Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher
Rachel joined Cascade Canyon in 2015 and has been teaching since 2014. She has a B.A. in Elementary and Special Education from Providence College in Rhode Island. She is certified in Elementary Education and Special Education -- Mild to Moderate Disabilities (Middle and Elementary Levels).
Before Rachel joined CCS, Rachel was a teaching intern in a first-grade classroom at the Chestnut Hill School, outside of Boston. While attending Providence College, she student taught in both K-5 elementary and special education classrooms for all four years, gaining a wealth of experience. She has service learning experience working with English language learners and students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and was a one-to-one aide for a child with special needs. She volunteered with Breakthrough Providence, an after-school tutoring and weekend enrichment program for inner-city middle school students, developing curriculum and teaching. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Deborah P. Goessling Award for Excellence in Student Teaching.
Rachel has completed a number of professional development training. She was trained by the Buck Institute for project-based learning. In 2017, she attended a week-long program to be trained by the Institute for multi-sensory education in their Orton-Gillingham Phonics Instruction. She has also completed training in Eureka Math, Wilson Language Fundations Program, and Handwriting Without Tears.
What makes CCS special is that our small community really allows us to get to know each child. I love that I know my students not only as learners, but also as the unique individuals that they are.
Second and Third Grade Teacher
Trevor joined Cascade Canyon in 2017 and has been teaching since 2012. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and an M.A. in Education from Stanford University.
Trevor taught second and third grade at Stevenson PACT Elementary School in Mountain View, California, from 2012-2015 and fourth grade at High Tech Elementary Chula Vista in Chula Vista, California, from 2015-2016. He spent the 2016-2017 school year facilitating professional development at schools in California, Arizona, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
Trevor hosts the New Books in Education podcast and continues to facilitate professional development in the areas of deeper learning, parent involvement, project-based learning, and technology integration.
CCS is unique because it not only values community but it also has instituted multiple structures that allow it to thrive -- its small class sizes, weekly school meetings, and school-wide field trips and celebrations. Every student, family, and teacher has a chance to get to know and learn from all of our community members.
Fourth and Fifth Grade Teacher
Callia joined Cascade Canyon in 2017 and has been a classroom teacher since 2011. She has a B.F.A. in Film Production from Concordia University in Montreal, Québec, and an M.A. in Integrated Learning from Antioch University New England in New Hampshire.
Callia was a founding teacher for two start-up schools in the Bay Area. One was an independent, progressive school for gifted students and the other was a public charter school. She has been studying and practicing craniosacral therapy for since 2006 and is a nationally certified and licensed massage therapist.
I was drawn to the creative, intimate, and grounded community at CCS. It is a gift to see students sharing their unique voices through many different creative outlets in both the classroom and fabulous specialist classes. Rarely have I seen a community that walks their talk and actually takes the time needed to teach the whole child. CCS has been committed to doing this well for decades.
Sixth Grade Homeroom, Math and Science Teacher, Dean of Students
Javier joined Cascade Canyon in 2010 and has been the Dean of Students since 2014. He has a B.S. in Psychology from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a concentration in Education and a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University.
Prior to joining CCS, Javier taught outdoor science, ecology, team-building, and leadership skills at the Marin County Outdoor School at Walker Creek. Javier is a songwriter and has recorded two albums.
CCS is different in that teachers, are encouraged to see children for who they are, not what we think they are supposed to be, and to teach them accordingly. I don't have to jump through hoops to give them what I know they need in terms of support, accommodations, and extra challenges. Students develop close, authentic relationships with teachers and peers, and as a result feel comfortable making requests, taking risks, asking for help; they are able and equipped to enjoy the struggle that comes from stretching, learning, and growing.
Seventh Grade Social Studies and K-8 Physical Education Teacher
Kirsten joined Cascade Canyon in 2017 and has been teaching since 1997. She has a B.A. in Anthropology from Beloit College, where she was awarded Departmental Honors and a Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society Award. She has a California Clear Single Subject Credentials in Physical Education and English from Dominican College and holds a California Cross Cultural Language Acquisition and Development Certificate (CLAD). Kirsten is a recipient of the Marin County Golden Bell Award.
Kirsten was published in a literary review called Retake the Falling Snow. She is the co-owner and director of a trail running camp for middle school students called Tsunami Running Camp that focuses on team building and play. The combination of teaching History and P.E. at CCS, while working at Marin Humane Society is a fusion of her three dream jobs. “The juxtaposition of these different fields is invigorating and makes every day a fulfilling adventure.”
At CCS, because of the small class sizes and focus on social-emotional programming, teachers have the opportunity connect with each student, which allows them to create an appropriately challenging personal curriculum for each student and to build a positive relationship with all children. Because of the strong emphasis on community and interdependence across the grades, students cooperate and collaborate with ease. This nurturing, tender environment fosters a community of kind, polite and respectful learners, who blossom into confident and caring people.
Seventh Grade Homeroom, Middle School Science and Math Teacher
Emily joined Cascade Canyon in 2014 and has been teaching since 2001. She taught for 12 years at Winston Preparatory School in New York City, working with middle and high school students who had mild to moderate learning challenges. She earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Princeton University and a B.S. in Behavioral Sciences from University of Chicago.
Prior to becoming a teacher, Emily was a social psychology researcher and writer. She co-authored the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology with her father.
What makes CCS different, especially among middle schools, is the emphasis on building an academic community where everyone feels safe taking risks and stretching to try new skills and new ideas. Middle school is a time of great anxiety for many children, and often marks a period in which school becomes a place of fear and dread rather than a joyful place of learning. At CCS, we help students learn how to create and maintain a safe, healthy and fun learning environment for themselves and their classmates, where challenges are embraced with gusto and students support each other's growth.
Eighth Grade Homeroom, Middle School Language Arts and Eighth Grade Social Studies Teacher, High School Transitions Coordinator
Wendy joined Cascade Canyon in 2016. She has been teaching humanities to middle and high school students since 2014. She holds a B.A. in English from Grinnell College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. In 2018, she completed a teacher certification program leading to Single Subject Credentials in English (Grades 7-12), Social Studies (Grades 7-12), and Special Education (Grades K-12).
Before joining the teaching profession, Wendy spent more than twenty years as a writer and curriculum developer. She has authored ten history books for young people, including History Alive: The Ancient World and History Alive: The Medieval World, both of which are used at CCS, as well as across the country.
CCS is unique because it integrates rigorous, project-based academics with strong, community-based social-emotional learning. That dual focus enables me to build strong relationships with my students and delve deeply into topics of student interest. As a teacher, I couldn’t ask for more!
K-8 Theater, K-8 Art, and Sign Language Teacher
Peggy is one of the founders of Cascade Canyon and has been on its staff since 1981. She has a B.A. in World Literature, French, and Linguistics from Stanford University and an M.A in Special Education from San Francisco State University.
Peggy has directed cultural exchange programs, specializing in environmental education and the performing arts in Europe, Central America, Canada, the South Pacific, and the United States. She has been a language arts teacher for the California State Literacy Project and coordinator for the "Hands on Science" program of the Education Task Force in Marin County, now known as the Marin Teachers Network.
K-8 STEAM Teacher
James joined Cascade Canyon in 2015 and has been teaching since 2010. He has a B.S. in Life Science from Penn State University.
James is a three-time recipient of the San Mateo Math and Science Innovation Award, for use of technology in the classroom to enhance STEM learning. While teaching at the Bayside STEM Academy in San Mateo, he attended Stanford's d.School boot camp training in design thinking. James collaborated with Stanford colleagues in creating a curriculum that uses maker technology to teach design and teamwork strategies. This became the basis for the STEAM program at CCS.
CCS is a place where kids thrive from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Our students really benefit from the small and loving community that surrounds them.