2023 WVHS New Staff

Image created by the author.
Image created by the author.
Image created by the author.
2023 WVHS New Staff

In any given school across the country, teacher turnover is standard practice as teachers retire, move, and find other opportunities. Teachers often change subjects, schools, and grade levels to meet the needs of the students in the community.

This year with the addition of Riverside High School, the newest high school in the district, many vacant positions at Wilsonville were filled with promising new teachers. Although challenges come with adding new staff members, the Wilsonville community is welcoming them with open arms. 

In her fifth year at Wilsonville High School, Principal Kelly Schmidt is pumped for a new school year. Principal Schmidt affirms “I get so excited when I hire people.. they’re choosing us as much as we’re choosing them.” These new teachers are already creating an amazing environment for Wilsonville learners, and we are grateful that they chose our school.

Principal Schmidt has a very positive outlook on the new hires, explaining that “A lot of the people we hire have been very successful in other places, so we’re making sure that they feel like they can right away come in and make a difference”

Regardless of age, the first few weeks at a new school can be daunting. Throughout the rest of the school year, let’s do our best to welcome these new teachers and help them understand why Wilsonville is a great place to learn and teach. 

The following articles will help you learn a little bit more about these fantastic people who have joined us at Wilsonville this year!

Anna Raschko poses for the camera with her puppy! (Anna Raschko)
Anna Raschko: Math Teacher

Anna Raschko is one of many new teachers here at Wilsonville High School. She is teaching math this year, specifically advanced algebra and trigonometry, but hopes to teach pre-calculus in the future. In the past, Raschko has mainly worked with sophomores. this year, however, she is mostly teaching juniors. She looks forward to seeing how different the two grade levels are. 

Raschko was not disappointed with her first impression of Wilsonville High School. She loved how everyone here was super friendly and nice, and enjoyed the way that it was a different feel than the last schools she worked at.

In the past, Raschko has worked at both Lakeridge High School and Tualatin High School. She worked at Lakeridge for six years, and at Tualatin for one. However, she loves the atmosphere and community here at Wilsonville High School and thinks it is a good mix between the past two schools she has worked at. 

Raschko announces “I hope to be here for a long time and to get to know the kids and hope that they come back and say hi next year, and you know just get to know everybody.” Her goals are to leave a mark and become a better part of our school community. 

Anna Raschko went to Seattle Pacific University for an undergrad. At first, she started with engineering as her major but soon switched to finance. In the end, she decided that teaching was the best route for her, and got her masters in teaching from Whitworth University. 

Outside of school, Raschko enjoys anything that involves being outside. She loves to go hiking and skiing, and she even played tennis for Seattle Pacific University. This upcoming spring, Raschko will be coaching Wilsonville’s boys’ tennis.

Overall, Anna Raschko is excited for her first year here at Wilsonville High School, and hopes for an amazing year!

Mrs Crapper sits happily in her teaching nook, where were classroom is. She is excited for the upcoming days she can teach. (Lily Arzie)
Mrs. Crapper

Wilsonville High School has recently acquired a new addition to its staff. All areas of academia will be immensely fulfilled with the impressive line up of new teachers. One teacher in particular, Mrs. Crapper, is taking the role of an algebra teacher here at WHS, and she’s been grateful for the school’s emphasis on welcoming new staff.

Mrs. Crapper has always been a mathematical enthusiast, valuing the qualities of the “patterns and relationships between things.” Math allows her to “take different sets of knowledge and apply it to a problem.” Her passion for the subject will likely strike an interest in her students.

The 2023-2024 school year is Mrs. Crapper’s first full year teaching high school students. She had previously taught them in temporary circumstances, and this will be her first year teaching primarily high school. Mrs. Crapper has noticed the examination of mathematics over the formalities of acting as a student in a classroom setting, and she values the students’ ability to “learn how to do the math.”

Establishing a job in unfamiliar territory can be daunting, but Mrs. Crapper expressed the overwhelming kindness that she has not only received from her fellow teachers but also from the students. In her previous experience with students, she has “had very few students thank [her]” following a class, but she has noticed an abundance of “thank you’s” and she has reciprocated their kindness. 

With an impressive amount of experience in her career, Mrs. Crapper’s observation about teaching is that “[she] can be [herself] and people would appreciate that, versus being someone else.” For Mrs. Crapper, there are several key components that gravitate toward the joy she finds in her job.

Mrs. Crapper is looking forward to accompanying high schoolers in their mathematical endeavors, and anticipating the unique characteristics that will come about.

Suzie Lawson : Athletic Secretary

As the 2023-2024 school year begins, Wilsonville experienced a rapid increase in new teachers and administrative staff. With many new rules, expectations, and norms at Wilsonville, the returning staff has been working hard to help the new staff members adjust to Wilsonville High School.

Suzie Lawson has taken the role of Athletic Secretary. Lawson, who previously worked at Lakeridge High School, said “[I] had a great first impression of Wilsonville! I knew of their amazing athletic history and was excited for the opportunity,”

Much like any new staff member, Lawson looks forward to meeting all of the new students and staff and creating relationships with Wilsonville’s athletes. Lawson will work directly with Josh Davis, our Athletic Director and Assistant Principal.

In her free time, Lawson enjoys running, gardening, traveling, and hanging out with her two big dogs!

Lawson will certainly have her hands full with Wilsonville’s athletics. Lawson will help with rosters, eligibility, game schedules, and anything and everything involving Wilsonville’s athletes.

Athletic Secretaries’ work often goes unnoticed. Lawson will be putting in a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure all of our sports teams are being run smoothly and safely. She will also ensure that game schedules are up and handle the dreaded task of rescheduling which many schools are facing due to referee shortages.

If you have any questions at all regarding athletics, make sure to swing by and visit Suzie Lawson in the main office!

I knew of Wilsonville’s great athletic history and was excited for this opportunity.

— Suzie Lawson

If you want to learn about Mr. Esqueda, check out the 2023 New Teachers article. Photo provided by Kallen Gutridge. (Kallen Gutridge)
Wilsonville High welcomes Mr. Esqueda

Mr. Michael Esqueda is a new teacher here at Wilsonville High this year. The new teacher is fresh to the state of Oregon, and he is looking to make an impact on the community. Mr. Esqueda, when asked how he likes Wilsonville High School, enthusiastically replied “I’m loving it!”. 

He came to us from Ridgeview High School in Bakersfield, CA. Esqueda emphasized being excited about getting out of the state of California, more specifically Bakersfield.

In a recent interview with WBN Staff Writer Harrison Halstead, Harrison presented him with the question, Why WHS? Mr. Esqueda replied, “I heard that it was a great school. Great academics, great athletics… Most importantly it aligns with how I think education should be.”

Mr. Esqueda this year will be filling the shoes and replacing Mrs. Joy Robinette, teaching AP US History, as well as World History. Mr. Esqueda was also excited to announce that he will be the leading advisor for the sophomore class of 2026. 

Mr. Esqueda mentioned, “The thing I am excited for is to dive deep into the culture here.”  He brings a bright sense of humor, enthusiasm, and experience to Wilsonville High. 

Being a couple of weeks new to the state of Oregon, Mr. Esqueda mentioned he has no family or friends here yet, so he will be able to contribute extra time to our school. Esqueda, just a few days into the school year, has already been seen at Wilsonville sporting events sacrificing his free time to support students here in Wilsonville. Mr. Esqueda will also be joining the highly touted and successful Wilsonville basketball coaching staff. He will take over as the new freshman coach in the upcoming season.

With room to learn about the state of Oregon and Wilsonville, Esqueda will quickly become an important and valuable figure in our hallways. 

This is a picture of Mr. Krause in his class. You can find him in the weight room and gyms
Adam Krause balances brains and gains

Wilsonville High School has undergone a massive hiring spree this summer. Following the nationwide teacher shortage in 2021 after lockdown, teachers have never been in such high demand. Wilsonville has taken in a massive amount of new staff this year, hiring 26 new teachers. One of these new additions is Mr. Krause.

Mr. Krause is one of the new PE and Weight training teachers joining the Wildcats. He was inspired to start teaching by teachers he had while in school. These teachers were an example and inspired him to become a part of the next generation of teacher role models.

Having originally wanted to go down the route of physical therapy, he is a person who is very knowledgeable about physiology and personal health. After realizing physical therapy was helping patients only a couple of times per patient, he decided to become a teacher to help people over a longer period of time.

In his sophomore year of college, his interest in clinical physical therapy lost its appeal and he switched his plans to become a teacher. He then got the chance to take a class that was an introduction to teaching physical education, and from there he fell in love with it.

A lot of teachers have “one big goal” that drives them as a teacher, with Mr. Krause’s being,  “To have my students be better than what I had as a student and learn from experiences so they don’t have to go through the same trials and hiccups that I went through. So I can try to give them that chance to be successful and better than what I was.”

Overall Adam Krause is an excellent addition to the Wildcat team, with his knowledge, skills, and drive to be an excellent role model for students and staff. Welcome to the Wildcats Mr. Krause!

Mrs. Chulo shows her school spirit by wearing her WHS T shirt! She has loved her first few weeks here! (Dena Kaufman)
Lisa Chulo is your cheerleader

This is Mrs. Chulo’s first year at Wilsonville High School and she could not be more excited to join the community. She is a part of the learning specialist team here at WHS and works mainly with freshmen and sophomores, however, she is more than happy to support anyone who needs help! 

Everyone has a teacher or mentor who has made an impact on their academic career. For Chulo, that was Mrs. Effler. “She was the one who made me want to be a teacher”, Chulo recalls. Thanks to this support, helping students figure out their future after high school is something Chulo is really passionate about!

High school can be a very stressful period of time for some people especially when you get to be an upperclassmen. Chulo recognizes that and strives to make it known to students that “you don’t have to have it all figured out right now!” Chulo enjoys spending time with students while they navigate through high school. 

When she isn’t helping students in school, Chulo enjoys spending her time outdoors. Her main hobbies include rock climbing, skiing, backpacking, and paddle boarding. When asked to describe herself using one word it was no surprise when she picked “outgoing”. 

Wilsonville High School does a fantastic job welcoming new members into the community and Chulo’s first impressions do nothing but support that. “Everyone is so nice! I feel happy to be here,” she admits. Along with other new staff members, Chulo is excited to be a Wilsonville Wildcat! 

Mrs. Chulo is whole-heartedly on the side of the students. She wants everyone to “have fun” and “try to enjoy something every day.”  If you pass her in the hall, make sure to smile and say “hi” or pay her a visit in room 98! She would love to hear from you!

Ms. Kenzie in her new classroom! (Logan Stelle)
Ms. Kenzie English teacher

There were 27 new staff this year at Wilsonville High School, one of those teachers being 9th and 11th grade English teacher Ms. Kezie Bezates. Ms. Kezie was a teacher in training last year, helping out in 9th-grade English classes for Mrs. Heaton, before applying to be a teacher here this year.

When asked what her favorite grade to teach was, a difficult question for most teachers to answer, she responded “I enjoy both for different reasons, The 11th graders I’m able to have a lot of deep discussions with them, and the 9th graders they are so brand new and excited about being in high school that it’s such a fun different energy.”

Ms. Kenzie enjoys teaching so much, but are there times she doesn’t like it as much? When asked about her favorite time of day to teach, she said “Personally I like teaching earlier classes, however, my students do better in the later classes so I like them both for different reasons. I do better in the morning, I’m more on my game, but my students are more on their game later.”

Do you ever think about why people choose the jobs they pick? Ms. Kenzie has always had a passion for reading, so when asked what she would do if she wasn’t a teacher she said, “I would own a used bookstore with a cafe and a smoothie bar.” However, her love for reading took her another route, to be an English teacher.

Ms. Kenzie was asked what made her want to become a teacher and go down the education path, she replied “So I chose this as a second career, it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done. I love hanging out with students. I think they’re the most interesting people out there. I like the relationships and I like that no day is the same ever.”

Most of all, Ms. Kenzie loves teaching so much because of the bond she gets to develop with these kids, she spoke about this saying “My favorite thing about working at Wilsonville is the relationships I’ve built with my students, 100%”

Wilsonville High Schools’ new addition: Ms. Brunken! (Lindsey Brunken)
Wilsonville Highschool’s new mental health specialist, Ms. Brunken!

Lindsey Brunken joins Wilsonville to help build a comfortable environment for students. She is the new mental health specialist in Wilsonville, located in the counseling office. To find her, you can look for her office in the Counseling Center. 

Growing up, Ms. Brunken lived locally and attended Tualatin High School. After high school she didn’t immediately pursue mental health practices, instead, she went to Montana State where she studied film and photography. This put her into an ambitious line of work in Hollywood. She worked for producers and casting directors on documentaries and TV shows. Lindsey uses “The Bachelor” as an example for one of the shows she worked on.

After working in Hollywood and living in LA, she found herself being overwhelmed by people being unkind and felt as though the world was crumbling around her. Lindsey felt discouraged because she couldn’t do anything about it. After this realization, she wanted to make a change in her life and go into mental health to be able to help others.

Ms. Brunken went to Pacific University to pursue this dream and got her master’s degree. She felt that the mental health field would be a good change because of the work-life balance and to help others live their best lives. 

Ms. Brunken’s first impression of the school is that she loves the students of Wilsonville High School, claiming “I haven’t met a single student yet that I don’t completely love.”

She thinks that working with teenagers is fun compared to working only with adults where adults have already experienced so much whereas teenagers have so much hope and drive to contribute to the world. It is inspiring for her to be working with the students.

Acknowledging that school can be strenuous, Ms. Brunkens wants students to know that there are resources available. The biggest goal for her is that when students feel anxious or depressed, she wants to be there along with the school counselors to be a safe space for people to come to work out anything going on in their lives. There is a lot of opportunity for people to get mental health treatment here at Wilsonville High School.

Ms. Breckley is a new Spanish teacher located in room 119. Here she’s getting interviewed on what it’s like existing and being new. (Ethan Spisak)
Hola, Ms. Breckley

Hola, this is Sarah Breckley! Ms. Breckley is brand new to Oregon, moving here all the way over from Wisconsin. She’s the newest recruit to our Spanish department and she is thrilled to be here. 

Ms. Breckley’s love of Spanish started to grow early on in her life. She grew up in Southern California where she had a best friend named Yessica. Yessica’s family spoke a lot of Spanish that Ms. Breckley never really understood, her desire to understand was the starting point of her life-long intrigue. 

The nail in the coffin was her 9th-grade school year. She had started a Spanish class for the first time, and that was the moment she knew she was going to be a Spanish teacher.

Now, so many years later and under her belt she’s got 15 years of teaching experience, now onto her 16th year teaching. She believes that being a teacher is a truly joyous job, and that “being a happy person is part of my job.” 

She hopes that her classroom can become a positive environment, one where every student, no matter their skill level, is and feels like a Spanish speaker. She wants students to enter and exit her room with a feeling of wonder. Feelings of curiosity about what that day of learning will bring and what the next will be like. 

As an outdoors lover, she really enjoys getting outside and camping, biking, taking photos, and visiting lakes or rivers. Especially alongside her husband, Greg, and her labrador, Boca. Her time spent with loved ones is a meaningful part of her life, “any kind of family time is just top-notch.”

Moving here has been a terrifying experience for Ms. Breckley, one with many ups and downs ending with an AirBnB landing. Though terrifying, the journey of moving here has been one with an incredible award. 

One of Ms. Breckley’s most welcomed discoveries has been finding that the WHS Spanish department is the warmest and most caring place she’s worked at. The staff are super positive and love to work together and support each other through learning, rather than pulling away from one another.

Ms. Breckley is ready to have an extraordinary year, one with whimsy and wonder as students will hopefully, happily attend her class.

Student teacher Noah Gardner pictured in the Band/Orchestra office room (John D)
Wilsonville Band and Orchestra welcomes new student teacher, Mr. Gardner

Noah Gardner is a new addition to our Wilsonville community this year! A West Linn high school alumnus, Gardner is excited to be a student teacher for Wilsonville’s band and orchestra programs. His rigorous background in music has helped prepare him for his future career.

In the summer of his sophomore year in high school, Gardner transferred to West Linn and quickly bonded with the band director, Kevin Egan. He played in the band and symphony orchestra throughout high school.

During his time in high school, Gardner played with the Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP), slowly rising through the ranks. Gardner voiced gratitude for his musical upbringing, stating “I’ve been really fortunate in the musical journey that I’ve had,” and expressed excitement for the upcoming school year.

In college, he played with various music groups in the area. Gardner concluded that he wanted to go into teaching music as soon as he graduated high school. “I never really knew of anything else I wanted to do, and once I found music… I just kind of took off.”

When asked about who inspires him as a music teacher-in-learning, Gardner pointed to Davies. “Davies allowed me to come in and hang out… but yeah, just again been really fortunate to have been surrounded by really, really excellent musicians and really excellent educators.”

Mr Gardner brings a fresh pair of ears and more additional music knowledge to Wilsonville as a student teacher. Coincidentally, he studied under the same college professor as Mr. Davies! Gardner explained, “I see the mannerisms that he used in Davies and then I see them in myself as well.”

Gardner communicated that he is especially thrilled to work with the Chamber Orchestra this year to enhance his skills as a music teacher, specifically in an orchestral setting. When asked about what he’s most excited about, Gardner promptly said, “[Working with] the Chamber Orchestra. You guys are so good.”

Furthermore, he is excited to work with the brand new Concert Band I, so he can improve on things he needs to work on. “I’ve…again just been given the opportunity to get really good at the things that I’m not great at, which is beginning band and orchestra.”

If he could choose a new symphony orchestra instrument to learn, he said he would select either the oboe or English horn. “I’m gonna stay in the wind section because strings terrify me. Probably like an oboe or English horn. I think it’s so cool…and so virtuosic.”

Mr. Gardner has been an extraordinary asset to the band and orchestra departments this year. Wilsonville is so lucky to have him!

Mrs. Luedtke working in her office at Wilsonville High School. She had previously met with fellow WVHS counselor, Andre Abraham. (Mia )
Dacia Luedtke: Counselor

Dacia Luedtke is a new counselor this year at Wilsonville High School. Even though she has only worked at Wilsonville this year, she has made an effort to connect with her students and the rest of the counseling staff. 

Before working at Wilsonville, Mrs. Luedtke worked at Bozeman High School in Montana. Eventually, she decided to move to Oregon to be closer to her family. When looking for a job, she sought after a school district that mirrored the one she worked at in Montana. She felt Wilsonville resembled many aspects of her previous school and an additional list of positives. She explains that the students she has interacted with have been kind, respectful, and grateful, especially when working out schedule changes. 

From a young age, Mrs. Luedtke was aware she wanted to pursue a career in education since many of her family members were teachers. However, in college, Mrs. Luedtke attended a class entitled “Educational Physiology.” After taking this course, Luedtke’s interest in the physiological aspect of school heightened. She soon shifted her focus and took the steps to work toward becoming a school counselor. Luedtke states, “I was interested in the emotional aspect of working with students and went into a school counseling graduate program.” 

Although Mrs. Luedtke spends the majority of her time in school supporting students, when she’s outside of school, she enjoys singing and has participated in adult choirs. In addition, she likes spending time outdoors, attending concerts, spending time with her two dogs, and exploring the Portland area. 

Regarding her future goals and plans for Wilsonville, Luedtke explains she wishes to become more involved in school activities establish where she fits into the Wilsonville team, and help aid the current school counseling program. She continues to support students and foster a relationship with the WVHS staff.  

Ms. Petroliunas capturing the moment in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Photo taken by photographer at the restort. (Carlos Figuoera)
Ann Petroliunas: TOSA

We want all students to feel safe and like school is for them. A goal would be to not have that be in one place or a few places, but everywhere at Wilsonville High School.

— Ann Petroliunas


Ann Petroliunas, preferably Ann, is a dedicated educator who plays a pivotal role in our school community. With the title of TOSA (Teacher On Special Assignment), she operates to ensure that all students have access to an adaptable education that accommodates their needs, even beyond the regular school hours. Ann’s commitment extends to assisting not only students but also their families and fellow teachers, fostering an environment of inclusivity and support.

One of the standout features of Ann’s approach to education is her innovative use of various elements, including art and music, to enhance students’ comprehension of subjects. She understands that traditional methods may not resonate with every learner, and she strives to create engaging and dynamic educational experiences that cater to diverse learning styles.

Ann’s impressive educational journey reflects her dedication to lifelong learning. She completed her undergraduate studies at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, a master’s degree at National Louis University in Chicago, and an MFA at Portland State, showcasing her commitment to both the arts and education.

Ann’s experience in the field of education reflects her love for her work. She had spent 10 years at Oregon City High School. Prior to that, she dedicated a decade of her career to Illinois. With two decades in, she’s more than excited for the years to come!

Beyond school hours, Ann Petroliunas is a multifaceted individual. She is an avid reader. When she’s not immersed in books or the classroom, Ann finds adventure in the great outdoors. Camping and surfing are her favorite activities, often shared with her loyal three-year-old canine companion.

As we embark on a new academic year, Ms. Petroliunas is eager to empower students to succeed. Her dedication to our school’s mission and her unwavering support for our sports teams exemplify her commitment to nurturing accomplished individuals.

Mr. Sixtos working at his desk at Wilsonville High School. (Ashley Sheirbon)
Raul Sixtos: Attendance Assistant

As we kick off the 2023-2024 school year students are noticing new faces in the classroom and the offices. Many students come into school late and when they do they have to stop by the attendance desk to be greeted and get a late slip.

This school year students are being greeted by a new face, Raul Sixtos. Mr. Sixtos is not new to Oregon by any means; he went to Sherwood High School when he was a teenager. Mr. Sixtos says that Wilsonville is “much more unified” and that it is “very different” than when he went to Sherwood. This is Mr. Sixtos’s first year working in a school district, he “saw this job opportunity” and now is a part of our wonderful staff at WHS.

Mr. Sixtos is one of the first faces you see if you come into school late. As the attendance clerk, he manages all of the records for students on whether they are late or not and if they were excused or not. He is the backbone of one of our systems here at Wilsonville and if there is something that needs to be dealt with in regards to attendance he is the one to go to.

While being a new staff member Mr. Sixtos hasn’t felt like an outsider and has been welcomed into our school with open arms. The staff that have been with us for a while have “been very welcoming” to Mr. Sixtos and he says that “they give me gifts, they give me candy, they give me t-shirts” to make him feel like a part of the wildcat family.

Attendance can be an issue within a high school; seniors with senioritis, students who just can’t wake up in the mornings, and boring 1st periods, with all these factors students will be more inclined to skip their classes and have an absence or tardy marked in their attendance record. Mr. Sixtos says that “a lot of students need to take it more seriously” and “just show up on time”. Attendance is important and students should come to school and be ready to learn.

Students feeling welcomed and wanted at school has a huge impact on students coming to school because they feel like they belong and that they are wanted in the building. Mr. Sixtos wants to “make the students feel like they should come to school” he wants the students to feel welcomed into the school and create a positive experience when entering the school.

The attendance system is managed and run by our new staff member Raul Sixtos, so when you come into school late, or have an attendance problem make him feel welcomed into the school like how he wants you to feel welcomed.

Ms. Pattishall posing for a picture
Ms. Pattishall posing for a picture
New staff interview with Ms. Pattishall

Starting in 2023, Ms. Pattishall is one of the newest members of the staff here at Wilsonville High School. Ms. Pattishall has had 7 previous years of experience before her start here at Wilsonville, with all 7 of those years being at Rosemont Ridge Middle School in West Linn.

Ms. Pattishall says that the community is very similar at both Rosemont and Wilsonville because they are both very welcoming and it makes her “Very excited to meet new students and get to know them better.” This year will be quite different than previous years because it is the first time since her first year teaching that she will be welcoming almost exclusively new students.

Although she is welcoming a mostly new class she does have 2 students following her over from Rosemont. Ms. Pattishal is very excited about creating new relationships with staff as well. “The moment I walked in the door I felt immediately welcomed,” she also mentioned, which is another reason she is so excited about these new connections with staff.

The last thing that Ms. Pattishall mentioned was that she loves how the ideas of staff and admin align perfectly with her ideas making things better for students and putting them in places to succeed. Ms. Pattishall seems very upbeat and excited to get things going with the school year, even with it being so early right now. The ways that Wilsonville does things go along with everything she expresses.

The way she talked about relationships with students instilled confidence in her teaching fellow students at the school because she exuded care and very much wanted people to succeed. As previously mentioned those relationships are what bring her joy as a teacher. The remarks that she ended with were how the attitudes of fellow staff made her feel welcome from the moment she walked in the door, and that welcoming feeling is what Wilsonville is all about.

Mrs. Willard, photographed by Grace Kelso. Making sure students know where to find her, she poses by her office sign. (Grace Kelso)
Welcome to Wilsonville Mrs. Willard!

Walking through the front entrance of Wilsonville High School, to the right, across the smiling face of the Book Keeper, you’ll stumble upon the grand College and Career Center, the new home of Mrs. Willard. 

As the students of Wilsonville High School welcome a new member of the Wildcat family, it’s important to know a few things about Mrs. Willard. Where she’s from, for example, is one of these most pressing questions. Willard describes herself as “Brand spankin’ new” being nearly five weeks into the job. “Before this, I was the assistant librarian at Athey Creek for seven years,” Willard explains, describing her past. “So there might be some students here who are seeing me in the hallways and thinking ‘Wow she looks really familiar!’” 

Mrs. Willard embarked on the trailblazing path of a College and Career counselor after having five children who attended Wilsonville High School, her youngest newly graduated last year. “It was a bonus having my kids go here for twelve years, but it was the position that really spoke to my heart.”

“Over the last twelve years of guiding my own children through their college search process, I developed just a real passion for it.” Deriving from her children came the inspiration to leave the library behind and start a new chapter in the halls of Wilsonville. “It was a big decision to move out of the library but it’s been such, such, an interesting ride with the college search process. 

What Mrs. Willard is most looking forward to in her position is “helping students find their path.” Right now, she’s been busy focusing on the PSAT, the SAT, and all sorts of testing. “Supporting the counseling team is a big part of this role. I work with them on making sure information is getting out to students about opportunities.” Willard also contains the College and Career Center newsletter, and the Google Classroom, updating about college visits and field trips.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, Mrs. Willard’s first impression of Wilsonville High School was not good, but great! “It was great for my children. It was a happy home for them. But personally, everyone that I met here has been just really wonderful and supportive, so I’ve got nothing but good impressions of Wilsonville High School.”

In her free time, Mrs. Willard enjoys traveling with her family and reading. “I am never without my book, whatever I’m reading goes with me everywhere.” She also likes cooking, but not the day-to-day chore of it. Mrs. Willard prefers creative cooking where she can make her own rules where recipes are not needed. “I would structure cakes for my children’s birthdays. I did superhero cakes, Barbie cakes, and spaceships. Lots of fun ones.” 

Whenever you find yourself needing guidance or wondering what steps you want to take for the future, just know that Mrs. Willard is readily available and at your service to help you through this process.

The amazing Ms. Ratliff!

Ms. Ratliff is one of the many new staff hires at Wilsonville this school year. She teaches in the social studies department with three classes of freshmen. She is excited to get things started and be involved in this school’s community. 

Growing up in the Silverton region, she has had a passion for teaching ever since her high school history teacher changed her view on teaching and the academic space.

“I remember I had a history teacher that was your typical lecture teacher kind of more boring, and then I transferred and I had a history teacher that was very interactive.”

Ms. Ratliff started her teaching career in the Salem-Kiezer area teaching at Sprauge for a year. She then got hired to teach at nearby West Salem High School. However her third year lands her at Wilsonville High School, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome her aboard.

Ms. Ratliff made this comparison about the community in her previous position and her position here at Wilsonville: “I think West Salem was trying to push for more community but here we have half of the student population and I think its easier to connect to the kids.”

Ms. Ratliff’s goals this year are to establish and get comfortable with her routine along with having students not have to take work home. Following in her high school history teacher’s footsteps, she would like to make classes more enjoyable and interactive.

With that being said, Ms. Ratliff has another goal, stating that “I want to try and get as much done at work instead of doing work on Sundays at home, that’s what I would like to improve about my routine.

Ms. Ratliff is thrilled to begin teaching at Wilsonville and build connections with students who are just entering the school for the first time just like her. She is very excited to see Wilsonville’s community grow and to be along for the ride.

Ms. Huggins, the new language arts teacher, enjoying her free time in front of a lake. Ms. Huggins is a shining light in the Wilsonville language arts program!
Welcoming Ms. Huggins

Over the summer, Wilsonville High School brought in many amazing new hires in all departments. One such addition was Ms. Huggins, who is both a yearbook and ELA teacher.

Ms. Huggins is a new language arts teacher originally from Boulder Creek High School in Anthem, Arizona. She is a very kind and energetic teacher who is passionate about helping her students completely understand the material she is teaching. Even with only knowing her for a short amount of time, you can tell that she has a fondness for teaching and wants only the best for her students.

Not only is Ms. Huggins a very good and sincere educator, but she is also very fun outside the classroom. Ms. Huggins had to say this about her hobbies and what she does outside of school: “I like to crochet and read in my downtime, I enjoy hanging out with friends and taking care of my dog.”

Though Ms. Huggins only has one dog right now, she has lots of experiences with animals in her past, explaining, “In Arizona, I had multiple pets, I am used to them running around and I love them.” Ms. Huggins still has family in Arizona including a daughter as well as other relatives. She also has a brother who lives in Texas.

As a new language arts teacher Ms. Huggins stated that her favorite part of teaching is the “lightbulb moment” for students. She explains, “I love seeing the look on their faces after they have been struggling for a while then they finally understand and the lightbulb goes off!”

Ms. Huggins is excited for her first year at Wilsonville High School and we are very excited to welcome her to our community. If you get a chance introduce yourself to our new lively language arts teacher.

New assistant principal, Ms. Bradley is interviewed about her impressions of Wilsonville High School. Packed by a demanding schedule, Ms. Bradley works hard to organize classes, support students, and develop relationships with people through her job. (Avery Eckley)
Featuring Assistant Principal, Ms. Bradley

A new year has brought more than 25 new teachers and administrators to Wilsonville High School. Stepping into her role as assistant principal, Ms. Bradley describes her experience in teaching previously and how she feels while adjusting to this new job. 

As assistant principal, Ms. Bradley oversees both students and staff. Her responsibilities include supporting departments of education such as the Spanish, language specialist, and other specific learning programs. Ms. Bradley’s role at Wilsonville also supports ninth graders in their ‘success work’ endeavors. Outside of school, she cooks often and considers herself an “artsy” person who attends local performances.

Like most new teachers at the school, Ms. Bradley has made first impressions with many of the students and faculty already. “In terms of staff, enthusiasm. It seems like many teachers are willing to try new things and open to working with each other,” she begins when explaining her experience with teachers so far. 

She also enjoyed ninth-grade orientation, particularly in meeting familiar faces before the year began. Ms. Bradley shares, “I have noticed that students seem quite friendly. I have experienced this when watching them interact with their peer groups and friends.”

For the past few years, Ms. Bradley worked at Franklin High School in Portland. Currently, Ms. Bradley rotates schools every other day for work, but she admits that it was important for her to be present here on the first day of school. “One of the benefits of a new school calendar is the opportunity to start fresh,” Bradley remarks when asked what she’d like to share with the student body. 

Focused on bringing unity to Wilsonville through her relational personality, Ms. Bradley adds, “I believe that our connections with each other in growing environments are what enables learning.” 

Ms. Bradleys also describes her focus for the upcoming year and how she’ll acclimate to her new office, “For people to feel safe and connected is the ultimate goal. I want people to feel comfortable taking academic risks, which means that I am also a teacher who wants to challenge students.” 

She wants to give all students the message of hope and that there is more than one chance in the making of success. Driven to ensure commitment among students and the practice of being present throughout the year, Ms. Bradley describes herself as a balance of brain and heart.

With a final message from Wilsonville’s new assistant principal, Ms. Bradley exclaims, “Life is made up of how we are in many small moments, and you have a say.” 

Welcoming Mr. Alvarez

Mr. Alvarez is one among the many of the new teachers at Wilsonville High School. Originally from Montana, he earned a degree at Montana State University before starting his teaching journey. He teaches Health 1 and 2, as well as personal fitness. 

Mr. Alvarez enjoys teaching the classes above because of the personal aspect. He explains, “Health is a very personal, and it’s relevant to everybody because everyone has their own varying level of health.” Mr. Alvarez also adds that he enjoys helping kids explore their own health and strives to guide students in the right direction. 

Before coming to Wilsonville, Mr. Alvarez taught for three years in Montana. He moved to Oregon with his girlfriend, who is attending a college nearby. Mr. Alvarez chose to teach at Wilsonville because of its inclusivity and positive attitude.

Outside of being a teacher, Mr. Alvarez enjoys skiing/snowboarding, hiking, and playing ultimate frisbee. He has played ultimate frisbee competitively for six years on his club team in Montana called Hot Tub Magic. He is hoping to find a group in Oregon as well. Alvarez has a lot of memories from playing Ultimate Frisbee, one being “When I played against a team that was from China in New Jersey, and that was really cool.” said Alvarez.

Growing up, Mr. Alvarez loved skiing and snowboarding and wanted to share that passion with interested students. In Montana, he taught adaptive snowboarding and helped kids with disabilities get out and hit the slopes. While here at Wilsonville, Mr. Alvarez hopes to assist with the unified programs that have been established. 

Mr. Alvarez also hopes to help coach track and field at Wilsonville. He coached discus and pole vault at his previous school but would love to coach anything here. 

Overall, Mr. Alvarez is a great teacher and a well-rounded person, and we are so lucky to have him here at Wilsonville.

Mr. Gregor stands for his photo while he’s setting up tables for his first period. (Connor Larsen)
Incoming! Mr. Greger is here!

Mr. Greger is a new addition to the English department, teaching senior English classes. In an interview, he talked about how he feels about the upcoming school year and got some of his history straight. 

The Golden State is home to Mr. Greger, and he had been teaching in California for several years before moving on to the Beaver State. He had only been living in Oregon for a month before the first day of school. 

The story behind Mr. Greger is a rather unique one. Initially working in finance, he returned to school to get his masters in English. He didn’t know he would be a good teacher until his vice principal friend recommended him to sub for his school for “easy money.” From there, he became a world-class English teacher who helped students learn and grow their writing and reading skills.

“Something students will also find out about me very quickly is that I am very sarcastic. I do enjoy a bit of banter with my students and make sure that they don’t take anything too seriously,” Mr. Greger stated. 

What was brought up very quickly in our interview was the love he had for the school building. Many windows, high ceilings, and big hallways allow shine and sun to come in. 

In a final concluding note from Mr. Greger, he stated it’s essential to “Figure out his place here, finding out the expectations of staff and meeting all the needs of the kids to give them a good experience.” 

We are so glad to welcome Mr. Greger to Wilsonville and hope he has a long stay and continues to enjoy his first year as a Wildcat. In addition to teaching Language Arts classes this year, he will be teaching life classes just like every other non-arts-related subject teacher. 

Ms. Koehn, sharing her perspective as a first-year teacher!

This upcoming school year has brought a lot of wonderful new staff to us here at Wilsonville High School. One of the new staff members who you might be familiar with is Josey Koehn (pronounced as “cane”), a Modern U.S. History and Civics teacher.

Before Koehn became a teacher, she worked at a funeral home in southeast Portland. She said that it was a “very random job,” but she enjoyed it due to its beauty and history.

Koehn explained that when she was in high school, she thought about becoming a teacher, but everybody assumed she would teach English. “I read a lot and was a very literary student, but I did not go that way,”  She explains. “In college, I had a minor in history, not even a major, but a minor, and I kind of fell in love with social studies and history,” which is what led her to take a teaching position.

As Koehn expressed her love for all her classes, more outgoing and disruptive classes were mentioned, and Ms. Koehn stated that although they can be a pain,  “I love the loud classes because you’re talking to each other which is great, and the more communication, the better.” Overall, she loves her classes, whether louder or quieter, and “Even if students don’t like social studies, it’s at least somewhat entertaining.”

Since most of us don’t really have an understanding of what our teachers do outside of school, it’s always interesting to ask! Before becoming a teacher, Koehn liked reading in her free time. Now, she doesn’t find herself doing it as often anymore since she is already working with books a lot during the day. At the moment, Koehn enjoys cooking meals and hiking when she has the time. She says, “It relaxes me, and it is a good hobby.”

Koehn states that being a first-year teacher at Wilsonville High School has overall been an amazing experience and that “There’s something a little bit different here, where there is a ton of respect and communication.”  Expressing her love for Wilsonville, she’s excited to continue the year!

Ms. Hunt smiles for her picture her classroom. Ready for the school year, she is excited to be here at Wilsonville! (Sydney Hanson)
Ms. Hunt, ensuring the success of Wilsonville!

As the new 2023-2024 school year begins, we have many new students and a lot of new staff. Rachel Hunt, who teaches chemistry and biology, is among the many great new staff members who joined our community this year. This is her second year teaching, after previously teaching at another school. 

Initially, Ms. Hunt was a researcher at OHSU in the emergency department. Hunt had to gain experience teaching students for her position in research, which led her to eventually become a chemistry and biology teacher due to her love of education.

During her personal high school experience, Hunt describes herself as very involved. She played volleyball and softball on varsity all four years of high school. She also played the flute and the piccolo in the band. When asked what advice she would give current high schoolers, Hunt said to ask for help if you are struggling and to go in early and late until you understand and feel comfortable with the topic. “Don’t be afraid to bother your teacher. Ask as much as you need until you are comfortable with the material.”

Hunt describes her teaching style as being a “warm demander.” She has many expectations of her students to ensure their success, as well as making science fun and entertaining at the same time. Her favorite topic to discuss in class is electron theory in Chemistry and learning about viruses and bacteria in biology class. 

Ms. Hunt describes Wilsonville as a fantastic community with support for everyone, where everyone, staff and students alike, care about one another regardless of the situation, compared to her previous school district. “The community here at Wilsonville is absolutely amazing. There’s support at every level, whether it be from the administrators, the teachers I’ve worked with, or from students.”

Krista Koivunen greets students with a smile.  After a long tenure in North Marion schools, Ms. Koivunen is excited to bring her skills to Wilsonville.
Krista Koivunen greets students with a smile. After a long tenure in North Marion schools, Ms. Koivunen is excited to bring her skills to Wilsonville. (Jase Knowles)
Hello Ms. Koivunen!

Krista Koivunen, the new Freshman Health 1 and walk/run teacher for Wilsonville High School, loves her first few weeks at WVHS. This is not her first year teaching, as she worked for North Marion for 18 years and has been a physical trainer for seven years. 

Koivunen comes from a family of teachers: Her two aunts, cousin, sister, and her children are all teachers. This is what set her journey for teaching to start. She attended Oregon State University for her bachelor’s in physical education and health.

She then went back to school and achieved her Masters. She mused on her decision to pursue physical education, “I always wanted to do something different, from education to passion.” She has always been passionate about physical education and wanted to do something in medicine.

Koivunen states that the biggest challenge in teaching is to keep students engaged with learning. “Teaching keeps me young. Being surrounded by teenagers, I find the kids keep me young with a different perspective.” She believes that no matter your life story, being rich or poor, every student should get the same education.” She says that most students have the same struggles, and after 21 years of teaching, she has begun to learn how to work through these challenges.

Outside of school, Koivunen loves to cruise on the boat she and her family bought. She loves to cook and says she loves cooking shows like Chopped or shows featuring Gordon Ramsay. She states that if she were to go back to school, it would be culinary or cooking.

In her free time, she also loves to read, trying to get more into it. “As teachers, we are always learning; I don’t see myself ever changing my profession.” She states that nutrition is the most important thing to learn about, and everyone should have a chance to know about it.

Mr. Van Derek outside his classroom. He has had an eventful first few weeks at WHS! (Hector Baltazar)
The amazing Mr. Van Deren

The 2023-2024 school year has commenced, and with it came a new batch of teachers for each grade. For students taking AP Psychology, Mr. Van Deren was not a familiar name to them. 

Mr. Van Deren has been teaching for 13 years and has taught various social studies classes, and this year, alongside his AP Psychology class, he is one of the many teachers who have a life period. Before venturing into the world of teaching, he previously was a lawyer, having gone to law school in New Mexico and even worked in the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

Van Deren is already getting adjusted to the new school, quoting, “The students are engaged, they are helpful for somebody like me trying to find my way around, the staff is supportive, and I just love it, it’s a great community,” 

When Van Deren isn’t teaching, you can catch him doing some of his favorite activities, such as reading, camping, boating, listening to music, and watching and supporting his favorite soccer teams, including the Portland Timbers, the Portland Thorns, and even a team in the Netherlands by the name of Ajax.

However, Van Deren does not have too much time to do all these, as he is too busy working to leave a lasting impact on his students. He says, “I hope they think of me as somebody who cares about them, both as people and as students, because I feel that’s what teachers are for, to provide support and make students feel welcome and to let them know that I care about them.” 

Suffice it to say that Mr. Van Deren knows a thing or two about teaching, and that’s what makes it all the better to say that he’s one of our own. We are so happy to welcome Mr. Van Deren to the Wildcat Family!

Mr. DeSalvo in his classroom. He is looking forward to his time here. (Jonah Sandall)
Mr. DeSalvo

Wilsonville has added a lot of new staff over the summer, 27 to be exact, one of which is new math teacher Mr. Brian DeSalvo, who’s a bit new around the area. Mr. DeSalvo is new to Oregon, having just come to Oregon last school year. “I went to college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; I just moved out to Wilsonville in July. Before moving here, I taught a year in Sherwood,” Said DeSalvo.

DeSalvo decided to come to Wilsonville because he wanted “a city that has a strong system of support for their teachers and students.” DeSalvo has been really enjoying the students and Wilsonville High so far, saying, “Wilsonville has a really positive and welcoming school community,” as well as saying, “I think the school is very welcoming from an outsider; there’s a really positive feeling in the halls.”

DeSalvo will be teaching his students Geometry and Advanced Algebra this year, but the unit he is most looking forward to is teaching his students how to do Trigonometry. “I think what I’m most looking forward to teaching this year is Trigonometry and Soh-Cah-Toa,” Said DeSalvo.

When asked why he became a math teacher, DeSalvo said, “Math is everywhere. Math is exciting and can be a lot of fun. I find simple joys in patterns, and math has always been enjoyable to me. If he wasn’t a teacher; however, he would want to “work in the health and nutrition field working with people who want to get involved in athletics after college.”

Outside of school, DeSalvo enjoys long-distance running and so far has been enjoying the Ice Age Tonquin Trail, but he hasn’t gone around town much yet and is looking for more places around town to go, for both running and restaurants. So let Mr. DeSalvo know if you have any suggestions!

Overall, DeSalvo is a very welcome addition to Wilsonville, and we’re very lucky to have him here.

Tiffini Stephens is the new ISEF coordinator for the district. You can find her in the ISEF office near the library! (photo provided by Stephens)
Tiffini Stephens is the new ISEF coordinator for the district. You can find her in the ISEF office near the library! (photo provided by Stephens) (Photo provided by Tiffini Stephens)
Tiffini Stephens: ISEF coordinator

Tiffini Stephens is a new addition to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) team in the WLWV school district. She focuses on helping students achieve their goals of creating a research or engineering project about topics they’re passionate about. 

Students begin locally and can eventually progress to the international level. But to help them prepare for these events, the ISEF coordinators work day in and day out with every student one-on-one.

“My role is to inspire science and engineering inquiry while promoting a learning mindset,” shares Stephens. She expresses her excitement to see the progress that students will make between now and the CREST Jane-Goodall science symposium.

This symposium is the local science fair that is attended by West-Linn and Wilsonville students. Stephens is greatly anticipating this event and can’t wait to see all of the student’s hard work pay off. 

Stephens grew up in Southern California and moved to Idaho, later attending the University of Idaho. “When I was in college, they had this NASA-Johnson Space Center Reduced Gravity Program,” she states. This helped guide her in the direction of mechanical and aeronautical engineering. 

Stephens says that she was interested in aeronautical engineering during high school and was inspired by a professor to enter mechanical engineering. She now has a 26-year background in both fields, along with the operational and development area of medicine and the electrical vehicle industry. 

When asked why she decided to work in our district, Stephens states,  “There’s a mentor I’ve had for 26 years. His name’s Charlie Hyman, and he used to teach here. He did something similar where he was an engineer for several years, then went from that career into teaching.”

Tiffini Stephens is thrilled to be a part of the team and can’t wait to see all of the ISEF students flourish!