DCH9 Classroom


Susan AndersonSusan Anderson

Education: BA Zoology, University of New Hampshire                                                                           Teaching Experience:  ¾ split, 6th grade, middle school science and English and high school biology
Hobbies: Playing the ukulele, gardening, beads, and insect collecting
Favorite books: My first favorite books were the “Betsy Tacy” books by Maud Hart Lovelace.  Since then, I’ve read just about everything I can get my hands on from “Treasure Island” to “All the Light We Cannot See.”
Position: Educational Assistant, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Oncology/Hematology Unit


Education: BS Psychology, Portland State University; Masters of Arts in Teaching, Pacific University
Teaching Experience:  I have been with the hospital school program for 13 years and have loved every minute of it.  I have a particular interest in improving the transition between hospital and home school for children experiencing an interruption in their education due to hospitalization.
Hobbies:  Being outside and with my family, reading, traveling, cooking
Favorite books: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Color Purple
Position: Hospital Teacher, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Oncology/Hematology Unit

Contact: ph. 503.418.5135, f. 503.418.0026; abalmase@mesd.k12.or.us; 10th floor, Rm. 10318

Glenda Bracelin

Glenda Education: Educational Assistant training for general and special education through the MESD–equivalent to an Associate’s Degree
Teaching Experience: I have served for 17 years in schools, assisting special education students in the regular classroom setting, and have been with the MESD Hospital School Program for 11 years.
Hobbies: I enjoy finding treasures at Goodwill, love music, reading, walking, going to the beach, and spending time with my family–especially my grandkids.
Favorite books: I enjoy reading biographies. They inspire me.
Position: Educational Assistant, Shriners Children’s Hospital

Contact: ph. 503.241.5090 x3307, f. 503.944.1161; gbraceli@mesd.k12.or.us; Rm. S 306

Joseph CirilloJoe_website

Education: I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and graduated from Iona College with a Bachelors Degree in Finance.  After spending almost 4 years abroad, I moved to the Northwest United States and obtained a Masters Degree of Science in Special Education from Portland State University.
Teaching Experience: I began my teaching career in 2003 with the Hospital School Program.
Hobbies: I currently spend much of my free time oil painting, playing music, and renovating my 100 year old home.
Favorite book: My favorite book is John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”.  It was instrumental in making me an avid, lifelong reader.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Randall Children’s Hospital Acute Care Unit

Contact: ph. 503.276.9787, f. 503.276.9789; jcirillo@mesd.k12.or.usRm. 7804

Lori Connerlori_website

Education: I attended Western Washington University for my undergraduate education and completed the teaching certification program in Elementary Education and Special Education through Seattle Pacific University.
Teaching Experience: I’ve had the honor of teaching in special education since 1999.
Hobbies: In my free time, I enjoy bird watching, snowshoeing, camping, reading and spending time with my two miniature schnauzers.
Favorite Book: Although I would love to list all the books that have impacted me, the book responsible for making me the reader I am today  is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Randall Children’s Hospital Acute Care Unit

Contact: ph. 503.276.9788, f. 503.276.9789; mconner@mesd.k12.or.us; Rm. 7804

Linda CriswellIMG_2416 (2) style=

Education:  BA Elementary Ed. & German, University of Northern Colorado; MA, Special Education–Learning Disabilities & Behavior Disorders, University of Northern Colorado
Teaching Experience:  I have taught in a variety of regular and special education settings.  My focus in special education has been working with students with learning and behavior disabilities.  Before moving to Oregon, I was employed by the Northern Suburban Special Education District as a Behavior Intervention Consultant.  There I worked with 18 school districts and their teachers in the North shore area of Chicago.  This experience gave me a wonderful opportunity to see many classrooms.  However, my current position is my favorite.   I love being a hospital schoolteacher.  Every day is I different; I am constantly learning from students, parents, and medical staff.  Helping students stay connected to their school and peers is extremely rewarding.  Providing resources for IEP/504 plans and assisting re-entry is an important part of my work.
Hobbies:  I enjoy traveling and being outside.  Hiking, camping and skiing are some of my favorite activities.
Favorite Book:  I enjoy books that have a strong sense of place.  The Land Remembers by Ben Logan is a non-fiction memoir and takes place in Wisconsin close to my childhood home.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Acute Care Unit

Contact:  ph. 503.418.5445, f. 503.418. 1513; lcriswell@ohsu.edu; 3550 SW US Veteran’s Hospital Road, Room 09666, Portland, OR  07239; 9th floor, Rm. 9659

Alexandra Crocker

Education:  I graduated from Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR with my Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies.
Teaching Experience
: I gained the desire to teach through seven years of volunteering with Outdoor School in Stayton, OR. Before working with MESD, I tutored high school students and interned as a teacher’s assistant at the arts based nonprofit, From the Ground UP.
Hobbies: When I am not working, I spend my time performing and producing improv around Portland. I also enjoy camping and playing music.
Favorite book: The Giver, The Art of Racing in the Rain and anything by Roald Dahl.
Position: Educational Assistant, Randall Children’s Hospital Acute Care Unit

Contact: ph. 503.276.9788, f. 503.276.9789; acrocker@mesd.k12.or.us;

Annabelle Davisannabella_website

Education: I completed my formal education in my home country–Guatemala, where I had the fortune of attending private schools all the way up to college. I have a love for art which inspired me to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Art & Science with an emphasis in Interior Design. I then had the fortune of assisting in a Art History class and later taught a class at the same university where I got my I.D. Degree. When I came to the States with the goal of improving my English, I enrolled myself in an ESL program in Oakland, California and received a diploma for foreign students which is equal to a H.S. diploma.
Teaching Experience: Taking the advice of one of my teachers, I tutored students that wanted to learn Spanish while I continued to practice my English. When I moved to Portland, I worked as an interpreter for the Unemployment Office. I have been working for the Hospital School Program since 2001, six of them with the Rehabilitation Unit.
Hobbies: Walking, biking, flower arranging, cooking, hiking and traveling.
Favorite Book: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
Position: Educational Assistant, Randall Children’s Hospital Acute Care Unit

Contact: ph. 503.276.9787, f. 503.276.9789; adavis02@mesd.k12.or.us; Rm. 7804

Margaret J. EngMargaret

Education: BS Chemistry, Portland State University; MS Special Education, Portland State University; Administrative Certificate, Portland State University
Teaching Experience:  Multnomah ESD Outdoor School – 34 years; Multnomah ESD Doernbecher Hospital Program – 3 years; Candlelighters, 18 years as a volunteer
Hobbies:  Reading, Cooking, Storytelling
Favorite Books:  I read in groups, sometimes classics, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, children’s literature.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Intermediate Care Unit

Contact: ph. 503.494.2322, f. 503.418.0026; meng@mesd.k12.or.us; 10th floor, Rm. 10318

Chuck Erkenbeck IMG_1829

Education: BA in Communications from Columbia College Chicago                                     Teaching Experience:  After 15 years in television production, I moved to Portland and spent 10 years working in a private setting with two boys diagnosed with autism. I joined MESD in 2010, serving as an early childhood educational assistant before joining the hospital school program in 2012.
Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, biking, photography and tinkering with any and all handyman projects. I have also recently taken an interest in mountaineering.
Favorite Books: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Hoopla by Harry Stein; The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Position: Educational Assistant, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Acute Care 9th Floor

Contact: cerkenbe@mesd.k12.or.us

Allison Kestelali_website

Education: I received my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon in 2001 with a Family and Human Services Major and Minor in Special Education.  I went on to receive my Master’s Degree from U of O in 2002 in Early Childhood/Elementary Special Education.
Teaching Experience: After graduation I moved to Southern California and began my teaching career.  I taught for a the Junior Blind of America in Los Angeles for 3 years while earning my California degree from Cal State LA in Teaching Moderate to Severe Disabilities.  In 2005, I moved to Santa Barbara and taught at the Devereux Foundation for 1 year.  I then transferred to Santa Barbara School District for the next 3 years.  I moved back to Oregon in 2009 and I have been teaching for the MESD for the past 4 years in the Functional Living Skills Program and have been excited to start this year with the Hospital School Program.
Hobbies: My favorite hobbies include hiking, canoeing, and making arts and crafts.
Favorite Book: My favorite book is…..this is tough one!  The Harry Potter Series reminded me what it was to be a child reader again.  I was traveling in Thailand when the 5th book came out and I spent the entire day wandering Bangkok looking for an English copy.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Randall Children’s Hospital Acute Care Unit & Oregon State Hospital–Portland

Contact: Ran-ph. 503.276.9787, Ran-f. 503.276.9789, State-f. 503.731.8698; akestel@mesd.k12.or.us; Ran. Rm. 7804

Debbie Howell MettlerDebbie

Education: MS in Special Ed.
Teaching Experience: Teacher for 27 years…yikes! 13 years as a classroom teacher and 14 (since 1999) with the Hospital School Program
Position: Hospital Teacher, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Acute Care Unit

Contact: ph. 503.418.4161, f. 503.418. 1513; dhowell@mesd.k12.or.us; 9th floor, Rm. 9659

photoLisa O’Toole

Education: B.S. in Communication at Portland State University, Teaching Degree in Special Education at Portland State University

Teaching Experience: I worked in the Hotel Industry after graduating from University and during that time I began volunteering for the SMART Program.  Through this experience I learned that I loved serving children so I decided to go back to school to pursue my teaching degree in Special Education.  This is my fourth amazing year as an Educational Assistant in the Hospital School Program, prior to that I taught in the Resource Room at Raleigh Hills Elementary for four years.
Hobbies:  I am a creative type and love collecting vintage clothing, sewing and knitting.  I am also a runner and love to go skiing.  Most of all, I love to hang with my two kids Max and Mairi.
Favorite Books: Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and the Tolkien Trilogy.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Providence Willamette Falls

Contact: ph. 503.722.3744; f. 503.722.3752; lotoole@mesd.k12.or.us

Eric PrasoloffIMG_0086

Education: BA Sociology–Occidental College;  MS Special Education–Portland State University
Teaching Experience: I volunteered during my summers in college for a Braille Club that assisted kids with vision impairments on community excursions. It was the beginning of a path that piqued my interest in the world of special education which has led me to my 9th rewarding year of teaching at Shriners Hospital for Children–Portland. I taught in a Structured Learning Center classroom with the West-Linn/Wilsonville School District before becoming a hospital teacher. In the summers I work for the PSU International Special Programs department and instruct American Culture and English Communication Skills for groups of college students visiting from Korea and Japan.
Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, biking, jogging, skiing, sailing, rock climbing, visiting national parks, volunteering with community organizations that serve children, reading, and singing.
Favorite Book: Among my favorite books are pretty much anything from Malcolm Gladwell and C.S. Lewis.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Shriners Hospital for Children

Contact: ph. 503.241.5090 x3307, f. 503.944.1161; eprasolo@mesd.k12.or.us; Rm. S 306

Kerri Russellkerri pic

Education:  Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Ed., K-8th, Master of Science in Special Education, ages 3-21
Teaching Experience:  I worked for 5 years as a teacher then supervisor for a learning center, as a home instructor part-time during this period, and fourteen years as a hospital teacher.
Hobbies: I appreciate the outdoors, especially hiking, going to the beach and traveling to new places.
Favorite Book:  Where the Sidewalk Ends

Position: Hospital Teacher, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Intermediate Care Unit

Contact: ph. 503.418-5517, f. 503.418-5104; krussell@mesd.k12.or.us; 10th floor

Julia Stead

Education: BA in Psychology from Reed College; MA in Special Education from Teachers College at Columbia University
Teaching Experience: 2 years at residential pediatric hospital in NY; 9 years with hospital school program
Hobbies: toddler wrangling (not really a hobby but how I spend most of my free time), hiking, music (listening and playing), baking
Books: Favorite authors include Margaret Atwood, Kurt Vonnegut, and Jonathan Lethem.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Randall Children’s Hospital Pediatric Development and Rehabilitation

Contact: ph. 503.413.1772, c. 503.276.6763, f. 503.413.2212; jstead@mesd.k12.or.us; Rm. 2115

Laurel WheelerBirthday Me

Education: B. A. in Social Sciences
Teaching Experience: Experience with infants, preschool and K-12 children with special needs.
Hobbies: Gardener, candlemaker & pet mom.
Favorite Book: A big, colorful Atlas
Position: Program Assistant, Ainsworth Building

Contact: ph. 503.257.1586, f. 503.257.1680; lwheeler@mesd.k12.or.us; Rm. 211

Nalani WinemanNalani_website

Education: Undergraduate degree- Oregon State University (Finance and Economics) and Masters of Arts in Teaching- Lewis & Clark College with emphasis in math, science, technology integration, and special education endorsement.
Teaching Experience: Primary grades teacher for Beaverton School District and San Diego Unified School District, and K-8 Art teacher in Amphitheater School District in Tucson, Arizona.  I have been working as a substitute teacher and educational assistant with MESD hospital school program since 2010.
Hobbies: My hobbies include travel with my family, painting, and water sports.
Favorite Book: Island Boyz by Graham Salisbury is one of my favorite books.  Salisbury writes powerful short stories set in Hawaii reminding me of my childhood and growing up on Oahu.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Providence Willamette Falls
Contact: ph. 503.722.3744; f. 503.722.3752; wineman@mesd.k12.or.us

Heidi Worden

heidi pic

Education: My teaching history dates back to 1998 at Simmons College in Boston where I earned my Masters in Arts and Teaching while educating 5th grade students.
Teaching Experience
: Upon my return to Portland in 1999, I taught 5th and 6th graders for 4 years in Lake Oswego followed by tutoring middle and high school students in math.  Finally in 2007, I began my dream career of teaching in the Hospital School Program at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Hobbies: My favorite hobbies include running, skiing, hiking, biking, soccer, traveling, reading, gardening, and baking, all with my family of two kids and a yellow lab.
Favorite book: My favorite book is Sarah’s Key and Plain Truth.
Position: Hospital Teacher, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Acute Care Unit

Contact: ph. 503.418.5444, f. 503.418. 1513; wordenh@ohsu.edu; 9th floor, Rm. 9659

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