Faculty & Staff

ADMINISTRATION

Head of School

Shaharazad has been Spring Hill’s Head of School since 2010, and before taking the helm was a Lead Teacher for 21 years. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership as well as degrees in business administration and literature, and is an accomplished independent school leader. Under Shaharazad’s guidance, Spring Hill has become a premier private school in the Bay Area, with a holistic educational philosophy, an exceptional curriculum based on advanced science and creativity, and an emphasis on global education and bilingual programs. She has traveled internationally as an invited educator, teaching the psychology and philosophy of Montessori education and the impact of whole-child education, addressing academics, social-emotional learning, and leadership.

Shaharazad has lived on three continents and is fluent in three languages. She is passionate about learning and continuous education, world literature, painting, sculpture, photography, films, and cooking. She says, “My international background and life experiences have given me an understanding of the importance of preparing students for life. My goal for our students is that they become joyful and confident learners, well-rounded individuals, and leaders capable of making informed choices and fair judgments when they face the challenges and complexities of our world.”

Shaharazad and her husband Siamak are long-time residents of Petaluma and active in many community organizations. They are proud of their daughter Elica, an attorney and graduate of Spring Hill.

Assistant to the Head of School

Karen has been part of the Spring Hill family since 1990, supporting the school in a variety of areas with passion and expertise. She discovered Spring Hill as an involved parent of four students and has served as a member of the Board of Directors and Strategic Planning Committee. Since 2012 she has been a member of Spring Hill’s administrative team. Karen holds a BS in applied economics from the University of San Francisco and has extensive administrative management and customer service experience. She is a member of the Independent Schools of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Directors of Admission.

Director of Operations & Finance

Pam’s career began at Lucas Film Limited in the Star Wars generation, where she worked in accounting and asset administration for 15 years. She then transitioned into education, working at Knowledge Universe Education (KinderCare Learning Centers) in many capacities including Director of Purchasing, and at Klemmer Leadership Seminars as Director of Operations and Finance. Pam is committed to nurturing community and educational access, having served on the board of the nonprofit organization Daily Acts and currently sitting on the board of the Mustard Seed Scholarship Fund. Pam and her husband Chuck live in Petaluma and have two grown sons. Pam enjoys gardening, traveling, reading and spending time with her family.

Director of Enrollment Management & Marketing

Tracy holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and a BA in speech communication, as well as a multiple subject K-12 California teaching credential and an administrative credential. As a long-time resident of Sonoma, Tracy is deeply rooted in our beautiful county. She is equally rooted in her dedication to education and student learning at K-8 grade independent schools. After 20 years’ experience in education, Tracy transitioned from teaching to administration at The Presentation School in Sonoma, where she taught, led admissions and marketing, and was Assistant Head of Curriculum and Instruction for 17 years. She is passionate about Spring Hill’s goal to prepare students to be lifelong, joyful learners, and active citizens of a global community. The school’s focus on respect for self, community, and the environment, as well as our commitment to global awareness and culturally inclusive learning, are personal passions for Tracy.

Administrative Director, Elementary & Middle School

Sandra has been a member of the Spring Hill administrative team since 2014, managing the operations of the Elementary and Middle School campuses. She provides warm, enthusiastic support to faculty and families as well as the wisdom she gained as an involved Spring Hill parent for 11 years. Sandra is an experienced business professional and business owner, and has been involved in a number of community organizations, including Mentor Me and as the Petaluma Historical Library & Museum. She is originally from the East Coast and has been a long-time Petaluma resident. She is the parent of two adult children, one a Spring Hill alum, and is now looking forward to her new adventure as grandmother!

TODDLER FACULTY

Toddler Program Coordinator, Bilingual Lead Teacher, Little Steps Toddler Class

Evelyn Martinez joined the Spring Hill School in 2009. After studying child development and earning Associate Teacher Credentials, she completed her Montessori training with master Montessori teacher and mentors, as well as a teaching internship at Santa Rosa Junior College. Evelyn is a native Spanish speaker and fluent in English, and she introduces her young students to Spanish with consistent conversation in the classroom. Evelyn is an experienced, talented, and committed teacher who deeply cares about her students. She has been integral to the nurturing and loving environment that is so important in the Toddler classroom. Evelyn provides the consistency, care, love, and structure that our toddlers need to ensure that they have a positive, first-time school experience. She has created trusted relationships with her students’ parents through her respectful and caring interactions and her detailed communication each day. She is much loved by her students and their parents. Evelyn enjoys spending time with her husband and her son, Alan, a Spring Hill student.

Assistant Teacher, Little Steps Toddler Class

Reina Starke joined the Spring Hill faculty in 1992.  She has been an important part of the Spring Hill community for many years as a member of the administrative team, an Elementary after-school program teacher, a classroom substitute teacher, and a teacher in Spring Hill’s Toddler program. Reina’s mother was Spring Hill’s office manager when she was growing up, and when Reina welcomed her first child, she began working alongside her mother as an after-school teacher. With her mother’s passing in 2014, she is committed to carrying on her legacy of creating a warm and fun educational environment for the children of our community. Reina lives in Petaluma with her husband and two of her three daughters, all Spring Hill alumni. When she’s not with her Spring Hill family or her young granddaughters (one of whom is a Spring Hill student), Reina enjoys long walks, reading, and spending time at the beach

Bilingual  Lead Teacher, Little Stars Toddler Class

Eva Garcia joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2011.  As a bilingual teacher, she has worked with both Primary (ages 3–6) and Toddler (ages 18–36 months) students at Spring Hill. She earned an Associate Teacher Credential from Santa Rosa Junior College and is currently continuing her education in child development. Eva has a graceful and gentle teaching approach, encouraging her young students to feel secure and eager to learn, and she engages children in all areas. A native Spanish speaker and fluent in English, her conversational Spanish in the classroom and group lessons enable children to develop a crucial foundation for language learning. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Eva has led classes and performances at Spring Hill in Ballet Folklorico (folkloric dance) for preschool age children. Prior to joining Spring Hill, Eva was a program coordinator with the Boys and Girls Club, where she designed and directed programs, activities, and art projects for young children. Eva and her husband live in Petaluma.

Bilingual Assistant Teacher, Little Stars Toddler Class

Krystel Becerra-Alfaro joined the Spring Hill faculty in 2019. Krystel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education. She is a native Spanish speaker and fluent in English. Krystel is an experienced teacher and has worked in classroom settings with preschool age children, as well as in kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms, over the past five years. We are glad to welcome Krystel back to the Spring Hill team. She was previously a member of our team and taught in both our Toddler and Primary programs. Krystel is committed to her students and their families. Our toddlers love Krystel’s warm and caring disposition and parents appreciate her kind, soft-spoken nature.

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Music Teacher

Marianne Riddle is Spring Hill’s Toddler program music teacher. She has been bringing music to Spring Hill’s toddlers since 2017. Marianne is a Group Empowerment Drum Circle Facilitator and Early Childhood Music Educator. She is the founder of Adventures in Rhythm, a rhythm-based music program for all ages and abilities in Petaluma. With creativity, experience and a lifelong devotion to music, Marianne positively supports people of all ages and abilities along their journey of music making. Marianne is an authorized HealthRHYTHMS facilitator, trained by Dr. Barry Bittman, MD and Christine Stevens, MSW, MA, MT-BC. HealthRHYTHMS is a research-based group drumming protocol which has demonstrated biological and psycho-social benefits. The drum is used as a tool for communication and personal expression, and Health RHYTHMS reduces stress, improves mood and boosts the immune system.

PRIMARY FACULTY

Lead Teacher, Kindergarten Program; Art and Makers Director

Yoli joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2013. She is the Lead Teacher for the Kindergarten program, and Spring Hill’s Art and Makers Director. She has also taught in the Lower Elementary classroom (grades 1 & 2) as Lead Teacher. Yoli holds a BFA from University of California, San Diego, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Art Teaching K-8 grade Credential from University of California, Davis. Prior to joining Spring Hill, Yoli spent seven years as Head Teacher in a multiage age classroom at Sonoma Charter School and then Napa Valley Montessori Children’s House. She taught art at Sunrise Montessori School, Sonoma Valley Schools, and the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. She spent two years interning in five different extremely diverse bilingual and GATE (gifted and talented education) schools in San Diego and Davis. Yoli believes in teaching from the heart, values social and emotional learning. She feels inspired by her students’ unique and authentic gifts and talents, and their beautiful and interesting work every day. She is passionate about integrating artistic expression in creating engaging and meaningful academic curriculum and believes in teaching and learning as a meaningful, deep discovery process of developing the creative mind. Personally, she enjoys painting in acrylic and encaustic, photography, many forms of world dance, and acting in community theater. Yoli is also passionate about wellness and enjoys yoga and wellness and nutrition retreats. She loves the ocean, water activities, and sailing. Yoli is very proud of her two amazing, compassionate, and joyful daughters, Bella Rose and Zoe Blue, who enjoy equestrian sports, playing violin, creating things, and soccer.

Lead Teacher, Bluebirds Primary Class & Mommy/Daddy & Me Instructor

Barbara joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2014. She has been a master Montessori early childhood educator since 1991. She received her Primary Montessori teaching credential in 2002 at Golden Gate San Francisco Montessori training center from Dr. Ursula Thrush, who created and inspired early childhood teaching training centers to advance peace education and social justice in their classrooms and communities. Barbara carries Dr. Montessori and Dr. Ursula Thrush’s mission and vision for global peace through children’s education in her everyday teaching and practices by believing in the potential and gift of each child to create a better future for all.  Barbara, a native of Germany, came to the US as a physical therapist. She continued her training at the Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) program Kaiser Hospital, Vallejo in 1985, and worked in physical therapy until she discovered Montessori and decided to pursue a passionate career as a Lead Montessori educator. One of Barbara’s favorite topics is parenting education. She is the founder of Sonoma Parenting 101 focusing on mindful parenting topics and children’s storytelling, so if you can catch her between classes, start up a conversation about positive discipline, family values, sibling dynamics, or setting routines and habits by modeling. Barbara is a devoted mom to Dustin and Nick, her two adult sons.

Associate Teacher & Spanish Teacher, Bluebirds Primary Class

 Susan joined the Spring Hill faculty team in  2016. Susan holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Santa Barbara City College as well as a California Child Development Teacher Permit and Site Supervisor Credential. Susan is a fluent Spanish speaker and offers her students an engaging introduction to Spanish and the opportunity to build Spanish language skills each day. Prior to joining the faculty at The Spring Hill School, Susan was the director and owner of her own preschool for 10 years, where Spanish language and multicultural activities were her focus. She also spent seven years as a Lead Teacher and Program Manager and two years as a Site Supervisor at North Bay Children’s Center. She has volunteered as an assistant coach for Sonoma County Girls on the Run and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In her free time, Susan enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, kayaking, bicycling, and being out in nature with her husband Larry, son Morgen, and daughter Maya.

Bilingual Assistant Teacher, The Redwoods Primary Class

Clara joined the Spring Hill faculty in 2018. She is a native Spanish speaker, fluent in both Spanish and English, and holds an Associate Teacher Certificate from Santa Rosa Junior College. She has worked with young children from infant to age 5 since 2009. Her experience ranges from home childcare to Loma Vista Elementary School in Petaluma.
Clara integrates conversational Spanish with an engaging curriculum and uses bilingual skills to create a positive and supportive learning environment. She loves working with children and is the mom of three busy children: son Ittai, daughter Sarah, and son Zair. She enjoys cooking, camping, playing volleyball and, most important, spending time with her family.

Bilingual Associate Teacher, Marvelous Minds Primary Class

Griselda joined the Spring Hill team in 2004, as a member of the Spring Hill Elementary team as an after-school teacher and learning support. She received her Early Childhood Education degree from Santa Rosa Junior College and, following her passion, received her Primary Montessori teaching credential from the American Montessori Society in 2010. Griselda is passionate about teaching and led her Montessori and bilingual Primary class with great success. She has the highest respect for her students and connects with them strongly, guiding and supporting them to feel safe and loved, while engaging in joyful learning. Griselda is a great role model for her students with her graceful, positive, organized, and loving presence. Griselda enjoys spending time with her husband and three wonderful boys, playing soccer, going for nature walks, and, of course, being a teacher.

Catherine McCracken-Jones, Lead Teacher, Marvelous Minds

Outdoor & Garden Education Coordinator

Fabiola is an experienced teacher and outdoor program educator who has been a member of the Spring Hill faculty since 2014. A native Spanish speaker, she offers an excellent bilingual program to her students, bringing Spanish to life in a natural “real world” manner. Fabiola integrates conversational Spanish with an engaging outdoor curriculum, offering students a rich learning experience. Fabiola’s positive energy always brightens the days of her students and everyone around her. She is a passionate early childhood educator and celebrates the joy her students’ find in their work. Fabiola has extensive outdoor education training and creates a welcoming and secure environment, giving children the confidence to explore, play, and learn. She enjoys spending time outside of school with her family.

Primary Program Bilingual Aftercare Coordinator

Rosie, a native Spanish speaker who is also fluent in English, has worked in early childhood education for ten years. She has an Associate Teacher Certificate and CNA certification (Certified Nursing Assistant). She also has a TALLK project certificate (Teacher Acquiring Language Learner Knowledge), a program that provides preschool teachers with training and coaching in specific strategies for interacting with English learner children to best support language acquisition.

Rosie is passionate about promoting children’s desire to read and write, and she focuses on engaging her young students in acquiring age-appropriate language skills. She brings to her students and colleagues a perennial positive outlook and good humor in approaching teaching and life. She is devoted to her young students and offers them a loving environment each day. She values the trusted relationships she develops with parents. Rosie’s greatest joys are her sons Anthony and George and her husband Tony. She loves spending time with her family, cooking for them, and cheering for her sons and husband when they play their favorite sport—soccer. An animal lover, she enjoys walking her five dogs and caring for her farm animals.


Music Specialist

Pablo Rodriguez is a well-known singer, guitarist, and teacher in the North Bay area. He has performed in a wide variety of styles including classical, Brazilian music, jazz, gospel, pop, and Eastern European music. He has collaborated for years with songwriters, poets, dancers, choirs, and multi-media artists in many venues. He is an experienced teacher both in classroom and private instruction.

Elementary & Middle School Faculty

Lower Elementary Teacher, Grades 1 & 2, Spanish Teacher, Grades 1-4

Cynthia joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a minor in Early Childhood Development from Sonoma State University. She also has a Montessori Elementary credential from American Montessori Society. Cynthia has worked with students from 1st through 5th grade since 2009 in a variety of different capacities in the classroom, including a behavior and education specialist, student support instructional assistant and tutor in many subjects, and an after-school classroom director. She is a native Spanish speaker and enjoys integrating cultural studies in her Spanish lessons. Cynthia believes it is important to encourage conversational Spanish throughout the school day as well as after school help to connect Spanish as a second language with real-life experiences and activities. She enjoys listening to her students sing and speak Spanish throughout the day, play games and read in Spanish. Cynthia is a graceful, respectful, and positive role model with strong organizational and leadership skills. She absolutely loves being with children. Cynthia enjoys cooking and baking, as well as hiking and camping with her husband Arthur and their son Rylan.

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher, Grades 1 & 2

Molly Hill joined Spring Hill in 2020. Molly has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Mills College and a California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential. She has completed the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University Teachers College and Making Learning Visible at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining Spring Hill, Molly was a member of the leadership team at Sonoma Country Day School from 1991–2020. She was a master teacher for grades K–5 (including 15 years in 1st grade), a math specialist for grades 4 and 5. She was the lower school director for five years.

Molly is a great advocate for her students’ academic, social, and emotional progress and success. Inspired by the Brightworks (San Francisco) school model, and as a lifelong learner, Molly believes in an education that encourages exploration and expression, creative and critical thinking, collaboration, and integration. She brings a metacognitive approach to the classroom and supports her students in knowing themselves as learners. Molly embraces the “bigger picture” in education and strives to help her students see themselves as confident, capable, and kind human beings. Molly always aims to create a fun, safe, and challenging learning environment for every child.

When not exploring new ideas for teaching and learning, Molly loves creating things from paper—letterpress, bookmaking, origami, cards, etc. She loves all things art and design related. She also loves to hike/walk, especially around westside Petaluma neighborhoods. She enjoys trying new recipes, spending time with friends, family (especially her twin nieces), and her partner Tom. She loves reading, writing, and seeing live music, and is also a huge fan of New York City.

Upper Elementary Lead Teacher, Grades 3 & 4,
Elementary Program Coordinator

Tricia Garcia came to Spring Hill in 2017 with exceptional global teaching experience. She is a fluent Spanish speaker and brings a rich cultural perspective to her students. Tricia holds a BA in Applied Linguistics, a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification, licenses in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and a Master of Education from Portland State University. She is an International Baccalaureate® certified teacher who brings years of experience applying inquiry and concept based teaching.  Before coming to Spring Hill, Tricia taught 3rd grade and English as a Second Language (ESL) at The American School Foundation in Mexico City. She has also taught ESL to adults through various community based programs and at Oak Grove Elementary in Oregon, and she taught kindergarten at Future Talent Academy in Ethiopia.

Upper Elementary Lead Teacher, Grades 3 & 4

Melissa Kang joined Spring Hill in 2020. She has a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She has completed the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University Teachers College, and Making Learning Visible at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and holds a Maker certificate from Sonoma State University. Prior to joining the Spring Hill faculty, Melissa was a member of the lead teaching team at Sonoma Country Day School from 2012–2020, and a Lead Educator at Da Vinci Innovation Academy.

Melissa’s mission is to create a warm classroom community that fosters ultimate growth, academically, socially, and emotionally. She achieves this goal by taking the time to forge meaningful connections with students, families and colleagues. Through frequent assessments, mindful grouping, and understanding each student’s learning modalities, strengths and interests, she masterfully offers differentiated learning for all students to fulfill their potential and thrive. In her downtime Melissa can be found chasing her two toddlers around the yard with her husband Hiroshi. She enjoys spending time in her new garden coaxing the vegetables to grow and bemoaning the pesky gophers, family camp outs on the deck, and having barbecues with friends.

Middle School Lead Teacher, Grades 5 & 6,
Spanish and Global Outreach Director

Megan Shelton is the lead teacher for Spring Hill’s Middle School program. She focuses on humanities, Spanish, and our Global Outreach Program. Megan holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and Spanish from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in English as a Second Other Language from Fort Hays State University. Megan has also taught in Spring Hill’s Lower Elementary Classroom and led the school’s first international service learning project to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Before joining Spring Hill’s faculty team, she was Program Coordinator for the Volcanes Community Education Program in Mexico, where she lived eight years. She is a fluent Spanish speaker, and her experience living in Mexico contributes to her passion for global outreach. Megan continues to expand her capabilities: she recently attended training at the Equity and Inclusion Institute to enrich her lessons rooted in social justice. She enjoys spending time with her husband, traveling, and riding horses. Her “teaching partner” is Buddy, a certified therapy dog whom she rescued while living in Mexico.

K-8 Science Department Lead
Grades 7 & 8 Science Teacher
Educational Technology & Innovation Support Educator

Kristen holds an MA in education, a California multi-subject teaching credential, and a Maker certificate. For 25 years she has taught interdisciplinary studies across grade levels, including coding and programming, lab-based science lessons, making and tinkering, including video production and website creation. She has chaired science departments in the San Francisco Unified School District and at Sonoma Country Day School. Kristen nurtures 21st century problem-solving and inquiry-based skills in her students and fellow teachers, models lifelong learning, and develops relevant and rigorous curricula with an emphasis on student partnership and choice. She always seeks ways to integrate what students learn in the classroom with the world outside while making connections across content areas. She believes students learn best as members of diverse communities, giving structured and informal opportunities for them to work together in multi-age groups and thrive through differentiated instruction and assessment. Kristen greatly values community building and incorporating social-emotional learning into her daily routines, allowing the students to be fully present for their learning and each other. Explore Kristen’s professional e-portfolio here.

Middle School Lead Teacher, Grades 7 & 8, Middle School Division Head, 
Advisory Coordinator & High School Placement Counselor

Jen brings to Spring Hill her passion and over 20 years of middle school teaching, leadership, and advisory experience, including 5 years of teaching in Pleasant Hill and San Francisco, 4 at the International School of Geneva, Switzerland, and 11 years at Marin Primary and Middle School in Larkspur. She holds an MA in educational administration and curriculum development, a BA in liberal studies, a California K-12 Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential, and a Giftedness: Realizing the Potential credential. Her wealth of training and certificates also includes a Clear, Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development Certificate (CLAD), and she has focused her professional development on learning and the brain, global citizenship and humanities curriculum development, project-based learning, student leadership, and mindfulness. After moving to Petaluma six years ago, Jen is very excited to be working close to home so she can spend more time with her husband, Kevin; their always entertaining sons, Finn and Kai; and their adorable Cocker Spaniel, Zoe. She enjoys yoga, cooking, gardening, crafting, reading and most of all, exploring the world with her curious boys.

Lead Middle School Math Teacher

Pam loves helping students gain solid mathematical skills and become confident, capable problem solvers. She holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Johnson State College in Vermont. Her expertise is in middle and high school mathematics teaching and in education research of math and science curricula, assessment, teacher leadership, and professional development. Pam’s youngest daughter is a Spring Hill student and she enjoys spending time with family and friends, outdoor activities, and traveling.

Middle School Math Instructor

Ed Longnecker joined Spring Hill in 2020. He holds a BA in Communications from Sonoma State University and has also earned a California K-12 Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential, a Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development Certificate (CLAD), and an Administrative Service Credential from Sonoma State as well. Ed brings a lot of enthusiasm and experience to Spring Hill. He has been working with middle schools in Sonoma and Napa Counties for the last 17 years. During that time he has worked as both an assistant principal and a teacher. Ed comes to us from the Napa Unified School District where he has recently had three teacher of the year nominations, as well as nominations for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, and won runner up as Napa Valley’s Male Role Model of the Year in 2019.

Art Specialist, Grades 3–8

Barbara has 15 years of experience teaching comic and mixed media art using a wide array of artistic mediums in the US and Germany. She strives for positive and constructive teaching and cultivates strong relationships with her students. Barbara’s teaching has included 2D animation, digital art, plein air painting, live sketching, sequential cartooning, aquarelle art, acrylic art, soft pastel art, and mixed media. Barbara’s goal is to apply a mindful approach to technical instruction, ensuring each student reaches their full creative potential. Barbara works closely with teachers in support of their themes and projects.

Middle School Math Associate
After-School Lead Teacher

Christine holds a BS in biology with a concentration in marine science from Sonoma State University. Prior to joining Spring Hill, she worked as a student instructor at Sonoma State University as well as summer camp director. Christine enjoys scuba,  macrame, traveling, and watching true crime documentaries.

Public Speaking Coach

Cara has been a member of the international public speaking organization, Toastmasters, since 2005.  She has won numerous speaking and storytelling competitions over the years and has helped many others achieve the same success. These days her passion lies in helping younger people gain public speaking skills and confidence early on. Throughout the last four years, Cara has coached and co-coached a number of Toastmasters youth leadership programs throughout the Bay Area. She continues to co-coach public speaking sessions for programs such as Tomorrow’s Leaders Today and Chop‘s Teen Center.  She also co-coaches interviewing workshops for high school seniors involved with The Lime Foundation. Cara loves teaching public speaking to Spring Hill’s middle school students and is enthusiastically passing on her passion to others!

Lead Learning Resource Specialist, Grade K–6

Jean joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2004 as the Lower Elementary (grades 1 and 2) Lead Teacher. She rejoins the Spring Hill faculty as our Lead Learning Resource Specialist. Jean spent the 2019–20 school year following a passion teaching project in Nepal and has recently returned to Petaluma. Jean is a master Montessori credentialed educator, founder and principal of a successful K–8th grade Montessori school in Michigan, and an expert in learning resources. Jean led her own tutoring center for many years that offered Orton Gillingham phonics, Read Naturally for fluency, and BAL A VIS X (balance-auditory-visual exercises) to support her students to gain academic confidence and skills to succeed in their education. Jean deeply cares for each child and connects with them with respect and joy, and builds deep relationships based on trust, responsibility, and care.

Middle School Athletic Director & PE Coach
Advisory Teacher

Zak holds a BA in business management and a teaching credential in physical education. He has years of experience as athletic director, PE and movement teacher and coach at independent schools in Silicon Valley. He has also led all seasonal sports, including baseball and basketball, and has a love for sports, health and nutrition, community, and team building. Zak is a motivated, personable, and skilled teacher who has worked with students of all ages. As an advisor he is passionate about reaching out and connecting with his students for maximum mentoring, coaching, and success. He is also passionate about music—at his previous school, Zak DJ’d dances and events!

Elementary After-School Teacher

Caitlin holds a BA in political science. Her love for teaching led Caitlin to create Sunny Starts Home Childcare in San Francisco, which served children from 2.5–6 years old for 3 years. She also led a school gardening program. Caitlin has the highest respect for her students, their intelligence, and their capabilities. She loves gardening, cooking, sewing, knitting, and brings many talents to our after-school program.

K-8 Resource Teacher
Digital Arts and Electives Instructor

Joseph holds a double major degree in English and communication, as well as a teaching credential for mild moderate special education. Joseph founded Common Sense Special Needs Tutoring in the Bay Area in 2012. His talent and passion for teaching for the past 15 years has led him to teach a variety of subjects, including K-12 math, biology, language arts, and digital arts. In addition, Joseph is currently a Mixed Martial Arts Instructor at Esteem BJJ in Petaluma. He is a musician and has taught music, an advanced chess player, and creator of educational short films and documentaries. Joseph’s calm, positive, and confident presence, his gift of connecting with students with different learning styles, enriched teaching experiences, and philosophy that each student should positively achieve 100 percent learning to fulfill their potential align with Spring Hill’s mission, vision, and teaching philosophy.

Music Specialist, Grades PK-4

Pablo Rodriguez is a well-known singer, guitarist, and teacher in the North Bay area. He has performed in a wide variety of styles including classical, Brazilian music, jazz, gospel, pop, and Eastern European music. He has collaborated for years with songwriters, poets, dancers, choirs, and multi-media artists in many venues. He is an experienced teacher both in classroom and private instruction.

Math and Science Advisory Board

Siamak is Chair of the Math & Science Advisory Board. Siamak studied math and physics and earned an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Columbia University in New York. He has spent over 20 years in academia and the information technology sector, teaching, conducting research and developing strategic business plans for application of IT technologies to various industries, including energy, automotive and healthcare and life sciences industries.

Siamak meets with the Science teaching team on a monthly basis to overview the application of the Next Generation Science Standards in Spring Hill’s daily practices and education.

Anoosh is founder and past president of Solar Depot, a systems integrator and wholesale supplier of solar energy equipment with headquarters in Petaluma. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Solar Energy Industries Association and has also served as its president. Prior to founding Solar Depot, Anoosh taught science at San Rafael High School in Marin County. Before teaching, Anoosh was a Research Chemist at Stauffer Chemical Company. Anoosh earned his MS degree in Physical Chemistry from Kansas State University.

George is Principal Architect, AIM Associates, an architectural, consulting and integrated design team management firm serving the San Francisco Bay Area. He has given presentations on integrated design team management and sustainable architecture at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, Pacific Gas and Electric Energy Center, American Solar Energy Society National Conference, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy National Conference, US Forest Service, International Facility Managers Association, Russian Delegation of Building Designers, Stanford University, local chapters of the American Institute of Architects, Construction Specifications Institute, local schools and colleges.