Gervais Middle School Staff
From the Desk of the Principal
Hello and Welcome to GMS (Gervais Middle School)! My name is Toni Johnson; many of you might know me from teaching 5th grade or 7th/8th grade history. This year, I have the honor of being the principal of the middle school. I am so excited to lead such a caring and wonderful group of educators. I want you to know: All of your children will be treated with respect, challenged to do their best, and asked to think about and prepare for their future.
I am a true Oregonian. Born and raised in Tillamook, went to college at Willamette University in Salem, and got both my teaching and administration license at George Fox University in Newberg. I am the youngest of 3 children. My Dad was an electrician and my Mom was a teacher. I grew up holding class and “teaching” my stuffed animals, riding my horse, and playing volleyball. I am married to Dwayne (not The Rock) Johnson and have 3 children.
I started teaching in Gervais in 1995, in what is now the elementary school. My first year, I had a blended 6th and 7th grade class. I taught 5th grade for 10 years and the rest of the time has been in 7th and 8th grade.
I love being an educator in Gervais! This community is truly something special. There is a strong sense of culture, history, and family here that is hard to find in today’s world. I believe by working together–parents, students, and the school–we can help all students become the best versions of themselves. Education is the key to children’s future. By working hard, always striving for the best, and believing in ourselves, we can do anything together. Here’s to a great school year!
Principal, Gervais Middle School
email@example.com Hi there, my name is Fenya Aman. I’ve been working for the district in different roles for about 20 years and am currently the Student Advocate here. I grew up here in Gervais. I attended the Gervais School District Kindergarten-12th grade. Now I am lucky enough to get to work for Gervais School District and am able to give back to a community that helped raise me. My goal with our students is to help them be successful academically and to help them grow their social/emotional skills, as well. I love this community and I’m so thankful to be part of the Gervais Family.
firstname.lastname@example.org Hello! My name is Amanda Braswell and I teach 6th grade Language Arts at Gervais Middle School. I was born in California but mostly raised in Oregon- I love Oregon's rain and green landscapes! I graduated from University of Oregon where I majored in English Literature, and minored in Sociology. Afterwards, I attended Lewis & Clark Graduate College of Education and graduated with my Masters in Teaching (specializing in English Language Arts). This is my 5th year at Gervais teaching 6th grade and I absolutely love it. I appreciate how the smaller school setting allows you to get to know all of the students, and really help them. When I'm not teaching, I enjoy reading, crocheting, watching tv, and spending time with friends & family ( especially my German Shepherd, Piper)!
My name is Kristin Lebsack and I was born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon. Go Beavers!!!! When it came time to go to college however, I was ready for a change so I packed up and headed to sunny San Luis Obispo, California. There I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Cal Poly. I worked with emotionally disturbed youth in the community for 3 years before going back to school to get my Master’s of Education in Special Education. Gervais was my first and only interview. After talking with the fabulous Ann O’Connell, our director of special services, I knew this was the place for me. I am starting my fifth year in the district. Last year, I completed my reading endorsement and I am now certified as a Reading Specialist. I am also the Assistant Coach of the Gervais Cougars Girls’ Varsity Soccer team! I am so passionate about soccer that I continue to play on an indoor team. It is my belief that the school staff, student and parent can make school a positive and successful experience by working together. My goal is for you, the parent, the student and myself to be equal partners in your child’s success this year. One of the goals of middle school is to help prepare your child for high school. To that extent, we focus on improving academic skills, study habits, and independent learning. I run the Learning Resource room in the middle school. As such, my practices look a little different than a traditional classroom. I strive to meet the needs of each individual, whether it be reading, math, writing, or organization. During the school day, I teach one Read180 class and I teach Academic Assist classes. My classroom rules follow those outlined in the student handbook. I teach Read 180 and 6th, 7th, and 8th grade reading and math support.
School(s) Attended: Gervais High School. Years in Education: 18 years with GSD Grades/Classes/Roles: Office Manager. My Interests/Favorites: Love spending time with my family on my spare time.
I was raised in a small town in southern Oregon, and graduated from Crater High School in 1992. I moved to Salem to attend Willamette University, and earned a bachelor’s degree in theater, with a minor in art. After college I worked in a few different jobs before I decided to go back to school to become a teacher. I earned my master’s degree in educational leadership in 2002. I live in Salem with my wife and two sons, our dog, and some backyard chickens. Our favorite things to do as a family are hiking, camping, playing board games, and building with Legos. In the summer I usually teach drama classes in Salem. I am very proud to be a member of the GMS team. My goal as your 7th grade language arts teacher is to help you find your voice and express the greatness of your heart and mind. Your words are your most powerful tools. You should keep them sharp, keep them clean, and learn to use them well.
email@example.com My name is Elizabeth Lopez, and I currently teach ELD for both the middle and high school. I studied Pre-medicine Biology at Trinity International University in Chicago. After spending 4 years in Japan, learning to speak and read Japanese, I decided to become an English teacher, and I studied ESOL for teaching at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota where I received a Masters of Arts in Teaching. I am licensed to teach Language Arts, ELD, and Biology by the state of Oregon. My husband, daughter, and mother in law live in Woodburn. We have lived in Los Angeles, northern California, and now Oregon. Each place has had it's uniqueness, but we really enjoy Oregon! Go Ducks or go Beavers? GO BADGERS!!!
My name is Cassie Miller. I grew up on a farm in Molalla with my three siblings. I enjoyed an eight-year career in Gymnastics and when the program was canceled, I joined the track team in middle school, high school and college. Athletics help me earn a full ride scholarship to Clackamas Community College. I then competed for Western Oregon University where I pursued my education in multiple subjects for elementary and middle school education and I returned to Western Oregon University to complete my Masters in Education. A couple unique facts about me are that I competed in the NCAAII Nationals in the 400MH and I worked in Iraq with the military for 1.5 years.
A fantastic moment for me every day is every time a student succeeds at a new skill.
Hello! My name is Michael Mulkerin. I am proud to work in the Gervais Middle School. I have taught math and social studies for the majority of my nearly twenty years here. I started my career in Brooks as a substitute Librarian and computers teacher. Working in a smaller, family oriented, district has made me versatile. I have taught nearly every subject and coached all the sports we offer. I am glad to say that I have settled into math and coaching girls soccer for the high school. I am currently trying to get a middle school robotics program up and running. Many people express that I am crazy for teaching middle school for so long. That might be true, but I still find my smile when I see kids do new and great things. I was born in Fargo, North Dakota, but moved to Walla Walla, Washington the summer before my first grade year. I had a great experience in the Walla Walla Public Schools. I admired and respected my teachers. Many of them motivated me to become a teacher. After graduating, I moved to the Willamette Valley to attend Willamette University. I earned my masters in teaching in 1996. I found Gervais and latched on to the community. I am married with two younger children. I enjoy spending time with my family. We like to go swimming on the weekends. When I was a younger teacher, I was a state of Oregon pickle ball medalist. I am hoping to get a chance to show the students some pickle ball this year in our new exercise facility. It is a fun, and uniquely Northwest game. I teach 7th grade Math and Computers and Sports.
firstname.lastname@example.orgHello! My name is Maria Torres-Tapia. This is my second year at Gervais Middle School. I am excited to start this year working in the Special Education department. I have prior experience working with various types of students (homeless, incarcerated, students at alternative schools) and am ready for what this year will bring. I try to build strong connections with the students to help them be the best they can in class and have them feel confident to ask for help.
My name is Helen Warberg. I have had the pleasure to teach in the Gervais School District for the past 20 years. Over the years I have taught a multitude of things, but I currently teach eighth grade Math and Science. Of all the grades I have taught, eighth grade is my favorite year. Students are on the verge of just having it all come together. I have had the opportunity to run the Washington DC program for the middle school. Over 200 kids have been able to take advantage of this program. I take great pride in the fact that this program has been able to survive over the years. Many years in a small school has afforded me to build many relationships with former students and parents. I really appreciate the fact that many former students have come back and said that I have made a difference in their lives. I was born in Portland, but grew up in Hillsboro. In 1992, I graduated from Western Oregon State College with a degree in Elementary Education. I have both a reading endorsement and an English language Endorsement. When I am not teaching, I spend time with my family. My latest hobby is chasing after my young kids. Before kids, I put myself through college by river guiding on the Deschutes. This past September, I surprised students (both former and current) by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. I teach 8th grade Math and 8th grade Science.
Hi there! I still consider myself fairly new to the Gervais School District. I was born and raised in Oregon and have previous work experience with Child Welfare, DHS and with the office of Developmental Disabilities, in both positions I worked as a case manager. I graduated from McMinnville High School, then pursued two Bachelor of Art degrees at Western Oregon University, and obtained a Master degree in Social Work, at Portland State University. I now serve 6th-12th graders as a counselor with the majority of my time housed at the High School. However, I am available to both buildings at all times. I've enjoyed getting to know the students and the community, and I looked forward to a new year. As a first generation latina, I can relate to a lot of Gervais's community struggles within the school system, and family home environment. My practice is based on working with modalities that can help ourselves become more, instill inspiration, empowerment, and self-love by teaching students that there is more to life than what has been given, especially during rough times. I’m married to a wonderful man whom I’m proud to call my best friend and he's a roofer. We have a beautiful 4-year old daughter named Lyra Fe, and another one coming this winter 2022. I love nature, trips to the beach and sightseeing Oregon’s beautiful parks. My second home is in Mexico and when I can, I visit family and tour the country. I love both of my identities being a Mexican American who is proud to be bilingual-Hablo español!. What brought me to Gervais School District was the wonderful experience I had during my internship with the counseling department at GES in 2019. I loved and respected the schools’ values, support, and community. Since starting at GMS/GHS, I feel part of the Gervais school family, the support and dedication staff, students and families have with each other makes this place rewarding to work with. ~Please do not hesitate to contact me. Por Favor no demore en comunicarse conmigo.
My Roles: keep the front office running smoothly communicate with parents, students and staff track all high school attendance
My Education Background: Gervais High School Graduate Chemeketa Community College Portland State University # of years with Gervais High School: 1st yr. at Gervais High School 8 yrs with GSD 20 yrs. in education.
Favorite Quote: “Accept what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”
My Roles: Health Sciences Teacher Leadership Advisor
My Education Background: BS, Microbiology, OS (Minor in Chemistry, certificate in medical humanities) Masters in Public Health, OHSU # of years with Gervais High School: 5 Classes that I Teach and Responsibilities This Year: Health A/B Wellness Occupations Medical Skills Community Health Leadership Advisor A/V Club
Favorite Quote: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible.”
My Roles: Teach Social Studies
My Education Background: BS, Education, Western Oregon University # of years with Gervais High School: 26 Classes that I Teach This Year: Government Senior Survey Geography
Favorite Quote: “Reasons or results.”
My Roles: Support the Principal and Athletics
My Education Background: North Marion, K-12 Lower Columbia College Western Oregon University Undergrad Western Oregon University MAT # of years with Gervais High School: 6 Classes that I Teach This Year: Strength and Conditioning
Favorite Quote: “The Enemy of Great Is Good Enough”
My Role(s): FLC Special Education Teacher
My Education Background: I have a Bachelor’s Degree and 2 Masters Degrees # of years with Gervais High School: 6 years in November
Responsibilities This Year: I am the High-Needs Special Education Teacher I run the Functional Learning Center I also run the transition program for students over 21 years of age
Favorite Quote: ”You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi “Work and you’ll get what you need; work harder and you’ll get what you want.” -Prabakaran Thirumalai_
My Roles: Ag Teacher FFA Advisor
My Education Background: Crescent Valley High School BA Animal Science OSU 2010 MA Ag Education OSU 2013 # of years with Gervais High School: 5 Classes that I Teach This Year: Animal Science Intro to Ag Welding Forestry Food Science Veterinary Science
Favorite Quote: “Takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place”
My Role(s): AVID Teacher/Coordinator Social Studies Teacher
My Education: Molalla High School, Oregon AAOT Clackamas Community College 2007 BS in History WOU 2009 MAT WOU 2011 I student taught at Gervais High School in the 2010-2011 school year. After that I subbed here and other districts until getting hired full time at GHS in 2015.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world” ~Anne Frank
My Roles: Language Arts Teacher
My Education Background: Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, Moraine Valley Community College 2008 BA in English Language & Literature, Montana State University 2013 MAT Teaching English Language Arts, Lewis & Clark College 2017 # of years with Gervais High School: 3 Classes that I Teach This Year: English 10 Language, Power, and Social Justice
Favorite Quote: “Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg
My Roles: Assisting students with classwork Helping students with daily living skills, recycling, etc. Helping students learn appropriate social behavior
My Education Background: Chemeketa Community College I was in the USAF and trained at Fort Sam Houston Medical Training Center Concorde Career Institute, Certified Medical Assistant Jacksonville, FL # of years with Gervais High School: 10 yrs.
Responsibilities This Year: assist in the FLC classroom
Favorite Quote: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” -Maya Angelou
My Roles: Resource Teacher
My Education Background: MA Teaching in Special Ed, Pacific University 2016 BS Public Policy and Administration, WOU 2012 Southridge High School, Washington # of years with Gervais High School: 5
Responsibilities This Year: Academic Assist Support Special education students GHS Testing Coordinator
Favorite Quote: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” -Mark Twain
email@example.comMy Role: Spanish Teacher My Education Background: AA at Chemeketa Community College, BA in Education from Western Oregon University Classes That I Teach: Spanish I-IV Quote: “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Elliot
My Roles: Math Teacher NHS Advisor
My Education Background: BA – Mathematics and Education, Bethel University MN MSEd ESOL, Western Oregon University # of years with Gervais High School: 4 Classes that I Teach and Responsibilities This Year: Algebra I, AVID 9, Accelerated Algebra, Accelerated Geometry, Algebra II, NHS Advisor, Equitable Grading Team,
Favorite Quote: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” -Aristotle
My Roles: P.A.W.S. Credit Recovery
My Education Background: Graduated from Sherwood High School, Graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Arts, Gradu