Grade & Subject: K-2nd- Math
Stanford: BA, MA

While still an undergraduate at Stanford, I had an amazing mentor teacher in East Palo Alto who heavily influenced my views on education. I volunteered in her classroom during her first two years of teaching, and I got to see the highs and lows of her first few years from an external perspective. It was inspiring to see someone who was actually working to make the world a better place. Her example showed me that I, too, needed to do direct service for schools, students, and families.

I’m proud to be one of the designers and founding teachers at Lodestar, a brand new school in East Oakland with a new model built around agency and belonging. There are a lot of people who talk about what’s broken in education, but there aren’t a lot of people who are pushing the envelope and innovating the way we are at Lodestar. Why is that? Because the work of innovating and doing something completely new is hard and challenging. Yet, our students deserve new schools for a changing world, and we’re doing this work alongside them and their families.

Lodestar is in the Lighthouse Family of Schools, which I’ve been a member of for many years now. Our flagship school is K-12, and a few years ago, we graduated our first class of students who started with us in kindergarten. This was really profound––to see how our work and partnership with families transformed us, our students, and their families. Our community tangibly empowers our students to be lifelong change makers who contribute to a healthier, more joyful world.

We live in a community that has a legacy of activism, social justice, and change makers. This is my community, and I’m excited to build and strengthen it with Oakland families, students, and my fellow educators. We have much more in common than people assume. When we start thinking about what school can look like when it’s built around agency and belonging, we empower our students and colleagues to come together and do great things.