Meet our Teachers | The Homestead Schoolhouse

Meet our Teachers

Keli_HomesteadKeli Cronen, Director/Head Teacher

I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to pursue my life’s work – directing my very own preschool. With more than a decade of experience teaching in a variety of institutions, including Montessori, home and public schools, I have developed techniques that paramount LOVE FOR LEARNING.  I believe that all aspects of education must be nurtured together to help children create a foundation for life-long learning in all phases of their lives. Children at the Homestead Schoolhouse will be engaged in their education – And, based on years of experience and observation, this will benefit their long-term growth and LOVE FOR LEARNING.

I am a graduate of Portland State University, where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Teaching.  I have managed a home-school preschool, and taught at Montessori and several elementary schools in the North Clackamas School District.  An avid traveler, my husband Kiley and I spent a few months in South Asia, including long stints in Japan and Thailand. Together we have our son Sims and twin boys, Lane and Cole, who brings immeasurable joy to our lives. Our Chocolate Lab, Marci, is a lot of fun, too, and will make several appearances at The Homestead.

I am eager to welcome new families to The Homestead Schoolhouse and make life-long friends along the way.  Give us call and see how The Homestead can set a holistic educational foundation for your child’s scholastic life.

Amy_HomesteadAmy Lawrence, Head Teacher

I am delighted to be able to work at The Homestead Schoohouse!  Miss Keli and I grew up together as close cousins and it is so wonderful for us both to be working together, and we clearly make a great team.  I love working with kids and have been doing so for most of my life.

The past seven years I have managed an educational in-home daycare taking care of kids of all ages.  It has been fun for me to be able to take them on  local field trips, to the pool, park and the library.

I am a mother of three, and my two teenage girls keep me very busy with their extracurricular activities.  My husband, David, and I enjoy going to football games to watch them cheer.  We have a son, Jackson, who also keeps us busy.  Jackson attended the Homestead Schoolhouse and I feel fortunate that I was able to watch him grow in a learning environment and social atmosphere.

As a family, we enjoy camping and swimming together.  We also look forward to our summer annual trip to Lake Tahoe to visit extended family.  I think family is the most important foundation in a child’s life and our best times are spent together just enjoying each other’s company.

Being at The Homestead has made me realize that I have a real passion for preschool-aged kids.  I enjoy watching them learn and it makes me so proud to be a part of their education.  I look forward to grow as an educator and I am excited about my future at The Homestead.

Ms. Brittnie, Head Teacher

I have always had a deep love for children, being able to watch and encourage their creativity and learning. There’s something so special about seeing a child meet a friend or learn something new. I have worked for many years with children in different forms. Starting as a full time nanny with preschool curriculum intertwined. From there I become the Pre-K teacher at a learning center in Sellwood for several years. After that I moved over to the wonderful Homestead Schoolhouse. I absolutely love being a part of the Homestead Team. It’s been such a joy working alongside Keli and Amy for the past couple of years as well as the rest of the team. The learning environment that is provided at the Homestead is exactly the type of place I always envisioned teaching at.
In my free time, I like to travel with my husband, Tim, or take our cute pup, Barry, on walks. We are big foodies as well, and are constantly trying to work our way through Portland’s broad and amazing food scene.
I believe that by providing a classroom environment filled with stability, nurture, and curiosity students will be encouraged to build friendships and learn both individually and as a community. I believe that is something we achieve that the Homestead!

Ms. Karina, Teacher/Spanish Teacher

I’m Karina Morales, originally from Mexico City.  I went to “INSTITUTO DE ESTUDIOS CONTABLES Y ADMINISTRATIVOS” in Mexico City, where I received a bachelors degree in Administration and a Diploma in counseling.  I was working for an elementary school as an administrator and a counselor for 8 years in my country.  I moved in 2008 to Alaska and then to Portland.  I recently (2018) earned my associates degree in Child Development at Mount Hood Community College.

My first job in both Alaska and Portland, was nannying for young children.  I also taught Spanish as a volunteer to adults and then I began working as a Spanish teacher in public and private schools.

My opportunity to work in Homestead Schoolhouse came in 2017 when Kiley and Keli invited me to be part of their great team.  With all my heart and best disposition to do and give my best, I said yes, and that is how this great commitment began.  I work as a teacher at The Homestead Annex with the 2.5-3 & the 3-4 year old classes.  I also teach Spanish classes to our 4-5 year olds every week.

My husband and I like to serve in our catholic church on Sundays.   We enjoy hiking and having fun every summer with my two step children.

My goal is to continue to improve my English and continue learning how to become a better educator.

I believe that children are the best teachers, I love to learn from them.

Ms. Katie, Teaching Assistant

I am ecstatic that I’ve been given the opportunity to become a part of the Homestead Family!

I have lived in the Woodstock neighborhood my whole life. Growing up, my family owned a business on Woodstock, and I became a part of the community at a young age. Throughout my teenage years I stayed busy working at some of the local businesses. After working in childcare for the past 5 years, as a Preschool teacher and nanny, I’ve realized that my passion is working with young children. I’ve been around kids most of my life, spending a lot of time helping my sister raise her five children.

I love the preschool age the most, and enjoy building special connections! Preparing them for kindergarten and watching them graduate is so incredibly rewarding.

My husband, Nick, and I got married just four years ago! Together we have a son, Ryland, who is 3 years old and attends The Homestead Annex. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially in the outdoors. I love going to farmers markets and trying new restaurants. As a family, one of our most valued traditions is going to our family cabin in Washington.

Ms. Hien, Teaching Assistant

I grew up in Vietnam and moved to Oregon in 2012.  I work as an assistant teacher at the Homestead Annex with the 2.5-3 year olds.  I enjoy reading books with the children and playing with them in the classroom and outside on recess.

When I moved to Oregon, I decided to pursue my education career.  I volunteered in the Portland Public School Head Start Program, while going to school.  In 2017, I completed my ESL degree and then graduated with my CDA in 2018.  I’m married and have three children, two girls (ages 8 and 5) and a 2-year old boy

Ms. Marley, Teaching Assistant

I was born and raised in Oregon, though I’ve traveled all over.  I feel lucky to work for The Homestead School, as it feels like family.  I am currently working on my BS in Human Development and Family Sciences online at OSU.  I plan to finish my BS in winter 2020, and continue on with my masters degree in either elementary education or school counseling.  I grew up as the oldest child in my family and have been babysitting since I was 12.  I have nannied children from ages 0-15 and was a part time nanny, a summer camp nanny, and an exchange program nanny.  I have always enjoyed working with children.  They are filled with so much joy and passion.  I love to watch them grow and learn new things.  I also have a passion for travel.  I love learning about different cultures and trying new things.  Hiking, soccer, and other sports are very important to me.  I now love Skiing and climbing too!  Working at the schoolhouse has given me so much opportunity and inspired my path of continued education.

Mr. Bjorn, Music Teacher

Bjorn Rowberg is from Washington State, and moved to Portland upon finishing his masters degree in Arizona. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Central Washington University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Arizona both in piano performance.
In 2007, Bjorn was accepted to the prestigious Chautauqua Summer Music Festival in Chautauqua, New York where he performed Beethoven’s first piano concerto. While living in Washington, Bjorn accompanied several state Solo/Ensemble vocalist winners, performed annually at the Leavenworth Piano Festival, was the piano professor at Wenatchee Valley College, was the Music Director for a Concert for a Hate-Free World, and took 2nd place at the Washington State MTNA collegiate piano competition. Bjorn continues to have a rewarding career teaching private students, accompanying choirs and soloists.
Bjorn has been teaching music at Homestead for the past three years.
During his free time, Bjorn enjoys exercising, trying new ethnic cuisine, and watching his favorite sports teams, the Mariners and Seahawks.