New 2nd Grade English Language Arts teacher, new School Assistant - August 13, 2108

Dear McDonald International School Community,

Hello. I hope everyone is enjoying summer break. We are finally finished with hiring - wahoo! Please join me in welcoming our new 2nd grade ELA teacher, Carlen Luke and our new School Assistant, Mary Slater. Check out their welcome letters and photos below.


Michelle Goldberg


Carlen Luke, Second Grade English Language Arts

Hello McDonald Staff and Community! My name is Carlen Luke, and I will be teaching 2nd grade English Language Arts and Social Studies in the Spanish program. I am thrilled to be joining you all at McDonald International School!  Here’s a bit about me:

I’ve been teaching at Stevens Elementary on Capitol Hill for most of the Seattle-portion of my teaching career. For my first several years at Stevens, I was the Spanish teacher for 1st through 5th grade, and then I became a classroom teacher and taught kindergarten for several years and 1st grade this past year. I grew up in the California Bay Area and went to U.C. Berkeley for a B.A. in Anthropology, and I got my Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. After teaching 3rd and 4th grade for several years at a Spanish Bilingual school in Redwood City, I moved to Seattle and earned my Masters in Education from Antioch University with a focus on equity.

I am bilingual in English and Spanish, and I know some German, as my grandparents on my mother’s side were from Germany. My wife, Inma, is from Córdoba, Spain, and our 5-year-old daughter goes to Pacific Crest Montessori School in Fremont, where Inma teaches Spanish. We live in Northeast Seattle.

I have a background in early literacy, and I love teaching reading and writing. It’s amazing to assist kids as they discover new worlds through reading and explore their own identity through writing. I also enjoy teaching social studies in a way that invites students to use empathy and compassion when learning about people near and far.

I write and record children’s songs, most of which are designed to help students learn important concepts in various subject areas, including reading, social skills, and social studies, while having fun singing. I also enjoy reading, hiking, playing violin and guitar, and learning to play piano.

Joining the McDonald school community feels to me like coming home; I actually spent two years teaching Spanish in this building from 1999 to 2001, when the Stevens School building was being renovated. I am so excited to be back here to start the next phase of my teaching career.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

Mary Slater, School Assistant


Hello, I am Mary Slater, your new School Assistant. I’m looking forward to becoming a member of your Scottie community. I was a tutor and busy PTA parent at Loyal Heights Elementary in Ballard, followed by many years working in fitness. What I have missed in my time away from schools is the daily, abiding, dynamic presence of community, working to contribute to the educational lives of children. As the school year gets underway I look forward to playing my part, supporting the administrative staff, tying a shoe for a wiggling kinder, answering questions for parents (and asking a few of my own). This and more will fall into my day, and I’m excited to begin! I look forward to meeting all of you.

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