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.
Rebecca is a 1st/2nd associate teacher. She received a B.A. from San Francisco State University in psychology and art. With an interest in developmental psychology, Rebecca taught preschool for seven years, followed by teaching the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades in San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. Rebecca has participated in diverse educational training over her 15-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 is an associate teacher in a 3rd/4th grade classroom and teaches Spanish in the elementary school. Maria has worked with children for more than 25 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.” Maria’s two daughters attend Waverly, Aaliyah in 6th grade and Natalie in 8th grade.
Richard is the kindergarten associate teacher. He has a B.A. in fine arts/graphic design from California State University, Los Angeles and holds an Early Childhood Development Credential from the State of California. Richard has been with Waverly since its days as a preschool, and has taught in the elementary school for over 25 years. He says, “Waverly children inspire me by their openness, their creative approaches in problem solving, and an incredible school-wide vibe of it’s okay to be different.”
Stina is a 3rd/4th lead teacher. Stina has a B.A. in English and a California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Language Arts from California State University, Los Angeles. Stina is committed to creating emergent, project-based social studies units that emphasize multiple perspectives and critical thinking and to engaging her students in service-learning projects. She is passionate about progressive, student-centered education.
Molly (Waverly class of 2002) is a 5th/6th lead teacher. She has a B.A. in theology and religious studies from the University of San Francisco and a teaching credential and a Master of Education degree from Antioch University. Molly supports and challenges her students by meeting them where they are emotionally, socially, and academically. She explains, “Some days they need support, other days a challenge, but knowing they always have a teacher who will support them allows them to be their best selves.” Molly’s eldest son, Aiben, is in kindergarten.
Susan is the kindergarten lead teacher. Credentialed by the State of California as a teacher (preschool-12th grades) and 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. Susan challenges the kindergarteners by first supporting them emotionally. She says, “There is so much flux and transformation taking place socially, emotionally, and cognitively at this point in their development, that my role is to listen, observe, and recognize when and where to push regarding their learning experiences.”
Jennifer is the learning specialist for kindergarten through 12th grade. Jennifer has a California Teaching Credential, a Master’s in teaching, and certification as an educational therapist. Led to a career in education by a lifelong fascination with the many different ways people think and learn, Jennifer is happiest when around children and teens and believes that most kids are naturally curious and seek challenges to stretch themselves. To support them, she explains,“Often, you just need to give them the time and space to follow their curiosity. For children who may find themselves facing tasks which are too challenging, what is often needed is support in building the skills to feel capable of meeting a challenge.”
Cheenu is a 1st/2nd associate teacher. She has a B.A. from the Government College for Women in Punjab, India, and has studied early childhood development and education at Pasadena City College and through UCLA Extension. Of Waverly’s approach to teaching, Cheenu says,“Above all, we appreciate that every student will have a different path, and that it is incumbent upon us to understand each student’s journey thus far as well as the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We provide students with tools to reach farther, a supportive platform where they are comfortable taking risks, and a culture of celebrating values-based decisions.” Cheenu loves to cook and she has two sons, one of whom also teaches at Waverly.
Sahaj is a 5th/6th associate teacher. Sahaj has a B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in education administration and a 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 that lead to unique results and experiences every year.” Sahaj enjoys Hatha yoga, playing basketball, and exploring science.
Emily (Waverly Class of 2008) is a 5th/6th grade associate teacher. Emily received her B.A. in social and behavioral sciences with a concentration in anthropology from California State University, Monterey Bay, and is working on her M.A. in anthropology with a concentration in biological anthropology. 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.”
Kevin is a 3rd/4th grade lead teacher. Kevin received a B.F.A. from Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. 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.
Rains is a 1st/2nd lead teacher. Rains has a B.A. in modern culture and media and comparative literature with Italian from Brown University and an M.S. in education for early childhood and childhood general education from Bank Street College of Education. Rains has taught preschool through 4th grade over 10 years, including five years at the Packer Collegiate Institute in New York and two years at The Polytechnic School in Pasadena. Rains works tirelessly to create developmentally appropriate and engaging lessons for her students. Her daughter Adele is in the 1st grade.
Brittany is a 1st/2nd lead teacher. Brittany holds a B.A. in psychology and fine art/art history from Bucknell University, a Multiple Subject Credential from CalState TEACH, an Early Childhood Education Certificate from UCLA Extension, and will soon complete her program for a Master’s in Teaching with a focus on social justice, multiculturalism, and action research through California State University, Fresno. Brittany believes that all students should be given the space and opportunity to love learning and to realize that there is so much that can be uncovered through the learning process. She says, “The classroom is set up to meet varying student needs in a variety of learning experiences. In this environment, students are given the space and support to take risks, ask questions, and express themselves.”
Jenny is a 5th/6th lead teacher. Jenny has a master’s degree in reading/language arts from Sonoma State University and a reading specialist credential from Los Angeles University. Jenny pays close attention to her students’ individual interests and strengths as a means of informing the curriculum. She says, “Every day, the students inspire me through their creativity, laughter, and their interests…and I love watching the rhythm of the class as groups of students are working on a project, each student contributing to the group’s success.”
Megan is a 3rd/4th associate teacher. She holds a B.A. in child development from California State University, Northridge. Megan became an educator to help students achieve their potential and to help build their self-confidence. She supports and challenges Waverly students by being their biggest motivator. Megan says, “Should students approach me, proud to have told their parents what they have learned, this shows me I’ve done my job well.”