Silverleaf School is a small education environment that provides individualized project-based instruction to students in grades 1-8 in a mixed-age classroom.  Our class size is limited to 15 students schoolwide, with students organized into cohorts by age:  6-8 and 9-12 years of age.  Silverleaf School is the right environment for eager learners that have aptitudes for STEM and creative expression.

At Silverleaf, all students gain knowledge in STEM, art, music, physical health and wellness, and foreign language as part of our core curriculum .  We offer an unparalleled learning experience for students and families in the mid-Willamette Valley.

There is no ceiling for what can be learned at Silverleaf as our instructors are knowledgeable in teaching their subject area(s) at levels far beyond what students may encounter in typical elementary or middle school environments.

Our approach to learning inherently supports differentiation, compaction and acceleration to support asynchrony in students who have a mismatch in abilities across subject areas and/or cognitive, emotional and physical development.

We inspire personal attributes of: Respect, Originality, Communication, Kindness, Empathy, Trustworthiness, Boldness, Open-mindedness and Teamwork.

We utilize proficiency-based reporting methods to monitor progress, and the Silverleaf BLAST (Badging for Learning, Aptitudes, Skills and Talents) Program to  recognize individual student effort and achievement.

Our school is an active and collaborative learning space that encourages movement, teamwork, exploration, and self-awareness.

Our team has first-hand experience of growing up gifted, and seeks to understand and support the needs of each student and family.


Due to COVID-19 and the school closures, we have modified our admissions process.  Please complete the contact form on the contact us page.  We will schedule a time to meet with you via Zoom and meet you and your student.  Potential students will be invited to come on a school tour.  In the meantime, we have developed a little video to show you around.

To view the video, click here:  Silverleaf School Virtual Tour


We have a dedicated Board of Trustees who understand giftedness first-hand and who care about the mission of our school.  Members of the Board are experienced in non-profit administration, education administration and oversight, policy development, and non-profit financial management.  This group provides sound and knowledgeable leadership to Silverleaf School.

Shalee Hodgson, Chair

Derek Brown, Vice-Chair

Gary Mueller, Treasurer

Leslie Hayase


Cheri Leierer


Cheri has decades of experience teaching children in multiple states, schools and non-profit educational classrooms.  She celebrates diversity; promotes bold, imaginative and productive thinking; and creates stimulating, supportive educational environments.  She is passionate about writing and science, and enjoys providing individualized educational opportunities using limitless project-based and STEM-integrated curriculum to motivated students.


Aria McKain



Aria holds a BA and MA in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley and has 12 years of experience teaching in California and Oregon.  Aria has co-founded and directed the Pacific Shakespeare Company, created a school program to introduce young people to Shakespeare’s plays, fostered STEM-based learning and technology skills for all ages, and is the parent of two gifted children.


Karen Toombs


Karen has a BA from Western Oregon University.  She has taught in a variety of institutions and organizations in her career, including private school settings.  Karen has 25 years of experience in program development, project management and non-profit administration.  She is passionate about revolutionizing education and exploring nature with her two sons.


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