Meet Our Staff


Jane Birkeland

Grants Coordinator
Hometown: Bellingham, WA

Jane came to Elevate with experience teaching and volunteering both stateside and abroad. Before joining the Elevate team, Jane worked as an English teacher in Spain creating dynamic bilingual lesson plans and tracking student progress as well as being a panel leader for onboarding orientation. Working so closely with Spanish students gave her a nuanced understanding of bilingual education at the primary school level.

Jane graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and a minor in Spanish. Notable achievements include coauthoring a published report on cybersecurity, being the property manager of her sorority that housed over 80 tenants, and accidentally taking Norwegian and Spanish back to back for one quarter.

In her free time Jane enjoys volunteering with adults and children with disabilities. If you call her on the weekend she is probably on the other line with her mother. If you call her again, she is likely watching the West Wing, cooking something from memory with questionable results, or making a PowerPoint about her favorite Muppet.

What is your hidden talent?

My hidden talent is being an active listener, but also I can sing the 50 states in alphabetical order.

What punctuation mark would you be, and why?

As a punctuation mark, I self identify as the upside down exclamation point- mostly because of how much I love Spanish but also because I love the element of ¡surprise!

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

The best way to spend a Sunday afternoon is with a museum and some good friends.

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