Check out this performance ... and their hair and dances moves ... from the QAE Talent Show. Our teachers are the champions!
QAE staff and parents have worked hard to on Hiring Teams over the past 3 weeks to hire outstanding new teachers. After screening over 350 applicants from all over the world, completing reference checks on all short-listed candidates and interviewing for primary, intermediate and specialists, we are thrilled to welcome the following new teachers to our community.
UPDATE - we'll be hosting an informal meet and greet with our new teachers on Thursday, May 9th, 6:30-7:30pm at the Big Howe playground. Stop by to meet the new staff and let your kids run and play. We'll have some munchies, but feel free to bring a picnic dinner. At least 5 new teachers have confirmed that they will be there!
Primary staff (K-2nd Grade)
Jerrika Dickerson is currently a 1st grade teacher in Haltom City, Texas. Chosen to be her school’s Teacher of the Year in 2018-19, she brings her enthusiasm for multiage classes and her passion for learning and teaching to QAE. She was a member of her school’s Building Leadership Team, she was selected to be on a district-level collaboration team on math curriculum development and advanced learning programs, and she was on a school-based team to launch her school as a specialty school.
“I am greatly looking forward to my first year as a Seattleite educator at Queen Anne Elementary this year! I graduated from Dallas Baptist University in 2017 and have been teaching the most wonderful first graders in Texas for the past two years. I am a Colorado native, and a Texan by marriage, but my husband and I are anxious to begin our next adventure in North Seattle this summer. To me, education is more than a passion, it is my calling. I am dedicated to learning beside my students as we tackle new challenges and continually grow. I am overjoyed to be joining the learning movement at QAE and invest in the creative community that thrives here. My simple joys include reading everywhere, all the time, the smell of roasted garlic, and shopping local! I also love cooking my husband a "phenomenal" dinner, swimming, and coffee dates. I just can't wait to meet you!”
Maddie Ginder was a Kindergarten Team Leader in Orlando, Florida before moving to Seattle in 2018. She has been a SPS guest teacher, including teaching at QAE during the past year, so we are excited to welcome her permanently to our community. She finishes her long-term substitute position as Reading Specialist at Blaine in June 2019. Maddie will officially become Maddie Scannapieco this July.
“I am very excited to be joining the QAE community! After growing up on Bainbridge Island, I attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida where I received my bachelor’s in Elementary Education while playing college soccer and soaking up the sunshine. Following Rollins, I taught kindergarten at an incredible school named Grand Avenue in the heart of downtown Orlando. I fell in love with teaching primary grades during this time and knew this is where I wanted to be. In 2016 after I had to go on an unexpected sick-leave from teaching, my fiancé Nick and I, and our puppy Finn moved home to Seattle to be closer to family. I have spent the last 2 years transitioning back into my love of teaching as a substitute for Seattle Public Schools, most recently as a long-term Reading Specialist at Catharine Blaine K – 8 School. I am incredibly grateful to have my health back and to be able to do what I love most, teach! This summer my fiancé Nick and I are getting married on Bainbridge Island and we cannot wait! Outside of our careers, you can find us outside hiking, exercising, exploring the PNW, eating good food, reading, watching movies and spending time with our family and friends!”
Rachel Scheer is a National Board-Certified teacher in literacy, has 8 years’ experience as a lead teacher and 4 years’ experience as a Literacy and Learning Specialist. She brings her passion for teaching and her expertise in multi-age teaching to QAE.
“My favorite part of teaching is following student questions and interests and all of the unexpected places they take us! Over the past eight years I have taught fifth, first, and fourth grades and a 2nd/3rd grade multiage class. I absolutely love being a lifelong learner beside my student. I grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. area and attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia for my undergraduate degree. I later moved to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania for my graduate degree in education. After years of living on the east coast, I picked up and moved to Seattle in 2014. I instantly felt a connection with this dynamic city and the surrounding mountains and water. I never want to leave! I currently live in Capitol Hill with my husband and two cats. If it’s nice out you can find us on our porch with friends. You might also look for me on my yoga mat, on a hike, or at my artist table writing and illustrating comics!”
Marissa Vogel is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Olympic View Elementary. With her M.A in Teaching, she brings enthusiasm for working with diverse populations and her leadership in partnering with staff and parents on learning and community events.
“I grew up in Colorado and went to college at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I then moved to Seattle to get my master’s degree in teaching at Seattle Pacific University. I live in Seattle with my husband, Sam, and I enjoy traveling, being outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my friends and family. I am very excited to be a part of the QAE community!”
Intermediate Staff (3rd-5th Grade):
Mike Backman is currently a 5th grade teacher at Midway Elementary School in Des Moines, WA. He has taught 5th grade for four years and been a lead teacher on their ReadyMath program. He has taught in both the U.S., Ireland and Thailand, which allows him to bring his knowledge and appreciation for culturally responsive teaching to his students and families.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Queen Anne Elementary team! I have been working in education for the past 6 years after earning my B.A. from The University of Iowa and my M.Ed from Seattle University. After graduating from Iowa, I spent time teaching in Ireland, Thailand and Minnesota before I decided to move to the pacific northwest 4 years ago to teach 5th grade. I fell in love with Seattle immediately and have never looked back on my decision to move west from snowy Minneapolis! When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time outside hiking, running, reading, and drinking coffee. I am thrilled to start this new chapter and can’t wait to meet everyone who makes the Queen Anne Elementary community great!”
Liz Hartmann is an experienced 4th grade teacher who is currently a professor at the University of Washington coaching elementary pre-service teachers with innovative instructional practices. She completes her doctorate program in July and can’t wait to get back to the classroom to focus on learning and research-based teaching with students and their families.
“I’m excited to be joining the Queen Anne community this fall! Originally from Southern California, I taught in Los Angeles before moving to Seattle to study curriculum and instruction at UW and to coach preservice teachers in Seattle schools. I took a two-year break from my studies to teach at the University of Fukui in Japan and work with teachers in Japan and Singapore on a collaborative project studying project-based learning. After teaching mathematics education courses for Western Washington University and finishing my doctorate at UW, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back in the classroom! All my experiences have led me right back to the most important part about teaching: students. I’m excited to join a school community that focuses on students’ social and emotional learning and project-based learning. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy cooking and trying new foods, hanging out with my partner and our dog Ginger, traveling, and doing anything that gets me outside, like hiking and rowing.”
Elizabeth Thruelsen comes to QAE via an immersion charter school in Los Angeles, California. She has taught in the United States, Turkey and Spain. She brings her 8 years of teaching experience to QAE with a focus on innovative teaching practices, leadership, literacy and technology. She has been a team leader planning professional development and community-based projects, such as cultural celebrations.
“I am so excited to join Queen Anne Elementary this year! After spending a decade away from the area, I am so inspired to find the school of my dreams right back in my home. Project-Based Learning, partnerships with parents, and an intentional focus on Social-Emotional Learning? Yep, I knew QAE was "the one!" I studied Spanish Language and Culture and earned my TESOL certificate at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Years later, I returned to school and graduated with my MA.Ed at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Over the years I've been so fortunate to have teaching experiences in a public school in Spain, an international school in Turkey, a Catholic school in Long Beach, and a public dual-immersion school in Los Angeles. Every experience in my teaching has reaffirmed with conviction that our children are at the center of education, not teachers. Now, coming into my 8th year of teaching, I can't imagine a better place to be than at Queen Anne Elementary. Outside of the classroom, I am a Pacific Northwest enthusiast: I love coffee-house culture, our excellent alternative rock scene, and a good hike. I'm an active member in a lay-Buddhist organization and recently became a member of the Nordic Heritage Museum. After filling my passport last year, I'm determined to travel abundantly and fill my new one! I'm looking forward to meeting the families and children of Queen Anne Elementary and joining this great community!”
Dr. Emily Valdez is our enthusiastic new librarian. She has been a Special Education teacher and ELL teacher, and will now become our QAE teacher librarian. She brings her doctorate in educational innovations and policy and her rich teaching experience to lead our beloved library.
“I'm so excited to be a part of the QAE community as a teacher librarian. After earning my BA from Bowdoin College, I traveled the world for a year on my own to get a better sense of what I wanted to do with my life. After a short stint in a software start-up, I went back to school to get my M.Ed in special education. For three years I taught special education in a high school in rural Idaho and decided that I wanted to get my doctorate. I headed for Seattle and started the program at UW. After fifteen years of doing research on educational innovations and policy, I decided that I missed the classroom and most of all I missed daily interactions with students and other teachers. I recently went back to school (again) to get my endorsement in library and media science at SPU where I discovered the best job possible---teacher librarian, which combines my absolute love of books and kids. When I'm not in the library, I enjoy hiking, camping, and playing sports with my daughter, Eva; my husband; and my black lab, Helo.”
We'll also be announcing a new art teacher soon!
Thank you to our dedicated QAE Hiring Teams: Lorin Belcher, Julie Colando, Jen Dickens, Sarah Goldman, Erin Knapp, Priyanka Jayanthi, Devin Liner, Rachel Marks, Molly Meck, Laura Shaw, Michele Christensen, Leslie Jaynes, Gillian Jorgensen, Sandra Nanney, Pia Silverlieb, Jody Stewart, and Ian Stewart. Many thanks to the additional families and friends who provided child care to make our many interviews possible. Specific teaching assignments will be determined in the weeks ahead once our teams have a chance to plan together.
It's that time of year again! If you don't hear from them, please reach out to your classroom coordinator about little gestures for our staff next week. Bringing in a coffee to start the day can really put a smile on their face!
Here's what the PTSA Sunshine Committee has planned for this week. Please contact Kirsty Papadopuls at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help! Jodie Scott is coordinating showing our gratitude for the Learning Lab staff. Contact Jodie at email@example.com to help with those wonderful folks.
Monday: Drawing Blueberry and Juices
Staff caricatures by Drawing Blueberry and Pressed Juicery juices!
Tuesday & Wednesday: Coffee/Tulips and Treat Yourself!
Exact order TBD but one day will be Storyville coffee and make your own tulip bouquets. Other day is essential oil scrubs and sprays and "rocket fuel" trail mix bar.
Thursday: All-Staff Lunch
Lunch generously hosted by Canlis and Met Market
Friday: All-Staff Happy Hour
Off site hosted happy hour at the Shelter Greenlake!
Thanks to those who helped organize Teacher Appreciation Week. And special thanks to all the QAE staff for the amazing job they do with our kids!
Are you interested in working in the classroom? Know someone who has a background in teaching or working with children?
We are in need of a kindergarten aide to work in Ms. Dickens room Monday through Friday 8:15am to 12:45pm. The pay is $15.25 an hour.
If you're interested please contact Karen Rang in the QAE office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-252-2480.
As families have seen on various outlets, including the email sent today by Janine – SPS enrollment was low and many schools are being impacted in losing teachers and reorganizing classes. QAE is one of the many schools being impacted. We would have had to say good-bye to Ms. Bonnie as our newest 2nd grade teacher and it would have impacted all of our classrooms through a reconfiguration of 2nd grade (would have need to created many split grades that would have had a cascading effect from K to 5th).
The impact to our student community seemed too great. The PTSA started exploring options with school staff. The team dived into all options ranging from doing nothing to revising the entire PTSA budget to do something. It is with great gratitude to Bonnie, Megan and Helene for volunteering a creative solution of job sharing and personal sacrifice that allowed us to arrive at today’s solution. We are impacting the least amount of students, a class gets to have 2 great teachers, we lose no teachers from our QAE family and PTSA helps bridge a gap to continue to support our students.
But this action is also met with the knowledge that many other schools are in a worse situation. Schools do not always have the resources or ability to have so many pieces come together. During the fundraising season, the PTSA may come to you with asks fo money but today we are asking for your time: please lend your voice to the other schools in our community that need our help.
This is absolutely unacceptable and we need our collective voices to be heard on how this impacts our communities. Please consider editing and sending a version of the note below and spreading the word to all of your friends within SPS to write them. Any letters can be sent to email@example.com. We need to galvanize and flood them with letters to show them how displeased we are.
See the SPS summary of the staffing adjustment as well as their FAQ about the process.
Another way to advocate is to attend one of the upcoming Superintendent listening tours. The closest to our area is Ballard High School on October 4th.
Sample Letter to Send to the SPS Board
This is just an example, please write your own or edit as you see fit. Note the underlined sections that should definitely be edited.
Subject: Unacceptable displacement of teaching staff
Dear Superintendent, School Board and senior SPS staff,
I am parent of two SPS students - a second and fourth grader at Queen Anne Elementary. I am incredibly frustrated to see that SPS is displacing staff from approximately twenty different schools and majorly disrupting the lives of teachers, families and communities as a result. The impact on students at Nova and Interagency is even greater given the disproportionate impact on them.
I understand that there is a correlation in number of students and revenue and with the 1.4% enrollment decrease, you need to find ways to cut cost. Is there a reduction in staff or other major cost cutting efforts happening at the JSCEE? Why are schools bearing all the reductions in revenue? This is absolutely unacceptable.
Also, you are already in violation of the McCleary ruling on classroom sizes which as you know should be a maximum of 17 students for K-3 and 25 students for 4th grade and up. At my kids' schools, they have more kids in their classrooms already so combining classrooms will only put SPS further away from appropriate class sizes.
You need to do better for teachers, families and communities. How will you retain top talent when teachers can easily go to neighboring districts that are more effectively managed where they can make more money? How can you shuffle kids around after school has started which is hard for all of them but especially for neuro-atypical children in our system?
At work, if I were to consistently miss projections and disrupt hundreds or thousands of customers regularly, I would have been fired long ago. Please take us off this annual enrollment projection roller coaster and find ways to keep communities intact.
[ Your name ]
When: Thursday, Oct. 12th, 6:30-8pm
It's that time of year! Curriculum Night is an opportunity for our teachers to share their vision, focus, and plans for the year. You'll also hear more about Project Based Learning, daily life in the classroom, and volunteer opportunities.
Update: CURRICULUM NIGHT GAMES & FORTS!
This just in! There is now a child-focused event happening at Curriculum Night. A limited number of spaces are available for current QAE students to participate in Games & Forts, led by Gen Zoufal and Alex Hagen. If you are interested in registering your child, please follow this link:
Suggested donation is $5 per child. Registration will open at 4:30pm on Wednesday, October 11th and close at 5pm on Thursday, October 12th. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Look forward to seeing you at Curriculum Night!
Ms. Roy sent out the letter early today to all QAE families. See below for answers to some questions about this change.
Dear QAE families,
Each year, SPS examines September enrollment and then makes district-wide staffing adjustments. Our enrollment has changed this year due to factors such as higher-than-expected family relocations. As a result, SPS Enrollment needs to displace one teacher at QAE. Contractually, we are required to displace our least senior teacher, and we are saddened to report that 4th grade teacher Ms. Dawson will be assigned to teach at a new school. Ms. Dawson wants parents to know that she understands and accepts this change has to be made, and her hope is to make it as calm and smooth as possible for students and for her move to a new school.
Our Building Leadership Team (BLT), composed of staff, PTSA and parents, recommends that we reorganize classes at 4th grade, due to current class sizes and striving to impact as few students as possible. This means we will shift from three 4th grade classes to two. Staff have worked together to create the best placements for our students and I have been in communication with 4th grade families in Ms. Dawson’s class already. We know our incredible QAE staff will support all students during this transition. The PTSA was clear that it wants to help the affected classes and will vote on funding a 4th grade tutor at the next meeting.
While no one wants this to happen, sometimes unexpected things occur. Modeling for our students that we will get through this together is important. All QAE families can help our students and our community by:
I welcome questions and don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I have also attached a second page of answers to some questions I anticipate you may have.
Thank you to our wonderful QAE community. Collaboratively working with staff, BLT and PTSA has been essential during this process. We will get through this change over the next few days, and most importantly, we will get through this together as a supportive QAE community.
QAE 2017 Reorganization FAQ
When a school loses a teacher, how is that teacher chosen?
When a teacher needs to be displaced in a school, we are contractually required to ask for volunteers and if none emerge, then the least senior classroom teacher is automatically displaced. The teacher being displaced is the least senior teacher at our school based on years teaching in SPS and in Washington state, as her experience is out of state.
What happens to the teacher who is displaced from the school?
She is assigned to a teaching position in another SPS school.
If our enrollment is down, do we get to keep the Head Teacher role (Katie Cryan Leary)?
Administrative allocations are assigned for the year and do not fluctuate due to enrollment changes. Our Head Teacher position was funded by converting our Assistant Principal allocation into a Head Teacher position for this year, so this position remains in place for the year. This role will be so important as we prepare for our move to our interim site next year.
Are we at risk of losing our music teacher?
Based on the number of classroom teachers at QAE, our specialist teacher allocation has not changed.
Are we at risk of losing any additional staff/resources?
At this time, I do not anticipate any impact to district services from SPS this year.
Could we have made cuts/savings in other places to save this position?
No. Schools are allocated separate budgets for staffing and supplies. Supply budgets cannot be moved to cover staffing needs, nor would they be sufficient to meet these costs.
Were enrollments down across all Seattle Public Schools?
Enrollment at the elementary level is down across the district. Schools are affected differently based on their boundaries, housing trends, etc.
How does this compare to other elementary schools in our area?
QAE is an option school so it enrolls differently than the neighboring attendance area schools that have automatic assignments. One unexpected factor this summer was that option school enrollments were affected by technical issues with the SPS online admission system not informing new families about option schools in their area. This technical issue, which inadvertently occurred over the summer, specifically impacted option schools enrollments. This has since been corrected, but it affected option schools.
Is our enrollment different from last year?
QAE’s enrollment this year is an unexpected anomaly. With the upcoming remodel of the school, the district and community clearly feel QAE will grow to capacity. Bottom line: this is not a trend, just a result of many different factors happening at once.
Did we take all the students off our waitlist?
Yes, all interested families were accepted at QAE this year. Note: we did find a 2 month window where the SPS online enrollment form issues so option schools were not listed in new student enrollment options.
I welcome questions and don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I will connect with you as soon as possible.
QAE is throwing a Popsicle Party for new families who will be joining us for the 2017-18 school year! It's tomorrow afternoon (June 13th) from 4:30-5pm on the QAE playground. See the school, meet some other families and get any questions answered. If you know a family of an incoming Kindergartner (or other families who will be new to QAE), please encourage them to attend!
Afterwards, new families can stick around and check our school-wide Project Based Learning celebration from 5-6:30pm!
Parents of Incoming Kindergartners: Don't forget to sign up for Kindergarten Jump Start, which will take place the week of August 21st - 25th!
Our kids. Our teachers. Our family. We're building a community of concerned, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.
Our Five Pillars:
If you haven't had a chance, please donate now!
The school is looking great, and is very nearly ready for the first day. The classrooms are large and light, and many hours have gone into making them some of the best elementary rooms in Seattle. At orientation, families met the staff, toured the school grounds and were afforded the opportunity to meet with Mr. Elliott. The current staff is very nearly organized for the first day and beyond. They are feeling very enthusiastic, though not complete. Because of fluctuating enrollment, QAE is very lucky to have been granted another full time teacher, to be hired by QAE, and second teacher to share with McDonald Elementary.
This will lower class sizes to around 25 students per room, which is excellent news for everyone! The two new teachers are being hired now, and will hopefully be in place for the first day. QAE will hire a kindergarten/1st grade teacher, and McDonald has hired 2 teachers who will job share and be the instructors for both school’s third graders. The classes will be as follows:
David Elliott Principal
Rachel Simon Kindergarten
To Be Hired K/1st grade
Katie Cryan Leary 2nd grade
Joelle Mertel & Dianne Eileen, 3rd grade shared with McDonald
Joe Bailey-Fogarty 4th / 5th grade
Jeffrey Riley, Librarian / Technology Specialist
Niki Meyers, Special Education
Brent Roberts, Physical Education
Carla Kirch, Administrative Assist
Thank you for your patience with these last-minute changes. If you have questions/concerns, please feel free to contact D
QAE has officially posted an opening and will be hiring for a K-1 teacher. We anticipate that we will be able to have a teacher in place for the first day of school.
What is a technology-infused curriculum? For many, this is the big question whose answer will define what makes Queen Anne Elementary unique. We have a dedicated and motivated team of parents who are looking at best practices internationally, and our entire staff is involved in defining what and how to apply these to our school.
While the role of technology is still being determined, one thing that is clear: the top priority of the school is teacher quality. With that in mind, it's great to share a news story of/about our 3rd/4th/5th grade teacher, Joe Bailey-Fogarty. This project demonstrates how Joe makes learning multiple subjects at once fun. He incorporates teamwork, architecture, physics, budgeting, art, and enjoyment in this lesson. See more here.
David Elliott and his new staff met with founding families and prospective students on Saturday morning in Queen Anne. The event was a huge success with over 100 attendees, brimming with energy and excitement. The Queen Anne Elementary community showed itself to be an enthusiastic group of individuals and families, eager to contribute and shape the future of the school. What an amazing opportunity for the founding families, working toward the common goal of building an exceptional public school! Check out photos from the event on the website.
Meet the Staff at Queen Anne Elementary! Queen Anne Elementary announces its staff team for the 2010-2011 school year. This remarkable team will be working with Principal David Elliott to create a unique technology-infused school. Come to the Family Meet and Greet on Saturday, June 5 at 9am at the Coe Elementary gym to meet our staff and other Queen Anne Elementary families.
Read their bios & quotes on our website.
Joe Bailey-Fogarty, 3rd/4th/5th Grades
Katie Cryan Leary, 1st/2nd Grade Classroom
Carla Kirch, Administrative Assistant
Niki Meyers, Special Education
Rachel Simon, Kindergarten
Jeffrey Riley, Librarian/Technology Specialist
Welcome to the Rocket Reader blog! The PTSA's collection of news & information relevant to QAE Families. This is also shared weekly in the Rocket Reader e-newsletter. Use the form below to sign up!
The Rocket Reader newsletter is sent weekly by the PTSA.