High School Math/ Co-Head of Upper School
Jess is also known as Jessie to her family or Jessica Leigh Brooks when she’s in trouble or trying to act official. She was born in Chicago and raised in Ohio where she narrowly escaped in 2000. She took up sanctuary in the northeast at a small university called Alfred, in the town of Alfred right down the road from a place called Alfred Station. Apart from that it really was in the middle of nowhere, which was perfect for Jess’ favorite pastime of playing in wooded, rocky and water-like areas. Jess was known as Jessbrooks in those days. She became Czar of an outdoor organization called the Forrest People, started an activist group, became president of the ever so cool Math Club and sat on the Judicial Board. She also became the Astronomy TA somehow, although knows very little about the subject.
After Alfred, for some unknown reason, Jess traveled west with a college friend for the city of Portland. Then, as it turns out, Portland agreed with her and she’s been there since. Here she’s fallen in love, created a pottery studio, retreats to a bountiful garden and obtained a healthy bike collection. Her first job here was as a bike mechanic, before plummeting into the world of Math tutoring and education. She began taking Graduate Math Education classes at PSU in 2005. Also in 2005 she began working for Pacific Crest Community School as their Algebra 2 teacher and in 2006 she started working for Trillium Charter School. In 2010 she finally completed her masters program graduating with a MST degree.
Jennifer is thrilled to be joining the Trillium community as both the High School Language Arts teacher and co-Head of Upper School. She grew up on the Stanford University campus in northern California and eagerly moved to New York City when she was eighteen, where she designed her own major in philosophy and social justice at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU. It was at Gallatin that she realized that genuine learning is messy, personal, political, liberating, and grounded in community—and she began to fantasize about facilitating this experience for youth.
Jennifer got her Masters in Teaching from Lewis and Clark and is grateful to have learned from and with young people in a wide range of democratic and constructivist schools afterwards, including Deep Creek Middle School on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas, The Woolman Semester School in the middle of the woods in northern California, and MetWest High School in downtown Oakland. As a social justice educator, Jennifer hopes to live and teach resistance and dreaming simultaneously, with reality as a firm foundation to stand upon while imagining, reaching towards, and believing that another world is possible.
Not born but raised in Wisconsin, I attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and majored in Archaeology. That degree brought me to the Pacific Northwest where I worked as a research scientist in field archeology for 13 years. As an archeologist I travelled the entire northwest, seeing some of the most beautiful country in the world.
As a student, I struggled as a kid with ADHD in school. My passion for science and a few caring teachers made all the difference and I decided to pay that gift forwards. I then earned my graduate school teaching credentials from Portland State. Endorsed in social studies, integrated science, and biology, I intimately understand the struggles kids with learning disabilities face.
I see the world is an enormous science lab! I provide an integrated approach to science, make class hands on, and provide students opportunities to explore their own interests.
My free time is spent with my husband, son, and my dog Ira. We love to ski, hike, backpack, and travel. On Sunday’s you’ll find my watching the Greenbay Packers!
My claims to fame are meeting heroine Jane Goodall, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and meeting Fred Armisen when I was an extra on Portlandia.
High School Social Studies
Patrick brings to Trillium a vision of a school without walls, where learning happens out in the community. Patrick is drawn to creative tinkering—inspired by a range experiences from Burning Man to primitive bushcraft and homesteading skills— to provide learning opportunities where students tinker with materials and ideas freely, with a focus on process, not product, but also where learning is tangible and relevant. A native of Denver, Colorado and raised mostly in the outdoors, Patrick likes to share opportunities for exploration and creativity, where the principles of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Social Studies are learned as side effects of integrated constructivism. Patrick’s interdisciplinary gaze is responsive to emergent student interests and passions. His teaching has been largely shaped by experiences in traditional and non-traditional Outdoor and Wilderness education, Montessori elementary teaching, international travel, urban dwelling, youth mental health activism and sociological inquiry. “Young people are part of the world,” says Patrick, “they are agents within it, and we empower them as community members and agents of positive change.”
When he’s not teaching, he can be usually found spending time outdoors with his dog Lyra, or surrounded by the mess of some in-progress creative endeavor.
9th grade math and Foundations cohort support
Jessica grew up in Santa Rosa, California, north of San Francisco. She played clarinet in her high school marching band, participated in several theater productions, and loved math and science classes. She and her close-knit group of friends made sure to catch every Batman movie on opening night.
Jessica earned her undergraduate degree in social science at the California Institute of Technology and a graduate degree in mathematics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has been teaching math for six years at a range of high schools, most recently at Clackamas High School. She is excited to be at Trillium because of our small community and shared common values. Outside of school, Jessica enjoys gardening, biking, reading science fiction, and playing strategy board and card games.
High School Advisor, Internship cohort support and culture instructor
Middle School culture and language