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Jared Renfro

Science Teacher (Grades 3 - 6), Math Teacher (Grades 5 - 6) & Director of Technology

Jared grew up in a small town near Kansas City, Missouri. He spent many a summer on the family farm, and these early days sparked his curiosity of the world around him. As he got older his summers changed from the family farm to teaching, and eventually running an Archery Range at a local Boy Scout Camp. He obtained his Bachelors Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Missouri. During his undergraduate years he worked with young people with mental health issues. He moved to Oregon in 2000, where he continued working in the mental health field, but this time working with adults with Alzheimer’s. He went back to school in 2007 to obtain a teaching degree deciding to use his lifelong curiosity of the world around him by taking a year of classes in chemistry, geology, and biology before enrolling in a Master’s of Science Teaching program at Portland State University. He spent his student teaching year in Portland Public Schools and then a year of substituting for Portland Public Schools before joining the Gardner School faculty in 2011.

Jared’s teaching style reflects his curiosity of the world. He believes that students need to explore the world around them first by asking questions about what they notice and then finding answers to those questions. Students will be doing science labs, making observations, and designing and building prototypes as they learn about the world around them within the framework of the scientific method and engineering design process. His passion and excitement about science is easily seen in the activities the students do throughout the year. He encourages them to use their strengths as they learn, and apply what they learn to their lives.

Jared continues to refine the technology options within the various classrooms. He has brought Linux computers into the classrooms and the students have been learning how to use them along with the open source movement that Linux is known for.

When Jared is not teaching, he enjoys designing and creating stained glass artwork. He teaches classes at Free Geek, teaching others in the community how to use some of the open source software that he knows. He also enjoys camping, hiking, reading, various crafts, and is always looking for new ideas to bring into his classroom and share with his students.

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