Kelly Tisdel, Class Seven Teacher


Kelly Tisdel, one of the founding class teachers of the Siskiyou School, is in her 14th year with the school. Since picking up a pod in 2004, Kelly has carried four classes through part of their journey: a 3rd-8th, a 6th -8th, a 8th through their last year, and she is now in her second year with the Sun Class which she picked up in 6th. In between class teaching Kelly took a couple of breaks to serve the school as a subject teacher, teaching classes in creative writing, painting, math, and some blocks, and also to focus on Inner Guide, the business she co-created with her ex-husband, Tom Shelstad. During her two years away from the school working fulltime with Inner Guide, she held circles for girls in 7th -12th, focusing on emotional intelligence, self-awareness and empowerment, while also offering wilderness trips along the West Coast and in Europe for youth in 6th-12th grades. The trips combined the magic of adventure with the medicine of the Wild to create a backdrop for rich personal discovery and family-like community. Originally from the Great Lakes area—Michigan, Chicago and Wisconsin—Kelly graduated from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin in 2000 with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Environmental Education. She has made her home in Ashland for the last 18 years.