Coach Will Baird likes to joke that he would do his job for free. A former banker, Coach Baird discovered his passion for teaching later on, and is now a business teacher at Grandview High School in Aurora, Colorado, where he also coaches basketball, junior varsity boys’ and girls’ soccer, and freshman football. As the co-advisor for Grandview High School’s Future Business Leaders of America, he has had the privilege of watching many of his students and athletes go on to win countless state and national championships both on and off the court. Coach Baird was awarded as the Cherry Creek Schools Association’s Teacher of the Year in 2018 and the Schomp Honda Coach of the Year in 2019. As a passionate sports fan, Coach Baird spends his time watching anything sports related with his two children.
- BA, Business Administration, Truman State University
- MA, Education, Regis University
- Principal Licensure, University of Denver
Originally from California, Robert Calbeck is a veteran teacher with more than 18 years working with teens in and out of the classroom. Before becoming a teacher, Calbeck worked with at-risk youth in non-profits while speaking and training other youth workers throughout the inland northwest. His experience spans five states, and he currently teaches mathematics at Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado, where he lives with his wife and two sons. Calbeck is a two-time Silver Apple nominee and Schomp Teacher of the Year finalist, and, when he’s not in the classroom, he can be found in his garden or at his desk writing his next novel; his most recent work is Scarcity, which proves that, yes, math teachers can write, too.
- BA, Mathematics, Whitworth College
- MEd, Gonzaga University
Born and raised in the Willamette Valley of the Pacific Northwest, Cory Coleman attended more than six higher ed establishments while raising her four children. She started her career in education as a parent volunteer before transitioning into a paid instructional assistant position once her youngest began kindergarten. Coleman was determined she could do better for neurodiverse students than what she saw offered in the general education classrooms, and, after earning her master’s degree in teaching with an endorsement for special education, she is now in her fifteenth year as a full-time special education teacher—although she’d much rather be called an “inclusion specialist” and drop the “special” labels. Coleman continues to advocate for authenticity in her classroom, always striving to meet students where they are while building real relationships and experiences together.
- BA, Education, Linfield University
- MA, Teaching, City University of Seattle
- Endorsement, Special Education, Portland State University
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Luke Fritz is currently a high school social studies teacher in the Beaverton School District, where he has been working since 2013. Fritz has focused primarily on teaching global studies and American studies, along with developing 9th grade success initiatives aimed at improving graduation rates within the region. Given the systemic inequities present in education, Fritz is passionate about engaging in equity work to support students and he recently helped restart a diversity and social justice class at the high school where he teaches. An avid traveler, photographer, and sports fanatic, Fritz has been to every continent except for Antarctica and is a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. Fritz currently lives in Portland with his wife, an elementary school teacher, and daughter.
- BA, Social Sciences, Western Oregon University
- MAT, Education, Lewis & Clark College
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Mikaela Gladstone moved to New York to study theatre before moving to the Pacific Northwest to teach middle school drama at Cedar Park Middle School. Gladstone’s goal in education is to foster creativity in students while promoting arts education as both an important and necessary tool to help students become more confident, self-aware, and empathetic humans. Next school year, Gladstone will be recognizing a dream of hers as she helps to open a new school. Gladstone enjoys traveling, cooking, rock climbing, and kayaking, and she continues to act as a costume designer for some local theatre productions.
- BFA, Theatre Arts, SUNY Purchase
- MAT, University of Portland
As a girl from Wisconsin with a long lineage of teachers in the family, the last thing Jody Jones imagined she’d become was a teacher. Asked to speak in front of a classroom of kids while she was in college, Jones couldn’t help but realize her passion for education and she embraced fate with a degree in ESL before working in Guatemala to support public education in rural areas. Jones returned to the U.S. to teach Spanish for night classes at Portland Community College and took on other teaching gigs until her own children were in school, after which she eagerly moved full-time into her Kindergarten classroom at Edwards Elementary School in Newberg, Oregon. Jones now teaches Kindergarten and first grade at Edwards and spends her time away from her real—and virtual—classroom exploring the parks, trails, and rivers of her Newberg community.
- BA, Northwestern College
- MEd, Walden University
Teaching is not a job for James Laguana, it is a passion. He began his career in education at his alma mater, Eaglecrest High School in 2002, where he taught choir, student leadership, and credit recovery while gaining experience as the department chair for the performing arts. In 2007 Laguana made the move to Rangeview High School and has enjoyed being the full-time vocal music director for a program with more than 200 students annually. Laguana was named Schomp Automotive’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, and his ability to connect with students beyond the content of the classroom has led to many post-graduation phone calls and lunches with his former students seeking advice or just wanting to catch up. When he’s not in the classroom or serving as artistic director for his community show choir, Laguana can be found enjoying his Aurora, Colorado, hometown with his wife and his two children.
- BA, Music Education, University of Northern Colorado
- MEd, Western Governors University
Ashley Lee’s first years of teaching were as a child, where she played teacher as her friends attended the imaginary school she had created. She realized her calling early on, and, after graduating with her master’s degree from the University of Oregon, she became an education assistant at a private school in Eugene. A move to be closer to family landed her a job in the child development center on the Nike campus, but it wasn’t long before she realized she wanted her own classroom. In 2014 Lee moved back to her hometown of Newberg to teach at Edwards Elementary School, where she is now working on acquiring her administrator’s license. When she is not doing schoolwork, Lee loves to hike, go to the beach, and spend time with friends and family.
- BA, Educational Foundations, University of Oregon
- MAT, University of Oregon
- Reading Endorsement, George Fox University
Despite having spent more than a dozen years in the classroom, Haydn McLay doesn’t see himself as an expert, but rather a facilitator alongside his students. McLay has taught all levels of secondary school, from sixth to twelfth grade, where his classes have ranged from advanced placement U.S. history to reading interventions. McLay is particularly interested in building relationships with students and colleagues through a love and appreciation of music. McLay grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and moved west in 2008, where he now spends his time hiking, biking, and enjoying life with his wife and their two wonderful kids.
- BA, English, Kent State University
- MAT, Kent State University
After 30 years of teaching middle school, Trisha Parks is still invigorated by student energy and loves inspiring students to use critical thinking skills. Parks began her teaching career in a little country school where she taught all subjects to her middle school students, and now teaches eighth grade language arts and U.S. history simultaneously at Cedar Park Middle School in Beaverton, Oregon. Parks only stepped out of the classroom to live in NY and then once again to serve as a local union president, but she has loved returning to her classroom where her favorite thing is to watch her students find their own voices … especially during student civic discourse activities. For several years Parks planned and led student trips to Europe over spring and summer breaks to broaden their experiences and plant the seeds of life-long learning before they transitioned to high school.
- BA, History and English, Eastern Washington University
Macy Pickman’s wide array of knowledge has helped to fuel her passion for working with and advocating for high school students. After graduating with an agricultural education degree, Pickman went on to teach high school biology before pursuing additional degrees in counseling and administration. She now teaches Science at Atchison High School, where, when she’s not working with students or various community service outreach programs, Pickman can be found spending time with her Labrador or her husband. Pickman also has a passion for gardens, cooking, crafting, and hiking.
- BA, Agricultural Education, Kansas State University
- MA, School Counseling, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
- MA, Building Administration, Fort Hays State University
It was a love of Shakespeare and literature that first propelled Tom Puterbaugh into teaching English, but it’s been the perpetual joys and challenges that come from meeting a new group of people every year that inspire him to continue teaching. He began his career in education in California in 1995 but made the move to Westview High School in Beaverton, Oregon, in 1997, where he continues to teach today. Over the years Puterbaugh has taught advanced placement language, English language development, literature and composition classes for grades 9-12, and a dual credit class taught in partnership with Portland State University. He has served as a literary coach, department head, and advanced placement coordinator, but one of Puterbaugh’s proudest moments was watching his own daughters graduate from the BSD School District.
- BA, English, University of California Los Angeles
Like many educators, Roebuck became an educator because of the wonderful teachers she had while she was in school who showed her that making a difference in this world starts in the classroom. She is now an English teacher at her alma mater, Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado. Roebuck particularly enjoys teaching a course she calls “The Big Idea Project,” which helps students build their confidence, pursue engaging ideas, and benefit their communities. The teachers who inspired Roebuck at Arapahoe High School are now the very ones mentoring her and cheering her on in her career as she strives to show students their true potential through empowering them to become leaders in their communities.
- BA, Education, Metropolitan State University
Despite having attended school in Alabama, Puerto Rico, California, Florida, and Oregon, many of Trey Watt’s most impactful learning experiences happened on the baseball field. Watt played ball at the youth level before playing for Pacific Lutheran University and then signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010. His career in professional baseball ended abruptly with a shoulder injury, and it was then that Watts followed his love for teaching and coaching. Watt spent time as a behavior coach in the Newberg School District and as an Assistant Coach at George Fox University, where he worked to help students and players reach their full potential. Watt is now a special education teacher in a learning resource classroom and an assistant coach at the University of Portland.
- BA, History, Pacific Lutheran University, minor in Spanish
- MEd, Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia-Portland
- MAT, Special Education, Grand Canyon University