New Staff Interviews 2020-2021 School Year

Sara Lao, Sara Lao - Writing Content

By Sara Lao

This article is about introducing and welcoming our new CPM staff, by sharing their answers to the following interview questions. Getting to know others is a wonderful thing. The questions asked are listed below.

Interview Questions:

  • What are your preferred pronouns?

  • What would you like students to call you?

  • What subject do you teach and why you like teaching it? If you are not a classroom teacher, what do you do at CPM and why do you like doing what you do?

  • Where did you work before coming to CPM?

  • When did you first realize your passion for teaching?

  • What do you like doing during your free time?

  • Why did you choose to be a teacher/staff in a middle school?

Tess Carlson Ms. Carlson (She/her/hers)

“I teach science and I love teaching science because I get to work with students in understanding how science can explain the world around us! I’ve always loved science because of how hands-on it is. I taught in Northshore School District. I first realized I loved teaching in college. I was the president of the Chemistry Club and we would go to science demonstration shows at elementary schools and do lab experiments with small groups of middle and high schoolers. I loved getting to work with young people AND do science! I enjoy gardening, cooking, and playing cards. Middle school actually chose me! I initially wanted to be a high school chemistry teacher, but reluctantly took a middle school job last year and had so much fun working with 7th and 8th graders! I love that in middle school you get to do all different kinds of science, and not just focus on one subject.”

Kimberley Martell Mrs. Martell (She/her/hers)

“8th Grade Science – I didn’t used to like science, but after taking physics in college I fell in love with learning why things are the way they are, and to be able to reason through situations and understand how the world works. I am still teaching at Edmonds-Woodway High School and I am split between the two schools. I teach physics and IB physics at EWHS. In 8th grade, I helped my other sister with her math homework because I understood it and she was struggling. I realized that I love helping people to understand how and why. Skiing, rock climbing, and hanging out with my pet goats. To be honest, I didn’t choose to teach middle school as I teach primarily at EWHS. But as I have gotten to know my 8th-grade students I have enjoyed my time teaching middle school science. I am looking forward to seeing some of my students again when they move up to EWHS and decide to take physics in the next couple of years.”

Heather Ohly Mrs. Ohly (She/her/hers)

Ms.Ohly is a “Paraeducator with English Learners and Special Education Students. I like helping students learn. The last time I worked in education was at CPM. When I worked at a non-profit that supported Family and Consumer Education teachers, I learned I liked working with students. I enjoy walks with my family, riding my bike and reading.” Ms.Ohly chose to work at CPM because “the interview team was very kind, and focused on helping students succeed.”

Luis Roman Mr. Roman (He/him/his)

Mr.Roman is a “Counselor Secretary/ Registrar” at CPM. Before Mr.Roman worked at CPM he worked at “Ukiah High School in California. I really like working with families and their students.” When Mr.Roman has free time he likes to do some “cooking/baking.” Mr.Roman chose middle school because he “was looking for a similar working environment like my hometown.”

Riley Smithgall Ms. Smithgall (or Riley!) (She/her/hers)

“This year I am a school counselor intern, meaning I am learning how to be a school counselor! Even though this school year looks very different, I am learning so much, and enjoying being a part of a community that is invested in finding creative ways to connect and support our mental health. In order to continue to learn and grow, we have to make sure our minds and bodies are cared for. Before interning at CPM, I worked in Special Education for Seattle Public Schools. When I was figuring out what career felt best for me, I reflected on the impact my teachers and school counselors had on me as I found my own passions and inspirations. I hope that I can be that support for others, as they explore opportunity and seek

their potential. During my free time, I like being outdoors with friends, hiking, climbing, skiing, watching the sunset or sunrise. I also love reading, dancing, listening to music, and watching movies! I am a huge advocate of supporting our mental health. Middle school is a time of so many transition that can hold a lot of feelings and a great time to continue or start practicing strategies that feel best to express those feelings. I am here for those discussion and to share ideas of how to best support both ourselves and our community.”

Josh Visser Mr. Visser (He/him/his)

Mr.Visser teaches “English and Honors English. I love exposing students to all sorts of different amazing facets of language and literature!” Mr.Visser worked at “Everett HS, Eisenhower MS, and Meadowdale HS” before he started to work at CPM. Mr. Visser realized his passion for teaching when he “was in High School. When Mr.Visser has free time, he likes to “spend time with Family, Bike Ride, Sports with Family.” Mr.Visser chose to be a middle school teacher because he thinks “12-14-year-old kids are awesome!”

Kayla Welch Ms. Welch (She/her/hers)

“I teach Spanish — I love teaching Spanish because language learning is so exciting. I think learning to speak, read, write and understand in a new language is important and exciting…but I also love exploring culture & travel, and linking learning to our global community. I taught at Edmonds Woodway HS, Shorecrest HS, Eckstein Middle School & North Junior High (in Boise, ID). When I was in school and had amazing and inspiring teachers who made an impact in my life. I love to ski, read, run, travel, and spend time with my family. I choose Middle School because I think Middle Schoolers have” an “awesome personality, and also think a lot of important executive functioning learning happens during middle school.”