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.
Ms. Sophia Perez
Sand Sharks Teacher
I grew up in Los Angeles, California and attended a small private university, Whittier College, where I graduated with my bachelor's degree in Child Development. After graduating in 2020, I moved to Portland. Throughout my education and career, I've worked with children of all ages, ranging from infancy to adolescence, but I have a special place in my heart for the 4.5-6yo age group. I enjoy working with this age group because they are just at the beginning of their educational journey and it's so exciting to see how their minds develop as they learn new things. In my free time, I enjoy reading, trying different coffee shops, and going to concerts.
Mr. Mike Davis
Mr. Davis grew up in a small town in upstate New York (close to Canada!). He completed his undergraduate education in western NY, and has a Masters degree from Clarkson University. He is inspired by the curiosity and imagination of children and hopes to share his love of learning with the students he works with. Outside of school, he enjoys playing music and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his wife and daughter, Rosie. Fun fact: Mr. Davis has a twin brother, who also lives in Portland!
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. Hannibal Cooney
Mr. Cooney grew up just south of Oregon in San Francisco! His passion for education comes from a drive to foster, support, and impact creative, caring, and intellectual future generations who are able to make the world a better place! When he is not at work he spends his free time riding bicycles, practicing Karate and reading.
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.
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.
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
Ms. Dodson grew up in sunny San Diego, California. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Chico. Teaching has always been her passion and she is excited to join the team at CLASS Academy. She loves to travel and even had the opportunity to teach English in Beijing, China. In her free time, Ms. Dodson loves to hike, read, and spend time with her dog and cats. She is excited to explore her new home of Portland!
Mrs. Olivia Mancini
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.
Ms. Christa Abel
Ms. Abel received her Bachelors in Elementary Education in Georgia, which she called home until moving to Oregon roughly 4 years ago. She loves spoiling her pets: two kitties, Athena and Moirai, a corn snake named Ria, and her leopard gecko, Zero! When she is not at school, she enjoys creating and teaching pottery, swimming, learning about exotic animals, and relaxing with her partner and animals. 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.
Mrs. Colette DeHart
Mrs. DeHart grew up in Western Massachusetts. After graduating from Bridgewater State in 2009 with her degree in Elementary Education she moved to Portland. She started teaching at CLASS in 2010. She took some time off from being a classroom teacher to start a family and now has a one year old daughter! Seeing children find a love of learning is what Mrs. DeHart values most about teaching. In her free time, you can find her out on the slopes snowboarding, running on the trails, or playing at the park with her baby, dog, and husband!
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.
Mr. Sean Aldas
Golden Eagles Teacher
Mr. Aldas grew up in Glendora, California just east of Los Angeles. After receiving his undergrad degree in 2015 from Cal Poly Pomona in General Psychology and Music Education, Mr. Aldas moved up to Portland and has not looked back since. Mr. Aldas has played professional violin all through out the Los Angeles area and even received the chance to play solo violin at the Daytime Emmys! He is incredibly excited to be The Eagle's teacher and is passionate about seeing students grow and helping them get to the next level of learning. In his free time, Mr. Aldas enjoys traveling, exploring new places, enjoying various cuisines, and playing fiddle in his Celtic folk band.
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 STEAM rotations, service learning projects, 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, School Administrator License, and her experiences as an adult trainer, Ms. Kinlin feels she has found her place as CLASS Academy’s principal.