Jon Torgerson – Head of School
Jon Torgerson grew up in Tacoma, Washington. Much of his youth was spent exploring the woods and ponds in his neighborhood. After graduating from Wilson High School, Jon attended Pacific Lutheran University where he received his B.A. in Sociology. His other degrees include a B.A. in Education from Eastern Washington University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Western Washington University. Jon is certified by the State of Washington as a K-8 teacher and a Professional Administrator.
Jon’s work experiences are varied, including jobs as a supervisor at West Coast Grocery in Tacoma and the Outreach Coordinator for REI in Spokane. Before obtaining his teaching degree from Eastern Washington University, Jon and his wife, Sharyl, joined the Peace Corps and developed nutritional programs for seventeen remote elementary schools in Papua New Guinea.
For the past 27 years, Jon has served in the field of education teaching third through sixth grade students on Vashon Island and in Suquamish, managing Suquamish Elementary’s Title I Reading and Math programs, and for five years as the principal of Suquamish Elementary. Jon has been the Head of School of Silverwood since 2015. He has great passion for educating youth and has greatly enjoyed being a teacher and administrator.
To relax, Jon enjoys reading science fiction, walking, and gardening. As Sharyl will attest to, his greatest passion is to climb to the top of any hill, no matter how low or high. Of the many hills and mountains he has climbed, favorites include standing on the crater rim of Mount Rainier and sitting atop The Brothers in the Olympics. Favorite quote: “That what you manifest is before you.” From The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.
Natasha Heino – Primary Team, Kindergarten-1st Lead Teacher
Natasha Heino is a Poulsbo native and Silverwood alumni. When she attended Silverwood, her favorite things to do were art, science, and of course, building forts in the woods. Tasha has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University and a Masters in Teaching from City University. Her philosophy of education can be summed up by the Frederick Douglass quote, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Tasha is the lead teacher for Kindergarten and 1st grade in the Barn. She loves the opportunity to help students grow into well-rounded individuals who are capable and compassionate. A few of Tasha’s many hobbies include reading, crafting, and travel. One of Tasha’s most exciting trips was the month she spent teaching and exploring in Namibia, Africa.
Here are some fun facts about Natasha: she can’t stand chocolate, her favorite animal is the Octopus, and she got her first passport before she was two. Her favorite quote is “Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint on it you can” –Danny Kaye. Tasha considers it her life’s work to make a big, colorful canvas, and help those around her to do the same.
Abby Catlett – Primary Team, Kindergarten-1st Teaching Assistant, Extended Services
Abby Catlett lives in her hometown of Bremerton with her husband, John. In 2011, she graduated from Bremerton High School and plans to take classes at Olympic College, with the hopes of eventually earning a Bachelors’s degree in Education.
In 2013, Abby joined the Silverwood School family as the After Care Teacher. She currently manages the Before Care Program, works as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Barn, and provides child care during in-service days.
When she is not helping students and sharing her love of craft projects with them, Abby enjoys painting, crocheting, hiking, boating, and spending time with her family. An interesting fact that you might not know–Abby had the honor of playing clarinet with her high school wind ensemble for a packed house at Carnegie Hall! Abby’s life quote is: “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” – Jane Austen
Cindy Rathgeber – Intermediate, 2nd-3rd Lead Teacher
Cindy Rathgeber started teaching at Silverwood in 2008. She has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Washington in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior and her Master’s Degree in Education from Antioch University Seattle.
Cindy lives in Port Orchard with her husband and two young sons, both of whom attend Silverwood School. Some of Cindy’s hobbies include hanging out with her family, hiking, drawing, painting (watercolor and ink), reading, traveling, cooking and finding Math in our everyday lives, like the forts that Silverwood students build.
One of Cindy’s favorite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson “Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Cindy encourages her students to be observant, enjoy nature, and make their own path in the world while helping others along the way.
Becky Rice – Intermediate, 2nd-3rd Teaching Assistant, Extended Services
Becky Rice joined the Silverwood community in 2018 as a substitute teacher. She grew up in Eastern, Washington and graduated from Wenatchee High School in 2005. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from Washington State University. Go Cougs! She is a Veteran and served 5 years in the US Navy, working as an Intelligence Analyst. She lives in Poulsbo, WA with her husband Kent, and two kids – both of whom are thriving at Silverwood.
Becky currently works as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Treehouse and is the lead for Silverwood’s aftercare program. She has previously volunteered with homeless teens and victims of domestic violence.
When she is not on campus, you can find her working on her Masters in Elementary Education, playing video games, bursting Beyblades, or camping with her family. Her talents are not confined to the classroom. Becky can safely operate an oxyacetylene welder, build a fire, and organize a closet.
When working with children, she is guided by the philosophy that “Behind every behavior, there is a feeling. Beneath every feeling, there is a need. When we meet that need, rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.” – Ashleigh Warner
Ashley McComas – Senior, 4th-6th Lead Teacher
Ashley McComas lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband, Andrew, young son, Sawyer, and beloved class pet, Bella. Ashley has a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies from the University of California, Fullerton, and a Masters Degree in Cross-Cultural Education from National University in San Diego, California. Before coming to Silverwood in 2009 Ashley taught at a small inner-city private school in Rainier Beach, WA.
Ashley currently teaches the 5th and 6th grade students in the Lodge. In her free time, Ashley loves traveling with her family throughout the United States as well as journeys abroad. She has traveled to Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East. She also enjoys scrapbooking and spending time immersed in the beautiful Pacific Northwest scenery.
A few things you may not know about Ashley: she once broke her arm while unsuccessfully trying to disembark from a boat; and once received thirty stitches in her leg from a piece of broken glass, and joked about a fictional encounter with a great white shark! One of her favorite quotes is “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi. She strives to impart these values to her students by encouraging self and community advocacy in her classroom.
Beth Anderson – Science & Art Specialist
Beth Anderson teaches art and science to grades K through 6th, as well as 5th level math. When she’s not playing in the mud or zooming around like an electron with her students, she loves to read (don’t ask her what, there is no rhyme or reason to her selection), play video games (because that makes her cool and accessible to today’s youth), paint (you can see some of her work in the office), and go on long drives with her husband, Adam, where they talk about everything, from how to survive an apocalypse to what’s for dinner tonight.
Beth graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Since she couldn’t settle on a minor, she tried a little bit of everything, including young adult literature, cartography, and video production. Beth and Adam moved here in 2009 and, before coming to Silverwood, Beth worked as a substitute in the local public school systems.
Beth and Adam have a pet turtle, Boo Radley, and a fantastic collection of boots and scarves. Beth enjoys going to the beach, even if it’s 30 degrees, to check out the tides and the treasures that wash ashore. Her very favorite thing about Silverwood is the freedom of choice. Beth loves the sound of rain on a metal roof, and everything she eats usually revolves around strawberries or tomatoes. One of her favorite quotes is from Rainier Maria Rilke, “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” Beth uses every moment with her students to encourage them to continually ask questions, seek answers, and be patient when it takes longer than they would hope.
Crystal Thornell – Music Specialist
Crystal Thornell grew up in southeastern Virginia where she met her husband Brandon in high school band. In 2005, Crystal graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance. From 2000 to 2007, she served as a high school marching band instructor and performed with several ensembles including the Tarheel Sun Drum and Bugle Corps, CNU Wind Ensemble, Tidewater Winds, and Chesapeake Bay Wind Ensemble. In 2007, Brandon and Crystal moved to Kitsap County after visiting family and falling in love with the area.
While continuing to perform, Crystal worked for 10 years as a technical proposal writer in the engineering and construction industry. In 2017 she returned to music full time as Music Specialist for Silverwood School, where she loves to inspire students to find their own personal voice and share her passion for music.
Crystal lives in Kingston with her family of musicians, husband Brandon (percussion) and two sons Matthew (trumpet) and Thomas (piano). They are actively involved in local music lessons and ensembles including the Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church orchestra and the Bremerton Youth Symphony. When not making music, they can be found riding motorcycles, boating in Liberty Bay, or spending time with friends.
Crystal is an active member of the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). One of her favorite quotes is, “It seemed unthinkable for me to leave the world forever before I had produced all that I felt called upon to produce.” -Ludwig von Beethoven
Robyn Gross – P.E. Teacher
Sara Adams – Business Manager
Sara Adams has a background in bookkeeping and business administration. She has specifically been an operations manager and business manager with small businesses in both the design industry and senior care field. She was thrilled to take the opportunity to lend her administrative skills to an elementary school. It’s not every day that one gets to create month-end financial reports one minute and take a hike into the woods to visit the latest village forts the next.
Sara has called Kitsap County her home for the past 13 years. With her husband and 3 children, she has participated in several different community activities. Her first love by far is musical theater direction, specifically children’s theater. Any chance she gets to help children learn how to shine while being silly, is a bonus. If she isn’t in the theater, she is on the sideline of the football field cheering on her middle son or hitting the trail tackling the next mountain to climb. If Sara were to pick one quote that fits her life currently it would be: “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Michelle Crawford – Office and Admissions Manager
Michelle was born in Seattle and has called Kitsap County home since 1976. She is happy to be raising her teenage son in Suquamish with her Bainbridge High School sweetheart, Jeff. She received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington and has worked in a variety of jobs from inspecting trailer chassis to running the front desk of an optometric practice. She has also worked with children as a volunteer CASA for Kitsap County Juvenile Court.
In 2014, Michelle’s son enrolled at Silverwood School, and the family fell in love with the school and its community. With many volunteer hours under her belt, she was happy to officially join the Silverwood staff in February of 2017.
Michelle spends her free time playing with her puppy, watching HGTV shows, reading, and traveling whenever she can. She truly lives by these words, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney