Our staff is dedicated to our mission:
"...to enable a child to be a thinking, caring, productive person using high academic standards in a positive environment"
Each of us, as with our students, have different talents. Please learn about our staff here. Information will be added as it is provided.
Middle School Math Teacher
Lisa has been Nespelem Elementary’s 3rd grade teacher and now our Middle School Reading and Social Studies teacher. Her interest in education began while volunteering at a school in Thailand that took in children from difficult environments and in their words, helped them “learn to love themselves and society.” It took her 17 years to decide to go into teaching, but the moment she stood in front of a group of students, she realized she absolutely loved it. She received her first BA from Evergreen State College in 1995 with a degree in Documentary Film and Art. She freelanced Media Design until she wanted a change and transitioned into teaching. She obtained her teaching certification from Western Governor’s University in 2012 and substituted for a year and a half before starting at Nespelem.
Her philosophy in teaching is that every child can learn and wants to learn. Her goal is to build lifelong learners. The ideal classroom has a positive learning environment, integrates subjects, and incorporates a balance of technology, direct instruction and hands on/kinesthetic learning. Lessons offer opportunities for students to make connections between what they are learning, their own lives, and the world around them. Critical thinking and creativity is expected and encouraged.
Fourth Grade and Physical Education Teacher
Dean Erickson has been one of our middle school reading and social studies teachers and now teaches fourth grade and physical education. He has taught 4th-8th grade and has coached every sport at Nespelem. He started at Nespelem in the Fall of 1980 after getting his degree from Central Washington University. His philosophy on education is that school starts at home. He believes that parents need to step up and take more responsibility in their child’s education. Mr. Erickson enjoys outdoor recreation, crabbing and clamming with his brother in Birch Bay and just hanging out with family and friends. He resides in Electric City living the dream on the shores of Banks Lake.
First Grade Teacher
I'm Linda Rise, first grade teacher at Nespelem. I grew up in western Washington. I graduated and earned a 5th year from Central Washington University in secondary math education. My first teaching job was in Mansfield, WA, where I taught 7-12 math and history, music, drama, and anything else that I was assigned. I married Ralph, whom I'd met at Central, and moved to Coulee Dam where I substitute taught and coached volleyball. My husband and I had four children, and for fifteen years my full time job was being Mom. I returned to work in 1999 as a 2/3 para-professional in Nespelem. I was moved to kindergarten and, when the class size reached 28, was hired as a second kindergarten teacher. Due to a reduction in class size, I was "RIF"ed in 2004 but hired in the fall, part-time, to teach math at Lake Roosevelt High School. The next year I was moved to Grand Coulee Dam Middle School and taught 6-8th grade math and computer science. I missed working with younger students, so was happy when I was offered a first grade teaching position in Nespelem. My students and I are learning together, making mistakes, but growing and discovering new things every day. In my free time, I enjoying playing piano, teaching Sunday School, crafting, visiting new places, and spending time with my family.