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.
Ali Fragoso grew up a as a bit of a nomad, living in seven different states by the time she started high school in St. Charles, Illinois. She has lived in Seattle for over five years, making it the longest time she has ever lived in one place, and she loves it. Ali graduated from Seattle University with two B.A.’s, one in Liberal Studies and the other in Vocal Music. Since discovering her desire to teach, she has made it a point to gain as much experience working with children as possible, including her work over the last three years in the Spruce Street School’s extended day program, and now as an intern teacher. Outside of school, Ali delights in hiking, camping, climbing, yoga, making music, and great conversations.
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. Over the ensuing 20 years, 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.
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. Deborah attained her resident teaching certificate and Masters of Arts in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University. 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 Admissions Director, Development Director and in a parent volunteer role as Auction Co-Chair. Deborah brings 14 years of teaching experience, a background in science education and her unique perspective as parent, staff member and educator to the Spruce Street School team. She loves to read, scrapbook, try new things, and hike with her family.
Erica Greenberg is originally from Portland, Maine, raised in a family committed to nurturing individual needs. She moved across the country to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, where she studied Religion and Spanish. Finding that she could not readily apply her knowledge of world religions to any particular occupation, 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 for a year to get her teaching certificate and Master’s Degree at the University of Washington, returning again to teach in the mid-level in 2009. In her free time, Erica enjoys hosting elaborate vegetarian dinner parties, catching up on a good book, and lazy Sunday mornings.
Gabby Goeglein grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she spent many years chasing tumbleweeds, exploring mountains, and learning to love big open skies. Her great passion for exploration, asking questions, and the sun blossomed in the desert and grew even deeper when she moved to Seattle in 2012 to attend Seattle University. Gabby recently received her B.A. in Humanities for Teaching and Spanish; she is excited for the opportunity to continue learning every day as an intern teacher in the oldest level. In her free time she adventures outdoors, reads a lot, and experiments in her kitchen and garden.
Kaitie Eifert grew up in the lively town of Fort Collins, Colorado. Before moving to Seattle, she graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Psychology, and then an MA in Elementary Education in 2014. Her progressive graduate program instilled in her a passion to make learning a hands-on experience for all students, so Spruce Street School has been the perfect place for her to continue to grow into the teacher she wants to become. She is excited to continue learning and working with the Spruce Street School community as an intern teacher. When not at school, Kaitie enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest, practicing krav maga, cooking eclectic new foods, and playing the guitar.
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.
Shawna Wilson, a Pacific Northwest native, grew up in Kirkland, Washington and has lived in Seattle for over 20 years. Coming from a long line of teachers, she knew she wanted to teach children from an early age. Passionate about multi-age teaching and the social well being of children, Spruce Street School is a great match for Shawna. Before receiving her Masters in Teaching degree from The Evergreen State College, she earned a Bachelors degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Washington. Besides working in the classroom with her students, Shawna loves teaching dance and music electives at Spruce Street School. When she is not at school, Shawna and her family love spending time outdoors camping, backpacking and gardening, and enjoy traveling to just about anywhere.
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, Shumba Youth Marimba Ensemble and Zambuko African-American Marimba Ensemble. Sheree presents performances and workshops Internationally. 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
Adam Vanhee grew up on a farm in eastern Washington and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree from Chapman University in California. After traveling on an educational theater tour, he moved to New York and was working in the professional leasing department at Samuel French, INC when he was struck by a car while walking home. Recovery brought him to back to his home state ten years ago, where he has lived and worked in various education and theatre positions since. Adam now lives in West Seattle with his husband.
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.
Elijah Hawkins grew up in Tukwila, Washington, and graduated from Foster High School in 2015. As a senior, Elijah participated in the Ignite program as a mentor to freshman students. Elijah was the captain of the varsity track team, and won awards for Most Inspirational and Most Valuable Player on his track and cross country teams. He was also chosen as a Rotary Student of the Month, recognizing his hard work and determination in school. Elijah now attends Cornish College of the Arts, pursuing his dream of becoming an animator. He is very excited to join the extended day team and share his love of art with students.
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, Erica loves to read mystery novels, sing along to musicals, find new fishing spots, and hike.
Lindsey Chapman grew up in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Seattle to attend Cornish College of the Arts. After graduating in May of 2015, she spent some time abroad in Europe, including walking much of the the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Lindsey is glad to be back in the Pacific Northwest and excited to be working at Spruce Street School again. Lindsey enjoys acting, spending time with her friends and family, watching football, and traveling as much as possible.
Mercedes Tracy recently graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Theater. She was born on a small horse ranch in Oregon and eventually made her way up to Seattle for college. When Mercedes isn’t working with children, doing theater or working at her other job making crepes, she enjoys writing, traveling and eating. In the future, Mercedes hopes to open her own children’s theater and training program to expose children to art and help them explore their own creativity.
Nikki Kurtz is excited to join the Extended Day staff and the Spruce Street School community. A native to the San Francisco Bay area, Nikki is still figuring out Seattle weather. As a Humanities for Teaching and Psychology Double Major at Seattle University, Nikki is interested how personality and development impact students and their learning styles. In the future, she would like to pursue a career in education creating individualized and accessible curriculum. Nikki enjoys going on adventures with her dog, Lola, reading in a sunny spot, rooting on the SF Giants, and having coffee with friends..
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.