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Staff

Dan Alvarez's picture

Dan Alvarez

Payroll & HR Coordinator
dalvarez@sffriendsschool.org
Dan Alvarez's picture

Dan Alvarez

Payroll & HR Coordinator
Dan is a Bay Area native who recently returned to the area from El Paso, Texas. Dan enjoys everything in the great outdoors! An avid hiker, camper, and backpacker, he is also interested in homesteading, so he has long list of interesting projects from goats to gardening that he is tackling at his new home. He is joined at home by his wife and three children, a grown daughter and two boys aged 12 and 10. When he is not busy in the country, he loves the city—he grew up in the Mission! He brings his kids in to explore all the city has to offer on weekends.
Jennifer Arnest's picture

Jennifer Arnest

Lower School Head
jarnest@sffriendsschool.org
Jennifer Arnest's picture

Jennifer Arnest

Lower School Head
Jennifer grew up in Chicago, Baltimore, and Pasadena—for this, she considers herself tri-coastal. In her East Coast chapter, she and her two brothers attended Baltimore Friends School. Jennifer’s father is a professor, and her mother was a teacher, and Jennifer felt like a “school person” from her earliest years. Jennifer brings over twenty years of teaching and administrative experience to SFFS, from Children’s Day School in San Francisco, to the International School of Tanganyika in East Africa, to University Child Development School in Seattle, and The Nueva School on the Peninsula. She has taught kindergarten, first and second grades, and has served as Assessment Committee Chair and faculty Board representative at the Nueva School. Before coming to the Friends School, Jennifer worked at the Children's School at Mills College, in the School of Education, where she taught and supervised the work of the graduate students entering the profession. Jennifer and her partner Martin live in the East Bay, and are the parents of two children, Sofia (SFFS class of 2018) and Luca (SFFS class of 2022).
Suzanne Geller's picture

Suzanne Geller

Lower School Librarian
sgeller@sffriendsschool.org
Suzanne Geller's picture

Suzanne Geller

Lower School Librarian
Raised in Curaçao in the Caribbean, Suzanne is fluent in Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamentu, and enjoys using her Spanish with students, parents, and staff at SFFS. A graduate of Smith and Bank Street College, Suzanne has more than 25 years of experience as an educator and administrator. She loves guiding students in discovery and learning and is thrilled to be doing so with books in the library. Suzanne lives in San Francisco with her son Anemo.
Laura Medina Quintanar's picture

Laura Medina Quintanar

Horizons Executive Director
lmedina@sffriendsschool.org
Laura Medina Quintanar's picture

Laura Medina Quintanar

Horizons Executive Director
Laura was born in Mexico City and raised in San Francisco. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley. Laura previously attended City College of San Francisco (CCSF), where she served on the Associated Students Council as the Head of the Interclub Council. In that position, Laura supported efforts to pass the Student Achievement Gap resolution, which implemented resources aimed at improving the academic outcomes of historically under-resourced student populations. She facilitated trainings for CCSF staff and faculty to equip them with tools to better serve the unique needs of the undocumented student population. After college, Laura continued to break barriers in educational access through her work in the nonprofit sector. She was the Director of Programs at SMART, a college access nonprofit that helps low-income students become the first in their families to go to college. A life-long learner, Laura is trained in conflict resolution, adult learning, and curriculum writing. Most recently she earned her a Master's Degree of Public Administration from San Francisco State University.
Tracie Mastronicola's picture

Tracie Mastronicola

Academic Dean
tmastronicola@sffriendsschool.org
Tracie Mastronicola's picture

Tracie Mastronicola

Academic Dean
Tracie excitedly returned to SFFS as our Academic Dean in the summer of 2016. Tracie brings her enthusiasm and 16 years of experience in and around the classroom to her new role at SFFS. After finishing her own education on the east coast, the native New Yorker packed up her car and drove out west where she's been acting like a tourist in San Francisco ever since. Tracie's first introduction to teaching was at the Nueva School; it was there that she realized the innovative, dynamic, and sometimes chaotic nature of a school was where she felt most at home. Tracie dove into both teaching and learning, spending the next two decades focusing on science and math curriculum, project-based learning, advising young adults, and leading service learning trips with students to far off places. After teaching in the classroom at SFFS, Tracie most recently worked with a team designing science simulations at CK-12 Foundation, an educational non-profit organization aimed at providing free material to students and teachers. In her free time, Tracie loves eating and, subsequently, running through Golden Gate Park. Tracie, her wife Alyssa, and their twin boys live​​ and play in San Francisco.
Vince Mai's picture

Vince Mai

Systems Support Administrator
vmai@sffriendsschool.org
Vince Mai's picture

Vince Mai

Systems Support Administrator
As a Southern California native, Vince attended Mt. San Jacinto College where he received his degree in Advanced Audio Technology. His passion for technology and knack for problem solving brought him to the Bay Area in 2014 where he worked for the San Mateo County Office of Education. Vince arrived at San Francisco Friends School in 2021 bringing along his 5+ years of experience supporting educational and informational technology. When he’s not working with computers, Vince enjoys spending his time off djing and traveling with his partner.
Melina Machuca's picture

Melina Machuca

Academic Administrative Assistant / Registrar
mmachuca@sffriendsschool.org
Melina Machuca's picture

Melina Machuca

Academic Administrative Assistant / Registrar
Melina joined Friends School in 2017 from the Department of Human Services where she helped clients identify and access the range of social services and programs available from the City and County of San Francisco. She has also worked at La Posada Social Rehabilitation Center where she facilitated mindfulness training sessions for clients coping with stress. Melina holds a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University and is fluent in Spanish. In her free time, Melina is an avid reader, loves dance, and has recently started work with pottery and ceramics.  
Claudia Leal's picture

Claudia Leal

Front Desk Receptionist
cleal@sffriendsschool.org
Claudia Leal's picture

Claudia Leal

Front Desk Receptionist
Claudia originally hails from Houston, TX, though she has lived in San Francisco now for nearly two decades. After working at the Legal Aid office in San Mateo County for 15 years, Claudia joined SFFS during the 2018–19 school year, looking for a change of scenery and an environment where she'd have the opportunity to spend more time with kids. Claudia is the friendly face that greets visitors to our school, and also the source of comfort for students in need of a band-aid, help with a stuck zipper, or even just a hug. In her free time, Claudia is a 49ers, Giants, and Warriors super-fan, and she also loves to cook. 
Victoria Kopelevich's picture

Victoria Kopelevich

Controller
vkopelevich@sffriendsschool.org
Victoria Kopelevich's picture

Victoria Kopelevich

Controller
Victoria has worked in various Business Office roles in independent schools for well over a decade and comes from a family of school administrators. Originally from Kharkiv, Ukraine, she relocated to LA with husband Alex and first daughter Veronica. She now has two girls—Veronica, who lives in LA and works in advancement, and Michelle, who attends St. Mary's College in the Bay Area. Victoria enjoys traveling, good food, and sports, especially basketball. Go, Warriors! 
Kathryn Keslosky's picture

Kathryn Keslosky

Director of Development
kkeslosky@sffriendsschool.org
Kathryn Keslosky's picture

Kathryn Keslosky

Director of Development
Kathryn joined San Francisco Friends School as Director of Development in July 2021. She came to SFFS from Oakland School for the Arts, where she served as Director of Advancement for nine years. Prior to her service at OSA, she worked at UC Berkeley under the College of Natural Resources managing a community forestry nonprofit, hosted underground dinners for a wild and locally foraged foods collective, and was community marketing manager for organic foods brand Annie’s Homegrown. Kathryn received a BA from Villanova University, where she studied Creative Writing & Sociology. She studied Systems Thinking & Organizational Development with the Green MBA program at Dominican University, and Horticulture with Merritt College in Oakland. She lives in North Berkeley with her partner and their many, many plants. An avid hiker, she takes almost every opportunity to adventure into nature and explore the outdoors. 
Emilie Hautemont's picture

Emilie Hautemont

Horizons Americorps VISTA Associate
ehautemont@sffriendsschool.org
Emilie Hautemont's picture

Emilie Hautemont

Horizons Americorps VISTA Associate
Emilie was born and raised in San Francisco and now lives in Marin County. She graduated from Swarthmore College in May 2020 with an Honors BA in French Literature and a Minor in English. Emilie is passionate about sharing her love of books, reading, and writing, and has previously interned and worked at a small Moroccan publisher, at the American Library in Paris, and with the education and culture non-profit Libraries Without Borders in DC. Although Emilie loves to travel, she is delighted to be back in her hometown, working with its teachers and students. She speaks fluent French, proficient Spanish, and enjoys trying new recipes, reading, and wishing for a dog.
Mike Hanas's picture

Mike Hanas

Head of School
mhanas@sffriendsschool.org
Mike Hanas's picture

Mike Hanas

Head of School
Mike joined Friends School in the summer of 2016, previously working as the Principal of Carolina Friends School (CFS), a pre-K­–12 Quaker school in Durham, North Carolina. A born teacher and a lifelong learner, Mike grew up on Chicago’s Southside, where he was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Classics from the College of the Holy Cross, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and his Master’s degree in Education Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University. Mike has taught Latin, Greek, and humanities, served as a college counselor and assistant director of admissions, and coached basketball, football, and lacrosse teams at Tabor Academy, St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, and Durham Academy in addition to CFS and SFFS. He also serves currently on the Board of Trustees for the Friends Council on Education. Mike and his wife, Sue Gouchoe, met when they were coaching competing girls’ varsity basketball teams (Sue’s team won). Mike and Sue have two children: their daughter, Kyle, is a graduate of Smith College and faculty member at the Friends School of Wilmington (NC), and their son, Matt, currently attends UNC Chapel Hill, where he captains Darkside, UNC's ultimate frisbee team. Mike’s interests include reading, art, travel, outdoor adventure, the music of Bruce Springsteen, the Chicago Cubs, and long conversations with good friends.
John Grandison's picture

John Grandison

Director of Facilities
jgrandison@sffriendsschool.org
John Grandison's picture

John Grandison

Director of Facilities
John Grandison started as our Director of Facilities in the spring of 2021, with over 20 years of facilities experience in both independent and public schools, most recently at College Preparatory Academy in Oakland. John brings a versatile set of skills spanning electrical, plumbing, and construction—all the components we need to keep our beautiful home at 250 Valencia in tip-top shape. Having worked in schools his entire career, John also enjoys getting to know the students and integrating into the daily rhythms of school life. A native of Bakersfield, John is an avid Rams fan.
Kim Gitnick's picture

Kim Gitnick

Learning Specialist
kgitnick@sffriendsschool.org
Kim Gitnick's picture

Kim Gitnick

Learning Specialist
For over twenty years Kim has taught first through fourth grades, and has been a learning specialist in the Bay Area. Most recently she taught first grade at San Francisco Day School where she helped faculty deepen their understanding of Structured Word Inquiry (SWI), an approach for teaching word structure, vocabulary and spelling. Kim has worked extensively with Pete Bowers, the designer of this inquiry-based approach. Kim is originally from LA and attended UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University. She is the busy mother of her teenage son, and likes to practice yoga, run, hike, fly fish, and go on travel adventures with her son.
Ryan Gallagher's picture

Ryan Gallagher

Director of Educational Technology
rgallagher@sffriendsschool.org
Ryan Gallagher's picture

Ryan Gallagher

Director of Educational Technology
Ryan brings a wealth of technological, classroom, and management experience to his role as Director of Educational Technology. Ryan is originally from Washington State and he has also lived in Florida, Chicago, and New York City. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Stetson University in Florida. Ryan currently resides in Oakland with his partner and their two children. Prior to joining SFFS in 2007, Ryan worked in technology leadership roles at startups, as founding member of The School for Children at Columbia University, at a Stanford University managed K-12 school, and as a technology consultant for independent schools. When he is not working on a computer, Ryan enjoys ‘unplugging’ and exploring the Northern California landscape with his family.
Alissa K Moe's picture

Alissa Kinney Moe

Director of Communications
akinney-moe@sffriendsschool.org
Alissa K Moe's picture

Alissa Kinney Moe

Director of Communications
Alissa is originally from Upstate New York, and has since lived in Providence, Boston, Brooklyn, Atlanta, and the Bay Area. She recently returned to Oakland with her family after a brief stint in the South, and is thrilled to be back in the place she feels is truly home. Alissa was a history teacher at Emma Willard, a boarding school in New York, and an editor at Art New England magazine before finding her way to school communications, where she was able to combine her loves of education, design, and wordsmithing. She was the associate director of communications at the Nightingale-Bamford School in Manhattan and, most recently, was the communications director at San Francisco University High School, where she re-imagined the school’s biannual print magazine, oversaw two website redesigns, worked with renowned Bay Area artist Michael Schwab on the development of a new school logo, and mentored 13 high-schoolers through graduation. Alissa received her BA in Art History from Brown University and her MA in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. Alissa and her husband Scott live in the Lake Merritt area of Oakland with their two boys, where they love to spend time exploring their new neighborhood; enjoying the California sunshine; and discovering new lunch spots that don't mind small, noisy customers. 
Ellen Everitt's picture

Ellen Everitt

Director of Human Resources
eeveritt@sffriendsschool.org
Ellen Everitt's picture

Ellen Everitt

Director of Human Resources
Ellen Everitt holds a BS degree in Human Resource Management from Northeastern University. She brings over 30 years of HR experience including leading diversity and affirmative action programs, benefit administration, talent acquisition, and strategic operational planning. Her vast understanding of HR policy and procedures, recent experience at a peer independent school, combined with a warm and supportive work ethic, assure HR programs and those they serve, are provided with care and professionalism. Ellen enjoys living in San Francisco and takes full advantage of the abundant outdoor activities available in our fantastic climate. On any weekend, you may find her in or on one of the many glorious SF parks and trails.
Frances Dickson's picture

Frances Dickson

Developmental Support Coordinator & K–4 Learning Specialist
fdickson@sffriendsschool.org
Frances Dickson's picture

Frances Dickson

Developmental Support Coordinator & K–4 Learning Specialist
Frances joined the SFFS team in 2008 after working for five years at The Nueva School as a reading specialist and for thirteen years at San Francisco Day School as a classroom teacher and learning specialist. Originally from Kentucky, Frances began her career as a third grade teacher in a rural public school in Central Florida. After relocating to San Francisco, she completed her M.A. in Learning and Instruction at USF and has since attended professional development workshops to keep up with the developments in the the understanding of learning. Frances has been active with the Northern CA branch of the International Dyslexia Association for many years and has served as branch president. She has an extensive background in structured literacy, specifically the Slingerland Approach, and has been inspired by the addition of Structured Word Inquiry to her repertoire. Frances enjoys gardening, bike riding, boot camp, yoga, traveling and eating. She and her partner live in Pacifica with their two young cats, and they have two young adult daughters who are in college and working. 
Kristen Daniel's picture

Kristen Daniel

Director of High School Transition
kdaniel@sffriendsschool.org
Kristen Daniel's picture

Kristen Daniel

Director of High School Transition
Kristen Daniel brought nine years of teaching experience to our founding sixth grade team when she joined SFFS in 2007. She attended Brown University and jumped immediately into the classroom at Summit Middle School to fulfill her New Jersey Governor’s Teaching Scholarship. She taught language arts and social studies in a mixed seventh/eighth grade, and attended Rutgers to complete her master’s degree. After six years at Summit, Kristen moved into New York City, and joined the faculty at Intermediate School 413/School of the Future. During her two years there, she trained at the Columbia University Teachers College Writing Workshop, developed a portfolio assessment program, and supervised both student teachers and first-year teachers. She is now delighted to work with both students and parents, supporting them in their transition into middle school and with the high school application process. Kristen enjoys the beach, reading, and cooking for her partner, Jeff, and daughters, Lily (SFFS class of 2015) and Clementine (SFFS class of 2017).
Scott Cuyjet's picture

Scott Cuyjet

Health Coordinator, FNP
scuyjet@sffriendsschool.org
Scott Cuyjet's picture

Scott Cuyjet

Health Coordinator, FNP
Scott is our new health coordinator and nurse at SFFS, who brings tremendous expertise to our community as an MSN, RN, and Nurse Practitioner. Scott has worked as a school nurse for SFUSD, and most recently with the Daly City Youth Health Center, where he focused on both acute and chronic care issues for adolescents. Scott’s experience spans diverse populations including new immigrants and incarcerated youth, and he has a strong interest in issues surrounding equity in healthcare. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member at USF and looks forward to supporting health education. His first introduction to the SFFS community was as a panelist on one of our parent education panels back in 2019!  
 
When not caring for others, Scott can be found running either barefoot or in his vibram five fingers through Golden Gate park, cycling, hiking or doing hot yoga with his family. Scott’s pronouns are he, him, they.
Colleen Curran's picture

Colleen Curran

Admission Associate & Administrative Assistant to the Lower School Head
ccurran@sffriendsschool.org
Colleen Curran's picture

Colleen Curran

Admission Associate & Administrative Assistant to the Lower School Head
Colleen is fortunate to call the wonderful city of San Francisco her hometown. With a deep appreciation for the distinctive neighborhoods, she can often be found riding her beach cruiser from one end of the city to the other. As the Admission Associate and Administrative Assistant to the Lower School Head, Colleen finds great satisfaction in working behind the scenes at SFFS to support Admissions and the daily running of the school. Prior to working at SFFS, Colleen worked in Admissions and was the Director of Alumni Relations at The Bentley School in Lafayette, CA. She enjoys going to the farmers' market and coaching volleyball.
Omar Cotom's picture

Omar Cotom

Janitor
ocotom@sffriendsschool.org
Omar Cotom's picture

Omar Cotom

Janitor
Eswin “Omar” was born and raised in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala, along with his five brothers and sisters. After graduating with a technical degree as a lathe operator, Omar married his wife Gloria and had three children before coming to the United States. Omar now has over twenty years of experience working as a school custodian. Omar and his family have found their spiritual home at Ministerios Cosecha (Harvest Ministries). Omar loves to help with his community and he is currently studying theology at Latin University of Theology.
Gloria Cotom's picture

Gloria Cotom

Janitor
gcotom@sffriendsschool.org
Gloria Cotom's picture

Gloria Cotom

Janitor
Gloria was born and raised in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala, where she married and started a family with Eswin Omar. Gloria loves children and works closely with them at her family’s spiritual home, Ministerio Cosecha. In her spare time, Gloria enjoys cooking traditional Guatemalan dishes in her kitchen, reading about spirituality, and making original greeting cards. Her oldest daughter, Lorenis, lives in Guatemala. Her son Osmar is a graduate of City College of San Francisco and her youngest daughter, Tanya, is a student at San Francisco State University and a lower school teaching assistant here at SFFS. Gloria loves working at San Francisco Friends School.
Victor Cardona's picture

Victor Cardona

Facilities Associate
vcardona@sffriendsschool.org
Victor Cardona's picture

Victor Cardona

Facilities Associate
Victor also joins the Facilities team this year and hails from Guatemala. With his family, Victor owns a banana farm in his home country. He loves to spend his free time fishing with his brother, Menfil (who has also joined the SFFS community!)... Victor brings a range of skills to Friends, including carpentry and construction.
Menfil Cardona's picture

Menfil Cardona

Facilities Associate
mcardona@sffriendsschool.org
Menfil Cardona's picture

Menfil Cardona

Facilities Associate
Menfil joins the Facilities Team at SFFS this year. He is originally from Guatemala, where he and his family (including brother Victor, also joining Friends this year!) own a banana farm. Menfil is a father of three, and enjoys time spent fishing and with his family. He is experienced in a range of skills, from carpentry to plumbing to construction.
Violet Borowski's picture

Violet Borowski

Assistant to the Head of School
vborowski@sffriendsschool.org
Violet Borowski's picture

Violet Borowski

Assistant to the Head of School
Violet came to SFFS in 2012 from Southern California, where she earned her B.A. in Graphic Design from CSU San Bernardino. She made San Francisco her home in 2005, and has worked as a kindergarten assistant teacher at Hamlin, as well as over three years as an Executive Assistant for PACT, an educational nonprofit specializing in free collegiate assistance to underprivileged youth. Before joining Friends, she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the world of stationery stores, working at The Desk Set and Cherish in San Francisco. Violet speaks fluent Spanish and enjoys spending time with family and friends, warm sunny days, and exploring the many activities and treasures the city has to offer. She calls the Inner Sunset home, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
Yvette Bonaparte's picture

Yvette Bonaparte

Director of Admission
ybonaparte@sffriendsschool.org
Yvette Bonaparte's picture

Yvette Bonaparte

Director of Admission
Yvette came to San Francisco Friends School in 2002 as part of its founding staff with experience as an office manager and conferencing coordinator at The WELL, an online discussion community. She studied classical violin at the Manhattan School of Music, graduated from State University of New York at Purchase, and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco. She has represented San Francisco Friends School at many NAIS People of Color Conferences over the years, as well as the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute. She has served on the board of the Bay Area chapter of the People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS), and, at Friends, as co-clerk of the SFFS Diversity Committee. She is a member of the school's board Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee and currently serves on the board of the Bay Area Directors of Admission. Yvette lives with her husband Mark, and has two sons, Elijah (SFFS class of 2025) and Liam (SFFS class of 2013). In her spare time she is an online Scrabble fiend, enjoys farmers' markets, and loves to make unique ice cream flavors from the many ice cream recipe books she owns. 
Ariel Mendez-Peñate's picture

Ariel Mendez-Peñate

Horizons Academic Program Director
amendez-penate@sffriendsschool.org
Ariel Mendez-Peñate's picture

Ariel Mendez-Peñate

Horizons Academic Program Director
Ariel Mendez-Peñate was born and raised in Marin County.  He received a BS degree from University of Santa Cruz in Geophysics.  Ariel is currently working on his Master's degree in Mathematics Education at San Francisco State University. He has taught both math and science at the middle school and high school levels. In his teaching practice Ariel is passionate about math fluency and fostering a curiosity about science.  He enjoys taking students into the outdoors and exploring new environments. Ariel is excited to join the Horizons at SFFS team and to build a strong connection with the program's community in the neighborhood in which he lives. He spends his free time chasing after his two children, riding mountain bikes, and cooking a variety of different cuisines.  Ariel grew up bilingual (Spanish) and bicultural (Cuban American) and hopes to instill pride in his children for their multi lingual and cultural heritage.
Kim Plough's picture

Kim Plough

Director of Finance and Operations
kplough@sffriendsschool.org
Kim Plough's picture

Kim Plough

Director of Finance and Operations
Kim is a New Jersey native who received her BA in Economics from Middlebury College in Vermont. After a quick detour to New York to start a career in banking, Kim transferred to the West Coast. She completed her MBA at Stanford and joined The Boston Consulting Group where she worked to improve business operations across a wide range of industries before turning her attention to managing the internal operations of BCG. Kim led the San Francisco office support teams including finance, HR, operations and graphic arts and managed global marketing for the consumer and retail practice. In her spare time, Kim has pursued her interest in education. She led the PTO for nine years and participated on numerous projects for her local school district, supported the founding team for a local charter school and consulted (pro bono) to a local independent school to optimize their summer programs. Kim continues to support Bay Area non-profits as a member of the board of ACT, a pro bono consulting group organized by Stanford Business School. When Kim steps away from the office, she enjoys hiking in the local hills with her girls—two human and one canine—or relaxing with a book at the beach.
Katherine Preston's picture

Katherine Preston

Mental Health Specialist
kpreston@sffriendsschool.org
Katherine Preston's picture

Katherine Preston

Mental Health Specialist
Katherine joined our developmental support team in the spring of 2011. She collaborates closely with teachers, advisors, learning support staff, and parents. Katherine has maintained a private practice in San Francisco for many years, and also teaches lifespan development, systems theories, and other graduate level classes at Sofia University in Palo Alto. Katherine has worked with youth and families for over 20 years, holding clinical leadership positions overseeing and providing treatment, training, and supervision for therapeutic services throughout the Bay Area. She lives in Pacifica with her husband, Alex. They have two children: Sam and Isabelle. Katherine also facilitates workshops in Marin focused on psychology and spirituality.
Clarke Weatherspoon's picture

Clarke Weatherspoon

Middle School Head
cweatherspoon@sffriendsschool.org
Clarke Weatherspoon's picture

Clarke Weatherspoon

Middle School Head
Clarke joined San Francisco Friends School in July as the Middle School Head. He served as history instructor, 9th/10th Grade Dean, and Dean of Inclusion during 13 years at the Urban School of San Francisco. He is graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara and Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Clarke is a meditator, former water polo coach, and cyclist who lives in San Francisco with his family. 
 
Maddie Vilhauer's picture

Maddie Vilhauer

Horizons Development & Communications Coordinator
mvilhauer@sffriendsschool.org
Maddie Vilhauer's picture

Maddie Vilhauer

Horizons Development & Communications Coordinator
Maddie was born and raised in San Francisco, California. After traveling to León, Nicaragua in high school with a leadership development program called Global Glimpse, Maddie was inspired to study the themes of globalization, development, and international relations at the George Washington University. There she received a B.A. in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies and became passionate about sustainable international development through causes that exemplify responsibility when tackling regional challenges. Maddie has always been passionate about addressing inequity in education and working with Spanish-speaking communities. After Maddie’s fellowship in vetting and grants management at GlobalGiving, she came full circle to join the Development Team at Global Glimpse. Maddie is honored to bring her development and communications skills to the Horizons team in service of providing outstanding summer learning opportunities for students in her hometown.
Marina Vendrell-Ouali's picture

Marina Vendrell-Ouali

Director of Extended Day & A3
mvendrell@sffriendsschool.org
Marina Vendrell-Ouali's picture

Marina Vendrell-Ouali

Director of Extended Day & A3
A native of the Bay Area, Marina attended Humboldt State University, where she received a B.A. in Fine Arts, and California College of the Arts, where she completed her Master’s in Fine Arts. She has taught children and adolescents and served as a guest artist, artist-in-residence and lecturer at the San Francisco Day School and Marin Academy. She has directed the Extended Day Program here at Friends for over a decade. Marina is trained in the Responsive Classroom teaching method and has delved into the joys of play with Playworks. She served as an assistant in the very first Friends School Summer camp in 2003, and then directed the school’s growing summer camp for seven years. Marina and her 5-year-old son, Rezki, are deeply inspired by the Maker Movement, and spend their time making everything from granola to solar cars to paper monsters.
Jayla Tharp's picture

Jayla Tharp

Accounting Clerk
jtharp@sffriendsschool.org
Jayla Tharp's picture

Jayla Tharp

Accounting Clerk
Born and raised in Oakland, Jayla now lives in San Leandro with her three children. Jayla brings over 15 years of accounting experience to SFFS and holds a B.A. in Social Science (with a concentration in education) from Ashford University. She loves to help others and serves as a volunteer in her Oakland community, teaching young girls and women through ministry. After seven years of temping, Jayla was thrilled to start calling Friends home in the 2012–13 school year. Though she loves crunching numbers, Jayla also hopes to explore a career as a teacher or counselor in the future. She loves to dance!
Dan Sullivan's picture

Dan Sullivan

Alumni & Donor Engagement Coordinator
dsullivan@sffriendsschool.org
Dan Sullivan's picture

Dan Sullivan

Alumni & Donor Engagement Coordinator
Dan grew up in Maryland. He moved to Minnesota to attend Carleton College, where he recently graduated with a degree in Sociology/Anthropology. While in college, Dan volunteered with his school’s annual fund and alumni relations offices in a number of different roles, and he is excited to continue working in development at SFFS. SFFS’s emphasis on building a diverse and engaged community is what drew Dan to this role in particular. Outside of work, he loves to cook, bake, and try new foods. Dan recently moved to San Francisco, and he is excited to explore the city.
Jason Stone's picture

Jason Stone

Learning Commons Coordinator
jstone@sffriendsschool.org
Jason Stone's picture

Jason Stone

Learning Commons Coordinator
Born to a school teacher mother and a Baptist minister father, Jason grew up in a small town in North Carolina before attending Duke University to study the German language and Medieval art history. In 1994, after returning from teaching at a school in southern Germany, he moved to the Bay Area and began working at San Francisco Day School. During his first role there as an assistant librarian, Jason discovered his passion for helping children and adults learn to use technology as a tool for learning, discovery, and play. After helping to formalize the technology department, he eventually accepted the role of Director of Technology and helped SFDS integrate the rapidly evolving world of educational technology into its classrooms. In addition, he cherished the relationships he developed through his role as a sixth and seventh grade advisor. He joined Friends School in 2012 as the Learning Commons Coordinator. When not at school, Jason resides in the outer Richmond with his partner, Adra, and their cat Chester McMeowypants. Jason has been known to play bass guitar in the SFFS teacher band Testimony, and enjoys motorcycling and bicycling on any rain-free weekend.
Emma Sonduck's picture

Emma Sonduck

Assistant Director of Development
esonduck@sffriendsschool.org
Emma Sonduck's picture

Emma Sonduck

Assistant Director of Development
Emma joined Friends in 2015 from California College of the Arts, where she oversaw their annual giving for five years. She began her career in development over ten years ago as a grant writer for small arts organizations in San Francisco; from there, she worked for Family Service Agency San Francisco and the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. Originally from Massachusetts, she moved the the Bay Area after earning her BA from Mount Holyoke College. Emma resides in Oakland with her partner Christopher and their two cats. She enjoys cooking, going to the movies, and cheering for Oakland sport teams.
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Guybe Slangen

Director of Community Engagement
gslangen@sffriendsschool.org
Guybe Slangen's picture

Guybe Slangen

Director of Community Engagement
Guybe comes from an international family of educators—his father (from Belgium) was a professor for nearly three decades and his mother (from the Philippines) taught in public schools for many years. Guybe joined SFFS in 2009 from the Head-Royce School where he was the Dean of Students. Prior to that he worked at independent schools in both Colorado and New York. Whether leading students to China on summer trips or taking them to serve meals at homeless shelters, Guybe believes strongly that learning has the greatest impact through experience. At Friends, his work centers around building and sustaining strong relationships between the school and the greater community. He also manages grade-level trips and supports diversity and service efforts throughout the school. Guybe is a graduate of Dickinson College and completed his Master’s in Educational Leadership at Columbia University’s Teachers College. He has served on the boards of the Northern California POCIS (People of Color in Independent Schools), the Asian Educators Alliance, and presented workshops nationally on the topics of leadership, diversity, and community engagement. Guybe lives in Oakland with his partner Susan and their daughter Livi.
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Bora Shin

'Design and Technology Integrator
bshin@sffriendsschool.org
Bora Shin's picture

Bora Shin

'Design and Technology Integrator
Bora is an adventurer at heart! Over the last two decades, she has lived in VA, NY, Chicago, South Korea, Singapore, and CA. Divergent thinking is at the core of Bora’s teaching practice! She uses various strategies and tools, such as making skills, critical inquiry, and problem-solving, to facilitate students to generate creative yet purposeful ideas by exploring possible solutions from local to global scale topics so that they can use these skills to solve their own real-world challenges. Before coming to the Friends School, Bora worked at the Quarry Lane School in Dublin CA, Singapore and South Korea, where she  taught project-based learning in Technology, Design, and IB Visual Art. Bora is also in the process of completing her second MA in Computing in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, to further expand her knowledge and skills in teaching and learning with technology by considering its cognitive, social, cultural, and applied perspectives. Bora has her BFA in Product Design from Parsons School of Design and MA in Teaching from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Bora is happily married to her loving, kind, and understanding husband, Taeg, and they two just moved to San Francisco from the Bay and are excited to start exploring many local cafes and restaurants.
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Kori Riordan

Learning Specialist
kriordan@sffriendsschool.org
Kori Riordan's picture

Kori Riordan

Learning Specialist
Kori Riordan is a Learning Specialist and Tutor at San Francisco Friends School, providing one-to-one and small group support for students with learning challenges. Her training includes multi-sensory instruction in language arts and math. Kori previously worked as a middle school math teacher, learning specialist, and 1st and 5th grade teacher. Kori earned an MBA from Loyola Marymount University and holds a Multiple Subject and Education Specialist teaching credential, an MA in Special Education from Notre Dame de Namur, and a Certificate in Educational Therapy. She is a Certified Mindfulness Instructor, active with the Northern California Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and member of the Association for Education Therapists. She is a mom of four children and loves to cook, hike, swim, practice yoga, and experience live theatre. 

Lower School

Bekah Puddington's picture

Bekah Puddington

Lower School Teaching Assistant
bpuddington@sffriendsschool.org
Bekah Puddington's picture

Bekah Puddington

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Bekah grew up in Northern New York (practically Canada) in the Western foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, as a Social Studies teacher’s daughter and the oldest of five kids. She moved to San Francisco in August 2018 for Mennonite Voluntary Service, and worked at The Gubbio Project for one year. Bekah has her BA in English, and has previously worked as a school librarian, challenge course facilitator, wilderness trip leader, and outdoor educator. Bekah is a lover of poetry and dogs, likes to garden with neighbors and friends, and enjoys riding her bike to the ocean. She is currently a graduate student of literature at San Francisco State University.
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Camilo Villa

Lower School Spanish Teacher
cvilla@sffriendsschool.org
Camilo Villa's picture

Camilo Villa

Lower School Spanish Teacher
Camilo was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, and moved to the Bay Area seven years ago to pursue his career in Education. He holds an MA in Education for Equity & Social Justice from San Francisco State University and a B.F.A. in Individualized Studies from the California College of the Arts. Camilo lives in the East Bay with his husband, Sanmit. He is passionate about teaching gender-inclusive Spanish and social justice education. During his free time, Camilo enjoys making art, practicing yoga, reading books, and, most importantly, dancing salsa.
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Marina Vendrell-Ouali

Director of Extended Day & A3
mvendrell@sffriendsschool.org
Marina Vendrell-Ouali's picture

Marina Vendrell-Ouali

Director of Extended Day & A3
A native of the Bay Area, Marina attended Humboldt State University, where she received a B.A. in Fine Arts, and California College of the Arts, where she completed her Master’s in Fine Arts. She has taught children and adolescents and served as a guest artist, artist-in-residence and lecturer at the San Francisco Day School and Marin Academy. She has directed the Extended Day Program here at Friends for over a decade. Marina is trained in the Responsive Classroom teaching method and has delved into the joys of play with Playworks. She served as an assistant in the very first Friends School Summer camp in 2003, and then directed the school’s growing summer camp for seven years. Marina and her 5-year-old son, Rezki, are deeply inspired by the Maker Movement, and spend their time making everything from granola to solar cars to paper monsters.
Andrea Snyder's picture

Andrea Snyder

2nd Grade Teacher
asnyder@sffriendsschool.org
Andrea Snyder's picture

Andrea Snyder

2nd Grade Teacher
Andrea is thrilled to be coming to San Francisco after five years teaching in international schools in London and Hanoi. Prior to moving abroad, she lived and taught in Brooklyn, NY, long enough to be considered a New Yorker. She earned a BA in American Civilization and English from George Washington University and an MEd in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt University. In her 18 years as a classroom teacher in independent schools, she has taught children from ages four to 11. She never grows tired of the joy, optimism, humor, and creativity that come along with spending days with young children. When she’s not teaching, Andrea enjoys traveling, hiking, running, baking, and finding tasty things to eat. 
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Jane Rinard

Lower School Music Teacher
jrinard@sffriendsschool.org
Jane Rinard's picture

Jane Rinard

Lower School Music Teacher
Jane is thrilled to be joining the SFFS community and to be living in California again. She recently returned from an amazing eight year stint teaching overseas at the American School in London and at the American School in Bombay. She is passionate about sharing her love of music and movement with young people, and has taught at several local public and independent schools, including Oakwood School in Morgan Hill and San Francisco Day School. In addition, she has conducted choirs at Peninsula Girls Chorus and Ragazzi Boys Chorus and has taught private piano and voice lessons throughout the Bay Area. Jane holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, where she studied literature in English and French as well as vocal and choral music. She received a Master’s Degree in Music Education with a Kodály emphasis from Holy Names University in Oakland and is certified in the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education. In her free time Jane enjoys practicing yoga, dancing, cooking, hosting dinner parties, and exploring the local trails.
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Maureen Ray

4th Grade Teacher
mray@sffriendsschool.org
Maureen Ray's picture

Maureen Ray

4th Grade Teacher
Maureen is delighted to join the SFFS community! For the past 10 years, she has taught 3rd and 5th grades at Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley. A Bay Area native, Maureen earned her undergraduate degree in Critical Gender Studies from UC San Diego, with a minor in education, and her MEd from UCLA. Maureen loves to learn, and was fortunate to be selected for numerous summer seminars through the Gilder Lehrman Institute, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, and National Endowment for the Humanities. Among her favorite seminars were The Civil Rights Movement in Memphis; American Immigration Through a California Lens in Los Angeles; and Age of Lincoln in Oxford, England. In her spare time, Maureen enjoys reading, biking, yoga, dance, and theatre, and serves on the Board of Directors and Artistic Advisory Committee of Contra Costa Civic Theatre in El Cerrito.
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Gavin Odabashian

4th Grade Teacher
godabashian@sffriendsschool.org
Gavin Odabashian's picture

Gavin Odabashian

4th Grade Teacher
Gavin is thrilled to be returning to SFFS as the new 4th Grade Lead Teacher! Gavin (she/her) was born and raised in the Bay Area in a LGBTQ family, and she comes to teaching with a background in nonprofit and service-oriented roles, as well as a BA in Sociology from Scripps College. With more than five years of teaching experience, Gavin has honed her vision and practice in classrooms spanning 1st-5th grades. For four years, she served as a Lower School TA at SFFS, and in that time also received her Masters in Education and California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI)/University of the Pacific. Gavin spent this past school year (2020–2021) lead teaching 4th and 5th Grades at Marin Horizon School. Although she enjoyed and gained much from her experience at MHS, SFFS has always had her heart. She is drawn back to this community for the progressive Quaker values, the commitment to an academically rigorous program that seeks to meet the strengths and needs of the whole child, and the opportunity to collaborate with a team of outstanding educators who are equally focused on continued professional growth and excellence. As a teacher, Gavin is passionate about social-emotional learning, social justice, and anti-racism in education. In her free time, she loves hiking, gardening, yoga, reading, and traveling. While English is her first language, she is fluent in Spanish and has spent long periods of time in Chile, Colómbia, and Argentina. She now lives in Berkeley with her partner Chris and their two cats. 
Angel Nicole's picture

Angel Nicole

Lower School Teaching Assistant
anicole@sffriendsschool.org
Angel Nicole's picture

Angel Nicole

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Angel is a San Francisco native, born and raised. She graduated from Thurgood Marshall High School with honors in 2012. Angel has always loved to dance, and practically lived in the dance studio after her mom signed her up for dance classes at the age of six. Angel later joined her neighborhood Pop Warner cheer/dance team, the San Francisco Brown Bombers, and soon began volunteering as an assistant coach for her childhood cheer/dance team, which she has been coaching ever since. Angel has helped lead the team to four National Championships in Orlando,FL. Giving back to her community by passing down her knowledge and mentoring youth helped Angel realize her passion was working with kids, so she decided to apply for a job at SFFS. Angel joined the Extended Day team in October of 2017 and has enjoyed every moment. She is now seeking to go back to school to get her degree in Childhood Development and Child Adolescence. In her spare time Angel enjoys cooking, traveling, attending her home teams sporting events ( #GIANTS, #WARRIORS, #49ERS ) taking advanced dance classes with her cousin (a former NFL 49er cheerleader), watching movies, volunteering in her community, Playing Double Dutch with the students at SFFS, DIY projects, and hanging out with her SFFS co-workers.
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Jeremy Mikush

Lower School Teaching Assistant
jmikush@sffriendsschool.org
Jeremy Mikush's picture

Jeremy Mikush

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Jeremy entered the Kindergarten team of San Francisco Friends School in December 2020. Previously, they'd been involved in community arts programs as a music instructor and performance coach (Hope Academy, East Liberty Presyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA), and work in Extended Day programs (Epiphany School, Seattle, WA). Jeremy received their graduate degrees in musicology (UCLA) and has loved moving between teaching K-5 music and performing seasonally in cabaret venues across four continents. Jeremy brings their inner light and their inner Kindergartener to SFFS, and has deeply loved nurturing young people to be heart-centered, compassionate, joyful, and creative. When free, Jeremy loves diving into opera, reading history, historical fiction, and science fiction, and fingerpicks on the  ukulele. Jeremy also includes sound healing and therapies among their professional passions, and loves hosting sound baths for friends and community.
 
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Nick McGrane

Kindergarten Teacher
nmcgrane@sffriendsschool.org
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Lisa McEachron

PE Teacher
lmceachron@sffriendsschool.org
Lisa McEachron's picture

Lisa McEachron

PE Teacher
Lisa joined the SFFS staff in 2009. Lisa taught P.E. at Katherine Delmar Burke School in the mid-1990s for three years. Previous to that, she taught in the East Bay at an elementary school and at a K–12 school for emotionally troubled students. Lisa brings a host of physical education skills to our school—she is a seasoned bike tour leader, an experienced coach, and an events coordinator. Lisa pioneered our first Field Day in the spring of 2010. She is an ardent believer in preparing students for lifelong fitness and physical activity. Lisa has both a B.A. (Cal State, Chico) and M.S. (Cal State, Hayward) in Physical Education, and an abiding interest in health education. She is an avid camper, hiker, and biking enthusiast, having biked 2,000 miles from Oregon to Colorado. She enjoys reading, gardening, and cooking. Lisa has two children, Elizabeth and Annie (SFFS class of 2011).
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Tracie Mastronicola

Academic Dean
tmastronicola@sffriendsschool.org
Tracie Mastronicola's picture

Tracie Mastronicola

Academic Dean
Tracie excitedly returned to SFFS as our Academic Dean in the summer of 2016. Tracie brings her enthusiasm and 16 years of experience in and around the classroom to her new role at SFFS. After finishing her own education on the east coast, the native New Yorker packed up her car and drove out west where she's been acting like a tourist in San Francisco ever since. Tracie's first introduction to teaching was at the Nueva School; it was there that she realized the innovative, dynamic, and sometimes chaotic nature of a school was where she felt most at home. Tracie dove into both teaching and learning, spending the next two decades focusing on science and math curriculum, project-based learning, advising young adults, and leading service learning trips with students to far off places. After teaching in the classroom at SFFS, Tracie most recently worked with a team designing science simulations at CK-12 Foundation, an educational non-profit organization aimed at providing free material to students and teachers. In her free time, Tracie loves eating and, subsequently, running through Golden Gate Park. Tracie, her wife Alyssa, and their twin boys live​​ and play in San Francisco.
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Salvador Martinez

Lower School Teaching Assistant
smartinez@sffriendsschool.org
Salvador Martinez's picture

Salvador Martinez

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Salvador is a Bay Area native who recently returned to California last year with his husband, four-year-old son, and mini poodle, after living and working in London and New York City. He joins Friends as a teaching assistant with twelve years of classroom experience, teaching school-based yoga and mindfulness programs. Salvador has a BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Cross-Cultural Studies from San Francisco State University. In his yoga and mindfulness training, he is learned in Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness, Yoga Therapy, and Embodied Yoga Anatomy and Kinesiology. Salvador and his family live in the East Bay and love exploring all that the Bay Area has to offer, from parks and beaches to museums, concerts, restaurants, cafes, and ice cream shops.
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Kaylin Mansley

Lower School Teaching Assistant
kmansley@sffriendsschool.org
Kaylin Mansley's picture

Kaylin Mansley

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Kaylin received her BA and MA from Penn State University. After graduating, she moved abroad and received her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. She taught English to K–5 students in Prague, before deciding to move back to the States. For the past two years, she has worked at Reading Partners, a national nonprofit that supports student literacy growth by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring sessions to students falling below benchmark in reading. Outside of teaching, she loves writing, roller-skating, and being with her pets.
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Rebecca Mallabone

Learning Specialist
rmallabone@sffriendsschool.org
Rebecca Mallabone's picture

Rebecca Mallabone

Learning Specialist
Rebecca is thrilled to join SFFS. She is originally from England and moved to the Bay Area nine years ago. Since then, she studied at San Francisco State University gaining her BA in Liberal Studies, Masters in Education and Teaching Credential. Rebecca has worked and volunteered in a number of SF schools, and spent the last five years teaching third grade at Stratford School. She lives in SF with her husband and two young children, Zack and Alex. They enjoy going for walks around the neighborhood, playing in the local parks, cooking, and watching the SF Giants.
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Amanda Mack

Lower School Teaching Assistant
amack@sffriendsschool.org
Amanda Mack's picture

Amanda Mack

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Amanda Mack is a born and raised Mission District native. She has a BA in Global Studies from San Jose Sate University and is currently enrolled at San Francisco State University to get her Master's in Education, with a concentration in Equity and Social Justice. Amanda is very passionate about creating equitable change through our education system, and hopes that her time spent at SFFS will be used to foster her craft. In her free time, Amanda enjoys relaxing with her two cats, soaking up the sun at Dolores Park, and traveling. 
Lily Layman's picture

Lily Layman

Lower School Teaching Assistant
llayman@sffriendsschool.org
Lily Layman's picture

Lily Layman

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Lily became part of the Friends Community in December 2020 as a Kindergarten Aide. She is originally from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a tiny costal town. After graduating from Portsmouth High School, she moved across country to attend the University of San Francisco, where she received her Bachelors of Arts degree in psychology. Throughout her college years, she held many jobs and volunteer positions dedicated to working with children—one of her main passions. She volunteered in the playroom at Safe and Sound, a local organization dedicated to providing children and families resources to foster healthy home environments. She also nannied and babysat many local Bay Area families who she still considers close friends today. She worked as an art teacher at Nine Studio, a local art education center that provides after school art classes and summer camps for children of all ages. She has also worked as a behavioral therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her free time (and much of her time spent with children), she is most always found drawing, with most of her art inspired by the creativity of her students. She also loves building fairy houses, cuddling her cat Tumi (who also loves making Zoom appearances), and cooking up vegan recipes.
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Sebastian Kleppe

Lower School Teaching Assistant
skleppe@sffriendsschool.org
Sebastian Kleppe's picture

Sebastian Kleppe

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Sebastian graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in Philosophy, but pursued his main interest of film production through internships in New York City. Sebastian began teaching through interning at the Mission Science Workshop, helping teach science, basic electronics, and woodworking to students. In 2015, Sebastian began working as an Explainer at the Exploratorium where he led cow eye dissections and encouraged thoughtful engagement with the museum’s exhibits. Most recently Sebastian worked with the nonprofit, Art & Film where he led student film crews in creating short films. Sebastian enjoys reading books, writing scripts, and playing overly complicated board games in his free time.
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Tanya Hernandez

1st Grade Teacher
tcotom@sffriendsschool.org
Tanya Hernandez's picture

Tanya Hernandez

1st Grade Teacher
Tanya was born in Guatemala and raised in San Francisco, California. She is a native Spanish speaker, and received her BA in Child and Adolescent Development and Master's in Elementary Education at San Francisco State University. She has spent summers teaching with Horizons and was a teaching assistant in the Lower School for three years before moving into her current role teaching Lower School Spanish. Tanya feels drawn to teaching the language she loves as an expression of her true voice as a teacher. She loves art, music, reading, running, and spending her free time with her family.
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Erin Kendrew

1st Grade Teacher
ekendrew@sffriendsschool.org
Erin Kendrew's picture

Erin Kendrew

1st Grade Teacher
Erin Kendrew was born and raised in New Zealand, graduating with her B.A. in English and History from Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. She went on to receive her teaching diploma, and launched her career immediately. In more than a decade of teaching, Erin has taught kindergartners in Wellington and Christchurch in her home country, first and second graders in Egypt and England, and kindergartners in Oakland. Erin was trained with Harvard’s “Project Zero” curriculum and year-long fellowship with the Making Math Real program, and has experience in numerous reading, writing, and literacy programs. At Head-Royce School, Erin coordinated with two Oakland public schools to implement a service-learning program. Erin moved to the Bay Area with her Dutch husband, Dieuwe, and young daughter, Ava, in 2007 and has taught kindergarten and first grade here at SFFS.
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Luis Hernandez

3rd Grade Teacher
lhernandez@sffriendsschool.org
Luis Hernandez's picture

Luis Hernandez

3rd Grade Teacher
Luis joins SFFS after previously teaching at Prospect Sierra. His resonance to our Quaker mission, experience in independent schools, his love of the city, and good humor make us all very sure he will be a wonderful addition to the team. Though he’s just finished the BATTI Masters and Credential program, Luis is no stranger to independent school communities. He’s been in the education field for over 20 years, starting as an independent school student to transitions to roles such as  Development Manager at the Katherine Delmar Burke School, to an Admissions Officer for the Nueva School, and most recently, as a 3rd grade associate teacher at Prospect Sierra. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Luis brings a sense of confidence about how schools work and comes with the ability to effectively connect and collaborate with administrators and families as easily as he does with students. Luis enjoys staying fit, healthy cooking, and playing music, preferably all outside. 
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Mike Hanas

Head of School
mhanas@sffriendsschool.org
Mike Hanas's picture

Mike Hanas

Head of School
Mike joined Friends School in the summer of 2016, previously working as the Principal of Carolina Friends School (CFS), a pre-K­–12 Quaker school in Durham, North Carolina. A born teacher and a lifelong learner, Mike grew up on Chicago’s Southside, where he was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Classics from the College of the Holy Cross, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and his Master’s degree in Education Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University. Mike has taught Latin, Greek, and humanities, served as a college counselor and assistant director of admissions, and coached basketball, football, and lacrosse teams at Tabor Academy, St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, and Durham Academy in addition to CFS and SFFS. He also serves currently on the Board of Trustees for the Friends Council on Education. Mike and his wife, Sue Gouchoe, met when they were coaching competing girls’ varsity basketball teams (Sue’s team won). Mike and Sue have two children: their daughter, Kyle, is a graduate of Smith College and faculty member at the Friends School of Wilmington (NC), and their son, Matt, currently attends UNC Chapel Hill, where he captains Darkside, UNC's ultimate frisbee team. Mike’s interests include reading, art, travel, outdoor adventure, the music of Bruce Springsteen, the Chicago Cubs, and long conversations with good friends.
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Noah Bowling

Kindergarten Teacher
nbowling@sffriendsschool.org
Noah Bowling's picture

Noah Bowling

Kindergarten Teacher
Noah joined the Friends School team in the 2003–04 school year after teaching for three years in the Riverside Unified School District in Southern California and at Jump Academy, a charter school in San Francisco. Noah received his B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Boston College, and served as an assistant teacher in public schools in the Boston area. He has worked with children from preschool through third grade as both teacher and mentor. Passionate about baseball, Noah coaches baseball at the Urban School of San Francisco. He directed SFFS “Friends in Nature” Summer Camp during the summer of 2004, and traveled to Japan with a Fulbright Memorial Fund Grant in the fall of 2005. Noah and Danielle St. Amand were married on the shore of Narragansett Bay in 2007 and reside in Pacifica with their son Liam. Noah recently completed his master’s at Notre Dame de Namur University with his thesis about empathy entitled “Caught or Taught?”
Andrea Green's picture

Andrea Green

3rd Grade Teacher
agreen@sffriendsschool.org
Andrea Green's picture

Andrea Green

3rd Grade Teacher
Andrea is thrilled to be joining the 3rd Grade team at Friends. She has over 20 years teaching experience, most recently at SF Day School. She received a BA in Liberal Studies and Women’s Studies at SF State University and a MA in Teaching from University of San Francisco. Andrea lives in the Inner Sunset with her 11-year-old son, Emmett, and their kitty, Willie. Andrea is passionate about elementary education and especially enjoys teaching mathematics, Structured Word Inquiry, and social/emotional curriculum. During her free time, Andrea enjoys cooking, traveling, and camping, and loves belting out 80’s covers as the lead singer in her teacher band, The Red Slips.
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Suzanne Geller

Lower School Librarian
sgeller@sffriendsschool.org
Suzanne Geller's picture

Suzanne Geller

Lower School Librarian
Raised in Curaçao in the Caribbean, Suzanne is fluent in Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamentu, and enjoys using her Spanish with students, parents, and staff at SFFS. A graduate of Smith and Bank Street College, Suzanne has more than 25 years of experience as an educator and administrator. She loves guiding students in discovery and learning and is thrilled to be doing so with books in the library. Suzanne lives in San Francisco with her son Anemo.
Gracia Garcia's picture

Gracia Garcia

Lower School Teaching Assistant
ggarcia@sffriendsschool.org
Gracia Garcia's picture

Gracia Garcia

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Gracia was born and raised in San Francisco, the oldest sibling in her family and the first to graduate from college after obtaining her BA degree—majoring in Child and Adolescent Development with a concentration in Policy, Advocacy & Systems, and minoring in Criminal Justice—from San Francisco State University. Gracia loves working with kids, helping out, and trying new things, and first arrived at Friends in 2020–2021 as a 2nd Grade Teaching Aide, helping with smaller cohorts during that challenging and ever-changing pandemic / hybrid learning year. Gracia loves rooting for her hometown teams, and is a devoted fan of the 49ers, Giants, and Warriors!
Elissa Fitterman's picture

Elissa Fitterman

Lower School Teaching Assistant
efitterman@sffriendsschool.org
Elissa Fitterman's picture

Elissa Fitterman

Lower School Teaching Assistant
Elissa is brand new to the Bay Area, and thrilled to be here! She is currently a student with the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute working towards her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and her MA in Teaching. Born and raised outside of DC on the East Coast, Elissa graduated in 2014 from Bard College with her BA in Cultural Anthropology. After graduating, Elissa followed a love of the outdoors and a desire for new adventures to Jackson, Wyoming, where she began teaching preschool. Her draw towards continually learning and garnering new perspectives took her all around the West, as her passion and drive to create a more sustainable, livable, and equitable future continued to grow. Elissa has worked on a number of small organic farms; done a stint for the Forest Service; worked at a ski resort; and volunteered for nonprofits focused on conservation, environmental education, and food justice. She hopes to bring this appreciation of multiple perspectives and this constant curiosity and love of learning to the classroom and to the students she teaches. Nothing brings her more joy than helping to foster a sense of agency, hope, possibility, and wonder in both children and adults alike. Outside of the classroom, you are likely to find her exploring—either the great outdoors, the rich culture of the city, or the worlds contained in an entrancing piece of music or a good book!
Nina Eckhoff's picture

Nina Eckhoff

Lower School Support Teacher
neckoff@sffriendsschool.org
Nina Eckhoff's picture

Nina Eckhoff

Lower School Support Teacher
Nina started working with children in 2010, when she become part of the Glenridge Cooperative Nursery School community. Since then, she has worked at Pacific Primary School, and in 2016 joined SF Friends as a substitute teacher in the lower school. Nina lives in San Francisco with her husband and son, and enjoys camping and baking with her family. Most weekends, you can find Nina attempting new moves in a big dance class.
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Frances Dickson

Developmental Support Coordinator & K–4 Learning Specialist
fdickson@sffriendsschool.org
Frances Dickson's picture

Frances Dickson

Developmental Support Coordinator & K–4 Learning Specialist
Frances joined the SFFS team in 2008 after working for five years at The Nueva School as a reading specialist and for thirteen years at San Francisco Day School as a classroom teacher and learning specialist. Originally from Kentucky, Frances began her career as a third grade teacher in a rural public school in Central Florida. After relocating to San Francisco, she completed her M.A. in Learning and Instruction at USF and has since attended professional development workshops to keep up with the developments in the the understanding of learning. Frances has been active with the Northern CA branch of the International Dyslexia Association for many years and has served as branch president. She has an extensive background in structured literacy, specifically the Slingerland Approach, and has been inspired by the addition of Structured Word Inquiry to her repertoire. Frances enjoys gardening, bike riding, boot camp, yoga, traveling and eating. She and her partner live in Pacifica with their two young cats, and they have two young adult daughters who are in college and working. 
Francia Constanti's picture

Francia Constanti

Lower School Spanish Teacher
fconstanti@sffriendsschool.org
Francia Constanti's picture

Francia Constanti

Lower School Spanish Teacher
Francia was born and raised in Colombia, in the city of Medellin, which is also known as the “City of the Eternal Spring.” Francia has a wealth of professional experience in Colombia, primarily in the higher education sector. Francia moved from Colombia to Danville in September of 2015 to live with her husband, Jay. Since moving here, she has worked as a Spanish teacher for students from kindergarten through 5th Grade, and she appreciates that teaching Spanish helps her to stay connected to her roots. In their spare time, Francia and Jay love to hike the beautiful trails around the Bay Area, and both enjoy traveling internationally, to get to know other cultures, other ways of life, and their histories. Francia has recently taken up camping, loves cats, and prizes spending time with her family most of all.
Tracy Coleman's picture

Tracy Coleman

1st Grade Teacher
tcoleman@sffriendsschool.org
Tracy Coleman's picture

Tracy Coleman

1st Grade Teacher
Tracy was born and raised in London, England. She attended college in the United States and received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Vermont. Following graduation, she came out west as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer to work in Richmond, CA at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and subsequently completed her M.A. in Elementary Education at San Francisco State. Over the last 20 years, Tracy has taught kindergarten at the French American International School, first grade at Discovery Center School, and a kindergarten/first multiage class at White Oaks School in San Carlos. She joined the faculty of SFFS as the lower school drama teacher in 2006 and is now a first grade teacher. Tracy is also a supervisor of student teachers for the BATTI (Bay Area Teacher Training Institute) program. Tracy, her husband, Jordy, and their two sons (ages seven and nine) live in San Francisco. In her free time, she serves on the parent board and volunteers at her children’s school. She loves baking and chocolate and spends as much time skiing with her family as possible.
Mick Colburn's picture

Mick Colburn

Director of Athletics, PE Teacher
mcolburn@sffriendsschool.org
Mick Colburn's picture

Mick Colburn

Director of Athletics, PE Teacher
Mick brings over decade of coaching and teaching experience to SFFS. He worked as a coach, P.E. instructor, and Athletic Director at the San Francisco Waldorf School and as the Youth Athletic Program Coordinator at the JCCSF. For two summers he returned to his native Massachusetts to teach in a summer school program that included both morning P.E. classes and an after-school program focused on character building through sports and teamwork. Recently, Mick has been directing an after-school arts enrichment program serving 135 kids from twelve different San Francisco public schools. When he’s not working, Mick loves to take care of his orchids, cook with his wife, and explore San Francisco.
Jon Burnett's picture

Jon Burnett

3rd–8th Grade Drama Teacher
jburnett@sffriendsschool.org
Jon Burnett's picture

Jon Burnett

3rd–8th Grade Drama Teacher
Jon started acting early—he fondly remembers performing at the Pacific Yearly Meeting of Friends while growing up in a Quaker family. Jon has performed Shakespeare in Hungary and Kafka in Slovakia, taught drama in Tennessee, Washington, and California, directed theater productions at the Willows Theater camp, and performed locally at La Luna Theatre. Along with his work here at SFFS, Jon teaches Improvisation, Middle School Performance Ensemble and Play Creation at the Berkeley Rep School of Theater. He lives in El Cerrito with his partner, Rebecca, and their son, Leo.
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Anhvu Buchanan

2nd Grade Teacher
abuchanan@sffriendsschool.org
Anhvu Buchanan's picture

Anhvu Buchanan

2nd Grade Teacher
Anhvu served for two years as a Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI) intern in both 2nd and 3rd grades at Friends before spending two years in the lead teaching position at The Berkeley School (TBS), where he has thrived in a combination 1st and 2nd grade classroom. Hailing from Virginia, Anvhu has two master’s degrees, one in Education from UoP, and one in Creative Writing from SF State. A published writer, he spent several years as a Writer’s Corps volunteer in the Juvenile Justice Center teaching poetry. Anhvu has been drawn to Quaker education for some time; while he was here, he committed himself to the ideals of the school by working with Horizons. While Anhvu has truly enjoyed his time at TBS, he describes Friends as a pull he could not deny. We are so happy to welcome him back to the team.
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Jennifer Arnest

Lower School Head
jarnest@sffriendsschool.org
Jennifer Arnest's picture

Jennifer Arnest

Lower School Head
Jennifer grew up in Chicago, Baltimore, and Pasadena—for this, she considers herself tri-coastal. In her East Coast chapter, she and her two brothers attended Baltimore Friends School. Jennifer’s father is a professor, and her mother was a teacher, and Jennifer felt like a “school person” from her earliest years. Jennifer brings over twenty years of teaching and administrative experience to SFFS, from Children’s Day School in San Francisco, to the International School of Tanganyika in East Africa, to University Child Development School in Seattle, and The Nueva School on the Peninsula. She has taught kindergarten, first and second grades, and has served as Assessment Committee Chair and faculty Board representative at the Nueva School. Before coming to the Friends School, Jennifer worked at the Children's School at Mills College, in the School of Education, where she taught and supervised the work of the graduate students entering the profession. Jennifer and her partner Martin live in the East Bay, and are the parents of two children, Sofia (SFFS class of 2018) and Luca (SFFS class of 2022).
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Caren Andrews

Lower School Art Teacher
candrews@sffriendsschool.org
Caren Andrews's picture

Caren Andrews

Lower School Art Teacher
Caren is a practicing Teaching Artist with over 25 years of working with both children and adult learners. In addition to teaching kindergarten through fourth grade, and a 7/8th grade elective at SFFS, she is a faculty member for the Alameda County Office of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program. Caren holds a B.F.A. from UCLA and a Master's Degree in Education specializing in Arts Integration from Lesley University. She lives (and paints) in Oakland with her husband, Mike. They have two daughters.

Middle School

Jon Burnett's picture

Jon Burnett

3rd–8th Grade Drama Teacher
jburnett@sffriendsschool.org
Jon Burnett's picture

Jon Burnett

3rd–8th Grade Drama Teacher
Jon started acting early—he fondly remembers performing at the Pacific Yearly Meeting of Friends while growing up in a Quaker family. Jon has performed Shakespeare in Hungary and Kafka in Slovakia, taught drama in Tennessee, Washington, and California, directed theater productions at the Willows Theater camp, and performed locally at La Luna Theatre. Along with his work here at SFFS, Jon teaches Improvisation, Middle School Performance Ensemble and Play Creation at the Berkeley Rep School of Theater. He lives in El Cerrito with his partner, Rebecca, and their son, Leo.
Sabrina Brooks's picture

Sabrina Brooks

Middle School Humanities Teacher
sbrooks@sffriendsschool.org
Sabrina Brooks's picture

Sabrina Brooks

Middle School Humanities Teacher
Sabrina joined the original SFFS team in 2010 after teaching middle school at The Town School in New York City for nine years. In her time at Town, Sabrina taught and created curriculum for social studies and English classes in the sixth and eighth grades and served as an advisor. Outside of the classroom at The Town School, Sabrina worked to improve student assessment and design faculty evaluations. She also co-chaired the school’s accreditation process, worked with the diversity committee, and helped design curriculum. Here at SFFS, Sabrina pioneered an eighth grade trip to the Central Valley of California, and worked with her colleagues to design a fully integrated curriculum around immigration, agriculture, and water policy. Sabrina has taught middle-schoolers for many years and particularly loves the curiosity and energy of this age group. A native of the Bay Area, Sabrina is happy to be back in California; she lives in Marin with her partner, Andy, and their two children, Charlie and Hannah.
Phillip Brettschneider's picture

Phillip Brettschneider

Middle School Humanities Teacher
pbrettschneider@sffriendsschool.org
Phillip Brettschneider's picture

Phillip Brettschneider

Middle School Humanities Teacher
Phillip immigrated to the U.S. from Germany as a child, and spent their childhood traveling between their home overseas and their new home in the United States. They studied English and Anthropology at the University of Georgia, and earned a Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology from The Ohio State University. Phillip discovered their love of teaching working with underserved children in an after-school program on the south side of Atlanta, and grew that love teaching Anthropology for Social Justice at a charter high school in Ohio. For the past six years, they have taught Math and English to 7th- and 8th-Graders at the St. John School in San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood. Phillip sees education as the means for young people to develop their own voices and feel empowered to use them to change their personal world; they believe education and social action should always go hand-in-hand. When they are not teaching, Phillip can be found crocheting elaborate lace shawls, biking around town, baking pies, or dancing to loud disco music while handing out groceries at the Quaker Food Pantry. 
Diali Bose-Roy's picture

Diali Bose-Roy

Middle School Math Teacher
dboseroy@sffriendsschool.org
Diali Bose-Roy's picture

Diali Bose-Roy

Middle School Math Teacher
Diali joined the SFFS team after completing her Master’s in Education Leadership at Columbia. The daughter of a nuclear engineer and a civil engineer, Diali grew up just outside of Los Angeles. Her extended family hails from Kolkata, India, and her family speaks Bengali at home. Diali and her older brother both attended public schools, and Diali went on to study biology at Scripps College, where she was drawn first to medicine, and eventually to documentary filmmaking. Upon graduation, Diali worked for several years in television production and postproduction until deciding to begin her journey as an educator, first running an after-school enrichment program in southern California and then enrolling at Boston’s Lesley College elementary education graduate program. When Diali is not studying or teaching, she goes underwater—scuba-diving in the Caribbean or on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, exploring the lava tubes of Hawaii, or shark diving in Belize.
Ester Azucena's picture

Ester Azucena

Middle School Spanish Teacher
eazucena@sffriendsschool.org
Ester Azucena's picture

Ester Azucena

Middle School Spanish Teacher
Originally from El Salvador, Ester became a San Franciscan at age four. After attending public schools in the city, she earned her B.A. in both Liberal Studies and Spanish at San Francisco State University. Ester began teaching Sunday school at the age of thirteen and has remained connected to kids ever since. As a teenager, she also worked as a receptionist and an intern with the Private Industry Council of San Francisco, a local organization that specializes in supporting low-income youth and families. Ester has taught Spanish and served as an administrator for “Language in Action,” a preschool and elementary language immersion program. She taught lower school Spanish before joining the middle school team in the fall of 2012. Each spring, Ester accompanies SFFS seventh-graders on their trip to Nicaragua.
Luz Andino's picture

Luz Andino

Middle School Spanish Teacher
landino@sffriendsschool.org
Luz Andino's picture

Luz Andino

Middle School Spanish Teacher
Luz grew up in Argentina where she studied psychology and communication and received her degree in education from the College of Italian Culture in Buenos Aires. Over the next ten years, she taught elementary-aged students in an array of subjects including music and English literature. She moved to Mallorca, Spain, where she studied art at the Joan Miro Art Institute and where her daughter Clara was born. Luz has taught Spanish for the past eleven years to both adults and children at San Francisco Friends School, French American High School, the Hamlin School, and Children’s Day School. Luz’s passion and concern for the environment led her to pursue her certification in permaculture design; she completed an internship in Taos, New Mexico learning bio-construction. She enjoys working in her backyard, where her two chickens and 500,000 bees reside.
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Kristen Daniel

Director of High School Transition
kdaniel@sffriendsschool.org
Kristen Daniel's picture

Kristen Daniel

Director of High School Transition
Kristen Daniel brought nine years of teaching experience to our founding sixth grade team when she joined SFFS in 2007. She attended Brown University and jumped immediately into the classroom at Summit Middle School to fulfill her New Jersey Governor’s Teaching Scholarship. She taught language arts and social studies in a mixed seventh/eighth grade, and attended Rutgers to complete her master’s degree. After six years at Summit, Kristen moved into New York City, and joined the faculty at Intermediate School 413/School of the Future. During her two years there, she trained at the Columbia University Teachers College Writing Workshop, developed a portfolio assessment program, and supervised both student teachers and first-year teachers. She is now delighted to work with both students and parents, supporting them in their transition into middle school and with the high school application process. Kristen enjoys the beach, reading, and cooking for her partner, Jeff, and daughters, Lily (SFFS class of 2015) and Clementine (SFFS class of 2017).
Mick Colburn's picture

Mick Colburn

Director of Athletics, PE Teacher
mcolburn@sffriendsschool.org
Mick Colburn's picture

Mick Colburn

Director of Athletics, PE Teacher
Mick brings over decade of coaching and teaching experience to SFFS. He worked as a coach, P.E. instructor, and Athletic Director at the San Francisco Waldorf School and as the Youth Athletic Program Coordinator at the JCCSF. For two summers he returned to his native Massachusetts to teach in a summer school program that included both morning P.E. classes and an after-school program focused on character building through sports and teamwork. Recently, Mick has been directing an after-school arts enrichment program serving 135 kids from twelve different San Francisco public schools. When he’s not working, Mick loves to take care of his orchids, cook with his wife, and explore San Francisco.
Frances Elsberry's picture

Frances Elsberry

Middle School Math Teacher
felsberry@sffriendsschool.org
Frances Elsberry's picture

Frances Elsberry

Middle School Math Teacher
Frances grew up in Arizona and moved to San Francisco after graduating from Pomona College with a degree in Politics. While teaching 5th grade at SF Day School, she received her multiple subject credential and MA in Education from the University of the Pacific through BATTI. After graduate school, she taught 5th and 6th grade math at Children’s Day School. She coached beginning teachers at Breakthrough San Francisco in the Summers of 2018 and 2019, returning to where she first started teaching in college! Frances enjoys snorkeling and buying too many books to possibly read from Green Apple.
Rich Oberman's picture

Rich Oberman

Middle School Science Teacher
roberman@sffriendsschool.org
Rich Oberman's picture

Rich Oberman

Middle School Science Teacher
A Speech and Communications graduate of San Francisco State University, Rich began his work as an educator as the coordinator of the after-school program at Schools of the Sacred Heart, and continued as third grade teacher at Stuart Hall. He has devoted three summers to the Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, and completed Making Math Real training with David Berg. In the spring of 2010, Rich received the Herbst Award for Teaching Excellence for his commitment to excellence in the classroom. The child of a Japanese-Hawaiian mother and German father, Rich has a long-standing passion for Taiko drumming and is also a trained medic with extensive experience as a first-aid teacher.
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Clarke Weatherspoon

Middle School Head
cweatherspoon@sffriendsschool.org
Clarke Weatherspoon's picture

Clarke Weatherspoon

Middle School Head
Clarke joined San Francisco Friends School in July as the Middle School Head. He served as history instructor, 9th/10th Grade Dean, and Dean of Inclusion during 13 years at the Urban School of San Francisco. He is graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara and Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Clarke is a meditator, former water polo coach, and cyclist who lives in San Francisco with his family. 
 
Marina Vendrell-Ouali's picture

Marina Vendrell-Ouali

Director of Extended Day & A3
mvendrell@sffriendsschool.org
Marina Vendrell-Ouali's picture

Marina Vendrell-Ouali

Director of Extended Day & A3
A native of the Bay Area, Marina attended Humboldt State University, where she received a B.A. in Fine Arts, and California College of the Arts, where she completed her Master’s in Fine Arts. She has taught children and adolescents and served as a guest artist, artist-in-residence and lecturer at the San Francisco Day School and Marin Academy. She has directed the Extended Day Program here at Friends for over a decade. Marina is trained in the Responsive Classroom teaching method and has delved into the joys of play with Playworks. She served as an assistant in the very first Friends School Summer camp in 2003, and then directed the school’s growing summer camp for seven years. Marina and her 5-year-old son, Rezki, are deeply inspired by the Maker Movement, and spend their time making everything from granola to solar cars to paper monsters.
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Sherry Velazquez

Middle School Teaching Assistant
svelazquez@sffriendsschool.org
Sherry Velazquez's picture

Sherry Velazquez

Middle School Teaching Assistant
Sherry is originally from Los Angeles but has lived in San Francisco for the past 5 years. She graduated from San Francisco State University in 2020, where she double majored in Political Science and Spanish. She first joined SFFS in Spring of 2021, as a replacement Spanish teacher for 5th and 7th grade. She has now transitioned to her role as a Middle School TA. In her free time, Sherry enjoys exploring San Francisco, trying new food, spending time with her cat, and traveling. 
Christine Tantoco's picture

Christine Tantoco

Middle School Science Teacher
ctantoco@sffriendsschool.org
Christine Tantoco's picture

Christine Tantoco

Middle School Science Teacher
Christine grew up in Ohio and attended the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, to study biology as a part of the Golden Apple Teacher Education program. While teaching in Chicago, she earned her Master’s degree in Science Education from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Christine has taught middle school students for over a decade, most recently at the Overlake School in Seattle, where she taught science, served on the technology committee, and sponsored a variety of extracurricular activities for her students. She and her partner Marshall have two children, Olivia and Alexander. In her free time, Christine enjoys reading, dancing, crafting, and playing strategy board games.
Amabelle Sze's picture

Amabelle Sze

Middle School Math Teacher
asze@sffriendsschool.org
Amabelle Sze's picture

Amabelle Sze

Middle School Math Teacher
Amabelle grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and the suburbs of Chicago. She was inspired to become a teacher early on by her first and second piano teachers, Barbara Tiao and Olive P. Endres. Amabelle attended the University of Southern California and received her B.F.A. from the University of Illinois. In 2000, she migrated to San Francisco, a city she had fallen in love with after her first visit. She began as an assistant teacher in 2nd and 4th Grades at Stuart Hall for Boys and then taught 3rd Grade at Cathedral School for Boys while earning her teaching credential from San Francisco State University. Amabelle came to the faculty of SFFS in 2006, becoming part of the founding 4th Grade team. She has participated in Lucy Calkins’ Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University’s summer programs and webinars, Responsive Classroom’s institute, Harvard's Project Zero Summer Institute, as well as the National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference. In the spring of 2015, Amabelle received the Herbst Award for Teaching Excellence. Amabelle spends her free time bouldering with her partner, Matt, and daughter, Maddy, outside near Lake Tahoe, or indoors at Dogpatch Boulders.
Jennifer Stuart's picture

Jennifer Stuart

Middle School Art Teacher
jstuart@sffriendsschool.org
Jennifer Stuart's picture

Jennifer Stuart

Middle School Art Teacher
Jennifer grew up in Chappaqua, New York. In the center of the town was a statue of Horace Greeley (a Quaker) with the inscription "Go west young man.” Jennifer promptly moved to the Bay Area in her early twenties bringing with her a philosophy of art education that grew from her undergraduate experiences at Rhode Island School of Design and was formalized at Columbia Teachers College, where she received her master’s degree. Jennifer came to our fine and performing arts department from the California College of Arts where she taught courses on art education to undergraduate students as well as public school teachers from Alameda County. Jennifer has also taught at Mills College and Harvard’s Project Zero Summer Institute. Her teaching career includes eight years at San Francisco Day School, where she directed the advisory program, the student council, and a school-wide service-learning program. Jennifer co-founded Out of Site, a nonprofit dedicated to serving youths from public and charter schools where there is no arts instruction. A believer in meaningful arts integration, Jennifer has co-edited a book on the subject called “Artful Teaching.” She has presented her work in education at national conferences and various universities. Jennifer lives on Potrero Hill with her partner Josh and her son Erez, who is a student at SFFS (class of 2020). When she's not making art or playing cowboy with her son, Jennifer likes to travel, practice her Spanish speaking skills, cook, and read.
Jason Stone's picture

Jason Stone

Learning Commons Coordinator
jstone@sffriendsschool.org
Jason Stone's picture

Jason Stone

Learning Commons Coordinator
Born to a school teacher mother and a Baptist minister father, Jason grew up in a small town in North Carolina before attending Duke University to study the German language and Medieval art history. In 1994, after returning from teaching at a school in southern Germany, he moved to the Bay Area and began working at San Francisco Day School. During his first role there as an assistant librarian, Jason discovered his passion for helping children and adults learn to use technology as a tool for learning, discovery, and play. After helping to formalize the technology department, he eventually accepted the role of Director of Technology and helped SFDS integrate the rapidly evolving world of educational technology into its classrooms. In addition, he cherished the relationships he developed through his role as a sixth and seventh grade advisor. He joined Friends School in 2012 as the Learning Commons Coordinator. When not at school, Jason resides in the outer Richmond with his partner, Adra, and their cat Chester McMeowypants. Jason has been known to play bass guitar in the SFFS teacher band Testimony, and enjoys motorcycling and bicycling on any rain-free weekend.
Caro Spring's picture

Caro Spring

Middle School Spanish Teacher
cspring@sffriendsschool.org
Caro Spring's picture

Caro Spring

Middle School Spanish Teacher
Caro grew up in SF and earned her bachelor’s degree in history at Dartmouth College. During a stint as a National Park Ranger guiding tours at the Statue of Liberty, she realized that she wanted to be an educator. Caro got her master’s degree in Spanish at Middlebury College School in Spain and taught Spanish for the next 12 years at the Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland. While there, she engineered a more robust Spanish program and shifted the pedagogy toward Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) and started a flamenco dance program and a salsa dance team. For fun, Caro listens to podcasts, cooks (poorly), and teaches salsa rueda to adults in the Mission. Caro lives in the city with her favorite people: her partner Camilo (also a middle school Spanish teacher), her son Roque, and her daughter Belén. They love to spend summers at the beach and visiting relatives in Argentina, Spain, and Hungary, but during the school year they can be found most afternoons playing soccer in Golden Gate Park.
Patrick Smith's picture

Patrick Smith

Middle School Teaching Assistant
psmith@sffriendsschool.org
Patrick Smith's picture

Patrick Smith

Middle School Teaching Assistant
Originally from the Chicago area, Patrick graduated from Butler University and spent a year in Montreal before relocating to the Bay Area two years ago. In those two years, he has enjoyed the opportunity to be the head coach of the 6th and 7th grade boys basketball teams at SFFS. His first introduction to Quaker pedagogy was at First Friends Meeting in Indianapolis, where he was involved in their youth program. Patrick is looking forward to spending more time connecting with students and staff at SFFS, and has aspirations to become a credentialed middle school teacher himself. He lives in Oakland with his partner and enjoys spending time outdoors with their dog, as well as going for bike rides in the Oakland hills and watching sports whenever he has a spare moment.
Jeff Porter's picture

Jeff Porter

Middle School Science Teacher
jporter@sffriendsschool.org
Jeff Porter's picture

Jeff Porter

Middle School Science Teacher
Jeff was born in the Panama Canal Zone. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and a Master's of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Arts Institute. He has taught in independent and public schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for over twenty years, joining the SFFS team in the school's second year. Jeff has devoted seven summers to Lucy Calkins’ Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, and is honored to be a member of the Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability, a two year science teacher training program at the California Academy of Science. He is working with Stanford and Cal Academy on developing an instructional tool for teaching science in lower school grades. In addition, Jeff has studied with Harvard’s Project Zero and has taken courses on teaching math taught by Jo Boaler, David Berg, and Ron Ritchhart. Jeff was a member of the 2011–2013 cohort of the Friends Council on Education SPARC (Spirited Practice and Renewed Courage) program. In his free time, he loves to travel, read, write, and garden.
Liz Peterson's picture

Liz Peterson

Middle School Teaching Assistant
lpeterson@sffriendsschool.org
Liz Peterson's picture

Liz Peterson

Middle School Teaching Assistant
Liz Peterson was born in New Jersey and lived in Pennsylvania before moving to San Francisco as an adult. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute and has a BFA in painting and photography. While living in Pennsylvania, she was a part of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s(PYM) youth, volunteer, and travel programs, and attended Quaker Meeting regularly. She has been working at SFFS for a few years in the ED program, teaching Enrichment classes, and substitute teaching. She is really looking forward to joining the staff here at SFFS! She likes to play music with her friends, by herself, and DJ for community radio outside of school.
Mitch Neuger's picture

Mitch Neuger

Middle School Learning Specialist
mneuger@sffriendsschool.org
Mitch Neuger's picture

Mitch Neuger

Middle School Learning Specialist
Before joining the SFFS community, Mitch worked with elementary, middle, and high school students as a classroom teacher, tutor, and educational therapist. Mitch has a B.A. in American Studies from Yale, a teaching credential from San Francisco State, an M.Ed. in educational therapy from Holy Names, and sore wrists from the Academy of Art. He is trained in Making Math Real and the Slingerland Language Approach. Since childhood, he has loved doodling (“cartooning”), playing in the dirt (“gardening”), and singing in the car with the doors and windows closed.
Evelyn Florin's picture

Evelyn Florin

Middle School Humanities Teacher
eflorin@sffriendsschool.org
Evelyn Florin's picture

Evelyn Florin

Middle School Humanities Teacher
A native San Franciscan from Noe Valley, Evelyn has three degrees from UC Berkeley: a B.A. in both Anthropology and Economics, and a Master’s in Business Administration. She spent nearly decade as a business manager at Hewlett Packard, and then took time to raise her two children. Evelyn then attended San Francisco State for a multiple-subjects teaching credential and taught at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School here in San Francisco and at the Ethical Culture School in New York City. Evelyn’s professional development includes attendance at the White Privilege Conference and Reading and Writing Institutes at Teacher’s College. Evelyn and her husband, Larry, have two grown children—Jennifer, who is involved in a multitude of artistic pursuits in Brooklyn, NY, and Peter, who just graduated from Cal with a Master's in Engineering degree focusing on renewable energy.
Gabby Miller's picture

Gabby Miller

Middle School Art Teacher
gmiller@sffriendsschool.org
Gabby Miller's picture

Gabby Miller

Middle School Art Teacher
Gabby returns for a second tenure as the interim middle school art teacher. Gabby was last with us in the 2014–2015 school year and returns to rekindle and deepen meaningful bonds with the community. Gabby holds a MFA from UC Irvine and has extensive experience in youth arts education, advocacy, and engagement. Gabby has taught at UC Irvine, the Oxbow School, and Millennium School, and has served as a Board member of Dhamma Dena Mediation Center since 2018. In addition, Gabby served as a Board member and as Program and Outreach Coordinator for Bay Area Girls Rock Camp. Gabby brings experience as an independent artist, lecturer, published author, and inspiring leader back(!) to SFFS. 
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Sara Melman

Middle School Science Teacher
smelman@sffriendsschool.org
Sara Melman's picture

Sara Melman

Middle School Science Teacher
Sara is a native San Franciscan and graduate from University High School. She attended Cornell University and graduated in 2006 with a degree in geological sciences, teaching middle school science in NYC while earning her master’s in secondary science from City College of New York. In 2008, Sara took a teaching position at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning High School (WHEELS), where she taught high school earth science, started a drama program, a student government program, and developed an outdoor education program. Sara moved back to SF in 2015 and began teaching high school biology; recently, she’s been focused on integrating technology into science labs and projects as a vehicle for student thinking and problem solving. We are delighted to have Sara on our team here at SFFS teaching middle school science. Sara lives in the city with her partner and 8-month old son.
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Lisa McEachron

PE Teacher
lmceachron@sffriendsschool.org
Lisa McEachron's picture

Lisa McEachron

PE Teacher
Lisa joined the SFFS staff in 2009. Lisa taught P.E. at Katherine Delmar Burke School in the mid-1990s for three years. Previous to that, she taught in the East Bay at an elementary school and at a K–12 school for emotionally troubled students. Lisa brings a host of physical education skills to our school—she is a seasoned bike tour leader, an experienced coach, and an events coordinator. Lisa pioneered our first Field Day in the spring of 2010. She is an ardent believer in preparing students for lifelong fitness and physical activity. Lisa has both a B.A. (Cal State, Chico) and M.S. (Cal State, Hayward) in Physical Education, and an abiding interest in health education. She is an avid camper, hiker, and biking enthusiast, having biked 2,000 miles from Oregon to Colorado. She enjoys reading, gardening, and cooking. Lisa has two children, Elizabeth and Annie (SFFS class of 2011).
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Elissa McAlvey

Middle School Math Teacher
emcalvey@sffriendsschool.org
Elissa McAlvey's picture

Elissa McAlvey

Middle School Math Teacher
Elissa (“Lissie”) joins the SFFS faculty as the 8th Grade math teacher after five years at the Nueva School. A native of Michigan, she brings a host of skills and experiences to Friends. Among her previous responsibilities at Nueva, Lissie served as a grade level dean, scheduler, and equity and inclusion leader. She was also an official Equity and Inclusion Representative for the middle school and the leader of Girls Adventure in Math, which helps young women get more involved in the realm of mathematics and leadership. Lissie is fluent in Spanish and brings experience as a collegiate basketball player to 250 Valencia. We are excited to bring in a curious, mathematical thinker to help us in the next chapter of designing meaningful learning experiences at Friends. 
Tracie Mastronicola's picture

Tracie Mastronicola

Academic Dean
tmastronicola@sffriendsschool.org
Tracie Mastronicola's picture

Tracie Mastronicola

Academic Dean
Tracie excitedly returned to SFFS as our Academic Dean in the summer of 2016. Tracie brings her enthusiasm and 16 years of experience in and around the classroom to her new role at SFFS. After finishing her own education on the east coast, the native New Yorker packed up her car and drove out west where she's been acting like a tourist in San Francisco ever since. Tracie's first introduction to teaching was at the Nueva School; it was there that she realized the innovative, dynamic, and sometimes chaotic nature of a school was where she felt most at home. Tracie dove into both teaching and learning, spending the next two decades focusing on science and math curriculum, project-based learning, advising young adults, and leading service learning trips with students to far off places. After teaching in the classroom at SFFS, Tracie most recently worked with a team designing science simulations at CK-12 Foundation, an educational non-profit organization aimed at providing free material to students and teachers. In her free time, Tracie loves eating and, subsequently, running through Golden Gate Park. Tracie, her wife Alyssa, and their twin boys live​​ and play in San Francisco.
Ashley Mallari's picture

Ashley Mallari

Middle School Teaching Assistant
amallari@sffriendsschool.org
Ashley Mallari's picture

Ashley Mallari

Middle School Teaching Assistant
Ashley joined the Friends School Extended day team in 2015 after graduating from the University of San Francisco where she studied Political Science and Fine Arts. She has since transitioned from being a substitute teacher for lower school and middle school to middle school teaching assistant. Her work with youth ranging from pre-k to high school throughout the years reminds her that she is constantly learning. Ashley lives in San Francisco with her partner and their many books. She enjoys knitting, baking, watching F1 racing, and collecting ephemera whenever she can.
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Rebecca Mallabone

Learning Specialist
rmallabone@sffriendsschool.org
Rebecca Mallabone's picture

Rebecca Mallabone

Learning Specialist
Rebecca is thrilled to join SFFS. She is originally from England and moved to the Bay Area nine years ago. Since then, she studied at San Francisco State University gaining her BA in Liberal Studies, Masters in Education and Teaching Credential. Rebecca has worked and volunteered in a number of SF schools, and spent the last five years teaching third grade at Stratford School. She lives in SF with her husband and two young children, Zack and Alex. They enjoy going for walks around the neighborhood, playing in the local parks, cooking, and watching the SF Giants.
Monty Joyce's picture

Monty Joyce

Middle School PE Teacher
mjoyce@sffriendsschool.org
Monty Joyce's picture

Monty Joyce

Middle School PE Teacher
A son of Caribbean immigrants, Monty grew up in the New York City borough of The  Bronx where he enjoyed playing sports from baseball to basketball  to football. He attended Fordham University, where he earned a BA in Sports Communications. After running an award-winning nonprofit  childhood obesity program called CATCH Healthy Habits for three years, Monty relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014. He has taught Physical Education at both Redwood Day School and The Park Day School  in Oakland, where he served on the school’s admissions committee. He has also been a PE consultant at The New School in Potrero Hill and has coached multiple sports, including basketball, cross country, track and field , flag football and ultimate frisbee. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, playing pickup basketball and soccer, reading, cheering for the Knicks, and hugging his two young nieces back home in New York.
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Mike Hanas

Head of School
mhanas@sffriendsschool.org
Mike Hanas's picture

Mike Hanas

Head of School
Mike joined Friends School in the summer of 2016, previously working as the Principal of Carolina Friends School (CFS), a pre-K­–12 Quaker school in Durham, North Carolina. A born teacher and a lifelong learner, Mike grew up on Chicago’s Southside, where he was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Classics from the College of the Holy Cross, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and his Master’s degree in Education Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University. Mike has taught Latin, Greek, and humanities, served as a college counselor and assistant director of admissions, and coached basketball, football, and lacrosse teams at Tabor Academy, St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, and Durham Academy in addition to CFS and SFFS. He also serves currently on the Board of Trustees for the Friends Council on Education. Mike and his wife, Sue Gouchoe, met when they were coaching competing girls’ varsity basketball teams (Sue’s team won). Mike and Sue have two children: their daughter, Kyle, is a graduate of Smith College and faculty member at the Friends School of Wilmington (NC), and their son, Matt, currently attends UNC Chapel Hill, where he captains Darkside, UNC's ultimate frisbee team. Mike’s interests include reading, art, travel, outdoor adventure, the music of Bruce Springsteen, the Chicago Cubs, and long conversations with good friends.
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Carl Haley

Middle School Teacher
carlhaley@sffriendsschool.org
Carl Haley's picture

Carl Haley

Middle School Teacher
Carl has focused his career around education since the very beginning. He started teaching right out of college in Malawi, Africa, with the US Peace Corps. It planted a deep seed that will forever guide his life. Since then, he has taught in a variety of schools around California and internationally, including Munich, Germany. Over the years, Carl has primarily taught mathematics, but has branched out to include classes of Spanish 1 & 2, video production, design thinking, and computer science. Seven years ago, Carl left the classroom to work with Pearson Education, and then the CK–12 Foundation to create digital products for intelligent learning. As Head of Outreach at CK–12, Carl enjoyed working with educators around the world to help them integrate these new digital tools to improve student learning. Carl has many passions that he enjoys to balance out his life. Cooking, singing, and travel are at the top of that list. Carl and his husband decided to create an adventure for their son when he was 11 years old and spent an entire year traveling around the world. The three of them lived in 12 countries for one month each and experienced unforgettable moments. “Fifth Grade Around The World” helped all three of them to understand the diverse cultures and beauty of the world’s peoples.
Annie Gwynne-Vaughan's picture

Annie Gwynne-Vaughan

Middle School Humanities Teacher
agwynnevaughan@sffriendsschool.org
Annie Gwynne-Vaughan's picture

Annie Gwynne-Vaughan

Middle School Humanities Teacher
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Annie lost her southern accent by spending 14 years teaching middle and high school in New York City. Annie holds degrees from Warren Wilson College, The New School for Social Research, and Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Her interests include American history, sculpture, grief studies, gardening, cinema, jazz, mythology, and keeping the humanities alive and well.
Greg Wyser-Pratte's picture

Greg Wyser-Pratte

Middle School Music Teacher
gwyser-pratte@sffriendsschool.org
Greg Wyser-Pratte's picture

Greg Wyser-Pratte

Middle School Music Teacher
Greg grew up in the Chicago suburbs and hails from a musical family. He started his training on piano, and from 6th-12th grades studied trumpet, ultimately enrolling at Northwestern University’s School of Music as a trumpet performance major. He was always drawn to percussion, however, and Greg fondly remembers sneaking into his own middle school band room at lunchtime to steal a few minutes on the drum set. It turns out that this experience was significant to Greg’s later professional career, as he transitioned midway through college to focus on jazz arranging and drum set. He received one of Northwestern’s first Bachelor of Music degrees in Jazz Studies, having created his own ad-hoc major. Greg has been an educator for twenty-five years, including the past nine at the San Francisco Friends School, where he has fostered the love of percussion across all grade levels. Greg has given TEDx Talk on the topic of Jazz Drumming and Overcoming Creative Challenges, and he is also an avid performer, having played major festivals all over the world, including the Breda Jazz Festival and the Lucerne Blues Festival. Greg lives in San Francisco with his wife Kasia, and their son Clayton.