VCS Middle School Directory

Yvonne Ayesiga

Dean of Student Affairs and STEM Teacher | Dr. Yvonne Ayesiga received her B.A. in political science and international relations from Wartburg College, her M.A. in postsecondary education from the University of Northern Iowa, and an Ed.D. in Student Affairs from the University of Portland. Yvonne worked in residence life for close to six years at Wartburg College and at the University of Portland. Yvonne has co-authored, presented and done work around promotion and access to education for all students, working with English as a second language learners, and most recently her research on impostor syndrome among first-generation college students. Yvonne enjoys teaching 7th grade STEM and serves as the Dean of Student Affairs at Valley Catholic Middle School. When not teaching, Yvonne enjoys cooking, rooting for the Timbers and Manchester United.

Email: [email protected]


Dean of Student Affairs and STEM Teacher
Matlin Anderson
[et_pb_section admin_label="section"] [et_pb_row admin_label="row"] [et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"]Religion and Art | Matlin Anderson joined the Valley Catholic family in 2021 as the 7th grade religion teacher and teaching art electives. Earning her Bachelor's of Elementary Education from Washington State University and her M.Ed. from George Fox University, she is passionate about teaching and has taught many subjects and grade levels over the years. Matlin grew up attending St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, attending and eventually leading Sunday school, assisting VBS, and regularly attending Mass. She is excited to join the religion department to spread the message of Christ. In her free time, she gets lost in books and movies, walks her dogs Billy and Remington, and spends time with family and friends. Email: [email protected]  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column] [/et_pb_row] [/et_pb_section]...
Religion Teacher
Paul Caballero

Director of Academic Affairs, English Department Chair and Math Teacher | Paul Caballero '10 returns to the Valley Catholic Middle School community as the Director of Academic Affairs, English Department head and mathematics teacher. Paul teaches two math courses, Sixth-grade Math and Seventh-grade Pre-Algebra, as well as three sections of English, Sixth- Grade English, Seventh-grade English, and Eighth-grade English. Paul is a returning alumnus to the Valley Catholic Community, attending Valley Catholic K-12 and graduating from VCHS in 2010. He continued his education at Gonzaga University, where he received his bachelor's degree in secondary education and English literature in the spring of 2014. While studying at Gonzaga, his coursework included mathematics courses as well as training in secondary education academic subjects. He is very passionate about working with students across all age groups, and feels privileged to work with a handful of VCMS teachers who first inspired him to pursue his teaching career. Outside the classroom, Paul enjoys reading, hiking, playing and watching soccer, and spending time with family and friends.

Email: [email protected]

Director of Academic Affairs, English Department Chair and Math Teacher
Christi Chisholm
Math and Study Skills | Christi Chisholm teaches Math and Study Skills. She earned her Bachelors of Mathematics from UC, Santa Barbara. She earned her CLAD (English Learner Authorization) from San Diego University and she earned her Masters of Education/IAL (initial administrator license) from Concordia University in Portland. She has taught mathematics for more than thirty years. She is thrilled to be teaching at Valley Catholic Middle School and cannot wait for this year's learning adventure. Besides teaching she loves spending time with family and friends, going for walks, swimming, cooking and baking, and writing. Email: [email protected]...
Math Department Chair and Study Skills Teacher
Shannon Drew
Math and Art | Shannon is excited to rejoin the Valley Catholic community as a math and art teacher. This year, her course and club content includes book-binding, paper-making, and drawing. After graduating from VCMS, then another Catholic high school in the area, Shannon attended Lewis & Clark College. She dual-majored in Computer Science and Art History, earning her Bachelor of Arts in both disciplines in 2020. Between then and now, she has worked as a machine learning engineer, a baker, and now enjoys a slew of activities: reading, writing, painting, and cooking among them. Shannon also has a dog named Sprout, who likes kibble and long walks on the beach. Email: [email protected]...
Math and Art
Janet Evans
Criminal Justice | Janet Evans joined Valley Catholic Middle School in 2021 and teaches elective classes in criminal justice. Janet retired from a 36-year career in criminal justice, including extensive experience working with youth and children. Janet earned a bachelor's degree from Linfield College in Behavioral and Social Sciences and a master's degree in Justice Management from University of Nevada. Janet has a passion for working with youth and their families. In her free time, Janet enjoys spending time with her family, including her two grandsons and her dog. Email: [email protected]...
Criminal Justice
Heather Ferebee

Science and Math | Though she chose Smith College in part because she would never have to take a math or science class again, Heather Ferebee graduated with a degree in Biology and a passion for connecting students of all ages to the phenomena of science. She has twenty years of experience teaching in a variety of public and private secondary schools, both indoors and out. She earned her MS in Science Education from Montana State University and began putting it to use at Valley Catholic in January of 2020. Heather’s interest in science is driven by her interactions with the natural world. When not working, she can be found hiking or camping, reading, in/on/under the water, or planning her next travel adventure with her family.

Email: [email protected]

Science and Math Teacher
Courtney Ferrari

Electives Teacher | Courtney Ferrari has taught at Valley Catholic School in Beaverton since 2000. Courtney earned a Bachelor of Arts from Lewis and Clark College, majoring in history and sociology. She has lived abroad in Germany, Senegal, and Japan. In 2010, she received the Oregon Middle School Social Studies Educator of the Year award from the Oregon Council for the Social Studies. In 2011, she received the Global Educator of the Year Award from the Oregon World Affairs Council. She has served on teacher advisory boards for the Portland Art Museum, Middle East Studies Center at PSU, and the Let’s Get Healthy program at OHSU. She has been a board member of the Oregon Council for the Social Studies and for the peer-reviewed Oregon Journal of the Social Studies. Courtney travels whenever possible and has received study abroad fellowships from the Turkish Cultural Foundation and Embassy of the United Arab Emirates. Teacher institutes she attended in the US included Ritual and Religion in the Medieval World (Fordham University, New York City), Martha Washington and Women of the 18th Century (Mount Vernon, Virginia), and Civil Rights, Civil Wrongs: Portland’s Black History (Portland, Oregon).

Email: [email protected]



Electives Teacher
Nick Fisher
Band, Double Bass, STEM Teacher | Graduated from Valley Catholic High School in 1998. Graduated from Ripon College, WI in 2002 with a Bachelors of Arts in Music, emphasizing in Cello and Bass performance in Jazz and Classical Styles. Managed 15 years for a Fortune 500 insurance company; during which continued to play bass in multiple bands, including Dave Groll tribute band FooVana. Moved to Salt Lake City, UT and volunteered performance time with Judge High School for student Mass. Substitute teacher for the Madeline Choir School. Has spent time recording music and podcasts. Host and entertain multiple weekly trivia events. Email: [email protected]...
Band, Double Bass and STEM Teacher
Susan Fu
Visual Arts and STEM Teacher | Susan Fu joined Valley Catholic Middle School in 2022, and teaches visual arts and STEM classes. She graduated from Taiwan National Normal University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Mrs. Fu served as the executive VP of a large private art school in Beijing, China, and worked as a senior conceptual art designer in the United States. She also operated a private art studio in California with about 300 students. In 2022, she obtained her master's degree and state teaching license at PSU with two endorsements: Art and Mandarin. She is a foodie, enjoys traveling, watching tv-series and movies in her spare time. Email: [email protected]...
Visual Arts and STEM Teacher
Courtney Geller
Spanish Teacher | Courtney Geller’s passion for the Spanish language began in middle school and continued into college while studying and working abroad in Madrid, Spain. Courtney earned a BA in Spanish and English at University of California, Santa Barbara. She then spent time in the corporate world, working in educational publishing. Recently, Courtney earned a Master’s in Teaching from George Fox University with endorsements in Spanish, English, and ESOL. As a mother of three, Courtney recognizes the importance of language learning in improving cognitive development and for fostering a positive attitude towards other languages and cultures. She loves good food, spending time with family and friends, reading, and traveling. Email: [email protected]...
Jennifer Gfroerer

VCMS Principal | Jennifer (Passadore) Gfroerer ‘87  has a B.A. and M.A. from College of Notre Dame,  an M.A.T. from Lewis and Clark College, and an Ed.D. in Neuroeducation from University of Portland. During her career, Jennifer opened three new middle school programs and authored, published, and presented on topics ranging from Neuroscience to standardized testing to STEM education to Catholic education. Jennifer is an adjunct professor at the University of Portland and serves as a member of the Oregon Cognia Advisory Committee. She and her husband, Jeff, have two children, who both attended Valley Catholic School.

Email: [email protected]

VCMS Principal
Sarah Gram
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Sarah Gram joins the Valley Catholic community as the 6th grade religion teacher and middle school choir assistant. Sarah attended Valley Catholic K-12, graduating from VCHS in 2017. During her time on the VCS campus she took piano and vocal lessons, while participating in the school choir. In middle school, she was selected to participate in the Oregon Music Education Association (OMEA) All-State Conference.

After high school, she continued her education at Oregon State University where she pursued a bachelor’s degree in English. Outside of the classroom, Sarah enjoys reading, playing volleyball, volunteering, and attending trivia night with her friends. She is so excited and thankful to return to the Valley Catholic community. Email: [email protected]

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Religion Teacher
Anna Harrison
Fine and Visual Arts and STEM Teacher | Anna Harrison joined Valley Catholic Middle School in 2020 and is the Visual and Fine Arts Department Chair and STEM teacher. After graduating from Masters School of Art in 2011, Anna taught in private schools and provided tutoring sessions. In 2018, Anna opened an art school that taught over 200 students. Anna is proficient in numerous art media including oils, pastels, and watercolors, and she has a particular passion for portraiture. She finds tremendous gratification imparting her love of art to her students. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, taekwondo, camping, and going for walks with her West Highland terrier ‘Bob’. Email: [email protected]...
Fine Arts and Visual Arts Department Chair and STEM Teacher
Kadin Hashimoto
Physical Education and Health Teacher | Kadin joins Valley Catholic Middle School after spending the first half of his professional career as a certified personal trainer and youth athletics developmental coach. He currently teaches 7th grade PE and Health as well as one section of 6th grade PE. After graduating from Sherwood High School, he received his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Linfield College where he participated in multiple sports. Kadin has also been coaching for the high school boy’s tennis team since 2020 and is excited to deepen his roots in the Valley Catholic community. Email: [email protected]...
Physical Education and Health Teacher
Nicholas Hegwood

Religion Department Chair and Director of Community Engagement | Nicholas Hegwood has taught at Valley Catholic since 2008. He currently teaches eighth-grade religion, and is the Director of Community engagement.  Nicholas is a graduate of Beaverton High School and Portland State University and has a strong background in history, religion and archaeology. He is truly passionate about his subject and his faith. In 2012, his colleagues recognized his contributions to Valley Catholic with the Middle School Spirit Award. 

Outside of school Nicholas enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He has a passion for sports of all kinds, especially football and basketball. He truly believes that Valley is a second home and loves being a part of this community. 

Email: [email protected]

Religion Department Chair and Director of Community Engagement
Melissa Iserson

Director of Design Thinking | Melissa Iserson is the Director of Design Thinking, the STEM Department Chair and teaches math and STEM classes. She graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and spent time working for a global management and technology consulting company prior to pursuing her teaching career. After building her technology background, Melissa earned a Master’s degree in teaching at University of Portland. She is a passionate teacher who enjoys working with students of all ages. Melissa is a Digital Citizenship Certified educator by Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship program. Outside of teaching, Melissa enjoys running, hiking, traveling, camping, spending time with her family and friends, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Email: [email protected]

STEM Department Chair
Kipp Johnson

Math | Kipp Johnson has taught mathematics at Valley Catholic since 1986, and is the chairman of the math department. His current assignments are AP Calculus I, AP Calculus II, Accelerated PreCalculus, and Honors 7th Grade math. Kipp earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Princeton, a master’s in mathematics from Portland State, and a master’s in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. His hobbies are doing the New York Times crossword puzzle (best Saturday time: 15 minutes) and playing the piano (and still, after 60 years, working on Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in E flat minor).

Email: [email protected]

Math Teacher
Allison Kelly
6th Grade Science | Allison Kelly joined Valley Catholic Middle School in 2021 as the sixth grade earth science and Lego robotics teacher. Allison has been a teacher since 2015, teaching earth science, biology, and comprehensive science to elementary, middle, and high school students. She grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and moved to the Portland area a couple of years ago after visiting and falling in love with the area. Allison graduated with a Masters degree in Secondary Science Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Florida.  In her free time she loves to hike, enjoy nature, and read. Email: [email protected]...
Science Teacher
Sara Kleen
Dance Teacher
Yin-Fang Liao

Digital Art | Yin-Fang Liao joined VCMS in 2019 and teaches Digital Arts and Stop Motion. After graduating from Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan with a BFA in Graphic Design, she moved to the United States to pursue her MFA degree in Computer Art/Animation at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her passion for computer animation led her through over 15 years of production experience in the film industry involved in Visual Effects Compositing, 3D Layout, and Character Animation in various major movie productions: the Laika films “The Boxtrolls,” “ParaNorman,” and “Coraline;” Blue Sky Studios film “Robots;” and Big Idea Productions’ Veggie Tales. Wanting to give back, she earned her Career Technical Education License with an endorsement in Media Arts through Portland Community College. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as traveling.

Email: [email protected]

Digital Art, STEMinar
Jamie Lytle
6th grade Social Studies, Journalism | Jamie Lytle is the 6th Grade Social Studies teacher at Valley Catholic Middle School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Riverside, majoring in Liberal Studies (Education).  After college, she worked as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher in Los Angeles, CA.  She then moved to Chicago and taught Writing to 6-8th grade students at a small charter school. There she earned a Master's Degree in Education at Dominican University. More recently, she taught 8th grade English in sunny San Diego for four years and 6th grade Social Studies in Chicago this past year. When Jamie is not teaching, she loves to read all different kinds of books, swim, watch Netflix, and enjoy time with her fun-loving pug, Frances. Lastly, she loves to spend time with her friends and family in her hometown of Fairfield in Northern California.
Social Studies Teacher
Francis “Butch” Malec
8th grade Social Studies | Francis "Butch" Malec teaches 8th grade social studies, is the VCMS Social Studies Department Head, and serves as Dean of Students. During his career, he has worked at middle and high schools in California, New York, and Oregon as an administrator and football coach. He has also taught Latin, history and English. He holds an Ed.M. from Teachers College, Columbia University; an M.A. in Classics from the University of Texas; and a B.A. in Classics from Reed College. He has spent summers working on archaeological excavations in North Macedonia and Italy....
Social Studies Department Chair and Dean of Students
Peggy Malec
Spanish and Spanish Department Chair | Peggy Malec has been with Valley Catholic since 2021. She teaches 8th grade Spanish and is the Spanish Language Department Chair. Peggy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kansas where she majored in Spanish. After taking a few years to work in the corporate world, she began teaching in 2011 before entering grad school. She earned a Master of Arts in Spanish from Middlebury College. She has also had the pleasure of traveling and studying in Spain, Peru, Panama, and Mexico. Email: [email protected]...
Spanish Department Chair
Mackenzie Mullett
Study Skills and English Teacher | Mackenzie Mullett is a Study Skills and English teacher. Mackenzie attended Valley Catholic from 7th to 12th grade and graduated in the class of 2016. After high school, she earned her bachelor’s degree in 2020 from the University of Portland with a B.B.A. in Marketing. She is excited to be returning to Valley as a first-year teacher. Outside of school, Mackenzie enjoys traveling, reading, and engaging with the performing arts.  Email: [email protected]...
Study Skills and English
Kara Moore

PE Department Chair | Kara Moore teaches physical education and health. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University in Portland, Or.  While attending Bellarmine, she played four years on the softball team and her senior year was voted the conference player of the year. She finds joy in teaching middle school students and appreciates their enthusiasm, energy, and thirst for knowledge. While not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, camping, and playing just about any sport. She also enjoys visiting her family in her hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky. 

Email: [email protected]

PE Department Chair
Huy Nguyen
English | Huy Nguyen teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English. He is a graduate from University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in English Studies and a graduate from Kennesaw State University with a second bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education. Huy has taught overseas in Taiwan for several years and recently in an Oregon public school. Outside of school, Huy enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, and spending time with his family. Email: [email protected]...
English Teacher
Leland Rivers
English Teacher | Leland Rivers teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English. He is a graduate from Linfield University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and graduated from the Education Department with an Oregon State Initial Teaching License for Secondary English Education. He held a coaching position with his childhood swim team after college for eight years and only recently moved to the area to teach at VCMS. In his free time he enjoys hiking, backpacking, cycling, running, cooking for friends, and listening to music. Email: [email protected]...
Jacquie Ross
English | Jacquie Ross joined VCMS in 2020. She is currently teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth grade English, as well as sixth and seventh grade Math. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Her interests include reading, playing the piano, biking, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with family. Email: [email protected]...
English Teacher
Alyse Rostamizadeh

VCMS Counselor | Alyse Rostamizadeh, MSEd, is an elementary and middle school teacher, author and educational consultant, known for her inclusive practices that build learning communities. She is a Mental Health Specialist from the American School Counselor Association. Her ability to foster relationships with young learners adds to her strong theoretical background in neuroscience and learning. She whole-heartedly believes that all children can learn. She has worked in a variety of educational settings in both private and public schools and from early childhood through higher education. She is well-known for her implementation of Viconic Language Methods™ with learners, which allows marginalized students to be a part of the classroom community. She is the co-author with Dr. Ellyn Arwood of Neuro-Viconic Education System: A Systemic Approach to Learning. As the counselor, Alyse supports learners academically and socially to develop prosocial behaviors and advocate for their own learning needs. Alyse spends her time outside of school with her four young children and husband. She lives for coffee, reading, and traveling.

Email: [email protected]

VCMS Dean of Counseling
Maria Rubash
Health and P.E. Teacher | Maria Rubash teaches health and physical education and joined Valley Catholic Middle School in 2021. She graduated from PCC with an Associate of Applied Science Fitness Technology and next earned a Bachelor of Science Applied Health and Fitness and a Master’s in Education from Portland State University. Along with being certified as a CPR instructor, Maria also has background knowledge and work experience in the medical field. Outside of work, she likes to spend time with her family and friends and be active by hiking, kayaking, and recreationally participating in community road/trail races. Email: [email protected]...
VCMS Teacher
Molly Teeter
Administrative Assistant | Molly Teeter joined Valley Catholic Middle School as an administrative assistant in the fall of 2021. Molly was raised in a Catholic family and has always found her faith to be her foundation. Before she joined the VCMS team, she worked for more than 30 years in Religious Education at St. Matthew Parish in Hillsboro, Oregon. Molly and her husband Chris, raised their two children, Katie and Matthew, in Hillsboro. She enjoys gardening, decorating, being a part of a Book Club and going camping with friends and family. Molly now finds her greatest joy in spending time with their grandkids. Email: [email protected]...
Administrative Assistant
Matt Woodworth
Social Studies and English Teacher | Originally from Albany, NY, Matt Woodworth obtained his bachelor's degree from Siena College in history and minors in educational studies and Italian language and cultural studies in 2019. He then taught English in southeast Italy for a summer. Next, he moved to Oregon, earned a master’s in the teaching from the University of Portland, and taught in Bend the past two years. When not teaching, Matt usually is playing or watching sports ranging from track to soccer to rugby. He loves spending time with his friends and family at home or exploring new cities, especially any new coffee shop. Email: [email protected]...
Social Studies and English
Kelliann Wright
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Choir Instructor | Kelliann is the Choir Instructor for Valley Catholic Middle School and High School.  After graduating from VCHS in ‘05, she received her Bachelor of the Arts in Music from the University of Portland and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Over the past several years she has enjoyed wearing the hats of music producer, actress, choral director, and professional singer in Opera, choral ensembles, and Musical Theater. She has enjoyed her time as a music teacher and choral director at CalArts, Community Arts Partnership, Norris Center of Performing Arts, St. Francis of Assisi school and parish, and her own private studio in Beaverton. When she is not performing and teaching, she loves beach trips with her family (and Doodle!), reading, and recording vocal projects in her home studio.
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Choir Instructor