Venn Academy PDX



Our Educators


John Warton

Operations & Enrollment Officer

John brings to Venn Academy 23 years of experience in the non-profit field, 20 of them in an education setting. He has found a home in the world of admissions, where he can use both his people skills and love of data to help create an amazing environment for children and educators. He is passionate about relationship-based education, as it is the best way to connect with a child, and present curriculum in a meaningful way to students.  

John is also a professional trombone player in and around Oregon, and enjoys playing with the Portland Columbia Symphony on a regular basis. He has a daughter in Venn Academy, and has been married to the amazing Karen for over 26 years.

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Ian Peters

Academy Director & K-4 Educator

Since he was a young child helping to organize the library books in his mother’s classroom, Ian has felt a calling to education. The oldest of three kids growing up in rural Albany, Oregon, Ian had lots of space and freedom to explore his favorite books and dive into his imagination, creating new and exciting worlds in his backyard.

After enrolling in Western Oregon University, he felt a calling to work with youth through non-profit organizations. His experience working together with these children awakened Ian to the awesome power that children hold within themselves and when given a safe outlet and caring ear, how that power can transform a community. Ian moved into relationship-based education four years ago and hasn’t looked back.

Connecting families to an experiential education that inspires creativity, nurtures imagination, and builds confidence is his greatest passions.

In Ian’s spare time you can often find him on a basketball court in Portland or spending time with his incredible wife, Stephanie.

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David Ley

Executive Director & 5-8 Educator

David is a credentialed teacher through Oregon’s TSPC (Teacher Standards and Practices Commission), and has a Master’s Degree in Education from Portland State University, where he also received a certificate in Middle School Mathematics. Now in his 5th year of teaching in a relationship-based educational model, David loves the time he gets to spend in the classroom.

“In a school like ours, every student matters. Everyone can speak and be heard, no one is relegated to be bored, forgotten, or left behind. The classroom is a place of joy, in community, and in learning.”