Committed to a humanistic approach, our high school teachers encourage their students to be creative, self-disciplined, and independent intellectuals capable of high academic achievement and personal growth. Faculty share and model lifetime learning by developing new classes and working with students on a range of activities — from debate to Bollywood — outside of class.
Adrian teaches high school math. He holds a B.A. from Occidental College and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, both in mathematics. Beyond his experience teaching at Waverly, he has worked with middle and high school students and has taught math as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Irvine. Adrian attended a progressive high school and understands how to make very complex topics accessible and meaningful to students.
Corey teaches American literature and two junior/senior literature seminars. Corey, who attended a K‑12 progressive school, is strongly committed to the Waverly philosophy. She studied English and world literature at Pitzer College and has taught language arts, writing, and literature in a variety of settings.
Greg teaches science at the high school. He has a B.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from M.I.T. and an M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. Greg served in the Air Force and then worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a spacecraft engineer. Greg transitioned to becoming an educator when he asked himself, “What can I do to make the world a better place?” His answer: “I am intensely curious about our natural world, and I love learning new things and exploring deeper. I was drawn to education because I enjoy sharing my love of finding things out.”
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.
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.”
Jack teaches high school math. He has a B.S. in mathematics and physics from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, a Diploma in Mathematics (part 1) from the University of Auckland (New Zealand), and a Diploma of Teaching in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry from Teacher’s College in New Zealand. Jack enjoys teaching at Waverly because “the students are friendly and honest in sharing their thoughts.”
Joanna teaches science at the high school. She holds a B.S. and M.S., both in biochemistry, from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she taught numerous undergraduate biochemistry courses and worked in research labs in the fields of biochemistry, organic chemistry, and chemical engineering. Joanna feels strongly about making science accessible and (with hope) fun for all students, and she believes Waverly’s focus on experience-based, interdisciplinary learning makes for an ideal environment for students to explore their scientific curiosity and develop an appreciation for the often surprising relevance of science to all parts of life.
Paul teaches history at the high school. He received a B.A. in history from Williams College and a Ph.D. in Korean history from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to coming to Waverly, he taught at Occidental College where he won the Donald R. Loftsgordon Memorial Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2014 and 2019. Paul’s primary pedagogical goal is to support and spur students to become independent and critical thinkers ready and eager to change the world.
Andrés teaches Spanish and AP Spanish language and culture at the high school. He is a native of Costa Rica and graduated from the University of La Salle with a degree in business and international marketing. Andrés loves to inspire students to deepen their understanding of critical aspects of Hispanic culture and language. In turn, Andrés says, “Waverly students inspire me because of their humility, consistency, work ethic, and determination in everything they do.”
Amy teaches English and creative writing at the high school. She received a B.A. and M.A in English, with an emphasis in writing from California State University, Northridge. Amy taught for over six years at the college level. Her fiction has been published in several literary journals, including Calyx and The Louisville Review. Amy’s son, Rylan, graduated from Waverly in 2010.
Nick teaches math in the middle and high schools. Nick holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, both in economics. He has taught undergraduate courses and has been involved in a great deal of fascinating research, including with professors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of Freakonomics. Further, he attended a progressive school and believes deeply in building strong relationships with students and creating learning opportunities that allow students to connect deeply with the material.
Bennel teaches high school history. Bennel received his B.A. in Asian studies from Florida State and his J.D. from New York University Law School. After leaving the practice of law, Bennel shifted his focus to teaching. He employs the Socratic method of asking “why” to his high school students at Waverly.