Annie Wright Schools' faculty and staff commit themselves to students and their families, providing and supporting our exceptional programs and inspiring a lifelong love of learning.
WELCOME TO THE ANNIE WRIGHT SCHOOLS COMMUNITY!
Adair Caras, Grade 4 Classroom Teacher After earning her bachelor’s degree from Temple University, Adair has been a teacher in five states with over ten years of experience. She has taught a variety of grade levels and has multifaceted experience with learners of all types. She is a lifelong learner and is most at home in the classroom where she teaches and continues to learn with her students. She also loves art, musicals and travel.
Angela (Angie) Osborne, Middle School Counselor Angie Osborne MA ED, MA LMFT, is honored to re-join the Annie Wright Schools faculty as a part-time MS Counselor. Angie holds a bachelor's degree in education, along with a master's degree in Education Administration and a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Angie is currently a licensed, practicing marriage and family therapist with her own private practice Wish Breathe Believe PLLC. She comes to Annie Wright with 9 years of experience working in mental health and over 15 years of experience in education. Angie previously taught Grade 6 math and science at Annie Wright from 1998 - 2005. Angie is passionate about cultivating connections in our community and finding creative ways to embrace change through personal and professional growth! She is thrilled to be back in Middle School!
Ashton Eather, Lower School Assistant Ashton joined Annie Wright Schools in early 2023 as a substitute teacher and an assistant teacher during Preschool’s summer wrap-around. After graduating Washington State University with a BA in broadcast journalism from The Edward R. Murrow School of Communications, and a minor in sociology with an emphasis in human development, she continued to further her education, graduating from the University of Washington with a post-baccalaureate in paralegal studies. She is as passionate about learning as she is teaching; Ashton has the Washington State initial teaching certificate and is looking at master's programs in early childhood. Ashton is passionate about connecting with each student and believes inclusion and trust are the most valuable elements in building relationships with students. Once trust and relationships are established, it improves students’ learning; community; growth; and improvement - both individually and inclusively.
Bo Cheng, Upper Schools Mandarin Teacher Bo earned her master's degree in TESOL from University of Edinburgh in 2014 and her second master's degree in teaching in bilingual schools from University of Alcalá in 2018. In the past 8 years, Bo has taught Chinese, English, Social Studies in schools and universities in China, the UK, Spain and the USA with students aging from 5 to 21. She is passionate about traveling, hiking, reading, learning new languages and cultures. Bo loves teaching because it keeps her being a lifelong learner and she finds it exciting to watch her students learn and grow.
Chaya Venkatesh, Upper Schools Math Teacher Chaya re-joined Annie Wright Schools in 2023 after previously serving as the Lower & Middle School Math Specialist from 2014-17. After earning her bachelor's in Economics & Global Studies from UCSB, Chaya began her teaching career in New York City. She went on to earn master's degrees in Secondary Math Education from City College of NY and K-8 Math Education from Mount Holyoke College. Now in her eighteenth year in education, Chaya believes in the power of purposeful questions and rich discussion to empower students to grow as mathematicians.
Chelsea Thompson, Lower School Admissions Director After earning her BA degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and receiving her teaching certification, Chelsea worked as an Assistant Teacher and then Grade 1 Teacher for 7 years. One of her favorite parts of being a teacher was using and teaching sign language in the classroom. She loves working one-on-one with students. Chelsea is excited to build relationships with families and help them through the admissions process to join Annie Wright’s wonderful community!
Cole Schneider, Head Athletic Trainer Cole earned a bachelor's of science in Human Physiology with a double minor in Psychology and Chemistry from the University of Oregon and a Master of Athletic Training from Boise State University. In graduate school, he had the privilege with working with a variety of patient populations including division one college football and tennis, professional hockey, and rodeo. After passing his boards exam, Cole moved to Washington where he worked with soldiers of the United States Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Cole is a massive Oregon Ducks fan and can be seen wearing Oregon gear when it's college football season.
David Parker, Middle School Physical & Health Education Teacher After attending University of Puget Sound, David returned to his alma mater, Charles Wright Academy, where he coached and taught physical education for 13 years. David believes in a fun, active and welcoming educational experience that leads to a lifelong commitment to physical and mental health.
Dr. Edward Batres, Upper Schools Spanish Teacher Edward earned his B.A. in French and International Relations at the University of Redlands and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine where he also taught courses in French and English Composition. During this time, he also taught various levels of Spanish grammar and conversation at Sage Hill School and Chapman University both in Orange County, CA. Among his teaching interests, he enjoys training students to notice the linguistic transparencies between Indo-European languages as they learn Spanish or French. He believes that languages are living organisms that grow and evolve beyond the scope of any textbook. Through this approach, he aims to help students discover the transformative power of learning a new language: to see the world through a completely new perspective.
Elisa Pala, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher Elisa is in her final year of her BA in Elementary Education with a focus on Kindergarten. Elisa has worked with young children for several years and is excited to bring her drive and passion to AWS. She believes in a child-centered approach and meeting the individual needs of each student.
Gracie Kerr, Upper Schools Spanish Teacher Gracie just graduated in the spring from Montana State University with her bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages and Literature. She is excited to start her teaching career at AWS because she feels she has such a supportive community around her for her first year of teaching. Gracie is passionate about traveling to new places. She lived in Spain last year for six months, traveling around Europe, and looks forward to many new adventures to come in the future.
Hannah McHugh, Substitute Middle School Physical Health & Education Teacher After earning her bachelor's degree in Secondary Health and Physical Education from Northern Arizona University, Hannah taught Adventure & Wellness at Seattle Girls' School for fourteen years. She believes that through physical activities and games we can learn about ourselves, others, communication, and self-advocacy.
Inna Lena Madina, Lower School Spanish Teacher Inna received her bachelor’s degree in Education from University UNSA Peru, and has been working for the WA School District for 12 years and much earlier in Perú and Alaska. She likes to teach Spanish and enjoys when the students participate and learn the language.
Jamie Archer, Upper Schools English Teacher An avid hiker, climber, backpacker and traveler, Jamie graduated with an Honors BA from Oregon State University studying history, philosophy and literature before turning to Pacific University for her MAT. She has taught mainstream English and History as well as IB Literature, Language and Literature, HL History and Theory of Knowledge in Oregon and in International Schools in the Swiss Alps, along the Pearl River Delta in China and amid a revolution and pandemic in Beirut, Lebanon. She enjoys weaving current events, multimedia, modern concerns and international voices into lessons and curriculum. An IB and AP Examiner, she has also taught AP Literature and designed a pilot course for AP Research and the Capstone program on Maui before returning to teach, learn and explore more in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Jeremiah Velez, School Bus Driver I have been a school bus driver for 5 years. I am a dedicated and experienced driver who is passionate about keeping children safe. I enjoy teaching children about safety, responsibility, and respect. My specialty is creating a positive and fun learning environment on the school bus. People know me for being patient, kind, and understanding. I shine by making sure that all children feel safe, welcome, and respected on my bus. I believe that it is important for school bus drivers to be more than just drivers. We are also educators, and we can teach children important life lessons. I am passionate about using my role as a school bus driver to make a positive impact on the lives of children.
Jordan S. Carroll, Upper Schools English Teacher After earning his Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of California, Davis, Jordan taught literature and composition at the University of Tampa and the University of Puget Sound. Jordan loves bringing fan culture into the classroom: he enjoys teaching science fiction, fantasy, and the graphic novel. His first book of literary criticism received the Modern Language Association Prize for Independent Scholars, and his writing has appeared in American Literature, The Nation, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
J. Carlos Valdez, Upper Schools IB Visual Arts Teacher After earning a BA in Painting and Sculpture in 2014 and a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts in 2019, Carlos has been teaching Visual Arts classes at Edmonds Schools and Edmonds College & Continuing Education Programs over the last 7 years. Carlos enjoyed teaching the Annie Wright Upper School for Boys & Upper School for Girls IB Visual Arts & Design courses last Spring. Carlos enjoys painting, sculpting, and so much more, while advocating for the arts within his local community of South Port Orchard and the Greater Puget Sound by assisting not-for-profit groups and organizations as a visiting artist for little to no-cost. Carlos looks forward to stepping into the role as an educator once again, particularly as a leader for the AWS Yearbook and establishing a viable studio art practice for all our Visual Arts students here at Annie Wright.
Kelsey Viehmann, Kindergarten Classroom Assistant After earning an English degree, Kelsey taught swim lessons and worked in children’s ministry. Kelsey is excited to get to know and help the Kindergarten students grow.
Kerrin Mazzetti, Middle School Support Teacher After earning a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from University of CA, Davis and a Master's degree in Education from Antioch University, Seattle, she has been teaching for 30 years, 20 of those at the middle school level predominantly in Math. Kerrin likes to excite students to join her in her passion for Math by creating engaging opportunities to show their mathematical excellence.
Lei'La' Dunbry, Grade 8 Humanities Teacher While earning bachelors degrees in Folklore & Mythology and English Literature from Harvard University, Lei'La' taught student theatre in Boston and Cambridge, and ESL in Nepal. After graduation, she joined Teach for America as a middle school English and theatre teacher on Navajo land, while simultaneously earning her MA in Secondary Education at the University of New Mexico. She then went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Spalding University and spent several years teaching a variety of middle school and high school humanities classes in Oregon, including social studies, theatre, creative writing, AP Literature, and mythology/world religion. Most recently, Lei'La' has worked as an editor and contracted YA fantasy/sci-fi author. She loves storytelling and engaging students with the vibrant context that adds depth to humanities texts and lessons, and believes the best classroom has space for a bit of chaos and silly fun.
Lindsey Dodge, Grade 6 and 7 Digital Art and Design Teacher After earning her bachelor's degree in studio art and education from Augsburg University, Lindsey taught Visual Arts and Design in California and Germany for the last 13 years. As a practicing artist, Lindsey has a passion for showing students that everyone is creative and giving them tools to create work that is both skillful and personal.
Lisa Walker, Grade 1 Teacher Lisa has an EdD in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University which she earned while living abroad in South Korea for 14 years. During that time she was a Grade 1 PYP teacher in an International School for two years. Lisa is relationship centered as she believes that building a relationship first is critical for learning to take place. Her favorite educational quote comes from Rita Pierson "Every student deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be."
Madison (Madi) Miller, Grade 2 Classroom Teacher After earning her bachelor's degree in education at the University of Montana, Madi worked as a first/second grade teacher at Holy Rosary Bilingual Academy for 3 years. She enjoys incorporating art into all subject areas, and loves assisting students with their writing skills. Madi believes in building strong relationships with her students, and promotes a positive, inclusive classroom environment.
Mahalia Figgs, Lower School Grade 1 Classroom Assistant After attending Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana, Mahalia returned to her hometown of Tacoma, Washington and served as a teacher’s assistant in our neighboring school district TPS. Mahalia believes in helping to foster a positive classroom environment that helps students feel safe and motivated with routines and options for learning styles.
Olivia Del Carmen Acosta Cárdenas, Upper Schools Spanish Teacher Olivia earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, and her master's degree in education from Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, both in México. She taught at Preparatoría México for 14 years in Tepic, Nayarit, and at the University of Nayarit also in Tepic, México for 7 years. Olivia especially loved teaching media history as she taught the students how the media has evolved through the years. Olivia has taught all levels of Spanish at both high school and college and enjoys the growth she sees in her students. The past 9 years, Olivia has taught in a Juvenile Detention Center in Fife, WA.
Randy Shinn, Lower School Assistant Randy earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and has taught several college writing workshops. He spent many years as a guide around Alaska/Yukon Territory and was most recently substitute teaching with Tacoma and Seattle school districts. Randy enjoys travel, reading, writing, history, hiking, and food. He is thrilled to join this community!
Rebecca Disrud, Upper Schools English teacher Rebecca holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Indiana University and has taught courses in literature, writing, and the arts at several colleges. She also directed a university writing center for several years, working with faculty and students in writing projects across disciplines. Rebecca especially loves teaching lyric poetry and world literature in inquiry-based contexts. In addition to teaching, she enjoys performing music, creating textile arts, and speaking Swedish.
Sahara Jones, Admissions Associate and Database Enrollment Administrator Sahara is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) completing four majors, receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, Sociology, History, and Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies (GSRS). While a student, Sahara served as Intern Lead in the PLU Office of Admission. She is originally from Vancouver, WA but has grown to love Tacoma as her new home since moving here for college. She is a lifelong learner who loves to welcome students and families into a strong and inclusive community that recognizes each person for their uniqueness.
Saraevelyn Lowitz, Upper Schools Counselor Originally from California, Saraevelyn moved to New York City at age 18 to pursue a dream as a theater actor, eventually graduating from New York University with a degree in theater and a minor in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. After working with incarcerated young men on Riker's Island, she changed her focus to social work, earning her Masters Degree from Columbia University. She spent 5 years working in numerous New York City public schools teaching social emotional learning through the arts, eventually becoming the Community School Director of a high school in Brooklyn, New York where she stayed for another 5 years. Saraevelyn relocated to Seattle in 2023 and joined Annie Wright Schools. She is ecstatic to be back on the West Coast.
Veronika (Rika) Seidl, All School Librarian After earning her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, Rika was a University Librarian for 7 years before transitioning to K-12 School Librarianship. Most recently she came from the newly built STEAM school, Pioneer Elementary, in Gig Harbor, where she established the collection and library services. Rika takes pride in building relationships with her students and getting to know their interests and struggles in order to make their library experience as positive as possible.
Returning Faculty in New Positions
We are thrilled to fill several positions with returning faculty members.
Lyndsey Casey - Kindergarten Classroom teacher
Steve Parrott - Lower School Assistant Director
Ben Foutz - Learning Support Director
Dubois Hines - US Science Teacher
Emily Lynn - US Assistant Director for Academic Affairs
Rob Scotlan - Upper School for Boys Assistant Director
Sarah Wenzlick - full-time Dorm Parent
Emily Weston - Upper School for Girls Assistant Director