Brandon helps students and teachers with classes, books, testing, and grades. Brandon has Master of Arts degrees in history and education. He has visited eight countries, plays the piano, builds LEGO, and enjoys science fiction and fantasy!
Teachers and Staff
Service Learning and Volunteer Coordinator
Abigail is a teacher for the core English classes as well as for Service Learning. She has a Master of Arts degree in TESOL from Portland State University and enjoys speaking Spanish and a little Hebrew and Chinook Wawa. Abigail loves to learn new languages.
Barney has been an English teacher at PIA since 2000. Before joining PIA, Barney taught English in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. He is originally from New York City, but he has been living in Oregon since 1978. He has a Master of Arts degree in folklore and ethnic studies from the University of Oregon. Barney enjoys birdwatching and playing the tuba in his spare time.
Office & Activities Assistant
Rita is currently getting her degree for Applied Linguistics as well as her TESL certificate at Portland State University. She is originally from California but moved to Oregon in 2014. At work, Rita loves to meet many people from different countries and get to know them. She is bilingual and has a list of languages she wants to learn. She enjoys singing and collecting vinyls in her free time.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Sarah Shoemaker has taught English and French for over 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in French, and a Magistère in French language, literature, and civilization from the Sorbonne in Paris. She has traveled extensively, usually for work or study. She has taught English in Switzerland and West Africa and French in US high schools and colleges. Her interests include playing the piano and singing in a university choir.
David was raised in northern Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. He has been a teacher all his life, working in Japan, China, San Francisco, and Portland. He has master’s degrees in TESOL and International Business Management. He was Director of Studies at an adult English center in Shenzhen, and later a Regional Education Manager in Beijing. He loves music and songwriting, walking around outside, and hanging out with family and friends.
Steve has a Master of Arts degree in TESOL as well as a Bachelor of Arts in history. He lived for several years in Japan teaching English and greatly enjoys spending time with international students. Among his favorite activities are reading, travel, discussing ideas, and collecting good stories.