Mr. Matthew Myers


Balloons teacher

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.


Ms. Carly Martin


RedToucans 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.

Mrs. Carol



Blue Toucan Teacher


Mrs. Irvin, a California native, graduated from George Fox with a Masters in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.  Mrs. Irvin taught at CLASS from 2004-2008 and returned to our faculty in 2014.  She enjoys teaching because she loves setting a solid foundation for students.  She loves the sense of wonder that young children possess.  In her free time, she enjoys playing her Celtic harp, baking, going to museums, and taking road trips.


Mr. Caleb 



Discovery Rockets Teacher


Mr. Spiegel joined the CLASS Academy faculty in June 2015.  He has lived in Portland since 1990 and spent 20 years touring the country as a professional musician.  After leaving the music industry, he graduated from Lewis and Clark College and found a calling in teaching young children.  “Teaching kids how to learn for themselves is incredibly rewarding for me,” he says.  “It’s like lighting a fuse and watching them take off under their own power.”  He is a married father of one and enjoys family time, and running and soccer in his free time.

Middle School 

Lower School 


Ms. Ashley Peterson


Leopard Sharks Teacher

Ms. Peterson joined the CLASS Academy faculty in April, 2015.  A native of Portland, Ms. Peterson 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. Matthew Dougherty


Kiwi 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. Lamont Dabbs


Tiger Sharks Teacher


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.


Ms. JerriLynn VanSlyke


Roadrunners 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.  


Ms. Nakkia Robinson


Narwhal Teacher


Ms. Robinson has been teaching at CLASS Academy since May, 2003.  A veteran teacher, she has taught the Bears, Toucans, Rockets, and Kangaroos.  She enjoys the community and family feeling that CLASS provides.  Ms. Robinson loves hearing her students’ thoughts about the world around them and feels she is constantly learning from her students.  Her many interests include yoga, movies, writing, and spending time with her four children.


Mr. Alex



Kraken Teacher


Mr. Cole, a Portland native, has been a part of the CLASS Academy team since 2010.  He has been a member of our teaching faculty since 2014.  He enjoys working with children in order to see them learn and expand their perspectives of the world.  In his free time, he volunteers for various costume charities for kids and enjoys adventuring with his wife.

Upper School 


Mr. Joshua Lucas




Mr. Lucas, a native of Colorado, has been a teacher at CLASS Academy since September 2000! 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 or running Maintenance Days, he enjoys fly fishing, watching movies, and is a die-hard Denver Broncos fan.


Ms. Leila Wiggers


Falcons Teacher

Ms. Leila Wiggers was born and raised right here in Oregon in SE Portland. Ms. Wiggers received her degree in Elementary Education from Linfield College. She enjoys teaching because she loves to see kids smile, laugh, and learn. In her free time she likes to go hiking, visit the beach, cook, and spend time with friends and family. 


Mr. Samuel Erickson


Golden Eagles Teacher


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. Rosa Gastiaburu


Vikings Teacher


Bio coming soon!


Ms. Cortney Benvenuto


Support Staff/Substitute

Bio coming soon!


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.

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.  When he is not at CLASS, he spends all his time with his wonderful wife and two amazing children, “enjoying everything this incredible state has to offer”.