Born and raised in the Spokane Valley, I attended kindergarten through 12th grade in the Central Valley School District. I graduated with both my undergrad and graduate degrees from the University of Idaho. My teaching career began in Cathlamet, Washington as a Kindergarten teacher. I moved back to Spokane and started teaching at South Pines in 1999. I have taught every grade level K-5 and have been at 5th grade for the last 9 years.
I love spending time with my husband Mike, twins Nick and Norah (who will be in 5th grade at South Pines) and our golden retriever Nessie. My hobbies include baking, especially chocolate chip cookies, curling up with a really good book, and making crafts.
Hello! I am your SPACE kindergarten teacher – Terri Drexel. I have taught in the district for many, many years. I have been part of the Central Valley Community for many years. In fact, I even attended South pines when I was in 6th grade. I went to Bowdish, University H.S and then on to WSU. I have been married to my husband John for 34 years! I have four kids: Joel-28, Jake and Alex-23, and Kami-17. They all went to South Pines, too. I have 3 dogs: Sunny, Tucker and Riley. I love dogs. I am really looking forward to the new school year! It is going to be a great year at South Pines.
Hi, my name is Katie Swanson. I’m so excited to be joining the SPACE program! I received my teaching degree with an endorsement in Reading from Eastern Washington University. I have also earned my Master’s degree in Elementary Reading from Walden University. I taught for two years in Toppenish, WA, and then for 10 years in Post Falls, ID. Last year was my first year here at South Pines. Surprisingly, I have taught third grade for all of those years! My husband and I have two boys. Silas is 6 years old and Lincoln is 4. As a family, we love to hike and spend time at our cabin in the woods. I also love to read when I get a few quiet moments to myself.
Hello! Let me introduce myself. My name is Mrs. Gwen Meldrum. I have taught 3rd grade for the past 13 years at South Pines and I am excited to be joining S.P.A.C.E. to teach 4th grade! This will be my 22nd year of teaching. My career began on the western side of Washington. I taught 4th grade for many years before we moved to Spokane 13 years ago. In addition to teaching 4th grade, I have taught 5th and 6th grades, been an academic support teacher and a literacy coach. I was born in California, but since we moved to Washington when I was 3 ½, I consider myself a Washingtonian. When I graduated from high school in 1991, I moved to Pullman to study at Washington State University… GO COUGS!! I graduated in 1996 with my Bachelor’s Degree is in Child, Consumer and Family Studies. Along with my degree, I also earned my teaching certification to teach anything from Preschool all the way to Home and Family Life in high school.I have been married to my best friend, Aaron Meldrum, for 21 years. We have two wonderful boys. Zack is 16 and in 11th grade. Jake is 11 and in 6th grade. The fifth member of our family is a Shepherd-Beagle mutt named Sawyer. I love all of my boys VERY much… the dog included! I am looking forward to the year to come! We are going to have an All-Star year!
I graduated from Central Washington University where I received my teaching degree. I earned my Masters degree from Eastern Washington University. I have been teaching for 21 years, 19 here at South Pines. I have taught 1st, 3rd and now have the wonderful opportunity to teach 2nd grade. I enjoy teaching SPACE because of the home/school connection between families.I love spending time with my family. My daughter Ellie is 13 and going into the 8th grade, my son Carl turned 6 in August. Some activities I enjoy are camping, reading, and scrapbooking.
I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a BA in education accompanied with a reading endorsement and music minor. Currently, I am in the process of obtaining my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in Common Core leadership. This year will be my thirteenth year of teaching. I taught a year of preschool, subbed K-8, and this will be my eleventh year of teaching first grade. Teaching first grade has been such a joy. It is unlike any other year. The growth is tremendous, and it is so fun to be a part of their learning. Teaching is not only a job for me. It is also a hobby. I feel truly blessed to wake up every morning and go to a job I love!