Middle School Language Arts
Drake was born in Mississippi but spent most of her childhood in California. After she graduated from high school, Drake traveled to Europe and stayed there for eight months. Her journey to Europe did not satisfy her adventure needs, and so she headed Zambia for six months to work for a non-profit organization doing HIV/AIDS education. She spent the next ten years going to college and living in various cities in America. Drake studied English literature at the University of Alabama, graduating in 2009, magna cum laude. In 2012, she earned a J.D. at the University of Kentucky, where she researched issues of family law, discrimination, and the death penalty. She recently received a Masters in Teaching at Lewis in Clark College. Last year Drake started working at Trillium Charter School as a substitute teacher. When an English teaching position opened she jumped at the opportunity, and here she is!
Middle School Social Studies
Lauren hails from Chicago, IL and loves facilitating outdoors and overseas where curriculum and teachable moments are infinite. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in Social Studies Education and Sociology. She also completed the INVST (International-national voluntary service training) Community Leadership Program where she gained Americorps credit in college for social justice and sustainability work. She also sailed on Semester at Sea during the spring of 2002 where she discovered her passion for international exploration while traveling to ten countries around the globe.
Lauren has spent many of her years working for university international education programs and was lucky enough to be the student affairs manager in Bhutan for the School for Field Studies last summer. She has facilitated gap year semesters for Carpe Diem Education in East Africa and India where students traveled around a region earning university credit while completing language training, service learning projects, internships, homestays, adventure experiences and other experiential activities. She also led international semesters for Youth International and Leap Now in Southeast Asia and South America.
Lauren spent two of the greatest years of her life teaching world history in Egypt at Misr American College in Cairo. She was able to explore Egypt’s ancient sites extensively and developed a true passion for scuba diving. After her two-year contract at the international school she went on to work as a dive master on the Sinai peninsula. The following spring, Lauren earned a scholarship to attend the 8th International Sabeel Conference in Bethlehem. She traveled around Israel and Palestine with political, academic and religious leaders studying peace and social justice issues throughout the holy land. This experience was so profound that she decided to stay (and live in a cave) on a Permaculture farm, Bustan Qaraqaa in the West Bank. That spring was spent working with villagers on sustainable agriculture and building Aqua ponics systems. She also volunteered at an outdoor education center, Paidia for Palestinian youth. During the summer of 2013, Lauren facilitated a professional development course for Middle Eastern and South Asian teachers for Seeds of Peace. This course was focused on how to teach social studies and historical awareness while living in a conflict region.
Lauren speaks moderate Egyptian Arabic and Spanish and is always amazed at the insight and wisdom that can be learned overseas and in the wilderness. Overall, she aims to mentor and educate in a way that pushes people forward on the track of becoming more personally and globally aware.
Middle School Science
Ry joined our Trillium community as the middle school science teacher at the beginning of this year. After graduating from Harvard University, his adventurous spirit led him to Portland, Oregon where he knew that he wanted to pursue a job in teaching. Ry has a background in Gender Studies and African American Studies as well as strong academic interests in Chemistry and Biology.
As part of the Trillium staff, Ry hopes to inspire the next generation of innovators, inventors and engineers. He hopes to accomplish this by designing a creative science curriculum that is primarily led by student questions and curiosities. Ry also hopes to bring his anti-oppression work into the classroom by continuing important conversations around the systems of power that privilege some and disempower others. Along with colleague Patrice Mays, Ry has started a Multicultural Collective for students of color in the upper school to meet up once a week for lunch and discuss their racial identity.
In his free time Ry enjoys biking, reading/writing poetry and cooking. He also loves playing the guitar, piano and ukulele and is always down for a jam session
Chris was raised in the southeast but has claimed the Pacific Northwest as his adopted home. He received a BA in Anthropology, found his way into book-keeping and accounting work, fell in love with math and physics, and received his Master’s in Education for middle school math. Middle school-age students are definitely Chris’s “tribe”, and he enjoys learning and participating in the lives of his students at Trillium. His current professional interests include: exploring mindfulness practices in schools with students and staff, using “math talks” to access student understanding and engage students in discourse, and finding ways to expose students to math concepts through an interdisciplinary, multi-media-oriented approach.