Faculty

Tim Bearden — Math Department Chair, Math, Science, History, Social Science
Tim graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in History. He has experience in data analytics, as well as over seven years' experience teaching and tutoring. Tim has worked with a broad array of students, from elementary-aged students practicing their reading skills to professionals brushing up on their math to pass professional certification tests. He has a lot of experience working with high school students, and he enjoys working closely with students to tailor his lessons to their specific needs. In his free time, Tim enjoys reading, writing, programming, being outside, and watching the Warriors.

Laurel Costill — English, History, Math, Mandarin
Lifelong passions for language, culture, and literature along with a natural affinity for teaching led Laurel to pursue her master's degree Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and, once earned in 2012, propelled her on an exciting journey to rural Thailand, where she taught, developed curriculum, trained teachers, and co-wrote a textbook. In 2015, she returned to the states and spent 6+ years teaching and developing curriculum as a full-time faculty member at the University of Southern California. Laurel is quick to point out that her academic success is in no way reflective of her performance in grade school. Challenges in her environment took away her confidence and led Laurel to believe that she didn't like teachers or school; but to quote Louise Penny, one of her favorite modern authors, "things are strongest where they are broken," and Laurel is convinced that her struggles as a student are now a precious resource to her skills as an educator. In her free time, Laurel enjoys portraiture, reading, writing, singing, playing guitar, yoga, mindfulness meditation, learning languages, cooking, dancing, hiking, backpacking, and doing absolutely anything with her poodle-mix, Daisy. She has traveled to more than 15 countries and has spent more than one month in Japan, Italy, Korea (6 months), and Thailand (2.5 years).

Jim Fish — Math, Science
Recovering from an inability to sit still and be quiet in class, Jim managed to enter the University of Florida’s Invitational Honors Program and eventually graduate with a BA. He went on to do lab tech work for USDA and then earned a Primary Certification from the AMI, Montessori’s international organization. Jim mixed teaching in private and public schools with tutoring and subbing as well as jobs for fun, like soda jerk, movie usher, and professional magician. Jim has a Masters in Education from Dominican, and certifications in Math and Science. He prefers working with students one to one, in partnership. He also paints and creates bonsai.

Eden Frazee — English, History, Math, Art
Eden Frazee graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in the History of Art and Visual Culture in 2015. While in college, she was able to explore her academic love for the arts, writing, and even ecological sustainability, on which she facilitated a student-led course. Eden is deeply curious about alternative forms of education and has instructed in a variety of environments, including teaching Yoga and Mindfulness, leading classes for grades pre-K-8 at an educational summer camp, and doing private tutoring. She is dedicated to learning from her students, always remaining curious to how they may best grow and face challenges confidently. Her passions include art and creative pursuits, social justice, mental health, mindfulness, and self-expression. When not at school, you can expect Eden to be cooking up a vegan feast, hiking around the hills of the Bay, experimenting with arts and crafts, or exploring local museums and galleries.

Kathryn Garcia — Math, Science
Kathryn was born in Visalia, CA but raised in Des Moines, IA. She received her B.S. in Biology from Saint Mary’s College of California, and her M.A. in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from Case Western Reserve University. Kathryn previously taught High School Science in the central valley of California, and she strives to instill curiosity and engage students based on their personal interests in the field of science. She enjoys reading, cooking, binge-watching shows, and traveling!

David Goodlett — English, History
Born in San Francisco, but raised in Philadelphia and Omaha, David has a B.A. in English with minors in Philosophy and Religion from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. David has taught preschool, elementary, middle, and high school in public, private, and charter schools throughout the Bay Area, working with students in general education, special needs students, and gifted populations. Additionally, David has also tutored extensively, done CAHSEE and SAT prep, taught STEM courses for middle schoolers, and helped aspiring teachers pass CSET and CBEST tests. David’s greatest academic joy is teaching history. Among his many pursuits, David enjoys meditation, hiking, exercise, playing guitar, songwriting and recording and he performs throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

Sebastian Herrera— Math, Science
Sebastián was born and raised in Santiago, Chile, but lived in the Bay Area as a child during the early '90s. He received his B.S. in Geology from Universidad de Chile, where he is also a Ph.D. candidate in Earth Sciences, specializing in analog modeling and geodynamic processes. Sebastián has worked as a Teaching Assistant at Universidad de Chile and as a Research Intern at Yale University (CT), and for many years has been a Math, Science, and Spanish tutor for middle and high schoolers. He believes that combining theory with practice and experience is fundamental in every learning process. He is happy that life led him back to the Bay Area, where he enjoys mountain biking, hiking with his family, collecting graphic novels, and exploring the wilderness.

Mei Li Isaacson — English, Mandarin
Mei Li has always loved helping students with their school work, both as a peer tutor when she was a student herself, and now as a Mandarin teacher. She graduated from Hampshire College in Massachusetts with a B.A. and concentration in foreign language, dance, and cultural studies. Since then, she has been a language teacher in the U.S., China, and Japan. She has experience teaching Mandarin to elementary and middle school students as well as teaching English as a Second Language to kids, high school and college students, and adults. Mei Li particularly loves connecting with students one-on-one where she is able to cater learning to their individual needs. Aside from teaching, Mei Li loves to dance Cuban salsa, swim in the SF Bay, and travel to Asia.

Aron Kingsbook — Science Department Chair, Math, Science, PE
Aron was born and raised in Oakland, California. He received his Bachelor of Sciences in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since then, he has occupied a variety of educational roles in both outdoor and classroom settings with people of all ages and backgrounds. He has worked as a scientific-diver for NOAA, a kayak guide in Monterey Bay and the San Juan Islands, a professional team-builder for companies in the Silicon Valley, a marine science teacher for middle school and high school students, and most recently, partnering with Americorps to teach math at his old Middle School in Oakland. Aron believes that fostering curiosity and exploration is the best path toward a lifetime of discovery and learning. He enjoys surfing, backpacking, cooking, reading, drawing, guitar, and species identification (especially birding!)

Michael Lopez — English, History
Michael holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. Michael gravitated towards poetry and song at an early age and is an impassioned and active member of the San Francisco literary arts community; you can find him hosting, recording, attending, and reading at events across the Bay Area. He is always sending his poetry to journals and magazines for review and has had several poems published. He is a co-editor at Mumber Literary Magazine, and he produces the poetry column, Driftwood, in the Sunset Beacon’s online newspaper. Michael is as passionate about teaching as he is about being a lifetime learner; he has worked as a substitute teacher with SFUSD, as a graduate Teacher’s Assistant while attending USF, and as a private English tutor for over ten years. Michael loves the culinary arts and has been a restaurant professional for nearly 20 years. In his free time, he enjoys playing disc golf, being in nature, biking, listening to lectures on philosophy, playing guitar, and he loves strategy games. 

David Maynard — English Department Chair, Math, Science, English, History, Social Sciences
After attending a STEM-focused high school in Nashville, David switched gears to the ALPHAS (arts, literature, philosophy, history, anthropology, and semiotics) receiving his B.A. in Classics from Carleton College. His career path has meandered from coffee shops to accounting firms to educational behemoths—working at both Pearson and ACT—but he always returns to teaching and tutoring and now has over twenty years of experience working with students of all ages and backgrounds. As an independent scholar, David has published on satire, finance, and independent filmmaking, and in his free time he plays chess and enjoys the beauty of the Bay Area.

Roanan McCaa — English, History
Roanan was born in Minneapolis and was raised there until moving to the Bay Area when he was a teenager. A recent college graduate, Roanan received his degree in History from the University of Santa Cruz. Roanan has always been passionate about History and the tools it provides to help us understand ourselves and the material world around us. Outside the classroom Roanan enjoys listening to and playing music, taking in the awe-inspiring scenery of the Bay Area, spending time with his family, and supporting the local professional baseball and basketball teams.

Jenny Montañez — English, History, Social Science, Science
Jenny is a Bay Area native who grew up in the beautiful city of Pacifica. After working in cosmetics sales for almost a decade (including 5 years at Sephora as a Fragrance Master and Color Expert) she decided to return to school to study Early Modern European History. Jenny completed her studies at UC Berkeley in 2017 with a B.A. in History. While studying, she tutored and taught English and History, particularly at the college and high school levels, and was integral in piloting the Supplemental Instruction Program at Skyline College. In addition, Jenny participated in the Jump Start program, which helps struggling and/or disadvantaged high school students with mentoring and academic assistance. More recently, she tutored inner-city elementary school students with reading and writing through the BUILD Literacy Program at UC Berkeley. She has a passion for working with students and helping them achieve their fullest potential. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys reading Historical fiction (especially if it's about the Tudor Monarchy!), hanging out with her cat Scarlet, freelancing as a makeup artist, and delving into independent research projects.

Brett Nava — Spanish, English, History
Brett graduated from UCLA with a BA in English and a minor in Spanish. Brett has worked with students of all ages, from 3rd and 4th graders to high school students. His goal for every student is that they become life-long learners. Brett has a passion for literature, art, and history. He is originally from LA.

Todd Plummer — Math, Science
Todd holds a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is near completion of an M.S. degree in Wildlife Resources at the University of Georgia, where he studied bird population dynamics and habitat management. Todd ran a tutoring business for 12 years specializing in math and science. His approach to teaching is to meet individual students’ needs by addressing unique learning differences, and temperaments. He has worked for numerous conservation organizations over a 30-year career. He worked as a wildlife biologist in the Sierra Nevada and spent four years researching pharmacological interventions for age-related diseases at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. A California Certified Naturalist, Todd has led hundreds of bird hikes and nature outings and taught many outdoor ed classes for nature-lovers of all ages. He is the author of two science books for children, “I’ve Discovered Force” and “I’ve Discovered Energy.” He enjoys birding, hiking, kayaking, writing poetry, and reading.

Alistair Rogers — History Department Chair, English, History, Social Sciences
Alistair was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and enjoyed History from an early age. He earned his B.A. in History from UC Santa Cruz, which included a semester studying at Leiden University in the Netherlands and seeing all the things he was studying firsthand. Alistair earned his M.A. in History from San Francisco State University in 2010, and spent some time teaching at the collegiate level and also taking graduate-level coursework in education at UC Santa Cruz. After two years working in the bike-share world, he is back in education and sharing his joy for history with students. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his bike around San Francisco, reading history (especially anything by and about Winston Churchill), hiking around the Bay Area, and attending both SF Giants baseball games and Cal football games.

Mark Rowles - Math, Science, History, German
Mark graduated from the University of Tulsa with a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy.  He continued his studies at the Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, where he did research in Mathematics and lectured in a graduate seminar.  Returning to the United States, he graduated from the University of Illinois with an MA in Mathematics, and continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He then pursued a career in consulting;  over his career he became a partner in two firms, leading consulting teams for major corporations across the United States.  Taking early retirement, Mark retired to his first love -- teaching.  After over 10 years at Tilden Preparatory School in Albany, he joined Headlands Prep in Sausalito.  Mark believes in the deep connection of Mathematics and the Humanities -- with contributions to Philosophy, Music, and Art -- as illustrated by the motto over the entrance to Plato's Academy:  "Let no one enter here ignorant of Geometry".

Todd Snyder — English, Spanish
Todd attended Tufts University for International Relations. He studied Spanish for more than 20 years. His love and passion for the language inspired him to move to Madrid, Spain where he immersed himself in the culture and lived with a Spanish family who spoke no English. Todd has worked for Stanford University's Online High School for many years. As a result, he has a unique perspective on the rigorous demands of pre-collegiate students who strive to excel. He brings individualized attention to each student and welcomes all students, regardless of status. He has taught intensive Spanish classes and has tutored Spanish conversation since 2000.

Chizuki Squiers — Japanese
Chizuki Squiers was born and raised in Japan and graduated from Meiji University with a B.A. in English Literature and acquired her teaching license in TESOL in 1993. After teaching in Japan, Chizuki moved to the U.S., where she graduated from San Francisco State University with an M.A. in Mass Communication. Additionally, Chizuki wrote for the Hawaii Pacific Press newspaper as a journalist/columnist during her time in Hawaii and later in Oregon. Currently, she lives in Sausalito, CA with her husband and two daughters, and has been teaching at San Francisco Japanese school since 2014. In her free time, Chizuki enjoys playing piano, listening to music, reading, cooking, and walking her dachshund.