Student-led conferences are coming up March 2nd and 3rd.

Meet Our Teachers

Raina Janke: Kindergarten

Raina Janke joined the Southwest Charter School teaching team in fall 2015. Her background is in early childhood education, and in the past she has taught 1st and 2nd grade as well as Pre K (5 years). She holds an MAT from Concordia and received her Bachelor’s degree from Portland State. She is thrilled to be teaching Kindergarten at SWCS. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, art, and running. She also loves being with friends and attending live music shows.

 

 

Nesa Levy: 1st/2nd Grade

Nesa joined the teaching team at Southwest Charter School in fall 2014. Her past teaching experience includes Kindergarten at Prescott Elementary School and Kindergarten and first grade at Creative Science School. At Creative Science, Nesa was first introduced to the Storyline method, an integrated approach to teaching which she continues to use in her classroom. Nesa received her B.A. in Drama from Vassar College in NY and incorporates her love of performance into the classroom by allowing her students to explore creatively. Originally from Eugene, Nesa returned to Oregon after living on the east coast and received her Masters in Education from Portland State University. Ever since becoming a teacher, Nesa has enjoyed the challenges and joys of teaching young students. She loves getting to know her students, discovering their strengths and talents, and learning and growing together as a classroom and school community. Outside of teaching, Nesa enjoys traveling, hiking, Balkan folk dancing, and remaking childhood movies with her friends.

 

Angie O’Brien: 1st/2nd Grade

Angie joined SWCS in 2016 and came to us after teaching at The Ivy School in Portland. She holds a Masters of Education from Portland State University.

 

 

Susan Hathaway: 3rd Grade

Susan joined the staff of Southwest Charter in 2012. Her teaching background includes eleven years in grades two through six in both public and private schools. Her first four years of teaching were with third graders, and she is excited to be back with this age group. Susan received her Masters of Education from the University of Pennsylvania and found her way to Oregon as the result of marrying a native Oregonian. She spent most of her childhood living outside the United States. She was born in Brazil and completed high school in Belgium with an IB diploma. She has also lived in Russia and values these international experiences, having developed a strong appreciation for other cultures and viewpoints. She has grown to love the great outdoor opportunities Oregon has to offer and can be found biking, gardening and camping in the summer months and skiing in the winter. She is an avid reader and loves to try cooking new foods.

Elizabeth Thompson: 4th/5th Grade

Elizabeth joined SWCS in 2016. She recently graduated with an MAT from the Arbor Center for Teaching in conjunction with Marylhurst University. As part of this program, she had the privilege of co-teaching for two years in a K-1 classroom at the Arbor School of Arts and Sciences, as well as teaching language arts and math units in a 5th grade at Stafford Elementary in West Linn. When she’s not in the classroom, you can this native Portlander singing in choirs, cooking, gardening, writing, and hiking.

 

 

Morgan Kelm: 4th/5th Grade

Morgan came to SWCS in 2016 from the Creative Science School in Portland. She is an enthusiastic and committed educator.

 

 

 

Lisa Colombo: 6th Grade

Lisa joined the teaching team at SWCS in 2007. Prior to teaching at SWCS, she worked with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) where for four years she developed science curriculum and taught students of all ages around the state. Her love of science and exploration began back in Michigan where she and her sister would explore their neighborhood, looking for insects and tinkering in their father’s work shed. That interest would take her to study at the University of Michigan where she discovered she had a talent for teaching and received a Bachelor of Arts in Education with High Distinction. She recently completed her Master’s degree at Concordia. She has taught in a variety of educational settings from large group assemblies, which encouraged a love of theater, to small group classrooms, where she can give individualized attention. Her strong science background is accented by a passion for storytelling, folklore & mythology from around the world. Inspired by those tales, she creates visual art, plays with the Stumptown Jugthumpers as a washboard player, and is learning how to make puppets. Lisa brings her enthusiasm and talents to share and loves discovering and honing the talents and skills of each of her students.

Chris Wyland: 7th/8th Grade

Chris Wyland joined our staff as our 7/8 Math & Science teacher in 2014. Chris received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology Education from Ithaca College. He also has completed Master’s level work in Educational Technology at Walden University. He taught Middle School science for four years at Lower Manhattan Community School in New York City. Chris brings with him a passion for outdoor education and learning from and through the community.

Emily Conner: 7th/8th Grade

Emily Conner joined Southwest Charter in 2016 as our 7/8 Humanities teacher. Emily has a Masters in Teaching at Lewis & Clark, where she focused on the practice of teaching for all learners and promoting an inclusive and inquiring classroom community.  Emily completed her student teaching at da Vinci Middle School and believes middle schoolers are incredible learners and teachers; they approach the world with sharp criticism and the energy to make change. Her interest in place-based ed began when she lived in Alabama, working toward her MFA in creative writing. In her free time, she likes to read, write, and bake bread.
Meet Our Staff