Meet the Staff

Caelan Angell

Wilderness Explorations Instructor

Caelan (he/they) has been an Outdoor Educator for over a decade, facilitating deep connection with nature, teaching naturalist skills like edible and medicinal plants, friction fire, tracking and orienteering. His love for the natural world and care for his students is apparent in his enthusiastic mentoring style. Caelan’s extensive lesson planning facilitates programs that feel spontaneous while holding many layers of mentoring. Hoping to increase accessibility and equity of outdoor education, Caelan brings his experience as out Outdoor Educator to our Kokanee and Chinook classes each week.

 

Ali Arnote

Wilderness Explorations Instructor

Ali (she/her) grew up between the wilds of Northern Arizona and Tokyo, Japan, where she was lucky enough to play freely in the outdoors creating such vivid memories of her adventures that she still finds herself sizing up trees for their climb-ability, looking for sticks to race down streams or introducing herself to new plant friends. She returned to the US to earn degrees in Visual Anthropology and Photography from University of Southern California and Visual Communications from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

While she has worked with kids her entire life, Ali began working in a school setting in 2004 which grew into opening a process based kid’s art studio in Southern California. She is a certified Tinkergarten Leader and has been exploring outdoors with kids and their grown-ups since 2016. Ali wears a few different hats at the Bridge School, working with the Coho students for Wilderness Explorations and as our Cedar Play School instructor. She is also a parent to two current students. Ali continually finds delight in sharing her connection with nature while watching the pure joy as students develop their own.

 

Sarah Borak

Office Manager

Sarah (she/her) is a White Center native who takes pride in the community she grew up in and is enthusiastic about giving the new generation of neighborhood kiddos a positive elementary school experience (albeit as a friendly wave or smile from the office). She was the owner/president of a successful real estate business on Capitol Hill for a number of years before shifting gears to spend more time with her two children who attend The Bridge School. Wearing many hats as a small business owner prepared Sarah well for her role as office manager/registrar/bookkeeper/band aid applier at The Bridge School and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Religion and Jewish Studies from the University of Washington
 

Brianna Bridges

Literacy Specialist

Brianna (she/her) is a passionate teacher who loves to meet students where they are at and help them ignite their own love for learning. Brianna has taught elementary aged students as a classroom teacher, reading specialist and reading tutor. She is invested in teaching reading to students that is supported by research and the Science of Reading in a way that is fun and engaging. 

She earned a Master’s in Teaching from Seattle University in 2010. She became a National Boards Certified Teacher in Literacy in 2014

 

Ashley Dunn 

Director

Ashley (she/her) is a proud Canadian! She grew up in Calgary, AB and moved to Seattle with her family in 2011. She has been married to Jason for 21 years, and they have two awesome kids – Logan (13) and Alanna (9). They also recently got a dog named Moka who is a regular fixture at The Bridge School.

She earned her degree in Applied Communications with a Public Relations focus from Mount Royal University in Calgary in 2004. After spending 10 years home with her kids, Ashley began her journey at The Bridge School in 2014 when Logan became a Coho student. Since then, Logan has graduated from The Bridge School and Alanna has joined the student body. Ashley has served on the Bridge School Board as the Membership Coordinator and Board Chair, and in 2018 joined the staff as the Office Manager. In 2019, in partnership with Andrea Benson, Ashley took on a Co-Director position as the Operations Director, and is now the Director of the Bridge School.

 

Leah Fadness-Biseda

Art Specialist

Leah (she/her) is a Seattle based visual artist who earned her BFA in Painting and Video from Cornish, College of the Arts in 2006. While she was in art school, Leah explored a ton of different mediums outside of her core studies including book arts, printmaking, and sculpture. Leah also holds a Master’s degree in teaching from Seattle University’s MIT program, and her Washington State Teaching Certification with endorsements in Elementary and Visual Arts Education. Post Art/Grad school Leah has worked as an elementary educator and art teacher for public schools throughout the Seattle area. Leah has also participated in live painting/drawing musical events and collaborative work with an arts/music collective that cross pollinates between Seattle and Guadalajara.

At home, Leah enjoys spending time building Lego models and watching animal documentaries with her fantastic husband and cat in their triangle shaped apartment. Her current illustration series are Sengi and Bilby: A Story of Friendship Among Uncommon Critters and Photohopper, a visual narrative featuring a rabbit who loves to snap interesting photos and a little family of cats and rabbits who often find themselves on an adventure together.

 

Allison Gobat

Music & Theater Specialist, Creative Enrichment Instructor

Allison (she/her) is a hands-on, sensory-led, active teacher. She likes to keep the children moving, experiencing, having fun, and learning through doing. She likes to bring multiple senses into her teaching so that she can reach each student wherever their strengths lie. She believes in allowing skill development to happen in its own time for each student — there is no “one size fits all” for learning. Allison has taught Preschool through High School in various positions: special education inclusion specialist, one-on-one instructor, special programs teacher, specific subject tutor, and music, theater and arts teacher.

She has a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of San Diego and holds certifications in Elementary Education, K-8 Special Education, and Early Childhood Special Education.

 

Sara O’Hern

Social Worker

Sara (she/her) enjoys identifying and building on the unique strengths and talents that make each student shine. Kids do well if they can, and Sara strives to identify and remove barriers that are keeping children from doing their best work. She believes that every student in the school is an important member of the community, and she strives to help them feel their own worth and understand how their talents and skills make our community stronger. She enjoys connecting with individual students, small groups, and families to find how to best support each individual student. Sara believes that diversity enriches our community, and she takes a neurodiversity-affirming approach in honoring the unique skills and challenges of neurodivergent students.

She holds a Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Washington with a specialization in Children, Youth, and Families.  She holds a Washington State certification in School Social Work.

 

Kory Ochsner

Creative Enrichment Instructor

Kory (he/they) joined the Bridge School community as a parent back in 2017 and has brought his passion for music and mindfulness into our Creative Enrichment classes this year as one of our instructors. Kory is finishing his education to become an elementary school teacher and brings a unique and infectious enthusiasm to his classroom. 

 

Kim Rothlisberger

Instructional Coach

Kim (she/her) has been on staff for almost nine years in various roles. Teaching the youngest students in the Coho for almost 7 years, she is now the Instructional Coach for our staff. As a classroom teacher, she loves engaging students in creative writing, helping them to find their inner artist, and creating a space where every student feels seen, known, and heard.  She believes that every child is a mathematician, a writer, a reader, a scientist, an artist, and a valued voice in our community. Before having her own children, she studied elementary education at Pacific Lutheran University and taught kindergarten in the Bellevue School District. After both of her sons went through the Bridge School program, her family moved to Anacortes to enjoy a slower pace of life in a smaller town. When she’s not supporting staff and families at the Bridge School, she can be found with her husband, cheering on their teenage sons on the football field and basketball court, traveling, reading, and supporting programs at her sons’ middle and high schools. 

 

Yon Rowe

Classroom Teacher

Yon (she/her) holds a MEd in literacy instruction, a BA in elementary education with a science minor and an AA in Early Childhood Education. She has been involved in one form or another with The Bridge School since its founding, including as an enrichment instructor and currently as the Coho teacher. She has taught art to individuals as well as large-scale community events. Her early career in ECE took her through Montessori, Head Start, Reggio Emilio-inspired, and cooperative models of education. Her passion and talent for facilitating learning through child-led play has been informed by all of these approaches and experiences.

 

David Spindel

Classroom Teacher

David (he/him) is an adaptive, reflective, and anti-racist educator who is eager to support the needs of his students during his first year at The Bridge School. He values an education system where students are encouraged to have agency and belonging in the classroom community, and he hopes his classroom will be a place where equity is prioritized and where the unique needs of all his students are supported. David was first inspired to become a full time educator after serving as a remote instructor in a 5th grade classroom at MLK Jr Elementary School. He then went on to receive a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University with certification in elementary (K-8) education. 
 
David and his wife reside in North Seattle, and you can find him singing in the Seattle University Choir, out on the disc golf course, or playing board games at home on a rainy day. 
 

Cher Swanson

Classroom Teacher

Cher (she/her) has spent her teaching career working with elementary-aged students,  building relationships of trust as she helps them identify what natural gifts they already have, and then working together to discover how to use their talents to examine, integrate, and explore new information. Her favorite moments as a teacher have been when she sees students gain the confidence and recognition of their ability to achieve goals, and the courage to enthusiastically engage in new concepts!

Cher believes that students need a teacher who is less of a lecturer and more of a facilitator of growth and confidence. She works to foster a peaceful and engaging environment with the freedom to stretch and move.

Cher has a BA in Elementary Teaching & Leadership, credentials in multiple subjects K-8 and holds a NAMI Montessori certificate for instruction.

When she’s not at school, you can find Cher out in nature, exploring with her Corgis.

 

Anne York

Founding Parent, Advisory Consultant, Creative Enrichment Instructor

Anne (she/her) is one of The Bridge School’s Founding members, and spent the first 10 years of its journey as the school’s Director. She has remained a dedicated member of the community and staff supporting health & safety efforts through COVID, taking on teaching and advisory roles and most recently, is one of our Creative Enrichment instructors.

Anne has a Master’s Degree in Sociology.