Our Staff

  • Courtney Alexander

    Speech/Language Pathologist
     

     

     

     

    Tracy Anderson

    Journalism, English Language Arts, Yearbook, Forum
     
     
    Tracy Anderson

    Tracy has been teaching high school since 1997. She is the adviser for The Communicator online and print editions, which are student-run publications that have won numerous state and national awards. She also teaches Intro to Literature, Poetry, Modern Readings, Journalism I, Advanced Journalism, and Forum. Tracy loves to spend time with her family, bake cookies, and travel. She co-authored two books that are published by Heinemann: They Still Can't Spell? and Purposeful Writing. Neither of them have been made into movies. Her right arm is significantly stronger than her left, thanks to all of the papers she grades.

    Katia Angelova

    Teaching Assistant
     
    Katia Angelova I am a firm believer in the unique inner beauty of every human being, and I am passionate about helping those who most need it to appreciate who they are and find their strength and confidence. Adventure, rock climbing, reading, learning, dancing, and connecting and sharing precious time with friends and family are amongst my passions. I am grateful to be part of the amazing, loving, and dedicated Community High School team!

    LaMar Ashford

    Teaching Assistant
     
       

    Bo Bagherpour

    Teaching Assistant
     
       

    Patricia Ball

    CHS Testing Coordinator
     
    Patricia Ball standing on top of mountain giving peace sign I grew up in Chelsea, Michigan, and came from that small high school--one of the many reasons why I love Community. I graduated from EMU and have been an entrepreneur most of my adult life. I am a morning person. I love adventures, running, hiking in nature, and reading. Most of all, though, I love family, whether it be my biological family or family of friends. Wherever I am, I love creating a sense of belonging. I have one son, Bergen. He teaches at WccNet and he is awesome!

    Traci Blancke

    School Social Worker

    email: blancket@a2schools.org

    Traci Blancke

    I am the social worker at CHS. It’s exciting to be a Zebra! I am originally from Iowa, and have since lived, studied, and worked in different parts of the country and world. Most recently, I landed in Michigan where I live with my husband, Mike, and two 15 year old cats, Micio and Joni. I found the social work profession while teaching high school English and English as a Second Language, and have been a social worker ever since (about 10 years). I am a vegetarian who enjoys swimming, hiking, and visiting local coffee shops with friends.

    Becky Brent

    Health & Wellness, Forum, Community Resource

    email: brentr@a2schools.org

    Becky Brent
    I began teaching students about Health in 2000, with a B.S. in School Health Studies from Western Michigan University, and an M.A. in Quality Schools from Graceland University. I marvel at the interconnectivity of the mind, the body, and the spirit, and look forward to sharing this space with students at Community this year. I am learning and growing every day, personally and professionally, and respect my students' capacity to do the same. When I'm taking a break from teaching, you can usually find me outside with family and friends.
     

    Joann Constantinides

    Attendance, Book Depository, and Library Office Professional
     

     

       

    Mary Margaret Cornish

    English Language Consultant
     
     
       

    Hannah Crabtree

    Art, Forum
     
       

    Philip Daher

    CHS Building Substitute Teacher
     
       

    Kevin Davis

    Community Assistant 
     
     
       

    Dianne Down

    Finance, Math Support
     
     
    Dianne Down I have finally found my dream school… Community! I have been in the classroom since 1981 and have seen many changes in education. I love working with our wonderful, respectful young people. Teaching mathematics to these students has been a dream come true! I know that our future will be in competent hands.

    Dianne Dudley

    Personal Fitness, A2 Virtual, Forum
     
     
    Dianne Dudley I love teaching Fitness and Forum at Community High School. I appreciate using the community as an extended classroom. My students enjoy some of our class activities at the Arboretum, Argo Pond Loop, Wheeler Park, and the cascades.

    Sean Eldon

    English Language Arts, Forum
     
       

    John Field

    Teaching Assistant

    email: fieldj@a2schools.org

       

    Camille Figarra

    Occupational Therapist
     

     

       

    Emma Hamstra

    English Language Arts, Forum

    email: hamstrae@a2schools.org

    Emma Hamstra Emma is a lifelong townie, with brief stops in Washington, D.C., and Dallas, TX. She is a proud product of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, by way of Burns Park, Tappan, and Pioneer. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in English and Women’s and Gender Studies, and from Eastern Michigan University with an M.A. in Teaching. Her academic interests include feminist literary criticism, comic books, confessional poetry, pop culture, spoken word, rap music, and the avant-garde. In her free time, she is the assistant coach for the multi-state champions Huron women’s field hockey team, practices yoga, bakes, and hangs out with her dog, T.S. Eliot.

    Remi Harrington

    Counseling Office Secretary
     
       

    Marci Harris

    French
     
     Marci Harris I teach French I, French II, and French IV at Community, and I am the K-12 District Curriculum Coordinator for World Languages in AAPS. I graduated from the University of Michigan over 30 years ago, moved to Chicago, and started teaching French in West Aurora Schools. I moved back to Michigan a few years later, after immersing myself in the French language at Université Laval. I spent the next 22 years teaching French at Slauson Middle School, earning my Master's Degree in French at EMU, and traveling to Quebec and France when I could.

    Sarah Hechler

    History, Forum
     
     
     
    Sarah Hechler I grew up in Mount Rainier, MD, just outside of Washington, D.C. After graduating in 2008, I went to Kenyon College, where I majored in American Studies, with a concentration in Environmental Studies, and minored in Italian. After college I worked as a travel agent for six years, specializing in arranging trips for clients to the South Pacific: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, and Hawaii. I moved with my now-husband to Ann Arbor in the fall of 2014. I attended U of M 2016-2017 for my Master of Arts in Educational Studies, during which time I did my student teaching at Community. I taught U.S. History, World History, and Economics for two years at Skyline, and also taught a CR course at CHS on the History of the Pacific Islands. I live in Ypsi with my husband, Jeff, and our cat, Fermata. In my spare time, I pursue a number of hobbies: gardening, going for long walks and hikes, sewing (especially vintage patterns), playing board games, and going to the movies. I love the arts, and at the moment am enjoying watercolor painting and learning the accordion. I love theatre, especially musicals. I'm so excited for this year!

    Joslyn Hunscher-Young

    History, Spanish, Forum, Community Resource, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Coordinator
     
     Joslyn Hunscher-Young

    As a graduate of CHS who was given the mock award of "Most Likely to Teach at CHS" from the Communicator staff her senior year, Joslyn was excited to rejoin the Rainbow Zebra family amidst the tumultuous start of the 2020-2021 academic year. Passionate about critical thinking, active inquiry, and thoughtful communication, she is excited to teach, learn, and engage with students, staff, families, and community members to make the world more just and better for us all. And if she can do that while gardening, trying new recipes, exploring nature, and/or doing mind puzzles, then all the better.

     

    Janelle Johnson

    Community Resource, Forum
     
     
    I was born and raised in Ann Arbor and I am a former Pioneer. I have been teaching in AAPS for 11 years and I absolutely love it! My first degree is in advertising and, after a short nine months, I decided to go back to college to become a teacher. It was one of the best decisions I made!
     

    Angela Keene

    CHS Building Substitute Teacher
     
    Angela Keene I graduated first from Washtenaw Community College with a degree in Photographic Technology, then continued at Eastern Michigan University, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in Photography. I have worked mainly in the field of photography: operating my own small business, managing a local school photography business, and working as a wedding photographer (which I still do). I began substitute teaching mainly in art classes within the Ann Arbor Public Schools; as a building sub at Community for the past few years, I have been able to work in many different departments and classrooms. My favorite thing about working at CHS is the true sense of a caring community. My hobbies include almost anything outdoors in nature: kayaking, hiking, biking, yoga, and of course photographing nature.

    Courtney Kiley

    Ecology, Foundations of Science (FOS), Forum
     
     
     
    Courtney Kiley
    Born and raised in Ann Arbor, I always wanted to go to Community. That didn't quite pan out in high school, so I feel fortunate to have been hired to teach science and be a Forum leader at CHS. I love working with such inspiring colleagues and students! Outside school, I love biking, hiking, and spending time with my family.
     

    Brett Kilgore

    Economics, Math, Forum
     
    Brett Kilgore
    I serve in two departments here at Community: Social Studies and Math. I love teaching economics and geometry, and have an absolute blast as a Forum leader. Prior to teaching at Community, I lived in quite a few places, including Utah, Ohio, Washington, and even Australia for a summer. Now, though, I am thankful to call Ann Arbor home. As U of M grads, my wife and I love this town and are grateful to raise our son and daughter here.
     

    George Lancaster

    Engineering, Computer Science, Cyber Security,  Programming
     
    George Lancaster This is my sixth year teaching at Community and 19th year as a teacher. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I spent the next ten years as a design and project engineer of automotive safety products, primarily steering wheels and airbags. I then returned to school to earn a teaching certificate. I love sharing my experience in engineering, math, physics, and computer science with everyone at Community High.

     Laurel Landrum

    Spanish, Forum
     
     
    Laurel Landrum
    I have been teaching Spanish in AAPS since 2006 and have been lucky to be at Community since then. I have a BA from the University of Michigan in Psychology, a BS in Spanish and Education from Eastern Michigan University, and an MA in Language Learning from Wayne State University. I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, attending Newport (remember?), Wines, Forsythe, and Pioneer. It is a privilege to raise my two daughters, Sabine and Laida, in the same great community where I grew up. I enjoy geeking out with teacher friends about language acquisition and curriculum design, but I'll only bore you with that if you ask. I love to travel, garden, and spend time with family and friends.
     
     

    Krystie Linton

    Special Education Teacher Consultant

    email: lintonk@a2schools.org

    ILC Information

    Krystie Linton Can't Live Without: music, sunshine, Lake Michigan, family & friends, chocolate, road trips, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, witty magnets, reruns of General Hospital from the 1990s

    Unpopular Opinions: Coffee should never be iced; You never grow too old for sledding or playgrounds; Social media platforms are fairly boring

    Obscure Skills: Wicked awkward mom dance moves; Ability to quickly change song lyrics to match the situation or mood; Capacity to misplace cell phone in seconds

    Most Likely To: Adopt another senior dog from the Huron Valley Humane Society; Get lost in Ann Arbor; Shelve and organize items in store while shopping; Laugh like a cartoon villain; Love teaching for another 20 years!

    Maneesha Mankad

    Math, Forum
     
    Maneesha Mankad I have been teaching at Community High School since 2014. I am excited about being part of a professional community that values personal relationships and invests in the academic, emotional, and social growth of our students. I am passionate about making mathematics education relevant and equitable for all students. I love theater, music, dance, and reading, and I love spending time with my family.

    Kelly Maveal

    School Counselor
     
       

    Marcy McCormick

    Foundations of Science (FOS)
     
     
    Marcy McCormick
    Marcy has been teaching science for 17 years; this is her 8th year teaching at Community. She couldn't be happier being a Rainbow Zebra! She has taught FOS 1, FOS 2, and FOS 3, and loves the Foundations of Science curriculum. She feels very lucky that she gets to work every day with such an incredible group of students and colleagues. When Marcy isn't teaching, she enjoys being outdoors, staying active playing Ultimate Frisbee on a club team, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
     

    Sue McDonald

    Special Education Teacher Consultant
     
       

    Danelle Mosher

    French,
    Community Resource, Forum
     
     
    Danelle Mosher
    I've been teaching French and Forum and monitoring CRs at CHS since 1994, and I am very happy to be here. In addition to teaching French, I run the Community Resource department, lead Forum, and advise Service Club. I have three children and a husband who is a teacher in the district as well. Outside of teaching, I love to travel, knit, read, garden, and spend time with my family.
     
     

    Carol Neylon

    Teaching Assistan
     
     

     

    Jen Niner

    American Sign Language (ASL)
     
     
     Jen Niner

    I love teaching American Sign Language (ASL) and am very excited to be teaching at Community. ASL is my first language—both my parents are deaf. I love being able to share my knowledge of ASL with my students. I have been in Ann Arbor Public Schools for 10 years and have been teaching ASL online for the past 5 years. I got married in the summer of 2016 and had a name change (it used to be Post). I enjoy vacations, especially going camping with our new camper.

     

    Lynn Perry

    Special Education Teacher Consultant
     
       

    Beth Portincasa

    Visual Arts
     
     
     
    Beth Portincasa
    I was born and raised in Ann Arbor and graduated from EMU with a Bachelor of Art Education, and then received a Master's degree in Sculpture. My first professional teaching job was at West Village Academy in Dearborn, then I taught at Belleville High School, Ecorse Community High School, and Onsted High School before coming back home to Ann Arbor Public Schools in 2012. This year I will be splitting between Community and Pathways, allowing me to provide a positive impact on a variety of young students in this community. I love to spend my extra time with my husband, Joel, and my two girls, Gwenlyn and Cora. Things I like to watch grow: my students, my garden, and Monarch butterflies.

     Jenny Pritchett

    Secretary to the Dean

    email: pritchettj@a2schools.org

     
     

    Luciana Qu

    Math
     
       

    Katie Richardson

    Special Education Teacher Consultant
     
     
    Katie Richardson
    I have been working in Ann Arbor Public Schools for many years. I feel so grateful to work with such an amazing staff and wonderful students! I encourage a home and school connection. I pride myself in my ability to form meaningful connections with students and their families, to foster student growth. I am committed to supporting students' needs and helping them gain access to the core curriculum.
     
     

    Jesse Richmond

    Math

    email: richmondj@a2schools.org

     
     

    Chloë Root

    Government, Gender Studies, Model UN, U.S. History, Mock Trial,
    Forum
     

     

    Chloe Root This is my 13th year teaching in AAPS and I am so lucky to be here. This is my 12th year teaching at Community, but we go way back. Our previous adventures together include my being a high school student, a student teacher, and a part-time teacher. I teach U.S. History, Government, Model UN, Gender Studies, Mock Trial (8-time State Champs!), and my beloved and entertaining Forum. I am also lucky enough to be the staff advisor for the Queer Straight Alliance (QSA). I believe Community is one of the best high schools in the world, and even the toughest days here are marked by the kindness, creativity, and hilarity of the students and staff. After graduating from Community, I attended Brown University, where I received my Bachelor's degree in US History and Gender Studies, and Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan, where I got my Master's degree in Secondary Social Studies Education. I live with my sweet dog, Riolu, and am grateful to have my family in town.

    Katy Sanderson

    Records Clerk, Scheduling, and CR Secretary
     
     
      Katy is the Office Administrator in the Community Resource Office, the Records Clerk for enrollments and graduated student transcripts, and the Building Scheduler for PowerSchool. She has been at Community since 2008, originally working in the Main Office as the Attendance/Book Depository secretary. She loves working with the great kids and staff at Community and enjoys being in downtown Ann Arbor every day. She looks forward to kayaking every summer with her husband in northern Michigan, and hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

    Jeri Schneider

    she/her/hers
    School Librarian, School Website Manager
     
     
    Jeri Schneider
    Jeri's love affair with libraries began in 1986 when, while studying history, she became a clerk/driver of the bookmobile for the Ann Arbor Public Library. Since then, she has earned a Bachelor's in history, a Master's in the Science of Information, and teaching certification from U of M. She manages the library, promotes reading, helps troubleshoot technology issues, teaches information and research skills, and manages the school website. Away from work, Jeri enjoys hanging out with friends and family, reading, running, biking, canoeing, and cooking and baking delicious vegan food. Her current favorite quote is: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." (Maya Angelou)
     

    Ryan Silvester

    History, Forum
     
    Ryan Silvester This is my second year at Community High School! I am teaching U.S. History and World History, both of which are absolute passions of mine. I grew up in Ann Arbor and attended Huron High School. That said, I am glad to get the opportunity to be a Rainbow Zebra!

    Kevin Starkey

    Physical Education

    email: starkeyk@a2schools.org

       

    Meghan Stelzer

    School Nurse
     
       

    Elizabeth Stern

    Foundations of Science (FOS),
    Forensics
     
    email: stern
     
    Liz Stern
    Liz has worked at Community her entire career. She loves teaching science, with fabulous colleagues, to engaging students.
     
     

     Michael Strugala

    Teaching Assistant
     
    Michael Strugula Michael's background experience entails working for several parks and recreation departments, nonprofits, and school districts (Redford, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor) in the metro-Detroit area. He graduated from Western Michigan University, where he double-majored in Political Science and Communications, with a minor in Criminal Justice. He earned a graduate degree from Eastern Michigan University in Geography, with emphasis on Environmental and Transportation Planning issues. He thoroughly enjoyed his college experience and was involved in extracurricular activities. One piece of advice he would like to give seniors: Get out and participate in a student group/campus organization in college! Make it fun! In his free time, you can catch him outdoors camping, hiking, kayaking, exploring, volunteering, reading a wide range of literature, and playing board games with friends. He is excited to be here at Community working with a versatile staff and engaged students!

    Carl Taylor

    Daytime Custodian

       

     Kim Tehranipour

    Teaching Assistant
     
       

    Jonathan Thomas-Palmer

    Foundations of Science (FOS)
     
     
     
    Jonathan Thomas-Palmer
    Non-matching-sock wearing proud father of two daughters. Part-time high school physics teacher and owner of Flipping Physics®, a one-employee business dedicated to providing the world with free, entertaining, educational physics videos which anyone can use to learn physics, and teachers can use to flip their students’ learning. Devoted husband of substance abuse prevention social worker and incredible wife. Maker and wearer of tie-dyes.
     

    Zach Tribino

    Special Education Teacher Consultant

    email: tribinoz@a2schools.org

     
     

    Mike Vial

    English Language Arts, Intro. to Acting, Forum

    email: vialm@a2schools.org

    Mike Vial with acoustic guitar

    photo credit: Anne Glista

    Mike's teaching career may remind one of Tolkien's famous line in The Lord of the Rings: "Not all who wander are lost." He has taught in multiple Michigan districts since graduating from Western Michigan University in 2003. However, teaching at Community has been his dream job since he moved to Ann Arbor with his wife--writer and editor Natalie Burg.

    In 2011, Mike took a break from teaching to be a touring musician, releasing four records and various singles of his own songwriting, and performing over 1,300 gigs across the country. After the road became tiresome, he returned to the classroom in 2017 at Farmington Public Schools, enjoying Harrison High School during its last two years before closure. He continues to tour in the summer, typically playing once a year at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Mike started teaching at Community in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which correlates with the Greek mythology conflicts he shares and universal themes that guide our lives.

    Mike currently teaches English Language Arts and hosts the Forum Book Challenge.

     

    Jack Wagner

    Jazz
     
     

     
    Jack Wagner
    Jack feels so fortunate to be the Jazz Program Director at Community which, to him, is a dream job! Jack has been at CHS since 2008. Jazz performance and pedagogy are his passions, so teaching jazz combos all day to dedicated students is a real delight. The CHS Jazz students are getting hands on experience, playing frequent gigs and concerts; they also get to work with Grammy winners and world-class musicians during CHS Jazz Guest Artist Series master classes, a program Jack began in 2008. Jack loves jazz history and sharing what he knows in this field, and he loves playing his saxophone. Jack recently wrote the jazz and improvisation textbook The Straight Ahead Toolshed: 55 Tools for the Beginning Jazz Musician. Jack lives happily with his wife, Jaimie, and their two children, Natalie and Zachary. They are extremely fun. Jack also likes to run, SCUBA dive, tinker around the house, hike, and camp in the mountains.
     

     Christia West

    Foundations of Science (FOS)
     
     
     
    Christia West
    Teaching is my passion, and I've been fortunate to be a part of the CHS community since 2014. What I enjoy most is getting to know my students through Forum, coaching Team 5708 (Go Zebrotics!), and FOS classes. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time on (and in) the water. I love living in Michigan, and there are still places here I would like to explore in my kayak, or on my bike. My more sedate hobbies include reading, knitting, and playing board games
      

    Jessika Whiteside

    English Language Arts, Forum
     
     Jessika Whiteside

    Jessika spent over a decade teaching English and Spanish in Romulus, Michigan, before she joined the CHS staff in 2020. (Yes, in the middle of the pandemic!) As a first generation American, she grew up on Long Island and in Waterford, Michigan, but fell in love with Ann Arbor as an undergrad. She loves to travel and go on adventures with her three sons who are 11, 7, and 3. She adores coffee, the color cerulean, and driving. You can always find her reading or thinking about books (check out her StoryGraph). Jessika lives in Canton with her kids, husband, three parakeets, and puppy, Ginny.

    Brian Williams

    School Counselor
     
     
    Brian Williams
    This is my 12th year with AAPS and 6th year at Community High School. When I am not busy counseling our Rainbow Zebras, my home team is renovating a 140 year old farmhouse out in Chelsea. On my off nights, I will pick up my sticks and play some drums with a couple of bands in the Ann Arbor area.
     

    Emily Wilson-Tobin

    Community Ensemble Theatre (CET) Program Director
     
    Emily Wilson-Tobin Emily was born and raised in Ann Arbor. She spent her undergrad years studying theatre and French at Wesleyan University in Connecticut before working for several years in the Metro DC area. Pursuing an MFA in Applied Drama/Theatre for the Young at Eastern Michigan University brought her home and, after graduating and a brief stint working for the CRLT Theatre Program at U of M, she spent over a decade as theatre director at Greenhills School (also her alma mater). Emily directed for CET just after finishing grad school and is delighted to be back working in a program and a school that she has admired for many years. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, two children, and too many pets. In addition to her love for theatre, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, watching scary movies, and visiting the Leelanau Peninsula.

    Olivia Wylie

    Spanish

    email: wylieo@a2schools.org

     

       

    Michelle Yager

    Math, Community Resource, Forum

    email: yagerm@a2schools.org