Faculty Profiles

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Catlin Gabel teachers are wise, dedicated, expert, approachable, and supportive. In a word, they are amazing.


Leondra Brackett, kindergarten teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in psychology, Whitman College. Master's in teaching with art endorsement, Lewis & Clark College.

I love being with young children and their endless creativity, enthusiasm, and innovation. I feel blessed to work with children as they explore various materials, including clay, printmaking, drawing, painting, and construction. Teaching is always fresh and new and has a meaningful impact on our world.

I love to backpack and travel. One summer we (my now-husband and I) hiked the John Muir Trail, 200 miles from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney-- which was the most physically challenging and emotionally rewarding hike of my life. We have also traveled the world together to take in cultures and places. I have spent time in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, Senegal, India, Spain, and New Zealand.

Briana Britton, kindergarten teaching assistant, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in psychology, Mills College.

Brendan Clark, preschool teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in anthropology, Willamette University. Master's in teaching, Lewis & Clark College.

My mother was a preschool teacher, and I would spend time with her in the classroom when I was not in school. I was drawn immediately to being around a community of learners. The fact that no two days (or two classes) will ever be the same draws me to teaching, but being able to say, "I love my job" at the end of every day is what keeps me teaching.

I have a laundry list of hobbies-- I juggle, play hockey, surf, fly stunt kites, play piano and guitar, you name it. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and love exploring its many exciting features. You can find me riding beautiful roads on my bike, snowboarding or cross-country skiing in the mountains, or strolling up and down the miles of coastline. As long as I spend time outside, I am happy!

Sara Dier, beginning school administrative assistant, at CG since 2010.

My favorite pastime is photography. The whole concept of capturing a photograph, processing the film, and manipulating the image is fascinating. I often spend my free time with a lense at my eye, ready for whatever happens.

Lisa Ellenberg, BS librarian, at CG since 1991. Bachelor's in education, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Master's in education, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Teaching and learning from children is challenging, restorative, joyful, and satisfying. I gain these same benefits from travel adventures or when awed by the power and beauty of Mother Nature. How grateful I am that my professional duties allow me to synthesize it all via global and outdoor education programs at Catlin Gabel.

Isaac Enloe, kindergarten teacher, at CG since 2011. Bachelor's in religious studies, Carleton College. Master's in early childhood and elementary education, Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education & Counseling.

I was about to graduate from college when I realized that I wanted to dedicate my life to doing good work. I was drawn to working in schools because, when at their best, schools are places where people of all ages work together to support one another in learning and growth. For me, kindergarten epitomizes this kind of learning in community.

I play several styles of old-time five-string banjo with various square-dance bands on the West Coast.

Lauren Figi, BS learning specialist. Bachelor's in elementary education, Illinois State University. Master's in reading and literacy, Benedictine University.

There is nothing like coming into a classroom full of children to make each day fulfilling. Children make every day better; what they learn, how they learn, what they say, and the relationships you establish with them as their teacher - it's all special and one-of-a-kind. There is nothing else like it.

I am a Chicago native and a lover of the Chicago Bears and Chicago Blackhawks. While a part of my heart will always be in Chicago, I love the beauty and nature that Oregon has to offer. I enjoy spending my time hiking the various terrains in Oregon, skiing, and taking advantage of what Mother Nature has to offer in this part of the country.

Stephen Grant, BS counselor, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in psychology, University of Oregon. Master's in social work, Portland State University.

I was drawn to counseling because I have always been interested in how people develop. How much is nature and how much is nurture? How much of what is natural can be shaped and changed by nurture? How does our thinking and sense-making about the world shape our behavior? I was drawn to working with children because changes happen so quickly at younger ages. Though I don't feel much closer to having the answers, I'm sure having a great time collecting data. Kids are just plain fun!

I spent my formative years living on both coasts of the U.S., from Brooklyn, N.Y., to my grandfather's dairy farm in Skomokawa, Washington. I'm both a country mouse and a city mouse.

Sia Haralampus, kindergarten teacher, at CG since 2010. Bachelor's in child development, Tufts University. Master's in education, Harvard University.

I am drawn to teaching because it is a direct connection to the health and prosperity of our planet. Creating healthy, safe, and caring spaces for collaborative learning opens the door for kindness, activism, and community spirit to lead the way.

I recently found out that my great grandmother was a kindergarten teacher! This age group fascinates me, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover this connection.

Allie Kautz, 4th grade teaching assistant, at CG since 2013. Bachelor's in child & family development, San Diego State University.

Tiffany Kenaley, story craft teacher, at CG since 2011.

Joseph Campbell helped form my opinion that the character of the teacher is what captivates the memory in the student, thus retaining information. When you think back to your elementary years, what and whom do you remember most?

In 2011, I received President Obama's Volunteers of the Year Award for my service with Girl Strength, a program sponsored by the Portland Police Bureau. Girl Strength teaches girls ages 10-18 a holistic approach to self-defense.

Alicia Lopez, kindergarten teaching assistant, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in human development & family science, Oregon State University.

Jennifer Marcus, BS woodshop teacher, at CG since 2004. Bachelor's in art, Mills College.

When my oldest daughter attended preschool in Los Angeles, I agreed to open up the woodworking shed during their recess. That first group of 4-year-olds introduced me to something so special that I had no choice but to make a career of teaching woodworking to as many kids as possible.

I worked in the advertising department of Wham-O Manufacturing as a graphic designer when Frisbee golf was being introduced in the United States.

Kristy Marling, BS learning specialist, at CG since 2014. Master's in disabilities, DePaul University.

Rhonda Patten, BS music teacher, at CG since 2006. Bachelor's in music, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I love the writing of Margaret Mahy, a children's author from New Zealand. Her ability to play with words and language, sense of place, and her use of magic in the everyday world transport the reader (or me) to a place where the story so much more than the words and images. Reading her work is like listening to a well-crafted concert. The sound, emotion, and story wash over me and leave me feeling transformed.

Meg Schmidt, preschool teaching assistant, at CG since 2013. Bachelor's in education, political economy, Evergreen State College.

Hannah Whitehead, beginning school head, at CG since 1982. Bachelor's in English literature, Reed College.

After long and winding careers, both of my parents ended up teaching at universities - my father genetics, and my mother English. The way that they talked about their work, their students, and their colleagues made it seem like hard, but exciting and fulfilling work, and it became my career as well. My mother was a big fan of John Dewey, and so I learned about progressive education at her knee.

I lived with my family for several of my growing up years in Sydney, Australia, where my father founded a department at the University of Sydney. Although Australia was an amazing and wonderful place, I did not enjoy the pre-reform era of Australian education. I was sure that there must be a better way!

Sheila Williams, BS PE teacher, at CG since 1990.

Rebecca Wirth, preschool teacher, at CG since 2008. Bachelor's in English literature, Reed College. Master's in early childhood, Bank Street College of Education.

I loved being in preschool so much that I decided to find a way to stay there.

I love the feel of a busy, brightly lit classroom when the weather outside is cold and gray.