New Staff at AHS

Maryetta Jacques

Ashland High School is welcoming Maryetta Jacques this school year to the teaching staff. Jacques is a former AHS student, and has been an AHS youth advocate working with Dean Glenna Stiles for the past year. Before becoming a teacher, Jacques worked at various cafes and restaurants, including Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory when she was in high school. With a Masters in Fine Art and experience with a building design firm in Portland, Jacques is the perfect fit to teach culinary and design. Last year as a youth advocate, Jacques was able to connect individually with students. As an interior design teacher, her goal is to improve students’ ‘‘grasp of real world experience’’. Jacques is also excited to be working with the culinary teacher Jake Taub, and to be a part of the culinary program.

Penny Bradley

Also new to the AHS family is Penny Bradley, who will be teaching 9th grade humanities. Bradley mentions that her biggest motivations for becoming a teacher have been her former high school teachers and her son. When Bradley was deciding what to do with the rest of her life after high school, she thought about going into the education field. She told her mom about this idea, and she was advised against it. However, a few years later they both ended up getting their teaching credentials at the same time. Her dad was a college professor, so now the whole Bradley Clan are teachers. At just one week in, Bradley shared that “it’s really exciting to see that students are already thriving and excited.” Bradley is looking forward to being a part of the AHS community and helping students have a good high school experience.

Kelley Anderson

Kelly Anderson went to college at two schools in Colorado and acquired two separate degrees. The first was in natural recreation in tourism, but she shortly discovered that wasn’t what she wanted to do. The other was her teaching degree. This is Anderson’s first time living in Ashland. She says she wanted to start teaching here for “the culture,” because of how nice, friendly, and willing to learn all the students are here. Anderson will be teaching Wellness and Grizz Academy Classes. She mentions that she is looking forward to being more active in the community. She also loves that she is now able to bike to and from school every day.

Eliza Haas

Ashland High School welcomes Eliza Haas to the Humanities department. Haas will be teaching 10th grade English, U.S. History and most notably, Speech and Debate, which has experienced high teacher turnover in the past few years. Having previously taught English and Speech and Debate at a high school outside of Portland, Haas made the move to Ashland for many reasons. Haas heard about Ashland from others, and was lured by Ashland’s reputation as a “big city” community in a small town. Haas is a proud dog owner of a Spinone Italiano, a “fancy mutt,” who is enjoying the new scenery, and she is more than willing to defend that she does, in fact, have the cutest dog in existence. Haas is excited to have a platform for open dialogue on topics not typically discussed, both within the debate team and the humanities blocks she teaches.

Kalli Walker

Kalli Walker is one of the high school’s new staff members, but she has also been at AHS before as a student! Walker is most excited about getting to know the students and the school from a new perspective. Before this, Walker worked on military bases overseas with children whose parents were stationed abroad, a program she got involved with during her undergraduate studies at Oregon State University. Walker ran camps for kids over the summer break and then was hired on as the project coordinator, going on to work at an international school in Amsterdam and after, as an education supervisor here in Oregon. She says her experience with her wonderful high school counselor, “inspired [her] to become an academic counselor.” Walker looks forward to learning the individual needs of each student and wants them to use their counselor as a resource, knowing that her job is to help them.

Yu Zhou

Yu Zhou, Ashland High School’s new Chinese language teacher, moved to Ashland from her hometown of Changsha, the capital of the Hunan Province in southeast China. Never having visited the U.S. before moving here, Zhou is slowly adjusting to her new lifestyle. Zhou taught in China for four years before coming to the U.S. and admits that her teaching style has gone through many changes just in her first few weeks here at AHS. “I think I have to make some improvements,” she acknowledges, specifically regarding her teaching style and the activities she has students do in class. The students and staff, she says, are respectful, helpful, and patient. As Zhou continues at AHS, she hopes to learn and grow along with her students.

Keri Phipps

Keri Phipps is Ashland High School’s new 9th grade academic counselor. “My first career was as a criminal investigator with the public defender’s office in Portland,” she recounts. She got inspired while working with at-risk youth, and decided to help support them by starting at the root of some of the problems she often saw tearing students’ lives apart. The way to accomplish this, she decided, was academic counseling. After doing so in both Kuwait and Shanghai, Phipps returned to Oregon. It has been lovely, she said, to experience the difference in academic culture here at AHS compared to Shanghai; many students at AHS are much more relaxed, which she appreciates. “There’s a lot of stigma around asking for help,” Phipps reflects, but emphasizes that her goal at the school is to provide social and academic support to 9th graders.

Christopher Plouhar

Christopher Plouhar has bounced from Ashland to Houston, Texas and now back to Ashland where he plans to remain. For 11 years Plouhar spent time working as a producer for television and news. He recently changed careers to be a teacher here at Ashland High School as well as at the middle school. Plouhar has a passion for teaching people which stemmed from working in a post-production department where everything filtered through him and it was his job to train new people to be editors. Plouhar is currently going to school at SOU to get his teaching degree. He loves camping and all things outdoors, especially rivers, and currently lives all the way out in Rogue River with his German Shepherd Lady and his 7 year old daughter.

Brenton Wileman

Brenton Wileman has taken his first teaching position in the AHS math department. He is enthusiastic about teaching at AHS and is ready to make his classes “lit.” Wileman has teaching “in his blood.” Both his mom (who taught at AHS) and his grandparents were teachers, which is among the many the reasons he chose to pursue a Bachelors in Mathematics and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Wileman joins the ranks of many teachers who are also graduates of AHS. “Ashland is the best school, both sides of the Mississippi,” Wileman remarked, smiling. Wileman is more than excited to be starting his teaching career at AHS and is ready “to geek” up the campus with his math quotes.

Max Malcomb

Before teaching art at Ashland High School, Max Malcomb taught at Rogue River High School for three years and at Bellview for what he describes as “a hot second.” Malcomb has always been an artist and went into college doing the “art thing.” Halfway through, he realized that teaching was a perfect way to support his interest in art. Malcomb’s favorite part of joining Ashland High School is how friendly and welcoming the students have been. Along with coaching soccer and teaching general art classes, Malcomb is teaching a class which hasn’t been offered at AHS for nearly ten years: ceramics. Malcomb is still trying to keep the discontinued jewelry class alive by starting a club for those who are passionate about it. “This is literally my dream job: setting up a studio that I use and that students use, where actual, real art happens.”

Rosie Soriano

After spending time working in computer programming and coaching our own grizzly track and basketball teams, Rosie Soriano has settled into teaching business and programming classes at AHS. Rosie taught last year at South Medford High School, but jumped at the opportunity to teach in Ashland as it has been a dream of hers since moving to the valley from Colorado in 2006. The move also brings her closer to her husband Tito, a football coach at AHS and a Program Analyst in our district office. Soriano is a loving person who has acquired a vast variety of wildlife she cares for and tends too, from chickens to turtles, ducks, dogs and cats: she’s got them all. When she’s not with these many pets, Rosie spends her free time in the boxing gym.