2015-2016 Teaching Faculty


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Eric Bright
9th Grade US History 1860-1940; 10th Grade US History post-1940; 11th Grade European History 1914-Cold War; 12th Grade IB History HL
B.A. (Modern European History), La Salle University; M.A. (History), Arizona State University; Ph.D. Candidate, on leave (History), University of Washington.   His primary field of expertise is Modern European History with a specific focus on Old Regime and Revolutionary France. Eric has been serving as the Transition School History Instructor at the University of Washington’s Robinson Center for Young Scholars, and spending summers working as a writing instructor for that institution's Summer Stretch Program. Eric’s Ph.D. studies and research on his thesis topic of the French Revolution have led him to live and study in Paris through a grant program at the École Normale Supérieure de Paris.   At home in Seattle, Eric spends his free time cooking and gardening with his wife Amie, playing with his seven year-old son Julian, and taking his Teddy Roosevelt rat terrier to the park.
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Lorri Brito
Middle School English Literature; History; Speech
B.S.(Education), University of Wisconsin. Lorri began teaching with Teach for America and is a member of the Charter Corps. From there she spent time as TFA's Executive Director in Oakland, California, working with new teachers, the school district and community. She returned to the classroom, teaching middle and elementary aged students in both public and independent school settings. Her international experience includes teaching for the Naples American Elementary School in Italy. A history major, the majority of her teaching experience has focused on middle school Social Studies and Language Arts. More recently she has served as Program Director for KidiMu on Bainbridge Island. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Jorge, and their three children. New to the area, they are enjoying exploring the Pacific Northwest.
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Middle School English Literature 
B.A. (History), Boston College; M.Ed., John Carroll University. Barrie began teaching in the early 1990’s at St. Mary’s School in Medford, Oregon and The Evergreen School in Seattle, WA. She's been at West Sound Academy since the fall of 2008, serving as a teacher and administrator after spending many years in the corporate and consulting fields. Barrie and her husband have lived in Poulsbo for fifteen years and are busy chasing after two kids and a chocolate lab. Winter weekends are reserved for skiing at White Pass and summer days are spent preparing for the upcoming year and digging in the West Sound vegetable garden.
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Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson
English Literature; IB Language and Literature in English HLB; Art History; Theatre and Theatre Club
B.A. Ed (Theatre, English and Secondary Education), Western Washington University. MA (Theatre) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Teacher Certification in Washington, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Gretchen brings over 25 years of teaching experience at the high school and college level to the classroom. She has enjoyed working and learning with students in suburban, urban and independent school settings in over four different states, most recently George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Over the course of her tenure she has taught IB English, IB Visual Art, ELL Literature and History, Religion, Journalism, Creative Dramatics, Acting, Directing and Play Production. Gretchen has developed and taught professional development courses for Western Washington University and Seattle Pacific University for educators focusing on the use of theatre across the curriculum and as a method and strategy for the classroom teacher. Gretchen is a national adjudicator for the Educational Theatre Association and is a member of the public review team for the National Coalition for Core Art Standards for Theatre currently under development. She lives in Tracyton with her husband, their youngest daughter and their two golden retrievers. She enjoys the adventures of parenting their four children, gardening, trying out new recipes and attending theatre as often as life permits.

Mathematics and Science

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Catherine Freeman
Precalculus; 12th Grade IB Mathematics SL; Knowledge Bowl.
B.S. (Chemistry), Scripps College, Cum Laude.  Catherine’s thesis topic “Analysis of Correlations in Concentrations of Ambient Particulate Matter Analyzed By a Particle-Into-Liquid Sampler Ion Chromatography System” underscores her commitment to mathematics as a tool, an approach she employs in both her mathematics and chemistry classes. This approach has helped Catherine guide her IB Mathematics students to consistently score highly on their exams. Catherine has taught at West Sound Academy since 2007. While at West Sound Catherine has served as chaperone on many school trips, everything from National Outdoor Leadership School treks through the Utah wilderness to more civilized tours of Oregon colleges.  Catherine has also coached West Sound Academy's Knowledge Bowl team to victories in regional and statewide competitions. She enjoys the beach and being on the water with her husband, Andy, and dog, Fancy.
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Rebecca Astle
Intermediate Algebra; Algebra II
B.A (Mathematics), Dartmouth College, M.Ed (Secondary Education), George Washington University. Rebecca brings many years of experience to WSA’s math department having taught all levels of math at both independent and public schools including Commonwealth Academy in Alexandria, VA and Wakefield High School in Arlington, VA.  She also has spent time in an earlier career as a consultant for IBM in their Business Consulting Services sector. She enjoys spending time with her husband playing tennis, cooking, and working on projects around the house. A lifelong resident of the east coast, Rebecca is excited to be in the Pacific Northwest.
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Brittany Boschert
Pre-Algebra, Geometry, IB Math Studies
B.A. (Education) Western Governor’s University.  Brittany first joined WSA as a student teacher of Math while completing her Degree and working under the tutelage of master teacher, D’Arcy Clements.  Her prior experience includes working with young children’s programs as well as tutoring students in math. Upon graduation, Brittany has joined the math department working collaboratively with the entire team of teachers to provide supportive and engaging math instruction to students. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children, reading, and traveling. She is a board member of the USS Seawolf Family Readiness Group and volunteers at Poulsbo Elementary.
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Karen Mattick
6th Grade Marine Biology; 8th Grade Integrated Experimental Science; Advanced Biology; 12th Grade IB Biology HL/SL
B.A. (Focus on Energy Studies), The Evergreen State College; M.A.T. (Science Education), University of Iowa.  Karen taught Marine Biology at the Poulsbo Marine Science Center for 17 years before coming to West Sound Academy.  She edited the National Science Foundation funded revision of FOR-SEA curriculum project and provided teacher in-service in science to K-12 teachers.   Karen has taught life sciences, earth and space sciences and algebra for eleven years at West Sound Academy.  She is a member of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators Association and the National Science Teachers Association.
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David Miller
Physics; Chemistry; Environmental Systems and Societies; 6th Grade Earth Science;  6th Grade Introduction to Technology; Robotics & 3-D Design
B.A. (Sociology, Psychology Minor) Ohio State University, M. A. (Education) Ohio State University. David was a college instructor at both Chico State University and at Southern Oregon University where he helped write the Fifth Year Masters in Education curriculum. Since 1989 David has taught math and science at the middle and high school level, primarily in independent schools in the Northwest. He teaches all of the sciences including Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, and Marine Biology, and mathematics up through Pre-calculus. David enjoys personal study and learning, and three of the last four summers he has attended the Math, Science, and Technology Institute at the Philip Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.  David has led numerous outdoor educational experiences including trips to Russia, The Ukraine, Texas, Pennsylvania, Northern Ontario, Costa Rica, and destinations in the Northwest and California. He is a canoeing enthusiast, bird watcher, and tennis player. David will also pick up the banjo if provoked!
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Lionel Pummell
Middle School Mathematics; Algebra I; Computer Language & Logic; Intro to Computer Science; Strategy Gaming Club; Knowledge Bowl
A lifelong Kitsap county resident, Lionel has worked in the Information Technology field for over twenty-five years. He has worked both for major corporations and small businesses as a Database Analyst and support specialist. Lionel also brings instructional experience to West Sound having been an instructor at Olympic College for eight years teaching Information and Business Technology courses. While at West Sound Lionel has enjoyed his time teaching, he's always enjoyed “watching the light bulb come on” when someone learns something. His personal passions of gaming and trivia have led to his involvement with the Knowledge Bowl team and starting the Strategy Gaming Club. In his off time he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and of course working on computers.

Language Acquisition

uyyek kim111
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French Language 1; French Language III; French Language IV; Introductory Spanish & French; English Language
B.A. (French), Austin College; M.Ed. (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)), Concordia University; Certificat de Langues, La Sorbonne 
French language immersion, Université du Québec. Before coming to West Sound Academy, Kim offered private French lessons to children and adults.  She has taught middle school and high school students for seven years all levels of French and recently added English Language instruction to international students.  In addition, Kim is advisor to Student Council. She loves reading, listening to NPR and geocaching with her family.
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Julieta Vitullo
Spanish I; Spanish II; Spanish III; Spanish IV; 6th Grade World Languages; 7th Grade Latin; Documentary Film
B.A. (Literature) and diploma in Spanish teaching, University of Buenos Aires; M.A. (English), Rutgers University; Ph.D. (Latin American Literature), Rutgers University. Rutgers University. Julieta left her native Argentina and came to the US in 2001 on a Fulbright fellowship. While she was teaching literature and language at Oregon State University, she finished her book Imaginary Islands: The Malvinas/Falklands War in Argentine Literature and Film, which came out in 2012.  A companion to that book is the award winning documentary The Exact Shape of the Islands, of which she is the protagonist and co-script writer. Julieta's research and teaching interests are diverse. She enjoys teaching languages as much as she loves guiding students through the process of creating their own documentary when she teaches one of her elective classes. Julieta enjoys taking trips to the beach with her husband and their three boys. She also loves dancing, practicing yoga, writing fiction and cooking.
Alayna Garvin
English Literature; English Language; French Language II
B.A. (International Relations) University of Southern California; M.A. (Political Science) Institut d’Etudes Politiques, France;  Alayna is from Kitsap County and has traveled extensively in the past decade. Her commitment to service and passion for discovering other cultures prompted her to join the Peace Corps. During her two years of service in Romania, she taught English as a foreign language at a high school in Transylvania. She went on to earn her masters degree in Paris, where she also worked with at-risk youth. In a recent overseas assignment, Alayna worked for an international development organization in Bamako, Mali. Most recently, she has been developing French Language curriculum at Diplomatic Language Services in Arlington, Virginia. Alayna is a true polyglot, fluent in three languages and proficient in two more.  She enjoys spending time hiking, camping, listening to music, and dancing.

Arts and Physical Education

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Paul Burback
6th Grade General Music; 7th Grade General Music; 9th Grade Music Elective; Advanced Music Elective; After-school Conservatory Music Teacher
Paul has been a guitarist and performer in bands, both locally and internationally, for over twenty-five years. In the late 1990's Paul and WSA support staff member Derek Burns played on the album The Scroll and Its Combinations with Eddie Vedder and Matt Cameron from Pearl Jam and Ben Shepherd and Kim Thayil from Soundgarden. Paul has been an instructor with the Olympic College Edventure program and at Rock the Farm - a rock and roll camp held at a Kingston farm that culminates in a student-performed rock concert. Paul has wide experience as a private guitar and bass teacher, and as a 
coach for young rock bands, where he is involved in rehearsing, recording and performing.  Currently, Paul plays with Justine Jeanotte, former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing, and bassist, percussionist, and keyboardist Andy Miller in the band Before Cars.  Paul toured Europe with this band during the summer of 2015, playing in London, Amsterdam, and venues in Ireland.  Visitors to the 10,000 Starbucks stores worldwide will be able to hear Paul play; the Before Cars song Fin is on the official Starbucks playlist!
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Jennifer Silvernale
6th Grade Art; 7th Grade Art; Advanced Visual Art; IB Visual Art HL/SL
B.A. (Art and Business), Linfield College; M.A. (Curriculum and Instruction), Eastern Washington University.  Jennifer was a 5th and 6th multi-grade classroom instructor for the North Kitsap School District from 1994 - 1999, and after starting a family, began working as a coordinator for the Meaningful Work Program and Paraprofessional Educator from 2006 - 2008.  She has been a faculty member at West Sound Academy since 2008, teaching Middle School History, Art and Physical Education, and in the summer months directs Harry Potter and Rocket Science camps for youth at our West Sound Academy campus.  Jennifer enjoys painting, ceramics, photography, and spends her free time fishing, camping and attending many baseball games with her boys, Peter and Ben.
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Suzanne Hermanson
Physical Education
B.S. (Interdisciplinary Studies: Social Science minor in Psychology & Business Administration) studied fashion design at Art Institute of Seattle. Suzanne spent 25 years in the corporate business environment working in sales, marketing, and training for the apparel manufacturing and food industries. Over the last 8 years, she has focused on health and wellness through coaching high school XC and Track & Field, teaching as a certified yoga instructor with over 500 training hours, and offering private instruction. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she has lived in Greece, Indiana and California. Suzanne family includes two teenage children Jane and Jack, her husband Troy, and the family dog Molly. Suzanne enjoys being outdoor, eating healthy food, a good sense of humor and learning!

International Baccalaureate Core Requirements

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Jim Kolb
IB Theory of Knowledge
B.A. (Zoology), B.A. (Ecology), M.S. (Wildland Resource Science) University of California, Berkeley. Starting his professional life as a Research Scientist, Jim traversed the west coast studying all things living. When his wife settled on earning a teaching credential, Jim went along for the ride and found his life’s passion as an educator. His ability to create and write successful curriculum led him to a role as Curriculum Developer and manager for a regional marine science consortium and, thence to a Principal Investigator position for a National Science Foundation national teacher-training program where he further honed his financial management and “fix anything” skills.  Jim has been playing all three roles: teacher, administrator and handyperson at West Sound Academy since its beginning in 1998. He enjoys dancing and the beaches of Puget Sound.
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Julieta Vitullo
Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Coordinator
See biography under Language Acquisition
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B.A. Summa cum Laude (Business Administration, Accounting), University of Washington. After graduation and passing the CPA exam, Susan worked as a management accountant at Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company. She left the office to start a family, and then rediscovered her childhood love of books and reading when she volunteered at the libraries of her children’s schools. After mentorship from some outstanding independent school librarians and additional training, Susan became the librarian at Evergreen Academy in Bothell, then Chestnut Hill Academy in Bellevue. Susan has been at West Sound Academy since 2005, working as the librarian, website editor, and coach (with Catherine Freeman and Lionel Pummell) of the WSA Knowledge Bowl (KB) team. She enjoys reading (of course) and spoiling her mini-dachshund, Wally.