4th & 5th Grade Teachers

Abigail Sibelman
4th & 5th Grade Teacher
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Abigail was born in Silver Springs, Maryland, but has lived in Portland since she was two. In high school, Abigail was the section leader in her school’s marching band and one of nine valedictorians. She received both her Bachelors and her Masters at Portland State University, in Child and Family Studies and Curriculum and Instruction.

Abigail taught for two years in Las Vegas, but returned to Portland for family, friends, and the rain. She is a Trekkie whose other hobbies include taking care of her two Bengal cats, reading sci-fi books, knitting, writing poetry, and playing the piano. She is grateful to be at Trillium because we treat students as individuals and the staff has a great team atmosphere.

Bijal Makadia
4th & 5th Grade Teacher
email hidden; JavaScript is required

Visit Bijal’s Class Blog

I grew up in a seaside town called Galloway, outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey. I spent my days there exploring saltwater marshes, eating high quality bagels, and making narrow escapes from the Jersey Devil!

I received my Master’s of Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I student taught in a fourth grade classroom of bilingual learners, where the majority of students were from Gujarat, India, like my family! I loved the chance to support English Language Learners in my family’s home language and watch the confidence of students grow as they adapted to life in the U.S.

In Chicago, I also mentored youth with a community center called Universidad Popular, founded on Paulo Freire’s philosophy of empowerment through participatory learning. I facilitated career-building workshops with youth ages 16-21 on topics ranging from how to write a check to job interviewing. We also organized a successful summer series of youth-run block parties to promote active play and peace in the neighborhood.

I am grateful to be a Trillium teacher because of the kindness and creativity of students, families, and staff. My favorite part of the school week is Gym!


Michael Koopman
4th & 5th Grade Teacher

Visit Michael’s Class Blog

My name is Michael Koopman and I have been working in education for over six years.  I grew up in a small town in Eastern Oregon called La Grande.  It’s a quiet beautiful farm town nestled in the Blue Mountains surrounded by river, lakes and forests.  I was born in this town and stayed through High School.  In High School I was involved in our leadership program and took the position of class representative for three years.  I played trumpet in our marching band and sang in our acapella choir.  I started performing on stage in our musicals and began to love acting and theatre.

I went to college at the University of Oregon where I began to gravitate towards Theatre Arts as my major.  Through the theatre program I was able to travel abroad in London for four months where I took acting classes and watched many plays.

My experience in London motivated a move to NYC where I resided for two years.  In New York I waited tables at a high end restaurant while auditioning and booking for acting and modeling jobs.  After my NYC stint I decided the east coast was amazing but not meant for me as a home.  I returned to my home and felt that Portland fit me better than the big apple.

In Portland I pursued my acting career further and appeared in many television commercials, print ads and local film projects.  I longed for something else in my life so I decided to take a part time job working with children at Kids Community Learning Center in northwest Portland.  At that time everything changed.  I found a profession I cared about more than acting and devoted my life to education with children.

I worked for KCLC for a total of 6 years, taking one year off to go to Lewis and Clark and receive my teaching credentials.

My current position at Trillium is a new adventure that I am thrilled about.  My goals are to be able to apply my life experience as well as my years of work with youth to my classroom position.  My ultimate goal was to be a full time classroom teacher and I am honored to begin that journey here at Trillium Charter School!