2016-2017 High School Faculty
Committed to a humanistic approach, our high school teachers encourage their students to be creative, self-disciplined, and independent intellectuals capable of high academic achievement and personal growth. Faculty share and model lifetime learning by developing new classes and working with students on a range of activities—from debate to Bollywood—outside of class. See the biographies below for specific information about education and credentials.
Miguel Alférez has a B.A. and a Masters in Spanish from California State University, Long Beach; he is a native Spanish speaker. Miguel has six years of teaching experience at the middle school, high school, and college levels. Before moving to Waverly this fall, Miguel taught middle school Spanish at Wildwood School in Santa Monica from 2011 to 2015. ____________________________________
Dan Bowen teaches history to high school students. He graduated from Occidental College with a degree in American studies. Dan received a teaching credential and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dan’s two children graduated from Waverly: Sam in 2003 and Ryland in 2008.
Corey Fetzer teaches American Literature, as well two junior/senior Literature Seminars. Corey, who attended a K-12 progressive school, is strongly committed to the Waverly philosophy. She studied English and World Literature at Pitzer College, and has taught language arts, writing, and literature in a variety of settings.
Adrian Ferenc teaches high school math. He holds a BA from Occidental College and a Ph.D. from UC Irvine, both in mathematics. Beyond his experience teaching at Waverly as a substitute last year, he has worked with middle and high school students and has taught math as an adjunct professor at UCI. Adrian attended a progressive high school and understands how to make very complex topics accessible and meaningful to students.
Tony Garza teaches science and math at the high school. Tony earned a B.A. in Biology from California State University, Los Angeles, as well as an M.S. in Neuroscience. As an adjunct faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles, Tony was a biomedical researcher and published co-authored papers in the journals Neuroscience and Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behaviour.
Greg Harrison teaches science at the high school. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from MIT and an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. Greg served in the Air Force and then worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a spacecraft engineer. Greg teaches Evolution of the Universe, Honors Chemistry, and A.P. Environmental Science.
Jack Knight teaches math to high school students. He has a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, a Diploma in Mathematics (part 1) from the University of Auckland (New Zealand), and a Diploma of Teaching in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry from Teacher’s College in New Zealand. He taught math, physics, and chemistry for three years at Alexandra College in Sri Lanka before coming to Waverly.
Marjo Maisterra teaches 9th grade Ancient History. Marjo is a knowledgeable independent school educator with a deep knowledge of history and a well-stocked toolbox of differentiation strategies. She is a creative, engaging teacher who has a strong record of making learning meaningful for students. She has worked in a wide range of environments, including Mayfield Senior, New Roads High School, and most recently, Park Century School.
Ken Riddle is the art teacher for young kindergarten through high school. Ken has a B.F.A. from Art Center College of Design and an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts. In addition to being an exhibiting sculptor for the last 20 years, Ken curated and directed exhibitions for Bliss, a not for profit gallery in Pasadena from 1987 to 2006. Ken has taught for 12 years in a variety of settings, including Center for Early Education and Crossroads School, and has worked with students at the elementary though college level. Ken has two daughters at Waverly elementary.
Amy Sedivy teaches English and creative writing at the high school. She received a B.A. and M.A in English, with an emphasis in writing from California State University, Northridge. Amy taught for over six years at the college level. Amy has had her fiction published in several literary journals, including Calyx and The Louisville Review. Amy’s son Rylan graduated from Waverly in 2010.
Lisa Segarra teaches high school Spanish. Lisa is an experienced, progressive school educator, having worked at San Francisco Waldorf and Wildwood School in West L.A. She is a resourceful, innovative language instructor who brings a wide range of language acquisition skills to the classroom. Lisa is a warm, positive teacher and enjoys working with students at every level.
Nick Simmons teaches math in the middle and high school. Nick holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, both in Economics. He has taught undergraduate courses and has been involved in a great deal of fascinating research, including with professors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of Freakonomics. Further, he attended a progressive school and believes deeply in building strong relationships with students and creating learning opportunities that allow students to connect deeply with the material.
Bennel Thompkins teaches high school history. Bennel received his B.A. in Asian studies from Florida State and his J.D. from New York University Law School. After leaving the practice of law, Bennel shifted his focus to teaching. He employs the Socratic method of asking “why” to his high school students at Waverly.
Sydney Walsh teaches drama at the middle and high schools. Syd graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Theatre and English. She has acted in theatre, television, and film, amassing a long list of credits over the years, and has directed plays at various Los Angeles venues. Syd has taught acting for more than ten years, celebrating the playful nature of acting while encouraging her students to develop a greater understanding of themselves and others, the satisfaction that comes from hard work, and the means for clearly communicating complex ideas and thoughts. Syd’s son Harry is a Waverly high school student.