Name: Julia Ripperton Preferred Pronouns: She/her Title: 1st Grade Teacher What year did you start working at Marin Horizon? 2019 What school(s) did you attend? University of San Francisco, B.A. Psychology, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential; Masters in Teaching Why did you want to become a teacher? I love helping children develop a love for learning. I think it is so important to be a lifelong learner and any part I can play in helping my students find what they love is special to me. What continues to inspire and drive you to teach? The joy on kids' faces when they have an "ah-ha" moment inspires me to be the best teacher I can be. What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher? I love to teach children how to read. It is such a magical process to witness. I say it is my superpower!
Grade(s) Taught: Over the years—all. Currently Primary–5th grade
What year did you start working at Marin Horizon? 1993
What school(s) did you attend? Masters in Library Science, San Jose State University; Bachelor's, English Literature, UC Berkeley.
Why did you want to become a teacher? I became a librarian because I love doing research and helping people find the answers to their questions. I’m also very happy surrounded by books. I started out as a corporate information specialist and never would have imagined that I would end up spending the majority of my career as a school librarian!
Name: Kathy Piscioneri Preferred Pronouns: She, her, hers Title: Art Teacher Grade(s) Taught: K-8 What year did you start working at Marin Horizon? 2018 What school(s) did you attend? CUNY Queens College, BA Fine Art. Parsons School of Design, Paris, Independent Study, Painting. CUNY Queens College MSEd. Elementary Education, Specialty: Children’s Literature Why did you want to become a teacher? I was surrounded by teachers and I loved all the stories they told about their students—I wanted to have my own stories like that!
Title: Director of Performing Arts/Arts Coordinator
Grade(s) Taught: 4th-8th, after school musical 1st-5th
What year did you start working at Marin Horizon/HCS? 2016
What school(s) did you attend? UCLA Theater/Film & Television major, minor Musical Theater; NYU Business Management for Non-profit Organizations and Theater Education.
Why did you want to become a teacher? The future rests in the hands of the youth. Education is the key to progress and enlightenment for this world, and I want to help be a part of that. It's very fulfilling to be able to make change for the positive and teach something that brings such joy to so many. Kids are awesome and hilarious and full of such complex emotions, great for performing on stage!
Title: Humanities teacher and high school placement counselor
Grade(s) Taught: 8th
What year did you start working at Marin Horizon/HCS? 2014
What school(s) did you attend? UCSC - BA
Why did you want to become a teacher? I wanted middle school students to experience what it feels like to have a teacher who is truly in their corner, who sees something special in them at exactly the moment when many students often feel the least seen or appreciated.
What year did you start working at Marin Horizon/HCS? 2018-2019 school year
What school(s) did you attend? UC Santa Barbara - Bachelors in Music Composition, San Jose State - Masters in Music Composition, Berklee School of Music for Film Scoring and Cal State Monterey for Teaching Credential
Why did you want to become a teacher? First, I love being with kids and hearing how kids interpret the world. Second, I believe that if you want to make a difference in this world you need to excite students about the voice that they have. Third, it's in the blood. Both of my parents were teachers, at least at some point in their lives and they both loved it.
Title: Primary Teacher (Main Campus), and Faculty Representative on the Board of Trustees
Grade(s) Taught: Ages 3-6
What year did you start working at Marin Horizon/HCS? 2017 is when I started my MHS journey.
What school(s) did you attend? I graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education, with minors in math, science, and integrated creative arts. I then pursued a Montessori certification at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. Upon completion of my AMI Montessori certification, I received my Masters in Education from Loyola University Maryland. I hold both a California and Michigan Teaching Credential.
Name: Olivia Thomas Preferred Pronouns: She/Her Title: Preschool Teacher associate, Horizon Community School Grade(s) Taught: Preschool Where did you grow up? All over but mostly in Marin. Where do you live now? Marin What school(s) did you attend? Whitman College Who do you live with? Partner, progeny, pet, plants? Pets and plants. Why did you want to become a teacher? My dad was a teacher and he was my role model. What continues to inspire and drive you to teach? I love the children that I work with every day.
Name: Katelyn Wellnitz Preferred Pronouns: She/her Title: Middle School Math Teacher Where did you grow up? Philadelphia area Where do you live now? San Francisco—Inner Sunset What school(s) did you attend? Arcadia University Who do you live with? Partner, progeny, pet, plants? Partner, Alex, and my dog Koopa (and several unhappy plants who aren't getting enough attention) Why did you want to become a teacher? I realized how much I enjoy working with kids during my years working at a summer camp in college. It was an incredibly rewarding experience. What continues to inspire and drive you to teach? I enjoy the fact that the job changes every day, that I can help students become critical thinkers and engaged citizens, and that I can help students build confidence in their math work. What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher/working at a school? My favorite thing about being a teacher is building relationships with my students. Do you have any hobbies? I enjoy playing soccer, running, hiking, rock climbing, and reading. Why Marin Horizon? I enjoy the small size and the community feel. What has been your experience at Marin Horizon so far? It has been great—I feel like teacher voices are heard, teams support each other, and students are enthusiastic and friendly. Which of our Pillars resonates with you the most and why? (We are insatiably curious, We are complex thinkers, We embrace challenge, We are active community members, We have a voice) We are complex thinkers—it is a complex world right now and teaching students to look at things from multiple perspectives is important.
Congrats to Middle School Humanities teacher and Marin Horizon alum Jesse Pearson, whose piece "Seeking a Pandemic Alternative to Tough Love" was just published by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Independent Ideas blog. As Jesse writes, "How am I—or any of us—supposed to know how to get through this?"
Name: Evan Duffy-Ledbetter Preferred Pronouns: He/Him Title: Assistant 3rd Grade Teacher Where did you grow up? University Park, Maryland Where do you live now? Petaluma, CA What school(s) did you attend? James Madison University, University of the Pacific Who do you live with? Partner, progeny, pet, plants? Solo w/ plants Why did you want to become a teacher? Because I wanted to do something good with my life. What continues to inspire and drive you to teach? Seeing students grow and develop.
Congrats to Middle School Humanities teacher and Marin Horizon alum Jesse Pearson, whose piece "Holden Caulfield, Superspreader" was just published by McSweeney's Internet Tendency. As Jesse said, could there be anything more middle school English teacher-ish than a Catcher in the Rye parody?
Name: Cara Huttinger Preferred Pronouns: She/Her Title: Teacher Grade(s) taught currently at Marin Horizon/HCS: 2nd grade Where did you grow up? Yountville, California What school(s) did you attend? San Francisco State University (undergrad), Touro University (graduate) Why did you want to become a teacher? To support all children in learning. I struggled in school as a child and wanted to help children succeed. I love learning and the engagement with kids!
Three Marin Horizon School administrators will be presenting at this year's People of Color Conference (PoCC) in December: Rochelle Reodica, Director of Upper School; Danny Scuderi, Director of Lower School; and Jacqueline Kurzer, Director of Enrollment Management.
Hi! My name is Carol Goldman, your new Development Associate. I'm excited to join you, where we share a passion for the mission at Marin Horizon. You can say I'm a life-long learner and genuinely enjoy being a part of a community where we nurture the same in our students and families. In the past, I've held countless volunteer roles at other independent schools ranging from an envelope stuffer to Board Chair...enjoying the challenges and rewards of each and every job. Really! I hope you have fun learning more about me through these fun tidbits about me:
1000+ number of scuba dives I've had the greatest fortune to experience.
33 years ago I met by best friend, my husband, and the love of my life at an A's game.
27 auctions and counting! That's how many I've been involved in--I really do love doing auctions.
24 years working in the construction materials inspection and testing world. I focused on soils, aggregates, and asphalts.
13 is my favorite musical, because I always have "a little more homework to do".
7 Annual International Slurry Surfacing Workshops in Las Vegas is where I taught paving professionals how to hand mix slurry surfacing materials.
4 is the best number of pets to have: 2 dogs and 2 cats. I currently have 3 and am looking for a golden retriever puppy. Any suggestions?
1 child, Mac, who always teaches me that there is more than one way to think, act, and love. :-)
When you get a chance, please introduce yourself to me. I can't wait to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you better!
My name is Ramona Polk and I am the new Admissions Associate at Marin Horizon School!
A little about myself…
I grew up in Marin County and graduated from Redwood High School. After high school, I attended San Francisco State University where I became involved in education and loved it!
Prior to working at Marin Horizon, I was a College Access Fellow at a non-profit in Marin County. My job consisted of helping students apply to college, find scholarships, and understand financial aid. I also worked at a literacy summer camp for 7 years teaching students to read, understand vocabulary, and how to advocate for themselves. In my free time, I love volunteering in my community and making the world is a better place.
Favorite Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
If you want to know more about me or simply just want to say hi, I will be in the front office every day!
Danny Scuderi, Director of Primary and Lower Elementary, will be performing spoken-word poetry at Mill Valley's Sweetwater on Tuesday, May 14 as part of "ScreenSense Does Sweetwater." Co-hosted by our very own PA President, Tarja Settles (!) this event will feature songs and poetry from an all-star line-up, all in the spirit of unplugging for a few moments of our technology-laden lives.