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.
Milca is a 1st/2nd lead teacher. Milca has a B.A. in art history with a minor in anthropology, an M.F.A., and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to coming to Waverly, Milca substitute taught in Spanish Dual Immersion classrooms in South Pasadena USD and was on the faculty of the Creative World Art Camp held at our campus during summer. (Email)
Rebecca is a 3rd/4th lead 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. (Email)
Maria is a 3rd/4th associate teacher. 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 10th grade and Natalie in 12th grade. (Email)
Stina is a 5th/6th 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. (Email)
Katie is the kindergarten lead teacher. Katie graduated from Pitzer College with her Bachelor’s in International Studies and from the University of the Pacific/Bay Area Teacher Training Institute with her Master’s in Education. Katie worked as a lead teacher at Marin Country Day School in Kindergarten and first grade for six years prior to coming to Waverly. Katie has experience designing and implementing curriculum for various grade levels in the areas of reading, writing, social studies, and math. She uses a variety of teaching modalities to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students. Katie has experience creating year-long social studies curricula for Kindergarten and 1st grade on identity, drawing upon child development, social justice issues, SEL, and anti-bias frameworks.
Gisselle De Anda
Gisselle is a 1st/2nd associate teacher.
Bryce is a 5th/6th associate teacher. Bryce holds a B.A. in strategic communications from Northern Arizona University. Prior to joining us in the classroom, Bryce was a camp counselor in Waverly’s summer camp. Bryce has previously worked as a physical education teacher at Chandler School, and he has also served as a paraprofessional for the La Cañada Unified School District. (Email)
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.” (Email)
Cheenu is an elementary school faculty member. 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. (Email)
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. (Email)
Malcolm is the elementary school counselor. Malcolm earned his Bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College and a Master’s in Social Work from Smith College. Malcolm works with students, staff, and parents to provide mental health support, student mental health groups, and on-site professional development for teachers and staff. Malcolm was a school-based mental health therapist at Para Los Niños Charter School in Los Angeles and is a licensed clinical social worker. Malcolm is fluent in English and Spanish and brings a range of experiences to Waverly. (Email)
Dharinne is a 3rd/4th lead teacher. Dharinne has a B.A. in human development and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Pacific Oaks College. She will complete a Certificate in Educational Therapy at University of California, Riverside this fall. In addition to teaching in elementary classrooms, Dharinne has developed and implemented equestrian programs for Tom Sawyer Camps and has also served as a Behavioral Therapist in the B.L.A.S.T. Program. Dharinne has a background in Visions Inclusivity Training and Responsive Classroom, and she is committed to child-centered education. (Email)
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 a Master’s in Teaching with a focus on social justice, multiculturalism, and action research from 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.” (Email)
Millie is an associate teacher in the kindergarten classroom. Millie was previously an elementary school music teacher and long-term substitute at Waverly. She also has previous experience working in summer camps and children’s theater workshops. Millie loves to read, write, explore nature, and create murder mystery parties. Her “foremost hope this year is to instill in our students empathy for themselves as well as others.”
Jason is a 3rd/4th associate teacher. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge and has worked in education for over 25 years. Before coming to Waverly, Jason spent six years working as a co-teacher in grades 3 – 5 at Brawerman Elementary. Jason shares that he has “a passion for connecting with students and supporting them socially and emotionally. When their social-emotional needs are met, their academics begin to flourish.”
Kelcey is a 1st/2nd associate teacher. Kelcey graduated from Barnard College with a degree in environmental science, chemistry, and education studies. Kelcey is an avid knitter, metalsmith, roller skater, rock climber, and (newly!) scuba diver. She plans to pursue a Master’s in education and multiple subject credential and build her skills as a career educator.
Karen is a 5th/6th lead teacher. Karen graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Human and Family Development as well as a Master’s of Education, Educational Administration and Supervision. Karen has been teaching for the last 18 years and, prior to coming to Waverly, was teaching and working as the Director of Educational Initiatives at Brawerman Elementary School since 2016. In this role, she taught in the upper elementary and provided support and coaching for the 1st-6th grade teachers in curriculum and instruction. She has researched curricula, implemented project-based learning, and cultivated a developmentally appropriate program emphasizing whole child experiences. She also brings her experience working with BLAST (a social skills program that works with children with and without diagnoses to build their social-emotional, interpersonal, and conflict-resolution skills). As an educator, “I firmly believe that every student is capable of excellence; academic, behavioral, and emotional excellence.”