Inspired experience based college preparatory education for creative and intellectually curious students
Early childhood through twelfth grade

Faculty

2018-2019 Elementary School Faculty

At Waverly, students are led by knowledgeable, caring teachers deeply committed to a developmental approach. With their wide range of influences and belief in integrated learning, Waverly’s elementary teachers create engaging and dynamic classrooms. See the biographies below for specific information about education and credentials.

Heather Castrone is a first/second grade lead teacher. Heather has a B.A. in Art History and in English from the University of Connecticut, a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and an M.A. in Elementary Education from New York University, Steinhardt School of Education. Heather taught for four years at Manhattan New School in New York City and eight years at Crossroads Elementary School in Santa Monica before taking a few years to be with her young sons. Heather is committed to creating emergent, project-based learning experiences for her students while actively supporting their social-emotional well-being.

Richard_CervantesRichard Cervantes teaches kindergarten. He has a B.A. in Fine Arts/Graphic Design from California State University, Los Angeles. Richard has an Early Childhood Development Credential from the State of California. Richard enjoys using puppetry, magic, storytelling, visual arts, and music in the classroom, and believes that play is the stepping stone to personal growth and development in young children.

Marina Dahlen teaches preschool. She has an A.A. degree from the College of the Redwoods with an emphasis in early childhood education. Marina is a professional pet-sitter, spends a good deal of her spare time working with dog rescue groups, and helps local “street dogs” find loving homes. Marina’s son Emmett is a graduate of Waverly’s class of 2008.

Caitlin Dube teaches Wellness and History. Caitlin received a BA in English from Harvard College, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. A lifelong learner, Caitlin completed a post-baccalaureate premedical program before her work as an educator with Planned Parenthood inspired her to forgo medical school and return to her first love: teaching. Caitlin has been an educator for over a decade. She is an avid yogi, published poet, and an advisor for Change The Talk, a peer-to-peer social justice workshop. She incorporates themes of tolerance, mindfulness and empowerment into her lessons for all ages.

Molly Geller teaches fifth/sixth grade.  She has a B.A. in Theology and Religious Studies from University of San Francisco, a teaching credential from Antioch University, and a Master of Education degree from Antioch. Molly graduated from Waverly in 2002 and became an associate teacher at Waverly in 2007. Molly’s eldest son Aiben is a preschool student.

Susan Hendricks teaches in kindergarten. She has been active as an educator for more than 26 years. Credentialed through the State of California to teach preschool through adult and also as a reading specialist, Susan holds a Master of Science in Education specializing in Language and Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania as well as a Child Development Program Director Permit from the State of California. As an alumna and charter corps member of Teach for America, Susan continues to be an advocate for education equity and socio-historical justice.

Jennifer Johnson is the Learning Specialist for K-12. She studied Art, Art History, and Psychology at Occidental, learning how different people experience the world. At UCLA, Jen’s Master’s thesis in Architectural History explored the intersection between children’s play with building blocks and the spatial skills used by architects.  Later, after jobs working with museums and as the Visual Resources Librarian at Occidental College, she decided she needed to spend more time with children.  Jennifer has a California Teaching Credential, a Master’s in Teaching, and certification as an Educational Therapist.  She most recently taught 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and studio art at St. Mark’s School in Altadena while also providing educational therapy services to private clients.

Cheenu Kashyap is a first/second associate teacher. She has a B.A. from the Government College for Women in Punjab, India and has taken coursework in Early Childhood Development and Education at Pasadena City College and through U.C.L.A Extension. She has been a part of the Waverly community since 1986 as a preschool teacher at Fair Oaks Preschool (formerly Waverly Preschool). Cheenu loves to cook and she has two sons. One of them is a teacher at Waverly.

Suzanne Lituchy is lead teacher in first/second grade. Suzanne has a B.S. in Elementary Education from State University of New York in Oswego and an M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has taught preschool through third grade for twenty years and has training and extensive experience with the programs and approaches used in Waverly elementary classrooms, including Everyday Mathematics and Responsive Classroom.

kevin-murawskiKevin Murawski is a third/fourth grade lead teacher. Kevin received a BFA from Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. A creative, developmental, progressive educator, Kevin has spent the last eight years at Sequoyah, where he taught in kindergarten/first and third/fourth grade classrooms. A lifelong learner, Kevin has participated in workshops and conferences on diversity, child development, Writer’s Workshop, and Everyday Math. Prior to teaching, Kevin was an art director for a publishing company and at various animation studios. His work with children’s literature instilled a passion for inspiring young minds.

josie-olson-2016Josie Olson teaches instrumental and vocal music at the elementary school.  Josie was born in Cuba and moved to the U.S. in 1961 with her family. During her middle and high school years, she studied violin. After studying languages at El Camino College, Josie sang professionally for ten years. And has been a vocal music teacher at Waverly with her husband, Michael since 1996. In 2010, Josie started the pop/rock instrumental music program for the elementary and middle schools. She is the proud mother of three children who all attended Waverly. Michelle and Dan, class of 2016, are college students and Allie is a music teacher. When not at school, Josie enjoys following politics and watching cheesy sci-fi movies.

Brittany_ReynoldsBrittany Reynolds teaches third/fourth grades. Brittany has been at Waverly for over five years. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Fine Art and Art History from Bucknell University, finished academic work for a Multiple Subject Credential through CalState TEACH and completed Early Childhood Education Units at UCLA.

 

Jenny Sirell has a master’s degree in Reading/Language Arts from Sonoma State University and Reading Specialist Credential from Los Angeles University. She has taught art, 5/6, and 1/2 at Wildwood School in Santa Monica, 7-12 grade English and history in the Solomon Islands as a Peace Corps. volunteer, at Sonoma Country School in Northern California, on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in New Mexico, and at Westland School. Jenny started teaching at Waverly in 1995 and is teaching one of our fifth/sixth classes this year. Jenny and her husband Steve were instrumental in getting the Waverly School farm started!

Elementary Associate Teachers:

RebeccaRebecca Blum is a third/fourth grade associate teacher. She received her BA from San Francisco State University in Psychology and Art. With an interest in developmental psychology, Rebecca taught preschool for seven years, followed by teaching second, third, and fifth grade children in San Francisco, Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Rebecca has participated in diverse educational training over her fifteen year career, including Jewish educator training, Reggio Emilia, Reader and Writer’s Workshop, Responsive Classroom, Bill Davidson Math, and anti-bias training. When Rebecca isn’t teaching, she can often be found baking pie for her small pie company called Piety.

Maria BrownMaria Brown is an associate teacher in a first and second grade classroom and teaches Spanish in both first and second grade classes.  Maria has worked with children for twenty-eight years and has been with Waverly since its days as a preschool. Of her work, Maria says, “It gives me joy to watch the children grow year after year and see how they become passionate artists, confident speakers, talented musicians, and kind young adults who love us all for being part of their journey.” Outside of school, Maria enjoys the beach, road trips, new restaurants, and spending time with her daughters, Aaliyah in fifth grade and Natalie in seventh grade.

Marie HarperMarie Harper is the associate teacher in our preschool class and runs our Preschool Afterschool Program.  She has a BA in Psychology, an MA in Human Development with Specialization in Leadership in Education and Human Services, and an MS in Early Childhood Studies with Specialization in Teaching and Diversity in Early Education.  Marie has worked with children for more than twenty years; this is her third year at Waverly. Marie enjoys hiking, reading, kayaking, skateboarding, and listening to music.  She wishes she could play the guitar like Nancy Wilson!

Sahaj KashyapSahaj Kashyap is an associate teacher in a fifth and sixth grade class. He has been working at Waverly for eight years. Sahaj has a BA in Sociology from University of California, Berkeley and an MA in Educational Administration and teaching credential from California State University, Northridge. He appreciates working at Waverly because “academics can be approached differently to include all learning styles.  The classroom is a chemistry experiment in and of itself.  We have distinct personalities and diverse mixtures which lead to unique results and experiences every year.”  Sahaj enjoys Hatha yoga, playing basketball, and exploring science.

Emily Koss (Waverly Class of 2008) is an associate teacher in a fifth and sixth grade classroom. This is Emily’s third year teaching at Waverly. She received her BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Anthropology from CSU Monterey Bay, and she started her MA in Anthropology with a concentration in Biological Anthropology this summer. Emily loves working with kids because “they are so fresh and real, their ideas and opinions are fascinating, they are hilarious and adorable, and they give [her] hope for humanity.”

Megan Tone is an associate teacher for preschool. She has served as a substitute in various classrooms and iss a familiar face to most families as the site leader for Tom Sawyer After School Camp here at Waverly. Megan has a BA on Child Development from Cal State Northridge which sparked her interest in how each child grows and develops differently. During the summer months, Megan is an Assistant Director of the Equestrian program at Tom Sawyer Camps. She loves short get-aways to the beach or mountains and spending time with family.

Stefanie Wieschallais a third/fourth grade associate and Spanish teacher. Stefanie received a MA in Bilingual Education (Spanish/English) from California State University Los Angeles. She lived five years in Latin America and taught preschool to third grade in different International schools. Originally from Germany, Stefanie enjoys sharing her language and culture with the students. She has participated in workshops and conferences on educational justice, child development, multiculturalism and bilingualism.

Elementary Specialists:

Maria Brown: Spanish
Allison Gilman: Spanish
Tina Reimann-Stone: librarian
Josie Olson: vocal music and instrumental music
Michael Olson: vocal music
Michelle Dakan: art
Ken Riddle: art
Patrick Delaney: PE

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