Kindergarten – LB Gossett
After graduating from the University of Tennessee, with BAs in English and French Literature, LB moved to France to work in the French public school system as an English language assistant. Following that she was offered another opportunity to work in the French school system, but this time in the French Caribbean. In Guadeloupe she worked as a middle and high school English assistant. In 2016 LB drove cross country to search out new alternative educational opportunities in Portland. She worked at a Montessori preschool for the year and a half and then found Trackers Earth.
Kindergarten – Sam Linder
Sam Linder was the inaugural Teacher of the Trackers Forest School in 2016 with the first kindergarten class. He believes that young children are more capable of creativity and understanding their social relations then given credit for. Sam Linder is a lifelong educator and dedicated citizen of the worldwide biotic community. He has taught and led expeditions across North America and the globe, fostering courage, curiosity, and compassion in all of his students.
First Grade – Jessa Moody
Jessa studied Elementary Education at the University of Maine and Reading education at the University of South Florida. She has been teaching elementary aged students for the last 8 years. After spending some time abroad learning about new cultures, she came back to the U.S. to focus on teaching students about the natural world. Jessa loves fishing, hiking, crafting, reading and spending as much time as possible outdoors.
First Grade – Christine Fleener
Studied Astronomy and Anthropology at the University of Illinois and earned her PhD in Comparative Human Development and Behavioral Biology at the University of Chicago. As an undergrad, she conducted research on stellar formation and on the ecology and evolution of reptiles, insects, and grass species. As a grad student, she lived in Puerto Rico researching a population of rhesus monkeys at the Cayo Santiago Biological Field Station and founded a nonprofit dog rescue there called Punta Santiago Dogs that has helped her community care for and relocate over 200 animals! Christine also designs games, puzzles, and immersive experiences that motivate more intimate interactions with the environment and others and introduce different perspectives and approaches to problem solving.
Second Grade – Olivia Tym
Oliva Graduated from DePaul University where she studied art history with a focus on performance, durational and eco-art through the lens of feminist history, as well as in depth work in nonviolent communication, mediation, non-violent crisis intervention, and non profit management. . In 2015, she came to Portland to work at cycling and transportation nonprofit The Street Trust for the Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. Olivia spent 2 years working in Portland Public Schools as a para-educator in the elementary Life Skills classroom at the district’s Special Education program. She carries all of this experience, knowledge, and patience to the Forest School as 2nd grade teacher.
Third Grade – Roman Shapla
Roman Shapla has been Teaching with Trackers since 2015. While earning his degree in Cultural Anthropology Roman focused on child-rearing among primitive societies. His studies convinced him that children are more respected, capable, involved, and joyful among hunter-gatherers and small scale horticultural societies. Later he pursued a Master’s in Education with an emphasis on creating permaculture curriculum for Elementary schools. In 2005 Roman established the Children’s Permaculture Guild to introduce sustainable design to youth. For the past decade he has offered free classes in gardening, nature awareness, eco-art, and primitive skills. Roman also taught the world’s first Permaculture Design Course just for kids.
Sixth & Seventh Grade – Zane Davidson
Zane Davidson has been Teaching with Trackers since 2017. He has a master degree in cultural anthropology. He worked on numerous social research studies before becoming an archaeologist. and getting out to site on Multiple woodland American villages, two Romanian Stone Age homesteads, and an Iron Age fortress. Zane did his postgraduate studies in England. After returning to the States he spent over half a decade instructing as faculty of biological anthropology at a state university, while spending his summers as a park ranger up at the incredible Olympic National Park
8th Grade – David Kucia
David attended college at Paul Smith’s College located in the heart of the Adirondack mountains in New York. While he was there he majored in Natural Resource Management and Policy as well as getting a minor in Biology. He has worked as an environmental educator for several years all across the northeast in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont teaching students the endless knowledge the forests and streams can offer. He has also been on search and rescue teams, worked as a wildlife biologist, been an archery instructor and has done animal rehabilitation.
Micro High School- Bea Lake
Bea graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in history. Bea has taught and practiced community first aid for more than a decade, farmed four seasons on two coasts, biked from New England to New Orleans with her dog, and instructed youth in skills ranging from patching inner tubes to processing woodchuck. She has worked with Trackers since 2013 and her classes weave together traditional skills, sociology, history and social justice.
Ian Abraham – Forest School Principal
Ian has been teaching within the Portland Metropolitan area since 1999. He holds an MA in Environment and Community through Antioch University and has taught for many outdoor education programs, including M.E.S.D. Outdoor School, Cascadia Wild, Wolftree Inc., Tryon Creek and the Oregon Zoo. He spent the last 13 years at Portland Audubon as an Environmental Educator, Camp Director, and the Youth Programs Manager. Ian’s focus is the science and art of animal tracking. He is passionate about bird language and well as wilderness living skills. Ian is passionate about the vision of Forest School where students learn typical Oregon core curriculum standards through immersive outdoor skills. He is excited to supporting the massive amount of talent that the Forest School teachers bring to each and every day while also supporting the parents that trust us with their child’s academic experience.
Elaine Kinchen – Forest School Vice-Principal
Elaine spent her formative years both attending Star Trek conventions and living with a radical primitive skills community in the woods before receiving her degree in Cultural Anthropology with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Elaine has been with Trackers since 2012 teaching and directing a variety of Trackers programs ranging from archery to ceramics to bookkeeping. She now divides her time between teaching art classes and administrative duties as the Vice Principal managing operational logistics. She loves watching students realize their own competency. Elaine is excited to be part of a program that connects people to the earth through hands-on experiences.