Big Picture Staff
I grew up in upstate NY and graduated from Randolph Central School in 1991. I earned a B.S. in Neurology and a M.A. in Science Education from Cornell University. I taught chemistry, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and integrated science in both NY and Seattle, prior to entering school administration. I earned my principal certification from University of Washington and served as assistant principal and principal of Newport High School. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family– Thomas, Maddie, Mia, GG, and dog, Jasmine.
Mission: To lead innovation and reform to improve student outcomes for all students in our district. To empower students and teachers to be change agents, lifelong, passionate learners and community leaders.
It is an incredible honor to introduce myself as the Assistant Principal at Big Picture. The Bellevue Big Picture School is where my teaching career began six years ago – providing the setting and support that refined my classroom management and introduced me to Project-Based Learning.
My journey as an educator began, in some respect, fifteen years ago teaching swimming lessons at the local YMCA in Marysville, Washington. Following the completion of my undergraduate degree in Mathematics Education from Western Washington University, I taught field-experience courses in Montana and Colorado, spent time volunteering with universities in Kenya, training teachers in Tanzania and supporting dental hygiene work in El Salvador.
The last four years, I have lived in New York City, where I taught ‘Regents’ Algebra 1 and served as the Mathematics Coordinator at the International School of Brooklyn. While working in Brooklyn, I earned my administrative credentials from Fordham University Graduate School of Education. Life in New York allowed me to become profoundly involved in the nonprofit, “Brooklyn to Alaska,” where we bring brave and adventurous urban teenagers each summer to the wilderness of Alaska.
I am most passionate about – and professionally dedicated to – helping students develop academic confidence and self- efficacy and supporting and encouraging the teachers who make this a reality every day. I believe all students deserve a classroom environment that is safe, supportive, encouraging; alive with hope and optimism for their future in academics and the world.
I am excited to be back at Big Picture and to return home to the Pacific Northwest with my wife, Juliana, who is completing a software engineering program from the Grace Hopper Program at the Fullstack Academy. When I am not ‘at work,’ I am likely trying to find somewhere to hike, climb, fish or ski.
I grew up in Bellevue, attended Phantom Lake Elementary, Tillicum Junior High, and graduated from Sammamish High School. I earned an A.A. degree in Early Childhood Education from Bellevue Community College.
Along with my husband Rich (married on 11-11-11), I have 2 stepdaughters, 2 sons-in-law, 2 grandsons, 2 granddaughters, 2 sons, and Willie our dog.
I love riding my Harley Davidson motorcycle, and have been to Sturgis. I also love traveling, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, camping, cooking, entertaining, spending time with friends and family, volunteering, and doing charity work for multiple charities.
Mission: My mission is to make the Bellevue Big Picture School office a warm and inviting place to visit, where information is readily available, and where parents, students, and visitors, feel comfortable and welcomed.
I grew up in Vancouver, WA and went to high school in Portland, OR. After high school, I attended the University of Washington and earned a BA in psychology. I worked in a daycare teaching preschool for a couple of years and then studied at Seattle University and earned a Masters of Arts in Counseling. I began my work in Bellevue at Interlake high school. After 6 years of working with a great team of counselors at Interlake, I took 2 years off with to have my boy and girl twins. I then returned to work at Stevenson Elementary before coming to Big Picture.
I love my job and I love working with our students. I am grateful for the opportunity to work to remove barriers to student learning. Learning can be fun and exciting as well as challenging and frustrating. Helping students manage the daily ups and downs as well as supporting families in need with connecting with resources beyond school are all aspects of my work.
Quite simply, I want students to enjoy school…maybe not all aspects, all of the time, but overall enjoy being a member of our Big Picture community and develop into caring, engaged adults. I encourage parents to communicate with me via email with any questions or aspects of concern.
Mission: To contribute to the school community so that all members can be engaged and grow socially, emotionally and academically.
I grew up in Everett and attended Western Washington for my undergraduate degree and again for my Masters in School Counseling. I now live in Renton with my husband and two children, Maya and Benjamin. Parenting is one of the hardest things I have ever done and, by far, one of the most fun. I love learning and reading and my best day ever involves a good book and a comfy chair. I have wanted to pursue a career in education since I was young and found the best way for me to do that was through school counseling. Working with youth is my passion and supporting them as they grow and learn gives me great satisfaction. I feel so lucky to be able to go to work every day and do a job I love.
Mission: My purpose as a school counselor is to support youth to grow academically, socially, and emotionally so they have what they need to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives now and in the future.
HS Language Arts, Social Studies & Advisory Advisor
I was born and raised in Federal Way, WA and still absolutely love living in the Pacific Northwest. I am a proud Double-DAWG, graduating from the University of Washington for both my bachelors and masters degree. In undergrad, I studied history, American Ethnic Studies, and American Indian Studies and, in graduate school, I earned my Masters in Teaching.
My journey as an educator started at a young age. As the son of two educators growing up, I have long been inspired by the transformative, empowering impact schooling can have on students, families, communities. Since then, I have jumped on every opportunity I could to become an engaging, culturally responsive educator. I am thrilled to be joining the Big Picture community and look forward to working with all the amazing students and families of our school.
In my free time, I like to play ice hockey (yes, I am excited for the new team ? ), read great novels and history books, travel, and continue learning how to sew.
Mission: To empower every student academically, emotionally, and socially to become advocates for themselves and causes they believe in.
HS Language Arts & Advisory Advisor
I strive to create units that actively engaged students, as well as incorporate technology skills into as many of my lessons as possible. As a teacher, I am committed to creating a dynamic culture of learning, collaboration, and 21st century skills into my classroom. I want every student to feel that they are in charge of their learning and that I am there to help guide them to be the best they can be. I spent the first part of my career working as an actress and casting director in television, film and theater in NYC and Los Angeles. In my down time you can find me playing baseball, basketball, lacrosse and any other sport with a ball with my two sons Governor, Jaxon (aka: Hugs), and my husband Justin.
Mission: To offer our future innovators a rigorous and creative academic experience that connects them to real world experiences.
HS Language Arts, MS Drama & Advisory Advisor
I am so excited to be on the Big Picture Team. I love language and books and the power of words. I want to pass on that love to my great 6th grade students. I have a son, Isaac, who is 8 and attends Eastgate Elementary. I love the theater and dancing, all types. I enjoy playing video games and watching anything science fiction. I look forward to getting to know all of my students and guiding them through the wonderful world of English Language Arts.
Rebecca’s Mission Statement:
Language Arts…the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Davis.
It’s continuing mission:
To explore new words,
To see out new texts, new imaginations,
To boldly go where no English class has gone before!
Andrea del Moral
Born and raised in Seattle, I grew up with random Spanish words floating through my life, thanks to Spanish grandparents and cousins. I first lived immersed in Spanish in Barcelona after college, studying contemporary dance and gardening with neighbors. I spent many years doing the same in Oakland/Berkeley/San Francisco, California—and also co-directing a dance/theatre company, writing essays and stories, and working as a cook.
I earned an MFA in theatre at UC Davis, where I taught acting, and then lived in Galicia, Spain for two years, teaching English to middle and high schoolers. I also began translating Spanish fiction there. Back in Oakland for a year, I earned my teaching credential at Mills College while teaching 6th graders.
My classes are communication laboratories, where mistakes and adventurous spirit are the norm. They include writing workshop and literature circles, in Spanish, ¡claro! Also tripping over trabalenguas, playing theatre games that open the mind to other languages, listening to Spanish cantautores, and learning the lesser-known sides of culture and language in Spanish speaking worlds.
When I’m not teaching or reading/listening/translating/talking en castellano, I love to swim, hike, host dinner parties, and play the clarinet. And even though 21st century tech is amazing, I aspire to learn to use a map & compass.
Why I Teach: to empower people to navigate multiple cultural paradigms knowledgeably, to learn to think through non-English structures and perspectives, and to discover how amazing life can be tanto en español como when speaking English.
I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. I attended the University of Southern Mississippi and I received my B.S. degree in Coaching and Sports Administration. I received my English Language Arts teaching credential from PLU. I also received my master’s degree from Concordia University Irvine in Exercise Sports Science.
I enjoy traveling to the south to visit all of my family because the food is amazing!!! I have 3 children named Alayah, Dakari, and Malia. My wife Michelle and I enjoy taking family walks with the kids and going to their sporting events.
I want all students to be excited to learn and grow as a person. Life happens so fast and it is important for students to enjoy school. School is a fun place to be if you have the right attitude.
Mission: To prepare all students for the real world by helping them have the greatest internship experience possible.
MS Science & Advisory Advisor
I grew up in Troutdale, Oregon. My extended family is based in the Portland area. I come from a large family; I grew up with eleven first cousins and several second cousins. I am very close with my parents and two younger sisters. My parents still live in my hometown. My daughter and I FaceTime with them every day after school.
One of my sisters is a law firm office manager in New York City and the other sister just finished her doctorate (DMA) in tuba in Tallahassee, FL. Both sisters got married in 2016. We flew to the East Coast with a two year old twice in two months. My favorite thing to do outside of school is to spend time with my husband Sean, daughter Alaya, and our friends and family.
I have loved art, science, nature, and the outdoors for my entire life. I have an A.A. in Graphic Arts Technology from Mt. Hood Community College, a B.S. in Botany from Oregon State University, and a Masters in Teaching from The Evergreen State College. I received my National Board Teaching Certification in 2012. The 2016-2017 school year will be my tenth year of teaching! I am looking forward to my fourth year at Big Picture.
I enjoy having an active, dynamic, hands-on classroom. I genuinely enjoy working with teenagers and making science and math as fun as possible. I am happy to be here at Big Picture; I fell in love with it when I interviewed in 2013. Our school is a wonderful community and I thoroughly enjoy working with the staff, students, and their families.
My Mission: My classroom is a learning community that students and I create together. I will do everything I can to make sure all of my students have resources, support, and information that they need to be successful science students.
Learning Center & Special Education Advisor
I have worked in Bellevue’s special education department for several years. While in the BSD, I taught at the middle school level and the high school level – in resource-based programs and in functional life skills programs. In the classroom, I have provided students with instruction in a myriad of subject areas including, but not limited to math, science, history, social skills, organizational skills, adaptive skills and communication. I value the unique educational opportunities afforded to BPS students and look forward to a successful year.
Mission: To provide Big Picture students with the individualized supports, services and instruction they need to establish patterns of school success.
Instructional Coach (Instruction, Technology & Curriculum Leader)
I was born and raised in Euclid, Ohio and taught Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies in the Euclid City Schools for the first part of my 20+ years in education. During that time and my years here in the Bellevue School District, I have pursued knowledge and skill in responsive and equitable school and classroom culture and management, professional learning communities, professional development, instructional coaching, 21st century learning, technology integration, and comprehensive literacy frameworks. My partner Esther, cat Jesper and I live in Seattle and enjoy traveling, photography, hiking, biking, music, movies and mountains. I also thrive on solving problems and helping students, teachers and schools achieve their full potential.
Mission: I strive to provide equitable world class personal and academic learning for every student and staff member at The Bellevue Big Picture School.
HS Social Studies & Advisory Advisor
I arrived in the Pac NW in and began teaching at BPS in the spring of ’14. The two things I most appreciate at BPS are the opportunity for collaborative work and the progressive mindset of the school. I have a wonderful wife and two young sons. I would be proud if my two boys chose to attend BPS.
Special Education Advisor
I spent my childhood on a family farm in Idaho and then attended the University of Idaho and the University of Massachusetts. I have been a teacher for 20 years; most of that time has been in school districts in Washington. My educational experience includes teaching in various special education settings, elementary classrooms, and piloting an elementary lab focused science program. Out of school, I have been involved with equestrian sports and breeding competition horses. I have always had a passion for horses and learned how to use this passion to help others. I have breed nationally recognized horses and have been certified in EAGALA, where I work with a psychologist providing therapy and team building using horses.
Mission: To assist students in their academic, social, and emotional growth. To assist students in participating and contributing to the Big Picture community.
HS Science & Advisory Advisor
I grew up in Arcadia, CA and earned my BA in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. After working as a science outreach mentor at the Lawrence Hall of Science, I became very passionate about addressing environmental justice issues through a secondary public education lens. Since getting my teaching credential, I have taught Gifted 7th Life Science, Biology, Health, and AP Environmental Science, and been a science instructional coach in Los Angeles Unified. I have a National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science Education and am currently working on an additional certificate from UC San Diego in Gifted Education.
My mission is to help students become confident advocates for themselves and for their communities.
Art & Advisory Advisor
I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but didn’t stay long enough to get a great accent. After that I spent most of my life in Connecticut. In 2013 my husband and I got an itch for adventure. So, we sold our house, packed up our life and kids, and moved across the country to the Pacific Northwest.
I studied Art Education, Graphic Design, and Illustration at Central Connecticut State University. I am finishing up my Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction currently. Prior to Big Picture I taught Art and Stage Craft at the R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut. Art has always been my passion, and teaching it has always been my dream… come true.
Mission: To teach art foundations that will not only carry my students through their artistic endeavors, but will also support their core studies and everyday lives. To allow my students creative self-expression in a safe, supportive, and fun classroom and school community.
MS Science Advisor
I grew up in Redmond and spent most weekends camping, hiking and climbing with my parents in the beautiful Cascade Mountains where I developed a love for biology and the natural world. I spent all of my K-12 education in Lake Washington School District and then decided I didn’t need to go far for college and moved twenty-five minutes away to the University of Washington. There, my passion for biology and the sciences grew, but I found I didn’t enjoy lab science as much as I had hoped. So, I looked for another way to learn and share science knowledge and found teaching. During my undergrad I grew my passion for science education, getting a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Education, Learning and Society.
I started my Masters in Teaching program at University of Washington a week after graduating from my undergraduate degree. I learned how to teach equitably and with focus on student driven questioning and learning. We practiced teaching science ambitiously (Literally, the research-based teaching methodology I learned is called Ambitious Science Teaching). When I came to Big Picture to start my student teaching, I found that Ambitious Science Teaching merges beautifully with the Project Based Learning Big Picture is founded on. I am honored to return to Big Picture as a certified teacher and continue working with the students, staff and community I fell in love with.
I love to spend my time sewing, taking care of plants, drinking tea, playing video games and any sort of crafting hobby you can think of.
My Mission: To create an environment where students can feel safe and supported expressing and exploring new science ideas. Together, students and I will learn science in ways that are meaningful and authentic as well as ambitious.
Research Technology Specialist
I consider myself a Seattleite because Seattle is where I learned to drive, but I’ve also lived in Knoxville, Houston, Brooklyn, and England. I attended Garfield HS in Seattle, Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where I studied acting and writing, and the UW library school. I was a Teen Services Librarian at the Douglass-Truth branch of the Seattle Public Library for many years. I learned to teach from my amazing colleagues at Big Picture and from WGU (go Fighting Night Owls!). I love to write, travel, practice speaking Italian, and cater to every whim of my cat, Stella. I do most of these things with my husband, Rob Prufer, who teaches at Newport HS.
My mission includes reminding you that Google can read your mind (except when it can’t), to watch out for Wikiality, and to wonder what’s more important than the truth. Also you should cite your sources. I will always provide plenty of pictures of cats using computers, help you avoid getting lost in the library, and laugh while eating salad.
MS PE & Health Advisor
Hello! I recently graduated from Northwest University with my Masters in Teaching, studied at UW for my Undergrad (Go Dawgs!). I currently live in West Seattle with my husband, Derek, and new puppy, Presley. She’s a black Golden Doodle and she’s been the sweetest dog! When it’s not COVID season we love to travel and go to shows/concerts. Last year, we explored Shanghai and Vietnam. Since we’ve been in quarantine we’ve gotten a lot of projects done around our house including building a fence, patio, painting the outside trim on our house, gardening, and planning a kitchen remodel.
Mission: To create a positive, safe, and fun environment in which students will learn the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to encourage a lifetime of good health and physical activity.
MS Language Arts & Advisory Advisor
I was born in the former British colony of Hong Kong and raised both there and on the U.S. island territory of Guam. Growing up in two very different cultural and geographical settings – urban, skyscraper landscape of an enormous, east-meets-west metropolis of Hong Kong, juxtaposed with the laid-back, tropical Pacific Islander culture surrounded by the blue waters and white sand of Guam – has been not only fascinating and fun, but also invaluable to forming my cultural and personal identity.
After graduating from high school on Guam, I received my Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism from Seattle University and have been supporting students towards the mastery of the English language and the study of the humanities since then – a fulfilling life calling for me, particularly as life-long lover of literature and language!
After undergrad, I taught English in the rural southern Japan for several years before returning to the US to pursue my TESOL certificate and Master’s degree in Teaching at my alma mater. I had been teaching Language Arts at Tyee Middle School for nearly half a decade before I fulfilled one of my life dreams: to teach in higher-ed. It has been an extraordinary experience teaching English and ESOL for two years at both Highline and Green River College.
Now at Big Picture, I have the privilege of living yet another dream of mine: to work at a school that cultivates values beyond mere academic work, strives to know students holistically, and cultivates a culture of life-long learning. Whether it be in English/Language Arts or in Advisory, I am always invigorated when I get to explore the intricacies and complexities of what it means to be human with my BP students.
Outside of the classroom, I love spending time roaming the lesser-known parts of the planet, photographing beautiful architecture, sport climbing, backpacking through the gorgeous Pacific Northwest wilderness, and best of all, cuddling baby elephants at animal sanctuaries.
Mission: To fuel my students’ thirst for knowledge, wisdom, and curiosity through the humanities and to empower them to leaders for a more just and humane world.
I was born in a small town in Northern China. I studied Spanish at Beijing University and came to U.S. to continue my graduate studies. I received my M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from Purdue University. I have taught middle/high school and college, as well as adult learners. I participated in a few PBL workshops and am really excited about implementing PBL.
Before coming to Seattle area, my family lived in Midwest, Indiana for 12 years and Missouri for 3 years. The cultures in Seattle are quite different from Midwest but I really enjoy the diversity and dynamics of the city!
During my spare time, I enjoy hiking with my sons William and Charles, and my husband Feng. I love zumba too!
My mission: I strive to create a learning community/classroom that is welcoming, dynamic, inclusive and collaborative. I want my students to have an authentic language environment where they could conduct meaningful conversations, share their insights, and gain proficiency through effective communications in the target language.
Math & Advisory Advisor
Originally Canadian, I grew up mostly in Phoenix, Arizona and attended Arizona State for a B.S. in Geology. I then moved to Eugene, Oregon earning my M.S. in Geology at University of Oregon. I discovered a love of teaching while in graduate school, and later earned my M.A. in teaching at Pacific University. Since then, I’ve taught everything from elementary-age fisheries field programs to middle school science to advanced math.
In my down time you’ll find me outdoors: running, rock climbing, backpacking, snow camping, skiing, surfing, and biking!
Mission: My mission is to empower students with mathematical literacy matching the requirements of a 21st century future, while guiding them to be persistent, effective, and inspired learners.
This year marks my 12th year as a classroom teacher and 15th overall in the secondary classroom. I graduated from Washington State University with a B.A. in Communication and completed my Masters in Special Education from University of Washington. Later, I added a Health & Fitness endorsement from Seattle Pacific University and have taught both special education classes (Math, English, Science)-8 years along with PE-3 years. I’m excited for the opportunity to once again pursue my passion for physical fitness and activity, hoping to instill that same passion in my students. In addition to my teaching responsibilities I’m also proud to be the head football coach at my alma mater, Newport High School. When not teaching or coaching, I enjoy spending time with my family- Sarah, Cole (8) and Avery (7).
Mission: Expose my students to a variety of physical activities and allow them the opportunity to find a passion that will carry them into a pattern of lifelong fitness.
MS Math & Advisory Advisor
My family moved around a bit when we were young, but I mainly grew up in central New Jersey. I graduated from Rutgers University and went back for my M.A. In Special Education at NJCU. I taught middle school math in NJ for 5 years before taking the leap to move across the country to Seattle. I also had the opportunity to return to Kenya this summer with my church to work at the schools there. I value spending time with family & friends, i enjoy exploring new things, traveling, camping, snowboarding, participating in charity events, kickboxing, and baking. I believe that everyday is a new learning experience and I am excited to work with the students, families, and staff at Big Picture!
My mission is to create an engaging classroom focused around real world context where students build perseverance and confidence to overcome challenges.
MS Language Arts & Advisory Advisor
I’m Taylor born and raised here in the greater Seattle area right near Bellevue in Woodinville!
I graduated from the University of WA with my Bachelor of Arts in History and M. Ed in Secondary Social Studies. I’ve taught Elementary PE, high school history and now we’re here at Middle School English.
School is important to me as it gave me the opportunity to leave a family situation that did not spark joy for me. I got to go to the UW on the need grant living on my own working two jobs the whole kicked out teen cliché “sha-bang”. I studied anthropology and it taught me how to be in a space and to ask more questions and seek less answers.
I play soccer, dodgeball, dance and kickball in my free time, volunteer with ROOTS young adult shelter, work as a professional development trainer with GLSEN to advocate for queer students and educators and I’m a current graduate student at the University of Washington.
Mission: To inspire others to come from places of understanding and to ask questions rather than respond with answers and reaction.
HS Math & Advisory Advisor
Originally from Sammamish, I grew up in this area and have always called it home. I attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma where I received a BS in mathematics with minors in Statistics, Computer Science, Actuarial Science and Religion. I then stayed at PLU to get my Masters in Education which I quickly put to use working in Gig Harbor for three years teaching high school math. My wife and I have always enjoyed travel and cultural exchange and in 2008 we decided to move overseas to teach internationally. We spent three years working in Mumbai, India and then packed up and moved again to Porto Alegre, Brazil where we have been for the last four years. After seven years abroad and 16 countries together, my wife and I are returning to the US with 3 children: our wonderfully witty and precocious 3 yr old daughter Sofia and our two new twin boys Ethan and Noah.
In my free time (what’s that?) I enjoy watching, coaching, and playing soccer, spending time with the family and exploring new technologies. I am math geek and techie and enjoy learning and researching new ideas all the time, especially when it is something I can share with my students. This will be my 11th year teaching math and in this time I have taught everything from 6th grade fractions to AP Calculus and am excited to share my knowledge and experience with the students and staff at Bellevue Big Picture. I am so excited to be back in the Northwest and to be a part of the Big Picture family here in Bellevue!
Art & Digital Media Advisor
I am excited to be back at Big Picture! I was an art advisor for the first two years the school was open, then I left for three years to teach elementary art in the district. Prior to Big Picture, I spent many years teaching Ceramics, Stained Glass, Art & Design, Drawing & Painting, and AP Art at Newport High School.
I enjoy painting in my studio, reading a good book, watching my two boys play at the beach, snowshoeing through the forest on a sunny winter day, photography, hiking up Mt. Rainier in the autumn, and traveling to far off places to meet interesting people, experience other cultures and explore amazing landscapes.
My mission at Big Picture is to help all students gain solid art and aesthetic skills for academics and life-long enjoyment. I want to see students create works of art that represent personal vision and involve imagination, problem solving, risk-taking, communication, and reflection. Furthermore, I want to support students as they gain confidence in expressing themselves through the arts in a manner different than spoken and written word.
MS Language Arts & Social Studies Advisor
I grew up in Cleveland, OH, and earned my BA from BGSU. Soon after, I taught, lived, and thrived overseas in Seoul. There I discovered my passion for both traveling and educating, and once back in the States, earned my teacher certification and moved to the Seattle area. Today I continue to travel, experiencing the rich culture and beauty of nearly 30 countries! My other interests include running, yoga, and spending time with my friends who are like family here in the Pacific Northwest.
Mission: To help students to be inquisitive about reading, literature, and life in general; develop and improve writing skills; as well as encourage students to think critically, solve problems independently, and work together effectively and respectfully. I am so grateful to be a part of The Big Picture where staff and students share this vision for lifelong learning!
MS Language Arts, Social Studies & Advisory Advisor
I was born and have spent most of my life in Chicago. Go BEARS!!! Although, I am new to Big Picture and to Washington state, I am not new to teaching. For over ten years, I worked in Deerfield, Illinois as a teacher and coach for a middle school that was awarded the Blue Ribbon Award for academic excellence. When I am not teaching, I enjoy watching and playing sports, hiking, traveling, going to live music, and playing video games.
Mission: To create a culture of intellectual curiosity in which students strive to find answers to real world challenges. To provide students with the tools to become self-directed learners and problem solvers.
HS Science & Advisory Advisor
Growing up in Federal Way, Washington I went to the science center all the time in order to figure out the science behind how stuff works. I attended Decatur High School where I was a letterman for baseball in 9th grade, runner up for athlete of the year, and I took as many science classes as possible. I originally went to UW to become a doctor but met an amazing professor who inspired me to go into science. I obtained an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Washington and a masters in teaching from Western Governors University. In college I was president of the Chemistry Frat, they called me the master alchemist. In my free time I enjoy gardening, watching Jeopardy and baseball, competing in milk carton derbies, and using the frowny face emoji. I came to the Big Picture School because working with kids that are high energy excites me. I believe the principle behind Big Picture is amazing and focusing less on tests and more on projects is the best way to teach. I’m also very enthusiastic about the fact that I used to be the entire Big Picture science department. Cesium out!… get it, cause it’s my initials CS and it can be radioactive, just like me.
MS Science & Advisory Advisor
I am so excited to be here at Big Picture School! I am passionate about teaching through fun and engaging methods. I build a classroom culture that fosters laughter, learning, and positive collaboration.
I am originally from Federal Way, WA which is where I spent my first 5 years of teaching. I received my B.S. from Oregon State University (GO BEAVS!) and went on to receive my Masters in Education at the University of Washington. When I am not teaching, you might find me: watching sports (especially football), hiking, traveling, cooking, and being active with family/friends.
My mission is to create a fun, collaborative, and inquiry-based classroom where students are driven to seek answers to questions through project-based learning.
MS Language Arts & Advisory Advisory
I spent most of my childhood in Edmonds, Washington. I attended college at Western Washington University in Bellingham, and during that time I played in local bands, and worked towards a highly qualified middle level endorsement in Humanities. After a little more than a year of teaching in public Middle Schools, I decided to take a huge leap and teach internationally in El Salvador, so that I could further my development as a teacher, and learn a language. During my two years there, I taught English Honors, and 8th grade Language Arts. That adventure landed me in Denver, Colorado where I taught at a private school 8th Grade Language and Literature, as well as Individuals and Societies. It was always important for me to be back in Washington with family, friends, good film and music, so I’m thrilled to be in the northwest working in the Bellevue School district at Big Picture.
My mission is to provide students with opportunities to grow as a perceptive reader, critical thinker, and 21st century learner. This includes facilitating their learning based on their own unique personality and perspective on the world, while creating a globally minded classroom that embraces diversity, creativity, and risk-taking.
MS Math & Advisory Advisor
I spent my childhood in New Jersey with five brothers and sisters. I attended Rutgers University (Go Scarlet Knights!) where I earned a BA in Economics. After experiencing life in New York City, I moved to Baltimore and earned my MBA from Loyola College. Looking for adventure, I traveled west and have lived in the Seattle area for over twenty years. After spending many years in the private sector working in finance, sales and marketing, I discovered that teaching was my dream career. I received a Masters in Teaching from Northwest University with endorsements in mathematics and science.
I am honored to be a member of the Bellevue Big Picture community since 2011. My interests outside the classroom include paddle board yoga, hiking and camping adventures with my family. I live in Bellevue with my husband Dave, and two daughters, Hannah and Sammy.
Mission: I will recognize the whole child in each student and inspire them to be curious about the world around them. In everything that I do, I will be guided by my values, enthusiasm and passion to do my best.
Carol Anne Yamamoto
Speech & Language Pathologist