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Meet the Teachers

Meet the teachers at Oak Heights Elementary

Kindergarten Teachers:

  • Lydia Douglas
  • Theresa Tonnu:
    • This is my second year in the Edmonds School District.  Last year I was at Hazelwood Elementary as the morning ELL teacher and afternoon Kindergarten teacher.  I am very excited to begin my full-day Kindergarten journey at Oak Heights!
  • Ali Wilkens
  • Kristi Yount

1st Grade Teachers:

  • Christina Duff
  • Kathi Frankino
  • Jamie Hood:
    • This is my first year teaching at Oak Heights, but my 10th year in the Edmonds School District.  I already love Oak Heights students, families, teachers, and staff.  If you walk into my classroom you would see students working hard to learn, you would hear students singing and talking about their thinking, and you would feel a sense of community.  When I am not at school, I like to hula-hoop, hike, garden, do yoga, and sail.
      • Favorite Quote: "Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all." -Aristotle
  • Julie Krusenstjerna:
    • I have taught K-2 in the Edmonds School District for seven years (six at Oak Heights and one at Cedar Valley).  I have lived the Edmonds/Lynnwood area all my life and enjoy spending time at the beach.
      • Favorite Quote: "you can't learn if you don't listen" -my very wise and quiet grandpa

2nd Grade Teachers:

  • Tanya Grush
  • Tamara Littlejohn:
    • I have been teaching in Edmonds for over a decade, starting my career at Beverly, refining my skills at Hilltop and finally bringing my experience to Oak Heights.  I believe learning should be rooted in joy, determination, kindness, wonder, trying hard, and unrelenting curiosity.
      • Favorite Quote: "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -Roald Dahl
  • Calysta Peterson
  • Patty Riggin

3rd Grade Teachers:

  • Sara Kaleo
  • Shellena Nicol
  • Anne Williamson
    • This is my second year teaching 3rd grade at Oak Heights. I taught in another district for 10 years, but I am so glad to be here now! I love to read, run, walk around Greenlake, drink tea, and watch all Seattle sports teams. 
      • Favorite Quote: "Life may have its failures, but this is not it. The only true failure can come if you quit. - Rosie Revere

3/4 Split Teacher:

  • Andrea Albers
    • I started at OHE in 2005, where I spent five years as intermediate Learning Support teacher.  This was followed by five years as a 4th grade teacher and when I received my National Board Certification. I spent an additional year as a Learning Support teacher before taking a travel leave for a year.
      • Favorite Quote: "Be the change you want to see in the world!"

4th Grade Teachers:

  • Marcelle Currier:
    • This is my 12th year teaching 4th grade at Oak Heights.
      • Favorite Quote: "Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons"
  • Rhodora dela Cruz:
    • I will be teaching 4th grade this year and am very excited about it!  I have taught 2 years in kindergarten, 2 years in first grade, and 11 years in third grade (with a one year 3/4 split class).
      • Favorite Quote: "Work hard to play hard"
  • Thea Russo

5th Grade Teachers:

  • Alecia Aillaud:
    • I grew up in the Edmonds School District, having attended Seaview, Meadowdale Middle, and Meadowdale High.  I have been a teacher for 10 years in the Edmonds School District, having taught almost every grade.  I have taught at Lynndale, Beverly, Seaview and Edmonds Elementary, as well as worked as an instructional coach for three years at a number of schools.  Last year was my first year at Oak Heights teaching my favorite level, 5th grade, and I am excited to do it again this year!
      • Favorite Quote: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas Edison
  • Jessica Cotton
  • Janice Paulson

6th Grade Teachers:

  • Jessie Asp
    • I have been at Oak Heights teaching 6th grade since 2016.  I have been teaching in the Edmonds School District for over ten years.  I have a passion for learning and being outside enjoying the many natural wonders of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
      • Favorite Quote: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you have imagined." -Henry David Throreau
  • Theresa Bennet
  • Jessica Janicki
  • Colin Odell
    • This is my 10th year at Oak Heights and I love being a bobcat! I taught 5th grade for the first seven years and this is my third year teaching 6th. I love giving students chances to show off their creativity and take charge of their own learning.
      • Favorite Quote: "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." -Thomas Edison

Learning Support:

  • Grace Carlson:
    • This is my first year at OHE! I graduated in the Spring from Western Washington University, and I am excited to be joining the community at Oak Heights this year.
      • Favorite Quote: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." -Mother Teresa 
  • Debbie Johnson
  • Sharon Stultz
  • Mercredi Taing:
    • This is Ms. Taing's 6th year at Oak Heights. She is so happy to get to work with so many bobcats! This year, Ms. Taing and Ms. Carlson will be working together to support as many readers as possible! She believes that everyone can be a great reader--it just takes lots of practice!  
      • Favorite Quote: "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." -Nelson Mandela

Specialist Teachers:

  • Frank Blosser (band):
  • Nicole Brekkaa (P.E.):
    • This will be my 5th year teaching P.E. at Oak Heights.  I have started my teaching career here and have continued to grow each year.  My passion is to teach kids how being physically active is for a lifetime and how they can grow in anything.
      • Favorite Quote: "I can accept FAILURE, everyone fails at something, but what I can't accept is NOT TRYING." -Michael Jordan 
  • Patti Casey (Music):
  • Ashley Giri (orchestra)
  • James Harmon (P.E.):
  • Leah Logan (Library):
    • I am happy to be at OHE for my fourth year as the librarian. I have also taught 5th grade and 3rd grade. When I'm not at school I love playing with my daughter Ruby, reading (obviously), and sleeping in.
      • Favorite Quote: "One person can make a difference, and everyone should try." -John F. Kennedy
  • Nan VanKlaveren (Music):
    • This is my 16th year at Oak Heights, and my 36th year of teaching. I started with subbing for many years, and now teach part time classroom general music. My husband and I have 2 adult sons and a daughter-in-law.
      • Favorite Quote: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin


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