We have an excellent team of 15 Assistant Instructors who are looking forward to supporting your learning here at The Seattle School both this year and beyond.

The role of Assistant Instructor (AI) at The Seattle School is somewhat different than what you may have encountered as Teaching Assistants in other academic contexts. All of our AIs hold Masters degrees from The Seattle School or similar programs and are practitioners at various stages within their chosen fields. Assistant Instructors work with faculty to ensure that you get the most out of your learning experience. They provide feedback on papers, are available to meet for office hours, and periodically teach and facilitate classroom interaction. Moreover, we ask AIs to bring their experience as former students and as practitioners in their current vocational contexts into all they do here at The Seattle School. Assistant Instructors are dedicated to your growth and development as students and are eager to walk alongside you in this journey. Get used to seeking them out! They are here for you.

Today we’d love to share from three of the AIs who are working specifically in First-Year courses this fall.

Three of Your 2021 Seattle School Assistant Instructors

kate fontana headshotKate Fontana (she/her/hers)
Kate will be one of your AIs working with Dr. Doug Shirley in the Common Curriculum course IDS 501 Intersections 1: Interdisciplinary Inquiry & Psychological Frameworks. Josh Montoya MACP ’20 will be your other co-AI.

Blessings to you and yours! I’m Kate (she/her), residing on Puyallup territory aka Tacoma, Washington. I have a BA from Pacific Lutheran University and completed an MDiv from The Seattle School last spring. With a background in animist somatics, interspirituality and sacred activism, I look forward to supporting folks in being whole-bodied learners in collaboration with our human and more-than-human comrades and applying our learning towards greater liberation within our unique contexts. As a Seattle School student, I commuted and was kind of a classroom ‘lurker’: preferring to stand, wiggle, or walk around in the back over desk sitting. Sometimes I felt like I was “missing out” on community aspects, but this helped my body acclimate to the space and the volume of data input, as well as warm up to relationships at a pace that worked for my more introvertive/avoidant nature. Though I don’t love more screen time, I welcome the hybrid learning as a chance to nurture and more fluidly be in my body while connecting online. You will often see me stretching, applying self-massage or looking away from the screen (usually at trees or the sky through a window).

hannah seppanen headshotHannah Seppanen (she/her/hers)
Hannah will be your AI if you are an MACP student taking CSL 502 History and Systems on campus with Dr. Stephanie Neil.

Hello, and welcome to the learning community known as The Seattle School! My name is Hannah Seppanen and I am excited to meet you (either on campus or online) as we journey together through important theological and psychological concepts and explore how they play out in our real world contexts. You are entering this program at a unique and critical point in our collective experiences and that will come with its own set of challenges. But I also hope that you find it encouraging, as I do, to be learning with and from others who want to engage the places of beauty and pain in our individual and communal lives with a heart to see restoration and transformation. I graduated from The Seattle School with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology (2019) and a Master’s in Theology and Culture Interdisciplinary Studies (2020). I currently live in Seattle, WA, but have lived most of my life in the Midwest, which is evidenced by the fact my family has our own hotdish recipe, I love fall, I frequently use the word welp, and I am incapable of ending conversations quickly. See you in a few weeks!

connie montgomery headshotConnie Montgomery (She/Her/Hers)
Connie will be your AI if you are an MACP student taking CSL 502 History and Systems online with Dr. Stephanie Neil.

Please call me Connie! I am so happy to welcome you to your new life adventure. I too am new to the Seattle School so we will be learning together. Diving deeply into questions of meaning, psychology and theology have always been a passion. I am a Northwest native with a love for the arts, mindfulness, and a minor obsession with tiny house living. I hold a Masters in Education from Seattle University’s counseling program. As a graduate student, I remember the hope and excitement of following what felt like my life path coupled with fears of academic performance and success. Perhaps you are feeling some of the same. If so, I hope for your enrichment, growth, and challenge in this new life choice. I offer the promise of support as you traverse this unfolding path of learning. If I could offer one piece of advice, it is to be gentle with yourself in not knowing. Knowing and not knowing are integral to becoming and learning. It’s sometimes difficult to remember that, especially in graduate school. In times of unknowing, I’ve taken comfort in the mantra of one of my favorite mindfulness meditation teachers who reminds us, “you can begin again.” Wishing many rich beginnings throughout your time in school. I look forward to meeting each of you.