Middle school students choose from arts elec­tives in drama, fine art, music, and creative writing and partic­i­pate weekly in phys­i­cal educa­tion, human devel­op­ment, 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.

ES Faculty Jack Anderson 2023

Jack Ander­son

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. (Email)

MS HS Faculty Garrett Blackwell 2023

Garrett Black­well

Garrett is the middle and high school music teacher. He received his B.A. from Colorado College, where his focuses included music theory and ethno­mu­si­col­ogy. He also played in the college’s blue­grass ensem­ble, through which he enjoyed oppor­tu­ni­ties to perform around the country, and he is excited to bring a blue­grass program to Waverly for the very first time! For the past several years, Garrett served as the Music Direc­tor at School of Rock Pasadena, where he deter­mined the school’s musical curricu­lum and worked with students of all ages and ability levels on a variety of instru­ments. In addi­tion to helping students explore their artis­tic inter­ests and achieve musical profi­ciency, Garrett focuses on helping his students become cultur­ally compe­tent, compas­sion­ate crit­i­cal thinkers, and he is excited to be a part of a commu­nity that also nour­ishes those traits. (Email)

MS Faculty Joseph Dennis 2023

Joseph Dennis

Joseph is the athletic direc­tor for the middle and high schools and teaches math in the middle school. He has a B.S. in inte­grated math­e­mat­ics and a minor in math­e­mat­ics from Ohio Univer­sity. Joseph has been an expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing coor­di­na­tor, inte­grat­ing phys­i­cal educa­tion to the curricu­lum, and has also served as an affin­ity group facil­i­ta­tor. With respect to athlet­ics, Joseph has previ­ous expe­ri­ence as a Divi­sion 1 colle­giate student-athlete and coach in wrestling, and has also coached middle school foot­ball. He is excited about bring­ing expe­ri­en­tial P.E. oppor­tu­ni­ties to the high school includ­ing hiking, hula hoop, strength condi­tion­ing, and more. Joseph is passion­ate about nature preser­va­tion and envi­ron­men­tal­ism, and is looking forward to bring­ing that to the fore­front in his work with high school students. (Email)

MS HS Faculty Alex Jospe 2023

Alex Jospe

Alex is the middle and high school learn­ing special­ist. Alex has a Bach­e­lor of Arts in English liter­a­ture from Univer­sity of Cali­for­nia, Santa Cruz, and holds a Master of Arts in teach­ing from the Univer­sity of San Fran­cisco. In addi­tion, he is currently complet­ing his Certifi­cate of Advanced Study in Educa­tional Therapy from Cali­for­nia State Univer­sity, North­ridge. Alex has a range of expe­ri­ence at the middle, high school, and colle­giate levels. He has worked as a writing coach, learn­ing special­ist, and English teacher for many years. Alex brings a deep passion for support­ing students and helping teach­ers. (Email)

Kevin Farm Bio

Kevin Murawski

Kevin is Waverly’s envi­ron­men­tal studies and outdoor educa­tion teacher. Kevin grad­u­ated from Otis Art Insti­tute of Parsons School of Design with a degree in fine arts and worked profes­sion­ally as an artist for over 20 years. While illus­trat­ing 14 books for young readers and working as a designer on many children’s programs, Kevin began to find his passion for connect­ing with kids. A life­long learner and self-proclaimed natu­ral­ist, Kevin has always had a deep appre­ci­a­tion for our envi­ron­ment and under­stand­ing our connec­tion to it. With count­less excur­sions into the field with students and dozens of overnight school camping trips over the years, Kevin brings a wealth of expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge to our program. After 13 years of teach­ing in the class­room, Kevin is thrilled to be working outside with students getting dirty, observ­ing closely, looking deeply, reflect­ing, wonder­ing, having fun, and contin­u­ally growing. (Email)

MS HS Faculty Beatriz Valls Rodriguez 2023

Beatriz Valls Rodriguez

Beatriz teaches art in the middle and high schools as well as Spanish in the high school. Beatriz comes from Madrid, Spain. She received her Bachelor’s in soci­ol­ogy from the Univer­si­dad Complutense de Madrid and a Fine Arts degree at Accad­e­mia delle Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, Italy. She contin­ued her passion for art and social studies, complet­ing both an ABD in applied creativ­ity at UCM and an MFA in public prac­tice at Otis College of Art & Design in 2012. She is currently looking forward to defend­ing her Ph.D disser­ta­tion focused on socially-engaged art from UCM in Madrid in 2024. Beatriz has been a faculty member at Otis College of Art & Design and Glen­dale Commu­nity College where she still teaches in the studio arts depart­ment. During her time in LA since 2010, she founded a studio called Transart­meth­ods imple­ment­ing creativ­ity for social impact with a variety of non-for-profit orga­ni­za­tions such as Access Books, Ready-Set-Read!, and Sages & Seekers among many others. In her spare time, Bea enjoys doing sports to main­tain her mental and phys­i­cal well-being, talking to her family abroad, discov­er­ing new places in LA, going to museums and galleries, and being with her family and friends. (Email)

Faculty Walsh Sydney

Sydney Walsh

Sydney teaches drama in the middle and high schools. 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. (Email)

Faculty Sophie Zanders 2023

Sophie Zanders

Sophie is the middle and high school coun­selor and teaches human devel­op­ment to our middle and high school students. Sophie earned her Bach­e­lor’s degree from UCLA and her Master’s in Dispute Reso­lu­tion from Pepper­dine Univer­sity School of Law. She recently earned a second Master’s degree in School Coun­sel­ing from USC. Prior to coming to Waverly, Sophie most recently served as the Dean of Students and Human Devel­op­ment Chair at Tree Academy as well as served as a dispute reso­lu­tion consul­tant and learn­ing special­ist. (Email)