Who We Serve:

Park Academy offers a unique experience for students in grades 3-8 whose learning styles are not complimented by a traditional academic setting. Our students are highly capable, but may struggle with:

  • Dyslexia / Language Processing Difficulties
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Executive Functioning / Organization
  • Memory Processing and Processing Speed Difficulties


Our Approach:

We are dedicated to providing a safe and supportive atmosphere for all students. Our low student-to-teacher ratios allow us to create a family-like environment among students, which, in turn, creates a supportive network among peers. Our on-site school counselor provides responsive counseling services, such as social and emotional coaching, problem-solving and organizational skills.

Park Academy’s curriculum mirrors the Oregon State Standards with accommodations and adaptations that make growth and proficiency attainable for our students. Core classes are held in the morning, and are designed with dedicated staff working with small class sizes, allowing students to explore their unique learning styles and discover their strengths. Reading programs are based on Orton Gillingham (OG) interventions. Most of our classes are taught by our trained reading staff, allowing students to receive repetition and reinforcement of specific modalities and interventions across the curriculum. Core classes include:

  • Language arts
  • Social studies
  • Math
  • Science
  • Physical Education (P.E.)
  • Small reading groups with no more than a 3:1 student teacher ratio

Park Academy also believes that enrichment in education is critical to a well-rounded education for our students. After lunch, students will have enrichment classes such as art, music, theater, and robotics. Our enrichment courses are designed to empower students and engage them in creative expression, collaboration, and critical thinking.

Assistive technology is integrated throughout the curriculum, along with other necessary accommodations that support learning, growth, and measures of proficiency. Typical assistive technologies used in the lower school classrooms include:

  • iPads with different learning applications
  • Audiobooks and dictation software
  • Google Chromebooks
  • Google Classroom
  • Online Gradebook

When surrounded by supportive teachers and peers, students begin to regain their self-esteem and confidence, boosting their overall academic performance. Park Academy’s highly adaptive, strengths-based curriculum allows students to better understand their challenges, advocate for their needs, and ultimately reach their full potential.

For more information about who we serve, scheduling a tour, or the application process, contact Kim Barton at 503.594.8776 or kbarton@parkacademy.org or visit the How to Apply page of our website. Some questions may also be addressed on our FAQ’s page, or this blog post by Craig Lowery, Head of School.


Meet Our Lower School Teachers:

Jeff Barnes

Jeff Barnes was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in the small town of Madras. As a young boy, he loved to play sports. Mr. Barnes interest in helping students began his junior year in high school. He was

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Melissa Carroll

Melissa Carroll teaches music to both Lower and Upper School students.  She is a native Oregonian born and raised in Salem. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Pacific University and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies

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Gena Fields

Eugena “Gena” Fields is a professional art educator and has taught and studied art in Portland most of her life. She has a Bachelors of Art in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking, and a Masters Degree in Education, both from Portland

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Charles Geier

Mr. Geier teaches small groups of students in the areas of reading, math, and organization/social skills. He was born in Germany and grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming after his father retired from the Air Force. As a student, school wasn’t

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Jill Giedt

Ms. Giedt teaches Reading for some lower school students and Theater for both lower and upper school. Jill grew up in the City of Roses. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Directing from Roosevelt University in Chicago,

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Megan Holcomb

Megan Holcomb grew up in San Diego, California. She moved to the Northwest to attend the University of Puget Sound in Washington, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Music. One summer between semesters, she

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Chelsea Jepson

Ms. Jepson is Park’s third-grade teacher as well as one of our Orton-Gillingham reading instructors. She is also the SPED Coordinator for Park Academy. Chelsea was raised in Tigard, OR with her parents and brother. Her mother worked in special

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Dan Kimbro

Dan Kimbro started at Park Academy in 2013 as an instructional aide. Since then, he has taught or assisted in every class the school offers. He took a year off to complete a Masters of Art in Teaching at George

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Jenni Kumanchik

Some people are born teachers. Jenni Kumanchik’s journey in becoming a teacher truly exemplifies this statement. It was at a young age that Ms. Kumanchik (Ms. K) discovered her passion for education, and in Kindergarten when she declared her love

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Sandy Nemer

5th Grade Primary and OG Reading Specialist Sandy Nemer’s passion for teaching started while teaching English and German in Japan. She is a graduate of The University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, and a

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Carrie Otto

Carrie Otto was born and raised in Gresham, Oregon, graduating from Sam Barlow High School. After graduation, she jumped into the work world. Over the years she has had positions as a Receptionist, Billing Clerk, Payroll Clerk, Human Resources Assistant,

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Maddy Roach

Mrs. Roach teaches Reading to all ages at Park. Maddy grew up in a family with a focus on education. She married her high school sweetheart in 2007 and they just had their first son in July of 2016. Maddy

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Patti Voelker

Patti Voelker graduated from the University of Portland with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, a minor in German, and a mathematics endorsement. Over the years, she obtained endorsements in Middle School Science, Social Studies, and English Language Arts. Patti

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