Ignite. Empower. Imagine.

Katharine Phelps

Katharine was born in Puerto Rico, where her father was a visiting scholar at the University of Puerto Rico at the time, and then moved with her parents to Brazil and Lafayette, Indiana in the United States. Her two younger brothers came on board along the way, and when she was seven her family moved to Eswatini, a small country in southern Africa. From there she traveled to other fascinating places including South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, and visited England and Scotland on return trips to the United States during the summer.

Katharine earned a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from the University of Maryland. Right after her undergraduate studies, she was recruited by TEDA International School outside the city of Tianjin, China to serve as a teacher for its summer English program. She was then offered a full-time elementary teaching position in the school for the academic year.  Katharine returned to TEDA for another full-time teaching position after getting her master’s degree in Education at New York University, and working as a second-grade teacher in Brooklyn, New York. While at NYU, Katharine also had an assistantship serving as an English and writing tutor to high school students.

After her second return from China, Katharine moved to Haifa, Israel for volunteer service at the Baha’i World Center. There she met her amazing husband, Steven, and they raised their eldest two daughters, Layla and Jasmine, in Israel for ten years. While in Haifa, Katharine’s community service included co-coordinating and teaching at a preschool cooperative, facilitating a weekly story, music and arts program for young families, and teaching weekly after-school English classes to young English language learners.

After returning to the United States and staying home to raise her third daughter, Maya, Katharine returned to elementary classroom teaching taking on teaching positions in the Vancouver, Tigard-Tualatin, and Lake Oswego School districts. She holds an Oregon teaching license and has completed Oregon Dyslexia Institute’s Orton-Gillingham Approach Teacher Training Course. As a classroom educator and private tutor, Katharine uses multi-sensory, evidence-based practices to meet the needs of readers impacted by dyslexia and other reading difficulties. She started working part-time at Park Academy as a reading instructor in January 2021 and is thrilled to be going into her third year of teaching fourth grade – – one of her favorite grades to teach.

Katharine is a dedicated advocate of diversity, equity, and inclusion and serves as a community educator for Respond to Racism, Lake Oswego. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, camping, and hiking.

Email: kphelps@parkacademy.org