Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Vernon Logo - ibVernon School

Every day, every child, a success!

2044 NE Killingsworth | Portland, OR 97211
Phone: (503) 916-6415 | Fax: (503) 916-2678

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News Alert

Vernon School Supply Lists


8:14am at NE 42nd and NE Emerson

8:16am at NE 42nd and NE Wygant

8:18am at NE 39th and NE Prescott

Dear Vernon Families,

I hope this letter finds you enjoying summer break.  Allow me to welcome you to the 2014-2015 school year.  This letter will give you the necessary information to help you prepare for the coming school year.

School will begin for 1st-8th grade students on Tuesday, September 2nd.  Kindergarten students will begin on Friday, September 5th.  Individual conferences will be scheduled for Kindergarten families to meet our Kindergarten Team, tour classrooms, and complete initial assessments before September 5th.  Classroom assignments will be communicated prior to the first day of school. Please call Teresa Walworth at 503-916-6415 and select option 2 to schedule your Kindergarten conference.  

We are excited to announce the addition of a Mandarin Chinese Teacher from China. This year Kindergarten and 1st grade will have exposure to Mandarin instruction and Middle School Students will be able to choose their International Baccalaureate Language B classes, either Mandarin or Spanish.

Community Care Day at Vernon

On Saturday, August 23rd, from 9:00-12:00 pm, join us as we make Vernon’s gardens and school grounds beautiful.  If you have any of the following items, please bring them with you: gloves, weeding tools, wheelbarrows, rakes, and water. This event is a great way to support Vernon and get to know families and staff before school even starts.

PTA Ice Cream Social

Our PTA will be hosting a Welcome Ice Cream Social. It is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27th at 4:00 p.m. at Alberta Park (directly across the street from Vernon).  All Vernon families are invited to attend.  This is a great opportunity to connect as a school community, visit with staff, and enjoy some free ice cream.

Building Access Before and After School

Use the Cafeteria entrance on the NE 22nd Avenue side of the building as our main entrance between 8:15-8:45 a.m.  The main entrance should be used to access the building during school hours.  Students may re-enter the building at 3:00 pm to go to SUN School through the Cafeteria entrance.

Parent Pick Up

Kindergarten     2:55 p.m.             Parents may wait in Gym for students to arrive.

3:00 p.m.             Dismissal- Students will be released to parents/guardians (or to a pre-designated person whom the parent has approved) in the Gym.

1st – 5th Grade    3:00 p.m.             Dismissal- Students will be escorted to the Playground where they will be dismissed.

Brothers, sisters and friends who are going to walk home together should arrange for a meeting spot outside the building where they can wait for one another.

6th – 8th Grade    3:05 p.m.             Dismissal- Students will go to lockers and exit out the ramp back door.


Parents who are picking up their 1st-8th grade students are asked to wait on the Playground for their arrival.

At 3:07 p.m., unmet students will be taken to the Office, and the family will be called.

Car Pick Up of Students

Please observe the no parking and bus only signs.  All car pick-up of students should take place on Emerson Street (directly behind the playground), rather than on Killingsworth Street due to safety reasons.  Your cooperation will help ensure the safety of all students.  Cars ignoring regulated signs may be ticketed by the Portland Police. 6

 School Visitors and Volunteers

Parents are welcome to visit their child’s classroom (24-hour notice is customary).  You are required to stop by the Office upon entering the building, sign-in and pick up a visitor’s badge.  You will be stopped by staff if you are not wearing a visitor’s badge.  If you wish to be a school volunteer, please contact the Office for information on how to register and follow proper district procedures.  Due to health and safety issues, pets from home are not allowed in the building.

Recess/Lunch Schedule
Kindergarten                          3rd/4th/5th                                        1st/2nd                                            6th/7th/8th

Recess- 10:55-11:10             Recess- 11:40-11:55                   Lunch- 10:55-11:20                  Lunch- 11:40-12:00

Lunch- 11:10-11:35               Lunch- 11:55-12:20                     Recess- 11:20-11:35                Recess- 12:00-12:20

PTA Kinder Parent Social

Welcome new parents!  Join the Vernon PTA for coffee and donuts in the Multipurpose Room on Friday, September 5th, after you drop your child off for his/her first day of Kindergarten.  Current Vernon parents will be there to welcome you and answer any questions you might have about the Vernon School community. We know the first day of Kindergarten is an exciting and sometimes emotional experience for both kids and parents.

YMCA Before/After School Care

The YMCA is in Portable 303, directly across from the play structure.  YMCA will also be using the Cafeteria when necessary.  If your student will attend the YMCA, please park at the gate entrance on NE Emerson for drop off and pick up. This will give you direct access to the classroom.  If you have questions regarding signing up for before or after school care, please call Dan Umbenhower at 503-327-0012.  

Back to School Paperwork

Please review your child’s “first day packet” envelope on the first day of school.  We include a registration form for you to update and other important information.  Please assist us by returning completed forms to school right away.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at 503-916-6415.


Tina Acker, Principal                                          Melissa Schachner, Assistant Principal


Welcome to our New Staff

I'm back and can't wait to reconnect!  My name is Gina Azzaro-Budak and I'll be teaching 4th grade.  Although this is my first year as a classroom teacher, I have a history working at Vernon.  Students and staff know me as Ms. Gina.  From 2002-2011, I coordinated Vernon's SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) Program.  Literacy continues to be my passion. Eventually I wanted my own classroom and took the next steps to get licensed.  I graduated from Concordia's MAT program in 2012.  I spent my practicum at Vernon in a 4/5 grade classroom with a fabulous mentor teacher, Ms. Schachner!  For the past 2 years I've been subbing in PPS with a concentration at Sabin K-8.  I'm originally from the Midwest but my family and I have lived in NE Portland for 25 years. My husband Martin and I have two boys who are PPS Japanese Magnate Program graduates. My eldest, Nick, just graduated from Whitman College with an Asian Studies major. He just left to teach English in Xi'an, China for a year at NW Polytechnical University.  Our youngest son, Vincent is a sophomore at Willamette University in Salem.  He is a vocal musician pursuing a communications degree.  I look forward to growing and learning with the Vernon Community.  Thanks for your support!

Ms. Gina, 4th Grade Teacher

My name is Elizabeth Docken and I am thrilled to be joining Vernon Elementary as the new Kindergarten teacher.  I have been teaching for eleven years at the elementary level, and absolutely love each and every day spent with students who are curious, creative, and eager to learn.  I have had the wonderful opportunity to teach locally, in Washington and Oregon, as well as in Hawaii and Japan.  While I grew up north of Seattle and have family scattered throughout the Northwest, I have been in Portland for three years now and this is home.  Outside of the classroom, I cherish my time with family and friends - sharing meals and telling stories.  I enjoy reading, walking, and playing games.  I am passionate about teaching and learning, especially guiding students to become readers, writers, and thinkers.  I am excited to be teaching Kindergarten here at Vernon!

Elizabeth Docken, Kindergarten Teacher

Greetings! My name is Dan Blumhardt and I am so happy to be a part of the team at Vernon School as the School Counselor! It is going to be fantastic working with the staff, students, families, and community here! The best part of my job is having the opportunity to partner with so great people towards the great goal of helping every student achieve success. As part of this team, I will give my best to collaborate with you, and provide the personal, social, emotional, academic, and career support needed for student success.  I grew up in the Midwest, but since coming to Oregon 13 years ago, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I received my Masters Degree in School Counseling from Portland State University, and have had many rewarding years of excellent opportunities to partner with parents, students, and the community in schools and non-profit organizations.

Dan Blumhardt, Counselor

Hello Vernon!! My name is Jennifer "JP" LeBoutillier. I go by JP and students call me Ms. JP.   I have been an EA at James John School for the past 2 years. I have two boys that attend 1st and 4th grades at James John. We are an active family. My husband, sons and I love exploring the natural areas of Oregon and Washington by canoe, by foot and by bike! In addition to raising my family and working for PPS, I am a volunteer METRO Naturalist, I have worked as a science instructor and programs manager for science museums and am a collector of rocks, nests, bones, plants and more! I am excited to join the Vernon Owls!

Ms. JP, Reading Educational Assistant

My name is Marie McMahon and I am excited to teach 4th grade! I grew up in Portland, Oregon and then decided to move to Minnesota for college. After graduating, I taught 4th grade in MN for two years.  I then decided I wanted to teach overseas, so I moved to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. I lived in Abu Dhabi for one year and taught 3rd grade in an American International School with an IB Program.  I love traveling, being outdoors, and staying active.  I loved my time overseas, but am enjoying being back in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where my family is. I am looking forward to being a part of the Vernon Community this year.

Marie McMahon, 4th Grade Teacher

Hello all! My name is Christina Curran (Ms. Curran) and I am very excited to become a part of the Vernon Elementary community. I originally hail from the the East Coast and received a Master's Degree in Special Education and English Education from Fordham University. Since then, I have worked as a resource room teacher for middle schoolers and a substitute teacher. I specialize in teaching and providing learning supports for Language Arts. For me, one of the best things about being an educator is having the ability to make the curriculum accessible and engaging for all students. 

In my free time, I like to exercise my duties as a recent transplant by exploring Portland by bike. I also love to read, spend time with my kitty, Cous Cous, find sunshine and cook vegetables. 

I look forward to teaching and learning with all of you during this upcoming school year! 

Christina Curran, Special Education Teacher

Hello Vernon School! I'm excited to be a part of Vernon and teach Art to the community. I have been an educator in PPS for the past 15 years teaching all grade levels 1st-8th grade including Art and Wellness. I plan on bringing in art instruction,  music, singing and movement into the classroom. When I'm not teaching, I spend lots of time in nature, hiking, dancing, singing and spending time with family. 

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

Ashley Collins, Art Teacher

My name is Matthew Thompson and I started to teach Physical Education in 2000. While I have experience that ranges from the k-10th grade level, most of my experience has been teaching 4th-8th graders. I also have a strong history in after-school programs and athletics as well.

I was born in Los Angeles and I was raised in Orange County, Ca. I relocated to the Great Northwest in 2012 and I am extremely excited to be a part of the Vernon community. As one of your child's educators I want to assure you that I will be working hard to ensure progress on many levels, which include physical, social, mental, as well as emotional. Your child will be safe, treated with respect, and challenged each and every day while in my class. With that said, we are also going to have tons of fun learning about ourselves, our classmates, and our future as we march towards not just graduation and college entrance, but as we march towards a more healthy & active lifestyle as well.

I hold a BS in Kinesiology, a Master's of Education with a focus on Cross-Cultural Education, and I am fully licensed to teach in Oregon. In addition to that, I am also a graduate student at Concordia University.

I love dogs, Mexican food, going to the beach, working in the yard at my house, collaborating with other educators, and I simply love new experiences and meeting new people as I make my way through life. I am not just a citizen of the Great Northwest, but I am a citizen of the world. I can't wait to get started and I can't wait to meet you on campus.

Matthew Thompson, PE Teacher

Hello, I am Andrea Dole Church, students call me Ms. DC. I grew up in NE Portland then attended the University of Oregon for my undergraduate degree and George Fox University for my Master of Arts in Teaching. I have been involved as an educator ever since, teaching middle school for a couple years, as a health educator at a medical clinic in Illinois, as a parent volunteer and art docent at my children's school, a substitute teacher and most recently a kindergarten Educational Assistant. I have three children; Dominic is in 8th grade, Jocelyn in 5th grade and Vincent in 4th grade. We moved to NE Portland from California three years ago and are truly loving being here. This summer we added a puppy named Juniper to our family. I look forward to working with the students at Vernon and continuing to grow as an educator as I complete my reading endorsement this school year.

Ms. Andrea Dole Church, Reading Educational Assistant

Additional Administrative Reminders

Vernon Communication Commitment

Parents and teachers collaborating is very important to us here at Vernon. We wanted to make you aware of the guidelines we are committed to complying with as a staff:

  • If a parent has a question or concern about class, we encourage you to contact your classroom teacher first.
  • Teachers will respond to your email, note or phone call within 24-48 hours.
  • Please check with teachers as to which method might be quicker for them to answer your communication and please make sure we have your updated information.
  • If you have a question or concern for the administration, we encourage you to call, email, or send a note and we will responsed within 48-72 hours, unless it is a matter of urgency.

School Goal: Great Attendance and Arriving to School on Time

Second Quarter and Fourth Quarter we will be using a Attendance Reward Program for K-5th grades. Each student that has perfect attendance and no tardies will receive a informational card about an animal from India. Students will also be entered into a weekly drawing for a stuffed animal. At the end of 9 weeks we will have a drawing for all students that have had perfect attendance for 9 weeks for large stuffed animals.

Just a quick repost of attendance reminders:

  • The 8:45 Bell. This is when instruction begins. Please make sure that your morning routine allows for plenty of time to get ready and to get here by 8:35.
  • We have Monday announcements right after the 8:45 bell rings. We will announce birthdays, weather reports, and Principal's drawings.  


Vernon School has adopted the Rotary's Guide to Relationships.

We use the 4 Way Test when making decisions.

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Vernon Calendar

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PPS District News

Year two summer work: on time, on budget

August 28, 2014

Bond-funded summer improvement work at 12 schools is being completed on time and on budget to welcome students back Sept. 2 to Arleta, Beach, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Chief Joseph K-3 Campus, Creston, Grout, Hosford, James John, King, Lane, Vernon and Woodlawn.


Help students who've left reconnect to school

August 26, 2014
Accelerating the increase in the graduation rate and getting all students to graduate prepared for college and career is a top priority for Superintendent Carole Smith. Now you can help. On Saturday Sept. 13 from 8:30 am to 1 pm, join PPS staff in visiting the homes of students who have left and help them Reconnect to Their Future. 

PPS greets more than 500 new educators

August 21, 2014

Portland Public Schools welcomed hundreds of new teachers Aug. 21 at New Teacher Orientation, where teachers met each other and district leaders and learned about everything from the Portland Association of Teachers to the student information system Synergy. 


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