ALE Teacher Updates

Michele Sakaguchi (grades 3-5)

Michele Sakaguchi began her teaching career at Summit K-12 school, at the time, the only alternative program in Seattle public schools. She moved to Whidbey Island and continued on the trajectory of teaching in alternative traditional settings, at Bayview High School, Skagit Valley College, South Whidbey Academy and South Whidbey Middle School. At the core, Michele’s teacher/mentor role is to ‘see’ each and every student, support them with respect, kindness and care. She strives to provide opportunities to draw forth each student’s potential and challenge them academically, implement “growth mindset” approaches to learning and to encourage critical thinking. She believes that community connections, stewardship and social emotional foundations are the key to a well-rounded education.
Nature and outdoor education is a passion of Michele’s life-long learning: during the summer and throughout the year, you may finder her out on the beaches monitoring Pigeon Guillemots, forage fish, dead birds, and teaching clam digging classes with her husband.

Andrew Fersch
Andrew Fersch (grades 1st-2nd and 6th-8th)
Andrew Fersch is a writer and a teacher and spends much of his time

happily out-of-doors. He is an avid proponent of public school
programming and also started an alternative education program called
The Penn Program (there is a documentary about it that you can watch
at He writes children's books, plays, and non-fiction
stories. He loves spending time outside (including having cycled cross
country and thru-hiked the AT & LT), especially when he is with his
family. He is also an avid yoga practitioner and is a certified yoga
teacher through a 500 hour program with Rolf Gates. His goal is to
follow the words of William Penn as best he can: "I expect to pass
through this life but once, if, therefore, there be any kindness I can
show, or any good thing I can do for any fellow being, let me do it
now, for I shall not pass this way again."

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