Middle school students choose from arts electives in drama, fine art, music, and creative writing and participate weekly in physical education, wellness, and farm class. Students also select their quarterly electives, choosing from offerings such as Japanese, film appreciation, strategic games, and quiet study, taught by the middle school core faculty.
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.
Barbara has managed the farm for more than a decade, first as a volunteer. Barbara loves to collaborate with her colleagues to create farm curriculum that is meaningful to the students. In the short-term, Barbara wants “our children to spend a little time connecting with the natural world and the seasons.” In the long-term, her goal “is that they remember the idea that you can grow your own food, and that it tastes better, looks better, smells better, and it’s fun, too!” Barbara has two children at Waverly, Joe and Katie, both in 12th grade.
Caitlin teaches wellness. Caitlin received a B.A. in English from Harvard College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University. A lifelong learner, Caitlin completed a post-baccalaureate premedical program before her work as an educator with Planned Parenthood inspired her to forgo medical school and return to her first love: teaching. Caitlin has been an educator for over a decade. She is an avid yogi, published poet, and an advisor for Change The Talk, a peer-to-peer social justice workshop. She incorporates themes of tolerance, mindfulness, and empowerment into her lessons for all ages. Caitlin’s daughter, Ramona, is in kindergarten.
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.
Jim teaches the music elective. Jim studied jazz guitar, vocal performance, and philosophy in college at Oberlin, Ohio. He also has a background in sound engineering, working in the Los Angeles studio scene for over 10 years. A working musician today, he has had experience touring in bands, working in sound studios, managing live concert sound events, and songwriting. His music has been licensed for film and television, most notably on the television show Sons of Anarchy. Currently, you can see Jim locally and on tour as The Jim Reynolds Band. During his time at Waverly, students have formed rock bands, woodwind quintets, string quartets, and several incarnations of a jazz band. Focused primarily on participation, Waverly students have a chance to explore all aspects of music and have many opportunities to get on stage and perform.
Alyssa teaches art in the upper elementary, middle, and high schools. Alyssa has a B.F.A. in painting and sculpture from Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts and an M.F.A. in animation from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Alyssa’s animated films have screened and won awards at festivals in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to coming to Waverly, Alyssa taught video art, drawing and painting, and photography for almost eight years at Harvard-Westlake’s Middle and Upper Schools.
Sydney teaches drama at all divisions. Syd graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in theatre and English. An experienced actor, director, and educator, Syd says, “I am constantly inspired by the group work ethic I see and feel in every class at Waverly. Students are interested in creativity and kindness, and they work from a place of loving support for each other’s creative processes.” Syd’s son, Harry ‘19, graduated from Waverly.