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Faculty Spotlight: Kelley Gallardo

Name: Kelley Gallardo
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
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.
Why did you want to become a teacher?When I was in 4th grade, my teacher, Mr. Sommers, told me I would make a great teacher someday. I was presenting a problem on the chalkboard and apparently showed promise. This stuck with me throughout my life. I have also always adored children and find myself observing and watching them to see what they need in order to succeed. Teaching is my passion—I have found my happy place!
What continues to inspire and drive you to teach?
Children energize me. They are all different and I love to figure out how I can reach a child. Another inspiring part of being a teacher is when a child experiences ah-ha moments. When you see a child GET IT! There is nothing more satisfying than to watch a child persevere. Observing this from afar, and allowing children to internally enjoy the reward, is the reason to teach!
What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher/working at a school? Fostering and developing a love of learning in the children I interact with daily. I also love helping children through social interactions with their peers. I hope to allow children to practice skills they will use as adults.
How have you adapted as a teacher during COVID-19? I am excited and happy to give the children I see in-person the opportunity to interact with others while learning to be safe. My main job as a teacher is to keep my children safe. Covid has necessitated more hand washing, more disinfecting, masks and distancing but children are resilient and they are learning skills we never imagined they would need. These skills will serve them throughout life. I am adapting and learning to be resilient as well.
Why Marin Horizon? Supportive community, beautiful campus, ability to collaborate with talented, knowledgeable people. I feel supported and loved.
What has been your experience at Marin Horizon so far? I feel part of a special place. This school really fuels my love for education and children. I feel so fortunate to work at this school.
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 insatiably curious. This speaks to me personally and to the children I interact with daily. Curiosity pushes us to learn more—to be lifelong learners.
Do you have any hobbies? I love to play pool, read, do puzzles, stay connected with friends near and far, and roller skate.
Is there any book that has had a particular impact on you? This Book Is Antiracist by Tiffany Jewell. She is a Montessori educator and her book about how to wake up, take action, do the work! It is helpful for all ages but speaks to young adults. I hope all children read this book and strongly encourage adults to do the same. It pushed me to journal and learn more about myself.
Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I am a Yooper. I left that incredible place to attend college in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I moved to San Rafael in 2010 to teach Upper Elementary at a Montessori school here in the Bay Area. I am so happy to be in California and think I have found my forever home.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you? I am a teacher, parent and Board Member at Marin Horizon School. I have a wonderful 4 year old, a thoughtful husband, Oscar, and a huge cat named Guapita.
Non-discrimination policy: We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, gender identification, disability or other category protected by law. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the School's non-discrimination policies, including its Title IX policy:
Name: Laurie Kelly, Title: Accounting Manager, Office Address: 305 Montford Ave. Mill Valley, CA 94941, Telephone Number: (415) 384-4232, Email Address: Laurie@marinhorizon.org
For assistance related to Title IX or other civil rights laws, please contact OCR at OCR@ed.gov or 800-421-3481, TDD 800-877-8339.