Teachers

Mitchell School is fortunate to have a very dedicated and talented team of teachers who collectively cover the entire K-12 curriculum with great passion and enthusiasm.

Rhonda Brennan has taught at Mitchell School off and on for a total of 14 years. A testament to school loyalty and returning to one’s roots, Rhonda was a student of Mitchell school since she was 9 yrs old and graduated from Mitchell High School. Rhonda teaches Biology, Computer Applications, Community 101, High School Health, Middle School Science, and Physics. During the 2011-2012 School Year she will be teaching Driver’s Education, Physical Science, Chemistry, Middle School Science, Career Education, and Community 101.

In addition to teaching at Mitchell School, Rhonda serves as a volunteer EMT-I with the Mitchell Volunteer Ambulance Service and is an active 4-H leader for Livestock. When asked about what she liked most about teaching at Mitchell School she immediately responded with, “I love the sense of family. The older students are always watching out for the younger children. It is very clear when the chips are down that the kids in Mitchell really care for each other and will come through for each other!”

Irene Busmalis teaches High School Mathematics and Spanish High School and has been teaching at Mitchell School since 2008. After living in Manhattan and working on Wall Street in finance for nearly thirteen years she made a major lifestyle change and moved to the country with her family. She holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York City and is completing the Masters in Teaching program at George Fox University.

She believes that all students need mathematics literacy as well as reading and writing to be successful in life. “When students learn math,” she added, “they are learning problem solving and critical thinking as well as rules, formulas and processes.”

Tim Foster has jumped in with both feet during this, his first year teaching at Mitchell School. He teaches and advises English, American Studies, Current
Events, Multi-Media, the Yearbook, and is the Girls Head Basketball and Track Coach. Tim reports that what he likes most about teaching at Mitchell is the small size and getting to work with the same students several times throughout the day.

Tanya Kropf was born and raised on a family ranch outside of Prineville, Oregon. Prior to this year she taught first through third grade in Prineville. She teaches Kindergarten through Second Grade. Tanya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching. She reports that she loves teaching in Mitchell because of the opportunity to really impact students’ learning and to be a part of such a great close-knit community. In addition to teaching at Mitchell School she raises cattle and horses on a ranch in the Ochoco Mountains and loves to garden.

Bonnie Tolton grew up on a cattle ranch in Western Montana and graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelors degree in Business and Accounting. Bonnie and her family moved to the John Day area in 1994 and then to Mitchell in 1999 to continue ranching and raising their family. Bonnie received her Masters in Teacher Education and has been enjoying teaching elementary school students at the Mitchell School since 2006. She loves horseback riding, hiking, and photography, as well
as collecting rocks, books, and antiques.

Meghan Walls – Special Education

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