New Staff 2023-2024
Scott Burns, Vice Principal, 11th Grade
Hello! I am looking forward to partnering with the staff and students at Ida B. Wells as vice principal! I have been serving the PPS community for the past twenty years. From 2018-2023 I served as Vice Principal at Franklin High School where I oversaw curriculum implementation, health & safety protocols, emergency preparedness, and Title IX support. As VP I also supported and collaborated with multiple departments, including Special Education, Science, Health/PE, World Languages, and Visual & Performing Arts. Centering relationships between staff and students as a key to their success, I prioritized building-wide climate and equity where teacher-leaders created and led professional development centering student’s sense of belonging and active engagement; especially for Historically Underserved students. Prior to Franklin, I served as Dean of Students at Cleveland High School from 2016-2018 supporting student attendance, conflict resolution through Restorative Practices, and emergency preparedness. My comprehensive high school experience also includes teaching International Baccalaureate biology, forensic science, biotechnology, biology, geology, and astronomy at Cleveland from 2003-2016. I earned my bachelor’s degree in biology, botany, and microbiology from the University of Montana, M.A.T. from Lewis & Clark College, and an administrative license from Portland State University in collaboration with the Chalkboard Project “Leading for Learning.” Originally from Philadelphia, I have lived with my wife, Kristi, in southwest Portland for the past twenty six years together raising two daughters ages 20 and 16. My absolute passion is educating the youth and future of our community. And I enjoy Thorns matches with my family, canoeing, camping, live music, and travel.
Claire Bloomfield, SpED Teacher
Meet Claire Bloomfield, one of Ida B. Wells' dedicated Special Education Teachers. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Claire enjoys camping, gardening, art, yoga, and cooking. Fondly nicknamed "Blinkers" due to her inability to keep her eyes open in photos, Claire is passionate about teaching and believes neurodiverse children are the true superheroes. She's excited to guide kids toward a brighter future this year through compassion, collaboration, originality, and dedication. Claire is thrilled to be part of Ida B. Wells' team, where she knows the collective effort creates the real impact.
Vincent Chirimwami. SpED Teacher
I am so excited to be back at Ida B. Wells where I started my educator career in 2006 as an instructional assistant (IA). I was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I came to the United States as a refugee in 2004. In 2009, after completing my B.A. degree at Portland State University, coupled with a SPED teaching license, I taught at Pioneer for one year. Thereafter, my family moved to the Beaverton area and taught SPED within the BSD for six years. I also taught SPED at David Douglas SD for three years before rejoining PPS in 2019. Last year, I was a teacher on special assignment (TOSA) conducting the Fidelity Implementation Tool (FIT) assessment. I look forward to good years ahead and productive working relationships with the Ida B. Wells community.
Hi! Mitch Elovitz here! I’m super excited to be joining the Ida B. Wells community. I spent the last year as a Mental Health Therapist with the students of Benson Tech, which was incredibly enriching and rewarding. I am not a native Oregonian, but have lived here more than 30 years, so I definitely have my webbed feet! I grew up in Connecticut, earning my BS from Long Island University and my Masters from Pacific University and earned my LPC designation in 2004. I have worked over 30 years in the Mental Health field and am excited to be a part of the world of Special Education! When I’m not working, I have many interests and hobbies. I’m very involved in various non-profit organizations, participate in a bowling league, a rock choir, and love spending as much time as possible with friends and family! I live in Sellwood with my wife Nicole, of nearly 30 years, and have a 23-year-old daughter, Maude!
Morgan Feltmeier, Speech Pathologist
Hello! This is my 10th year working as a Speech-language pathologist but only my 3rd year working for PPS. Originally from Illinois, my partner’s job brought us out west in 2020. I’ve been full time at Abernethy Elementary the last two years, but this year am joining the Ida B. Wells community one day a week. When not working, I’m spending every moment I can being a new mom to my son Bowie…. And drinking coffee (lots of it).
Aloha, My name is Lauren Carmichael. I grew up in the Bay Area. I am multicultural; Mexican American and Filipina. I am a mother of two amazing kids. I have lived in Portland, Oregon for 13 years and I haven’t looked back.
I am one of the newest paraeducators on the team. This is my first year at Ida B Wells. It will be my second year working for Portland Public Schools. My career in education started as early as infancy, working with Reggio Emilio philosophy, which later led me to PPS. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to work with high schoolers this year. I have a passion for art, performance and music. My everyday theme song is “My Life” by Mary J Blige, if that tells you anything. I am a visual artist with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Portland State University. I am also training to be a stand-up comic and a radio DJ. I dance and I train with capoeira Angola. I love skateboarding around the city. You will always find me near a body of water. I am a mermaid. Growing up, believe it or not, I had a dislike for education, and ironically, here I am working in the education field. Nothing has felt more fitting for me! I have a strong radical belief that teachers and students will change our educational systems, and I want to be a part of the movement. I have learned so much about humanity from each student. Honestly, I am enlightened every day. I am here to learn more and to gain as much knowledge as I can. I am excited to see what this school year brings for us all!
Hello! My name is Gwenonwyn Knoop. You may recognize me from being a long term substitute in the building last year & I'm very excited to be here full time! This is my first year working full time as a paraeducator. I graduated from Western Oregon University's school of Education back in 2022 and I'm very excited to work in the Special Education program this year. I was born and raised in Amsterdam and moved to Oregon when I was 12 years old. I love being able to relate to our multicultural & multilingual students and fellow teachers. In my spare time I love spending time with my family, going on walks, traveling, and exploring new things!
Cheryl Bell, School NurseHello, my name is Cheryl and I am the nurse at Wells this year. I've spent the last five years working as a school nurse in the Wells cluster (JMS and three elementary schools). I'm super excited to work with high school students!My nursing career has mainly been in high risk obstetrics, 12 years in a hospital setting and 13 years working in a clinic. School nursing provides all the best things about being a nurse: teaching, building relationships and helping people advocate for their health. Please come by and see me if you aren't feeling well or you have a question or concern about your health. Make good choices and be safe out there.
Zach Alcerro, ELA and ELD
I am delighted to join the staff at Ida B. Wells this year in English Language Development & English Language Arts. I have spent the last few years in PPS student-teaching, substituting, and teaching after finishing my MEd in Secondary Language Arts and ESOL from PSU. Before that, I lived and taught at the college level in Niigata, Japan, for three years. I earned my BA in my home state, California, from UC Berkeley, where I studied Rhetoric. I spend my free time exploring the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest with my two sons, ages 3 and 5, and my partner Sayaka Trevor
Trevor Downen, Math
Hi! My name is Trevor Downen. I am excited about joining Ida B. Wells as a first-year math teacher after working in the engineering field for the past 16 years. I graduated from the University of Portland in 2006 and joined the Air Force to design and manage construction projects around the world. When I left active-duty, I moved back to Portland and worked as an engineer with the Washington Air National Guard and took a position with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). At BPA, I was charged with planning and coordinating operations for the Federal Columbia River Power System and the resulting power generation (31 hydroelectric dams). I became heavily involved with negotiating the Columbia River Treaty between the US and Canada before I left to follow my passion of teaching. I student-taught and substituted for Fowler MS in Tigard-Tualatin last year. When not in the classroom, you’ll find my wife, two daughters, and I exploring the Pacific Northwest landscape via hiking, camping, backpacking, and paddleboarding.
Alma Eaton, CTE-Health Occupations
I am Alma Eaton and I will be teaching Health Occupations CTE this year. While teaching high school will be new to me, I am coming with ten years of experience teaching Exercise Science (CTE) and Physical Education at Portland Community College. I'm excited to be here to inspire the next generation of healthcare providers. My background is in fitness/performance. Prior to my work at Portland Community College, I provided health and fitness programming and education for the Marine Corps. I have a Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and a Doctor of Education in Kinesiology. When I'm not working, I can be found playing outdoors or crafting/sewing indoors.
Lisa Morrell, ELA
My name is Lisa Morrell. I was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Grant High School. I started working with Portland Public Schools in 1998 as a paraeducator. I earned my MEd with an ELA endorsement from PSU and added a SpEd endorsement from Lewis & Clark College. For 18 years, I taught ELA, Ethnic Studies and was a SpEd case manager at the PPS DART (Day and Residential Treatment) Schools. White Shield was a residential program for teen parents and students in state custody. I then moved to Nickerson School which was a day treatment program for students receiving mental health support. For the last year, I have been teaching ELA at Faubion Middle School. In my free time, I like hanging at home with my husband and 10-year-old daughter. I am so excited to join the Ida B. Wells-Barnett community!
Kelly Jones, Science
Greetings! My name is Kelly Jones and I will be teaching Biology and Earth/Space this year at IBW. The past 2 years, I have been teaching Bio and Chem at Benson. I moved to Portland in 2021 from Atlanta, GA. I grew up in Atlanta and have a bachelor’s in Environmental Science with a focus in social science and a MAT with a Biology concentration. In addition to teaching, I have been a backpacking guide and yoga teacher. My love for the outdoors is what brought me to becoming a science teacher; that and a desire to save this beautiful planet of ours. When not in the classroom, you can find me surfing, foraging for berries and mushrooms, or finding new hikes to explore with my dog, Stella. I look forward to learning more about the IBW community!
Jeannie Redrejo, World Language-French
Hello! I’m Jeannie Redrejo. I’m happy to be joining Ida B Well’s team this year. This will be my third year with Portland Public Schools, my 13th year teaching French, and my 17th year teaching! I was born and raised in Nebraska, where I earned my BA and MA in French and French literature; and also where I met my husband. I have lived many places but consider Oregon my home as I’ve never lived anywhere as long as I have lived here. It suits me… I enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, paddle boarding, gardening, and just being outdoors. I also love good food and am always down for talking about eating out! Can’t wait to see what the year brings!
Robert Scharf, Study Hall Monitor
My name is Robby Scharf. I’ve been a part of the Ida B. Wells family for three years coaching football, and I am excited to now be joining as a part of the in-building staff. I grew up on a farm outside McMinnville where I still work during the summer, including this final full week before being in the building. I just graduated from Western Oregon with my Bachelors in Education and a teaching license (endorsement in middle/high social studies), making this my first official job in the career field I’ve wanted to be a part of since I was a kid. IBW is the place I want to be. I can’t wait to get started and meet you all in person.
Heather Straube, Social Studies, 0.5
Hi, my name is Heather! I am new to Ida B. Wells and excited to serve our amazing students! Originally from Alaska, I have multi-racial/multi-ethnic Louisiana roots, speak Spanish, enjoy songwriting, music, dance, traveling to other countries (I have lived in five other countries!), nature and learning about my students’ lives. I have a Masters in Teaching from Lewis & Clark and am currently working on my administrative license to become a principal one day.
What I love most about teaching is working with students to create joyous, interesting, historically relevant projects. I love building communities in which every student feels they have a voice. With a social justice activist past, community and equity.