Our Staff

Kindergarten

Jordan Marciel

Kindergarten Teacher

I started my teaching career in 2015 at a preschool in Portland, where I discovered my love for educating young children. In 2017 I began student teaching in first grade in the David Douglas school district and finished my Masters degree in elementary education through Warner Pacific College. When I moved back to Central Oregon I became a substitute teacher for the Crook County school District where I was later blessed with the opportunity to teach Kindergarten at Barnes Butte elementary the past two years.

More about Mrs. Marciel

I grew up here in Prineville and live here with my husband, our two dogs and two cats. My husband works for the City of Prineville and we coach middle school basketball together. We enjoy cooking, movies, working out, being outside with our dogs, hunting, and camping. I also love to read, plant flowers, and I have a twin sister who teaches math at the Crook County high school. I love living and working in such a close-knit community.
Next year at Steins Pillar, I hope to share my love for learning, creativity, and laughter with my students and their families. I strive to provide a fun, safe, and communal space where all students feel valued and loved. I hope to form students that feel ready to take on challenges, learn from their mistakes, and create!

Ashley Smith

Kindergarten Teacher

I am a 2007 graduate of Crook County High School. After high school, I attended and graduated from Oregon State University where I majored in Elementary Education and Spanish. My husband and I moved back to Central Oregon after I graduated and I attended OSU-Cascades and received my MAT. When I graduated, I spent one year teaching pre-K, one year subbing and have spent the last 6 years teaching Kindergarten for the Crook County School District, back in my hometown!

More about Mrs. Smith
My husband and I have been married since 2011. We have two awesome kiddos, a son and daughter, that keep us on our toes. In addition, we have two dogs and a cat. We are so lucky to be in Prineville around both of our families.

In my free time, I really enjoy exercising; I am a part owner of the Jazzercise studio in town and have been an instructor for 5 years. I also really enjoy a good cup of coffee and a book, gardening, playing board games, paddleboarding and camping.

Next year at Steins Pillar I hope to create a positive community and culture with our staff, students and families. This is such an amazing opportunity to give a different kind of education to our students and meet everyone’s needs. We are all going to be learning so much together along the way and I am so excited for the ride!

First Grade

Katrina Cross

First Grade Teacher

I am proud to say that I am Crook County at my core. I graduated from CCHS, went on to get my Bachelor degree in Education from the University of Oregon, and then a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern Oregon University. As Steins Pillar Elementary opens I will begin my 18th year teaching in Crook County. I have taught kindergarten, 2nd grade, and I am happy to be adding 1st grade to my experiences this year.

More about Mrs. Cross
Family Life: The Cross Family 5! My husband and I have 3 beautiful daughters. Our oldest is out pursuing the world as a grown young lady, while the 2 younger and my husband and myself try our hand at a small hobby farm. We have a lot of fun with a few farm animals, and love the quiet successes of growing things and working hard.

Hobbies: In my rare free time I love to read, bake, work in the garden with flowers and vegetables, and be with my family in any capacity. I also LOVE to watch DUCK football!

Next year at Steins Pillar I hope to grow and help grow. It will be my goal to help my students, teammates, and families experience the best educational experience possible, in a caring and supportive environment where every child knows that they are important and able to learn at the highest levels.

Mrs. Thran

First Grade Teacher

Began teaching as an Educational Assistant in a Special Education classroom. Graduated from OSU Cascades Campus in 2018 with a Masters in Teaching. Have taught one year of kindergarten and one year of first grade in Jefferson County School District.
More about Mrs. Thran
I currently live in Redmond with my Husband Jake, and dog Remi. I love to be outside working in my garden, paddle boarding, or finding new hikes in central Oregon. In my free time I enjoy reading, exercising, and making yummy food!

It is my goal to share my passion for learning with the students and families of Steins Pillar and increase the amount of joy in the classroom. I strive to create a classroom family where each of my students feels empowered to do hard things and continuously grow!

Second Grade

Marissa Stafford

Second Grade Teacher

I am a 1997 high school graduate from Crook County High School. I attended Central Oregon Community College getting my general education credits and graduated with my Bachelor’s of Business from University of Phoenix. I also received my Master’s of Education through University of Phoenix. I taught one year at Sage Community School in Chiloquin, Oregon. I have been teaching 3rd grade for three years at Crooked River Elementary School, here in Prineville.
More about Mrs. Stafford
I have 3 wonderful children, one son and 2 daughters. We live in Prineville with our dog and kitties. We love living in Prineville next to my family.

We love to do everything outdoors, play sports, dance, ride horses. Things I love to do are read books, garden, enjoy the sunshine, snowmobile and golf!

My goal for Stein’s Pillar is to create a positive and loving learning environment. I am so excited to learn new strategies for teaching and am ready for the challenges it will bring. It’s going to be a wonderfully fun new year! I can’t wait to see the students.

Angie Cochran

Second Grade Teacher

As Steins Pillar opens, I will be entering my 16th year of teaching, all of those years with the Crook County School District. Over the years, I have taught grades K-4. I received a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Oregon University, and a MAT from Portland State University.
More about Mrs. Cochran
I grew up in Powell Butte, and am a Crook County graduate. I feel so lucky that I was able to come back to the place I went to school and have the opportunity to give back to our amazing community. I live in Prineville with my husband Ryan, and our two sons, Bodie and Kash.

Outside of school, I love to make candles. I am part owner of Twisted Wix Candle Co. I also like to root for the Crook County Cowboys & Cowgirls, attend our kids’ sporting events, and enjoy the outdoors in this beautiful place we live in whenever I can.

Next year at Steins Pillar I hope to instill in kids a love of learning and exploring new things and activities. My classroom is a safe place where we will have fun, make mistakes and learn from them, and work hard together. I always have an open door for families, and I love working together with parents to make sure your child gets the best educational experience they can have. We get to experience a new school and explore a new curriculum and I could not be more excited for the journey we are about to take together!

Third and Fourth Grade

Connor Lysne

Third Grade Teacher

Graduated from Western Oregon University with a degree in Education and a focus in Earth science in 2019. Taught one year at Barnes Butte Elementary in 4th grade.
More About Mr. Lysne
I grew up in the town of Lakeview, Oregon. I currently live with my sister who is a teacher at Barnes Butte Elementary. We drive to school together everyday and enjoy talking about how we can be better teachers!

In my free time I like to learn new skills or explore new places. Some of my hobbies include 3d wood carving, jewelry making, foundry work, rock hunting, programming, and hiking to name a few.

Next year at Steins Pillar I hope to create an environment where students see the connections between what we learn in the classroom and the real world. I want to create a place where creativity, adventure, and learning are all fused together!

Dr. Karl Topper

3/4 Blend Teacher

I am a perpetual student, having worked my way through a PhD as a scientist followed by obtaining my teacher licensure, and currently working on a principal licensure administration degree program. I was a university Professor within Environmental Science & Teacher Education, followed by teaching 1st – 8th graders at Colorado and Hawaii. For the past two years, I was an Instructional Coach at Douglas Ed. Services District supporting 13 school districts.
More about Dr. Topper
We lived in Bend for the past year, and just moved to a wonderful farm home in Redmond. My wife and I have two puppies whom we love to play with in our yard. I enjoy hiking, playing music (bass guitar), and sitting on the porch watching the sunset.

Next year at Steins Pillar, I hope to engage students with deep learning experiences based upon Place Based Education projects that allow us to grow and learn as we explore the local resources and community within Crook County.

Janelle Deedon

Fourth Grade Teacher

I am currently finishing my 21st year of teaching. During my time in the classroom I have taught many grades. I started teaching at a private school in Eugene where I taught 7th/8th grade all subjects, high school geography, girls PE, and elementary music. I then moved to kindergarten and fell in love with working with elementary students. I moved to Prineville in 2003 and feel very honored to be teaching in Crook County. While in Crook County I have taught K, 1, 2, 3, and 4. I went to Lane Community College, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Pacific University.

More about Mrs. Deedon
I was born and raised in Eugene and still love the rain! My husband and I are raising two amazing kids here in Prineville. As a family we love camping, fishing, watching a good movie, and just being together.

When I have a few extra minutes I love to craft and be creative. I enjoy playing trumpet with my son and listening to live music when possible. When we are able to get away I like taking family drives to explore our beautiful state.

I am so excited about our new adventure at Steins Pillar and the unique learning opportunity it will provide for the students. My goal is to provide a hands-on approach to learning centered around deep exploration. I am excited to share my passion for learning in a loving, safe, and fun classroom. I feel very fortunate to be part of this new experience.

Sped Teacher/Case Manager

Korrin VanDewalker

Korrin VanDewalker

Sped Teacher/Case Manager

Hello everyone!! I grew up here in Prineville, and am a graduate of CCHS.  I lived in the valley for 20+ years, and then moved back about a year ago to be closer to my family. I have 4 children ranging in age from 24 to 5, with my youngest attending kindergarten here at Steins.  I have a BA in Anthropology from OSU, and a MAT in Secondary Education with a reading endorsement from Willamette University.  I am currently working on my Master in Education in Special Education at Grand Canyon University.  I split my time between Steins and Pioneer Hybrid Learning campus.  I am excited to be a part of this new school, and am looking forward to getting to know the students!

More About Mrs. VanDewalker

Art 

Katie Kraus

Art Teacher

Over the last 20 years I have loved teaching a wide variety of art classes and summer art camps in the U.S. and internationally. In 1999 I graduated from high school in a rural Northern California town much like Prineville, called Etna. I attended Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo, Ca where I went to school for Early Childhood Education and taught Pre-school for many years. In 2004, I had a one-of-a-kind opportunity to work for the Dougherty Art Center, a non-profit summer art school and Fine Art Pre-school in Austin, Texas. It was during the years that followed that I realized teaching art to kids was my true passion and I decided to go back to school for Art Ed. I graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2011 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a Concentration in Art History and Criticism and a Minor in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design. I am now looking forward to Completing my Masters in Teaching (with K-12 Art Endorsement).
More About Mrs. Kraus
My husband and I moved to Prineville close to 7 years ago to take over a local insurance agency, when our daughter Ellie was just a few months old. Two years later we welcomed our son, Quinn. We cannot picture a better place to live and raise our family. We are very proud to call Crook County our home.

I enjoy making jewelry, watercolor painting, arranging flowers, snuggling my kitties, and thrift shopping for treasures. I also LOVE living room dance parties!

I am so excited to create a fun and magical art room that students look forward to learning in every day. I am most looking forward to meeting my students, developing relationships, and filling my room with joy and energy! I hope to create a welcoming and inspiring art education experience that is intertwined with our school mission, classroom storylines, and quests.

Speech and Language Pathologist

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Allison Phillips

Speech and Language Pathologist

School Counselor

Darla Fletcher

Darla Fletcher

School Counselor

Hello! I am Ms. Darla

I am a mother to three beautiful daughters, a step-parent of two, and a foster parent of three. I also have one amazing granddaughter and six bonus grandchildren.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and going for hikes. I especially love listening to all types of music and going to the beach, as the beach is my happy place.

I graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development, with a minor in Psychology. In 2017 I graduated from Oregon State University with a Master’s degree in Counseling and I am currently working to obtain my license for clinical mental health (LPC).

As your school counselor, I am here to help students, families, and staff work on skills that will help you become resilient so you can pursue all of your dreams.

 

Office of Administration

Jim Bates

Principal

I am so excited to be your principal at Steins Pillar Elementary.  This is my twenty-fifth year with Crook County Schools.  I’ve been privileged to teach at Ochoco Elementary, Paulina Elementary,  and Crooked River Elementary.  I was Principal at Cecil Sly Elementary for eight years and then at Barnes Butte Elementary for five years.  The best part of my job is watching students grow up and enjoy seeing them as successful citizens years later.

More about Mr. Bates
My wife is a teacher too. We have four adult children and a grandchild on the way. All of our kids graduated Crook County High School and they are very successful thanks to their teachers and our community who shared in raising them. I love Prineville and enjoy being a part of this magical place.

I’ve been riding back-country Oregon on my motorcycle for eleven years with good friends. If I’m not on a dusty trail, my wife and I are in the RV with our dog Juno out camping along the river or forest. I also enjoy fly fishing, reading, gardening and cooking on the smoker grill.

Opening the Steins Pillar Elementary school means a lot to me. I want to be a part of offering a place where students, parents and community members work together to construct a modern learner through adventure, art and technology.

Sarah Klann

Academic Coach
I am proud to serve as an academic coach for the Crook County School District. I am currently in my 19th year of education. I’ve taught first and third grades, served as a University Supervisor for OSU Cascades students, and I also taught elementary methods courses for OSU Cascades. I graduated from Bend High School and earned my undergraduate degree at Linfield College and master’s degree through Eastern Oregon.
More about Mrs. Klann
Our family of four live on a small hobby farm in Prineville. Our farm is called Prineville Honey Bee Haven. The menagerie of animals we care for includes cattle, horses, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, dogs, cats, and of course our beloved honey bees.

I am a pollinator advocate and cherish the time I get to spend in our large garden. I love playing games with our two beautiful children, reading books, and adventuring in our motorhome whenever we can sneak away from the farm.

Next year at Steins Pillar I hope to help create a one of a kind theme school. I am eager to establish our Steins family and I am honored to be involved in helping to construct a community of modern learners.

Kim W

Kim Waetjen

Secretary

Lisa Johnson

Lead Secretary

Custodians

Don Hammond

Building Engineer I

Jennifer Steele

Custodian

Cafeteria and Instructional Assistant

Jenny Cholin

Lead Cafeteria

Lyn Williams

Instructional Assistant II

Sheilah Fairless-Bafus

Instructional Assistant II

Jeannine Countryman

Instructional Assistant II