Bridges Staff & Board


An important component to ensuring the success of each student at Bridges Middle School is to have faculty who fully understand the developmental characteristics and unique learning needs of middle-school students. Bridges Middle School is fortunate to have a professional, creative, knowledgeable and caring staff.


Beven Byrnes is the School’s Principal/Executive Director. Educated at Portland State University and the Institute for Nonprofit Management, Mrs. Byrnes has 25 years of experience as a leader in various capacities for non-profit organizations that range from national healthcare advocacy and service organizations to a small local education programs serving youth with learning differences. She strongly believes in the power of an educational environment that encourages active and equitable participation in learning for students of all learning styles and abilities. She is a Portland native, wife, mother to 4 daughters, artist, community activist and lover of animals.


Quackenbush_7093_ODonnellHelen O'Donell is our Office Manager. Ms. O'Donell brings over 30 years of office administration and customer service experience to Bridges. She also brings relationship-building skills, compassion, a sincere drive to serve and a can-do attitude to this key position. Helen lives in Portland and enjoys crafting, knitting and spending time with her 2 daughters.




PQX_0141Carly Hauger is our Math Teacher. Ms. Hauger taught middle school in NYC for seven years at a private school serving students with learning differences. She received her M.A. in Special Education and General Education from Hunter College in NYC and previously studied Philosophy and Diversity Studies at the undergraduate level. Ms. Hauger enjoys art, film, hiking, cycling, and spending time with her dog!



Quackenbush_7172_HofeldHeather Hofeld is our Science Teacher. She brings 15 years of teaching and learning specialist experience to her work with Bridges’ students. Mrs. Hofeld earned her B.A. in Psychology at Occidental College in Los Angeles and her Masters in Special Education at Portland State University. She loves working in a setting that allows her to get to know students as individuals and watching first-hand the positive changes that small class size and personal attention makes for her students. Mrs. Hofeld is an avid runner who participates in several relays and half marathons every year. She enjoys hiking and cooking and keeps busy parenting two small boys with lots of energy!


Michal Mesa is the Teaching Assistant in our 5th/6th (Flamingo) room. With long-standing ties to the Bridges community, Mrs. Mesa brings alternative education teaching experience and learning difference understanding to her work in the 5th/6th room.

David Palmer is our Humanities Teacher. The newest member of our professional team, Mr. Palmer holds a Master's in Special Education and brings 5 years of teaching experience working with elementary and middle school students who have learning differences and behavior challenges. He also brings an experienced passion for Physical Education to Bridges. Before teaching, Mr. Palmer worked in Juvenile Detention in Arizona and honorably served in the United States Navy, both Europe and Asia, for 5 years. We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Palmer—who has just relocated to Portland—to our school, and our city.

Quackenbush_7135_PritchardDesi Pritchard is the 5th/6th Inclusive Teacher, High School Prep Teacher and Curriculum Coordinator at Bridges. Ms. Pritchard graduated from Concordia University with a BS and M Ed in 1998. Since then she has taught in public and private venues, including owning and being the head teacher of the biggest martial arts school in Oregon. She has personal experience with raising an ADHD child and comes to Bridges with both a parental and professional perspective. She has traveled extensively and loves animals, particularly her dogs and cats.



PQX_0092Don Shaw is our School Counselor and Social Bridges Teacher. Bringing seventeen years of experience, a Bachelor of Science in Sociology, a Master of Social Work, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in the Treatment of Interpersonal Trauma, Don Shaw, LCSW, is the newest member of our dedicated team of professionals. Mr. Shaw has served as a Mental Health Care Coordinator with the Tigard/Tualatin School District collaborating with school personnel, students and families in assessing students’ mental health concerns and connecting them to appropriate levels of service. Prior to this position he built a career as a practicing clinical social worker providing individual, group and family mental health services across a variety of environments. Mr. Shaw has had excellent success working with students and their families to help them identify their academic and social goals and to create road maps to achieve those. He lives in Portland with his wife and two children.

Quackenbush_7084_ThompsonKatrina Thompson is our Art Therapist and Art Studio Teacher. She received her degree in Art Therapy Counseling from Marylhurst University in 2009. Mrs. Thompson has her Registered Art Therapist License (ATR) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credentials. Prior to joining Bridges Middle School she worked in a day treatment setting as a Child and Family Therapist. Outside of work Katrina enjoys creating art, spending time with friends and family, traveling and trying new things.



JenniferRollinsJennifer Rollins
 (Board Chair) practices law in the areas of business, real estate and finance at Elliot Ostrander & Preston, P.C. She is a graduate of Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio) and the University of Virginia Law School. During law school, Ms. Rollins served as executive editor of the Virginia Environmental Law Journal. She is currently a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Multnomah County Bar Association. In addition to her service on the Bridges Middle School Board of Directors, she is also a volunteer for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Children. Jennifer lives in Portland, Oregon with her family, including two young children.


SeanGabrioSean Gabrio (Board Treasurer) is a Senior Vice President with The Pacific Wealth Group. With over 24 years of industry experience, Sean has earned the titles Senior Vice President, Private Wealth Advisor, and Senior Portfolio Manager. Employing a consultative approach, he works with a select group of high net worth individuals and families addressing major concerns such as wealth preservation, tax management strategies, legacy planning strategies, and philanthropy.


Catherine Bekooy (Board Secretary) - Bio coming soon.

B15-143Ann Brayfield was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in Minneapolis, Long Beach and Berkeley, California, Manhattan, Kansas, and State College, Pennsylvania. Ann has more than forty years of experience in business, education, health and community services. These include successfully growing and leading a 50 employee distribution company and working as an independent school business manager in a school of 60 students and later a school of 500 students. In addition, she has worked in a variety of roles in a family medicine residency program, a neighborhood health center and a public housing agency. Ann’s passionate commitment to the education of children with learning and emotional differences emerged as she raised six children with learning differences. Ann, her husband and youngest daughter moved to Portland from New Hampshire for their daughter to attend Bridges Middle School.

Kirchfeld Profile PictureDavid Kirchfeld was born in Delano, California, while his parents worked with Cesar Chavez as part of the United Farm Workers. They moved to Portland, Oregon, a few years later in 1979 where they lived in NE Portland. He is an Independent Financial Advisor for LPL Financial and helps clients meet their financial objectives through a personal investment approach. Before being a financial advisor in Portland, David attended college at San Diego State University where he graduated in 2004. After graduating, he moved to San Francisco and worked as a Premier Client Manager at Bank of America. In 2009, he decided to move back to Portland and start a family with his partner, Mey. They have two wonderful kids, Wyatt (5) and Charlotte (3). He used to have hobbies like biking, hiking, golfing and reading prior to having kids, but now enjoys going to the park, swimming lessons, playing superheroes and dressing up stuffed animals. He still finds time to play basketball and is an avid Trailblazers fan. David is very excited to be part of the Bridges Middle School Board of Directors and to be part of the growing process. He plans on using his people skills and finance background to contribute to this important educational program.

CathyReynolds-2Cathy Reynolds, born in Northern Ireland, emigrated to Calgary, Canada as a pre-teen. She lived, studied and worked throughout Canada before moving to the US over 20 years ago. She has called Portland home since then. Cathy is an accomplished Human Resources and business leader with over 25 years’ experience in a variety of roles including Workforce Planning, Talent Acquisition, Organization and Employee Development, Operations and Administration, and Employee and Labor Relations. She has worked in a variety of sectors ranging from a public university, a gas utility, healthcare, and the Canadian military. In her current role, she is responsible for workforce planning and talent acquisition for Legacy Health, a non-profit healthcare system based in Portland, Oregon. Cathy has a deep commitment to employment opportunity as a source of social and economic success for members of our community.  To that end she is focused on developing pipelines and pathways to education, overcoming barriers to access, and ensuring rewarding opportunities for all. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Anthropology (double major) from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Behaviour from the University of British Columbia. In addition to serving on the Bridges Middle School Board of Directors for, she serves on the Finance/HR/IT Committee for Friends of the Children - Portland.