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
Dawn Nadeau- Primary Lead, K-1st Teacher
Dawn Nadeau graduated from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Alaska with a B.Ed in Elementary Education. After 22 years, she left Alaska and moved to Seattle in 2000. In 2006 she had the opportunity to live and work in Antofagasta, Chile. She taught Kindergarten at the Antofagasta International School for 5 years. She has a daughter and two grandchildren. She is the lead teacher for grades K-2.
Favorite quote: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine de St. Expury
Cindy Rathgeber- Intermediate Lead, 3rd-4th 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 Masters Degree in Education from Antioch University Seattle.
Cindy lives in Port Orchard with her husband and two young sons. One of Cindy’s sons attends Silverwood and the other will in a couple of years. 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 forts that the 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.
Ashley McComas- Senior Lead, 5th-6th 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 Silverwood Lodge. Some of Ashley’s hobbies include travel with her family including road trips within the United States, as well as journeys abroad. She has traveled to Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Middle East. In her free time, Ashley 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, 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.
Natasha Heino- Primary Team, 2nd 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 teaches primary students in grades K-2 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.
Some fun facts about Natasha are; 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.
Beth Anderson- Science & Art Specialist, K-6th
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, she 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.
Gretchen Dru- Music Specialist, K-6th
Gretchen Dru began learning the piano at 7 years old. Once she could play and sing, the world of performance opened up for her. Gretchen has been in more than 50 stage musicals, and has a special place in her heart for American Musical Theatre. Favorite roles include: Dorothy inThe Wizard of Oz, Cinderella in Cinderella, the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Irene Roth in Crazy for You, Maggie Jones in 42nd Street, and her first professional credit in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with the Seattle Children’s Theatre. She holds a BA in Drama and English and a Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington. She is a Washington native, and cannot imagine raising her daughters or teaching students anywhere but the beautiful Pacific Northwest. As a performing arts teaching artist for many years in Silicon Valley and Denver, Gretchen found a home for her passion and her credentials! She now teaches music not only with our delightful Silverwood School students, but also with the preschoolers and kindergartners of Central Kitsap Montessori, with musical theater students at the Northwest School of Dance, and with an ever-growing number of private pupils in piano and voice. Gretchen is grateful to have joined the Silverwood School staff in the 2014-2015 school year, and looks forward to many more exciting adventures together.
Sara Adams- Business & Admissions 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
Abby Catlett- Intermediate Team, 3rd-4th Assistant;Extended Services Teacher, K-6th
Abby Catlett lives in her hometown of Bremerton with her husband John. In 2011, she graduated from Bremerton High School, and will shortly begin classes at Olympic College, with the hopes of eventually earning a Bachelors degree in Education.
In 2013, Abby joined the Silverwood School family as the Aftercare Teacher, and occasionally substitutes from time to time. When she is not educating students, 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
Michelle Crawford- Administrative Assistant
Michelle was born and raised in Kitsap County and is happy to be raising her 13 year-old son here with her Bainbridge High School sweetheart, Jeff. She has a degree 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. The common theme of her life has been the pursuit of knowledge, and she is happy to have the chance to work for Silverwood School.