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.

ES Faculty Michelle Dakan 2023

Michelle Dakan

Michelle teaches art for preschool through 6th 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 grad­u­ated in the class of 2024 from Waverly. (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 Farm Bio

Kevin Murawski

Kevin is Waverly’s envi­ron­men­tal studies and outdoor educa­tion teacher. Kevin grad­u­ated from Otis Art Insti­tute of Parsons School of Design with a degree in fine arts and worked profes­sion­ally as an artist for over 20 years. While illus­trat­ing 14 books for young readers and working as a designer on many children’s programs, Kevin began to find his passion for connect­ing with kids. A life­long learner and self-proclaimed natu­ral­ist, Kevin has always had a deep appre­ci­a­tion for our envi­ron­ment and under­stand­ing our connec­tion to it. With count­less excur­sions into the field with students and dozens of overnight school camping trips over the years, Kevin brings a wealth of expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge to our program. After 13 years of teach­ing in the class­room, Kevin is thrilled to be working outside with students getting dirty, observ­ing closely, looking deeply, reflect­ing, wonder­ing, having fun, and contin­u­ally growing. (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. 

ES Faculty Armaan Biviji 2023

Armaan Biviji

Armaan is the elemen­tary school music teacher. A multi-instru­men­tal­ist and a film and media composer, he grad­u­ated with a B.M. from Berklee College Of Music. With a strong passion for dissect­ing the emotions felt behind funda­men­tal musical concepts, he strives to instill philoso­phies of reason­ing, ques­tion­ing, and explo­ration amidst his music theory and instru­men­tal instruc­tion. Profi­cient in an array of instru­ments includ­ing guitar, piano, bass, drums, and vocals, Armaan aims to convey the fulfill­ing nour­ish­ment of music as an inte­gral element in a studen­t’s daily life. (Email)

Phys­i­cal Education

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. 

ES Faculty Jack Anderson 2023

Jack Ander­son

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 lessons in Spanish begin­ning in preschool. 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.

ES Faculty Liz Lopez 2023

Liz Lopez

Liz teaches Spanish in preschool through 6th grade. Liz grad­u­ated from Brown Univer­sity with a Bachelor’s in public health and from Cali­for­nia State Univer­sity, Los Angeles with a Master’s in Educa­tion. Liz most recently worked as a behav­ioral special­ist at the Center for Behav­ioral, Educa­tional, and Social Ther­a­pies. She was also a teach­ing assis­tant at East Los Angeles Renais­sance Academy. (Email)

Human Devel­op­ment

Our Human Devel­op­ment program (grades 3 – 12) is based on the Body Trust modal­ity (body image, body diver­sity aware­ness, what it means to occupy and care for your body), the Our Whole Lives curricu­lum (knowl­edge, life prin­ci­ples, and skills neces­sary to express sexu­al­ity in life-affirm­ing ways), and greatly influ­enced by social and racial justice, inter­sec­tional femi­nism, shame resilience theory, self-compas­sion, rela­tional cultural theory, and mind­ful­ness-based approaches. Our spaces are inten­tion­ally gender spec­trum affirm­ing. Names, pronouns, and expres­sions of iden­tity can be fluid at all ages and stages and as such, we pay atten­tion and check in often.

The three most impor­tant tenets of our trauma-informed Human Devel­op­ment program are Body, Iden­tity, and Rela­tion­ships, which sepa­rately and together affect every­thing we are and do as ever-devel­op­ing humans. Sexual and gender iden­tity, sexual health and repro­duc­tion, inti­macy and consent, sensu­al­ity, and sexu­al­iza­tion are woven through­out our discus­sions, as is the idea of values: our own and those of family, friends, and culture.

Faculty Sophie Zanders 2023

Sophie Zanders

Sophie teaches human devel­op­ment to our upper elemen­tary students. Sophie earned her bach­e­lor’s degree from UCLA and her master’s in Dispute Reso­lu­tion from Pepper­dine Univer­sity School of Law. She recently earned a second master’s degree in school coun­sel­ing from USC. Prior to coming to Waverly, Sophie most recently served as the Dean of Students and Human Devel­op­ment Chair at Tree Academy as well as serving as a dispute reso­lu­tion consul­tant and learn­ing special­ist. (Email)

Student Support

ES Faculty Jen Johnson 2023

Jennifer Johnson

Jen is the learn­ing special­ist for preschool through sixth grade. She has a Cali­for­nia Teach­ing Creden­tial, a master’s in teach­ing, certi­fi­ca­tion as an educa­tional ther­a­pist, and 30 years of expe­ri­ence teach­ing and support­ing chil­dren and adults in a variety of settings. Jen works with students, staff, and parents to support students’ learn­ing needs within the class­room and provides on-site profes­sional devel­op­ment for teach­ers and staff. Led to a career in educa­tion by a life­long fasci­na­tion with the many differ­ent ways people think and learn, Jen is happi­est when around chil­dren and believes that kids are natu­rally curious and seek chal­lenges to stretch them­selves. A passion­ate advo­cate for the value of neuro­di­ver­sity, she created and leads the Waverly Neuro­di­ver­sity Parent/​Guardian Group. (Email)

ES Faculty Malcolm Miller 2023

Malcolm Miller

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)