Hutch School Staff

Hutch School


Margaret Flatness,
High School Teacher and Administrator

Margaret is the high school teacher at Hutch School. She grew up in Colorado and spent her summers in New Hampshire. Margaret received her bachelor’s degree in American studies and education from Colby College in Waterville, Maine and her master’s degree at Antioch University here in Seattle. Margaret began her teaching career in a small town in Maine and has since taught in Shoreline, Washington, where she took a year leave to teach English in Costa Rica in 1997. Her time away from school is spent playing soccer, knitting, running, reading, swimming, traveling and playing cards and board games. Some personal goals include learning to play the fiddle and continuing to learn and speak Spanish. James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were two of her favorite books as a child.

Laurie Goble-VanDiest,
Social Worker

Laurie is a school social worker at Hutch School. She grew up in Sumas, Washington, and after living in eastern Washington, moved to Seattle in 1998. Laurie received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Washington State University and a Master of Social Work from Eastern Washington University. Before coming to Hutch School, Laurie worked in a middle school in Seattle helping students cope with stress and loss in their lives. Laurie enjoys helping children by getting to know their individual strengths. When not working at Hutch School, she spends time with her family, writing, doing home and craft projects, and relaxing with her cats. Her favorite books from childhood are Ramona, the Brave and James and the Giant Peach.

Melissa Walsh,
Primary Teacher

Melissa Walsh is the primary teacher at Hutch School. She was born and raised in Seattle, and she received her bachelor's degree at Whitman College, where she majored in anthropology and Japanese. After teaching English to middle school students in Yokohoma, Japan, she received her teaching credential at Seattle Pacific University. Before coming to Hutch School, Melissa taught kindergarten through sixth grade in Shoreline, Washington, for 17 years. Melissa earned her National Board Certification in 2012. Her time outside of school is spent playing with her young daughter; running; quilting; singing in a community choir with her parents; traveling; enjoying friends and family and reading. Two of Melissa's favorite books are Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type and The Little Brute Family

Stephanie VanderVelden,
Program Coordinator

Stephanie is the program coordinator and the coordinator for the summer recreation program at Hutch School. She grew up in Seattle and received her bachelor degree in sociology from the University of Washington in 2009. When she’s not at Hutch School, Stephanie loves camping, traveling, art projects, sports and spending time with her family. As for favorite books growing up, she loved "anything written by Roald Dahl."

Frank Lee, 
Middle School Teacher

Frank is the middle school teacher at Hutch School. A Minnesota native, he received his bachelor’s degree at the University of St. Thomas, where he majored in business administration. After several years in business management, Frank spent a year of service with AmeriCorps, working with at-risk youth in Seattle. He later earned his teaching credential at Western Washington University and began his teaching career in 2001. Away from Hutch School, Frank enjoys biking, cooking for friends and family, traveling, and coaching youth sports. The Little Engine That Could was Frank’s all-time favorite book as a child, and now he likes to share Jerry Spinelli novels with his students. 

Katie Pinkelman, 
Math Teacher

Katie Pinkelman, middle school and high school math teacher at Hutch School, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and remains a Dodgers fan to this day. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology at UCLA, and her elementary teaching credential through Loyola Marymount University. She has taught all grade levels, kindergarten though 8th grade in her 20-plus years of teaching in Caifornia, Indiana, Illinois and Washington state. She recently returned to school and is currently working on a special education endorsement through Seattle Pacific University. Katie grew up playing many sports, and especially loves softball and volleyball. She and her husband, Jim, have three kids, and together they enjoy traveling, hiking, watching sports and hanging out with friends and family. Her favorite books as a child include "Where’s Wallace?" by Hilary Knight and the "Little House" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Clarissa Wells,
Primary Classroom Assistant

Clarissa is the teacher aide for the primary classroom at Hutch School. She was born and raised in the Bay Area. She then moved to Boston where she got her B.S. in Health Science and Public Health from Boston University in 2016. Clarissa moved back west to Seattle shortly after graduation and started working at Hutch School. She is involved in the summer camp program here as well. In her free time, Clarissa enjoys hanging out with her friends, reading, traveling, spending time outside, and trying new restaurants. Her favorite books growing up were the Magic Tree House series.