Columbia River High School English and AVID teacherJois Brownstein, teacher, Columbia River

Years with VPS: 28.5 

Most memorable career experiences: Seeing my 21 Advancement Via Individual Determination students graduate in June 2015. They were the first AVID class at River. I started with them as freshmen. By the time they graduated, it was like watching my own children graduate. Ninety percent of them were accepted to four-year universities.

A few things I’ve learned: I’ve learned that every student has a story, and it only takes a few minutes to listen. I’ve never regretted a single one of those minutes. I’ve learned that everyone is brilliant at something, and when that something is not valued by society, it slowly dies out to make room for conformity. I’ve learned that a sense of humor is the only thing that is more important than patience.

Three words that describe me: Kind, passionate, open-minded.

When I’m not working, I: Love spending time at the beach reading, hanging out with friends and family and watching the sunset.

Look for more #TeamVPS profiles in the October 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!