TINT Instructors:

Ashley Smith, M.Ed

has experience as an elementary school teacher in both the primary and intermediate grade levels.  Ashley has been active in helping her school establish and maintain an effective PBS (Positive Behavior Support) System. She also represented her school and grade level on the district committee that worked on transition to the current state math standards and adopting new math materials.  She completed her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with a Reading Endorsement at Concordia University.

Brooke Schmidt

is both manager and owner of The Innovative Northwest Teacher (TINT). She has 10 years experience as a classroom teacher and extensive personal experience with authors and illustrators of children's literature, especially the Caldecott and Newbery Award winners. She has been the author coordinator for Authors! Authors! Authors! Class for the past 29 years. She teaches TINT classes on children's literature, classroom set up and reaching male readers. She enjoys spending time at the beach and with family which includes two grandsons.

Colleen Thompson

has thirty-three years of teaching experience in both general and special education. She has spent most of her career as an elementary classroom teacher, but has also been a learning specialist, an Autism Consultant for students K-12 and is currently a Behavior Coach, working with K-12 teachers. She has a Master’s Degree in Education and an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Specialization. As a parent of a child with autism, Colleen has a passion for working with families and teachers of children with special needs, through coaching, training and leading a parent support group. In her spare time, Colleen loves to hike, kayak, dance and read.

Krista Geffre, MAT

has taught in multiple settings including K-5 elementary classrooms, online K-12 education, secondary education, university, and graduate levels since 2003.  Throughout her career her classroom has been used as a model for ELD, STEM/STEAM, literacy instruction, GLAD, and effective teaching strategies. Krista was invited to and presented at the 2013 Oregon Reading Association Conference and was featured on a national broadcast of NPR as a STEAM classroom teacher. She has a passion for teaching, is recognized as a leader among her peers and strives to make teaching and learning joyful.  Krista holds multiple PreK-12 authorization level teacher license endorsements, including MS/HS English Language Arts, MS/HS Social Studies, Elementary - Multiple Subjects, and English to Speakers of Other Languages.  

Natalie Conway, M.Ed

Natalie Conway M.Ed. started her career in Massachusetts in 2005 where she taught special education in grades K-5 before becoming a third grade teacher. In Oregon, Natalie has worked with students with special needs in grades K-11, in both brick and mortar and online settings. She is excited to continue to educate and support teachers as an elementary assistant principal in her local district. Natalie enjoys mentoring her peers in instruction and legal processes, as well as creating professional development for all staff, especially in the areas of inclusion and co-teaching, for which she has over ten years experience and much passion. Natalie lives with her husband and daughter in Vermont.

Tony Whipps, M.Ed

has been teaching elementary education for 12 years, including one year in Rwanda.  He has worked on district math committees and is the current facilitator of his school’s math committee.  Spending time with his wife and two children is what really inspires him.  He received his masters degree in Educational Leadership & Policy from PSU’s Graduate School of education, and also holds endorsements for reading specialist and ELL.  When time permits Tony also enjoys playing disc golf and biking.