Faculty and Staff

MMS Professional Conduct Standards

To contact faculty and staff, email [email protected]

Faculty



Shannon Kelly (’92), B.A.

Director of Upper School, “Values in American/World Thought” and World Religions Teacher, College Counselor

B.A., Politics, Minor in History, University of California, Santa Cruz

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2008

Mount Madonna School Graduate, Class of 1992



Bob Caplan, B.S.

Dean of Students, Art, Advisory, Communication Skills, Student Guidance

Teacher Certification, Metropolitan State College, Denver CO, B.S., Design, University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA, B.A., Liberal Arts, Temple University, Philadelphia PA

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2006

“When I accepted the teaching position offered to me by Mount Madonna School, I anticipated an environment in which individual teachers and learners would be recognized for our strengths, supported in our growth and challenged to expand our roles as global citizens. I have not been disappointed! I feel academically stimulated and personally fulfilled in this family-oriented community of learners. The school administration sets a tone of high expectations and responsible delegation for faculty and
students, inspiring in me a sense of empowerment and commitment to the school’s three pillars: academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. This is especially appropriate for me as a teacher of visual arts and social/emotional intelligence. I am honored to share my passion for lifelong learning with the Mount Madonna School community.”


Cassia Laffin, B.A.

First Grade Teacher

B.A., Sociology, UC  Santa Cruz; Elementary Credential, with emphasis on K-8 cross-cultural, language and academic development, Bethany College

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2010

“I am thrilled to be working at Mount Madonna because it is a particularly nurturing and loving environment.  As a First Grade teacher, I strive to make learning fun, exciting and meaningful. I do this by teaching thematically and infusing a great deal of music and art throughout our curriculum. Teaching first graders to read and write is not only a huge responsibility, but is extremely rewarding!

I care deeply for my students and fostering meaningful relationships. I hold social success in as high esteem as I do the academics. I am honored to join the staff at Mount Madonna, where I can be surrounded by others who are as passionate about their work as I am.”


Chrislaine Pamphile Miller, Ph.D.

English 6, Middle School Social Studies Teacher

Ph.D. and M.A., History, University of California, Santa Cruz; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, John F. Kennedy University; B.A. American Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2017

 


Erika Rosendale (’05), B.F.A.

Middle and High Art Teacher

B.F.A., Visual Arts and Painting, Boston University

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2012

Mount Madonna School Graduate, Class of 2005

 


Erin Fitzgerald, B.F.A.

Performing Arts Team

B.F.A., Modern Dance Performance, University of Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Graduate Studies in Creative Process & Clowning, Headlong Performance Institute, Philadelphia, PA; Sadhana Yoga School, Keene, NH; Improvisational Comedy, Upright Citizens Brigade, New York, NY; Meisner Acting Technique, William Esper Acting Studio, New York, NY

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2018


Erin Mitchell (’10), B.A.

Middle School Athletic Director, Elementary and Middle School Physical Education, Fifth Grade Teaching Assistant, High School Volleyball Coach

B.A., Anthropology, Humboldt State University, A.A., Liberal Arts, Cabrillo College, Aptos

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2016

Mount Madonna School Graduate, Class of 2010


Gitanjali Rivera

Music Teacher, Performing Arts Team

Currently pursuing a M.A. Theological Studies, Pacific School of Religion; Musical Theatre Vocal Technique and Classical Theater, Ruth Kullerman Studio, New York, NY; Classical Voice and Music Theory, Hunter College, New York, NY

Re-Joined Mount Madonna School in 2017


Haley Campbell (’02) , M.A.

High School English and Creative Writing Teacher

M.F.A. Writing, University of San Francisco; M.A. Teaching with Secondary

Credential, Westminster College; B.A. English with Minor in Business Administration, University of San Francisco

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2014

Mount Madonna School Graduate, Class of 2002

“The culture at MMS is so unique because there is such a strong emphasis on academic excellence, but it’s equally balanced with love and support. Today’s educational philosophies highlight the importance of educating ‘the whole child,’ catering to the intellectual, emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual needs. MMS is the embodiment of the ideal. I knew it was an amazing place in my twelve years as a student, but as a teacher, it’s an absolute dream to teach at a school like this where you have the freedom to honor your students as individuals.

I have always loved reading, writing, and storytelling. I think these are such powerful ways to engage with the world, to ask the big questions, to explore new perspectives. I grew up on the mountain as an only child and spent a lot of time wandering through the woods narrating stories in my head. To me, literature is as much a sage guide as a friend or therapist – we can learn so much about human kind, nature, and ourselves by engaging with a good story.”


Hema Walker, B.A.

Preschool/Kindergarten Director

B.A., Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Phi Beta Kapa; A.S., Early Childhood Education, Cabrillo College, Aptos CA

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2002

“I love teaching children because they are so close to the magic of life. At Mount Madonna School children are supported in growing at their own rate and in a positive direction.”


Hilary Alvarado, Ph.D.

Sixth and Seventh Grade Math and Science

Ph.D. Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz; B.S. Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; CBEST, CSET (Biology), Certificate of Clearance

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2018

 


Isa Stead

Elementary Dance Teacher, Costumes Assistant, Life Lab Teaching Assistant, Children’s Garden Manager

Dance background includes Continuum Movement and Contact Improv; Fiber artist

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2007

 

 


Jeevani Vince, B.S.

Physical Education Teacher, Productions Coordinator

B.S. with Honours, Psychology, University of Milton Keynes, Great Britain

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2009

 

 


Jennifer Leach, M.A.

Third/Fourth Grade Teacher, MMS Board of Directors

M.A., Elementary Education, University of Colorado, Boulder; Elementary Teaching Credential

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2010

“I grew up in a family of teachers and have felt a natural calling to teach since I was a young girl. I began working with children when I was 14 and have loved caring for and teaching them ever since. Working with children brings me so much happiness. I love the funny things they say, the questions they ask and all the love they give.

I feel strongly that every child deserves to achieve their potential and that is my job to make sure they have all the tools and skills to do so. I honor every child as an individual and have their genuine interest at heart. Mount Madonna School is a kind and loving place where academics, the arts and the environment are focused. My interest and strengths are in harmony with Mount Madonna School and I am excited to be teaching here.”


Jessica Cambell, B.A.

5th Grade and Elementary Science Teacher

B.A., Liberal Studies with Language Arts and Literature Emphasis, California State University Monterey Bay; Elementary Teaching Credential

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2002

“I chose to teach at MMS because I was looking for a school where I could teach while pregnant with my first child, that embodied my educational philosophy. I believe that teachers and education act as a mirror and a window. I believe my teaching should help children to see and find themselves and look into others’ perspectives. MMS presents the teacher with an arena to do just that! After my hiatus to raise my family I returned to MMS because I knew after that first year that this was the only school I ever wanted to teach at and the only school for my children to attend. I have never experienced such genuine love, support and care from any other teaching environment!”


Julie Perry, B.A.

Preschool/Kindergarten Teacher

B.A., Human Development, California State University, East Bay; A.A, Liberal Arts and Paralegal Studies, 45 Units Early Childhood Education, De Anza College, Cupertino and Foothill College, Middlefield Campus, CA; Child Development Program Director Permit

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2018

“Each child should be recognized as an individual and each child’s development is unique. My job as a teacher is to help foster kindness, respect for others and independence through an enriching learning environment.”


Kami Pacheco, B.A.

Director of Lower School, Elementary Teacher

B.A., Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA; 30 Units in Early Childhood Education, West Valley College, Saratoga, CA; California Commission on Teacher Credentialing: Site Supervisor Permit; ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Crisis Prevention Certified (working with special needs children)

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2018

 


Lisa Catterall, M.A.

Middle and High Math and Science Teacher

M.A., Education, Concordia University, B.A., Golden Key Scholar, Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder; MAEd.,Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia University (in progress), Six-Sigma Black Belt, Genentech

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2007

“I teach at Mount Madonna because the work we do at the school to create deep learning experiences for our students in every subject is becoming a rare commodity in Education. I love the families who are attracted to real learning and the community that gathers here around bringing-up kids who can think, create, question, and influence their world. I enjoy the commitment to passion, innovation, and intellectual rigor in the learning environment.”


Marissa Ottesen

Volleyball Coach

Continuing Education in Psychology, Minor in Spanish

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2016

 

 


Mercedes Johnson, B.A.

Dance and Choreography Teacher, Performing Arts Team

B.A., Dance, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Advanced Classical Ballet/Lyrical Jazz, Royal Ballet, Kauai Academy; Intermediate Gymnast Skills, Kauai Gymnastics Academy; Gymnastics/Tap/Ballet/Jazz, Kauai Academy of Dance Gymnastics; Advanced Classical Ballet, Kauai Dance Theater

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2017

“It’s been an honor to serve as a dance teacher for over 6 years and to see students transition into artists. I am excited to collaborate with such a renowned school (MMS) and I look forward to connecting more with this beloved community.”


Nicholas Cabassa, M.A.

Third/Fourth Grade Teacher, Basketball Coach

M.A., Education, Specialization in Teaching Best Practices, National University, San Jose, CA; B.A., Liberal Studies, Minor in American Popular Culture, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA; A.A., Gavilan College, Gilroy, CA; Cengage Online Teacher Training Program; CBEST and CSET Certified

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2015

“It is a pleasure to get the opportunity to work at such a highly respected and community oriented school like Mount Madonna. As a teacher, I recognize the important role creativity and self-expression play in the development of early childhood learners, and I enjoy the fact that those concepts make up the main pillars of the MMS mission and culture. The outdoor environment at MMS is the kind of atmosphere that just doesn’t exist at other schools. It offers valuable learning opportunities as well as chances for students to participate in authentic real life experiences. The small community and family centered environment at MMS is what makes it such a desirable place to teach. I am excited to get to know everyone this year and to become part of the MMS family.”


Nicole Silva Culbertson, M.A.

Middle and High School Science Teacher

M.A., Education, B.A. Biology and Psychology, Credential-Single Subject Biology, Health (Supplemental), Credential Multiple Subject K-8, University of California Santa Cruz; Biology, Tulane University, New Orleans LA

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2015

“I am excited to teach science at Mount Madonna in a beautiful and rich environment which lends itself to the study of the natural world around us. Science is about asking the big questions- why, how and what, and we are fortunate to be in a setting that allows this exploration, not only in our physical surroundings, but in our educational setting as well. I am eager to facilitate this path of discovery with the students at MMS.”


Nicole Tervalon, Ph.D.

Director of Technology, High School Math Teacher, Math Department Chair

Ph.D., MIT, Cambridge, M.A. and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods Hole; M.A. (Joint Program), M.S., Oceanographic Engineering, MIT; B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2004

“My passion has always been teaching. Not only do I like the challenge of inspiring students, but the thrill of seeing someone grasp a difficult concept they have been working on is extremely satisfying. I am very excited about teaching at MMS because it blends so many strengths I feel are essential for the most effective teaching/learning experience. The small class size, beautiful environment, supportive community, and up-to-date facilities all allow educating to be the focus of each day.”


Pedro Aguirre (’15)

Volleyball Coach

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2017

Mount Madonna School Graduate, Class of 2015

 

 


PK Elliott McDonald (’04) , B.S.

High School Athletic Director, Mathematics and Physics Teacher, Volleyball Coach

B.S., Civil Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2009

Mount Madonna School Graduate, Class of 2004

 


Prema Gammons, B.A.

2nd Grade and Elementary and Middle School Spanish Teacher, MMS Board of Directors

B.A. Early Childhood Education, Minor in Visual Arts and Religious Studies, Naropa University, Boulder, CO; Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, CBEST and CSET certified, CSU Monterey Bay; Supplemental Credential, Family and Consumer Studies; UNICEF representative- Jalapa, Nicaragua

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2014

“As an educator, I see my primary role as a facilitator of learning experiences while recognizing the unique qualities each student brings to the classroom. I feel so fortunate to teach at a school like Mount Madonna where the whole child is valued and celebrated.  Through the many special opportunities MMS offers, students are able to discover and nurture their gifts and teachers are able to extend curriculum to our beautiful outdoor environment.”


Ross Bryan, L.M.F.T.

High School Digital Photography Teacher

LMFT, M.A., Counseling Psychology, John F. Kennedy University, B.S., Business Administration, University of Phoenix

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2011

 

 


SN%20MailliardSadanand Ward Mailliard, B.A.

Government in Action, Values in Global Thought

B.A., English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Joined Mount Madonna School in 1981

“Each day I go into the classroom I am excited to be there because I am teaching what I love. In this wonderful academic setting that is Mount Madonna School, I am committed to bringing forth the ideas and concepts that will inspire our students to do those things in life that will, as Leon Kass says, ‘make them worthy of their own admiration’.”


Sampad Martin Kachuck, M.A.

Director of Performing Arts, Seventh and Eighth Grade English Teacher

M.A., Directing Children’s Theater, San Jose State University; B.A., Theater Arts, University of California, Santa Cruz; Professional Actor and Director.

Joined Mount Madonna School in 1982

“I treasure and appreciate teaching at Mt. Madonna School for a variety of reasons, including the setting of the school within an intentional community whose philosophical foundation is built upon ideals and values similar to my own. I greatly value the small class sizes and resulting magnified opportunity of getting to know my students personally. I am truly appreciative of the freedoms I am given as a teacher to develop curriculum and to experiment creatively in a supportive atmosphere. Both faculty and students are part of a dynamic learning community, where we all strive to be better at our craft, to be better in our roles as student/teacher and most importantly, to be better as people.”


Sara Sobkoviak, B.S.

Eighth – Twelfth Grades Spanish, High School Track and Field Coach

B.S. Mass Media Communications, Minor in Spanish, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa Oklahoma; Certificate of Spanish Language & Culture, Costa Rican Language Academy

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2015

 

 


Sidd Jot McDonald, B.S.E.E.

Middle and High School Mathematics, Volleyball Coach

B.S., Electrical Engineering, Seattle University

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2003

“Teaching allows me to explore the richness and challenges of mathematics along with the students. With a dedicated and motivated student body the mathematics curriculum is more of an exciting exploration than a repetition of facts. Teaching within the environment of Mount Madonna allows the students, and myself, a more contemplative atmosphere. Knowing all the students personally allows for a bonding which encourages each of us to strive to higher levels of understanding by supporting each other.”


Thomas May, M.S.

High School Math and Science Teacher

M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado; Boulder CO; B.S., Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; Single Subject Teaching Credential – Chemistry; Single Subject Teaching Credential – Mathematics

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2018

 


Tiffany Wayne, Ph.D.

High School Social Studies and English Teacher

Ph.D., History, Minor in American Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A., History, University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A., Women’s Studies, Earl Warren College Honors, University of California, San Diego

Joined Mount Madonna School in 2014

“I am thrilled to be teaching at a school where teachers and students have the freedom to ask the big questions. I love to get students excited about history by making connections to the issues that affect them today, whether it’s social justice or human rights or politics or war. Middle and high school students want to know and truly understand what is going on in the world and what motivates our leaders and decision-makers. History helps us understand how we got to this current moment and, ultimately, what makes us human.”


Staff


Aimee Van

Office Assistant

 

 

 


Ardis Baylor

Registrar

 

 


 Beth England

Tuition/Contracts

 

 

 


Clinton Klosinski

Bus Driver

 

 

 


Deana Woodrow

Liaison Coordinator

 

 

 


Diane Turk

Operations Manager/Transportation Coordinator

 

 

 


Gail McCredie

Librarian

 

 

 


Jim Saunders

Bus Driver, Automotive Mechanic

 

 

 


Jose Ocampo

Maintenance, Productions Crew

 

 

 


Juan Gonzalez

Maintenance, Productions Crew

 

 

 


Kat Barber

Costumes Coordinator

 

 

 


Linda Manzur

Assistant to Head of School, Advancement Assistant

 

 

 


Monique Smith

Office Manager

 

 

 


Olwen Skogerson

Finance and Development Assistant

 

 

 


 Robyn Pearson

Website Administration

 

 

 


 Volunteers


Beth Brennan

Middle/High Snack Bar

 

 

 


Dana Kerr

Office Assistant, Parent Volunteer Coordinator

 

 

 


 

Jessica Westbrook

Lower School Recess Monitor

 

 

 


 

Michelle Van Ooy

Middle/High Snack Bar

 

 

 


Peggy Moore

Middle/High Snack Bar