Meet the Faculty

2019-2020

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 Blum 19 20

Rebecca Blum

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 Brown 19 20

Maria Brown

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.

ES Bio Photo Richard

Richard Cervantes

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 Clinton 19 20

Stina Clinton

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 Geller 19 20

Molly Geller

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 Hendricks 19 20

Susan Hendricks

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 Johnson 19 20

Jennifer Johnson

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 Kashyap 19 20

Cheenu Kashyap

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 Kashyap 19 20

Sahaj Kashyap

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 Koss 19 20

Emily Koss

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 Murawski 19 20

Kevin Murawski

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 Paden 19 20

Rains Paden

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 Reynolds 19 20

Brit­tany Reynolds

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 Sirell 19 20

Jenny Sirell

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 Tone 19 20

Megan Tone

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.”