Brandon helps students and teachers with classes, books, testing, and grades. Brandon has Master of Arts degrees in history and education. He has visited five countries, plays the piano, and enjoys science fiction!
Teachers and Staff
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.
Suzie has a background in International Studies and Anthropology, with graduate work in TESOL and German. She has been an elementary school educator in Portland for many years. She loves visiting natural areas around the Pacific Northwest, gardening, art, reading, and cooking.
Diane has a Master of Arts degree in linguistics with a specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has taught in West Africa, Michigan, and Colorado. She is married and has two teenagers. She and her family enjoy visiting beautiful places in Oregon and camping at national parks in the US.
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.
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.
Originally hailing from Germany, Verena has been living in Portland for many years now. She has a master’s degree in Education with a TESOL focus from Concordia University and has been teaching English language learners at all levels and ages both in Germany and the US for almost two decads years. In her free time, she enjoys riding horses, playing music with her bands, snuggling her cats, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.