Windward High School Staff
Jill Iwasaki, Interim Principal
Mrs. Iwasaki was the founding principal and teacher of Windward High School when it opened in February of 2004. In 2008 she ventured to a neighboring district to seek a full time administrative position in a high school and then two elementary schools. She returned to Ferndale in 2013 as the Executive Director of Student Services. She is very excited to rejoin the Windward family as interim principal. Her sons attended Beach, Mt View and Vista and graduated from Ferndale High School (where she also taught from 1989-2004). With degrees from the University of California, Irvine, Grand Canyon, Arizona and WWU - Mrs. Iwasaki believes in the wonder of learning. Whether in a classroom (or better ~ kayaking on the B.C. coast, living in Tokyo, backpacking in Europe, or taking a walking safari in Kenya!) authentic learning is connected to real world experience. Returning to Windward is coming home.
Nina Page, Counselor
It took Nina Page a long time to find a career -- in chronological order (beginning at age 8) she: did tricks with Andre the seal, was a camp counselor, opened a cafe with friends, spent a season as the galley slave on a traditional schooner, worked in immunology at a biotech company (while going to UW to get her Bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology), got a grant and sponsorship to travel in Chile, gave a whirl at writing, spent a year landscaping, made fine furniture, and then was a data coordinator for a small company hired to manage discoveries of novel pharmaceuticals from around the world. Eventually she decided to go back to UW to get her Master's in Social Work and she found her calling. Nina worked at Friday Harbor Middle and High Schools for eight years before coming to Windward. She thrives on working with and supporting students as they choose their paths for the future - whether traditional or not - and is very aware of how mutable those early steps can be.
Jenny Richard, Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Richard has worked for the Ferndale School District since 1994 and has been the Administrative Assistant at Windward since the school opened in February of 2004. Mrs. Richard is an avid WSU Cougar and ASU Sun Devils fan. She enjoys going to as many sporting events as her free time will allow. She enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with her family and getting out on the water in her family's boat as much as possible. She is interested in murder mysteries and her favorite authors are Patricia Cornwell and Mary Higgins Clark.
Evan Ritchie, Social Studies, Japanese
Mr. Ritchie is an adult Third Culture Kid, (TCK) meaning he grew up in a culture (Japan) different from that of his parents, and so has a cultural mix of the two that is unique to him. In addition to 7 years in Japan, he has lived in most regions of the U.S., Guam, and Korea, never living in one location more than 4 years prior to moving to Whatcom County. He knows what it is like to always feel like the outsider, and he knows that home is where you choose to make it. A teacher of Japanese, World Religions, Social Studies and P.E., Mr. Ritchie brings passion and enthusiasm for both his students and his content. He advises the Anime club as well as coaching the Windward H.S. Mountain Bike club and Whatcom Composite H.S. Mountain Bike team. He is husband of 25 years and father of two daughters. In his spare time, he travels, rides bikes, sings with the Bellingham Chamber Chorale, and is a Volleyball official for high school through NCAA. Mr. Ritchie has degrees in East Asian Studies, Anthropology and an M.A. in Teaching. Currently Reading: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, (or a mystery!)
Susan Rhodes, Administrative Assistant
Susan Rhodes is an Administrative Assistant who primarily focuses on student attendance and student services at Windward. Susan also support the Ferndale School District music programs.
Chris Perkins, Social Studies
Chris Perkins grew up all over the west coast including San Juan Island, Oahu, California and Seattle. He loved college and holds two BA degrees (US History and Psychology) as well as a Master's Degree in Teaching from Southern Oregon University. He has also earned his National Board Certification. Chris teaches history, government, social studies and psychology but he mostly loves teaching kids. Before he was a teacher Chris spent 13 years in the restaurant business as a cook and a waiter. In his spare time he rides a road bike, cooks, and reads books about fantasy adventure and teaching. The last two books read by Chris were "How Children Succeed" and "Mindset".
Melissa Engels, English
Melissa Engels is an important member of the Windward High School staff. After teaching 8th grade Language Arts and Drama in Michigan for three years, she has been in the Ferndale School District for the past 10 years. She loves teaching at WHS because of the chance to interact on a personal level with students and colleagues. She lives with her husband and two daughters on five acres in the country, which include a barn, cows, and chickens. She enjoys reading, creative writing, and scrapbooking. A die-hard Seattle Mariners fan, she has attended Major League Baseball games at more than 25 stadiums around the United States and Canada.
Ben Barr-Wilson, Science
Benjamin Barr-Wilson (aka Mr. B-Dub) has been teaching math and science since 2002 after graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in Math/Physics Education. He is passionate about his students and strives to meet each where they are and then guide them to personal success. He can often be found outside, rock climbing, or backpacking with his tree-hugging wife and recently became the father of Nova John, the cutest kid on the planet. All things tech and music making bring joy to Barr-Wilson's life.
Rob Slater, Drama, English
In his spare time, Rob Slater writes songs, fiction, grants, poetry. He has released a folk rock CD, Some of the Parts, and a book of poetry with his mom and other relatives. His first novel, All Is Silence, is available in print and ebook from all major retailers and most local bookstores. He plays guitar, cooks, fixes computers. He is currently reading seven books including: Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen, Legacy: Book One of the Biodome Trilogy. He has taught in small high schools for 13 years: Clearview, Options, and now Windward. He has a should've-been-a doctorate B.A. in Theatre/Education with minors in Spanish and History and an M.A. Ed in Educational Technology through Lesley University. He has six children and one grandkid. His motto is Robert A. Heinlein's "Specialization is for Insects."
Eddi Vulic, Math
Eddi Vulic teaches math and problem solving during the year, Tolkien and other fantasy/science fiction during Spring Interim, and is the coach of Knowledge Bowl and Math Team. He was born in Paris, grew up in Ohio, and went to graduate school in Berkeley. En route he has taught math, medieval history, religious studies and western civilization. He married his beautiful wife at the Ohio State Medieval and Renaissance Festival, and his two boys play too many video games. Most days he reads and listens to music, except on alternate days, when he listens to music and reads. He has recently read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and he rereads Dune and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance every year.