2019-20: New Staff Interviews

Hannah Byun and Andrew Gifford

New Staff Interviews

Hannah Byun; updated by Andrew Gifford 3/3/2020

     We are welcoming all the new staff who are becoming part of our CPM family. We have asked them a few questions so that we get to know them better. We asked each of them why they chose a middle school, where they worked before, what college they went to, what they like to do in their free time, and what they think of the school so far.

Maureen Garrison, 7th & 8th Social Studies

I never thought I’d work in a middle school. I trained to teach lower elementary grades, but the only job I could get starting out was in a middle school, and to my surprise, I loved it. I’ve never looked back, and I’ve been teaching middle school for 33 years.

 

Before I came to CPM, I taught English and Social Studies and also worked as a librarian at Brier Terrace Middle School. I was there for 30 years.

 

I graduated from UW in Seattle with a BA in English in 1978. I earned a teaching certificate there in 1981. I just completed a Master’s degree in American History through Pace University New York.

 

In my free time, I like to read, putter around in my little container garden, and work on little craft projects. 

 

College Place is a great school. The staff is friendly and welcoming and really cares about kids, and the kids are fun to work with, interested in learning, and overall have been very kind to me. I’m happy in my new home.

Kaitlin Catlin, School Nurse

It was the only open school nursing position in the district when I applied. I love working with students of all ages. I worked at a pediatric clinic for the past 4 years.

 

[I graduated from] the University of Washington. I have 3 little girls that keep me pretty busy, but I enjoy photography and like to stay active doing Crossfit workouts. 

 

This is my first job working in a school and so far I really like it. I feel that we’re off to a great school year. 

 

Danielle Mello, Physical Education 

I love working with adolescents. It is a fun and challenging time for this age group and I feel like I can connect with students and help them navigate this crazy chapter in their lives. I worked at Lynnwood High School and Brier Terrace Middle.

 

[I went to] Seattle University for undergrad (bachelor’s degree) and Seattle Pacific University for grad school where I earned my Masters in teaching. [I like to] spend time with my family, snowboarding, running, hot yoga and all things active!

 

It is going well. I like the students and staff at CPM and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year getting to know everyone better!

 

Sarah Bracken, Dean of Students

This is my first job at a school. However, I’ve worked with K-12 students for the last 6 years. Middle schoolers are my favorite. I was working in Chicago, IL, with graduate college students.

 

[I graduated at] Rice University in Houston, TX. I love to read, hike, play volleyball, tennis, and take road trips.

 

I see so much potential for goodness from the students and staff at CPM. It’s my hope that we can really come together as a community to make the year great for everyone.

 

Miranda Rusler, Psychologist & Behavior Specialist

I really like working with students and families at this age and stage. Students are fun and energetic. The staff working in middle school are great colleagues. It is a funky environment that I love!  

I worked at CPM two years ago. I have also worked at Alderwood Middle School, Mountlake Terrace High School, Seaview Elementary, and a handful of other schools. Prior to that, I worked in the Highline School District and the school I loved the most was also a middle school!

 

I went to college at the University of Oregon. I attended graduate school at the University of Washington. I spend time with my family (my husband, three children, and a dog).  I like to read, hike, wakeboard, play card games, watch movies, eat ice cream, and travel.

 

I love being back at CPM.  I love it here. I am hopeful that the school year will continue to improve so that kids, staff, and families feel this an excellent school and students are able to continue to develop a love of learning.

Susan Roberson, 8th Geometry/ Algebra 

I heard good things about CPM staff; I do not necessarily seek out middle school. I enjoy CPM students and staff. I used to teach in Delta, B.C. before moving down to Washington State. I also used to substitute teach in Marysville.

 

I went to the following three colleges: UBC, UW, WWU. I like to read, play the piano, connect with family, travel. I enjoy supporting students who wish to improve their math skills and build good study habits. The school year is going by fast; I must be having fun.

Nasim Badrbigi

I chose to work at a middle school because I don’t want to wipe the noses of little kids at an elementary school, and I can’t teach highschoolers because most of them are taller than me. [Before I came here,] I worked at Brier Terrace Middle School.

 

[I graduated from] Eastern Washington University. I like to watch TV shows and play video games. I feel very welcomed by the staff and very excited to be here!

Brenda Moore

I decided to become a teacher because I love to work with kids. Teaching students to read, write and how to become a successful person is a passion of mine. An opening came up at CPM and it was recommended that I apply for it, so I did. I have been working at Edmonds Woodway High School for 4 years now. Before that, I was working on Mercer Island for a private school for 7 years. My first teaching position was at the Shoreline School District for 2 years with 1 year at NW School for Hearing Impaired Children now called NW school for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

 

I attended Shoreline Community College for an Associate of Art & Science degree, the University of Washington for an Interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree in Culture, Literature & the Arts, and Grand Canyon University for a Master of Education specializing in Special Education. Then, I started a Ph.D. program at Capella University in Psychology but didn’t complete it due to the high cost.

 

I like to hike, walk dogs, travel, drive, read, garden, spend time with family and friends, and take photos. I have always loved middle school age students. So coming to this school was a privilege for me. The leadership at CPM is top-notch.