Primary Head Teacher, The Flying Eagles Class
Jesse Parish, Head teacher of The Flying Eagles Primary class, joined Spring Hill in 2008. Jesse brings many skills and assets to the classroom, including excellent organizational skills, classroom management, and a great love for children. Jesse has American Montessori Society training and is currently attending Sonoma State University from which she will earn her Bachelor’s degree in spring 2015.
Jesse grew up in Novato and has been living in Petaluma since 2005. She has worked extensively with children since 2003. Jesse has a great sense of leadership and has said: “I am so excited to start each new school year. I know working with children is what I was meant to do!”
Primary Head Teacher, Estrellas Brillantes Class
Danielle Robinson has been a member of Spring Hill’s Primary faculty since 2004 and is the Head teacher of Estrellas Brillantes bilingual Primary class.
Danielle received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University and has a Primary Montessori credential from the American Montessori Society.
Danielle is passionate about anything related to the outdoors, health, fitness, vegetarianism and organic/sustainable living. She grew up in Pacifica and knows that she could never live too far from the ocean! Danielle lives in Sonoma County with her beautiful daughter Savannah, a Spring Hill student.
Primary Teacher, Estrellas Brillantes Class
Griselda Lopez joined Spring Hill in 2004. She is a teacher in the Estrellas Brillantes bilingual Primary class.
Griselda grew up in Mexico and came to Petaluma in 1999. She has her Primary Montessori credential from the American Montessori Society and her Associates of Arts Degree in Child Development. She brings her rich background to SHM, offering an excellent multicultural Montessori program.
Griselda loves to be with her family and especially with her husband Gerardo, “the love and joy of my life.” She enjoys observing nature, taking walks, playing volleyball, dancing, Mexican folklore, and being a teacher. “Having the opportunity to work with children gives me the chance to discover the treasure inside each child’s heart.”
“It has been my dream to become a teacher since I was little, and my dream came true when I became part of the Spring Hill family.” Griselda lives in Sonoma County with her husband and beautiful baby boy Gerardo.
Primary Teacher, Estrellas Brillantes Class
Krystel Becerra-Alfaro joined Spring Hill in 2014. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sonoma State University where she also minored in early childhood education. At Sonoma State, she was student ambassador and club president.
As a native Spanish speaker from Lima, Peru, Krystel offers her students a rich bilingual and multicultural experience.
Patient, energetic, and creative, Krystel has worked extensively with young people for a number of years, as a math and Spanish tutor for high school and college students, and as a teacher for toddler and preschool aged children.
Krystel, a resident of Marin County, enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include swimming, going on hikes, reading, painting, learning new languages, and spending time with children.
Primary Head Teacher, The Redwoods Class
Lara O’Brien, Head Teacher of the Redwood Primary class, joined the Spring Hill faculty in 2000. In addition to an American Montessori Society teaching credential for Primary students, she has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for both California and Nevada, she is CLAD (cross cultural language acquisition development) certified, and has an ECE Site Supervisor Credential.
Lara is the proud mom of Ella and Donnie. Her husband Dustin is a Spring Hill graduate! She considers Spring Hill her “second home.”
In her free time, Lara loves to kayak in Tomales Bay, listen to the Blues (especially when it’s Lightning Hopkins), be outdoors as much as possible, and “simply be in the moment the best that I can!”
Primary Teacher, The Redwoods Class
Gina Andrade joined The Redwoods Primary class as assistant teacher in 2013. She is fully bilingual and is excited to bring a vibrant and multi-cultural curriculum to her class.
Gina has a passion for teaching young children and is currently attending Santa Rosa Junior College and studying Child Development and pursuing her Montessori teaching credential.
A Petaluma native, Gina’s family is originally from Colombia. Gina enjoys spending time with her 6-year-old niece, friends and family, and volunteering. She lives in Sonoma.
Upper Elementary Lead Teacher
Kindergarten, Lower & Upper Elementary STEM Team Leader
Nicole (Nicky) Novach has a Master’s degree in Education and Special Education. For the past five years, Nicky has been teaching science at prestigious independent schools and has created an engaging, rigorous, individualized, and arts-infused science curriculum.
Nicky has designed and implemented a farm-to-school curriculum and has taken her students for the past two years to community farms to study the path that food takes as it progresses from a seed to our table. In addition to using the farm, she has set up a science lab in her classroom to support what her students are learning out-of-doors.
She is currently the Spring Hill Elementary Academy STEM (Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) team leader.
Nicky is an enthusiastic teacher with a commitment to creating an atmosphere that is stimulating, encouraging, and supportive for all.
Nicky moved to Sonoma County from Washington, DC after returning home from a 13 month trip in which she and her husband Wayne circumnavigated the world via 25 countries and 56,000 miles. “My passions are the outdoors, travel, art, dance, health and wellness, rock climbing, music, food, and kids, of course!”
Math Through Architecture Coordinator
Kindergarten, Lower and Upper Elementary
Chris Inman has a Master’s degree in Education, and an Elementary AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) credential. Chris is a true Master Maker, with an extensive knowledge of architecture, design biology, ecology, geology, life history, and teaching chess to young children.
Chris focuses on “Math Through Architecture” and “Makers” curriculum, environmental and nature studies, and is a Chess Master. He plans lessons to appeal to the various learning styles of students as they look, explore, think, an design. Chris believes that in this context students are willing to challenge themselves and reach their full potential with strong academics, critical thinking and independent learning skills.
Chris and his wife Juli are co-owners of an AMI Montessori school in Sonoma County, where they live with their son Joshua.
Primary Program Bilingual After-School Teacher
Eva Munoz is our bilingual after-school teacher in the Primary (Preschool and Kindergarten) program. She joined Spring Hill in 2012. Eva has an Associate of Arts degree and is experienced and passionate about working with children. She worked in the Boys and Club program for two years prior to joining Spring Hill.
Eva brings a creative and multicultural program to our after-school students. She is a native Spanish speaking teacher and offers an extension of our bilingual curriculum, including cultural studies, folkloric dance and ethnic food, art days, outdoor education and more.
Eva lives in Petaluma.