Meet the Faculty

2019-2020

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 Ferenc 19 20

Adrian Ferenc

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 Fredman Fetzer 19 20

Corey Fetzer

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 Harrison 19 20

Greg Harri­son

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 Helvig 19 20

Bret Helvig

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 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.”

Jack Knight 19 20

Jack Knight

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 Marshall 19 20

Joanna Marshall

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 Nam 19 20

Paul Nam

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.

Andres Roblero 19 20

Andrés Roblero

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 Sedivy 19 20

Amy Sedivy

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 Simmons 19 20

Nick Simmons

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 Thompkins 19 20

Bennel Thomp­kins

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.