Our Summer Camps Staff

Seraphie Allen, BA English and Gender Studies, Lewis & Clark College. Catlin Gabel 5th grade teaching assistant and LS/MS basketball coach. In college, Seraphie played competitive basketball, golf and ultimate frisbee. Seraphie feels most at home when she teaching and coaching kids to be their most athletic and confident selves. 

Mia Bane, BA English Literature, University of New Hampshire; MFA - Technical Theater, San Diego State University. New to Catlin Gabel this year as the Director of Technical Theater, has ten years of teaching experience in technical theater as well as arts & crafts. Mia learned the arts of sewing and crafting from her mother as a young girl and enjoys sharing these talents with students. "Working with your hands, creating simple or elaborate pieces, whether you consider them fine art or not – the joy is in the making.

Mariela Salas Bao, MS Geological Sciences, Brown University; BS Geology from University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. This fall 2016 Mariela will start working towards her EdD in Curriculum and Instruction at Portland State University. Over the past 7 years she has taught a variety of science courses at the collegiate level to both pre-college and advance high school students. Born and raised in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, she moved to Portland with her husband two years ago and fell in love with the city.  

Maggie Bendicksen, BA English, Amherst College; MAT, Lewis and Clark College. Maggie has taught at Catlin Gabel for fourteen years, and started her career as a reporter and editor at a weekly newsmagazine in Washington, D.C., and a daily newspaper and weekly TV show in Northern Virginia. After moving to Oregon, she became the lead writer and media account executive for a public affairs company, where she received a crash course in Northwest politics and media outlets. In her spare time, she teaches her current students how to speak her mother tongue, New York-ese, so kids are able to order a coffee and bagel with schmear -- like a local -- in each of New York’s five boroughs.

Katie Boehnlein, BA Environmental Studies and English. Katie is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Environmental Education and Masters in Teaching at Southern Oregon University. Katie is a former 5th grade TA at Catlin Gabel, and a loyal native Oregonian who grew up exploring the hidden stairways and urban wilderness areas of Southwest Portland. One of her greatest passions is connecting people to meaningful educational experiences in the outdoors. In her free time, Katie enjoys cycling, hiking, writing, singing, gardening, hosting dinner parties, and fumbling on her guitar and banjo.

Spencer Crum, BA Broadcast and Print Journalism at University of Oregon. Spencer works as a teaching assistant at Catlin Gabel since 2015 and is coach of Catlin Gabel's varsity swim team. Much of Spencer's experience working with youth has been in water as a swim instructor and coach for nearly 15 years. When he's not at Catlin Spencer is pursuing a Master's in Education and spends times with his wife and two boys.

Laura Conklin, owner of True Life Design Coaching. Laura works with young adults to help them achieve their personal and academic goals. A former member of the Catlin Gabel Upper School English Department and published poet, Laura offers particular support in writing and reading skills, in addition to creative goal-setting, life/work balance, and time management.  Laura holds an MA in English Literature from Cambridge University as well as certification from the Academy of Coach Training in Bellevue, WA, and has worked as a coach, mentor, and writing tutor for the past fourteen years.

Amanda Cowart, BA communication science, Truman State University; graduate certificate in place-based education and field science teaching, Teton Science Schools; M.Ed. human services, Drury University. Amanda joined the Beehive as a teaching assistant this past February. She has worked with students of all ages during the past 15 years as a classroom teacher, specials teacher (PE and Spanish), camp counselor, coach, and mom to two little boys. 

Natasha Digges, has just completed her first year at Catlin Gabel, in the fourth grade, as a TA. Her favorite part of teaching at Catlin, is the support that staff gives students, to explore their curiosities.  Natasha is studying English at Portland State University. She loves to incorporate her interests of reading, writing, and art into her lessons.  

Debby Dodds, BFA, New York University; MFA creative writing, Antioch University. Debby recently signed a publishing contract for her first YA novel to hit the shelves (and electronic devices) in 2017. She freelances with xo,Jane. She's an academic and SAT tutor at Catlin Gabel and has taught classroom programs at many schools in Portland, Los Angeles, and on the East Coast. She was a professional actress in New York City and Los Angeles and worked for Disney for over a decade. Her writing has been published in many websites, magazines, and book anthologies, including three NY Times bestsellers. She is associate editor of a magazine, performs comedy with "Spilt Milk," and is the proud mom of a 11-year-old daughter. She loves inspiring young writers in a fun and creative environment.

Stuart Evensen, BA, Georgetown University; MBA Wharton School; MAT Lewis & Clark College. Stuart teaches AP US history and US history at Lakeridge High School. As a professional photographer Mr. Evensen has self-published four volumes of his work: HarlemScapes, Faces of Vietnam, Faces of Cuba and Faces of Portland. He has been binding books for over 20 years and his work is available in 24 retail locations across the country.

Alex Foster, BBA, Marketing & Media Management, Goizueta Business School at Emory University. After graduating from college in 2015, Alex took a leap to Europe where he plays professional basketball for the Cologne Rhein Stars. Simultaneously, he’s employed his studies in business to launch “Sense Basketball”, a youth basketball project that operates while Alex is in Portland between his playing seasons.

Ric Fry, BA conservation biology, Columbia University; Hudson Valley ecology, City University of NY; Montessori Certification, AMI WA.; anthropology, University of Western Ontario. Ric has been teaching elementary students for 24 years and currently teaches Lower School woodshop at Catlin Gabel.

Ann Fyfield, BA & MS international/Asian studies, MS curriculum & instruction, Portland State University. Ann has taught at Catlin Gabel since 1989. She merges her love of global cultures with teaching. She uses her work with Alice Water's Edible Schoolyard Project to team with colleagues on garden curriculum throughout the year. She has a strong belief that by working together on growing, preparing, and eating food, we can build a better community and better world.

Brendan Gill, M.Ed., Portland State University; B.A. film production, Loyola Marymount University, Catlin Gabel 7th & 8th grade media arts teacher. Brendan has led the Middle School media arts program at Catlin Gabel for five years, where students learn filmmaking, photography, digital image editing, video game design using Javascript, blogging, competition entry, and exhibition. He has led summer camps at Catlin Gabel for three years, as well as several week-long experiential learning trips around Portland, the Oregon Coast, and abroad.

Leslie Hillman, BA, Linfield College. A Catlin Gabel alumna, Leslie has been a teaching assistant in Catlin Gabel's Lower School for 16 years.

Renee Jenkinson, BA public health, Portland State University; Born in Portland, Renee grew up in the Western states and Hawaii. Renee tells stories around town with Backfence PDX, Russian Roulette, and the Moth.  She is the Executive Director of Cocoon Youth Storytelling which brings together Portland area teens to produce and perform in live true storytelling shows.  Renee's taught high school biology, anatomy, health, creative writing, and led and managed outdoor expeditions all over the world. She currently runs a summer adventure camp for teens in Hawaii and teaches at Catlin Gabel. 

Nancy Jonske is the parent of two Catlin alum, Karl ('99) and Dirk ('02).  In her business career, she was an Assembler language computer programmer.  Nancy has been playing Bridge for 35+ years, is an ACBL Life Master, and certified ABTA instructor.  She is an avid reader and greatly enjoys SCUBA diving with her sons. 

Allie Kautz, BS Child Development, San Diego State University; After School Programs Teaching Assistant at Catlin Gabel. Allie's inspiration to become a teacher came from her mother, who was a special education preschool teacher. Allie also taught preschool for a number of years in San Diego, CA before moving to Portland in 2013. Allie is currently pursuing her degree in Speech and Language Pathology at Portland State University. Cooking, knitting, and exploring Portland are among her favorite things to do.

Amanda Lightiser, BA women's studies, University of Georgia; MFA, University of Oregon; J.D., Northeastern University. Amanda recently moved from New Orleans, where she taught literature and writing at Tulane University and Isidore Newman School for nine years. She is thrilled to be back in Oregon, and excited to be teaching sophomore and junior English and working with seniors on their college essays at Catlin Gabel. Before finding her way to writing and teaching, Amanda worked as an attorney representing death row inmates in Florida. She is working on a novel based on her experiences.

Jasmine Lister, BA Biology and Studio Art, University of Virginia; is working towards a doctorate's in acupuncture and oriental medicine at OCOM (Oregon College of Oriental Medicine). She has been tutoring and mentoring students since 2005 and has been running Jr Vet Camp for the past 6 years at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2010, she founded United Vets in Training Help Spay Panama, a study abroad program that connects pre-vet students from across the US to volunteer in Panama City, Panama. She looks forward to bringing Jr Vet Camp to Catlin Gabel for the first time this summer!

Chris Mateer, BFA Massachusetts College of Art, MFA Ohio University, Catlin Gabel Upper School Art Teacher. Chris teaches Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Figurative Sculpture, 2-D & 3-D Design, Fashion Design, and Honors Portfolio. He has led experiential intensives in Shoe Design, Street Art, and Fashion Design, and he has team-taught interdisciplinary courses with his colleagues in the science department. Chris enjoys family adventures, building things and playing music with his two boys, and learning old-time and bluegrass tunes on mandolin. 

Presence O'Neal, BA from Agnes Scott College & MA Candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy from Portland State University. Presence has taught at Catlin Gabel School for two years and loves working alongside learners to create space for sensory, dramatic and project-based play. She draws inspiration from the intersection of her work in inquiry-based science, culturally responsive teaching, and experiential learning.

Erin Porter, MA in Elementary Teaching and International/Intercultural Communication, has taught in the Lower School at Catlin Gabel for three years. Her interests in global education and environmental science have guided her teaching and personal growth. Erin also founded a children’s bookstore and dreams of being an author of children’s books someday.

Dale Rawls, BA, Portland State University; MA, Lewis & Clark College. Dale has taught art at Catlin Gabel for 24 years and now teaches art to Middle School students.

Nate Smith, BA English, University of Iowa. MA, Union Theological Seminary, New York, where he also did graduate work in education at Teachers College, Columbia University. For three years, Nate was an assistant preschool teacher at Corlears School in New York City, and lead teacher in the Summer Science Program. While in New York, he worked at City and Country School as a printing press teacher in the middle school. This past fall, Nate joined the Catlin Gabel community as a Kindergarten TA. He loves reading, bird watching, and making things with his hands.

Molly Sultany, BA, Willamette University; MAT Lewis & Clark College. Molly teaches Biology and Anatomy/Physiology, Chemistry, Advanced Biology/Environmental Science, and Personal, Social & Global Health at Northwest Academy. As the faculty mentor for NWA’s science research program, Ms. Sultany and her students were invited to share their stream water research with Dr. Jane Goodall at the Oregon Youth Environmental Science Summit. She has been awarded grants from Beaverton Education Foundation, Diack, Northwest Aquatic & Marine Equators, and American Chemical Society.  

Sarah Welsh is a teaching artist in her second year of piloting her Art Program to over 2000 students in Reynolds School District. This program is a big scale version of what she has done for many years at different venues in Portland- including Multnomah Arts Center where she taught youth Drawing and Painting and Multi-Media classes for a dozen years and two outreach arts programs serving at-risk teens. Taking creative risks, and turning “mistakes” into new opportunities are ways students build technical skills as well as broadening their range of what they can say as developing artists.

Lora Worden, BA English & Foreign Languages (Spanish & German), MFA Creative Writing, Masters in Library & Information Science.  Lora has worked in the Beginning School & Lower School Library since 2014.  Lora believes in the power of stories to change lives.  Sharing stories helps us learn about ourselves and each other.  Lora believes the same is true when sharing food, sharing ourselves through art, or sharing time in nature.

Dan Woytek, MLIS University of Washington. This will be Dan's fourth summer teaching at Honey Hollow Adventure. During, the school year he is Librarian at Archbishop Howard School at St. Rose in NE Portland. Dan previously worked in the Lower School Library at Catlin Gabel from 2008-2014. In his classes he stresses a hands on approach to photography, comic strip creation, and digital storytelling. He also loves to play games and has a great appreciation for children's need for physical activity. This balance, he believes, is at the heart of a great summer camp experience. 

Dale Yocum, BS computer science, UC Santa Barbara; Catlin Gabel engineering program director. Dale leads all of Catlin Gabel's Lego robotics and high school robotics efforts as well as InvenTeams. He has won the Technology Educator of the Year award as well as the Volunteer of the Year and Coach of the year awards in FIRST robotics. One of his FIRST Lego League teams even won the Champion's award at State and went to the World Championships in St. Louis. He is also the author of the multimedia STEMCentric tutorials on NXT and EV3's. Dale has been leading robotics efforts at Catlin Gabel since their inception. Previously he was founder and CEO of several high tech startups.

The Summer Camps Team

Renee Jenkinson (director of Summer Camps), BA public health, Portland State University; Born in Portland, Renee grew up in the Western states and Hawaii. Renee tells stories around town with Backfence PDX, Russian Roulette, and the Moth.  She is the Executive Director of Cocoon Youth Storytelling which brings together Portland area teens to produce and perform in live true storytelling shows.  Renee's taught high school biology, anatomy, health, creative writing, and led and managed outdoor expeditions all over the world. She currently runs a summer adventure camp for teens in Hawaii and teaches at Catlin Gabel. 

Jennifer Marcus (director of Summer Beehive & Honey Hollow Adventure), BA Mills College. Jennifer has been teaching woodshop at Catlin Gabel since 2004. Her passion for bringing woodworking into children’s lives has expanded into Oregon, California and Washington through her artist in residence program. For over 26 years, Jennifer has continued to develop ways for children and teachers to experience the wonderful medium of wood. This is her 14th year with Catlin Gabel Summer Camps.

Chris Dorough ‘03 (director of extended day programming), BA Psychology, Whitman College; MAT, Pacific University.   Chris has been coaching the high school girls varsity soccer team for three years, and working in the admission office for one year.  This will be his first year working with Catlin Gabel summer camps, after having spent the past 10 years working summer camps for various other organizations.    

An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

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