Lincoln High School is pleased to introduce new staff for Fall 2016.
Welcome to our newest Cards!
Raised in Eugene, Oregon, Aisha Beck got her degrees in mathematics and education and has spent time working as a resource instructor at outdoor school, an elementary school teacher, a teacher of teachers through PSU and other math organizations, and a middle school and high school math teacher. For the past 17 years she has been teaching IB middle and high school mathematics HL and SL, as well as Theory of Knowledge in the Beaverton School District. For the past few summers she has attended the IB World Student Conferences (in Vancouver BC, Montreal, and Switzerland) as a global action team leader and looks forward to talking to Lincoln students about the IB world student conferences and getting them involved in those experiences. Aisha hopes “to help students think more creatively and critically in order to be thoughtful and compassionate world citizens.” Aisha’s schedule at Lincoln this year includes Geometry, IB Math Higher Level 1/2 and IB Math HL 3/4. In her free time, she enjoys trail running, hiking, gardening, volunteering for a local cat shelter, photography, playing in Boka Marimba, and spending time with friends.
Aisha’s favorite quote: “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” –Isaac Asimov
Ruqayya Jarad has worked in education, both in teaching and administration, across two countries for over 29 years. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt and later moved to Saudi Arabia with her husband. After coming to the United States, she further pursued education by getting a certificate in Paraeducation from Portland Community College and working as a Paraeducator at Beach School for two years. She most recently worked with the Paraeducation team at Metropolitan Learning Center, where she supported staff and students for four years. Ruqayya completed her Bachelor’s Degree in an accelerated program at George Fox University, where she graduated as a Certified Teacher in April 2016. She will be teaching multiple levels of Arabic at Lincoln this fall, focusing on both language and Arabic culture, including the history, culture, geography, food, music, art, etc., in order to develop a deep appreciation of the differences in our world. At Lincoln, Ruqayya hopes to help students develop critical thinking skills, foster a global understanding, and cultivate an appreciation for diversity and other cultures. In her free time she enjoys cooking, entertaining family and friends in her home, traveling, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures and perspectives.
Ruqayya’s greatest adventure: Having the opportunity to finally visit Palestine, the country of her parents, this summer. This experience was incredibly profound as she connected with the roots of her people and the culture.
Laura Jones joins Lincoln as a library assistant from Kelly Elementary School, where she has worked for the past eight years. At Kelly, she and a team of volunteers turned the Southeast Portland school’s music annex into a temporary bookstore and let all 500 Kelly students pick books to take home. Before this, Laura worked in two public libraries (in Arizona and California) and spent one year as a volunteer restoring the Hayhurst library.
John Killen received his BA in English Literature from The College of Idaho and completed fellowships in journalism-related fields at the University of Missouri-Columbia (1991) and the University of California-Berkeley (2006). John has spent the past 41 years as a newspaper journalist, working as an editor and reporter for the Idaho Free Press, the Lewiston Morning Tribune, and the Oregonian, where at various times he was the regional editor, the Sunday editor, the city editor, the Portland team leader, the breaking news editor and the history reporter. At Lincoln, he will be teaching Intro to Communications and Mass Communications. John is an avid cyclist, having ridden in Cycle Oregon four times, and has a strong interest in Portland history.
Originally from New York, new Geometry and IB Math Studies teacher Lisa Klein-Wolf has spent the past twenty-five years living all over the United States in New Orleans, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Portland. She completed her undergraduate studies at Tulane University and got her masters degree at UCLA. While in graduate school in the early 2000s, she became passionate about Educational Technology and as the technologies available have evolved, her enthusiasm for using technology as a tool in the classroom has intensified. She loves reading teaching blogs and she’s a voracious reader of the MTBoS (MathTwitterBlogosphere). During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, hiking, Centergy (think traditional yoga meets Amy Winehouse), being with friends, binge-watching shows on Netflix, and Starbucks. Lisa is very excited to be back in Portland and feels so fortunate to be joining the Lincoln community and looks forward to getting to know the unique and diverse student body while working with other passionate educators.
Lisa’s favorite quote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” from Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day
Ranjani Krishnan was born in India, grew up in the Middle East, and came to Reed College in Portland to get her Bachelor’s degree. Since then, she has studied at the University of Illinois and Lewis and Clark College, acquiring degrees in mathematics, music, and education. Ranjani decided to become a teacher to serve her community as she is doing her daily job, and so she can be around “excruciatingly honest, humorous, and incitable people all day (namely adolescents).” Before coming to Lincoln, she was a teacher at Wilson High School. This year Ranjani will be teaching ECS and IB Math Studies. She looks forward to hearing the rhetoric of students and making learning even more exploratory than she has done before. In her free time, she loves to meditate, read, converse, walk, watch stand-up comedy, and explore music.
Ranjani’s favorite quote: “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he (or ze) finds it attached to the rest of the world.” –John Muir
Gayle Lennox, an East coast native raised by teachers, earned science degrees from the University of Georgia and Columbia University, with a focus on environmental health socioeconomic disparities. After experimenting in the lab and policy conference rooms, she eventually fell into her family tradition and has spent the last four years teaching related sciences in Washington DC. Gayle says she is a teacher because “I believe all students can learn in the right environment, given the right opportunities. To unlock a students' desire to seek (and question) knowledge is the greatest service I could do to ensure a better future.” She loves the process of adaptation in the middle of a lesson or throughout the year to better perfect her craft. She’s a life long learner, and this job forces her to learn and improve everyday. She will be teaching physics to underclassmen this year and looks forward to using technology to better track and assess her students. She also hopes to expose them to new technology throughout the learning process and to collaborate with the rest of the Cardinal crew to make rigorous learning interactive. In her spare time she enjoys building community around knitting and other fiber arts.
If Gayle could master any skill: It would be pattern drafting and manipulation for knitting and sewing. She thinks it would save her time and money-- while being another creative excuse to use math!
Ryan McCants earned his undergraduate degree from Oregon State in Sociology (and was a student-athlete competing in football) and recently completed his Master’s in Teaching at Marylhurst University. Prior to becoming a football coach at Lincoln three years ago, he worked as a Child and Adolescent Treatment Specialist for Trillium family services for two years. Ryan joined LHS as an attendance monitor during the 2014-15 school year and also was a full time student teacher during this past 2015-16 winter term. This fall he will be teaching social studies and he looks forward to rejoining the Lincoln community as a teacher and coach. In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with close friends and family, cooking and eating good food (especially BBQ), coaching/playing/watching sports, and reading a good book.
If Ryan could master one skill: It would be to retain everything he reads…the first time.
This fall, Glenn McCormick joins Lincoln to teach PE and Personal Fitness. He attended San Francisco State University (B.A. in History, minor in Athletic Coaching, and California Single Subject Teaching Program) and St. Mary’s College (M.A. in Health and Physical Education Recreation). Glenn taught Physical Education in California at George Washington High School, Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, and Thurgood Marshall Academic High School. He was also the Athletic Director at Thurgood Marshall and has coached baseball at the high school and college level.
Steven Pape received his B.A. in Anthropology and Philosophy from American University, his M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University, and his Ed.M. in Education Leadership from Columbia Teachers College. He taught social studies at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon, the International School of Prague in the Czech Republic, and most recently Lusher Charter School in New Orleans, Louisiana. At Lusher, Steven taught AP European History, Anthropology, World History, and Free Enterprise, was the social studies department chair, supervised student government, and started the quiz bowl team (which won second place in the US in 2015 under his leadership). He will be teaching US History and Academic Center Language Arts this fall.
Eric Peterson graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Zoology. He later went on to get his M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education from Lewis and Clark College. He has taught biological sciences at Marshall High School, Centennial High School, North Medford High School, and most recently Glencoe High School. Eric has also spent the past six summers as a teacher monitor in the Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering (ASE) Program at the Portland Saturday Academy. He has also done extensive research with Oregon Primate Research Center and OHSU. Eric "strongly believe[s] in the importance of the school as a community and enjoy[s] contributing to the spirit of an institution through involvement in school activities outside the classroom.” He will be teaching biology and IB Bio Sports this fall.
Born and raised in Davis, California, Collin Reinking began his studies in engineering and computer science at American River College, but later decided to major in mathematics after concluding that helping young people learn and find academic success was his passion. He graduated from the University of California at San Diego where he continued on to earn his Master of Education degree along with his teaching credential. After nine years of teaching everything from remedial algebra to IB Math SL at Bonita Vista High School, he got the unique opportunity in December of 2015 to serve as a math teacher for so-called "unaccompanied minors," children immigrating to the United States with their parents or other adult caretaker, at a program in Portland. Collin is excited to join the Lincoln community and “is most looking forward to learning about and becoming part of a school culture that has fostered great success over recent years while I continue to do what I can to ensure that every student who steps into my classroom is given the opportunity to take advantage of a world class educational opportunity.” He will be teaching FST (Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry) and Algebra 3/4 with Support. In his free time he enjoys hiking, basketball, FIFA, the Timbers, playing guitar and generally trying to put smiles on peoples faces.
Collin’s favorite quote: "Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." –Kurt Vonnegut
Andy Riffel was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in a bilingual household by immigrant parents from Argentina. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from Pacific Union College in 2009, a M.A. in Mathematics Teaching from Cal State Fullerton in 2013, and completed a M. Ed. from Portland State University this June. He moved to Portland to enroll in the Mathematics Education PhD program at PSU, and it was in learning about mathematics teacher education there that he became inspired to experience the complexities of teaching high school. He has really valued the impact educators have had on his life and would like to pay it forward. At Lincoln he will be teaching Geometry 1/2 and Advanced Algebra 3/4. Andy is eager to join the team here at Lincoln and is excited to collaborate with the faculty. Andy’s wife Lisa Riffel is the new choir director here at Lincoln, and they both enjoy singing with the Oregon Repertory Singers.
Andy’s greatest adventure: Spending seven months volunteering as a teacher in India in the small town of Nedumkandam, Kerala. He learned to speak a few words of Malayalam, the art of eating without utensils (right hand food-scooping techniques), and how to wrap a dhoti around his waist.
Lisa Riffel graduated from La Sierra University in Riverside, California with a B.Mus. in Music Education (Vocal Performance emphasis) and a B.A. in Spanish. After teaching music at an elementary school in Glendale, California, she recently finished a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting at Portland State University in June and has since been working as Adjunct Faculty teaching the PSU Summer Chorus. Lisa decided to become a teacher because her experience singing in choir throughout high school is what made her want to come to school every day: “Choir changed my life, and I want to give it the chance to change others’ lives as well. I also love working with young people and guiding them through the war zone that life can be.” At Lincoln she will be teaching the Cardinal Choir, the Lincoln Ladies, and Lincoln Men’s Ensemble, and a singer-songwriter class. She loves singing in choirs, playing piano, traveling, hiking in the Gorge, and exploring the Portland food scene. Her husband, Andy Riffel, also joins Lincoln this fall as a math teacher.
Lisa’s favorite quote: “All performances of human art, at which we look with praise and wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance.” –Ben Johnson
Jessica Russell, Class of ‘05 alumna and former basketball player for outgoing AD Jeff Peeler, joins Lincoln this fall as our new athletic director. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Teaching appealed to her because she loves helping people learn and grow. Since TU, Jessica has been teaching sixth grade language arts, social studies, and AVID at Sellwood Middle School in SE Portland. A couple of years into her teaching career she added coaching to her resume. She quickly fell in love with coaching and “it was awesome to see my students succeed outside of the classroom and I was able to form stronger connections with those students and their families.” Before long, she was coaching and/or organizing a sport a season. As a former Cardinal, she understands the power of the Lincoln community and cannot wait to work with students and their families to continue the tradition of academic and athletic excellence at Lincoln. Lincoln Athletics was the center of her family’s world for years and she looks forward to dedicating herself to it again. When she’s not coaching or teaching, she loves trying out new sports or workouts, getting outside, traveling, cooking, reading, golf, and rock climbing.
Jessica’s most recent adventure: Taking a trip to Thailand with another teacher (also a Lincoln grad) where they backpacked through the mountains, visited temples, and took a cooking class.
Debra Sankovitz, raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be joining the Lincoln counseling team this fall. After earning her BA degree in Criminology at the Indiana University of PA, she bought a one-way ticket to Colorado to embrace the mountain scene. She earned her MA in Educational Psychology from CU, while enjoying the outdoors through backpacking and mountain biking. Debra decided to move with her three children (now all in college) to the Pacific Northwest and later earned her school counseling licensure at Lewis & Clark. For the past thirteen years, she has been working as a high school counselor at Roosevelt, Grant, and Clackamas High Schools. Debra is thrilled to be joining the counseling team at Lincoln and truly loves the relationship-based aspect of the counselor role; she is particularly passionate about helping students explore and prepare for their next exciting step. She looks forward to meeting the committed staff and riding her bike to work.
Debra’s greatest adventure: Recently renting a teardrop trailer and traveling around Colorado resurrecting her mountain biking skills.
Bryan Sobehrad joins Lincoln’s faculty to teach physics this fall. He earned his undergraduate degree in history and geology from the University of Arizona and has since been instructing in geology, astronomy, urban agriculture, physics, and AP physics. Bryan most recently taught physics and pre-AP physics at Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson, Arizona. He is also an initial member of a start-up charter school focused on promoting leadership and project-based learning.
Ginger Taylor was born in Walla Walla, Washington and raised in North Portland, later graduating from Jefferson high school. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology-Sociology from Western Oregon University and her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Lewis & Clark College. Ginger spent eight years as a school counselor in Portland Public Schools and went on to receive her Administrative Licensing from Portland State University. Most recently, Ginger has been the administrator for Portland Evening & Summer Scholars for the past four years. Ginger comes to Lincoln as the new Vice Principal for Curriculum and Academic Programming and loves to work with students, “because I have always been drawn to working with adolescents, particularly those that need extra support and guidance with school, family, and personal challenges. I am the first in my family to attend college, and want every student to know they have the option to go to college. Now, as a high school administrator, it is my mission to ensure that all students are offered a rigorous, college prep academic schedule and that there are solid supports and good guidance in place for other first generation students.” Ginger enjoys the coast; tide pooling, bird watching, whale watching, and walking the shoreline looking for shells, as well as gardening, backyard BBQ, sports (especially the Seattle Mariners) and rock and roll concerts.
Ginger’s favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” –Mahatma Gandhi
Dardn Thomsen grew up on a sailboat with her family traveling through the Intercoastal Waterways, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, US and British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda. Before coming to Lincoln, she worked in publishing, was an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University, the College of San Mateo, and Portland Community College – Sylvania Campus, and taught English for the past 13 years at Hillsboro High School. Dardn will be teaching Senior IB Language A: Literature (HL) and Senior English. She is excited to come to Lincoln, saying, “Word on the street is that Lincoln students are incredibly thoughtful, curious, and disciplined in their writing. I can’t wait to work with them!”
Dardn’s favorite essay: "Politics and the English Language" by George Orwell
Sam Wilson grew up in Northwest Portland catching crawdads in the creeks of Forest Park at every opportunity. He attended Chapman, West Sylvan and Lincoln, before heading to the Rocky Mountains to study at Colorado College. Since graduating from Lincoln, he has taught everything from trail building and marine invertebrate identification, to creative writing and English as a second language. His work experiences led him to places as far-flung as a summer camp in the San Juan Islands of Washington, to a two-room schoolhouse in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Eventually Sam returned home to pursue his master’s in teaching at Lewis and Clark College and later spent a year student-teaching at Grant High School. He spent the past two years teaching English in Bloomington, Indiana, where his partner was completing her graduate work. Since his inspiration to teach began at Lincoln High School, he feels especially fortunate for the opportunity to return. As a Lincoln alumnus, Sam looks forward to stepping back through the doors as a 10th and 11th grade English teacher to see how Lincoln has grown and changed since he graduated. Outside of the classroom, Sam enjoys hiking, biking, climbing, and any opportunity to get lost in the remote corners of Oregon.
Sam’s favorite book: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
Li Xiang will be teaching Mandarin this fall at Lincoln. She received her B.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from Yangzhou University, China and her M.A. in Literature and Linguistics from Suzhou University, China. In December 2016, she will receive her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Curriculum and Instruction from the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University. Li has most recently been an Adjunct Chinese Instructor at Lewis and Clark College and the Business School at Portland State University. She has extensive published work, including textbooks, book chapters, book reviews, and journal articles, and dictionaries.