Wesley Allen, second grade lead teacher, joined St. Paul’s in 2016. Mr. Allen holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum Design and Instruction from the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI) as well as a California teaching credential. Previously, he worked as a second and third grade teacher at Children’s Day School (CDS) in San Francisco. Prior to CDS, he worked as a naturalist and guide in a variety of outdoor education and wilderness therapy programs throughout the western United States. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Ariela as well as photography, backpacking, hiking and fly fishing.
Natalia Bernal was a Spanish Immersion teacher at Sylvia Mendez Elementary (formerly LeConte Elementary) in Berkeley, CA for 11 years. She is a native bilingual and her family is from Uruguay. She has a Masters in Education, a Bilingual teaching credential and is trained to teach early childhood music through Music Together and children’s yoga through It’s Yoga Kids. She created and teaches the Healthy Me Kids Music & Movement program in public preschools, funded by the Berkeley, Oakland, and Albany soda taxes. She also teaches family music programs Canta y Baila Conmigo and Music Together as well as preschool yoga at Escuela Bilingüe Internacional and Spanish/Music at Mills College Children's School. She has an 8 year-old daughter that inspires her every day.
Nayo Brooks, Director of Lower School, joined St. Paul's in 2018. Ms. Brooks received her B.A. in English from UC Davis, an M.Ed. from the University of San Francisco, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She also works at Stanford's National Board Resource Center offering monthly support to teachers who are pursuing National Board certification. Prior to joining St. Paul's, she taught for 19 years at Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco. Ms. Brooks has a son who attends Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, and a feisty (but lovable) Boston Terrier named Sox.
Tracey Cosgrove joined St. Paul's as Lower School Librarian in 2004. Ms. Cosgrove received her B.A. in English Literature from Portland State University and her Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She loves to look at books and read - surprise! She especially enjoys time with her family (which includes Liam ’11 and Emma ’14), visiting museums, and playing Frisbee with Percy, the dog, on the beach at the Albany Bulb.
Guy de Chalus, Coordinator of Music, joined St. Paul's in 2007 as Music Teacher for grades 4-8. His concentration is in the music of the Diaspora with particular emphases on the choral and instrumental repertoires of Haiti, Guyana, and the Old Time songs of Appalachia, The Carolinas, and West Virginia. Mr. de Chalus is a graduate of Hunter College, NY, where he studied music theory and literature. Prior to joining SPES, he taught literature at The Benjamin Banneker Academy in Brooklyn, NY, and at Flushing High School in Flushing, NY. Mr. de Chalus holds multi-state teaching credentials.
Kate Foley, third grade teacher, joined the St. Paul’s faculty in 1991 as a teaching intern in kindergarten. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in Psychology and holds a MA/multiple subject teaching credential from the University of the Pacific. She is a Responsive Classroom Teacher Leader and recently participated in an educator’s retreat at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to receive training on its Bird Sleuth curriculum. As well as being an alum from when St. Paul’s was K-6, Ms. Foley has previously taught both first and second grade at St. Paul’s. She is also an alumna of St. Paul’s.
Monica Haddad joined St. Paul’s in 2005 as Swimming Teacher and Physical Education Teacher. A native of Brazil, Ms. Haddad holds a Bachelor of Physical Education degree from Federal University of Sao Carlos. She recently earned an American Swimming Coaches Association certificate for levels 1 and 2. She has been a swim teacher, coach, and summer program teacher in the East Bay. Ms. Haddad enjoys swimming (naturally), hiking, and biking around the city.
Riana Hensel, Spanish teacher for grades 3-5, joined St. Paul’s in 2017. She was born and raised in the Bay and is a St. Paul’s alum! She studied Spanish Literature and Sociology at the University of Puget Sound, and received a teaching credential and Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Mills College. Riana was a classroom teacher for many years before making the leap to Spanish at St. Paul’s. When she’s not at school you can find Riana curled up with a book or exploring the Bay and the world!
Eric Hooper, fifth grade teacher, flag football coach and girls JV basketball, holds a BS in elementary education from Morgan State University in Baltimore and a California teaching credential. He joined St. Paul’s in 2013. Mr. Hooper arrived in Oakland from New York City where he was a teacher associate before becoming lead teacher at Bronx Lighthouse Charter School. A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate holder, he also taught English as a second language in Rome and Todi, Italy for two years. Mr. Hooper enjoys being active in some form or another, be it walking his dogs around in Joaquin Miller Park or playing basketball.
C. J. Lee joined St. Paul's in 2012 after serving as third grade teacher at Archway from 2004 to 2012. He also served as after school program director from 2004-2005 and basketball coach from 2010-2012 at Archway. Additionally, he has worked as a first, second, and third grade teacher at the Head-Royce Summer Program from 2002 to the present. Previously, he worked at Sarah's Science This Land is Your Land summer camp as a counselor and after care director from 1996 to 2004. Mr. Lee holds a bachelor's of elementary education degree from Kansas State University and a Kansas teaching credential.
Paula McAndrew, third grade teacher, joined St. Paul's in 2014. She received her BA in Liberal Arts from San Francisco State University and earned her multiple subject teaching credential with CLAD from the College of Notre Dame. Previously, Paula taught fifth grade in both Venezuela and Brazil, fourth grade at Cathedral School for Boys in San Francisco, and she was the Science Enrichment Teacher for Sequoia Elementary. She loves writing, running, dancing, and spending time with her family. She is the mother of Daniel ’20 and Lukas ‘24.
Susan McGrath joined St. Paul's in 2002. She is Head of the Educational Care Department, and Educational Care Coordinator for Kindergarten and Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades. For the past 11 years Ms. McGrath has run a tutoring business, and before that she was a first, second, and fifth grade teacher. Ms. McGrath has a bilingual, cross-cultural teaching credential, a B.A. in Biology from Mount Holyoke College, and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of California at San Diego. She has a background in how to reach students with dyslexia. In her free time, she likes to be with her family, do yoga, and hike.
Deborah Meyer, Athletic Director, joined St. Paul’s in 1997. Ms. Meyer is a first grade swim teacher and a sixth and eighth grade physical education teacher, as well as coach of our girls’ varsity basketball, coed cross-country, and coed jv volleyball teams. She received her B.S. in English Education from Moorhead State University and her M.A. in Person-Centered Education from United States International University. Her current interests include reading and spending time with her sons Xan and Chaz, her wife Leslie, and their dogs, Sammie and Ranger.
Hannah Michahelles, kindergarten lead teacher, joined St. Paul’s in 2016. She was born and raised in the Bay, received her BA in Theater for Social Justice from Pitzer College, and her teaching credential and masters through the BATTI program. Ms. Michahelles has worked as an arts integration specialist in San Francisco public elementary schools and has taught trauma-informed mindfulness in Oakland schools K-12, in juvenile detention centers, and a psychiatric hospital for youth. Ms. Michahelles is a theater artist and filmmaker and loves to eat and dance with friends!
Nicole Mills, Fifth Grade Teacher, holds an M.A. in Education from Hunter College, an M.S. in Education from Pace University, and a B.A. in Education and Latin American Studies from Evergreen State College in Washington. She joined St. Paul's in 2011. Previously, she taught fifth grade at The Columbus School, a private, bilingual school in Medellin, Colombia.
Prior to working overseas, she was a classroom teacher for first through third grade students at an elementary school in the Bronx, NY, and an English as a Second Language teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade students in Brooklyn, NY. She began her teaching career as a member of Teach for America.
María Rincón, second grade lead teacher, joined St. Paul's in 2005 as a first grade lead teacher. Ms. Rincón previously taught at Oakland Montessori School and in the Oakland, San Francisco, and Houston school districts. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and her BCLAD multiple subject teaching credential from New College of California. She is the mother of Diego ’14 and Gabriela ’15 and enjoys hiking, reading, and running.
Ashley Rodriguez Reed is an artist and educator; she joins St. Paul’s in 2015 as an art and STEAM teacher. Ashley earned her BFA and K-12 Endorsement at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She worked with The Kaneko in Omaha, a non-profit focused on creativity and interdisciplinary thinking. She went on to earn her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Ashley has worked with students of all ages teaching art and design, most recently as an adjunct faculty member at Tyler School of Art and Art Educator at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia. Her personal work includes textile design, printmaking, and installation. She enjoys biking, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.
Nicole Toliver, first grade lead teacher, joined St. Paul’s in 2014. She was born and raised in Oakland and received her BA in English from Cal State East Bay. She has previously taught kindergarten at Redwood Day School and first grade at Bentley School. She lives with her children Pilar and Braylon and her husband, Brian Franklin, which means her family has perfect numbers for playing two-on-two basketball.
Sanjay Vora, Art Teacher, joined St. Paul's in 2005. He holds an M.F.A. in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute and a B.S. in Architecture from University of Virginia. Mr. Vora is a working artist who shows his paintings throughout the United States. His work can be viewed at www.sanjayvora.com. In addition to Mr. Vora's painting practice, he taught painting at UC Berkeley in the Department of Art Practice.
Anthony Bald, sixth grade math and science teacher, joined St. Paul’s in 2010. He holds a BS in Physics from the University of San Francisco. Previously, Mr. Bald has taught science at Aim High, a summer academic program, and volunteered as a math tutor at the Acorn Projects. In his free time, he enjoys playing and attending live music as well as backpacking with his dog.
Joanna Belkin Petti
Eighth Grade English & Service Learning Coordinator
Rebecca Carmona, seventh grade humanities teacher, holds an MA in English from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA from California Polytechnic State University. She joined St. Paul’s in 2003. She has taught at the University of Colorado, Peralta Community Colleges, and Upward Bound. She enjoys the gym, classic films, gardening, The Beatles, the A’s, perfecting her crafts in Cartoneria, and taking great care of her children.
Karen Compise, Sixth Grade Humanities Teacher, holds an M.A. in Teaching from the University of San Francisco and a B.A. in Education from San Francisco State University. Her professional develoglpment includes training in FOSS Science curriculum, Responsive Classroom, GLAD, and WRITE Tools. She joined St. Paul's in 2010 after teaching at Garfield Charter Elementary School in Menlo Park for 10 years. Ms. Compise also has taught outdoor environmental science and has coached girls' soccer. She enjoys coed soccer, snowboarding, and running.
Guy de Chalus, coordinator of music, is a graduate of Hunter College, NY, where he studied music theory and literature. He joined St. Paul’s in 2008 as music teacher for grades four through eight and holds multi-state teaching credentials. His concentration is in the music of the African Diaspora with particular emphases on the choral and instrumental music of Haiti and Guyana. Mr. de Chalus is a percussionist, banjo player, and budding fiddler. Prior to joining St. Paul’s, he taught literature at The Benjamin Banneker Academy in Brooklyn, NY, and at Flushing High School in Flushing, NY.
Christine Fairless, Director of Sixth Grade and Middle School, joined St. Paul’s in 2001. She began her tenure at St. Paul's as the Eighth Grade Math and Science teacher. She has also served St. Paul's as the Director of Technology. Christine earned her B.S. in Secondary Math Education from the University of Wyoming and an MA in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford University.
Ryan Faulkner, sixth grade math and science teacher, originally joined the St. Paul's faculty as a fifth grade teacher in 2010. After taking a few years off from teaching to raise his two daughters, Lily and Juliet, he has come back to St. Paul's. Ryan grew up in New Hampshire and went to Amherst College where he graduated with a degree in psychology and captained the men's basketball team. He earned his multiple subject teaching credential and a masters degree in education from Notre Dame De Namur. When he is not teaching, he loves spending time with his family and playing basketball and soccer.
Eighth Grade Science Teacher & Service Learning Coordinator
Rolfe Kasling, Sixth Grade & Middle School librarian and technology teacher, joined St. Paul’s in 2006. Mr. Kasling studied anthropology and German at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, where he earned his BA. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University. Mr. Kasling enjoys spending time with his wife, Sonal, and their two children, Kiran ’18 and Priya ’20. In addition, he is a musician and an athlete: enthusiastically tearing-up turntables, beating on percussion instruments, and throwing and catching round objects with family and friends.
Lili Malabed, sixth grade humanities and social studies teacher, joined St. Paul’s in 2006 as a fifth grade teacher and was an Instructional Technology Specialist from 2012-2014. She graduated from San Francisco State University where she was awarded the Honorary Hood for liberal studies majors and earned her CLAD teaching credential. Ms. Malabed has been a teacher leader at the University of San Francisco where she has led workshops and mentored AmeriCorps teachers in the school’s TEAMS program. She recently attended the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute and completed Developmental Designs Middle Level training. Before teaching, Ms. Malabed was a computer specialist. In her free time, she goes camping, gardens and cooks, attends dance and spoken word events, and spends time with her family.
Rebecca Malick, seventh grade math teacher, joined the St. Paul’s community in 2016. Ms. Malick received a BA in Music from Colby College and a multiple subject teaching credential from Mills College. She has experience teaching music at the elementary and high school levels, and directed the Performing Arts Department at the Tilton School in New Hampshire. Most recently, she taught 5th grade general studies and 7th/8th grade math at Oakland Hebrew Day School. When she’s not at school, she enjoys running, sewing, knitting, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Susan McGrath, who joined St. Paul’s in 2002, is head of the Educational Care department and is the Educational Care coordinator for kindergarten, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. For the past 11 years Ms. McGrath has run a tutoring business. Prior to that she was a first, second, and fifth grade teacher. Ms. McGrath has a bilingual, cross-cultural teaching credential, a BA in biology from Mount Holyoke College, and an MA in Latin American studies from the University of California at San Diego. She has a background in how to reach students with dyslexia. Susan recently completed a two day course on Design Thinking for Educators. In her free time, she likes to be with her family, do yoga, and hike.
Branice McKenzie, sixth grade choir director, holds a BA in psychology from Brown University and an MA in music education from New York University. She joined St. Paul’s in 2012. She has been a faculty member at Oakland School for the Arts and a visiting faculty member at The Leadership Institute, focusing on the role of freedom songs in the civil rights movement in America. She served as a teaching artist at the Arts Connection in New York from 1994 to 2006, creating curricula and teaching students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Deborah Meyer, Athletic Director, joined St. Paul’s in 1997. Ms. Meyer is a first, sixth, and eighth grade physical education teacher, as well as coach of our girls’ varsity basketball, coed cross-country, and jv volleyball teams. She received her B.S. in English Education from Moorhead State University and her M.A. in Person-Centered Education from United States International University. Her interests include reading, weeding her garden, and spending time with her sons Xan '21 and Chaz, her wife Leslie, and their dogs, Sammie and Ranger.
Seventh Grade History & Service Learning Coordinator
Paul Meyer, seventh grade history teacher and service learning coordinator, joined St. Paul’s in 2016. Mr. Meyer holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Education, both from the University of California at Davis, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Mills College. Mr. Meyer enjoys bicycling, hiking, motorcycling, and baking for the development office. Mr Meyer was born in Oakland, went to Head-Royce School, and is proud to now serve and teach in Oakland.
Marianne Miller, seventh grade science teacher and Middle School drama teacher, joined St. Paul’s in 1992. Ms. Miller received an MA in history of science from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS in physics and theater arts from Trinity College. Previously, she taught at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT, including one year in London at Morehouse School as a Fulbright exchange teacher. Ms. Miller likes to hike, go to the theater and cinema, read, create books, play the flute, and knit.
Sra. Turner is beginning her sixteenth year at St. Paul’s as Spanish teacher for 6th and 7th grades; she also directs the 7th grade choir. Her background is in Spanish, French, and Italian, and she holds a degree in classical music. When not in the classroom, Jessie spends time with her 15-year-old son William, and plays in two bands. Jessie has four CD’s of primarily original compositions. She loves to incorporate music in the classroom and looks forward to the continued merging of these two passions.
Jaime Vallar, Spanish teacher for grades six and eight, joined St. Paul’s in 1988. Sr. Vallar holds a BFA from California College of the Arts and a California teaching credential. He (used to) like to ride his motorcycle, (used to) work in his garden, and (used to) play as much competitive tennis as his knees would take. Now his knees are solely responsible for adding the “used to” part in all the above-mentioned activities. On the bright side, Sr. Vallar now chases a white dimpled ball (golf ball) and makes great use of the GPS feature in his iPhone throughout Northern California golf courses.
Sanjay Vora, Art Teacher, holds an M.F.A. in Painting from San Francisco Art Institute and a B.S. in Architecture from University of Virginia. Mr. Vora is a working artist who shows his paintings throughout the United States. His work can be viewed at www.sanjayvora.com. In addition to Mr. Vora's painting practice, he has also taught Painting at the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Art Practice. He joined St. Paul's in 2005.
Bob Correia, Director of Finance and Operations, joined St. Paul's in 1997. He received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of California at Berkeley and has worked as a controller, treasurer, financial analyst, and auditor. Mr. Correia spends much of his free time with his wife and four children.
Heather De Bose, Lower School Secretary and Assistant to the Lower School, joined St. Paul's in 2005. Ms. De Bose earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University and was a classroom teacher at Beacon Day School. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her niece.
Simrita Dhanjal, Associate Director of Admissions, joined St. Paul’s in 2016. Ms. Dhanjal (pronounced done-juhl) holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum Design and Instruction from the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI) as well as a California Teaching Credential for Multiple Subjects. Before joining the St. Paul’s community, she taught at Park Day School and Reading Revolution. Prior to stepping into the world of education, Ms. Dhanjal worked in the IT industry as a Computer Engineer. She also loves spending time with her family and friends, dancing, watching Bollywood movies, and traveling to places she has never been before.
Nicole Start, Director of Admissions, joined St. Paul’s in 2004. She grew up in Oakland and then went east to Williams College for her B.A. She couldn't stay away from the Bay Area, however, so she returned to get her teaching credential from Holy Names University. Ms. Start speaks French (she enjoyed living in Paris for a year), loves hiking in the regional parks, and enjoys reading, sewing, and eating delicious food with friends and family.
Head of School Josh Stern joined St. Paul's in 1999. He has served as Assistant Head of School and Director of Administrative Programs, and as Director of Sixth Grade and Middle School. He began his work at St. Paul's teaching sixth grade humanities. Mr. Stern earned a B.A. from Haverford College in Pennsylvania and took a year away from St. Paul's to earn an M.A. in Educational Policy from Stanford University.
Ehete Tequame, Assistant Business Manager, holds an accounting degree from Entoto Accounting College in Ethiopia and has been a general accountant since 1999. She joined St. Paul's in 2010. She previously worked in accounting for the Alameda County Medical Center and the Fremont Marriott Hotel. She is the parent of Faven '13 and Natan '19 and goes by the name Tutu and is your go-to person if you have questions about your tuition payments.