Meet the Faculty


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.

MS Faculty Joseph Dennis 2023

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. (Email)

MS Faculty Grace Hess Quimbita 2023

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)

MS Faculty Christine Matos 2023

Chris­tine Matos

Chris­tine teaches Spanish in the middle school. Chris­tine is a grad­u­ate of Cali­for­nia State Univer­sity, North­ridge, where she earned her degree in child and adoles­cent devel­op­ment. In her spare time, she enjoys party plan­ning, camping, paint­ing, and loves embark­ing on new adven­tures with her partner and her dog! (Email)

MS Faculty Toby Mc Donald Chou 2023

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)

Photo not available

Ashlyn Mooney

Ashlyn teaches English in the middle school.

MS Faculty Maronke Sims 2023

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.” (Email)