Q & A: Introducing Lincoln’s new staff members

October 13, 2022

History teacher and debate coach: Benjamin Harrison

Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado and lived there until I was 18. I moved out here to go to Lewis and Clark College. 

Q: What made you want to become a teacher?

A: I always knew at some point I wanted to be a teacher. I did speech and debate in high school and then I ended up doing it in college as well. I worked office jobs for like five years out of college and it just wasn’t fulfilling. I kept thinking about how I really enjoy working with kids, so I went back and got my Master of Arts in Teaching.

Q: What were you doing directly before joining Lincoln?

A: I was a Portland Public Schools sub.

Q: Do you teach something other than debate?

A: I teach ninth grade US History: Ethnic Studies as well as an AVID class. I’m going to put a course description together to teach a speech and debate class next year if enough people sign up for it. 

Q: What were your first impressions of Lincoln?

A: That it was a pretty down to earth community despite its reputation for affluence. Everybody talks about Lincoln as the “private public school” but I was really impressed with the level of involvement that parents take in their kids’ academics and extracurriculars. 

Q: Is there anything else you want people to know about you/fun facts?

I love being outdoors, canoeing, backpacking and camping. My partner’s having our first child in about seven weeks.

Art teacher: Hope Ferns


Addison Locke

Hope Ferns

Q: Were you a teacher before joining Lincoln staff? If so, where? 

A: It’s my first official year teaching. I student taught at Lincoln last year with Ms. Lily and took over gradually as she went out on some leaves. I then got hired to join the school officially as a licensed educator this year. 

Q: What do you teach? 

A: I teach 2D Visual Arts: drawing, painting and printmaking. 

Q: How have you been enjoying the new Lincoln building? 

A: I really enjoy the space. I think it’s given everyone this energy I really can’t capture with words. Coming in compared to last year with covid and the building falling apart already. There were leaks in my classroom every week and it would ruin peoples’ artwork. In this space, I automatically feel more positive. There are some things we need to work out like accessibility issues, but I think it’s such an interesting and cool space. 

Q: What is your favorite part about teaching? 

A: My favorite part about teaching… It’s a one woman show which boosts my ego, but no, something about when students are excited about creating and they get this look in their eye or an “Aha” moment or something clicks. I just live for it. I wish I could bottle it up. Being able to share things I find interesting and learn as much from students as hopefully they learn from me. Art is such a fun, collaborative space. I’ll give you the tools, but you run with them. Seeing what people get to create and their growth throughout the year is really exciting. 

Physics teacher: William Hartley

Q: Were you a teacher before joining Lincoln Staff? If so, where? 

A: This is my first gig! I was a tutor during the pandemic. I taught online high school and undergrad math and science. Then I did one year of my masters program at PSU where I student taught at Lincoln last year. 

Q: What do you teach? 

A: I teach Physics. Freshman level and IB 1-2. 

Q: How are you liking the new building? 

A: It’s amazing. The school is beautiful. I love the space we have. There is so much space for everyone. Everyone can fit in their classrooms! I’m so happy we have it. 

Q: What is your favorite part about teaching? 

A: Probably getting to know the students and getting the feel for every different class. Kind of feeling out like okay, I have this one class and they are really active and energetic so I have to respond to that. I might have this other class that’s more thoughtful and they are deep thinkers so they may need more space to think. I need to be able to respond to their needs. I love feeling out the room and making the subject material fun for whatever class I might have. 

Theater Director: Tracie Talerico


Addison Locke

Tracie Talerico is the new Theatre Director and is teaching 6 different courses at Lincoln this year.

Q: Were you a teacher before joining Lincoln staff? If so, where? 

A: I am starting my 22nd year as a teacher. I started my teaching career in south Florida, until moving to Oregon in 2013. I have taught at La Salle in Milwaukee, before becoming a PPS teacher. I have also worked at Roosevelt High School (6 years) and Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School (2 years).

Q: What do you teach?

A: Currently, I teach Design Workshop, Advanced Design Workshop, Performance Exploration, Intermediate Theater, IB Theater, English 3/4, and AVID 12. I am also the director of Lincoln Theater. 

Q: How are you liking your new work environment? 

A: I am LOVING my new environment! I am so lucky to be able to work with my husband, Frank Talerico, and my two daughters, Aubrie, who is a 12th grader here at Lincoln, and Addison, who is a 9th grader at Lincoln. Not only is working in a beautiful and brand new building such a privilege, but the entire Lincoln community has been so welcoming and supportive! It has been a dream of mine to work at Lincoln for several years, and I am so excited and honored to be here.

Q: What is your favorite part about teaching? 

A: The kids, without a doubt! The reason why teaching is such a passion of mine is because I get to surround myself with incredible young people! Being able to have a small part in their development, as they transition into adulthood, is truly humbling. Building relationships and connections with students is what has motivated me to continue being an educator for over 20 years now. 

James Hewitt


Nidha Eakambaram

Former Netflix employee James Hewitt, starts at Lincoln.

Q: Where are you from? 

A: I was originally born in Hawaii and lived there for a while and then moved here and never looked back.

Q: Where were you before joining Lincoln? 

A: Before joining Lincoln, I was working for Netflix. I was doing a stop motion movie that’s produced by Jordan Peele, the same guy to get negative before Christmas.

Q:What is your job? 

A:Yeah, it’s this space. It’s kind of like a library. So it’s sort of a student resource and a resource to the teachers as well. So if there’s something that means students want to do or make that a crazy idea, come in, or work towards making it that includes electronics and 3d printing and laser cutting, and kind of everything in between and I help them do that. 

Q: What made you want to do this job?

A: It was something I always thought that I might want to do. But growing up, my parents and friends were always like, you want to be an artist? You’re never gonna make any money doing that. That’s a terrible idea. Unfortunately, I listened to them for a little while and thought “I’ve got to become a doctor and go into the medical field”. I started down that path and realized I was really unhappy. And I just wanted to be creating things and helping people create things. 

Q: Why did you decide to come here? 

A: I’ve been making a lot of things that unfortunately often end up in the dumpster because it’s for movies or for retail, and so it’s really fast timelines, gotta make it happen, and then at the end, all just kind of ends up as junk, which is really unfortunate. But I saw Lincoln as making less junk and making more lasting impressions upon the students. If there’s something you want to make, we can do it. You have the capabilities and it’s just a matter of learning the tools and learning the steps.

Q: What is your favorite part of Lincoln?

A: I’m stoked. So far, all the students and staff here are just wonderful. They’ve been so helpful in helping me learn the ropes. Also I’m really thankful that we’re in this amazing new space; it’s beautiful

Q: Fun facts? 

A: Like if anybody has any free time. Come on in. So it’s just this room that is open all the time during school as long as I’m here. The door is open.

Security guard: Von Eslava



Von Eslava joins Lincoln’s security team and covers all 6 floors.

Q: What is your job? 

A: My job is to ensure the safety of one student body and faculty. To just observe and report any suspicious things we see and make sure that the school is safe.

Q:Where are you from? 

A:I was born and raised in San Diego, California, and I lived there until last year. That’s when I moved up to Portland around the beginning of July in 2021. 

Q: Why did you decide to come here? 

A: Where I’m from, San Diego, is very expensive and it’s also very, very hot, and I lived there my whole life. I wanted a scene change. About five or six years ago, I was in a band, and I fell in love with Portland instantly. So pretty, so green and like everybody loves music and art up here.

Q: What were your first impressions? 

A: Lincoln is a very beautiful school, and everybody’s so nice around here. I wish I had three floors to cover instead of six, but it’s still so pretty. 

Q: What is your favorite part of Lincoln?

A: The favorite part is just meeting new students, and just being here, and being able to help them out at all times.

Q:Fun facts? 

A:I like to do wrestling, so I can’t wait for wrestling this year.

Vice Principal: Steven Pape

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from a bunch of places. I grew up in suburban Illinois outside of Chicago in a town called Schaumburg. I went to college in Washington, DC as far as I could think from home, and I’ve lived in city centers ever since. I lived in Portland from 1999 to 2005, Prague in the Czech Republic from 2005 to 2010, New Orleans from 2010 to 2016, then Portland again until the present. I most think of Portland as my current home and New Orleans as the place closest to my heart. My wife’s family is from there and I think of it as my adopted home, now distant.

Q: What is your job?

A: As VP, I’m involved in a lot of different aspects of school. I support teachers, specifically social studies and science, but also all teachers with instruction and the adoption of MYP. I am the AVID coordinator, supporting AVID teachers and students across their four years. I work with all 10th grade students for discipline, too. All in all, I hope to be a support and advocate for all students, their teachers, and their families.

Q: Where did you work before?

A: I taught at Lincoln six years ago (social studies and Academic Success). Prior to that I taught IB history and TOK at Southridge (in Beaverton), IB Economics and TOK at the International School of Prague and worked as a social studies teacher and VP at Willow Charter School in New Orleans. Over the past five years, I’ve been an assistant principal and, for one year, interim principal, at Catlin Gabel Middle School.

Q: Why did you choose to work at Lincoln?

A: I am really excited to return because of its history as a successful IB World School (I taught IB for 10 years) and at this moment when it is about to fully embrace MYP and in this new beautiful space.

Q: What are your first impressions of Lincoln?

A: The building is undeniably beautiful, but it was also a bit soulless until students and teachers arrived. It is much warmer and lived in now. The teachers are still brilliant and energetic. They seem to be enjoying the new building, too. There are too many students for me to know them yet, but many have been as welcoming  to me as the adults. Attending our first few games, the student body seems pretty spirited and energetic, too.

Q: Why did you choose to work in education?

A: My mom was a teacher, and I grew up liking school and my teachers and wanting to be like them. I haven’t always been good at school, middle school was particularly rough for me, but I have always enjoyed learning, especially in a social setting. As an adult, there is no better way I know of to continue in that love of learning than to work in schools.  I was always able to feed my curiosity by engaging with students in classrooms. Now as an administrator, I get to feed it by visiting peers and seeing and supporting them engage in their craft. As a result, I’m never bored at work, unlike most non-teachers I know, and every day offers new insights.

Speech-Language Pathologist: Nadia Magee


Nadia Magee

Nadia Magee is joining the Lincoln staff excited to work with high school students.

Q: What is your job?

A: I’m one of the two new Speech-Language Pathologists at Lincoln this year. I work with a wide variety of brilliant students on all things communication, writing, self-advocacy and executive functioning skills. I am on campus on Tuesdays and Fridays and can often be found in Ms. Edington’s classroom or in my office in the student center. The other days of the week I work at Jefferson High School.

Q: Where were you before joining Lincoln?

A: Last year, I worked with the speech-language pathologist at Grant High School for the entire school year while completing my graduate school internship through Portland State University Before that, I graduated with a degree in anthropology from UCLA and was a literacy interventionist, where I specialized in neurodivergent populations. 

Q: Why did you decide to come here?

A: After working with Ms. Barton, the former speech-language pathologist last year, I knew Lincoln High School was special and that the way I work with students would be a great match. I was so excited when I learned that I could join the team.

Q: What are your first impressions?

A:The students are awesome. The faculty is friendly and passionate, but there are so many stairs.

Q: What made you choose your job as your profession?

A: Speech-Language Pathology was ultimately where my personal interests aligned to, and I can spend my days with funny, creative people. High schoolers are some of the funniest funny and creative-est creative people I know. 

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