FACULTY + STAFF
Mr. Matthew Myers
Mr. Myers grew up in a small town in western New York. He attended the State University of New York’s Environmental Science and Forestry School where he received his Bachelors of Science. Helping students grow as individuals and seeing how they bond with their peers is something he truly enjoys about working at CLASS Academy. "Our students’ inquisitiveness, desire to learn and smiles make teaching at CLASS Academy amazing." When Mr. Myers is not working, you can find him camping and hiking. He also enjoys gardening, cooking, reading and bike rides. Calling Portland home and working at CLASS is a fantastic combination for his personality and life style.
Mr. Stephen Tissell
Mr. Tissell is originally from Seattle, WA, and moved down to Oregon in 2011. He graduated with his Bachelors Degree in 2015 from George Fox University, and a year later, he made Oregon his permanent home. He started at CLASS Academy in April 2022 as a support staff member, and is very excited to be making his transition to the classroom as the Toucan's teacher this year. Outside of work, Mr. Tissell enjoys spending time with friends, particularly in the great outdoors whenever possible. He also enjoys going to the movies, reading, and having a fun project to work on as an outlet for his creativity.
Bio coming soon!
Balloons & Toucans
Ms. Brittainy Mather
Leopard Sharks Teacher
“Ms. Mather grew up just a short drive south in Molalla, Oregon. However, Portland became her new home as she attended Portland State University, where she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Theater. This is Ms. Mather’s first year teaching at CLASS Academy and she couldn’t be more excited to learn, discover, and grow as an educator. In her free time she enjoys theater, photography, being outdoors, and working on her art projects.”
Ms. JerriLynn VanSlyke
Sand Sharks Teacher
Ms. VanSlyke was born and raised here in Oregon and graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors of Science. She started off in the education field in 2001, working with students with behavioral and emotional disorders. She also worked 1on1 with students with spectrum disorders. In 2016 Ms. VanSlyke started working as a substitute teacher for several school districts. She was a consistent sub for several years until starting with CLASS Academy in January of 2020. When she's not teaching she loves to kayak, hike and travel.
Mr. Matthew Dougherty
Tiger Sharks Teacher / Maintenance Director
Mr. Dougherty has been a teacher at CLASS Academy since August 2005. Born and raised in Alaska, he enjoys working with children and feeling like he’s making a different in their lives. In his free time he likes to read, play with his dog, build, and spend time with his family.
Mr. Samuel Erickson
Mr. Erickson was born and raised in the Portland area. He received his Bachelors in Education from Eastern Tennessee State University. Mr. Erickson began teaching with our Upper School team in 2018. He is going into is fourth year of teaching for our 2019-2020 school year. In addition to spending time at CLASS Academy, he enjoys movies and going to the gym in his free time.
Ms. Jessica Dodson
Tiger Sharks Teacher
Ms. Carly Martin was born and raised in Southern California. Ms. Martin received her degree in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara. She moved to Portland in the Fall of 2018, and was quickly and happily welcomed to the CLASS Academy team. Ms. Martin says she loves observing and encouraging students as they learn something new, and witnessing the pride they take in themselves as they progress. Ms. Martin is an enthusiastic artist, working with many mediums. She also enjoys board games, hiking and camping.
Roadrunners, Kiwis, & Cohos
Ms. Christa Abel
Ms. Abel received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Valdosta State University in Georgia, which she called home until moving to PDX roughly 4 years ago. She has a wonderful partner Austin, and three pets at home; two kitties, Athena and Moirai, and her leopard gecko, Zero! When she is not at school, she enjoys creating and teaching pottery, swimming, drawing, learning about exotic animals, and relaxing with her partner and cats. Her favorite thing about teaching is seeing a child get that "aha!" moment, where everything clicks. Finding the way that each child learns so that they can achieve their highest potential is what she strives for and is the biggest reward to her as a teacher.
Chinooks, Eagles, & Liberty
Mrs. Mancini, a native of frigid Northern Minnesota is now enjoying all of Oregon’s amazing natural beauty. She grew up swimming in the icy waters of Lake Superior, skiing at Spirit Mountain and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Elementary Education at the University of Minnesota. After graduation she traded in her snow boots for flip-flops and relocated to sunny San Diego to teach 3rd-5th grade for 7 years. While in San Diego, she met her partner Peter at UCSD and in April 2020, their son Oscar was born. Shortly after the birth of their son, they trekked up I-5 to Portland when Peter was offered a position at Intel. Mrs. Mancini has soaked in all the joys of parenthood for the last year and is now delighted to return to the classroom here at CLASS Academy.
Mr. Lamont Dabbs
Mr. Dabbs, a native of Hawaii, has been a teacher at CLASS Academy since July 2003. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University with a B.A in Education/Art. He enjoys teaching because the children are always upbeat and can always make him laugh. Mr. Dabbs is not only a great artist/sculptor, but loves to cook, play basketball, and spend time with his wife and family.
Mr. Joshua Lucas
Mr. Lucas, a native of Colorado, has been a teacher at CLASS Academy since September 2000! That's 21 years! After his many years at CLASS Academy, his favorite aspect of being a teacher is still the wonderful students and their great imaginations. While not teaching, he thoroughly enjoys fly fishing with his dog, watching movies, and is a die-hard Portland Timbers fan.
Golden Eagles Teacher
Mx. Barbour is a Portland native who loves weaving their theatre experience into their teaching. They have an extensive background in teaching theatre, including directing a production for the Fall Festival of Shakespeare at the Portland Playhouse. They are currently receiving their Masters of Education at Western Oregon University. They believe in high expectations, empathy, and the joy of learning in the classroom. Mx. Barbour is very excited and honored to become a part of CLASS Academy.
Mr. Holland joined CLASS Academy in February 2021. Growing up in Eugene, he attended the University of Oregon to study English before moving to Portland to get his Master's in Education. Specializing in Language Arts, Mr. Holland values highly the sharing of personal stories and clear communication. Outside of the classroom, he can be found biking around Portland trying to find the tastiest food trucks, playing Ultimate Frisbee, or setting up his slack-line in local neighborhood parks.
Mrs. Ashley Lefebvre
Mrs. Lefebvre joined the CLASS Academy faculty in April, 2015. A native of Portland, Mrs. Lefebvre studied Elementary Education at Portland State University. She enjoys teaching because she loves helping her students overcome challenges and supports them growing into amazing characters. In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking, playing games, making art, and spending time with her daughter, friends, and family.
Mr. Ryan Loehr
Assistant to the Principal / Director
Mr. Loehr believes that small cohorts of students, actively engaged in hands-on activities, learning visually, kinesthetically, and through tactile materials is crucial for young learners. “THAT is CLASS Academy”, he says. From the first day he came to CLASS (2008), he knew this school was profoundly unique. “The dynamic curriculum and dedicated community are only a snippet of what makes CLASS great.” During his tenure, he has had the unique advantage of teaching in nearly every grade level here at CLASS Academy. He feels this experience, paired with endless collaboration with the most devoted colleagues, has served as a springboard to his current position. A native of Massachusetts, Mr. Loehr has laid deep roots here in Oregon.
Ms. Heather Kinlin
Principal / Executive Director
CLASS Academy is a place where students have the opportunity to grow at their own pace, and Heather Kinlin feels lucky to be a part of it. Through age-blended classrooms and enrichment activities such as Lego Robotics, STEM Fridays, and year-round programming, students develop a love of learning. Ms. Kinlin uses her significant experience as both a classroom teacher and non-profit coordinator to help provide different opportunities for the students at CLASS. With her Masters in Education, ongoing studies in School Administration, and her experiences as an adult trainer, Ms. Kinlin feels she has found her place as CLASS Academy’s principal.