All elementary students receive weekly instruction from specialists in art, physical education, and vocal and instrumental music. Students also enjoy weekly visits to the elementary school library, frequent trips to the farm, and regular wellness classes. Twice-weekly instruction in Spanish begins in 1st grade.
In art, students explore a wide variety of media and are introduced to a number of artists and genres.
Michelle teaches art for preschool through 4th grade. Michelle has a B.A. in art from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in art education from California State University, Los Angeles. A working artist and printmaker, Michelle always knew she wanted to teach art. To support her students, she says, “I try to meet children where they are and listen to their ideas and what they are interested in exploring and expressing.” Michelle has two daughters; her daughter Nadine is enrolled in the 10th grade at Waverly. (Email)
Alyssa teaches art in the upper elementary, middle, and high schools. Alyssa has a B.F.A. in painting and sculpture from Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts and an M.F.A. in animation from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Alyssa’s animated films have screened and won awards at festivals in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to coming to Waverly, Alyssa taught video art, drawing and painting, and photography for almost eight years at Harvard-Westlake’s Middle and Upper Schools. (Email)
The Waverly organic farm, located within walking distance from the school, is a one-acre multi-purpose green space for students, teachers, and families. The farm provides weekly opportunities for learning, play, and collaboration for every class at the elementary school. Students participate in age-appropriate farm work including planting, weeding, composting, building, and taking care of the chickens.
Kevin is Waverly’s environmental studies and outdoor education teacher. Kevin received a B.F.A. from Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. Prior to teaching, Kevin was an art director for a publishing company and at various animation studios. (Email)
Students are introduced to keyboard, guitar, ukulele, and percussion instruments. The emphasis is on children finding joy in creating music as they learn to play songs and sing.
Jim teaches instrumental music from preschool through twelfth grade. Jim studied jazz guitar, vocal performance, and philosophy in college at Oberlin, Ohio. He also has a background in sound engineering, working in the Los Angeles studio scene for over 10 years. A working musician today, he has had experience touring in bands, working in sound studios, managing live concert sound events, and songwriting. His music has been licensed for film and television, most notably on the television show Sons of Anarchy. Currently, you can see Jim locally and on tour as The Jim Reynolds Band. During his time at Waverly, students have formed rock bands, woodwind quintets, string quartets, and several incarnations of a jazz band. Focused primarily on participation, Waverly students have a chance to explore all aspects of music and have many opportunities to get on stage and perform. (Email)
Children love to move their bodies, and the curriculum at Waverly allows for movement of various sorts throughout the day. Elementary school children enjoy time with our physical education specialist twice a week.
Jack teaches physical education to the preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Jack has a B.S. in Kinesiology Physical Education Teacher Education from the University of La Verne, and an M.S. in Kinesiology Curriculum and Instruction from Cal Poly Pomona. Jack enjoys teaching P.E. because it allows him to work with students of all ages and lets him see them grow and develop from year to year. He feels that P.E. is a great time to not only teach students about motor skills, but interpersonal skills as well. (Email)
Elementary students receive twice-weekly lessons in Spanish beginning in 1st grade. Students learn and become familiar with the language through music, dance, games, art projects, storybooks, and cultural activities. The curriculum is designed to integrate language skills into our everyday classroom, excite students about Spanish, and introduce skills that will provide the support and repetition children need to learn a language.
Maria is an associate teacher in the kindergarten/1st 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 8th grade and Natalie in 10th grade. (Email)
Bret teaches Spanish at the high school and is the 5th/6th Spanish specialist in the elementary school. Bret earned a B.A. in French and Spanish and an M.A. in both languages from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. He enjoys sharing his passion for the Spanish language, its people, and its culture with his students and encourages them to use as much Spanish in the classroom as possible to develop into confident speakers. In his free time, he loves to travel, explore new places, and ride roller coasters. (Email)
Students in kindergarten through 4th grade have a dedicated library visit each week. Visits include storytime for the kindergarteners and chapter book read alouds for 1st/2nd grades. Students learn the Dewey Decimal System and about the organization of books in a library. The library is open for Library Lunch for 5th and 6th grade students, who may check out books, read, or study quietly. Outside of class visits, the library is open to middle school students who need reference materials and books for class assignments.