4th & 5th Grade Teacher
As a teenager, Jake was a skateboarder with blue hair, and his teachers regularly branded him a punk. It wasn’t until his high school social studies teacher engaged him in conversations about history and music that Jake realized school could be worthwhile. During his senior year, he decided to go to college for social studies and become a teacher. He went on to earn his B.S. at Portland State University and graduated from the Masters in Teaching program at Warner Pacific. Teaching, for Jake, means being something other than what people merely expected him to be. As a teacher at Trillium, he shows students that they can defy expectations and still succeed.
I grew up in a seaside town called Galloway, outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey. I spent my days there exploring saltwater marshes, eating high quality bagels, and making narrow escapes from the Jersey Devil!
I received my Master’s of Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I student taught in a fourth grade classroom of bilingual learners, where the majority of students were from Gujarat, India, like my family! I loved the chance to support English Language Learners in my family’s home language and watch the confidence of students grow as they adapted to life in the U.S.
In Chicago, I also mentored youth with a community center called Universidad Popular, founded on Paulo Freire’s philosophy of empowerment through participatory learning. I facilitated career-building workshops with youth ages 16-21 on topics ranging from how to write a check to job interviewing. We also organized a successful summer series of youth-run block parties to promote active play and peace in the neighborhood.
I am grateful to be a Trillium teacher because of the kindness and creativity of students, families, and staff. My favorite part of the school week is Gym!
My name is Michael Koopman and I have been working in education for over six years. I grew up in a small town in Eastern Oregon called La Grande. It’s a quiet beautiful farm town nestled in the Blue Mountains surrounded by river, lakes and forests. I was born in this town and stayed through High School. In High School I was involved in our leadership program and took the position of class representative for three years. I played trumpet in our marching band and sang in our acapella choir. I started performing on stage in our musicals and began to love acting and theatre.
I went to college at the University of Oregon where I began to gravitate towards Theatre Arts as my major. Through the theatre program I was able to travel abroad in London for four months where I took acting classes and watched many plays.
My experience in London motivated a move to NYC where I resided for two years. In New York I waited tables at a high end restaurant while auditioning and booking for acting and modeling jobs. After my NYC stint I decided the east coast was amazing but not meant for me as a home. I returned to my home and felt that Portland fit me better than the big apple.
In Portland I pursued my acting career further and appeared in many television commercials, print ads and local film projects. I longed for something else in my life so I decided to take a part time job working with children at Kids Community Learning Center in northwest Portland. At that time everything changed. I found a profession I cared about more than acting and devoted my life to education with children.
I worked for KCLC for a total of 6 years, taking one year off to go to Lewis and Clark and receive my teaching credentials.
My current position at Trillium is a new adventure that I am thrilled about. My goals are to be able to apply my life experience as well as my years of work with youth to my classroom position. My ultimate goal was to be a full time classroom teacher and I am honored to begin that journey here at Trillium Charter School!