Welcome to Cathedral School

Mrs Amy Biggs Principal of private elementary schoolThis fall, we are proud to continue our designation as an Apple Distinguished School through 2022. Cathedral School is one of less than 470 schools that Apple is recognizing nationwide as exemplary learning environments and centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for schools that have demonstrated Apple’s highest vision of a successful 21st century learning environment. The selection of Cathedral School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our successes in enhancing and extending teaching and learning with thoughtful and innovative implementations of technology.

Schools nominated by Apple for designation as an Apple Distinguished School must demonstrate Apple’s highest vision of a successful 21st century learning environment, a strong relationship with Apple, and a willingness to do outreach activities. The specific manifestations of these qualities include:

  • Visionary Leadership
  • One-to-one access to Apple portable computers and/or mobile devices for all students, teachers and administrators
  • Ongoing professional development
  • Systems to routinely collect quantitative evidence highlighting the success and sustainability of their academic programs.

We have a busy year ahead and I feel so fortunate to have a collaborative team on board to help provide the very best Catholic education for your children. We value your participation as parents, parishioners, alumni, and donors, and are grateful for your support.
Thank you to the staff, parents, and students of Cathedral School. It is because of the tremendous talent we have on staff, the quality and character of our students and parents that Cathedral School was able to receive this distinction.

Mrs. Amy Biggs, Principal


A ten-year journey of faith, knowledge, and service begins in Cathedral’s Pre-Kindergarten. Pre-K establishes a solid foundation that will lead to a positive educational experience for years to come. The goal is to create a respectful, responsible, and safe classroom and school environment where all students can learn and play together as followers of Jesus.

In the Pre-K class, God blesses the children with the gift of time: time to learn, time to play, and time to grow. The day is tailored to excite the seeds of knowledge in the children and carefully crafted to nurture the gifts and talents that each child possesses. Beginning literary and mathematics skills are cultivated through engaging projects done both individually and in groups and children are introduced to science, art, music, and Spanish programs through fun interactive experiences. Finally, these individual children are brought together to form a community. Through prayer and play, laughter and sharing, they (along with their parents) create friendships to carry them through their years at Cathedral.

For our youngest students, service begins with an understanding of fellow students as children of God, who deserve respect and compassion. Students are acknowledged and rewarded for everyday acts of service to fellow classmates and teachers. Within the greater school community, the Pre-K students are introduced to and come to understand the variety of service projects organized by higher grades through their active participation in the collection and donation of food and other needed items for charitable organizations throughout the community.


Ms. Joanne Cavill, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Joanne Cavill is a graduate of Portland State University, where she received her B.S in Sociology. She also attended Southern Oregon University and received her Elementary Education Credential. Ms. Cavill, who joined the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2017 has been an Early Childhood Educator for 22 years and is very excited to teach at Cathedral. She enjoys spending time with her four daughters and large extended family, especially if it is playing outdoors.

Ms. Fernanda De Clercq, Instructional Assistant

A native of Belgium, Ms. De Clercq first came to Oregon as a college student, graduating from Reed College with a degree in Political Science. She earned her Postbaccalaureate in Accounting from Portland State University. Ms. De Clercq spent five years working as a Financial Analyst before taking a career break to raise her five daughters. She joined the Cathedral School staff in 2013, spending seven years as the school receptionist before joining Ms. Cavill in the Pre-Kindergarten classroom in the fall of 2020. Ms. De Clercq enjoys spending time with her daughters and painting icons.


God’s creation and the appreciation of each child as a unique and special part of His Creation form the basis for every aspect of a Kindergartener’s day. Children learn to pray and participate in prayer in many forms: as a class, with their 8th Grade buddies, and as individuals. Kindergarteners begin to learn to look beyond themselves (and toward others in God’s creation) by serving children both in daily interactions within their classroom as well as community projects focusing on homeless children.

As the kindergarteners leap into an all-day learning environment, the foundation for future academic success begins with a focus on the routine and expectations of a typical school day and by instilling a sense of personal responsibility to carry students through their academic career. The fundamentals of literacy and mathematical skills are developed through varied methods including whole group, small group, and one-on-one; allowing individual students to learn and grow at their own pace. All the while, Cathedral’s kindergarten is a fun-filled learning space where smiles and giggles abound as children develop new friendships through play and cooperative learning.

As service is an attribute often best cultivated by example, kindergarteners work side-by-side with their 8th Grade Buddies on the annual Cathedral school-wide sock project that benefits Potluck in the Park. The kindergarten class then, on its own, decorates and fills sacks with toys, candy, hats, and gloves for the children served by the Potluck in the Park program.

Kate Gobel, Cathedral School Private Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Kate Gobel, Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Gobel has been teaching Kindergarten at Cathedral School since 2004. Before coming to Cathedral, she taught Kindergarten at Mitch Charter School in Tigard, Oregon. Mrs. Gobel received her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Stonehill College and her Masters of Education from the University of Portland. Outside of Cathedral, Mrs. Gobel enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and two children.

Cathedral School Private Elementary School Kindergarten Instructional Assistant

Ms. Stacy Murphy, Instructional Assistant

Ms. Murphy joined the Cathedral School staff in December of 2013. She came to us from the North Thurston School District in Lacey, WA, where she worked for 13 years as a Behavior Assistant and Para-Educator. Ms. Murphy works full time in the Kindergarten classroom, in addition to her duties in the Extended Care program as both an After Care provider and the Extended Care Director.

First Grade

In First Grade, children learn that they are all part of one family, God’s family. The Golden Rule is paramount in behavioral management and peer relations. The basics of Catholicism are taught and throughout the year, a commitment to service: to parish, school and community, is cultivated.

First Grade builds a firm and broad foundation of literacy proficiency in Cathedral Students. Students’ reading and writing skills are individually developed and fostered within a backdrop of different thematic curricula that engage the children throughout the year. First Grade recognizes and appreciates the uniqueness of each six and seven-year-old in the class as they make the transition to a more structured academic environment and seeks to instill a sense of personal responsibility while nurturing each child’s love of learning.

In First Grade, service takes form in an age-appropriate manner to instill a sense of commitment in everyday actions by helping others. First Graders serve the parish through monthly church clean up activities. While tidying the pews and picking up trash, the children are also instructed on the architecture, history, and religious art within the sanctuary. Children in First Grade serve the community along with their Fifth Grade Buddies by gathering and assembling Easter Baskets of stuffed animals and candy for Cares NW, a local agency that strives to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Mrs. Hanna Gonzalez, First Grade Teacher

Mrs. Hanna Gonzalez is a 2019 graduate of the University of Portland. She completed her student teaching in kindergarten at Alameda Elementary School.  Mrs. Gonzalez taught K-8 Health and PE at Holy Family Catholic School during the 2019-2020 school year before joining the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2020. She is extremely excited to join our Cathedral School community.

Mrs. Molly Campbell, Instructional Assistant

Mrs. Molly Campbell joined the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2019. Mrs. Campbell comes to Cathedral School with many years experience at Cornerstone Christian and the Evergreen School District. She is the mother of two children, and in her spare time enjoys outdoor pursuits including paddle boarding, skiing, and camping.

Second Grade

Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist are the centerpiece of Second Grade at Cathedral School. Together with St. Mary’s Cathedral’s pastor and Cathedral’s principal, the second grade teacher guides the students and their families on a year–long journey of faith as the children become more fully initiated Catholics.

Second Grade challenges its students to think on a deeper level as readers transition from learning to read, to reading to learn. Writing skills are strengthened as these young authors begin to understand the process of crafting a piece of writing and the different forms it may take. This enhanced level of reflection spills over into mathematics where increasingly complex strategies are coupled with tasks that require students to write to explain the steps employed in problem solving. Throughout the year, new friendships are formed and existing ones strengthened in an atmosphere of respect, compassion, and fun both in the classroom and on the playground.

Together with their Sixth Grade buddies, the Second Grade organizes and runs the “Mac Attack,” a macaroni and cheese drive for the Sunshine Division of the Portland Police Bureau. Collecting boxes of macaroni and cheese, Mac Attack helps children in need of food throughout Portland. The Second and Sixth Graders decorate boxes, make signs, and publicize the event to the school. The drive is in May, right after First Communion, and provides a fun and spirited way for Second Graders to put faith into service in a tangible and productive way.

Just like in First Grade, the Second Graders continue to serve the parish through monthly church clean up sessions. As they prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist, time in the sanctuary is an opportunity to begin to understand the purpose and symbolism of the many holy objects within the church that relate to the sacraments.

Miss Megan McCool, Second Grade Teacher

Miss McCool has been teaching Second Grade at Cathedral School since the fall of 2018. She is herself the product of Catholic education, having attended St. Pius X and Jesuit High School. She received her Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University and her Masters of Art in Teaching from the University of Portland. She loves working with her students in the Second Grade classroom!

Mrs. Sally Butzer, Instructional Assistant

Mrs. Butzer joined the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2021. She was born and raised in Portland, and now resides in Beaverton with her husband and Golden Retriever, Brookie. Mrs. Butzer has worked in the Archdiocese for the last 15 years, including 12 years at St. Cecilia School as an Instructional Assistant in the Kindergarten classroom. Prior to that she was an Executive Assistant in the high tech industry. She loves working with children, and her best reward is seeing the light bulb come on when they understand a new concept. Mrs. Butzer is very excited to join the Cathedral community!

Third Grade

Learning to pray in many ways–in the classroom, at mass, and on one’s own–and understanding the purpose, meaning, and symbolism of the many forms of Catholic prayer is the focus of Third Grade. The Third Grade lives out its faith through its commitment to serving the remarkable children at Providence’s Center for Medically Fragile Children.

Third grade is a transitional year in student learning. As reading skills are mastered, children move from basic competence to a greater level of reading comprehension, fostering the creation of independent readers and thinkers. In mathematics, students become proficient in multiplication and division skills setting a strong foundation in basic math facts to allow for future growth. The joy of learning is evident in the Third Grade classroom where enthusiasm for academic success and a healthy amount of fun come together for a full and active school day.

For many years, Cathedral’s third graders have served Providence’s Center for Medically Fragile Children, a pediatric skilled nursing facility. For many children and volunteer parents, this experience is transformative. Cathedral students visit and play with children at the center with a backdrop of faith—beginning and ending each volunteer session in prayer. Students take away from their sessions an understanding of all children as creations of God, an appreciation of the value of every person, thanksgiving for one’s personal health, and a greater self-awareness of their ability to be comfortable with children different from themselves. These lessons extend beyond the Providence volunteer times and make Third Grade time a time of great personal growth and maturity.

Back in the parish, Third Graders continue to serve St. Mary’s Cathedral through church clean up which couples service with religious education through a behind the scenes understanding of the sanctuary as a place of worship.

Cathedral School Third Grade Teacher

Mrs. Ingrid Trachtenbarg, Third Grade Teacher

Mrs. Trachtenbarg has been teaching at Cathedral School since 2005. Prior to moving to the Third Grade position in 2012, She was the Kindergarten through Eighth Grade Spanish Specialist. Before joining the Cathedral Staff, Mrs. Trachtenbarg taught at Heritage Academy in Hilton head, South Carolina. Mrs. Trachtenbarg received her Bachelors of Arts in Modern Languages and Literature from Sweet Briar College and her Masters of Education from the University of Portland. Outside of Cathedral, Mrs. Trachtenbarg loves exploring the outdoors and spending time with her husband and twin boys.

Miss Madison Dodson, Instructional Assistant

Miss Madison Dodson joined the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2020. A Montana native, Miss Dodson graduated in May 2020 from Montana State University with a degree in Psychology. She plans to continue her education and pursue her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Therapy. Her recent move to Oregon allows her to continue to pursue her love of the outdoors in a new setting.

Fourth Grade

Fourth Graders take a step up literally and academically at Cathedral. As these students move to the upper floor of our school building, the Fourth Grade curriculum becomes more complex and organization and personal responsibility for completion of schoolwork is instilled in the students. As citizens of Oregon, Fourth Graders focus on Oregon’s geography, history, and political structure. Carefully planned field trips throughout the state to significant sites are capped off with an overnight camp-out at the Oregon Trail where students learn first–hand how the state’s pioneers first lived.

The Fourth Grade core curriculum builds on knowledge gained in earlier grades and moves students into an increasingly comprehensive and rigorous academic study, all the while assessing each child’s abilities and crafting individual goals for mathematics, reading, and writing personally designed for every child to thrive.

In Fourth Grade, students volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank. Students and volunteer parents work together in groups to gather, assemble, and package food for needy families throughout the state. At the end of each volunteer session, the impact of the task is made clear through calculations that tell children how many meals will be prepared and families that will be fed by their efforts.

Within the school building, Fourth Graders have-for the first time as Cathedral students-a buddy who is younger: every Fourth Grader is matched with a Pre-Kindergarten student. Together these pairs attend Mass, complete special seasonal projects, and participate together in all-school events where the youngest Cathedral students need a helping hand. Through this interaction, compassion, understanding, and empathy are fostered while the fourth graders relish the companionship of an eager, admiring four-year-old student.

Ms. Lauren Anneberg, Fourth Grade Teacher

Ms. Anneberg joined the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2019. She is a graduate of the University of Portland and taught third grade at St. Rose in Longview, Washington for three years prior to joining Cathedral School. Ms. Anneberg comes to us with a strong background in teaching and learning at a Catholic School.

Mrs. Tracy Niedermeyer, Instructional Assistant

Mrs Niedermeyer has been a part of the Cathedral Community as a parent since 1997, and joined the school staff in 2005 as an instructional assistant. After several years in the position of Development Coordinator Mrs. Niedermeyer happily returned to the classroom as the Fourth and Fifth Grade Instructional Assistant. She has supported the school through her work as hot lunch coordinator, Advisory Council member and Parents’ Association President.

Fifth Grade

Building on their firm understanding of the basic tenets of Catholicism, Fifth Graders begin to appreciate their faith on a personal level. Through a study of the Old and New Testaments, along with the lives of the saints, Fifth Graders start to know what it means to be an active member of the Catholic Church and how, as Catholics, they are called to a vocation of service. An understanding of living as a person of Christ is made manifest through their in–depth study of the lives of saints where the Fifth Graders educate the whole school on a personally selected saint.

Fifth Grade marks the final year in Cathedral’s elementary grades before the transition to its middle school. Fifth Grade students are tasked with an enhanced personal responsibility for their schoolwork and homework, and classroom expectations reflect an appreciation of the increasing potential of maturing students. As confident and thoughtful readers, Fifth Graders read and analyze texts from varied genres to promote both critical thinking skills and independent thought. In mathematics, students solidify their calculation and computation skills and broaden problem–solving skills to include the study of beginning geometry and algebra. A broad range of topics in science and social science engage the inquisitive minds and tap into a student’s natural curiosity of the world around them.

To carry out their call to service, Fifth Graders organize and administer the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive that benefits Lift Urban Portland, an interfaith network of volunteers that work to meet the needs of residents of Northwest and downtown Portland. With Cathedral School’s location in Northwest Portland, students are keenly aware of those in need, as they are our school’s neighbors. The Fifth Grade’s efforts rally support for donations throughout the school that go to supply Lift Urban’s food pantry and fill backpacks of nutritious food for children who attend the neighborhood public school.

Mrs. Sara Dalton, Fifth Grade Teacher

Mrs. Sara Dalton originally came to Cathedral School as a long-term substitute in the First Grade classroom during the 2018-2019 school year.  Mrs. Dalton began teaching in the Fifth Grade classroom in the fall of 2019.  She completed her BA and Masters degrees from Concordia University where she also student taught in the Fifth Grade. Mrs. Dalton is a San Francisco native where she attended Catholic schools herself from K-12 grade.

Mrs. Tracy Niedermeyer, Instructional Assistant

Mrs Niedermeyer has been a part of the Cathedral Community as a parent since 1997, and joined the school staff in 2005 as an instructional assistant. After several years in the position of Development Coordinator Mrs. Niedermeyer happily returned to the classroom as the Fourth and Fifth  Grade Instructional Assistant. She has supported the school through her work as hot lunch coordinator, Advisory Council member and Parents’ Association President.

Mrs. Lacey Odenthal, Primary Instructional Assistant

Mrs. Lacey Odenthal moved to the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 2017. Most recently from the Bountiful, UT area, Mrs. Odenthal came to Cathedral School with extensive experience working with young children as a classroom aide, camp counselor, extended care program aide, and lifeguard. She is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside, and in addition has received her Certificate in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Odenthal is excited to be at Cathedral School and to explore her new home of Portland, OR.

Middle School

The Cathedral School Middle School serves students in grades six through eight. We welcome our students with respect for who they are and with delight in what they will bring to the world and to our school community. From our dedicated faculty, to our innovative academic, spiritual and leadership initiatives, our comprehensive middle school program is designed to inspire, nurture and support middle school students. We are focused not on exposure to content and activities for their own sake but on outputs–what students can show they have learned.

Miss EmmaLee Kuhlmann, 6th Grade, 6th Grade Language Arts, Middle School Social Science

Miss EmmaLee Kuhlmann joins the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2021. Miss Kuhlmann Cathedral School from Holy Trinity School, wherte she taught sixth and seventh grade language arts. She brings extensive experience teaching both language arts and social studies and we are thrilled to welcome her into the Cathedral community.

Mrs. Katy Muth, Assistant Principal, 7th and 8th Grade Math

Mrs. Katy Muth joined the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2018. Mrs. Muth came from Saint Mary’s Academy, where she taught Honors Algebra 2 and Geometry for the previous year. Prior to arriving at SMA, she earned a B.S. in Mathematics and M.S in Education and spent five years at St. Joseph Preparatory School in Boston, MA. At SJP she taught AP Calculus, AP Statistics, and Honors Precalculus, chaired the mathematics department, and coached volleyball. Outside the classroom, Mrs. Muth loves learning new teaching tips/tricks/strategies, baking, religiously working-out, snuggling with her pit bull Loomis, and generally causing trouble with her husband.

Cathedral School Middle School Language Arts

Mr. Mitch Overley, 7th Grade, 7th & 8th Grade Language Arts

Mr. Overley attended Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory High School, Ball State University, and Wabash College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English. At Wabash, he played collegiate baseball, and received the 2015 Outstanding Future Teacher Award by IACTE and the Caleb Mills scholarship/Outstanding Teacher Candidate by the university.
His desire is “to inspire students to express themselves creatively, think critically, and perform to their highest ability. Encourage them to take these abilities into their future academic and professional endeavors. Challenge students to push themselves intellectually, mentally, and socially so that they may better understand themselves and how they interact and impact the world around them.”

Mrs. Dianna Flaig, 8th Grade, Middle School Math

Mrs. Dianna Flaig will begin teaching middle school math in the fall of 2021. Mrs. Flaig comes to Cathedral from Holy Trinity Catholic School, where she taught fifth through eighth grade math. Mrs. Flaig has a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Advanced Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Oregon State University. She has a wealth of knowledge and an extensive teaching background including having taught math at Jesuit High School.

Mr. Marco Gonzalez, 8th Grade, Middle School Science

Mr. Marco Gonzalez joined Cathedral School in the fall of 2021. Mr. Gonzalez is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and the University of Portland, with a Business degree. He is currently an assistant soccer coach at Central Catholic High School.


Mrs. Barb English, Middle School Religion

Mrs. English has been teaching at Cathedral School since 1980. Before joining the Cathedral Staff, she taught at Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Oswego and at St. Mary’s in The Dalles, Oregon. While at Cathedral Mrs. English has taught Second Grade, General Math, Music and Computer. In 2012 Mrs. English returned to the music room and is now the Cathedral School Music Specialist. In addition, Mrs. English teaches Religion to Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grades. Mrs. English received her Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education from Western Oregon University and is trained in Kodaly and Orff music teaching methods. Mrs. English loves her guitar, reading, rainbows and spending time with her husband and two grown children.

Spanish Teacher Mrs. Shelby Walker, Middle School Spanish

Mrs. Walker joined the Cathedral Staff as a Spanish Teacher in the fall of 2013. Before relocating to Portland, she taught Spanish to multiple grade levels at St. Andrews Episcopal School in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Mrs. Walker received her Bachelors of Arts with an emphasis in Spanish Language and Literature from Kalamazoo College. She received her Masters of Teaching from the University of Southern Mississippi.


Mrs. Hedy Foley, P.E. & Middle School Health

Mrs. Hedy Foley will be joining the Cathedral School staff in the fall of 2021 as the middle school health and Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade P.E. teacher. Mrs. Foley has her bachelor’s degree in PE & Health from Gonzaga University where she played volleyball and her Masters of Education in PE and health from Concordia University. Mrs. Foley taught PE & health and was the athletic director at Holy Redeemer School as well as taught art at All Saints Catholic School. Mrs. Foley has coached numerous soccer, volleyball and basketball teams and is very excited to join the Cathedral community.