Meet the Faculty

2022-2023

Waverly’s middle school teach­ers are a welcom­ing cohort of expe­ri­enced instruc­tors who work together to create an inter­con­nected program specif­i­cally geared to the chang­ing, some­times chal­leng­ing needs of middle school students. Under their teach­ers’ guid­ance, middle school students partic­i­pate actively in learning.

Lydia Boateng 2022

Lydia Boateng

Lydia is Waver­ly’s school coun­selor. Lydia holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from Bing­ham­ton Univer­sity as well as an M.S. in Social Admin­is­tra­tion from Case Western Reserve Univer­sity. Lydia is a native of New York City and a recent trans­plant to the area, moving from north­east Ohio where she served in multi­ple roles, includ­ing school liaison, school based ther­a­pist, and asso­ciate teacher coun­selor. In her roles, she has coun­seled chil­dren and adoles­cents with mild to severe behav­ioral, mood, and trauma-stres­­sor related disor­ders. She has provided indi­vid­ual and group sessions to K‑12 students, supported fami­lies with commu­nity resources, mental health tech­niques, and collab­o­rated with teach­ers and parents on devel­op­ing behav­ioral inter­ven­tions and emotional support for students. She is excited to join the Waverly commu­nity where she will be working collab­o­ra­tively to bring advi­sory program­ming to the high school. Lydia loves to serve in her church commu­nity, travel the world, and play sports in her free time. (Email)

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Joseph Dennis

Joseph teaches middle school math and is the athletic direc­tor for the middle and high schools. He has a B.S. in inte­grated math­e­mat­ics and a minor in math­e­mat­ics. Joseph has been an expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing coor­di­na­tor and is trained in Respon­sive Class­room. His approach to teach­ing math focuses on a growth mindset where students are encour­aged to see failure” as a key learn­ing oppor­tu­nity. Previ­ously, at West­side Neigh­bor­hood school, he was a member of the DEI commit­tee, on the subcom­mit­tee of Culture & Belong­ing, and was an affin­ity group facil­i­ta­tor. He has been an advisor and chap­er­oned multi­ple outdoor educa­tion trips. He was a middle school flag foot­ball coach and a D‑1 wrestler and coach.

MS Adriana Duarte 2021

Adriana Duarte

Adriana teaches Spanish in the middle school. She received her B.A. in inter­na­tional rela­tions and polit­i­cal science at El Salvador Univer­sity in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a B.A. in Spanish language and culture from Cali­for­nia State Univer­sity, North­ridge. Adriana chose to become an educa­tor because, as she explains, It is the most enjoy­able job that I know. I teach Spanish and I see the evolu­tion of the students and their enthu­si­asm in learn­ing and I feel useful helping them.” (Email)

MS Lisa Groening 2021

Lisa Groen­ing

Lisa teaches English and creative writing in the middle school. Lisa has a B.A. in English liter­a­ture from Lewis & Clark College. She has taught high school and middle school English and creative writing and has also worked in admin­is­tra­tion at Waverly. When it comes to support­ing her students, Lisa says, I get to know my students well, and I pay atten­tion to the things that light them up and the things that bog them down. I try to keep a balance between those points so the student feels capable and nudged.” Lisa’s daugh­ter, Katie, grad­u­ated with the Waverly class of 2010. (Email)

MS Grace Hess Quimbita 2021

Grace Hess-Quim­bita

Grace teaches math and the farm elec­tive and provides acad­e­mic support to middle school students. Grace has a B.A. in chem­istry from Occi­den­tal College, an M.S. in chem­istry from the Univer­sity of Cali­for­nia, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in higher educa­tion and adult devel­op­ment from the Univer­sity of Cali­for­nia, Los Angeles. Grace says, I am very happy that Waverly is a small school, which helps me to genuinely and person­ally provide the right level of chal­lenge balanced with tons of scaf­fold­ing and support uniquely suited for each student.” Grace’s two chil­dren grad­u­ated from Waverly – Nicholas 20 and Sophia 17. (Email)

Jennifer Johnson 2021

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.” (Email)

MS Toby Mc Donald Chou 2021

Toby McDon­ald Chou

Toby teaches science and Japan­ese in the middle school. She holds a B.A. in geog­ra­phy and envi­ron­men­tal studies with a minor in Japan­ese studies from the Univer­sity of Cali­for­nia, Los Angeles. Prior to coming to Waverly, Toby taught English and Amer­i­can history and culture in Japan’s public schools on the Japan Exchange Teach­ing Program. Toby supports her students by letting them know, It’s okay to fail, but never okay to give up…Persevering through chal­lenges is one of the most impor­tant skills students can develop.” Follow Toby’s science blog at science​with​toby​.net. (Email)

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Maronke Sims

Maronke teaches social studies in the middle school. She holds a B.A. from Cali­for­nia State Univer­sity, North­ridge and has completed grad­u­ate level course­work in educa­tion from Cali­for­nia State Univer­sity, Dominguez Hills. Maronke was previ­ously a lead teacher at Chil­dren’s Commu­nity School and found­ing member, rotat­ing chair of the IDEA Group (Inclu­sive, Diver­sity, Equity Alliance), which was created to support faculty and staff in DEIJ peda­gogy and best prac­tices that align with anti-bias and anti-racist curricu­lum. She has exten­sive teach­ing expe­ri­ence in both private and public schools as well as expe­ri­ence as a DEIJ prac­ti­tioner. Maronke says, As an educa­tor and prac­ti­tioner, I am a fierce advo­cate for equity and inclu­sion and consider it my duty to empower our youngest gener­a­tion to think crit­i­cally about the world around them so they may grow into future changemakers.”