Learning Coaches - Certified Teachers

Our certified teachers work with students individually and in small groups. We specialize in Personalized Learning Plans to meet each child's individual needs.

Mr. Burnett

Learning Coach K - 8th

Email: craigb@strikeschool.org

Craig started his career with students over 25 years ago running an after school program and has never looked back! For the last 17 years he has been a classroom teacher in grades K-8 helping students in various subject areas grow to their highest potential. Craig knows and understands the value of believing in his students helping each of them to find success on their terms!

Education:

  • Master of Arts in Education/Sports Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Education
  • Endorsements in History and Social Studies

Mrs. Clark

Learning Coach K - 9th

Email: elysec@strikeschool.org

Elyse has a passion for personalized learning, helping ALL students surpass their goals and has over a decade of experience as an educator. During this time, she has served students of all levels and others who possess unique exceptionalities. Elyse believes that every child will be successful if they are supported in the right way. As a result, she strives to be innovative and personalize her support to best meet the needs of each child and family. She has experience designing and modifying curriculum to meet the needs of all learning styles and ability levels. 

Elyse believes learning should be fun and has also developed many project-based learning projects/hands-on activities. Students must make connections between what they are learning and their everyday life and she prides herself on making this possible for those she supports. She is passionate about helping others find a love for learning and believes that this starts with developing relationships with each child and their family. Once the child knows that he/she is safe, respected, and supported, the possibilities are limitless. 

Elyse has a husband and four children at home. When she is not teaching, she is spending her time making memories with them. Her children have helped her see education from many new angles and have opened her eyes to many new and exciting ways to get others interested in learning or attempting tasks that appear difficult at first.

Education:

  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Endorsements in Reading, ESOL, and Gifted Education

Mrs. Courduff

Learning Coach 3rd - 12th

Email: jenniferc@strikeschool.org

Jennifer is a passionate teacher, learner, and mentor. She loves partnering with families and believes that strong relationship and collaboration is the key to student success.

She has multiple degrees in education including a PhD in Education Technology. She loves learning theory and believes that learning can and should take place in many environments using strategies that tap into student interests and strengths.

On a side note – she raises dairy goats 🙂

Education:

  • PhD in Education Technology
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration
  • Master of Education in Educational Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Education

Ms. Lenz

Learning Coach 3rd - 12th

Email: kellyl@strikeschool.org

Kelly is a zealous teacher who is excited to provide individualized programming and instruction for students in a virtual format. After five years of teaching in elementary and high school, she is looking forward to being able to travel while continuing to teach. She loves connecting with students and is invested in helping them find and pursue their passions.

In her free time, Kelly enjoys reading, hiking, sports, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. She has a feline friend, named Oliver, who keeps her occupied at home. Kelly is looking forward to bonding with students and using their interests to spark their motivation to learn. 

Education:

  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Special Education
  • Learning Behavior Specialist 2 Certification
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certification

Miss Kim

Learning Coach 5th - 12th

Email: kimberlym@strikeschool.org

Kimberly has been teaching since 2010 and has held numerous roles in education, from classroom teaching to school administration. She started working with homeschool families in 2018 and loves seeing students from grades K-12 blossom in this environment. 

She is adept at working with families with diverse schooling values, but especially thrives with project-based learning families. Kimberly believes incorporating students’ interests is the key to opening up their love of learning.

When Kimberly is not teaching, she loves to surf, rock climb, travel, and volunteer with The Animal Pad, an all-breed dog rescue.

Education:

  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Religion
  • Learning Behavior Specialist 2 Certification
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language Advanced Certification

Miss Kelsey

Learning Coach K - 12th

Email: kelseyp@strikeschool.org

Kelsey is a passionate and creative educator who enjoys making deep connections with all of her students and their families. She has over 10 years experience teaching in public, private, and alternative schools around the world. Kelsey also has experience founding and teaching at a private homeschool in the jungle of Costa Rica. 

Her goals as an educator are to create positive connections with her students and understand who they are as a whole being. She strives to meet her students where they are and provide individualized learning plans that spark students’ curiosity and lead to exponential growth.

Kelsey is also passionate about instructional design and finding and creating resources that are meaningful and relevant to her students. 

When not teaching, Kelsey enjoys traveling, practicing yoga, creating art, and trying new recipes in the kitchen!

Education:

  • Master of Arts in Education 
  • Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching
  • Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Latin American Studies

Mrs. Spadt

Learning Coach 2nd - 12th

Email: kristas@strikeschool.org

Krista has been an educator in many different areas over the course of her career. She has taught chemistry, biology, and science & technology in both the middle and high school classrooms. Krista, as president and founder of Simple Gifts Project, has the pleasure of working with hundreds of youth each year as they spread kindness to others by packing and delivering care bags to local pediatric patients. Her favorite part of all her teaching experiences is the opportunity to connect with students and see them reach their goals and highest potential. Krista believes one of the greatest gifts of being an educator is to witness the progress, the smiles, and the confidence grow as students help themselves, and others, through the learning process.

When not in the classroom, Krista enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending quality time with her family.

Education:

  • Master of Education in Secondary Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology

Mrs. Stratton

Learning Coach K - 5th

Email: ashleys@strikeschool.org

Ashley has been teaching for over 15 years. She began her journey in education as a Special Education Teacher, then transitioned into General Education five years ago. Ashley has a whole-child approach to teaching and takes the time to get to know students and foster relationships. She strives to make connections and determine strengths and needs in order to meet the needs of individual students.

Ashley has been teaching virtually for nine years. She brings a vast set of resources from her years spent in the virtual environment and uses her virtual teaching experience to target all learning styles and provide resources for families.  

Ashley lives with her husband and four children. As a mom with school-aged children, Ashley knows the value of parent/teacher relationships when determining the best schooling option and plan for their children. She enjoys spending time with her family, camping, reading, and crafting. She also loves archaeology, history, and learning new things.

Education:

  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Sociology and English Literature

Miss Leah

Learning Coach K - 8th

Email: leahv@strikeschool.org

Leah is a dedicated and passionate educator who discovered her calling for education at an early age. With over 14 years of homeschooling experience and the majority of her career spent as a Homeschooling Consultant, she deeply values the freedom homeschooling provides to personally tailor each child’s education to their passions and unique story. Leah’s focus is on fostering deep connections, academic growth, and empowerment with every student and family she works alongside. Her ultimate mission as an educator is to create individualized learning plans that spark her students’ natural curiosities, setting them on a path of fulfilling and motivating learning journeys.

When not teaching, Leah finds joy in long-distance running, experimenting with new recipes, and creating cherished memories with her family.

Education:

  • Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Mrs. Woods

Mrs. Woods

Learning Coach K - 12th

Email: brittanyw@strikeschool.org

Brittany is a committed educator who loves getting to know her students and cultivating strong relationships. She started on her path to education 12 years ago in City Year, where she fostered tremendous growth with her students. Brittany went on to teach several grades as a classroom teacher, and eventually honed her craft as a reading specialist. Brittany also has a passion for special education, and spent 5 years helping her students set and exceed their personal learning goals. Brittany believes that ALL students are capable of learning, and is fulfilled by helping them achieve their potential. In her spare time, Brittany loves reading historical fiction, spending time with loved ones, traveling, and watching football (E-A-G-L-E-S, Eagles!). 

Education:

  • Master of Science in Education in Reading/Writing/Literacy 
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
Miss Stephanie

Miss Stephanie

Learning Coach K - 12th

Email: stephaniew@strikeschool.org

Stephanie is excited to join the Strike School team! She has a passion for teaching and learning. Stephanie loves to connect with students and get to know who they are and how they learn best. As a former special education teacher, she wrote many individualized education plans, and has learned that each student truly learns in their own way and deserves their own plan to progress through their education. Education is never a “one size fits all,” even if it is often treated that way. Stephanie is so excited that at Strike School, each child is able to learn in their own way and follow their own learning style. Outside of the classroom Stephanie loves to spend time with her family, especially in the outdoors. Hiking and biking are some of her favorite spring and summer time activities! When indoors, Stephanie loves to read a good book or spend time baking delicious goodies to share with her friends and family!

Education:

  • Master of Education in Educational Administration 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Elementary Education, Special Education, and Principal Endorsements

Ms. Young

Learning Coach 5th - 10th

Email: dianettay@strikeschool.org

Dianetta is a passionate educator who loves connecting and building positive relationships with students of all ages. Dianetta began her teaching career as a high school physical science, biology, and chemistry teacher. After many successful years as a classroom teacher, Dianetta began her journey as an elementary and middle school administrator, serving as a principal for eight years.

Dianetta loves spending time with family and friends, serving others, and visiting one of her favorite cities – New Orleans!

Education:

  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology and General Science
  • + 30 Certification in Science Education

Staff

founder

Jay Hockensmith (Mr. H.)

Head of School / Principal / Director of Operations

Email: jayh@strikeschool.org

I started preschool at Portland’s “Friendly House” community center in NW Portland. My mother was always very actively involved with parent/student activities with the intent to ensure I had the proper guidance and the best of resources. I then attended a K-8 school, where the teachers and parents were well connected which involved scouting, bowling, 4H etc. I felt very fortunate to have teachers who cared and coached me as an individual, where I excelled and maintained a near perfect grade point average.

High school was a different experience. During my first week of school I was picked on mentally and physically by a gang of troubled students, there was little to no school security, and eventually I had to defend myself. As a result I became labeled and rejected by the administration, teachers and counselors. Over time, I lost focus and interest, became bored with grade level content and lack of learning opportunities. Most of my peers were several grades ahead of me. I felt like I was that square peg being forced into a round hole, where the end result was failure. I was let down by my school as well as many other students around me. During my teenage years to my early twenties, I became full of mischief and lived hard lifestyle.

At the age of 23, I was fortunate enough to recognize a fork in the road presented in front of me where an opportunity arose. I knew I needed something better for myself and I wanted a successful life and career. With a the luck of the draw I made a correct decision that led me with the ability to utilize my talents through my future years of business successes and quality choices. I as well became highly successful in extreme sports with world record accomplishments.

In 2019, in the initial conversations when Shahla and I first met, I learned about the school she worked for, River HomeLink. I remember being utterly amazed that there was actually a public school that had the interest of the students and parents truly at heart with personalized learning programs and parent/teacher involvement with the learning plan. It was hard to digest because I had never seen this offered in a public school setting. I then became familiar with the staff Shahla worked with and the school’s principal through different events and gatherings. I was then invited by the principal for a comprehensive two-hour tour to see what the school was about.

In 2020, I attended the WALA (Washington Association for Learning Alternatives) conference with Shahla. There, I learned so much more about how schools can do things differently to serve children and families.

Now is when the story about Strike starts to come together! First of all, know that I’m in tears writing this as I do each and every time I tell this story. The scars from my youth relating to my failure in school due to a broken system were opened wide, and it’s very painful. I had buried and hid them away for years. I questioned why didn’t I and all the other children have this wonderful opportunity? Why doesn’t the public system offer more of this and model their system after similar practices which provide personalized educational plans utilizing the gifts and talents of the student along with direct parent involvement? Why are schools continuing to force a square peg in a round hole when there are many different needs and ways to learn that can be much more effective? These families and students are happy, thriving and highly successful within their educational experiences and their teachers and staff are fulfilling their dream of truly serving families.

Strike School has taken this method of learning to another level by offering a variety of options and an even more individualized approach to each student’s learning plan. It’s YOUR child and YOUR choice.

Strike School’s Learning Coaches are the very best out there; they work by your side to help you and your child with the best learning plan available today all while providing the strongest and most effective means of support throughout your journey.

I look back and wonder how different things might have been for me if I had a fulfilled educational journey. I always wonder how many adults walking around out there had a very similar, hurtful and life changing experience as I did, where their story ended up in tragedy, needlessly, when proper guidance in school would have made all the difference.

Strike School is here to make a difference. As a founder and director of Strike School, it is my privilege, from the heart, to use my experiences to lead and serve our students, families and staff in a way that provides the highest level of support to positively impact their lives forever.

Shahla

Shahla Hockensmith (Miss Shahla)

Assistant Principal / Director of Enrollment

Email: shahla@strikeschool.org

I began my own educational journey in Los Angeles, CA. Since we seemed eager to learn and ready for school at age four, my parents decided that they would send my twin brother and me to private school. The school I was privileged to attend for grades K-8, was exceptional, overall. I know this because after my family relocated to Oregon, I attended the local public high school and found myself bored and uninterested.

In 1999, I was faced with an educational decision for my own children. I had four littles, with my oldest two in 2nd grade and kindergarten at a local public school in Washington. There came a moment when I realized that, despite the efforts of quality teachers, this school was not able to really get to know my children to serve their individual needs, and the school was not necessarily willing to honor my family values. I withdrew my children from public school and began to homeschool. I was very fortunate to learn about an alternative school in my area I could partner with as I taught my children, and this experience led to the development of many quality, lasting relationships and a learning journey for my family that focused on my children’s individual needs, while honoring my family values. This was the best decision I ever made as a parent. These were MY children, and their education was MY choice.

I spent several years volunteering at the school and eventually began working there in 2008. I continued my work at River HomeLink until August, 2021, serving as their ALE K-12 Registrar. This provided me the opportunity to serve children, families and staff members, year after year, in a meaningful way. I gained experience in managing and overseeing enrollment and school records. I enjoyed my time training other staff at my school and school district.

In 2017, I became involved with WALA (Washington Association for Learning Alternatives) Washington Alternative Learning Association, presenting “Streamlining Your Internal Processes” with other team members. We presented at this statewide conference to teachers and administrators and the cry for help from school districts over the years eventually turned into Strike Streamlining. Our team of Google certified folks are now serving multiple school districts, using Google tools to streamline their internal processes.
In 2020, I was awarded “Friend of WALA” at the annual spring conference, for my years of volunteer work, supporting the director and WALA’s mission.

Currently, Strike Services has presented at a national conference in this same manner, representing Strike School and Strike Streamlining.
On my own journey as a parent and a school staff member, I have experienced firsthand the core of what parents and guardians face where it comes to the education of their children. As a founder and director of Strike School, my mission is to serve children and families well by giving each parent/guardian the opportunity to make THEIR choice for THEIR child, which honors their family values.

Rachel Warndahl

Rachel Warndahl (Miss Rachel)

Administrative Assistant

Email: rachelw@strikeschool.org

Rachel works mostly behind the scenes here at Strike School. She enjoys finding opportunities to make tasks easier and processes more efficient! She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management with a focus in Human Resources, and is passionate about using this knowledge to help our team operate as smoothly as possible!

Miss Jordan

Jordan Harp (Miss Jordan)

School Office Assistant

Email: jordanh@strikeschool.org

Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Music Education. She has five years experience in the classroom, teaching choir and elementary music. She has always had a passion for education and learning, and loves to be a part of a young learner’s journey. Jordan is excited to be an administrative team member at Strike School and continue to support educators and students.

Kayla Risinger (Miss Kayla)

School Office Assistant

Email: kaylar@strikeschool.org

Kayla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education and for the majority of her career, she worked as a middle school language arts and reading teacher. Beyond the classroom, she has served in multiple customer service roles and more recently as a program coordinator and then a Talent Development Specialist. She is excited to use her customer service, administrative, and education experiences to serve Strike School!

India Lott

Social Media Management

Email: indial@strikeschool.org

India has over 6 years of experience in social media management and marketing and is working hard to build and manage the online presence of Strike Services.

She is currently majoring in Entrepreneurship and is passionate about music and traveling the world!

John Masterson

Website Specialist

Email: johnm@strikewebservices.com

John’s passion for content creation began in high school when he became the webmaster for the school district. He continued to work on various website projects through college while taking classes in graphics design and computer science to enhance his other skills. After college, John went to work in various industries and was always able to apply his content creator background for continued success throughout these industries. In John’s most recent position, he was responsible for the branding and marketing of a small business in the electric utility industry.

Outside of work, John loves to spend time with his wife Alexandra, daughter Francesca, and dogs Roxy and Luca. He also enjoys short trips and a great donut.