Please copy and paste your biography (third person, around 100 words) in the comments below.

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About Central Washington Writing Project

The Central Washington Writing Project provides opportunities for teachers to engage in academic discourse with one another, to become better writers themselves and to connect with the national dialog on teaching and learning.
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29 Responses to Biographies

  1. Casceila Miller earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Central Washington University in 2005 and has been teaching reading and writing for six years. She is currently teaching fifth grade in the Wahluke School District and recently completed her M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University. In her fleeting moments of spare time she enjoys quality time with her five-year-old daughter and husband, making up canning recipes, fly fishing, exploring the world, and learning how to do new things.

  2. Charlene Johnson says:

    Charlene “Charli” Johnson earned her bachelors in 2011 from Western Washington University with double majors in English literature and linguistics. She then graduated with her masters from Pacific Lutheran University in 2012 with a focus on secondary education. Presently, she teaches high school English at Cle Elum – Roslyn High School. Charlene is getting married at the end of July 2013.

  3. Glenn Kessinger says:

    Glenn Kessinger is an Instructional Facilitator, for five years, at Washington Middle School in the Yakima School District in Yakima, Washington, and previously was a 7th grade Language Arts teacher for 11 years. A student and facilitator for the Central Washington Writing Project since 2006. Also, an Adjunct Faculty member in the College of Education and Psychology at Heritage University. An avid reader. An emerging writer. A somewhat accomplished around-the-house handyman.

  4. Nicholas Majsterek says:


    Nicholas Majsterek, Ma. Ed., is the department chair of foreign language at Ellensburg High School. He has been teaching for nine years. An aside, he enjoys writing literature and is a voracious reader, digesting 52 books in 52 weeks this past year. He is also a Dylan zealot, knowing most of the 500+ song catalogue lyrics by heart. He is able to find this happiness and success due to the love and support of his lovely wife.

  5. Frank A. Chandler says:

    Frank A. Chandler has taught high science at Toppenish’s Eagle High School for the past seven years. His passion is natural science and using natural systems to address environmental issues. He is currently exploring sustainable agriculture practices by using local animals and companion planting to reduce garden pests without the use of pesticides. His paper is about indigenous community interactions in and around his garden.

  6. Marco. Bicchieri says:

    Marco Bicchieri has been teaching, mostly high school, since 1987. He and his wife had a formative experience as Peace Corps volunteers in Honduras which led to his graduate work focusing on the Garifuna culture alone the Central America and Caribbean. He is presently Chair of Social Studies at Ellensburg High School, and spends his free time reading, exercising, hanging out with family and friends, and dreaming of Sarah and his next adventure.

  7. Kaley Repp says:

    Kaley Repp attended WSU and received her B.A. in Elementary education in 2004. She received her masters from CWU in reading in 2010. Kaley is a 5th grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Ellensburg. She has been teaching at Lincoln since 2004.
    Kaley enjoys traveling to Arizona every year for her winter break to visit her family and close friends. She spends her vacation riding horses, celebrating the holiday and playing her family’s version of Christmas Olympics.

  8. Mike Stone says:

    Mike Stone is the instructional facilitator at Stanton, an alternative high school in Yakima, Washington, that serves 250 students with a staff of 16 teachers. Previously, he taught English for 20 years. He became a Freedom Writer Teacher in 2008 and a member of the Central Washington Writers’ Project in 2012.

  9. Mike Stone says:

    Veronica Barrett is a Language Arts and Spanish instructor at Royal High School in Royal City, WA. She holds a BA in Spanish and English Teaching from Central Washington University 1998. Over the past four years she has refined the art of pinata making in her Spanish classroom.

  10. Kelly Montgomery says:

    Kelly Montgomery earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Central Washington University in 2009. She’s currently working on her M.S. in Education with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language. Kelly works as a second grade teacher in the Wahluke School District where she recently completed her third year of teaching.

  11. JoAnne Duncan says:

    JoAnne Duncan has a Masters Degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University. She has been a Reading Intervention Teacher, Title I Teacher, and currently teaches First Grade. She is an advocate for best literacy practice and currently is working on a Classroom Action Research Project on the critical role motivation plays in developing young readers and writers.

  12. Jessica Gallagher says:

    Jessica Gallagher graduated from Central Washington University in 2011 with dual degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education. For the past two years she has been teaching in a K-2 Resource Room for students with special needs. She will begin her 3rd year of teaching this fall in Vancouver, WA teaching in a K-5 developmental resource room.

  13. Lynna Bates says:

    Lynna Bates teaches HS English, K-8 Parent Partnership (a public school alternative program) and elementary challenge classes in the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District. She is grateful to the assiduous and generous Dr. Bobby Cummings and all her colleagues at Central Washington Writing Project, her professional home, for seven years of stretching and growing as an educator. Here’s to the years to come. In addition to working with students and colleagues, endeavors close to her heart are gourmet healthy cooking for friends and working in her thriving small town theater company.

  14. Tara Affholter says:

    Tara Affholter is a 21-year teaching veteran that currently teaches 5th grade at Lincoln Elementary in Ellensburg, Washington. In her spare time, she has also coached girls’ volleyball and taught pre-service teachers how to teach elementary science at CWU. For years she has been interested in improving her teaching of writing, and has been active with OSPI, scoring 4th grade writing for MSP and Range Finding for several years. Tara has recently become a student and then teacher consultant of the Central Washington Writing Project (2012). Over the years, something that has been proven over and over is how critical effective leadership is in a school setting.

  15. Brenda Picha says:

    Brenda Picha received her teaching degree from Central Washington University in 1990. She went on to pursue her Master’s degree in Early Childhood/Special Education from Pacific Lutheran University in 1994. In her 22 years of teaching, she has taught special education, first grade and currently teaches second grade in Ellensburg, Washington. The first day of every school year is her favorite day of the year.

  16. Andrea Jensvold says:

    Andrea Jensvold is a second grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary in Ellensburg, WA. She previously taught kindergarten for 10 years. She holds a B.A. in Education and French from Whitworth college and a Masters Degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University. With a desire to meet individual learning needs of young children, Andrea continues to seek strategies to address this issue.

  17. Shelley says:

    Shelley de Maintenon earned her B.A. in history and M.S. in social studies education at Eastern Connecticut State University. Her doctoral studies were completed at the University of Connecticut. She has taught social studies, art, and English in middle school, in a high school diploma program for adults, at a psychiatric hospital, and in a residential treatment center before landing at E.A.G.L.E., an alternative high school in Toppenish, WA. Her passion for the social studies as a vehicle for empowering her students, connecting people, and integrating knowledge guides her practice. Shelley has been a Writing Project fellow since 2007.

  18. Amy says:

    Amy Anderson is many things; a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a colleague, a student, and a teacher. She enjoys reading, CrossFit, and spending time with her two beautiful daughters and her loving and supportive husband. Teaching is her passion. Third Grade is her life. Amy studied at CWU and earned her BA in Family and Consumer Studies. She decided to continue her education and soon graduated from City University with a Masters in Teaching. Amy is teacher for the ESD at Lincoln Elementary. She had been teaching third grade students for 9 years. She is constantly looking to grow and improve as a writer.

  19. Bobbi Johnson says:

    Bobbi Johnson graduated from Central Washington University and received her Master’s degree from Walden University. She has taught at Lincoln Elementary in the Ellensburg School District for 13 years. She has enjoyed teaching first grade and now second grade. In her free time, she enjoys camping, boating, and spending time with her family (husband and 2 girls). She also enjoys running, swimming, and biking, which five years ago, she began participating in Sprint triathlons around the state.

  20. Cathy Savidge says:

    Cathy Savidge graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching children for 35 years, and most of those years have been at Lincoln Elementary, located in Ellensburg, WA. She considers herself to be a life long learner, and is excited to work side by side with colleagues to improve student learning. Her passion is teaching children, and she gets excited when she see her students learning and showing growth.

  21. Stephanie Irwin says:

    Stephanie Irwin graduated from Central Washington University with her degree in English/Language Arts Teaching. She has begun teaching at Sunnyside High School in Washington and absolutely loves the staff and her students. In her “spare” time, Stephanie is an active volunteer for Res Q Angels stray dog rescue. She was Vice President of the organization from 2011-2013. She currently resides in Yakima with her husband and three dogs.

  22. Amanda Luce says:

    Amanda Luce recently graduated CWU with a BA in English Teaching. She will begin her first year of teaching at River View High School within Finley School District. When not in school or teaching, Amanda enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband, drinking a hot cup of coffee, and curling up to read or write. Dr. Seuss is, by far, Amanda’s favorite author; she believes he provides the best wisdom: “The more you read, the more you’ll know, the more you know, the more places you’ll go!”

  23. Veronica Barrett says:

    Veronica Barrett is a Language Arts and Spanish instructor at Royal High School in Royal City, WA. She holds a BA in Spanish and English Teaching from Central Washington University 1998. Over the past four years she has refined the art of pinata making in her Spanish classroom

  24. michele jacobsen says:

    Michele Jacobsen graduated from CWU in 1995 with a double major in elementary education and special education. She also received her master’s in special education at CWU under the tutelage of the late Dr. A. Thyfault. She credits Dr. Bobby Cummings and the teacher staff of the CWWP for opening a multitude of educational opportunities, and giving her the tools to be a teacher of writing.

  25. Bonnie Hager says:

    Bonnie Hager is currently a student at Central Washington University. She wants to teach Secondary English, but she is also working on a degree in Literacy for all ages. Bonnie is an avid reader, and is thrilled to be part of the writing project. Her passion is learning, and she is very excited to be able to share her love for learning with her students. Bonnie currently resides in Ellensburg, WA, but her hometown is Spanaway, WA. She is eager to learn everything she possible can by participating in the writing project, and she is looking forward to any other adventures that life may bring.

  26. Patti Adkisson says:

    Patti Adkisson, M.S. is currently a 5th and 6th grade teacher at Ellensburg Christian School. She spent many years working for Central Washington University as an adjunct professor in various departments before teaching 7th grade science for the Selah School District. Her passions include spending time with friends and family, gardening, scrapbooking, snowboarding, hiking, and mission work.

  27. Amy Jean Vasquez says:

    Experimenting with new writing techniques, such as sentence beginnings, Amy Vasquez is on a constant hunt for impactful strategies to take back to the seventh graders in her Language Arts classes at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Yakima, Washington. Exhausting yet invigorating, the Central Washington Writing Project Summer Institutes provide just that and more. A graduate of the University of California at Davis and Portland State University, Amy cannot stay away from the CWWP opportunities. What was the highlight of this summer? Honestly, it was a delectable lunchtime dessert provided by a fellow attendee and friend. To eat and strategize in tandem, lunchtime conversations build camaraderie. In the days after the Summer Institute and before the new school year begins, Amy basks in the sunshine of unscheduled days while taking strategic walks in an attempt to lure her house-hopping cat back home again.

  28. CharRe Burnum graduated from Central Washington University with a certification in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education with a minor in Child and Youth Theatre. She graduated from CWU in 2013 as a Master Teacher. CharRe works as a 5/6 grade Language arts, social studies teacher. She teaches public speaking and theatre to 4/5th grades as well. Lately, CharRe has been spending much of her free time attending Central Washington Writing Project meetings and specifically this summer, the CWWP workshop. This workshop has inspired her to return to her classroom in September with new ideas, fresh lessons and cultivated enthusiasm! When she isn’t working for and in her classroom, her favorite past-times are directing and performing with the local theatre company as well as coaching gymnastics. CharRe was a gymnast most of her teen years and has been coaching preschool gymnastics classes for the past 11 years.

  29. Cathie Day says:

    Cathie Day is the librarian at Ellensburg High School and previously taught English for eighteen years. She has been a student and teacher in the Central Washington Writing Project since 2003, and reading, writing, books, and words in general inform much of her life. She has been to Sturgis six times.

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