Springwater Staff


 

Greg Mylet | greg@springwaterschool.com

I am so fortunate to be the Principal of Springwater Environmental Sciences School. This school community feels like a reflection of my personal interests and passions.  When I am not at school I spend time exploring the natural world.  I love backcountry snowboarding, mountain biking, canoeing with my wife and skateboarding with my sons.  I engage in a friendly battle with deer and slugs to grow a garden every year.  I enjoy walking through Mary S. Young park in my neighborhood noticing the seasonal changes in flora and fauna. 

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Portland, a Master’s degree in Teaching with an emphasis on the natural science from PSU, and an administrative license from PSU.  Prior to joining the Springwater community I spent 5 years at Rosemont Ridge MS as the Assistant Principal.  Before that I taught middle school science for 19 years at Lake Oswego Junior high.  I also worked for a year teaching english in Japan and as a traveling science educator with OMSI.  Needless to say, I love science, particularly when we get outside and get our hands dirty.

Working at Springwater with our focus on exploration of the natural world, curiosity and a commitment to creating a strong community has been a dream come true. If I could design an ideal school, Springwater would be that school. Spending time with students exploring Clear Creek Natural Area, learning in the garden or playing in the mud at recess refreshes my soul and brings me joy.  The commitment and creativity of our amazing staff inspire me to be my best self as both a person and leader.  Being supported by families who are involved and invested in the success of every student provides both the people power and positive energy necessary to run such an amazing school.

 

Kathy Lowrie-Barraza | kathy@springwaterschool.com

I grew up in Wilsonville, Oregon.  I come from a close-knit family that spent a lot of time working together in our family grocery store.  In 1995 I graduated from Western Oregon University with a degree in elementary education.  I continued to work in the grocery store until 1997 when I decided I better give this teaching thing a try!  I was hired by the Canby School District.  I worked at Trost Elementary. When Trost became a bilingual school I took a one year leave of absence and moved to Honduras to improve my Spanish language.  I ended up coming home a year later with a husband and two stepsons and my Spanish improved immensely!!  In 2015, I decided I needed a change so I applied at Springwater school, as it spoke to the side of me that believed that the connection between nature/humans is delicate and needs to be founded in education.  I love being at Springwater.  After teaching 3rd, 4th and 5th grade my whole career in 2019 I made the decision to teach kindergarten.  It has been an amazing experience full of learning and self reflection.  On a personal note, I love to travel with my husband Jorge as well as hike and ride bikes.

 

Audra Cordell | audra@springwaterschool.com

I am so thrilled to be joining the Springwater community as the 1st grade teacher this year! I am an enthusiastic gardener, scientist and educator and feel as though the Springwater community embodies so many of the important core values that I feel are essential in life and education.

I grew up in rural Northern California at the end of a dirt road. My childhood was filled with scraped knees, climbing trees, catching lizards, collecting snails and avoiding going inside whenever possible. I was perhaps a bit of a wild child, and when my family moved to the Puget Sound area, I thought my life was over because of all the rain! However, I quickly learned that the right outdoor gear makes all the difference. I continued to explore as a child and youth in such beautiful places as Mt. Rainier National Park, the Olympic mountains and along the beaches of the Puget Sound. My love of the outdoors was cemented by the many backpacking and kayaking trips I took as a high schooler and young adult.

In college I studied both education and the sciences and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Portland State University. After college, I moved back north to Seattle and worked for six years as a geologist for a geotechnical and environmental engineering firm. I spent almost every day outside and loved it – but something was missing. So, I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of being a teacher and went back to school to get my Master of Arts in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College. After graduating, I worked as a K-1 teacher in Edmonds, WA and most recently taught 5th grade here in Oregon City at Gaffney Lane Elementary.

Nowadays, I continue to enjoy the outdoors in many ways including regenerative gardening, hiking, paddle boarding, skiing, long family walks and running. Spending quality time with my family is very important to me. My husband and I have two wonderful children, a second grader and a two-year-old. One of our favorite pastimes is playing overly complicated board games! We also have a goofy dog, Hazel who we spend a lot of time playing with, and six lovely backyard chickens! In my spare time you can often find me with dirty hands in my yard and a pile of plants I’m trying to make room for, or my nose in a book.

 

 Zach Bocarsley | zach@springwaterschool.com

I am passionate about traveling, exploring, music, and always learning. I studied Psychology and Sociology at the University of Oregon. I never enjoyed school very much growing up and never expected myself to pursue a career in education. It wasn’t until I worked with struggling youth as a wilderness therapy instructor that I realized that school and learning can and should be fun and engaging. Since, it has been my goal to make school a place my students enjoy and look forward to attending each day. 

I like teaching at Springwater because this school encourages teachers to explore topics they are passionate about, and allows students to learn through hands-on experiences. Additionally, this tight-knit community promotes students from all grades to spend time with one another and help each other out. 

 

 

 

 

Zoey Bourgazas | zoey@springwaterschool.com

My name is Zoey and I am so thrilled to be joining the Springwater team in our 3rd grade Salmon room. I was born and raised in NE Portland. My mom, dad, brother and I spent many summers in Greece visiting my dads side of the family and traveling around the islands. That is where my love for travel and exploration was born. My passions also include playing the drums, music, hiking and backpacking in the Pacific Northwest, and cooking. I studied Communication studies and English in my undergrad and went on to pursue my Masters in Teaching in 2018. I can’t wait to begin the 2021-22 school year with all of the amazing staff and students at Springwater. 

 

 

 

Emese Schloegl | emese@springwaterschool.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jen Wozniak | jen@springwaterschool.com

I have been teaching at Springwater since 2008. For most of that time, I’ve taught fourth grade, and several years ago I added K-5 Art to my weekly schedule. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pacific Northwest College of Art, where I studied Printmaking, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College. Before becoming a classroom teacher, I taught with NatureBridge in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Olympic National Park, and with Caldera Arts in Oregon. I recently became the first Educator in Residence at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, where I developed a K-5 field study curriculum. I enjoy guiding students to attend to what is easily overlooked, nurture relationships with place, and seek out nature as the ultimate teacher. Working at Springwater allows me to teach in a way that’s grounded in nature, the senses, and inquiry –  every single day. When not at school, I love being outdoors with my husband Owen and our son Lee, whether floating the John Day River, skiing on Mt. Hood, foraging for nettles at a local park, or tending our garden in Portland. 

 

Amanda Schwanz | amanda@springwaterschool.com

I have been at Springwater since Fall of 2016 and have loved it, I don’t see myself teaching anywhere else. I love the community here that encourages one another, helps without hesitation, and inspires creativity. Originally I got into teaching because it felt the natural pathway for me to go, coming from a teaching family. Before teaching I was in the science field, so Springwater is a wonderful fit for me. When I’m not teaching I am a busy wife and mom of four. We spend a lot of time together swimming, hiking, and exploring the outdoors. I also love creating in my craft room at home.

 

Dani Ainson | dani@springwaterschool.com

When I was in graduate school, earning my Masters Degree in Teaching, a professor of mine asked me if I would consider driving a little farther outside of Portland for a student teaching position at an Environmental Sciences Charter School.  At first, I said no, because after taking a look at the old Dodge truck that barely made it up the hill to Concordia University, I was certain that I would end up on the side of the road.  Nevertheless, my old truck and I took a drive out on Springwater Road one late-summer day.  Mt Hood greeted us, just as I turned into Springwater School’s parking lot.  I fell in love with the school then, and am so lucky to continue to work here now!  

My name is Dani, and I have been teaching in various ways for about a decade.  I am originally from the salty shores of New England, where I grew up navigating coastal waters with my family.  When it came time to go to college, I chose the gorgeous campus of James Madison University (mostly because it was rated #3 in the country for Best Food).  There, I joined the Ultimate Frisbee Team, and traveled throughout Appalachia and down into the southern states to play competitive tournaments with my teammates.  I left the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2010 when I graduated with a degree in English Literature, and a minor in Womens’ Studies and Feminist Theory.  

After college, I lived on my family’s boat in the harbor of Block Island while serving at the island’s most popular restaurant.  At the end of that summer, I had cash in my pocket, and set off on a 12,000 mile road trip around the perimeter of the United States, in a Chevy Suburban with 3 of my close friends.  During this trip, I visited an old Frisbee teammate of mine in Portland, Oregon, and really have not looked back since!  Portland was so beautiful, and was shockingly “green” to an East-Coaster.  I felt like I was in a magical rainforest.  

Ten years later, I am still here, and loving each moment that I get to spend in this beautiful land.  My teaching career started when I taught wilderness survival skills at Trackers Earth, and has continued to grow at Springwater, where I have now taught Music, Middle School, and even Kindergarten!  I feel at home here, and love using my knowledge of literature and language arts in the classroom, and sharing good books and stories with my students.  

When I am not teaching, I love to build things in my woodshop, grow delicious food in my garden, and get out on the water whenever possible!  Fishing the rivers here has been a challenge for a kid who grew up ocean fishing, but I still give it a go each season!

 

Troy Frystak | troy@springwaterschool.com

I grew up in Kailua, on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. I enjoyed riding my bike around town, going bodyboarding at the local surf break, hiking the trails around our area, playing soccer, and working with youth. I was a Junior Leader for Summer Fun, and at 15 I started coaching youth soccer. I coached numerous rec and club teams. I loved working with kids and seeing their improvement and the fun they had. 

I recieved an International Baccalaureate and High School Diploma from Hawaii Loa College Academy. In 1986, I came to Oregon to attend Lewis and Clark College. I took up playing volleyball and organized and coached a men’s club team. 

I graduated and got a job doing sales and marketing for a small screen printing company. The company was located next to Tigard Swim Center and looked out on the soccer field. Every day, while I was working, I would look out and see young students showing up for soccer practice. I realized that I wanted to be out there with them rather than in an office selling t-shirts, so I started coaching and eventually quit my job to get my Master’s in Teaching from Pacific University. My first day in the classroom confirmed my suspicions. This was the place for me. 

At Pacific University, I had a Science Professor who challenged me to get students outside to learn science and another professor who challenged me to integrate science with reading. That year, I read the Ecological Mystery, Who Really Killed Cock Robin, out loud to all my classes. We took weekly walks to the local park and took water samples from the Tualatin River. My love of field studies was born. 

In 1996, I moved to South Pasadena, California, to be closer to Kris Collins. I worked for 8 years at Huntington Middle School in San Marino teaching 6th-grade science, math, pe, and 8th grade math. I also coached middle school soccer, volleyball, basketball, and track. I also became the Girls Varsity Soccer Coach at San Marino High School. After 4 years, I started coaching at Pasadena Polytechnic High School as Assistant Varsity Soccer Coach and Varsity Boys Soccer Coach. I was married to Kris in 1999 and our son, Sawyer, was born in 2003. Teaching science was my passion and I was always looking for ways to integrate ecology and the outside world into their urban setting. We could not travel to a nearby river because all the rivers in the area are concrete washes, so I got a grant to build a pond outside the classroom. That became our field study location.  

In 2004, we decided to move to Chiang Mai, Thailand where my wife was born and still had a lot of family. I taught 6th grade in an elementary classroom at Nakorn Payap International School. I also coached soccer and Boys Varsity Volleyball. At NIS, I used science to anchor most of my units and we often spent time outside on our large campus studying ecology. I helped start a Roots and Shoots Club and we had campaigns to help stray dogs and reduce plastic bag use. 

In 2008, I was looking for a new challenge and a move back to the states and I started my search with charter schools in Oregon. I found a newly established charter school with a science and outdoor focus. They were expanding to 6th grade and came a visited and saw my first Community Meeting. I started at Springwater in 2008. I have taught a 4th/5th grade blend, 6th/7th grade blend, and I currently teach 6-8 science and Capstone. I love our students and the passion they show for science, ecology, and sustainability. 

These days I spend my free time riding my mountain bike, playing soccer, watching Sawyer play volleyball, coaching volleyball, and cooking Thai food.

 

 

Shelley Radcliffe | shelley@springwaterschool.com

I’ve always been drawn to teaching. Initially, I thought I wanted to be an English teacher because of how much I love reading and writing. However, while studying at Western Oregon State, I found myself accruing more Math credits than English credits; mostly because the Math classes seemed to have more available seats than the English classes did. Eventually I began to see the beauty in mathematics and I was hooked. Upon graduation, the professors in the Math Department gave me recognition as the Best Math Student of the Year.  I’m sure that’s because I would camp out in the room down the hall from their offices to study; I had lots of questions to ask them and liked to have them handy!

My first position was in Halsey, Oregon teaching 7th/8th grade at their Jr/Sr High School. I spent my summers working on my graduate degree in Mathematics Education at Oregon State University.  Those were fun summers! I would commute (30 miles round trip) every day on my bicycle. I still remember the sweet fragrance of the strawberry fields along Hwy 20, and the stops I would make along the route home to linger in the cooling mists of the irrigation sprinklers on extra hot afternoons. 

Next, I joined the community at Lake Oswego Junior High, where I met Greg. We were hired there the same year! I didn’t just teach Math during my years there. I also did some coaching: volleyball, basketball, and track. After getting in the nice round number of 10 teaching years under my belt, I pushed the pause button to dedicate my time to becoming a mom.

My husband and I bought a fitness center and I was able to have more control over how much time I could be home.  That was so much fun that I decided to homeschool! I treasure those years and enjoyed supporting my children in their activities: music, gymnastics, wrestling, football, pole vault, ballet,  4-H (equestrian) and OHSET.

Now that the fitness center is sold and the homeschooling is done, I’m coming back to what has always drawn me. Teaching! I’m excited to be teaching in the classroom again, and excited to be a Springwater.

 

Kristen Mann | kristen@springwaterschool.com

I am thrilled to be a part of the Springwater community this year!  I am originally from Maryland and attended Towson University near Baltimore.  I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary and Middle Special Education.  When I first visited the Pacific Northwest, I fell in love with the natural beauty and the friendliness of the people.  For the past 8 years, I have taught in Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver.  I have taught at both the elementary and middle school level. I am big on inclusive teaching and working with students’ strengths and interests.  I believe we all learn differently and at our own pace and my job is to help all students succeed.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, camping and hiking with my family.  I live with my husband and our 20 month old daughter.   We love spending time on the water together or camping in our RV. I am also pretty proud of my backyard garden!  I love learning new things and look forward to working with your child this year.

 

 

 

Tony Miceli | tony@springwaterschool.com

My full name is Anthony Miceli but you all know me better as Mr. Tony. I’m a National Certified Counselor & I earned my Masters in Counselor Education from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. What inspired me to become a counselor is years of teaching swimming & martial arts lessons. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to make a career out of helping people become more confident, happy & healthy as individuals. I am originally from Brookfield, Wisconsin and my family is very spread out across the states. I live with my partner Amanda; a pediatric nurse, and our three furry animals: Princess Leia, Crickett & Lilly. I moved to Oregon because I love nature, mountains, photography, fishing & hiking and this state has such a large variety to do all those things. Traveling is also a big passion of mine. I made a promise to myself long ago to travel somewhere new at least once a year every year no matter what. The reason I love working at Springwater is because this school community really values helping students grow through a holistic mindset. This enables me to proactively help more students at greater depths and in more diverse ways through my classroom, group & individual counseling sessions. 

 

Mark Lapides | mark@springwaterschool.com

Hello, I am so happy to have found my way to this amazing school community.

I started my teaching career in 1997 as a kindergarten – second grade teacher in the Pribilof Island School District, which is in the middle of the Bearing Sea. Since then, I have worked in a wide variety of diverse communities including San Francisco, Oakland, Canby, and Wilsonville. Along the way, I have learned a few things: meet students where they are, celebrate growth, collaboration is messy (and essential), try to listen (even when you think you know the answer), be proactive, and take the first step (even when you are scared to do so).

One of my all time favorite writers is David Whyte. Here is an excerpt from his poem Start Close In:

Start close in,
don’t take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step
you don’t want to take.

I look forward to getting to know you!

 

Jenny Wetzel | jenny@springwaterschool.com

My name is Jenny and I joined Springwater School in the summer of 2020 as the new Garden Coordinator. My career has included stints in both education and agriculture and I am thrilled to be combining those interests together by teaching students in the school garden. I have worked as a wildlife biologist in Alaska studying seabirds, a farm hand and agricultural researcher on five organic vegetable farms, and as a middle school science teacher for five years. I earned a degree in biology, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and a Master of Science in Horticulture from OSU. I also grow vegetables for the Clackamas Community College Organic Farming Program. I take pride in being a lifelong learner and am always excited to try new things. I hope to share this curiosity with the Springwater students through experiments and projects in the school garden.

In my free time I love to hike, ski, and grow a wild garden. I am learning to play the violin and always have a half finished knitting creation and home improvement project keeping me busy on the weekends. I can’t wait to meet all of the students in person, and I am feeling lucky to have landed in such a vibrant, engaged, and connected learning community.

 

Julia Mcleod | julia@springwaterschool.com