Instructors at Creative Roots are all professional artists, practitioners and educators. Each instructor brings his/her unique perspective and artistic experience to their programs to offer mentorship and inspiration to kids and adults alike. Our art instructors have traveled around the world and bring rich art experiences to our students and families
Jason Botel is a placed based educator who has been working and volunteering in the Portland area as a nature guide for school children for the last four years. His diverse background includes set design, bug wrangling and engineering props. Jason holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a M.Ed. in Leadership for Sustainability Education at Portland State University. His passion is empowering individuals with a heightened awareness of nature wherever they are. Areas of personal interest are Ethnobotany, Mycology, rock hunting and spending time with his wife and daughter.
Tracy Cohen has teaching and assessment experience that spans four decades in a multitude of
settings, from British Infant schools in Hong Kong to developing Special Education programs for high school students in Oregon. Trained at the University of Washington (BA in Psychology, 1979) as well as being a specially certified intern in Elementary Education, she has since taught nearly every grade from Kindergarten to grade 12. In 2004, she completed her Masters of Science in Special Education at Portland State University. She holds teacher certification for the state of Oregon, grades K-12. Understanding the way learners learn in brain compatible environments is a personal passion, as is the burgeoning study of neurobiology. She is a certified RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher, +200 hours) for adults, and Yoga Calm Trainer and Instructor, teaching yoga classes in public schools and for the City of Wilsonville.
Laura Content is a Portland-based cooking teacher, caterer and illustrator. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a BA in Art in 2006, and from Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Fransisco, CA in 2009. Laura has worked as the Assistant Teacher for the Pastry Program at her alma mater, an artisan baker, and as a pastry chef, inspired by her travels in Italy. She loves drawing and photographing delicious things, catering parties, creating wedding cakes, and teaching cooking and gardening classes for children and adults at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego and at Creative Roots. Laura works primarily with fine ink pen and watercolor pencil, and is currently writing and illustrating her first cookbook.
Gregory Mulkern is a professional puppeteer and musician. Gregory has worked at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and traveled around the world to learn about music and a variety of art forms. Gregory currently works for Tears of Joy as a puppeteer and travels around the US performing with the company. Gregory is currently out on a new adventure, but we look forward to his return.
Ben Warschauer is a graduate of Lincoln High School. He has a passion for math and gifts for teaching and connecting with kids. Ben has volunteered with the YMCA as a Counselor in Training at Camp Collins and is currently volunteering at Audubon as a Camp Counselor during school breaks. In his free time, Ben enjoys time with his friends, playing the piano, and playing interactive games including Dungeons and Dragons and Magic The Card Game. Ben has competed in Magic The Card Game Tournaments in Portland and Seattle, he placed 3rd in 2014 and 8th in 2015. Ben plans to attend OSU in the Fall.
ZHANG Hui (Gail) holds PhD in English Literature and is currently working towards both a Masters Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and a Bachelors Degree in Nursing at Portland State University. Gail owns a language school in Harbin, Northeast China. Her interests are language teaching and caregiving. Gail is actively involved in the community, teaching ESL and volunteering at Good Samaritan Hospital in NW Portland. Gail is teaching Mandarin at Creative Roots and has two children who currently participate in Creative Roots programs.