The Eugene Village School
About the Village School > Village School Faculty & Staff  

Village School Faculty & Staff

Each grade level is led by their full time Class Teacher who instructs the children in all Main Lesson subjects, and oversees the children throughout the school day. The Kindergarten Class Teacher is accompanied by the Kindergarten Assistant throughout the school day.

Main Lesson (classroom) teachers are responsible for instruction in all academic areas, as well as lessons in painting, music (recorder and singing), movement, form drawing, class meetings, and games. The Village School faculty members work in two-year loops, teaching the same group of children for two consecutive years. There are four loops; grades one and two, grades three and four, grades five and six and grades seven and eight.

Specialty teachers instruct the following classes: Handwork (knitting, sewing, and other hand crafts); Foreign Language (Spanish); P.E. (movement); and Music (choir, guitar and marimba).

As a Title I School, The Village School receives federal funding for, among other services, hiring part time Instructional Assistants. These Instructional Assistants are available on a daily basis to assist Class Teachers in meeting the needs of struggling learners.

The Village School exceeds Oregon Charter School Law requirements that a minimum 50% of staff are licensed or registered with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

Individuals interested in employment at the Village School can check for current job postings at the
Employment Opportunities page.


Administrative Staff

Interim Principal, Carla LaFleur

Executive Director, Andy Peara
Mr. Peara was one of the founding board members of the Village School. He wrote the financial policy, budgets, and projections for the charter application, contributed to the charter startup grant and directed finances for the first year and a half of school operations. He also was a co-founder of the Network Charter School in Eugene. He has a B.A. from Yale University in English LIterature and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from University of Oregon. He also is a retired Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. His work has delved into the various financial, developmental, legal, political and policy related issues of building and sustaining a charter school in Oregon. He worked for 9 years for the environmental education nonprofit, Nearby Nature, helping refine its focus and develop a solid business plan. Prior to working in Oregon, Andy worked 9 years as a consulting actuary for Hewitt Associates, currently owned by Aon International, supporting several Fortune 500 clients in the area of retirement benefit plan design, funding, financial reporting, and regulatory compliance.

Registrar and Records Coordinator, Tristin Beach

Communications and Volunteer Coordinator, Holly McRae

School Counselor, Pat Anderson    


Main Lesson (Classroom) Teachers

Kindergarten Teacher, Denise Huebner

Kindergarten Assistants, Susan Flynn and Sylvia Halley-Derieux

First Grade Teacher, Jennifer Horn

Second Grade Teacher, Emily Swenson

Fourth Grade Teacher, Shannon Powell
Shannon grew up in Portland, Oregon. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Pyscholoy from the U of O in 1993, traveled in Africa and Europe in 1994, and graduated from the Waldorf Teacher Training program in 1997. She began work at the Village School in 2004 as an instructional assistant and became a full time class teacher in 2007. Shannon has a daughter who graduated from the Village School and two daughters who currently attend the school. She enjoys camping with her family, reading fiction and running.

Third Grade Teacher, Matthew Rutman
Matthew Rutman (AKA Mr. Matthew) grew up in San Diego, just a few miles this side of the border. He spent his early years submerged in the ocean and fascinated by the culture and languages of Mexico. As a child he camped, surfed, and fished the Baja Peninsula with his family. After graduating from the University of Oregon, he spent several years traveling, living, working, and volunteering throughout Latin America. In 2002, he received a Masters in Elementary Education from Pacific University, here in Eugene. Since then, he has taught grades 3-6 in Springfield, Eugene, and most recently Venezuela. He has worked in the field of education since 1995, and has served in a variety of positions that include working as a special education assistant, Americorps volunteer, outdoor environmental educator, Spanish teacher, substitute teacher, and classroom teacher. He currently teaches the third and fourth grade loop here at Village School. Matthew spends his spare time surfing, backpacking, skiing, and exploring the Northwest.

Fifth Grade Teacher, Matthew Bigongiari
Born on the south side of Chicago, Matthew, graduated from Reed College with a degree in psychology in 1983 and then trained as a Waldorf teacher at Rudolf Steiner College before beginning his work as an educator, his passion for more than 20 years.  He is the father of three children and step-father of three more.   As one of the original co-founders of The Village School, his work in writing sections of the charter proposal and federal start-up grants, coordinating the curriculum/mentoring teachers and serving on the founding Board for 3 years, helped to put the school onto the firm foundations it finds itself today. He now teaches in the 5th/6th grade loop and also works as an educational consultant to charter schools across the state. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, cooking, biking, reading, music and being in nature with his wife, Donica

Sixth Grade Teacher, Susana Romatz
Susana grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Religion and Earth Science from Central Michigan University in 1998. She lived briefly in New York City and Lafayette, Louisiana before coming to Eugene to attend the Waldorf Teacher Training from which she graduated in 2005. Before joining The Village School faculty, she worked at Fern’s Edge Dairy milking goats. She enjoys drawing, the ocean, and dyeing scarves with mushrooms.   

Seventh and Eighth Grade Teacher, Andy Traisman
Village School Seventh and Eighth Grade teacher Andy Traisman has been working with middle school students for 25 years. Raised in suburban Chicago, IL, Andy graduated from Northern Arizona University, and later completed graduate work and received his teacher’s credentials from the University of Washington where he began his teaching career. After ten years teaching Junior High in suburban Seattle, Andy and his family moved to Eugene in 1993. Andy ran his own businesses for four years before returning to the classroom as a co-eighth grade teacher at the Eugene Waldorf School where both his children were educated K-8, and in various 4J schools before landing at the Village School in 2001. Andy begins his second decade as "Mr. T " in the Village Upper School. He has a college graduate son, a daughter in college, and lives with his partner Lola Broomberg in South Eugene with their two dogs and two cats.

Seventh and Eighth Grade Teacher, Justin
Justin grew up on the edge of suburbia in Beaverton, Oregon. His early adventures in the woods and fields around his home, and their subsequent development into more neighborhoods and apartments lead him to follow a career in environmental education. For a number of years he taught about the natural history and ecology of the Northwest. Some of his fondest memories are those that involve a creek side mountain lion track and the awe of attentive kids. He’s worked as a professional storyteller as well. He enjoys baking bread, playing old blues on the guitar and banjo, drawing, kayaking, and long walks on the beach.

Special Subject Teachers

Spanish Teacher, Sarah Lewenberg

Guitar Teacher, Jonathan Bilenki
Jon moved out West from Maryland back in 2000, went to the U of O, settled down and started a family here in Eugene. He has studied Spanish for about 10 years now, and enjoys learning about the myriad musical forms that Latin America has to offer. In addition to teaching elementary and middle school Spanish, Jon gives music lessons on a variety of instruments to both children and adults. He enjoys playing the piano and eating locally.

Marimba Teachers, Jennifer Sellers

Handwork Teacher, Susanne Woelbing
Susanne was born and grew up in Germany, where she graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and taught Kindergarten. Handwork, teaching and travel were always close to her heart and in 1989, she relocated to the USA after meeting her husband during an adventure trip through California. Susanne started volunteering in handwork at the Village School in 2001, when her daughter joined the school in fourth grade, and became first a handwork assistant and a year later handwork teacher. In her free time, she enjoys handwork, reading, aquariums (salt and freshwater), travel, baking, learning about sustainable living.

Handwork Assistant, Anna Szmit

Handwork Assistant, Margaret Giddens

Movement Teacher, Britten Kimbell

Choir Teacher, Jennifer Sellers

Title I Staff 

Title I Coordinator, Tana Bailey

Title I Instructional Assistant, Alison Cantril
Alison was one of the original founding board members of the Village School. She volunteered in the classroom and for the festivals committee when the school opened, and has served as a Title I instructional assistant since the Fall of 2005. Alison has a Masters in Teaching from National Lewis University in early childhood education, a BA from Yale University, and a license from TSPC. Her older daughter was among the first class of students to attend kindergarten through 8th grade.

Title I Instructional Assistant, Donna Crispin
Donna is from Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she worked for the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management in the southwest and Alaska for eight years. She also has a degree in Elementary Education from Utah State University. Since moving to Oregon in 1984, she has worked as a substitute teacher, teaching assistant, childcare worker, art instructor, and artisan. She is married to a park ranger, and they have one child attending the University of Oregon.

Title I Instructional Assistant, Betsy Priddle

Title I Instructional Assistant, Alyson Byas

Title I Math Tutor,
April Oleson


4J Special Education Staff at The Village School

Special Education Teacher, Whitney Hess

Special Education Assistant, Eric Estling


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