The Spruce Street School faculty is an intellectually and culturally diverse group of professionals unified by their commitment to each individual child they serve. They draw on decades of teaching experience but remain constantly open to new ideas, sharing a passion for professional and intellectual growth.

April Roberts is a Seattle native and has been teaching at Spruce Street School since 2007. Because she did not enjoy math while she was a student, helping her students enjoy math is one of her personal goals and it is now her favorite subject to teach. She is an alumna of the University of Washington School of Art. While studying abroad in Italy, she discovered Reggio Emilia School philosophies and became interested in education. After earning her K-5 teaching degree, April taught preschool and early elementary at Greenwood Elementary and University Child Development School. Outside of school, bicycling, swing dancing, books, art, and family keep her gears turning.

Clint Collins is a Washington State native. He grew up in Kenmore and attended Graceland University in Iowa, where he studied psychology and elementary education. Clint is a third generation educator, following in the footsteps of his parents and his grandmother. He has worked in Lake Washington, Northshore, and Shoreline school districts as a lead teacher and para educator. Clint joined Spruce Street School in 2007 and works in all the classrooms. He enjoys the collaborative atmosphere with the other teachers, coordinates the Safety Patrol program with the oldest level, and enjoys teaching Electives during the year. He especially enjoys working to improve the social and emotional lives of students. In his spare time Clint enjoys movies, volleyball, and barbecues.

Daron Henry grew up in the small town of Jamestown, Indiana (pop.900) where he spent many childhood hours exploring the fields and rivers around his grandparents’ farms. After graduating from Purdue University with an Art/Education degree, he began his career teaching Art to K- 8th graders in Lafayette, Indiana. In 2016, he received his Masters degree from Lesly University. Throughout his 25 plus years of teaching, he has been a classroom teacher at UCDS and Giddens School at a variety of levels from Pre-K to 3rd grade. Since 2009, Daron has been proud to call Spruce Street School his professional home. He loves to be part of this energetic and committed community of students, staff, and parents. Daron likes to read (especially Sci-Fi and Fantasy), to walk his dog, practice yoga, watch movies and is learning how to play the ukulele.

Eli Oren is our middle level’s new intern teacher. A New Jersey native, he made the move to Seattle after finishing a degree in Public Service and Environmental Studies. He began his time in Seattle as a preschool teacher, and has since found many non-traditional niches in education. He spent the last year as an apprentice instructor at a forest school in Duvall as well as the PE teacher as Seattle Jewish Community School. He loves hiking, playing frisbee, cooking, whittling, and reading fantasy. 

Deborah Bartlett grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She traveled the country on a retro-fitted school bus pursuing her Environmental Education Masters through Lesley University and the Audubon Expedition Institute.  Having grown up at sea level, the varied geography of Seattle beckoned in 1995. Since then she has taught preschool-5th grade at UCDS and 2nd grade at St. Thomas School in Medina. At Spruce Street School she has worked in many different roles, serving as teacher, Admissions Director, Development Director and in a parent volunteer role as Auction Co-Chair. Deborah attained her resident teaching certificate and Masters of Arts in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University. She brings 18 years of teaching experience, a background in science education and her perspective as parent and educator to the Spruce Street School team.  She loves to read, scrapbook, and try new things.

Erica Greenberg was born and raised in Portland, Maine. She moved across the country to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, where she studied Religion and Spanish. After graduating, Erica joined AmeriCorps and had her first experience teaching at the elementary school level, both in English and Spanish. Moving to Seattle was Erica’s next step, where she discovered the intern teaching position at Spruce Street School. She left Spruce Street School to get her teaching certificate and Master’s Degree at the University of Washington, returning again to a lead teaching position in 2009. In her free time, Erica enjoys cooking, being outdoors and spending time with her sweet one-year-old son.

Erica Lee grew up right next to the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington. She moved to Seattle in 2012 to start her degree in Humanities for Teaching and International Studies at Seattle University. She graduated in 2016 and is  working toward her goal of becoming an elementary special education teacher. When she has free time, loves to read mystery novels, sing along to musicals, find new fishing spots, and hike.

Kyle Menter is a native of Seattle and recently completed his Bachelors at Western Washington University. Majoring in Sociology, Kyle also received his certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), culminating in a two-month stay in Mexico teaching children and adults. Kyle is committed to providing diverse and engaging programming for children. He has previously worked with Seattle Parks and Recreation, United Way of King County and Americorps, facilitating access for everyone to engaging, active and inclusive communities across the Seattle area.

Laura Gates Montagner is a Seattle native who comes from a long line of teachers. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Science/Elementary Education from Seattle Pacific University and her M.A. from Lesley University in Arts Integration. Prior to teaching at Spruce Street School, Laura taught at UCDS and overseas at Escuela Campo Alegre in Caracas, Venezuela, where her love for different cultures and travel was ignited. Laura thrives on the dynamic energy of the multi-aged classroom and creating curriculum with her colleagues, particularly when it involves art, drama, history and the study of other cultures. Outside of school, Laura loves reading novels, growing flowers and vegetables in her garden, playing with her two energetic boys, and camping with her friends and family around the Pacific Northwest.

Neill Warfield began his career teaching French in southern Louisiana as a Teach for America corps member. After three years on the bayous he moved even further south to serve as first grade teacher and curriculum coordinator for a small bilingual school in the mountains of Honduras. He readjusted to urban life while teaching in public elementary schools in Manhattan and the South Bronx before joining the Spruce Street School faculty in 2002. Neill is a Seattle native, and a graduate of Garfield High, Yale University and the Bank Street College of Education. Neill is involved in many math and science education initiatives, and has worked with Seattle Children’s Science Adventure Lab and The Mathematics Education Collaborative, among others. He is also a Shakespeare geek and an opera fan, and loves to share both of these interests with his students. In his spare time, Neill loves to play and watch soccer, ride his bike, hike, and make a big mess in the kitchen.

Rebecca Flaherty has lived almost everywhere in the Pacific Northwest, but calls the small town of Camas, Washington her home. She moved to Seattle in 2011 when she entered the Theater program at Cornish College of the Arts where she is an Acting major. She has helped with several of Spruce Street’s school plays as a blocking consultant/acting coach. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, walking around Seattle, and watching BBC shows.

Shawna Wilson grew up in Kirkland and has lived in Seattle long enough to remember the Seattle SuperSonics, the Kingdome, and five-minute commute times across town. Passionate about multi-age teaching and the social well being of children, Spruce Street School is a great match for her. Before receiving her Masters in Teaching degree from The Evergreen State College, Shawna earned a Bachelors degree in Cultural Anthropology and History from the University of Washington. When she is not at school, Shawna and her family enjoy playing music, camping, road tripping around the country, and earning as many Junior Ranger National Park badges as humanly possible.

Specialist Teachers

Felipe Perez was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA. He moved to Seattle in 1989 to attend the Art Institute of Seattle where he earned an Associates of Arts degree in Visual Communication. Before coming to Spruce Street School in 1999, Felipe worked as a Spanish translator, graphic designer, and freelance illustrator while pursuing his passion for painting and honing his skills as a painter. He has exhibited his artwork in Seattle cafes, galleries and art festivals for the last 18 years. Felipe draws upon his Mexican-American heritage to build rich and lively Spanish and Arts programs at Spruce Street School. Felipe is also a part of the dynamic Extended Day staff. In 2005, Felipe received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and a teaching certificate from Antioch University in Seattle. He enjoys spending vacations between Montana, California and Seattle with his son Felipe III, skateboarding, hiking, fishing, gardening, painting, bird watching, and barbecuing.

Sheree Seretse was born in Kansas and moved extensively throughout her childhood. Sheree pursued her studies in Ethnomusicolgy at the University of Washington. She has been teaching and performing since 1973. She brings a rich background as a professional musician and teacher to Spruce Street School, where she has taught music since the 2000-2001 school year. Sheree has traveled extensively in Africa and infuses her teaching with cultural studies, especially during the school’s annual Arts Week. Sheree teaches community classes for youth and adults throughout Seattle, and directs the Anzanga Marimba Ensemble and Zambuko African-American Marimba Ensemble. Sheree has performed and taught in China, Costa Rica, Amsterdam and Canada as well as throughout the United States.  Sheree’s group Anzanga competed in the International Marimba and Steel Pan Festival in South Africa in August 2012 and placed first in the Battle of the Bands. Sheree enjoys engaging and inspiring our students with exciting musical experiences.

Extended Day Teachers

Ashlinne Whitcomb is a California native and a junior at Seattle University, where she is majoring in Humanities for Teaching with an endorsement in K-8 and a minor in French. Ashlinne loves to travel, and recently returned from living in France for two months. She also loves working with children, and has wanted to become a teacher for as long as she can remember. In her spare time, Ashlinne enjoys exploring Seattle and reading mystery novels.

Emory Liu is a Seattle native with a background in graphic design and music. He received a degree in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts at the University of Washington, and recently worked as a designer at Seattle Theatre Group.  Emory played drums in the instrumental band Joy Wants Eternity, which has songs featured in film and radio. This past year he taught as a volunteer after-school teacher in Oaxaca, Mexico and hopes to continue this path at Spruce Street School. In his free time, you might find him hanging out with friends, thrift shopping, traveling, or trying out something new.

Jasmine O’Rourke  grew up in Bellevue, Washington. She is currently pursuing a degree in Humanities for Teaching with a specialization in Elementary Education at Seattle University. Jasmine is passionate about teaching and is very excited about being a part of the Spruce Street School team. Previously she has interned at Newport Heights Elementary and has tutored at Best in Class Education. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cooking and baking, hiking, and kayaking.

Kate Vaughn has taught in a variety of places, ranging from rural farm towns in the United States to cities in Eastern Europe, and has worked in  both public and private settings. Kate holds an undergraduate degree and teaching certificate with an emphasis in K-12 Art Education.  In her free time Kate can be found gardening, walking her cat, or baking. Kate has spent much of her life working with children of all ages, and is very excited to be a part of Spruce Street School. 

Kaycie Saxton  is a Communication major at Seattle University, with the goal of receiving her Masters in Teaching for elementary education. Kaycie is from Yakima, Washington and loves spending time with her family, including a handful of nieces and nephews whom she absolutely adores. In her free time, Kaycie loves reading, watching films, listening to music, dog-watching, and baking. She is excited to be part of the extended day staff at Spruce Street School and share her passions with the students.

Kiana Aquiningoc is a Humanities for Teaching and Sociology Double Major at Seattle University. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona and grew up in Bellevue, Washington. She often spends her time taking long walks – rain or shine, and would like to invest time in learning the art of flower arranging. Kiana aspires to become an elementary school teacher and is excited to be working at Spruce Street School.

Lucy Young is from Portland, Oregon and currently attends Seattle University. She is a senior in the Humanities for Teaching program with a minor in sociology. Lucy has tutored second grader students at Madrona k-8 and had an internship at Stevens Elementary. She has many family members who are in the education field who have influenced her to pursue similar interests. In the future, Lucy hopes to teach abroad and then work in an education office for children with special needs. In her spare time she loves to sew, drink chai with her friends, and go to Elliot Bay Book company.

Milli Haase grew up in Hawai’i and moved to Seattle to complete both her BA and MA in International Studies at the University of Washington, where she also taught writing and history courses. Milli absolutely loves teaching and working with students of all ages. She is currently continuing her research at the nearby Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and plans to continue teaching and supporting students throughout her career. When she is not at Spruce Street School, Milli loves traveling, reading, yoga (taking and teaching), brainstorming healthy recipes, and crafting.

Selina Ruiz  grew up in Walla Walla, Washington and moved to Seattle in 2015 to attend college. She is currently a student at Seattle Central College and plans to transfer to a four-year university and get a degree in Early Childhood Education. After obtaining teaching certification, she hopes to travel and teach in different parts of the world. Her hobbies include exploring new places, trying new foods, and spending time with her family.

Tanner Matthew is currently in her junior year at Cornish College of the Arts studying design. She has extensive experience working with children professionally, from water babies classes and swim lessons to coaching kids in swim team and synchronized swimming. She has also worked at the YMCA in after-school programs and summer camps. She has experience in art education as well as teaching ukulele and guitar and doing theatre work with children. As a child, Tanner was supported by many caretakers and adults who helped her become who she is today; as a result she has made a goal to be a positive influence on children in her adult life.

Zoe Trudeau is from San Diego, California and is currently a freshman at Seattle University where she is studying Humanities for Teaching with an emphasis in Elementary Education. She loves theatre and has been acting her whole life. Zoe enjoys exploring Seattle and finding new restaurants and cafes. Back home, Zoe loves playing with her chocolate lab, Juno, and going to the beach. Zoe hopes to become an elementary school teacher and is excited to be a part of Spruce Street School.