While our staffing process is not complete and a few positions remain open, we’d like to take a moment to highlight a few of the recent staffing changes and provide you with a brief introduction of our newest staff members that will be joining us in the fall. We look forward to sharing more information about opportunities for you to meet and greet our new staff in advance of the 2015-16 school year!
Please join us in welcoming:
1st Grade: Keri Miles
Since moving to the Methow in 2007, Keri has been involved with our
valley’s children – as an early childhood Montessori educator, volunteer
coach, and most recently, as a 1st grade elementary teacher, replacing Libby Foley. Whether outdoors or in the classroom, she is constantly inspired by the creativity and depth of thinking children are capable of, and is passionate about nurturing their natural love of learning. Her teaching philosophy is to engage and challenge students through active learning experiences, encouraging their curiosity and developing their skills as inquirers. Keri lives in Winthrop with her husband and son, along with a variety of furred and feathered creatures. She holds an M.A. in Teaching as well as a B.A. in History/Fine Arts. After serving as a leave-replacement teacher this year, she is thrilled to be returning as a full-time teacher, teaching 1st grade at MVES next year.
2nd Grade: Jonathan Stratman
Jonathan comes to us with teaching 15 years of teaching experience at Gold Bar Elementary School in the Sultan School District. This includes several years of service as a special education teacher. He believes in building strong school and community relationships, and the power of experiential learning. When he’s not working with students and families, Jonathan loves to be with his wife Rachel, and his daughters, Mia and Addison. He enjoys giving back to the community by serving as a soccer coach and teaching fly-fishing. He’s thrilled to be living, working, and recreating in the Methow Valley, and is proud to finally be running the Cutthroat Classic as a local!
3rd Grade: Rachel Stratman
Rachel Stratman is excited to be joining the staff at Methow Valley Elementary. She is currently finishing up her 14th year with the Sultan School District. Her teaching experience includes kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. Rachel truly believes in educating the whole child. Students in her classroom routinely interact with global issues and current events. She nurtures the creativity and curiosity of each student and facilitates connections through the arts. Her students discover what it means to be a learner. Outside of the classroom, Rachel finds balance through art (paint, glue, sand…repeat), running (slowly), and spending time with the people she adores – her husband, Jonathan and two children, Mia and Addison.
5th Grade: Catrin “Catie” Barber
Originally from California, Catie grew up in Palo Alto, California. She attended college at the University of Puget Sound where she received an English Literature degree. After college, she decided that she needed to see the world. She joined the Peace Corps and taught English to children in a small, rural village in Thailand for two and a half years. Afterwards, she traveled around Asia, eventually meeting her husband, Scott, while trekking in the Annapurna Range of Nepal. Together, they settled in the Santa Cruz area where she taught grades 4 and 5 and served as a Technology Coach. In addition, her teaching journey has included serving children in the Mojave Desert of California, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Dubai, and most recently, Poland. In addition to her passion for teaching, Catie enjoys spending time with her husband Scott and their son, Brodi. He is in second grade and loves playing year-round football (soccer) in Poland. Last summer, they bought a house in Winthrop and lived through the fires before returning to Warsaw to teach for the school year. They are thrilled to be moving to the Valley full-time!
REACH Program Coordinator: Hana Baker
Hana Baker is thrilled to be joining the district this year as the REACH Parent Partnership Coordinator and Teacher. Hana is a highly skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced educator that has worked with children in a variety of settings. She holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum Design and Instruction. She has 10 years of elementary teaching experience in charter, private, and public schools. When she’s not teaching, Hana enjoys spending time outdoors with her two children, Tova, Haakon, and her husband, Tyler Slostad.
Elementary Reading Specialist: Tirzah Quigley
After providing exceptional service to students and families electing to homeschool as the REACH Program Coordinator, Tirzah Quigley will be joining Barbara Wells as an Elementary Reading Specialist. As such, Tirzah and Barbara will work closely with our classroom teachers and Special Education Program to provide literacy support and enrichment to our elementary-age students.
Careers in Construction and Welding Academy: Trent Whatley
Trent’s background and related experience include a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Arts Education from Pittsburg State University and a certificate in CAD drafting and design from the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. He has a variety of work-based experiences, some of which include serving as a: auto mechanic, welder, locksmith, electrician, residential construction and remodeling, and most recently, as a certified drafter. In addition to his many work-related experiences, Trent has also participated in numerous volunteer building projects. He spent 10 days in remote Alaska building a parsonage and repairing homes. He worked on a Habitat for Humanity project in the Snoqualmie area. He also led the planning and organization of his church’s first ever youth mission trip to Tecate, Mexico where they completed construction on two 600 square foot homes in support of local families. Trent and his wife Lisa have three children – Mikenna currently attends Linfield College in Oregon, Lukas will be entering 7th grade this fall, and Malaki will be starting Kindergarten this year. When not working, Trent enjoys actively serving the children and families in his community as a youth soccer and baseball coach!
Methow Valley Elementary and Liberty Bell Spanish Teacher: Brynne Edwards
Brynne is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach Spanish in the Methow Valley! She is currently working as the Cub Club Coordinator and serving as the district’s Bilingual Coordinator. She spent 12 years teaching Spanish at Mt. Baker High School before moving to Twisp. Brynne has a BA in Spanish and a MS in Education. She has lived and taught in Mexico and traveled extensively in Latin America. When she is not teaching, Brynne enjoys skiing, running trails and playing outside with her husband Kelly and three-year old daughter Mabel.