Our faculty and staff are the heart of Keys School. 

A diverse and talented group of individuals, our faculty and staff bring their passions to the classroom and the entire school community. Whether they are artists, bakers, scientists, musicians, gardeners, or mathematicians, they all share a genuine dedication to education and a deep commitment to seeing every Keys student flourish.

Staff

  • Alyson Abrego
    Assistant Director of Development for Data Management
    Alyson Abrego Alyson Abrego
    Assistant Director of Development for Data Management

    Education: B.S. in Marketing from Santa Clara University; M.B.A. in Business Administration from U.C. Berkeley
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 4


  • Kate Atmore
    Director of Community Engagement and Growth
    Kate Atmore Kate Atmore
    Director of Community Engagement and Growth

    I am grateful to be part of a school that allows parents, teachers, and students to bravely choose a balanced approach – an approach which values the arts, the whole child and childhood itself – in the face of increasing local and worldwide pressure to achieve “perfection” at all costs.

    Education: B.A. & M.A. in Social Psychology from Stanford University
    Years at Keys: 8
    Years in education: 9

     


  • Francisco Barajas
    Lower School Facilities Manager
    Francisco Barajas Francisco Barajas
    Lower School Facilities Manager

    I greatly admire the fact that Keys School is a community of respect. Faculty, staff, and students appreciate each other, are helpful, and simply value the positive, happy relationships that exist here.


  • Jan Bruzzese
    Director of Communication
    Jan Bruzzese Jan Bruzzese
    Director of Communication

    Over the years, I have seen so many students at Keys “find” themselves, emerge from boxes that previously had defined how they perceived themselves as students or their place within the social fabric of a class. That emergence of the true individual, the authentic person, is an awesome thing to witness. I believe that the role we as a school have to play in fostering the emergence and development of self is possibly one of the most vital things we do.

    Education: B.A. in English from Notre Dame de Namur University
    Years at Keys: 17
    Years in education: 17


  • Dave Coffman
    Facilities Manager
    Dave Coffman Dave Coffman
    Facilities Manager

    I just really enjoy talking with our students. They are all just truly wonderful human beings. This community makes coming to work everyday a pleasure for me.

    Education: EPA Universal certification in refrigerant transition and recovery. Certified Playground Safety Inspector. Facilities Maintenance Technology Certification from SJCC (in progress).


  • Maria de la Paz
    Business Assistant
    Maria de la Paz Maria de la Paz
    Business Assistant

    My hope for Keys students is that they enter high school knowing they can be who they are and be ok with that – not to let others be so much of an influence on them or change who they are for others.

    Education: B.A. in Behavioral Science from Notre Dame de Namur University
    Years at Keys: 7
    Years in education: 7


  • Katie Dlesk
    Middle School Curriculum Coordinator
    Katie Dlesk Katie Dlesk
    Middle School Curriculum Coordinator

    I had a hunch from a pretty early age that I wanted to be an educator. I had always loved working with kids, but in college, I tried to explore other fields. After doing the crossword all through economics lectures and failing to connect to medieval poetry, I signed up for a course called “Schools, Community and the Teacher.” Being in the course felt like coming home. The content was important, challenging, inspiring, and real. After that, I dove head first into the world of education and never looked back.

    Education: B.A. in History from Yale University; Ed.M. in School Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 8


  • Betsy Doss
    Head of Lower School
    Betsy Doss Betsy Doss
    Head of Lower School

    Keys students are caring and unique individuals. They have the confidence to be themselves and the willingness to accept and encourage others to do the same.

    Education: B.A. in Environmental Biology and Psychology; Elementary Education Certification from University of Colorado, Boulder; M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University
    Years at Keys: 4
    Years in education: 17


  • Ella Duncanson
    Assistant Director of Development for Major Gifts
    Ella Duncanson Ella Duncanson
    Assistant Director of Development for Major Gifts

    Education: B.A. in Law and Society from University of California, Santa Barbara; ABA/AALS from California Western School of Law
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 1


  • Arlo Furst
    Assistant Director of Communication
    Arlo Furst Arlo Furst
    Assistant Director of Communication

    Education: B.A. in Anthropology from Colorado College
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 5


  • Douglas Ibey
    Controller
    Douglas Ibey Douglas Ibey
    Controller

    I love the unabashed self-confidence that Keys students display.

    Education: B.S. in Business Administration with an Accounting Emphasis from University of Montana; B.S. in Computer Engineering with a minor in Electrical Engineering from Montana State University
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 3


  • I-Han Liang
    Assistant Director of Community Engagement and Growth
    I-Han Liang I-Han Liang
    Assistant Director of Community Engagement and Growth

    I chose to come to Keys because I believe passionately in its mission and the community of people who comprise it. I’ve seen first hand how it can change lives for the better and I wanted to be a part of a place that cares for and supports children and families during such a pivotal time in their lives. Providing families with a safe and nourishing environment is what Keys does best, and I’m honored to carry on that tradition in any way I can.

    Education: B.A. in English from Stanford University
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 10


  • Michelle Mathers
    Senior Office Administrator, Lower School
    Michelle Mathers Michelle Mathers
    Senior Office Administrator, Lower School

    At Keys we take care of the whole child. We are a part of our students’ lives in such a deep and meaningful way. Not only do we foster them academically but we take care of them as if they were our own children. We appreciate and understand that every student is unique, and we take pride in knowing all those little details about each student that makes them who they are.

    Education: AA in Environmental Studies; B.A. in Environmental Studies with a Minor in Social Science
    from San Jose State
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 6

     


  • Ryan Matyjasik
    Director of Technology
    Ryan Matyjasik Ryan Matyjasik
    Director of Technology

    I love the curiosity and willingness of Keys students to be themselves, but also their open acceptance of each other as individuals. My greatest joy is seeing that handful of students who want to learn more about technology even to the point of pushing the bounds of appropriate use. They are truly independent in their learning but ask the appropriate questions to help their learning get over the speed bumps they encounter. They fully own the fact they are the “Computer Geeks” and enjoy that badge. I was that same computer geek at their age, but was not comfortable owning it as they do.

    Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from Cleveland State University
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 16


  • Sylvia Molina
    Middle School Office Administrator
    Sylvia Molina Sylvia Molina
    Middle School Office Administrator

    The aspect of Keys that mean the most to me is the sense of community – the feeling of belonging and knowing that you are appreciated for the hard work you put in on a daily basis, and building strong connections with faculty and staff.

    Education: B.A. in Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles
    Years at Keys: 5
    Years in education:
     6


  • Sara Poplack
    Lower School Curriculum Coordinator
    Sara Poplack Sara Poplack
    Lower School Curriculum Coordinator

    I had the most amazing teacher in fifth grade who presented us with problems and never gave too much guidance. Whether we were creating our own indoor planetarium or taking field trips to search for trilobite fossils and examine fault lines, the classroom was active, student-led, project-based, and challenging. The takeaways I have from that year as a student are quite in line with current educational theory and best practices. I find myself pulling from both as I work with teachers to promote inquiry and challenge in our curriculum.

    Education: B.A. in Psychology: Neuroscience from Colby College; M.A. in Elementary Education from Fairfield University; M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration from Santa Clara University (in progress)
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 10


  • Larry Purcell
    Head of Middle School
    Larry Purcell Larry Purcell
    Head of Middle School

    Keys is more than just a school at which to learn. Keys is an experience to live. I have worked in schools where curriculum, test scores and standards are the measure of success. At Keys, the measure of success is one of heart and head, of process not product, and of connection to community. Those qualities align with my philosophy as an educator and as a human being – perfectly.

    Education: B.A. in Theatre from UC-San Diego; M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership from University of Illinois-Chicago
    Years at Keys: 7
    Years in education: 16

     


  • Alona Scott
    Head of School
    Alona Scott Alona Scott
    Head of School

    While visiting a second grade math class, I observed the teacher gather the students to debrief at the end of the lesson. She asked, “How many of you thought this math lesson was in the comfort zone?” A few hands went up. “How many of you thought this math lesson was in the learning zone?” More hands went up. “And how many of you thought this lesson was in the panic zone?” she asked, lowering her voice at ‘panic.’ The few remaining hands went up. For me, I loved that I had found a school where talking about the experience of learning is as much a part of the learning as mathematical calculations.

    Education: A.B. Religion Princeton University and Certificate in Teacher Education from Princeton University; M.S. Ed. Reading And Literacy from Bank Street College; M.S. Ed. Private School Leadership from Teachers College Columbia University
    Years at Keys: 4
    Years in education: 20


  • Nina Scruggs
    Assistant Director of Admission and Outreach
    Nina Scruggs Nina Scruggs
    Assistant Director of Admission and Outreach

    Children have always brought me so much joy, but it wasn’t until I entered a teaching credential program back in college, that I realized just how important teachers are and just how passionate I felt about making a positive impact on the education world. I love teaching because each day brings something new and because the children are so genuine and inspiring.

    Education: B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Chico
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 7


  • Steven Smith
    Director of Finance and Operations
    Steven Smith Steven Smith
    Director of Finance and Operations

    As our students step into the world, my hope is that the lessons of kindness, compassion, concern, and care for others carry onward. My dream is that our students embody goodness and greatness in each moment and each interaction.

    Education: B.A. in French/European Studies and Russian/Soviet Studies from American University; M.B.A. in International Management from Monterey Institute of International Studies; M.A. in Consciousness Studies from John F. Kennedy University
    Years at Keys: 7
    Years in education: 12


  • Jennifer Tyler
    Director of Admission
    Jennifer Tyler Jennifer Tyler
    Director of Admission

    I was so moved when one of our students responded to the question, “How do introverts do at Keys School?” and said, “When introverts are home, they do not seem introverted because they are in their comfort zone. The same is true at Keys. We are a family and everyone is comfortable here, so it does not matter if someone is introverted.” That inclusivity really resonates with me. Our student/family population is extremely diverse (not just ethnically, but religiously, geographically, in learning-style, family structure, interests, passions – diversity in every sense of the word) – and, our community is warm, welcoming, and inclusive!

    Education: B.A. in Psychology from UCLA, M.Ed. in Education from Pepperdine University; J.D. from Loyola Law School (CA)
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 16


  • Steven Zeigler
    Technology Support Specialist
    Steven Zeigler Steven Zeigler
    Technology Support Specialist

    My hope for Keys students is that they use the gifts given to them and the trajectories they are on to help others or bring beautiful ideas or things into the world.

    Education: B.A. in History from Cal State – Sacramento; Apple Certified Macintosh Technician and Google Certified Educator
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 9


Lower School Faculty

  • Adam Beshears
    Lower School Physical Education Teacher
    Adam Beshears Adam Beshears
    Lower School Physical Education Teacher

    Education: B.A. in Education from Texas State University; Certification in Waldorf Education from Rudolf Steiner College
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 11


  • Janet Bicker
    Kindergarten Associate Teacher
    Janet Bicker Janet Bicker
    Kindergarten Associate Teacher

    The families at Keys are kind, generous, and appreciative of the work and attention we give to their children. In addition, the staff members at Keys are genuinely interested in each other’s success and enjoy providing feedback and support to each other. This inspires me to want to be a part of that interaction in order to become the best teacher I can be and support those around me.

    Education: B.A. in Economics from UC San Diego; M.A. in Teaching from University of San Francisco
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 4


  • Carmen Centeno
    Lower School Spanish Teacher & Lower School After Care Coordinator
    Carmen Centeno Carmen Centeno
    Lower School Spanish Teacher & Lower School After Care Coordinator

    Education: B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela; M.S. in Bilingual Education and ESL from the University of Houston Clear Lake
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 13


  • Patricia Chang
    Coordinator of Student Support and Lower School Learning Specialist
    Patricia Chang Patricia Chang
    Coordinator of Student Support and Lower School Learning Specialist

  • Yael Cushman
    First Grade Teacher
    Yael Cushman Yael Cushman
    First Grade Teacher

    I push my students to try new things, to push themselves out of their comfort zone even if it feels scary. I often teach them that if something is hard either academically or socially, they should try to find the fun in all of it. In life there are certain curve balls that are thrown our way, but it is the way that we handle the situation that help us learn and grow as people.

    Education: B.A. in Art History from University of Oregon; Teaching Credential from DeLeT Fellowship – Hebrew Union College
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 7


  • Ambera Delash
    Lower School After Care Assistant
    Ambera Delash Ambera Delash
    Lower School After Care Assistant

    Education: B.A. in Theatre from San Jose State University
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 4


  • Megan DeRitis
    Kindergarten Associate Teacher
    Megan DeRitis Megan DeRitis
    Kindergarten Associate Teacher

    I’ve always felt a strong connection with the education field – I was a child who LOVED going to school, and in a way always wanted to be an educator. I revered many of my teachers, from elementary all the way through grad school, and I’ll strive to have as powerful an influence on my students as my teachers had on me. I feel that Keys will help me make strong, positive connections with my students, similar to those I often felt with my own teachers in the past.

    Education: B.A. in Psychology/Elementary Education & Special Education from Marist College; M.S. in Literacy Education from Fordham University
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 5


  • Sharon Diamond
    Lower School Counselor
    Sharon Diamond Sharon Diamond
    Lower School Counselor

    Every time I see or hear a student naturally use the skills or language that have been explicitly taught, I feel such a sense of satisfaction. To know that life skills that are not academic in nature are being imparted in such way that they can develop and play out in a natural manner is so heartwarming and satisfying to witness.

    Education: B.A. in Sociology and Social Services from UC Davis; M.A. in Marriage, Family, and Counseling from the University of Southern California
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 16


  • Susan Essary
    Kindergarten Teacher
    Susan Essary Susan Essary
    Kindergarten Teacher

    I want our students to enter the world with a sense of who they are and confidence that they can handle and persevere through anything life gives them. To know their strengths and accept their growth areas with self-compassion. To know they have the power to impact everyone they meet in their lives by just the smallest action and for them to live each day with the unspoken philosophy that life begins just outside their comfort zone.

    Education: B.A. from University of Buckinghamshire, England; Education certificate from Brunel University, England
    Years at Keys: 7
    Years in education: 12


  • Laura Greenlees
    Third Grade Teacher
    Laura Greenlees Laura Greenlees
    Third Grade Teacher

    I love that teaching allows me to work with children, parents, and other educational professionals. The best part about teaching is that every day is different! I was particularly interested in Keys because I have always enjoyed working in independent school environments, and I felt a warm sense of community immediately. I love that the school is proud of its traditions while encouraging new initiatives in order to best serve the families and faculty.

    Education: B.A. in Sociology from The Catholic University of America; M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Teachers College Columbia University
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 8


  • Angie Higgins
    Theatre Arts Teacher
    Angie Higgins Angie Higgins
    Theatre Arts Teacher

    Having the attention of an audience is a gift. It is a chance to help them forget their worries, make them laugh, make them cry, transport them to a world of wonder, make them reflect on life, or even help them think of something in a new way. The collaboration I experience in every production is a magical melding of minds, creativity, and hard work. Merging my passion for Theatre and my strong desire to help that shy child that I used to be come out of their shell has made me who I am today.

    Education: B.A. in Creative Art, minor in Drama from San Jose State University; M.A. in Theatre Arts Education from San Jose State University
    Years at Keys: 16
    Years in education: 17


  • Marisa Hodgett-Chiang
    Lower School Music Teacher
    Marisa Hodgett-Chiang Marisa Hodgett-Chiang
    Lower School Music Teacher

    Keys students are up for anything! They bounce into every classroom with smiles beaming, minds on, and hearts open. They develop deep bonds with their classmates and teachers, and they diligently take care of others. They are able to equally celebrate their individuality and come together as a team.

    Education: B.A. in Music Education from Loyola University, New Orleans; Orff Certification – Level I; Kodály Certification-Level I
    Years at Keys: 10
    Years in education: 14


  • Benjamin Howe
    Lower School Technology Curriculum Integration Specialist & Lower School Before Care Teacher
    Benjamin Howe Benjamin Howe
    Lower School Technology Curriculum Integration Specialist & Lower School Before Care Teacher

    I am very interested in interdisciplinary work and how different subjects can work together to solve problems and answer questions. I want to expose my students to a variety of learning tools and skills to be a part of their life “toolbox.” I want them to be curious about the world and always question how things work. I want them to be independent thinkers, be able to solve problems on their own, and come up with new ways to solve questions and problems as they arise. They should always challenge why things are the way they are and find ways to come up with new solutions when things do not seem quite right.

    Education: B.H.A in Psychology and Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University; M.Ed in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 5


  • Ashley Huckabone
    Second Grade Teacher
    Ashley Huckabone Ashley Huckabone
    Second Grade Teacher

    My ultimate dream for our students at Keys is to love. Love school, love playing, love their friends, teachers, and parents, love the feeling that they get when they succeed after persevering through a challenge, love the world they live in, love themselves, and of course, love learning. I hope that the love they have will continue to fuel their decisions and their pursuit of bettering themselves and the world we live in.

    Education: B.S. in Childhood Education from SUNY New Paltz; M.S. in Literacy Education from Hunter College
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 9

     


  • Celeste Le Duc
    Lower School Art Teacher
    Celeste Le Duc Celeste Le Duc
    Lower School Art Teacher

    Education: B.F.A. from California College of the Arts
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 6


  • Phu Ly
    Kindergarten Leave Replacement
    Phu Ly Phu Ly
    Kindergarten Leave Replacement

    Education: B.A. in Early Childhood Education and English Literature from Simmons College
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 19


  • Kelsey McMillan
    Fourth Grade Teacher
    Kelsey McMillan Kelsey McMillan
    Fourth Grade Teacher

    We live in a competitive world and face many complex global issues as a society. My dream for all Keys students (and what we try to teach them) is to become thoughtful global citizens who advocate for themselves and for others. I want students to become well-rounded individuals who are compassionate, thoughtful, and deeply motivated to grow, innovate, and creatively express themselves in every capacity.

    Education: B.A. in Integrative Studies: Art History/Women’s Studies/Modern Dance from Guilford College; M.S. in Museum Education and Childhood General Education from Bank Street College of Education
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 9


  • Kiri Nakamura
    First Grade Associate Teacher
    Kiri Nakamura Kiri Nakamura
    First Grade Associate Teacher

    Education: B.A. in English from University of Pennsylvania
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 6


  • Audrey Nelson
    Second Grade Teacher
    Audrey Nelson Audrey Nelson
    Second Grade Teacher

    I have always loved working with kids for a variety of reasons, but I think it is mainly because I delight in the joy of discovery. It probably started when I was 12 years old, newly minted as an official babysitter, digging for worms with neighborhood toddlers. Fast forward to my first lesson, teaching reading as a graduate student in teacher education, and the look on my face was identical: exulting in the moment of discovering something new. I loved that look on a youngster’s face when they suddenly and truly understand, perhaps realizing why 1 + 1 = 2, or why Miss Nelson was missing. Teaching reminds me to maintain wonder for the world around me, and to celebrate each day as another best day.

    Education: B.A. in English Literature and Spanish Language from Middlebury College; M.A.T. in Early and Elementary Education from Manhattanville College
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 9


  • Jordan Orosco
    After School Assistant
    Jordan Orosco Jordan Orosco
    After School Assistant

    Education: WIP Bachelor’s from SJSU in Math: Prep for Teaching
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 5


  • Maria Purcell
    Kindergarten Teacher
    Maria Purcell Maria Purcell
    Kindergarten Teacher

    Education: B.Ed. and Double Major in English Literature, Philosophy and World Religions from University of Wales College
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 16


  • Kelly Ritz
    Fourth Grade Teacher
    Kelly Ritz Kelly Ritz
    Fourth Grade Teacher

    Everyone at our school is so welcoming and willing to lend a hand. I know that I can go to anyone, at any time, to ask questions or to just chat over lunch. We truly care about one another professionally and personally.

    Education: B.A. in Elementary Education from CSU-Monterey Bay; M.A. in General Education from UC Santa Cruz; Cleared Credential from UC San Diego Extension
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 8


  • Maren Scheiner
    First Grade Teacher
    Maren Scheiner Maren Scheiner
    First Grade Teacher

    In college, I came to the realization that much of my learning to that point in my life had been dictated by and rewarded by a teacher or coach. When I had the opportunity to choose the subject matter and direct my own learning, I came to a deeper understanding with far greater rewards than praise or a letter grade. As a teacher, I truly appreciate the value of voice and choice in the learning process.

    Education: B.A. in French and Elementary Education from Middlebury College; M.A. from Bank Street College of Education, New York
    Years at Keys: 5
    Years in education: 10


  • Jenna Schmidt
    Lower School Math Specialist
    Jenna Schmidt Jenna Schmidt
    Lower School Math Specialist

    Keys has given me the opportunity to work with people who push my thinking, challenge me to try new things, and who encourage me to constantly reflect on my practice. The staff here is always challenging themselves to refine their practice and put the students’ best interests at the center of all their decisions.

    Education: B.A. in American Studies and M.A. in Elementary Education from Stanford University; Cleared Credential from UC San Diego Extension
    Years at Keys: 7
    Years in education: 8


  • Holly Sheetz
    Third Grade Teacher
    Holly Sheetz Holly Sheetz
    Third Grade Teacher

    The students at Keys are kind, caring, empathetic, responsible, and independent people who grow up to be life-long learners. They care deeply about their family, friends, teachers, and the world around them.

    Education: B.A. in Early Childhood Education and General Science from Boston College; M.A. in Reading and Literacy from Boston College
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 8


  • Grace Ting
    Lower School Mandarin Teacher
    Grace Ting Grace Ting
    Lower School Mandarin Teacher

    I hope my students are not only learning Mandarin as a foreign language but will explore and know themselves by experiencing a different culture, people, and customs. They will be more open-minded and flexible when interacting with people with different backgrounds, and they will develop their own value systems when facing fast-changing circumstances around them.

    Education: M.A. in TESOL from San Jose State University, California Single Subject Credential in Mandarin, San Jose State University
    Years at Keys: 4
    Years in education: 16

     


  • Maresa Tucker
    Lower School Science Teacher
    Maresa Tucker Maresa Tucker
    Lower School Science Teacher

    Students at Keys are not afraid to fail. They understand how to learn from their mistakes and are inspired to do things differently until they do succeed.

    Education: B.A. in Psychology from University of California, Berkeley; M.A. in Education from University of California, Los Angeles
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 7

     


  • Kathryn Varda
    Lower School Reading Specialist
    Kathryn Varda Kathryn Varda
    Lower School Reading Specialist

    When I became a mother and I had a child who struggled to learn to read, this gave me incredible insight into the world of students who feel the struggle of learning. This prompted me to learn everything I could about teaching children to read. There is no greater motivation than knowing you have to be the best resource you can possibly be to help people who need you. There is no greater satisfaction in life than knowing you have the power and the ability to change someone’s life for the better.

    Education: B.Ed. in Education from Leicester University, England
    Years at Keys: 13
    Years in education: 32


  • Jackie VonFeldt
    Lower School Librarian
    Jackie VonFeldt Jackie VonFeldt
    Lower School Librarian

    I grew up in a very small town where everyone knew everyone else and we all took care of one another. This kind of upbringing made me feel loved, secure, and confident. I knew that within this community I would always be valued and appreciated. As an adult I have always sought out schools where the sense of community reminds me of my childhood home. I want to come to work every day and feel like I belong. I want to know I will be taken care of and that I will do the same in return for those children, parents and colleagues I surround myself with on a day-to-day basis. Keys gives me this feeling.

    Education: B.S. in Elementary Education from Kansas State University; M.A. in Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 21


Middle School Faculty

  • Corey Baker
    Middle School Librarian
    Corey Baker Corey Baker
    Middle School Librarian

    Education: B.A. in Psychology and Education from Swarthmore College; M.L.I.S. from University of Denver
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 5


  • Christopher Blair
    Middle School Social Studies Leave Replacement
    Christopher Blair Christopher Blair
    Middle School Social Studies Leave Replacement

    Education: B.A. from Sir George Williams University; Ed.M. in Education from McGill University
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 46


  • Laura Camodeca
    Middle School Technology Curriculum Instructional Specialist
    Laura Camodeca Laura Camodeca
    Middle School Technology Curriculum Instructional Specialist

    I love that reflection is a key part of our Outdoor Education program and that students focus on relationships between people as well as their environment. It is amazing to see how our students flourish in these outdoor environments. The bonding with each other and seeing the beauty in nature makes for memories that last a lifetime.

    Education: B.S. in Education from Northern Illinois University; M.S. in Recreation Administration from San Francisco State University
    Years at Keys: 13
    Years in education: 26


  • Claude Ferguson
    Middle School Art Teacher
    Claude Ferguson Claude Ferguson
    Middle School Art Teacher

    After graduation I talked to several 8th graders. They gave me this big group hug and each one of them talked about how art has allowed them to see in a totally different way and how important it was to have time to relax and just be creative.

    Education: B.F.A. from North Carolina Central University
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 12


  • Louise Fernquest
    Middle School Language Arts Teacher
    Louise Fernquest Louise Fernquest
    Middle School Language Arts Teacher

    As I look back now at my own elementary school experience in a remote sheep farming valley in New Zealand, I realize how profoundly influential it was for me as a student, and that it inspired the first stirrings of my love of teaching. Being in a tiny, one-room school house with a single teacher for K – 8 meant that the older students became teachers themselves – helping the little ones with their reading, explaining math to those a few years younger, supervising the games on the playground. We all interacted all day long, whether in the classroom or outside studying the ferns in the native forest around us. For much of the day, we had no individual attention from our teacher, so we became independent and resourceful – good at working in groups and helping one another. I see now that this was where the seeds of my Keys experience were sowed.

    Education: B.A. in Languages and Literature from Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand
    Years at Keys: 19
    Years in education: 22


  • Angie Higgins
    Theatre Arts Teacher
    Angie Higgins Angie Higgins
    Theatre Arts Teacher

    Having the attention of an audience is a gift. It is a chance to help them forget their worries, make them laugh, make them cry, transport them to a world of wonder, make them reflect on life, or even help them think of something in a new way. The collaboration I experience in every production is a magical melding of minds, creativity, and hard work. Merging my passion for Theatre and my strong desire to help that shy child that I used to be come out of their shell has made me who I am today.

    Education: B.A. in Creative Art, minor in Drama from San Jose State University; M.A. in Theatre Arts Education from San Jose State University
    Years at Keys: 16
    Years in education: 17


  • Kathleen Jalalpour
    Middle School Math Teacher
    Kathleen Jalalpour Kathleen Jalalpour
    Middle School Math Teacher

    I hear our eighth graders say, “I had to learn HOW I learn, and now I know that I can handle any math that comes along in high school.” This is my goal. With some students we kindle a love of mathematics that influences their life choices. For other students, we kindle an affection for mathematics, a feeling of, “I can do this. It’s not my passion, and I’m not the fastest, but that’s not what matters. I know I CAN do math – with understanding, with pleasure, and with success.”

    Education: M.A. in Economics from the Free University of Berlin; CA Multiple Subject Credential; Experienced Singapore Math trainer for schools nationwide
    Years at Keys: 22
    Years in education: 36


  • Karolina Koppany
    Middle School Language Arts Teacher
    Karolina Koppany Karolina Koppany
    Middle School Language Arts Teacher

    Education: B.A. in English and Communication from McDaniel College; M.S. in Marketing from European School of Economics; MAT and minor in Counseling from American University
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 8


  • Matthew Krause
    Middle School Athletic Director and Physical Education Teacher
    Matthew Krause Matthew Krause
    Middle School Athletic Director and Physical Education Teacher

    I was a junior in high school and I had the chance to visit my brother in Santiago, Chile. My brother was in college and was studying abroad. We had a series of unfortunate events occur, and my brother, by using his Spanish language skills, was able to rectify the situation. This trip ignited my desire to master the Spanish language and gave me a new appreciation of the language and culture. Years after this trip, I spent 6 months traveling around Central and South America.

    Education: B.A. in Spanish Literature from UC Santa Cruz; M.A. in Education from the University of San Francisco
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education: 10


  • Nat Lewis
    Middle School Math Teacher
    Nat Lewis Nat Lewis
    Middle School Math Teacher

    We embrace the idea that mistakes are healthy and an appropriate part of learning and growing. This makes Keys being a much safer place to learn, because we are shielded from much of the insanity of Silicon Valley and education in general.

    Education: B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 16


  • Cameron Lodge Cameron Lodge
    Extended Day Coordinator
    Cameron Lodge Cameron Lodge
    Extended Day Coordinator

    Education: B.A. in Communication Disorders and Sciences at San Jose University, San Jose
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 2


  • Stephanie Norton
    Middle School Spanish Teacher
    Stephanie Norton Stephanie Norton
    Middle School Spanish Teacher

    Education: B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 12


  • Emily O’Keeffe
    Middle School Social Studies Teacher
    Emily O’Keeffe Emily O’Keeffe
    Middle School Social Studies Teacher

    I love that students choose to hang out with teachers. Students feel comfortable approaching teachers with academic queries or even just to talk about their weekend. In the morning, students don’t just come in my classroom to “dump their laptop” or come in from the cold, but, more often than not, they want to say good morning and let me know about their lives.

    Education: B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis; M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University; Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Years at Keys: 6
    Years in education:
    12


  • Ivana Park
    Middle School Social Studies Teacher
    Ivana Park Ivana Park
    Middle School Social Studies Teacher

    It is the people who make this place one of a kind. My colleagues regularly stop by my classroom at random points throughout the day to connect, collaborate, and assist.

    Education: B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley; M.S.W. with a Concentration in Children, Youth and Families from Boston College
    Years at Keys: 3
    Years in education: 9


  • Jeff Redlawsk
    Middle School Music Teacher
    Jeff Redlawsk Jeff Redlawsk
    Middle School Music Teacher

    I want our students to include music in their lives every day going forward. I want them to be curious about music, always exploring past, present, and future trends. I want them to enter high school with a skill set that allows them to thrive while they continue their musical studies in appreciation, performance, or teaching, however that looks for them.

    Education: B.M in Percussion Performance from Western Michigan University; M.A. in Percussion Performance from San Jose State University
    Years at Keys: 5
    Years in education: 19


  • Jennifer Short
    Middle School Mandarin Teacher
    Jennifer Short Jennifer Short
    Middle School Mandarin Teacher

    When I came to Keys to work as a teacher, it opened my mind about the importance of building relationships with students and faculty, and how to appreciate each and everyone’s uniqueness.

    Education: B.A. in History from the National Taiwan University; M.S. in Computer Science from San Jose State University
    Years at Keys: 5
    Years in education: 12


  • Jennifer Spaeth
    Middle School Science Teacher
    Jennifer Spaeth Jennifer Spaeth
    Middle School Science Teacher

    Our students are adept at following and extending their passions. They are self-motivated, emotionally aware, adventurous, kind, and risk taking. They are always up for a challenge and have the grit to take on difficult things. All of this allows for the development of really wonderful curriculum – when you know your students will be able to handle a unit or project that is challenging in multiple ways, intellectually, socially, creatively.

    Education: B.A. in Biology from U.C. Santa Cruz; M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Policy from the University of London, Wye College
    Years at Keys: 9
    Years in education: 26


  • Monica Sullivan
    Middle School Learning Specialist
    Monica Sullivan Monica Sullivan
    Middle School Learning Specialist

    Education: B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University; Special Education Teaching Credential from National Hispanic University
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 10


  • Douglas Ward
    Middle School Physical Education Teacher
    Douglas Ward Douglas Ward
    Middle School Physical Education Teacher

    Education: B.S. in Physical Education & Health Science, Indiana University: Bloomington, IN.; M.Ed. in Curriculum & Administration, University of Illinois: Champaign, IL. Diploma TESOL, St Michael’s College of International Studies: Burlington, VT. Lifetime Teaching License from State of Indiana
    Years at Keys: 2
    Years in education: 31


  • Joan Young
    Middle School Counselor and Self Science Teacher
    Joan Young Joan Young
    Middle School Counselor and Self Science Teacher

    The fact that Keys addresses the needs of the whole child means the world to me. I believe that students are complex, unique, and quite vulnerable at the Middle School phase. Our kids need faculty who prioritize their emotional, social needs along with academic needs…it really feels like here students have a safety net ready to catch them when they fall and boost them as they succeed.

    Education: B.A. in Psychology from UC Irvine; M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University
    Years at Keys: 4
    Years in education: 16


  • Carlos Zarate
    Middle School Spanish Teacher
    Carlos Zarate Carlos Zarate
    Middle School Spanish Teacher

    Education: B.S. in International Business and Economics from University of Tampa; M.S. in Data Journalism from IE Business School
    Years at Keys: 1
    Years in education: 6


  • Katrina Zerga
    Middle School Science Teacher & Outdoor Education Coordinator
    Katrina Zerga Katrina Zerga
    Middle School Science Teacher & Outdoor Education Coordinator

    Outdoor Education is such a vital part of our program at Keys. Students learn just as much about themselves throughout the years on their outdoor trips as they do about the ecology, the recreational activities, and the environments that they spend their time in. Time in the outdoors offers new challenges, opportunities for discovery, and can pique their curiosity. Connecting with the natural world provides unique experiences.

    Education: B.S. in Anthropology and Biology from the University of Oregon
    Years at Keys: 22
    Years in education: 27


"I love working at a school where everybody feels welcome. Our students are excited to learn and teachers know and care about the children not only as students, but also as individuals." Sandra, Lower School Spanish Teacher