Alberto Palomar

What Matters in Education is:
making connections between and within people and communities; learning to see our interconnectedness.

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Alberto Palomar

4th/5th Grade Teacher (Strawberry Creek Classroom)
Alberto Palomar

Alberto Palomar

4th/5th Grade Teacher (Strawberry Creek Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
making connections between and within people and communities; learning to see our interconnectedness.

BioAlberto Palomar (he/him) is entering into his seventh year teaching at TBS and his eighteenth year as a teacher. In those years, Alberto has taught poetry workshops as an artist-in-residence in San Francisco public schools, and taught special education language arts classes in New York City and San Francisco public schools. He has taught across grades from high school to first and second grade. His son Abraham, 10, is a fifth grader in the Cerrito Creek classroom and his son Alexander, 3, joins the Live Oak classroom at the ECC this school year. His youngest daughter, Beatrice, is 1.5 years old. He is elated to work with young people in fourth and fifth grade and to collaborate with the 4/5 teaching team.
Schools AttendedB.A. UC Berkeley, M.S. City College New York City
Years in Education15
Alice Hsu

What Matters in Education is:
guiding children to connect with their inner wisdom and adjusting the environment to the capacity of every child.

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Alice Hsu

ECC Teacher (Cedar Classroom)
Alice Hsu

Alice Hsu

ECC Teacher (Cedar Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
guiding children to connect with their inner wisdom and adjusting the environment to the capacity of every child.

Schools AttendedB.A. Shizuoka University, Japan, M.A. Ed. Saint Mary’s College
Years in Education20
Andie Gaeta

What Matters in Education is:
having an inclusive, supportive, and safe environment to learn.

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Andie Gaeta

Human Resources & Operations Manager
Andie Gaeta

Andie Gaeta

Human Resources & Operations Manager

What Matters in Education is:
having an inclusive, supportive, and safe environment to learn.

BioAndie Gaeta (she/her)... is entering her fourth year at The Berkeley School and her second year as the Operations & HR Manager. Andie is a fourth generation East Bay-ian, with family spread through California in Albany, Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Davis, Sacramento, Madera, Templeton, and Los Angeles—and her mother recently announced that her grandfather lived as a teen in the Cedar classroom house! Andie loves a small-world story. She graduated from Barnard College in 2000 and holds a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University. Andie has held a number of positions in both cottage and corporate industries and has never been happier or more comfortable in a role than learning from the fascinating students and supporting the remarkable faculty at TBS. Andie loves puzzles, miniature things, a craft class, going to trivia nights with her family, and can't ever pass up a curio shop. Atlas Obscura is her go-to when she, her two kids, and her husband travel—for local California camping or when they go abroad. She's currently the VP of local auxiliary and spending, organizing events to raise money for multiple sclerosis research. Andie's family regularly visits her cousin's waterfront cabin in Bass Lake and they're saving up their pennies to get the cabin a golf cart with a vintage gold flake paint job. Or maybe green flake. Maybe some flames.
Schools AttendedB.A. Barnard College
Years in Education2
Andrea Abrams

 

What Matters in Education is:

Opening a child's eyes to all the possibilities of who they can become by guiding in their exploration, adventures and discovery. 

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Andrea Abrams

ECC Associate & Extended Day Teacher (Eugenia Classroom)
Andrea Abrams

Andrea Abrams

ECC Associate & Extended Day Teacher (Eugenia Classroom)

 

What Matters in Education is:

Opening a child's eyes to all the possibilities of who they can become by guiding in their exploration, adventures and discovery. 

Schools AttendedBFA, San Francisco Art Institute, MSW, Cal State University Northridge (degree in progress)
Years in Education6
Asheena Ward

Asheena Ward

César Martinez

What Matters in Education is:

the enrichment of culture, spirit, values and everything that characterizes us as human beings.

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César Martinez

MS Spanish Teacher
César Martinez

César Martinez

MS Spanish Teacher

What Matters in Education is:

the enrichment of culture, spirit, values and everything that characterizes us as human beings.

BioCésar Martinez (he/him), a native of Estado de México, México, obtained his B.A. in Accounting from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional in México City. In addition to his academic background, César has extensive experience teaching illiterate adults how to read and write. For the past twelve years, he has been teaching Spanish in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over a period of ten years, he taught Spanish immersion classes in both public and private schools, catering to a diverse range of ages and proficiency levels. From 1st-grade beginners to bilingual elementary school students, César has taught students of various backgrounds. He is passionate about teaching and firmly believes that learning a language should be enjoyable, regardless of the circumstances.
Schools AttendedInstituto Politecnico Nacional in México City / B.A. in Accounting
Years in Education12
Chris Chun

What Matters in Education is:

learning how to learn—and learning in community—in order to grow as a community

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Chris Chun

Director of K-8 Teaching & Learning
Chris Chun

Chris Chun

Director of K-8 Teaching & Learning

What Matters in Education is:

learning how to learn—and learning in community—in order to grow as a community

BioChris Chun (she/her) has more than 25 years of education experience, teaching everything from middle school English to ceramics and aerial arts. She has held the roles of Advisor, Diversity Coordinator, Academic Dean, and Assistant Head of Upper School before coming to TBS as the Director of K-8 Teaching and Learning. She is honored to be able to work with the phenomenal teachers here at TBS. Chris received her B.A. in English and Secondary Teaching Certification from the University of Maryland, continued with an M.A. in English from UC Berkeley, and completed an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Columbia University. She is proud to be a member of the Asian Educators Alliance (AsEA) and has been organizing the AsEA national conference since 2016. A lifelong learner, Chris is currently obsessed with the History of the English Language podcast and is still working on perfecting her handstand. Chris is looking forward to retiring in a few decades and being the garish old lady in the back of the lecture hall at the local university.
Schools AttendedUniversity of Maryland; University of California, Berkeley; Columbia University
Years in Education25
Chrissy Hoffman

What matters in education is:

That children and teachers learn, grow, and enhance their well being together. This creates truly transformational education.

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Chrissy Hoffman

ECC Music & Movement Teacher
Chrissy Hoffman

Chrissy Hoffman

ECC Music & Movement Teacher

What matters in education is:

That children and teachers learn, grow, and enhance their well being together. This creates truly transformational education.

Schools AttendedBA, Sarah Lawrence College
Years in Education27
Christin Weber

What Matters in Education is:
always remembering there is more to learn.

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Christin Weber

ECC Teacher (Mariposa Classroom)
Christin Weber

Christin Weber

ECC Teacher (Mariposa Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
always remembering there is more to learn.

Schools AttendedBachelor of Science at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Certificate in Primary Montessori Education at Montessori Institute Northwest, Masters of Education at Loyola University Maryland
Years in Education12
Christine Mytko

What Matters in Education is:

...

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Christine Mytko

6th/7th/8th Grade Science Teacher & STEM Program Director
Christine Mytko

Christine Mytko

6th/7th/8th Grade Science Teacher & STEM Program Director

What Matters in Education is:

...

BioChristine Mytko (she/her) has been teaching K-12 for 25+ years, mostly in middle school science. She will be teaching 6-8 science this year and bringing her decades of experience with maker education and FIRST Robotics to enhance TBS's commitment to civic engagement. In the past, Mytko and her students have been frequent presenters at edtech conferences, science festivals, and maker events. Mytko’s proudest (and tongue-in-cheek) accomplishment is twice winning the Exploratorium’s Iron Science Teacher competition. Concurrent to classroom teaching, Mytko has worked as a curriculum developer at the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Learning Design Group creating NGSS-aligned engineering curriculum; an educational program admin at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory improving existing science outreach materials around 3D scanning, printing, and data visualization; and as a project coordinator assigned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developing public health curriculum for STEM teachers during the COVID-19 response. The ALS work led to an invitation to the White House Maker Faire in 2014 and a soon-to-be-published children's book (Ev’s Synchrotron Adventure: An Electron’s Story). Mytko received her B.S. in the teaching of biology from the University of Illinois, her M.S. in advanced education from Northwestern University, and her master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley. Outside of school, Mytko serves as a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) to help advocate for foster youth in Alameda County. She has a special affinity for fish mummies, 3D printers, bicycles, chickens, and teaching adult and family improv classes.
she/her
Craig Jackson

What Matters in Education is:
fun! When activities are fun, students want to stay engaged which allows for true learning to happen.

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Craig Jackson

K-8 Physical Education Teacher & After-School Sports Coach
Craig Jackson

Craig Jackson

K-8 Physical Education Teacher & After-School Sports Coach

What Matters in Education is:
fun! When activities are fun, students want to stay engaged which allows for true learning to happen.

BioCraig Jackson (he/him) has been teaching for thirty years, with the last twenty-one years of that being at TBS. He lives with his wife, Cynthia, and his awesome cat, Skitz. He has six kids and ten grandkids.Throughout his teaching career, his love of teaching has stemmed from seeing the enjoyment the kids get from engaging in fun activities that build lifelong skills. He thrives when he teaches and witnesses his students embracing and learning about collaboration, participation, self reliance, and leadership.Through physical education, he enjoys watching students have fun simply moving their bodies, while broadening their social and emotional development. Craig is grateful for the connection with the kids daily, and appreciates their never-ending shenanigans, growth, kindness, and youthful energy.
Schools AttendedA.A. Chabot College
Years in Education21
Danette Swan

What Matters in Education is:
joy. With joy comes a freedom that allows magical, powerful, important learning experiences to take hold.

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Danette Swan

Kindergarten Teacher (Sweet Briar Creek Classroom) & K-2 Team Leader
Danette Swan

Danette Swan

Kindergarten Teacher (Sweet Briar Creek Classroom) & K-2 Team Leader

What Matters in Education is:
joy. With joy comes a freedom that allows magical, powerful, important learning experiences to take hold.

BioDanette Swan (she/her) has been teaching young students for more than 30 years. Danette’s path in education has been rich and varied, and has taken many serendipitous twists and turns as she taught preschool through third grade, making her way from her hometown in Alaska, to Long Island, and back again to the West Coast. She feels like she has found her sweet spot, settling here in kindergarten. Over that time, education has shifted and changed. The Berkeley School has grown and changed. Her own education practices has, of course, been fine-tuned and changed; and along with this, her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has strengthened. Danette’s belief in honesty and normalizing conflict, in building a strong community, in empowering students to speak up and out against injustice and cruelty, and the notion that every child deserves to come to a place where they are delighted in, known, and valued has never changed. She knows that being a part of the ‘Aha!’ is sacred. Her room is filled with the busy hum of big work and belly laughs, the music of Ella Jenkins and Hap Palmer, the push and pull that happens when people are learning and working together, and the happy sounds of jolly good times. Away from the classroom (and often in it), Danette loves creating and crafts of all sorts, tiny treasures from flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores; and she has never passed a ‘FREE ‘ box out on the sidewalk without digging through it to see what gems can be uncovered!
Schools AttendedUniversity of Alaska, Montessori Certification Sea Coast Center
Years in Education28
Daniel Simms

What matters to me in education is:

A connection with all students,  letting them know that we are here for them through the ups and downs.

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Daniel Simms

UAC Extended Day Coordinator
Daniel Simms

Daniel Simms

UAC Extended Day Coordinator

What matters to me in education is:

A connection with all students,  letting them know that we are here for them through the ups and downs.

Years in Education7
Darius Morales

What matters in education is:

A solid foundation, giving children the tools they need to lead.

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Darius Morales

ECC Associate Teacher (Magnolia Classroom)
Darius Morales

Darius Morales

ECC Associate Teacher (Magnolia Classroom)

What matters in education is:

A solid foundation, giving children the tools they need to lead.

Years in Education10
Derek Payne

What Matters in Education is:
helping students develop their curiosity. They need to build their ability to seek the truth.

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Derek Payne

7th & 8th Math Teacher & MS Team Leader
Derek Payne

Derek Payne

7th & 8th Math Teacher & MS Team Leader

What Matters in Education is:
helping students develop their curiosity. They need to build their ability to seek the truth.

BioDerek Payne (he/him) is entering his seventeenth year as an educator and his fourth year at TBS. This is also his third year serving as the Middle School Lead. He is a skilled science educator and has taught 7th and 8th grade science at The Berkeley School. This year, he will move into the 7th and 8th grade math teaching role, tapping into eight pre-TBS years of teaching math and serving as math lead in his former middle school. In that role, Derek made extensive use of MAP testing data (along with other formative and summative assessments) to inform his practice, which covered content ranging from 3rd grade Common Core math through geometry, and served on the West Coast launch team for a new math program in Fruitvale. Derek is excited to collaborate with the math and science teaching team to ensure the continuity and strength of the K-8 math program.
Schools AttendedB.A. University of California at Berkeley
Years in Education13
Elise Wilks

What Matters in Education is:

Empathy, accessibility, self-expression, collaboration, and critical thinking

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Elise Wilks

Chief Financial Officer
Elise Wilks

Elise Wilks

Chief Financial Officer

What Matters in Education is:

Empathy, accessibility, self-expression, collaboration, and critical thinking

Schools AttendedLeMoyne College
Years in Education14
Emily Becerra Sigel

What Matters in Education is:
nurturing a child’s understanding of the world through exploration and self-expression.

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Emily Becerra Sigel

ECC Teacher (Magnolia Classroom)
Emily Becerra Sigel

Emily Becerra Sigel

ECC Teacher (Magnolia Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
nurturing a child’s understanding of the world through exploration and self-expression.

Schools AttendedB.A. California State University Bakersfield
Years in Education9
Emily Crawford

What Matters in Education is:

Embracing the "uh oh" moment and relishing in the "aha" moments.

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Emily Crawford

MS Dean of Students & MS Math Learning Specialist
Emily Crawford

Emily Crawford

MS Dean of Students & MS Math Learning Specialist

What Matters in Education is:

Embracing the "uh oh" moment and relishing in the "aha" moments.

Biojv_team_school
Schools AttendedMaster of Education, University of Mass - Boston
Years in Education17
Fordy Shoor

What Matters in Education is:

Patience and Faith

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Fordy Shoor

8th English Teacher & MS Executive Functioning Coach
Fordy Shoor

Fordy Shoor

8th English Teacher & MS Executive Functioning Coach

What Matters in Education is:

Patience and Faith

BioFordy Shoor (he/they) is overjoyed to be starting his seventh year in education and his second year at TBS. He believes that language arts study allows for reflexive critical, empathic, and moral inquiry into the world. It requires students to bring their lives into their education and consider how language affects their perception. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s Degree in English from California State University, East Bay in English. His educational specialties are creative writing and literary analysis. For two years, he worked at CSU East Bay’s College Link program as an academic coach for students on the autism spectrum, served as an instructional assistant at Black Pine Circle, and taught language and visual arts at Stratford San Francisco Middle. He has facilitated writing workshops and spent four summers teaching at Adventures in Writing Camp. Some of his loves are playing bass and drums, visual arts, watching horror movies, reading, shoes, gardening, his three-year-old child, partner, and four cats. He looks forward to watching this year’s seventh and eighth grade students’ minds and hearts grow.
Schools AttendedUniversity of California: BA English, CSU East Bay: MA English
Years in Education6
Gay Pelletier

Gay Pelletier

4th/5th Science & Literacy Teacher

gpelletier@theberkeleyschool.org

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Gay Pelletier

5th Science & Literacy Teacher
Gay Pelletier

Gay Pelletier

5th Science & Literacy Teacher

Gay Pelletier

4th/5th Science & Literacy Teacher

gpelletier@theberkeleyschool.org

Gladys Barrios

 

What Matters in Education is:

Consistency, application of what you are learning and ensuring a great learning environment for everyone in the classroom.

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Gladys Barrios

K-5 Spanish Teacher
Gladys Barrios

Gladys Barrios

K-5 Spanish Teacher

 

What Matters in Education is:

Consistency, application of what you are learning and ensuring a great learning environment for everyone in the classroom.

BioGladys Barrios (she/her) was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised by her grandmother and aunt in El Salvador until the age of 10. Upon returning to Los Angeles, she encountered the challenge of adapting to a new language and culture. This experience motivated her to pursue a career in teaching another language. She believes learning a second language can be difficult, but it also has its own rewards, both socially and professionally. Gladys attended East Los Angeles College and began her career in Spanish Interpretation. In 2010, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children, allowing her to stay at home and raise her daughter. When her daughter began school, Gladys volunteered her time to chaperone field trips, help with class projects, assemble decodable books, and serve as an interpreter for parents who needed assistance communicating with teachers. In 2015, Gladys combined her newfound love of teaching and her professional Spanish interpretation skills to join Viva El Español, a Spanish immersion program offered to various schools in Oakland Unified School District. In 2019, she became the anchor Spanish teacher for Chabot Elementary and in 2021, she was invited to join TBS. Since then, she has been dedicated to providing an inclusive, effective, beneficial, and fun Spanish program.
Years in Education8
Griselda Kondo

What Matters in Education is:
awakening curiosity beyond your own culture and respecting different beliefs.

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Griselda Kondo

ECC Teacher (Live Oak Classroom)
Griselda Kondo

Griselda Kondo

ECC Teacher (Live Oak Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
awakening curiosity beyond your own culture and respecting different beliefs.

Schools AttendedB.A. National University of Education
Years in Education36
Helia Pouyanfar

What Matters in Education is:
knowing no matter how young you are you still can change the world for the better!

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Helia Pouyanfar

4th-8th Teaching Artist
Helia Pouyanfar

Helia Pouyanfar

4th-8th Teaching Artist

What Matters in Education is:
knowing no matter how young you are you still can change the world for the better!

BioHelia Pouyanfar (she/her) is an exhibiting artist and educator with more than eight years of experience in the arts. Born in 1995 in Tehran, Iran, Helia immigrated to California in 2014. Inspired by her cultural background, her architectural sculptures endeavor to illustrate and investigate the permanently transient state of the refugee body and its negotiation and reconciliation with place. She received her B.A. in Art Practice from UC Berkeley and her MFA in Studio Art from UC Davis, specializing in sculpture and installation art. Helia has been the recipient of the Lauren Krikorian Memorial Prize, Certificate of Excellence in Sculpture from UC Berkeley, Mary Lou Osborn Award, 2021 Margrit Mondavi Graduate Fellowship from UC Davis, and Kala Art Institute’s 2023-2024 Fellowship and Special Program Award. Her work has been exhibited at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Root Division, Southern Exposure, SF Camerawork, Berkeley Art Center, and Skirball Cultural Center. She is entering her second year as a middle school art teacher at TBS, and this year she is excited to take on the role of middle school advisor and 4/5th grade art teacher. She looks forward to expanding her students’ visions of contemporary art and hopes to carry out multiple large-scale public art installations with the TBS community this year.
Jennifer	Tilson

Jennifer Tilson

MS Academic Learning Specialist

jtilson@theberkeleyschool.org

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Jennifer Tilson

MS Academic Learning Specialist
Jennifer	Tilson

Jennifer Tilson

MS Academic Learning Specialist

Jennifer Tilson

MS Academic Learning Specialist

jtilson@theberkeleyschool.org

BioJen Tilson (she/her) has more than 20 years of experience in education, and this is her third year at TBS. She holds a degree in English and a multiple subject teaching credential from Wellesley College, and an M.A. in Education in Language, Literacy, Society and Culture from UC Berkeley. She began her career teaching first and second grade at the Chinese American International School in San Francisco, and also taught elementary grades in the Berkeley Unified School District before coming to The Berkeley School. For twelve years, she was a curriculum developer, literacy specialist and researcher at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, where she led a team in developing Amplify Science, a nationally-recognized, NGSS-designed, integrated science and literacy curriculum for grades K-8. Her favorite part of working at LHS was tapping into her lifelong passion for writing by developing children’s books to accompany the curriculum.
Julia Shields

What Matters in Education is:
that each student’s world and heart is expanded.

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Julia Shields

4th/5th Teacher (Cerrito Creek Classroom) & 3-5 Team Leader
Julia Shields

Julia Shields

4th/5th Teacher (Cerrito Creek Classroom) & 3-5 Team Leader

What Matters in Education is:
that each student’s world and heart is expanded.

BioJulia Shields (she/her) is entering her ninth year teaching fourth and fifth grade at The Berkeley School. A fourth generation Bay Area local, she lives in Richmond with her wife and three-year-old, who will attend the ECC this year! She completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz and went on to receive a Masters in Education and Teaching Credential through The Bay Area Teacher Training Institute. Teaching allows her to continuously learn from her students and to provide a safe space for children to explore their own interests and identities. Outside of the classroom, she loves being surrounded by trees or can be found swimming in cool California rivers and lakes. She enjoys sewing her own clothes and knitting, a love she brings into the classroom. Julia is looking forward to another year in Cerrito with awesome 4th and 5th graders!
Schools AttendedB.A. University of California Santa Cruz, M.A. University of the Pacific (BATTI)
Years in Education7
Julianne Hughes

What Matters in Education is:
helping students understand themselves as learners through the process of art making.

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Julianne Hughes

ECC-3rd Teaching Artist
Julianne Hughes

Julianne Hughes

ECC-3rd Teaching Artist

What Matters in Education is:
helping students understand themselves as learners through the process of art making.

BioJulianne Hughes (she/her) is a Teaching Artist / Arts Educator entering her 28th year at The Berkeley School. The range of her teaching practice has provided the great opportunity to work with groups from preschool through adults, and she finds joy in collaboration with her colleagues. Julianne has an MFA from the California College of the Arts. Her career at TBS began as the first through sixth grade teaching artist while also directing the extended day program. She spent the last 13 years teaching early childhood through fifth grade, and this year she will be teaching early childhood through third grade students. Julianne‘s work is relational and her influences in educational pedagogy include time spent with Harvard Project Zero, study of the Reggio Emelia principles; advancing identity-affirming classrooms and neurodiversity in learning; achieving an anti-bias, antiracist classroom; and promoting art as social practice. Julianne‘s art teaching practice is informed by her own studio practice. She brings her experience in a vast array of art processes and her understanding of materials. Julianne’s work springs from domestic and historically undervalued work of women. She uses the languages of sewing, collage, assemblage, clay, and textile techniques as metaphors to convey ideas of identity, memory, family, home, and a sense of place. Her collections of readymade objects are often in dialogue and relationship to those she creates. She is drawn to material culture and sees that it can provoke dialogue and engage others. She spends her days in collaboration and connecting with students and other educators. In Julianne’s art studio classroom she is dedicated to building a community of learners, helping students understand themselves as creatives, find their artistic voice, and think like artists. She is active in the artistic community with the Wideawakes and For Freedoms, an initiative for art and civic engagement named the "largest creative collaboration in United States history" by TIME Magazine. Love, hope, art and agency are her guiding principles.
Schools AttendedM.F.A. California College of the Arts
Years in Education28
Katie Vurlumis

What Matters in Education is:

Preparing students for our ever changing world by giving them the tools and opportunities to question, collaborate and innovate with both empathy and resiliency. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin ...Read More

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Katie Vurlumis

K-5 Academic Learning Specialist
Katie Vurlumis

Katie Vurlumis

K-5 Academic Learning Specialist

What Matters in Education is:

Preparing students for our ever changing world by giving them the tools and opportunities to question, collaborate and innovate with both empathy and resiliency. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin

BioKatie Vurlumis (she/her) has been in the field of education since 2015 and this is her third year as the K-5 Academic Learning Specialist at The Berkeley School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis and completed both a Master of Arts and Certificate in Educational Therapy from Holy Names University in Oakland. Katie is passionate about early intervention and ensuring that children are given the opportunity to develop solid academic skills, which will create self-confident students who will engage and contribute to society. As a Learning Specialist, each day Katie has the opportunity to be an educational detective identifying roadblocks that are getting in the way of a student’s academic potential. As an interventionist she provides individualized, small group and push-in instruction through differentiation and multisensory strategies and works closely as a collaborative partner with the K-5 teachers and outside tutors to support student needs. Katie is a strong advocate helping students understand how they learn and what supports need to be in place to achieve their academic goals. A Berkeley native, Katie takes full advantage of the East Bay climate. When away from campus, Katie can be found biking, swimming or playing soccer with her husband and children.
Schools AttendedB.A. University of California, Davis M.A. Holy Names University
Years in Education7
Katt Guerlac

What Matters in Education is:
the passion and love for learning.

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Katt Guerlac

ECC Associate Teacher & Extended Day Team Leader
Katt Guerlac

Katt Guerlac

ECC Associate Teacher & Extended Day Team Leader

What Matters in Education is:
the passion and love for learning.

Schools AttendedA.A. Merritt College
Years in Education12
Kirstie Mah

What Matters in Education is:
the freedom to create, grow, listen, question, make mistakes, wonder, belong, and build in a safe environment that values and challenges you.

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Kirstie Mah

ECC Teacher (Eugenia Classroom)
Kirstie Mah

Kirstie Mah

ECC Teacher (Eugenia Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
the freedom to create, grow, listen, question, make mistakes, wonder, belong, and build in a safe environment that values and challenges you.

Schools AttendedB.A. University of California, San Diego, M.S. Bank Street College, M.S.W. CUNY Hunter Silberman School of Social Work
Years in Education10
Lamar Johnson

What Matters in Education is:

Creating an environment where all types of learners feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their ideas.

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Lamar Johnson

Director of Enrollment & Outreach
Lamar Johnson

Lamar Johnson

Director of Enrollment & Outreach

What Matters in Education is:

Creating an environment where all types of learners feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their ideas.

BioLamar Johnson (he/him) is entering his third year at The Berkeley School and his sixteenth year working in education. He has worked in several capacities from teaching kindergarten with the DoDDS in Kaiserslautern, Germany to a wilderness director with an all-boys residential leadership program to college counseling in underfunded communities. Lamar graduated from East Carolina University with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Communications and an M.B.A. in Finance. After graduation, he relocated to San Diego to join a grassroots non-profit organization, Etched Pressed Society, with a mission to promote literacy and college planning in at-risk neighborhoods. As a staunch advocate for community service, Lamar is drawn to The Berkeley School’s dedication to civic engagement. On his personal time, he volunteers with several local organizations including, Project Avary, an organization that works with youths whose parents are or have been incarcerated; Frameline, an organization that promotes queer cinema and media arts; and 826 Valencia, an organization that supports literacy and writing skills to under-resourced students. When not volunteering, he also enjoys reading young adult literature, visiting mom-and-pop bookstores to expand his small library, and engaging in almost anything outdoors, such as swimming, skiing, kayaking, and exploring new hiking and backpacking trails.
Schools AttendedEast Carolina University, MBA East Carolina University, BSBA
Years in Education15
Leslie Cruz

What Matters in Education is:

connecting

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Leslie Cruz

1st/2nd Grade Teacher (Blackberry Creek Classroom)
Leslie Cruz

Leslie Cruz

1st/2nd Grade Teacher (Blackberry Creek Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:

connecting

BioLeslie Cruz (she/her) has been teaching for thirteen years. This is her third year at The Berkeley School. She began her teaching career in public schools and hopes to end there as well. She taught internationally for the subsequent seven years at various schools around the world and then ended up in the Bay Area. She believes that socio-emotional learning is just as important as any core academic subject. Leslie engages in practices that always keep students at the center. She believes that, to push for equity and justice, we must all believe in creating communities that care for each other and show up for each other. She is excited to return to teaching grades one and two next year.
Years in Education12
Lisa Chung-Nguyen

What Matters in Education is:
igniting curious minds. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” ~Socrates

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Lisa Chung-Nguyen

3rd Grade Teacher (Temescal Creek Classroom)
Lisa Chung-Nguyen

Lisa Chung-Nguyen

3rd Grade Teacher (Temescal Creek Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
igniting curious minds. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” ~Socrates

BioLisa Chung-Nguyen (she/her) has been teaching for seventeen years and this will be her eleventh year teaching at TBS, ten of which have been teaching in Temescal Creek’s third grade class. She grew up in the greater Los Angeles area, in a city called Arcadia, and went to UCLA where she got her B.A. in English with a minor in Education. She went on to Teachers College at Columbia University to get her M.A. in Education and stayed in New York City for three more years to teach at The Little Red Schoolhouse in the West Village. Lisa currently lives in Oakland with her family, and her daughter, Adeline, will be a 4-year-old in the Cedar class at the ECC. During her free time, she enjoys trying different boba shops and restaurants, taking pictures of her food, reading subtitled dramas (Korean and Chinese), and listening to Kpop groups like BTS and Stray Kids.
Schools AttendedB.A. UCLA, M.A. Teachers College at Columbia University
Years in Education13
Lizette Flores

What Matters in Education is:

Creating a space where youth can thrive and be their best selves

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Lizette Flores

UAC Front Office Administrator
Lizette Flores

Lizette Flores

UAC Front Office Administrator

What Matters in Education is:

Creating a space where youth can thrive and be their best selves

Schools AttendedCurrently working toward an AA at Contra Costa College
Years in Education9
Louisa Mascuch

Louisa Mascuch

ECC Teacher (Eugenia Classroom)

lmascuch@theberkeleyschool.org

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Louisa Mascuch

ECC Teacher (Eugenia Classroom)
Louisa Mascuch

Louisa Mascuch

ECC Teacher (Eugenia Classroom)

Louisa Mascuch

ECC Teacher (Eugenia Classroom)

lmascuch@theberkeleyschool.org

Maple Molina

What Matters in Education is:
that every student feels empowered to reach their full potential.

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Maple Molina

Data Manager & K-8 Program Coordinator
Maple Molina

Maple Molina

Data Manager & K-8 Program Coordinator

What Matters in Education is:
that every student feels empowered to reach their full potential.

Schools AttendedB.A. UC Riverside, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise
Years in Education12
Mark Romero

What Matters in Education is:

...

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Mark Romero

1/2 Associate Teacher
Mark Romero

Mark Romero

1/2 Associate Teacher

What Matters in Education is:

...

Bio Mark Romero (he/him) is originally from Philadelphia, PA and has recently relocated to Oakland, CA. He has 7+ years of experience working with young children. He has mainly worked as a Lead Teacher with toddlers and preschool aged students in various Early Childcare Educational centers. Mark has also worked as a Social Emotional Specialist in various mental health programs for students of the same age. He strives to teach compassion, equity, social skills, and emotional regulation to young children. Mark is also a practicing visual artist and loves to incorporate art and self-expression activities in the classroom. He is excited to be a part of The Berkeley School, so please join me in welcoming Mark!
Mason Hanson

What Matters in Education is:

empowering students to boldly ask "why?" and "how?". Pursuing the answers drives innovation and change-making.

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Mason Hanson

6th Grade Math Teacher & K-8 Civic Engagement Coordinator
Mason Hanson

Mason Hanson

6th Grade Math Teacher & K-8 Civic Engagement Coordinator

What Matters in Education is:

empowering students to boldly ask "why?" and "how?". Pursuing the answers drives innovation and change-making.

BioMason Hanson (they/them) is entering their eleventh year in education, their sixth year of teaching, and their second year at TBS. Mason earned a B.A. in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley, with a focus in Learning Science and a minor in Education. Mason began their professional pursuits in academic research at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Human Development, studying cognitive development of young children. In 2012, they joined the Learning Design Group at the Lawrence Hall of Science as a science curriculum developer and assessment specialist. There they spent four exciting years creating NGSS-aligned science curriculum with a team of exceptional STEAM educators. They then joined Cubit, a robotics and computer science education startup, as their lead STEAM curriculum developer. Since becoming a classroom teacher in 2018, Mason has taught a variety of STEAM subjects: science, math, technology, coding, and gardening. As an educator, Mason firmly believes in empowering students to take action towards a more equitable and just world. Towards that end, Mason is thrilled to serve as the K-8 Civic Engagement Coordinator this year, helping TBS students develop and implement impactful, community-oriented projects. Mason will team-teach sixth through eighth grades Civic Studies, continue to teach sixth grade math, and work to expand STEAM integration at TBS, which includes co-coaching a FIRST Robotics team. Born and raised in Lake Tahoe, Mason enjoys a range of outdoor activities in their free time: hiking, backpacking, kayaking, skiing, rock climbing, foraging, and gardening. They love learning and can be accurately described as “overflowingly enthusiastic.”
Schools AttendedUniversity of California Berkeley, B.A. Cognitive Science
Years in Education10
they/them
Mitch Bostian

What Matters in Education is:
helping all students feel simultaneously seen and supported in every way: academically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

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Mitch Bostian

Head of School
Mitch Bostian

Mitch Bostian

Head of School

What Matters in Education is:
helping all students feel simultaneously seen and supported in every way: academically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

BioMitch Bostian (he/him) is entering his thirteenth year as Head of School at TBS and 34th as an educator. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Chicago and an M.Ed in Organizational Leadership from the University of San Francisco. Mitch has taught K-12 students everything from English, math, and civic studies to cooking, keyboarding, and tree identification, coached everything from debate to softball to wrestling, and served as an advisor, Middle School division head, and Dean of Faculty. In addition, Mitch has served on the board of directors of the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC) and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and regularly leads accreditation teams on behalf of CAIS. He is a co-founder/facilitator of the white anti-racist leadership affinity group for CAIS school leaders and regularly serves as an affinity group facilitator and presenter at NAIS’ People of Color Conference (POCC) and Annual Conference. Mitch is the parent of three TBS alums, Rhianna (‘11), Amalia (‘16), and Roxy (‘17), and is proud of the ways that their post-graduation paths both reflect and amplify the school’s mission and values. When not working at TBS, he enjoys exploring neighborhoods and nature (usually on foot), playing bass and harmonica, cooking, and watching TBS students and alums performing on stage and competing on fields and courts throughout the East Bay.
Schools AttendedB.A. University of Chicago, M.A.Ed. University of San Francisco
Years in Education30
Mitra Panbehchi

 

What Matters in Education is:

Each child’s innate capacity to learn and providing each child an equal opportunity to learn in a nurturing, multi-cultural environment.

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Mitra Panbehchi

ECC Teacher (Magnolia Classroom)
Mitra Panbehchi

Mitra Panbehchi

ECC Teacher (Magnolia Classroom)

 

What Matters in Education is:

Each child’s innate capacity to learn and providing each child an equal opportunity to learn in a nurturing, multi-cultural environment.

Schools AttendedB.A. Tehran University, M.A. Tehran Azad University
Years in Education12
Molly Sopher

Molly Sopher

ECC Teacher Aide (Caterpillar)
Molly Sopher

Molly Sopher

ECC Teacher Aide (Caterpillar)
Niki Enriquez

What Matters in Education is:
Imagination. Knowledge is powerful, and imagination can help us see different things and opens brand new paths to knowledge.

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Niki Enriquez

ECC Associate Teacher (Live Oak Classroom)
Niki Enriquez

Niki Enriquez

ECC Associate Teacher (Live Oak Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
Imagination. Knowledge is powerful, and imagination can help us see different things and opens brand new paths to knowledge.

Schools AttendedBerkeley City College
Years in Education9
Noushin Moghaddam

What Matters in Education is:
creating a space where kids feel safe enough to learn, make friends, and build strong social skills.

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Noushin Moghaddam

ECC Teacher (Cedar Classroom)
Noushin Moghaddam

Noushin Moghaddam

ECC Teacher (Cedar Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
creating a space where kids feel safe enough to learn, make friends, and build strong social skills.

Years in Education11
Paula D. Farmer

What Matters in Education is:
community. TBS is a supportive learning community for children and adults alike.

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Paula D. Farmer

Director of Community & Belonging
Paula D. Farmer

Paula D. Farmer

Director of Community & Belonging

What Matters in Education is:
community. TBS is a supportive learning community for children and adults alike.

Schools AttendedB.S. Florida A&M, M.F.A. Washington State University
Years in Education19
Rachel Silvas

What Matters in Education is:

Fostering a love of learning through individuality and engagement.

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Rachel Silvas

Early Childhood Enrollment Manager
Rachel Silvas

Rachel Silvas

Early Childhood Enrollment Manager

What Matters in Education is:

Fostering a love of learning through individuality and engagement.

Schools AttendedBS, The Art Institute of Houston and MAT, The College of New Jersey
Years in Education8
Randy Yee

What Matters in Education is:
connecting with the present.

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Randy Yee

Controller
Randy Yee

Randy Yee

Controller

What Matters in Education is:
connecting with the present.

Schools AttendedB.A. UC Santa Cruz
Years in Education25
Rebecca Blythe

What Matters in Education is:
relationships. Transformative learning does not occur in isolation. It occurs in relationship.

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Rebecca Blythe

ECC Director
Rebecca Blythe

Rebecca Blythe

ECC Director

What Matters in Education is:
relationships. Transformative learning does not occur in isolation. It occurs in relationship.

Schools AttendedB.A. Lawrence University, M.A. New York University
Years in Education18
RoseMarie Ezra

 

What Matters in Education is:

Not the quantity but the quality - how it’s being taught to instill curiosity to learn.

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RoseMarie Ezra

Director of Facilities & Campus Health & Safety
RoseMarie Ezra

RoseMarie Ezra

Director of Facilities & Campus Health & Safety

 

What Matters in Education is:

Not the quantity but the quality - how it’s being taught to instill curiosity to learn.

Samantha Arredondo

What Matters in Education is:

Respect for children’s individuality, thoughts and ideas.

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Samantha Arredondo

Early Childhood Associate/ExDay Teacher (Cedar)
Samantha Arredondo

Samantha Arredondo

Early Childhood Associate/ExDay Teacher (Cedar)

What Matters in Education is:

Respect for children’s individuality, thoughts and ideas.

Schools AttendedBA Cal State San Bernandino, Masters in Child Development from Cal State San Bernardino (in progress)
Years in Education5
Samantha Snook

What Matters in Education is:
empathy and empowerment. Let’s empower our children to feel deeply and lift up others.

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Samantha Snook

4th/5th Grade Teacher (Strawberry Creek & Cerrito Creek Classroom)
Samantha Snook

Samantha Snook

4th/5th Grade Teacher (Strawberry Creek & Cerrito Creek Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:
empathy and empowerment. Let’s empower our children to feel deeply and lift up others.

BioSamantha Snook (she/her) is entering her sixth year teaching fourth and fifth grade at The Berkeley School, and can’t wait for another fresh year. Born and raised in San Francisco, she did her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at CSU Sacramento and received her credential and Master's in Science Education at the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute and University of the Pacific. In the classroom, she loves creating authentic opportunities for students to get their hands messy with real-life materials, watching students make connections between what they are learning and reading and their lives and the world around them, and seeing them discover and develop themselves as individuals and part of a community; being part of that is such a special privilege. In her spare time, she enjoys testing new recipes, going to farmer’s markets, traveling to find the best new boba places in the Bay Area, jamming out to BTS, and collecting children’s books. This year Samantha is excited to embark on her most epic adventure, yet—parenthood—with her first baby expected in mid-autumn.
Schools AttendedB.A. California State University
Years in Education17
Stephen Cahill

What Matters in Education is:
growing to know yourself as a learner and as a community member.

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Stephen Cahill

K-8th Grade Social-Emotional Learning Specialist
Stephen Cahill

Stephen Cahill

K-8th Grade Social-Emotional Learning Specialist

What Matters in Education is:
growing to know yourself as a learner and as a community member.

BioStephen Cahill (he/him) is beginning his eleventh year as the Social/Emotional Learning Specialist at The Berkeley School and fourteenth year as part of the TBS community, having previously spent three years as a student support aide. Stephen holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts & Science: Arts, Media & Culture, from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and an M.A. in Special Education with an Autism Spectrum graduate certificate from San Francisco State University. He has also been trained as an early family wellness coach in the Vermont Family-Based Approach from the University of Vermont School of Psychology. Prior to teaching at TBS, he was a special day class paraeducator in Washington State public schools, taught in the Behavioral Support Department in the Long Beach Unified School District, and was a a play facilitator and social communication coach trained in DIR/Floortime, a child-led, relationship-based approach to social communication development, working with students preschool aged through high school and their families. He has a passion for the neurodiversity movement and its intersections with other movements for social and educational justice. He particularly loves helping parents connect with their children, children connect with their peers, and students connect with themselves. Outside of school he is a musician, avid reader, and loves spending time with his partner and their incredibly naughty dog.
Schools AttendedB.A. University of Washington, Tacoma, M.A. Sped. San Francisco State University
Years in Education13
Valerie Dunn

What Matters in Education is:

Equality, rec​i​proc​i​ty and creativity in different learning styles.

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Valerie Dunn

ECC Associate & ExDay Teacher (Eugenia)
Valerie Dunn

Valerie Dunn

ECC Associate & ExDay Teacher (Eugenia)

What Matters in Education is:

Equality, rec​i​proc​i​ty and creativity in different learning styles.

Years in Education18
Yu Ren Lin

What Matters in Education is:
furthering the next generation.

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Yu Ren Lin

Custodian
Yu Ren Lin

Yu Ren Lin

Custodian

What Matters in Education is:
furthering the next generation.

Years in Education22

Our Mission

Ignite Curious Minds
Awaken Generous Hearts
Engage a Changing World

K – 8 Campus

1310 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Campus

2030 Francisco Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 849-8340

Ignite Curious Minds
Awaken Generous Hearts
Engage a Changing World

K – 8 Campus

1310 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Campus

2030 Francisco Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 849-8340

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