Dragon Tales (summer edition)

July 25, 2022

Spoiler Alert: Farewell and Welcome

Happy summer, da Vinci Families!

I hope you are enjoying these mostly sunny days in Portland. Our admin team has been preparing throughout the last month or so for the return of our students and staff. You may have heard through the grapevine that there are a few staff who have transitioned from da Vinci. As staff open the next chapter in their lives or career, we wish them the very best and hope they stop by da Vinci from time to time. Farewell (or see you later) to: Heather Mathewson, Kelda Van Patten, Liz Robbins and Maddie Staurseth.

Please help us welcome the following to da Vinci: Edin Cook, Kayci Murray, Nicole Accuardi, Shakyla Mosley and Shelby Anderson.

To learn more about our new staff joining our community, please read their introductions below (you can find departing staff goodbye messages below as well).

We are have a few more transitions coming, but we will announce them once things are more finalized.


Do you have experience on a non-profit board? Are you looking for ways to get involved? We are still seeking a President and Treasurer! Please contact davinciptsa@gmail.com or sbryan@pps.net if you are interested in any of the roles, or helping to get things rolling in the fall.


Principal Davis

Welcome to da Vinci

Edin Cook, Visual Art Teacher

Dear da Vinci Community,

My name is Edin Cook (she/her) and I am an activist, educator, artist, and community organizer. My work concentrates on creating action art for protests, direct actions, and social justice campaigns. I also love drawing, screenprinting, collage, and book making. Over the last three years, I have been teaching as a long-term visual art substitute in PPS and in each of my placements I have introduced climate justice centered projects to my students. I believe in creative action as a powerful tool for collective liberation and look forward to exploring its possibilities with da Vinci students. I am excited to now be a part of the da Vinci faculty as a visual art and health teacher. I feel grateful to have the opportunity to teach at a school where creativity and justice is centered. I hope you all have a wonderful summer and I look forward to meeting you when school begins!



Big picture

Kayci Murray, Instructional Specialist

Hello da Vinci Community,

I am Kayci Murray-Balto. I have been in education for more than 16 years. I started teaching at Dr. Martin Luther King School, worked in Boston Public Schools, as well as Harriet Tubman Middle School in PPS. My former co-teacher and I developed the academic intervention program at Tubman. I am enthusiastic about bringing an academic intervention program to da Vinci, and am excited to be a part of the da Vinci team. I have two young boys, and a passion for equity in education. I love working with middle schoolers, and am thrilled to continue the support of middle school learning.

I am looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Ms. Murray-Balto

Big picture

Nicole Accuardi, Drama Teacher (name sound familiar?! Yep! She is coming back to be with us!)

Introduction coming soon...
Big picture

Shakyla Mosley, Principal's Secretary

Hello da Vinci Families,

My name is Shakyla Mosley and I am former student of da Vinci. I was born and raised in Portland, Or. I have been a principal secretary for the last 4 years. My career at PPS started as a student years ago and now I'm apart of the workforce. I start working with Summer Scholars after graduating from Benson High School and then attended Spelman College for awhile, before returning home to Portland. Once back home, I started working as one of the secretaries at Cleveland before transferring to Ockley Green. I've been at Ockley Green for the last 3 years.

I am a mother of two. I'm also going to back to school at PCC in hopes of becoming a teacher in the next 4 to 5 years.

I look forward to working with everyone-- we are going to have a great school year!

Ms. Shakyla Mosley

Big picture

Shelby Anderson, Counselor

Hello da Vinci Middle School Community,

My name is Shelby Anderson (she/her) and I will be joining your school this Fall in the School Counseling Department. Last Summer (2021) I graduated from Lewis and Clark's Graduate School of Education in K-12 Counseling, and previously to da Vinci, I worked in the West Linn/Wilsonville school district, and the North Clackamas school district as a counselor.

I am married to my wonderful partner Nathan, and we both are pet parents to our cute cat Momo! In my free time I like to hangout with my friends, go to coffee shops, or stay at home and relax.

I truly look forward to getting to know all of you this coming school year, and I hope you have an amazing Summer!

See you in the Fall! - Shelby Anderson (School Counselor)

Big picture

da Vinci Farewells

Heather Mathewson, Departing Counselor

Hello daVinci families,

After much deliberation, I have decided to resign from PPS, and pursue becoming a professional counselor. My time at daVinci has been precious, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about my fellow educators and our students.

Thank you for your awesome support for our students and our programs. I have enjoyed meeting and working with many of you, and hope that your student continues to thrive at daVinci.

Happy summer!

Counselor Heather

Kelda Van Patten, Departing Art Teacher (temporary)

Dear da Vinci community,

This isn’t an easy announcement for me to make, but due to a chronic spine injury/disability, I will not be teaching next year. While I know this is a positive change for my health, it is also bittersweet. Thank you for the years of support, for allowing me to teach your kids, and for accepting me for the person that I am. It is now time for me to tackle a physical disability and learn how to manage and live with it, while hopefully working on my own art.

Thank you, and with love,


Liz Robbins, Departing Principal's Secretary

Dear da Vinci Friends and Families,

For those of you that do not know, I am about to embark on a new adventure in my career with Portland Public Schools and join the Office of Teaching and Learning. There are no words to express my gratitude to my da Vinci family. I will miss you all very much. I never imagined that I would be a part of this exceptional team when I was dropping my 6th grade daughter off for her first day of school many many years ago…..That being said, you are not rid of me completely as I expect to be backstage rounding up strays and herding the cats at the next da Vinci extravaganza.

Until we meet again,

Liz Robbins

Departing Principal's Secretary Admin Assistant

Maddie Staurseth, Departing Art Teacher

Maddie is off to a different school district! We wish her the very best.
22-23 Carpool List and Family Directory

Fill out this form if you want to add your name to the family directory. Your information is only shared with other folks who opt-in.