We are a collection of highly skilled, very experienced educators with decades of teaching experience
The Founder: Vanessa Hughes, M.A.T. My teaching philosophy: My primary goal is to teach individuals how to think critically, how to evaluate their world, and how to empower their own ideas with a strong, compassionate voice. Students can expect me to provide a safe, respectful and authentic learning environment free from prejudice of any kind. In return, I expect my students to take risks, work hard, have fun, and understand that education comes with a responsibility – a responsibility to their local and global communities.
Vanessa has nearly twenty years of classroom teaching experience in the humanities and media arts with specific training in the International Baccalaureate subjects of English Literature HL, Theory of Knowledge, and Extended Essays. She loves to help students reclaim their relationship with reading and writing at all levels. In addition, she built a thriving media program at Cleveland High School including a Capstone year working with industry professionals enabling students build a portfolio of their work for entrance to college/university or directly into paid employment. Qualifications and Certifications Master of Arts in Teaching: Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Ed, 2005 Highly Qualified Licensed Teacher: Oregon Certified: International Baccalaureate Org.; Professional Learning Communities; C.T.E. state of Oregon: Media Arts; AVID Currently working towards UCLA certification in College Admissions Coaching
Paula Creamer, D.M.A. My teaching philosophy: I believe that competence in math and the physical sciences is an important goal for all in order to understand our world and be an informed citizen in it. In teaching math, I understand that not everyone wants to be a "rocket scientist," but no matter one's life interests, we are better at coping with our world if we understand science and numbers. In the world of music, a broad exposure to all kinds of sounds helps us develop a well-informed aesthetic for choosing what we listen to and perform. Daily practice in music develops personal discipline and has been proven to improve ways of thinking in other subjects.
With 40 years of classroom teaching, Paula brings expertise in all levels of math, chemistry, physics, integrated science, music, and French. In addition, she is a teacher of music theory, choirs and orchestra, and plays the piano, cello and guitar. Her instruction has been at the middle, high school, and undergraduate college levels at private and public institutions.
Susan Douglass, M.A.T. My teaching philosophy: Everyone can learn a second language! My core belief when teaching language involves taking risks and being vulnerable. To do this a we start with a relaxed and non-threatening environment making language fun and relevant to the life of the speaker. It's important to practice all modes of communication together: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Fluent in Spanish and conversational in French and Italian, Susan brings 30 years of teaching experience to her students. She is a master teacher for all levels of Spanish from middle school through high school IB Diploma candidates including extensive IB test-preparation. When not working with individuals, she leads group trips to Costa Rica, Mexico, and Spain.
Maria Carlsen, B.Sc. Education My goal as an educator is to provide students with the skills and motivation to be independent thinkers, readers, writers, and lifelong learners. Student choice is extremely valuable to me and at the heart of my teaching practice.
Maria is a recent college graduate with a degree in Secondary English Education. While earning her degree in Texas, she taught at both the middle and high school levels with experience in AP English Language and Composition. In 2017, she worked as a tutor in an alternative to juvenile justice program providing one-on-one instruction in reading and writing. Most recently, she refined her Spanish language skills while teaching at the Aldebraran Secondary School in Madrid, Spain. She spent every summer of High School and early college years being a counselor at Camp Namanu in Sandy, OR where she mastered the art of creative programming with all ages. Maria is confident she will make learning relatable as well as interesting and fun!
Interested in Joining Our Team? We are currently building a team of talented educators with demonstrated experience. Are you passionate about teaching and learning? Is the student at the center of the learning experience? Be part of a strong, successful group of educators.