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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

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Meet the Teachers

 Lead 2’s Teacher 2015-2016: Jess Rivoli

Jess Rivoli has worked with children and youth of all ages through many different lenses.  Jess moved from Chicago, where she was born and raised, to Denver in pursuits of a degree in English at Colorado Christian University.  While in Denver, Jess fell in love with the outdoors and began to study Outdoor Leadership as a minor.  Jess learned how to rock climb, snowboard, backpack, paddle, and build an igloo!  While in college, Jess worked at numerous play cares, daycares, and summer camps for young kids, and even coached soccer to one year olds!  After graduating, Jess moved to Portland and worked as a Behavioral Youth Counselor before she realized she missed the outdoors and moved out to Salt Lake City to work as a Field Instructor at a Wilderness Therapy Program.  Recently Jess has worked as a Lead Instructor at a Wilderness Survival Summer Camp where she has discovered her true passion to teach young children about the world around them.

In her free time, Jess is a runner and a hiker, and tries to fit in an occasional trip to the river or the mountain with her husband whenever she can.  She loves to eat, cook, and read memoirs as well. 

Ask Jess about hiking around the Pacific Northwest, what to bring on your next camping trip, where to eat in Portland, and her past outdoor experiences!


 Lead M/W/F 3’s Teacher 2015-2016: Erin Dunlap

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest Erin has spent much of her life outdoors from playing sports to hiking, she loves all that Oregon has to offer. She began working for Portland Parks and Recreation in 2009 as a lifeguard after graduating from high school. She continued to work for PP&R’s Aquatics department for six years as a lifeguard, swim instructor, designated weekend supervisor, and assistant manager.  Erin graduated from Linfield College in 2013 with a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Policy. Since graduating she has worked for Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation as the Organic Education Program Lead for Luscher Farm and loved working with kids of all ages teaching them about gardening, nature and love of outdoors!

In her spare time, Erin can often be found hiking with friends, discovering new restaurants and coffee places, and spending time with family and her German Shepherd Bella. Erin is very excited to return to PP&R and combine her love for the environment with her educational background and work experience teaching for Sprout Academy!



Lead T/TH 3’s & Lead T/TH 4’s Teacher 2015-2016: Vicky Kelly

Coming into her first year at the Sprout Academy, Vicky is thrilled to be a part of our collaborative teaching team. An East Coast native, Vicky has been a Portland resident for just over a year and could not be happier with her cross-country move. She has developed a deep love for the Pacific Northwest, finding her passion for outdoor adventure always at her fingertips.

Vicky received her teaching degree in Elementary Education from Rowan University in New Jersey. She then taught kindergarten and first grade before moving to Oregon where she snagged a position with SWCC. Starting in our childcare center, then directing our Summer Sprouts camp in the community garden, Vicky is already well integrated in our community and is excited for her future with SWCC and the Sprout Academy.



Lead M/W/F 4’s Teacher 2015-2016: Kate Bernard

Kate was born in Portland and has worked with children at the Southwest Community Center for eight years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Portland and has experience student teaching in kindergarten, second, and third grades. Additionally, Kate completed post-baccalaureate studies in speech and hearing sciences in hopes of becoming a speech and language pathologist in the future. Many of you may recognize Kate from her many years in Childcare and Summer Safari Camp at SWCC. This past summer she also took on Summer Sprouts camp out in the Gabriel Community Garden teaching our 4 & 5 year old campers about gardening and Nature alongside another Sprout Teacher, Vicky Kelly!  In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, traveling, and cheering on the Portland Trail Blazers. Kate is very excited to share her love of teaching and the outdoors with the Sprout Academy.