Charlene Shea, Gaiser Middle School

Photo by Karina Tobin

Gaiser Middle School
Seventh-grade life science and math teacher

Years with VPS: 13

Most memorable career experiences: Turning a bioswale and blackberry patch into Gaiser Pond, our living lab. This has been an amazing adventure that could not have become a reality without the partnerships with family members, students, teachers, community members and funding through various grants.

Also, each time students return to visit me. I love to hear how they are doing and their challenges and successes. I am very blessed each time they share that it was my class that hooked them into science and it was my class that encouraged them to continue their science education to pursue a science-focused career.

One thing I’ve learned: It is the relationships with staff, students and families that foster and create the greatest success. This collective energy always results in unforeseeable achievement.

Three words that describe me: Students say: amazing, awesome, organized, super-intelligent, super-encouraging, science-y, cares that we learn, challenges us to do more than we thought we could.

My response—dedicated, active, compassionate.

When I’m not working, I: Spend time with my family and friends, work on my doctorate degree in educational leadership with a science-education emphasis, volunteer with my church and several community organizations, hike, backpack and watch Seahawks games.

Charlene advises Gaiser’s National Junior Honor Society, which is leading the school toward greater energy efficiency and environmental awareness.
Look for more #TeamVPS profiles in the June 2015 issue of Inside Vancouver Public Schools and search for the hashtag on Twitter to see more examples of the great things going on in the district!