MEET OUR STAFF:
Christie’s mission for herself and her students is to reach understanding through exploration, creation, excursion and play. Most recently, Christie was a founding teacher at AltSchool, a network of micro-schools and an education technology company aimed at personalizing education for students in the 21st Century. Her work at AltSchool was featured in the media on multiple occasions in sources such as the New Yorker, CBS This Morning, TechCrunch, Education Week and many more. Before that, she developed the middle school program for Brightworks, a progressive, project-based school in San Francisco. With an emphasis on using real-world tools, taking frequent excursions, and learning from experts, Brightworks provided Christie with the opportunity to explore her own philosophy as an educator and founding staff member. Her work at Brightworks is featured in Schools on Trial, a book by Nikhil Goyal.
Lisa believes that the best learning happens when it's driven by student interest and discovery. For the past 5 years she has been developing and teaching hands-on math courses for elementary and middle school students using math as a window into an interdisciplinary experience delving into biology, cooking, music, architecture, art, history, ocean conservation and more. Lisa herself has always looked for interdisciplinary experiences, studying both math and music in college, receiving a Ph.D. in Applied Math, and completing a post-doc building math models of HIV at UCSF. Lisa's goal is to bring out the unique mathematician and scientist inside every student by finding learning experiences where students actually get to do math and science in the world around them.
Aaron’s path to becoming an educator can best be described as circuitous. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies, Aaron worked as a social and behavioral mentor for students with autism, a mentor to at-risk youth, and a legal assistant at an immigration law firm. While working with youth, Aaron noticed a reoccuring theme: students believed what they were learning at school did not apply to their experiences outside of the classroom and that the things they were learning did not speak to their individual passions. These experiences spoke to Aaron’s own experience as a student and also prompted him to pursue his Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on Social Studies. Having grown up in the bustling and diverse city of San Jose, California and the corn-choked flatland of Noblesville, Indiana, Aaron is a strong believer in experience and exposure to new environments and ideas as critical aspects to learning. Furthermore, Aaron strongly believes that youth, free of the dogma and cynicism that plagues most adults, can be some of the most effective agents of change.
Taylor, the long time partner of a brilliant educator knows that students (and people) are happiest when they're pursuing their passions. Taylor is so sure of this, they're willing to do all the gross administrative tasks to allow kids to roam the cities in which they live to discover what they love.