Dr. David Gray: Executive Director & Principal
David L. Gray, Ph.D. has served in public education for over 30 years. He has been nationally recognized as a teacher and principal. Gray, a native Coloradoan, has served as a superintendent in two districts in Colorado and as a regional manager for the Colorado Department of Education.
Gray received his Doctorate in educational administration from the University of Denver, Master’s Degree in educational administration from the University of San Francisco, and teaching degree from the University of Southern Colorado – with a focus on technology in education and virtual learning. Gray has served as an adjunct and visiting instructor for Adams State College, the University of Denver, Concordia University-Portland, and Concordia University-Chicago. He has served as an educational consultant in school districts in Colorado, Nevada, and Washington D. C. and in California, Indiana, Missouri, and Arizona as a site visitor for the U.S. Department of Education, National Blue Ribbon School’s Program.
Gray is a father of two adult boys residing with their families in Colorado. Gray currently lives in Ridgefield, WA with his wife Jennifer.
Tonia Gebhart: Deputy Principal/Operations Manager
Tonia Gebhart joined the Web Academy in August of 2012. Mrs. Gebhart taught high school science at Cleveland High School, credit recovery at Gresham High School and at the Web Academy prior to receiving her administrator's license. She received her bachelor’s at Concordia University, majoring in biology with a concentration in pre-medical studies. She received her Master’s in Teaching and her administrative credentials from Concordia as well. Before embarking on her teaching career, Mrs. Gebhart worked in finance and accounting at U.S. Trust and U.S. Bank.
Christina Struyk-Bonn: Curriculum Director and InstrucTIONAL COACH
Subjects: High School Language Arts
Christina teaches WR 121, WR 122, ENG 104, Creative Writing, and Engaged Readers
Brief Bio: Christina has been teaching at MEWA since the beginning of the school and has been excited to see the changes each year. She is a writing enthusiast and loves teaching the writing classes. Creative writing is her passion and she has two published young adult novels: Whisper published in 2014 and Nice Girls Endure published in 2016. Currently she also works with the curriculum at MEWA and enjoys the new challenge that brings.
Hillary Radford: Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
Hillary was born and raised in Portland, OR with her two sisters, one of which is her identical twin.
She received her BS in Business Administration from the University of Oregon in 2005.
Hillary enjoys working with students, parents, and staff at the Web Academy and helping things run smoothly at the front desk.
Rachel Johnson: Front Office Manager
Rachel worked at Arata Creek School in Troutdale, OR. She graduated with a BS in History. In her off hours, Rachel enjoys going to the beach and the mountains, reading, cross stitching, hiking and camping.
Technology & Facilities
Scott Halley: Facilities Supervisor/ Technology Director
Scott comes to MEWA from the Gresham/Barlow School District with over 14 years of technology support experience. With Scott's bachelors degree in Business Administration from Concordia University, he brings a unique combination of technology and business skills. Scott is also the assistant head track and field coach at Gresham high school as well as a competitive javelin thrower, with state, national and world titles in the event.
Shelley Williamson: Custodian
Shelley joined MEWA in the fall of 2016. She worked at Providence Portland Hospital for 15 years before working with school districts. Her variety of skills and experiences have been invaluable to Metro East Web Academy. In her spare time she loves spending time at the beach, four daughters, two grandsons and attending concerts.
Jeff Cochran: School Counselor - Early College
I believe I will never be a finished product. I challenge myself to continuously explore my sense of self, my experiences of privilege, and my lived experiences. I believe in taking time to listen to student stories and through this act of listening creating a culture of respect. I believe technology should enhance learning and provide all students with access to a greater array of opportunities. I envision utilizing technology that engages students and increases student outcomes.
Denielle (Deni) Greene: Admissions Counselor
I have been with the Web Academy since 2012. I have worked as a school counselor in both the middle and high school level for the past 11 years. I have my Masters in Counseling Education from Sacramento State University with an Emphasis in School Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy.
Christeen Calhoun: Teacher, MEWA Testing Coordinator
Subjects: English/Language Arts, Health and electives.
Christeen has been with MEWA since its inception in 2009-10 and is an advocate for alternative education. She received her BA from the University of Oregon, and then completed her MAT at the University of Portland. At MEWA, she teaches English/Language Arts, Health, and various electives. Christeen is also the MEWA Testing Coordinator, and handles the assorted tasks associated with SBAC State Testing and our localized STAR360 tests.
Nicole Campbell: Teacher, GED, Coordinator of Special Programs
Subjects: Advanced High School Math, Parent Education, and All GED courses.
Nicole joined MEWA during the 2013-2014 school year as the full time GED instructor, and has since has become MEWA's primary HS math teacher. In 2016 she became MEWA's Coordinator of Special Programs where she handles various projects on campus throughout the school year. Nicole completed her Masters in Teaching from Western Oregon University in 2006, and since that time has dedicated her career to working with students in alternative education.
Jamie Dinsmoor: Teacher
Subjects: 6th, 7th, 8th grade science, biology and physical science.
Jamie Dinsmoor comes from 4 years of middle and high school teaching experience at several schools in New York City. She has a BA in Biology and a MS in Secondary education, both from New York University. She has taught 7th, 8th, Living Environment (Biology), Environmental Science and Nutrition. She plans to bring some of her fun hands on labs to MEWA and work on adapting these labs to be done from home or school. She also plans to get students working on long term design projects that help solve scientific problems!
Julie Norrander: Teacher
Subjects: Algebra 1, High School Physical Education, College Now Business Courses
Ms. Norrander joined MEWA in September of 2012 and she thoroughly enjoys the students at MEWA. She holds degrees from OSU, Pepperdine & Concordia with endorsements in: Integrated Science, Mathematics, Health, CTE in Business Administration, Marketing and Finance and Physical Education. In her spare time, Ms. Norrander enjoys spending time in the outdoors, biking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Elaine Powell-Ascroft: Teacher
Subjects: Art, Middle Social Studies, and Language Arts
Elaine joined Metro East Web Academy in 2013, but has been an educator for almost two decades. Along with teaching at MEWA, she teaches as adjunct faculty at the University of Portland in the Performing and Fine Arts department. Elaine is also an active artist in the community. Her MFA is in painting, but a lot of her art work is interdisciplinary and interactive focusing on the creative process and collaboration.
Darcy Soto: Teacher
Darcy Soto grew up in Troutdale, Oregon, and studied Spanish and Math at Portland State University. After graduating, she moved to Mexico where she lived for several years before returning to the Portland area to get a Master's in Education at Portland State University and beginning her teaching career. Ms. Soto has two children and is an avid runner and ice cream enthusiast.
John Ling: Teacher
Subjects: Middle School Math, PE/Health, and High School Science
John Ling joined MEWA for the 2015-2016 school year. This year, he will be teaching Middle School Math, PE & Health, High School Chemistry and Earth Science, plus some science electives.
Mr. Ling graduated from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!) in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education/Biology. He received his Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 2013 from Willamette University in Salem. Teaching is in his blood as his grandfather is a member of the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame after life-long service as a high school physics and chemistry teacher.
Madison Dahl: Teacher
Subjects: English, Psychology, book club
Ms. Dahl teaches Language Arts at Metro East Web Academy. She comes to MEWA from three years of teaching Language Arts at another web academy. In 2012, Ms. Dahl received a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Oregon and in 2014 she received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Oregon State University. Ms. Dahl completed a Master of Arts in English from Portland State University. In her free time, Ms. Dahl enjoys exploring Portland with her dog and playing video games.
Elizabeth Dowell: Teacher
Subjects: Anthropology, Economics, History, Government
Elizabeth Dowell joined the MEWA Humanities Department in 2017. She holds a Master’s in Education from Portland State University, as well as a Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology and Geography. In addition to her formal degrees, Ms. Dowell also gained a certificate in cartography from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, studied education at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and spent the summer of 2016 completing a fellowship at the University of Oxford for History, Society, and Politics. She often fills summers by working at camps or furthering her education abroad. In her free time, she engages in a number of indoor and outdoor hobbies ranging from comics and baking to rock climbing and archery. She is excited to be apart of the MEWA team!
Meralee Valenzuela: Elementary Coordinator/Teacher
Mrs. Valenzuela grew up in northeast Portland, attended University of Oregon and Portland State, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from University of Portland, and taught elementary school for 13 years in the Gresham-Barlow School District. She is married, and has an 11-year- old son and a 19-year-old stepson who is attending U of O. In addition, Mrs. Valenzuela enjoys reading, painting, meditation, playing piano, cooking, hiking, riding horses, history, genealogy and travel.
Jennifer Laber: Teacher MAP / GED English, Language Arts
Jenni joined MEWA during the 2015-2016 school year as an Educational Assistant, and, upon completion of her MAT at Western Oregon University in 2017, moved into her new role as a teacher for the MEWA Advantage Program and GED. She received her undergraduate degree from Portland State University in 2015. Before joining the MEWA family, Jenni worked in retail and restaurant management. Besides spending quality time at MEWA, she enjoys hiking, walking the beach, writing, and wrangling her three dogs and cat.
Nikki Albelo: Family Engagement Coordinator
Nikki joined MEWA in Spring of 2015. She received her Bachelors of Science from Oregon State University in Business Administration. She has volunteered in the field of education for over 10 years. She currently serves as the Family Engagement Coordinator, aiding student learning and providing support for parents and guardians. She enjoys spending time with her family and serving the Gresham community in a variety of roles.
Marlena Nunley: IT and Office Support Specialist
Mar grew up in Portland and started working at MEWA in January of 2017. She comes to MEWA with a vast background in office support including human resources, office management and accounting. Mar has been the Head Dance Coach at Reynolds High School for over 10 years. In her free time she enjoys camping, reading, dancing and going to the movies.