Trackers and as a Field Educator for an environmental non-profit.

I enjoy sports, backpacking, playing music, storytelling, long road trips, and doing crossword puzzles with my morning coffee. Within the past year, I backpacked through Patagonia, and recently returned from a trip to Israel. I am so excited to share all of these experiences with the students while also learning from them!

Sellwood Classroom

Alex Lin-Meyer

Alex Lin-Meyer

Lead Teacher

Hello Ivy community! My name is Alex Lin-Meyer, and I’m excited to serve as guide in the Sellwood room this year. I began my career as an aerospace engineer because of my love for flight and space exploration. While I enjoyed the work, I nevertheless felt a powerful calling to become a teacher.  After earning a master’s in teaching degree at Seattle University, I spent seven years working in K-8 public schools throughout the Puget Sound region. I still keep in touch with many of my students and their families. It’s hard to believe that some of my first students are now heading off to college!

When my family and I moved to Portland, I decided to pursue guide certification through Montessori Northwest’s AMI elementary training program. I’ve always been a champion for individualized learning and social consciousness—both of which are foundational elements of the Montessori philosophy.

As a teacher, I seek to create an inclusive classroom environment—one that welcomes all learners, nurtures curiosity and inspires children to care for themselves, for others and the community. I enjoy sharing my love for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) with my students. Mostly, I love guiding them on their learning journey as they explore the world. It was wonderful to be part of the Ivy community during my practice teaching curriculum, and I’m thrilled to now be joining the Sellwood class. This year is going to be a blast!

Raquel Hugo

Raquel Hugo

Assistant Teacher

Greetings Ivy Community, my name is Raquel Hugo. I was born and raised in the Saguaro Desert of Arizona where my passion for nature and a lifelong love of learning, creative expression and cultural appreciation was sparked. From an early age I recognized the immeasurable value of creating safe expressive space and recognized a dream to be an inspiration teacher was born. I had a wonderful teacher in my life who simply said, “Great teachers are artists, never struggle to reconcile the two!” I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where I pursued an individualized Bachelors in Fine Arts from The California College of the Arts in Studio Art Education and Intercultural Creativity Based Learning. My studies there were in collaboration with Mills College of Education, Reggio Emilio Innovative Teacher Program which clarified my devotion to be a small school educator. The birth of my daughter in 2005 inspired a move to the Portland area where I was able to focus on her throughout her formative years and then continue my studies of creativity in education through Art Therapy at Merylhurst University. Today I serve as the Assistant Guide in the Ross Island classroom at our Morris Campus as well as Ivy After School Coordinator for our whole community. This is my 7th year as an Ivy school parent and my 3rd year in the classroom. I look forward to what this year may bring for us all!

AFTER SCHOOL

Morie Williams

Morie Williams

Ivy After School Morris

Juliana Custer

Juliana Custer

Ivy After School Morris

Julie Kitzerow

Julie Kitzerow

Ivy After School Prescott

Pending

Pending

Ivy After School Prescott

Cary Bluth

Cary Bluth

Ivy After School Prescott

GARDEN

Matt Voedisch

Matt Voedisch

Garden Teacher

Hello! My name is Matthew Voedisch and I am fortunate to be on the staff as a Garden Educator and Garden Coordinator.  I was brought to this wonderful team of people to build a garden and begin a garden education program for the Ivy School.  The garden program began the 2014 – ’15 school year. As a community we have accomplished much!
We are 1 of 3 schools in all of Portland to have a school garden that has reached Platinum Status in the Backyard Habitat Program. We have also completed our 3rd annual Farm to Fork Event this school year, will begin our Honey Bee Program this spring, and have been recipients of several school garden grants.
Our education program has 3 core focuses; Montessori Botany Lessons, introduction to herbology, and community outreach.  I attempt to have most of the learning take place kinesthetically.
Here are some of my qualifications: I graduated with honors from the North American Montessori Center as a Montessori Instructor. I also obtained advanced certifications in teaching children Permaculture as well as certifications in Permaculture design. Currently, I am enrolled in the Learning Herbs program which I will complete by the end of the school year. I find myself constantly hungry for learning and reading as many books and articles as I can get my hands on.
I have worked with youth for the past nine years and have found that I am truly happy engaging with them on an everyday basis. I love sports, board games, backpacking and hiking, learning new skills, growing my own food and herbs, and mostly just laughing.

DUAL CAMPUS STAFF

Ivy superheroes who help at both campuses

Cibyl Kavan

Cibyl Kavan

Art Teacher

Hello everyone, my name is Cibyl Kavan and this is my first year as the assistant in the Hawthorne Class on the Morris Street campus. I have a BA in Literature from the University of Oklahoma and have 20 years of arts training in an apprenticeship model learning drawing, painting, textiles, site specific installation work as well as physical theater and clown. While raising my children I worked primarily as a free-lance artist and then returned to school in 2007 for my AMI  Montessori Primary certificate at Montessori Institute Northwest. I received  my M.Ed. in Montessori from Loyola University in 2010. I am also a Young Audiences and Lincoln Center trained Teaching Artist and have been teaching art to children and adults throughout the Portland area in private and public schools and community settings in classes, workshops, and residencies for over 15 years. I’m excited to be at the Ivy School and bring both my Montessori and arts teaching experience to our community.

When I’m not at school, I am passionate about working in my native habitat certified garden, yoga, qi gong, Zen meditation, travelling to Santa Fe to visit my mom’s, reading science books, cooking, tea ceremony and hosting my AirBnb cottage.

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MORE ABOUT IVY SCHOOL FOR INTERESTED APPLICANTS

The Ivy School is an innovative public Montessori Charter School in Northeast Portland, Oregon serving students in grades 1 – 8.

The Ivy School employs Lead Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Substitute Teachers, and After School Program Teachers.

Enrollment in The Ivy School is by lottery each spring. We enroll students from diverse backgrounds, including students with extensive Montessori experience as well as students with no Montessori experience whatsoever. We enroll students with special needs and students in Special Education with Individualized Education Plans.

Every student of The Ivy School will be given equal educational opportunities regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, color, national origin, disability and marital status. The Ivy School may not limit student admission based on ethnicity, national origin, race, religion, disability, gender, income level, proficiency in English language or athletic ability, but may limit admission to students within a given age group or grade level.

Teaching at The Ivy School requires flexibility and willingness to individualize instruction for all learners. Assistant Teachers work cohesively with Lead Teachers, and Assistants and Leads work collaboratively with teaching teams across grade levels.

As a public school we are required to meet all expectations for Oregon public schools, including teaching Common Core State Standards and participating in annual state testing.  All Ivy School teachers are expected to support public school requirements in the context of the Montessori teaching method. Specifically, they must help guide the child through self-directed activities, allowing the child to develop at his or her own pace. They are expected to foster, along with the lead teachers, a nurturing and stimulating non-competitive environment where students meet Oregon state standards for learning.

Ivy School teachers and assistants are required to adapt and work collaboratively with other teachers trained in various Montessori schools of teacher education including the International Montessori Council (IMC), the American Montessori Society (AMS), the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), Montessori Educational Programs International (MEPI), and the Pan American Montessori Society (PAMS).

Montessori Elementary training and an Oregon Teaching License are preferred but not required.

A criminal background check is required for all applicants, and fingerprinting may be required for some applicants. Employees who may have direct, unsupervised contact with students and who do not require a license or registration must be fingerprinted.

Also required of all applicants is a signed disclosure release authorizing former employers to release all information related to any substantiated reports of child abuse, sexual conduct under ORS 339.370, or crimes listed in ORS 342.143, including all related documents.

Interested applicants should email a letter of interest and resume to hiring@theivyschool.org.