Crane Country Day School Established 1928

Staffulty

Carrie Althoff

Fifth Grade Teacher
calthoff@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x322

EDUCATION
BA Environmental Studies, University of California Santa Barbara; CLAD Credential, California State University Northridge

JOINED CRANE
2002

MY JOY
Each summer I take a road trip to destinations across the United States, to visit parks and museums, and to hike and camp. Give me a map and a backpack with the basic essentials and I am on my way!

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
To prepare for our annual fifth-grade trip to Boston, students take on an identity from the American Revolution, as they learn about key historical events leading up to the war. By stepping into history themselves and investigating primary-source documents, my students gain a deeper understanding of how these events affected the daily lives of people living during that time period.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The hidden deck under the redwood tree.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

 

 

2020-21-AmeryL-Rigor

Third Grade Teacher
lamery@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x320
 
EDUCATION
BA History, University of California, Berkeley; MEd, MST Credential, University of California Santa Barbara
 
JOINED CRANE
2020

MY JOY
I love getting out on the ocean. Whether it is sailing or swimming in the ocean, the range of conditions and swell always keeps it interesting. There is something so peaceful when you get into a rhythm with the movement of the water. 
 
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
The Crane community looks out for each other and supports all students in finding excitement and joy in learning. Teachers are constantly collaborating across subjects allowing students to make multiple connections to their learning. There are also so many opportunities for students to dive deeper into their interests, from math clubs and Friday spotlights, to Spring Study Week. Crane offers multiple avenues for students to get involved and excited about their learning. 
 
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
I love the Oak Tree Quad when the school all gathers for lunches on Mondays and Fridays. I love seeing all the students mingling across the different grades and the teachers connecting over food. 
 
BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS:
Pax by Sarah Pennypacker
 
BEST TEACHING MOMENT
While teaching remotely in the spring of 2020, I managed to still organize the seventh grade quinceañera. Despite not being on campus together, the class was able to celebrate each other over the computer screen. It was so wonderful to bring the community together to dance, listen to music, and celebrate every students' coming of age while we were all separated at home. It was amazing how the Crane community pulled together and still held their traditions for all the students. 

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Fifth Grade Teacher
aanthony@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x348

EDUCATION
MA Education, concentration in Social Justice and Educational Leadership, Antioch University
BA Elementary Education and English, Principia College

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
I love to travel, read, play games, and spend time with my husband and two sons. I love a good game of cards, Dominos or Clue with my friends and family. I own many classic games that I grew up playing and I am always adding to our game collection.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS?
Sitting under the redwood tree is a magical space to read a book and soak in nature.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO TEACH AT CRANE?
Crane School's mission of providing an experiential education alongside academic challenge and creative expression aligns deeply with my beliefs. As an educator, I believe that all children learn best by doing.

MY MOTTO
"The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it." Kalpana Chawla
 

Shana Arthurs '84

Drama Teacher
sarthurs@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x336

EDUCATION
BFA, MEd, MST Credential, University of California Santa Barbara

JOINED CRANE
2009

MY JOY
The mask represents "the character." As actors, we explore and delve into other characters; we wear many masks as we transform ourselves. As we learn about others, we develop empathy and learn more about ourselves through the process.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Theater and public speaking are a critical and respected component of a Crane education. Everyone in the class participates in their class production in kindergarten, second, and fourth grades. Everyone does an eighth-grade public speech before the whole Crane community. And, kids build new friendships and discover new talents through the Performing Arts Program.

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
My experience as a student at Crane was phenomenal. From the expertise of the teachers to the incredible opportunity of trip weeks to the performing arts for all students: I loved Crane then and I love Crane now!

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

 

Carlos Bacajol

Maintenance Staff
cbacajol@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x310

EDUCATION
Jose Marte Secondary Educational School, Guatemala

JOINED CRANE
2018

MY JOY
Every Sunday morning, before I make breakfast for my family, I get up early and run on the beach. It is so beautiful and peaceful. It  grounds me for the days ahead.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Assembly is my favorite tradition at Crane. I love the unity when everyone; students, faculty and staff get together and I love watching the talented kids. It reminds me of my youth.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
My favorite spot on the Crane campus are the tables in the upper gardens. There I have my lunch and enjoy the beautiful campus under the oak trees.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I love the community here. It feels like a family.

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
My past jobs were very different. I had been a contractor for years working on my own and I did everything from carpentry to manning heavy equipment. At Crane, I knew that I could use my skills in so many different ways for the school and each day would be different.

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Teaching Fellow
cbarak@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x361

EDUCATION
BA Rhetoric, with an emphasis on Narrative and Image, UC Berkeley

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
Dawning a Suitcase-Table and parasol, I am always ready for a tea party!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS?
The DEC (Design & Engineering Center)!
 
WHAT IS A FAVORITE BOOK TO RECOMMEND TO STUDENTS YOU TEACH?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

MY MOTTO
No matter where you go, there you are.

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Assistant Director of Admission
mberkowitz@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x127

EDUCATION
BA Communications, University of Pennsylvania
Masters in Journalism, University of Technology Sydney

JOINED CRANE
2021

MY JOY
Books bring me never-ending joy. They have taken me around the world and have even made me a time traveller! The hundreds of characters I have met have taught me the importance of curiosity, empathy, and adventure.

MY MOTTO
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" - Hillel

WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO WORK AT CRANE
The dedicated and welcoming Staffulty, the joyful engagement of the students, and the extraordinary beauty and serenity of the campus captivated me from my very first visit. I feel very fortunate to be part of the Crane community.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK TO RECOMMEND TO STUDENTS?
I love Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Even though it's geared towards younger children, I love this heartwarming book's universal message of appreciating what makes each of us unique and special. 

Christine Bouma

Lower School Science Teacher 
cbouma@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x345

EDUCATION
BA Studio Art, University of California Irvine; Multiple Subject Credential, California State University Fullerton

JOINED CRANE
2015

MY JOY
I treasure American architecture of the early to mid 1900's, its historic preservation, and period decor. Any kind of design surrounding the home keeps me challenged: landscapes, textures, lighting, colors - I love it all.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Friday Spotlights. It's rare to have regular, scheduled times for kids to showcase their talents beyond the classroom setting. Witnessing the courage and growth of the children via the stage over the years is something to cherish.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The fireplace room in the Brittingham Family Library. That and the science labs, of course!

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
Crane's commitment to experiential learning -- children learning by doing -- is ingrained in the methods of our teachers. It's fundamental to constructivism and is a delight to witness happening around the campus every day. One of the things I love most about teaching is that it requires constantly tapping into your creativity. Crane is a place where innovative thinking is paramount.

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Head of Lower School
dbrews@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x111

EDUCATION
Master of Educational Leadership, the American College of Education

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY  
My dog Taco, a rescue dog from Shanghai. I enjoy volunteering at animal rescue shelters and training dogs. I used to foster Great Danes!

WHAT IMPRESSES YOU THE MOST ABOUT CRANE?
The strong-knit, caring community and the various talents and backgrounds of our Staffulty.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS?
The different playgrounds on campus are my favorite spots because there is nothing better than seeing children playing with their friends!

MY MOTTO
Be your true self and have fun!

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Executive Assistant to the Head of School
kbrodyadams@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x102

EDUCATION
BA in American Literature & Culture, UCLA
MA in Clinical Psychology, Antioch University

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
I'm a lifelong musical theater fan so seeing performances on Broadways bring me great joy! In this photo I'm holding Playbills from the most recent shows I went to in NYC.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS?
The Oak Tree Quad, which hadn't yet been created when I was a student here at Crane years ago. I have a great view of it from my office window and I love seeing the tree leaves swaying in the breeze and watching students gather for events.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION?
Daily Assembly is my favorite Crane tradition. I remember it fondly from when I was a student and it has only continued to improve since then! It's the ideal way for the whole community to come together, if only for a few moments, to share experiences. The "Friday Spotlight" Assembly 

MY MOTTO
A line from one of my favorite books, Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery: "Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it." Humor is key!

Donna Brown

Director of Online Learning
dbrown@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x320

EDUCATION
BS Child Development, University of California Davis; MA Educational Administration, University of California Santa Barbara; CA Multiple Subject Credential; CA Preliminary Administrative Services Credential

JOINED CRANE
2017

MY JOY
As a singer/songwriter, my guitar is more than a musical instrument. The lyrics and music have a symbiotic relationship in my brain. The guitar leads me to the lyrics.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Daily assembly. It’s amazing seeing the entire Crane community up on stage sharing their knowledge, passion, and talent.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
There are many beautiful spots on campus. I love seeing the kids play on the big field--it’s gorgeous out there. I also love seeing everyone together in the Oak Tree Quad.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Spring Study Week is incredibly magical. Everyone comes together around one theme, transforming each learning space and creating an unforgettable week. This is one of many experiences at Crane that generates a strong sense of community. I am continually impressed by the creativity of my colleagues and our administration team.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Monica Calderon

Lower School Spanish Teacher
mcalderon@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x304

EDUCATION
Universidad Regiomontana

JOINED CRANE
1994

MY JOY
Yoga and meditation have been a big part of my life for many years now, and waking up early every morning to practice both keeps me energized and allows me to engage with life as it comes!

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
The Music Hour.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I love my students. The phrase "kids say the darndest things” comes to mind. My students say things that are at times incredibly funny, and other times incredibly wise. At the end of every day, I come home with special moments to share with my husband. I also love the continual learning, both through professional development and through my every day experiences. I have learned a great many things working at Crane in the past 25 years. During my first year, I learned that as a foreigner I had to work hard at understanding the culture of Crane, and I am still learning and trying to understand. This, as with most things in life, is a never-ending learning process.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
I recommend my students read biographies of real people who have overcome life’s difficulties and have reached their goals. Learning from others in this way is encouraging and enlightening.

MY MOTTO
Spend some of your time in silence and solitude.

Louis Caron '97

Upper School History Teacher
lcaron@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x316

EDUCATION
BA History, Reed College; MPhil Intellectual History and Political Thought, PhD History, King’s College, University of Cambridge

JOINED CRANE
2018

MY JOY
I am a serious golfer who is just getting back into amateur competitive golf.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
The Lower School Halloween parade is a unique and powerfully adorable event here at Crane School.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
During my time at Crane I have been privileged to learn a great deal more about diversity and inclusion. As an academically-trained historian, I am intimately familiar with what it means to understand the past from someone else’s point of view, and how that goal is complicated by the limitations of human knowledge. But as a new member of this community, I am consistently reminded of how important it is for us as teachers to take on the perspective of our students, and how critical it is for us to open up totally new and different perspectives for our students so that they can better understand their world.

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
As an alumnus, I understand the culture of this place and felt I could enhance our students’ learning experience by sharing my passion for history, math, and even golf!

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Traci Cope

Librarian
tcope@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x303

EDUCATION
BA Psychology, University of California Davis; MST Credential, California State University Fullerton; MLS, San Jose State University; Library Teaching Credential, San Jose State University

JOINED CRANE
2004

MY JOY
It is a good thing that the school librarian is obsessed with books and reading, right? I love getting lost in a good story!

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
The Back-to-School Staffulty Family Barbecue. I love seeing my colleagues with their families all together on the Crane fields as we begin a new year together.

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
Many of my favorite teaching moments occur on the sixth-grade trip to Catalina Island, when I see our students overcome their fears and push themselves out of their comfort zones. We go rock climbing, try the high-ropes course, and even go snorkeling at night.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Being a library teacher is the perfect profession for me. I get to work with students, Staffulty, and parents. I get to teach in spheres relating to books and research, which are my favorite things! I am a person who LOVES her job, and I want to continue helping the Crane community for decades to come.

MY MOTTO
Read every day.

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Teaching Fellow
adefrancis@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x305

EDUCATION
BA History and American Studies, Connecticut College

JOINED CRANE
2021

MY JOY
Growing up in New England, I was on skis before I could fully walk. My family grew up mostly cross country skiing but we also had a small mountain with just one ski lift that we would go to after school! Last year, I lived in Colorado where I got introduced to the world of backcountry skiing. I love the hard work of climbing up the mountain, and then the reward of adjusting your skis and "earning your turns" on the way back down. Although Santa Barbara might not have enough snow for skiing, I am excited to get to explore all of the amazing mountains in California!

MY ADVICE FOR STUDENTS
I would like to remind all of my students that mistakes are a part of learning! I try to point out my own mistakes to my students to show them that even teachers are not perfect. The best way to grow is through active learning and doing and that cannot happen without a mistake or two along the way!

WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO WORK AT CRANE
I was immediately impressed by Crane's commitment to experiential learning. As a camp counselor during my summers in college, I lead backpacking and hiking trips. I loved guiding and mentoring campers through significant challenges and adventures and realized quickly how some of our deepest and authentic learning often comes from doing. We can be told how to do something. We can read about it and watch others, but often we gain our deepest knowledge when we are in action - trying, making mistakes, experimenting, and discovering. I love how Crane recognizes that learning by doing is essential to student growth and transformation.

MY FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
My favorite spot on campus is the Oak Tree Quad. I love how the branches of the giant tree seem to sway and dance as the breeze moves them. I think it is the best place to take a break from a busy day and catch some sunshine from between the calming branches.

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Upper School History Teacher
mdegroot@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x350

EDUCATION
BA Psychology, University of Southern California
MA Teaching, University of Southern California

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
I was first exposed to the joys of fly-fishing while on a rafting trip down the Middle Fork on the Salmon River in Idaho, and I've been "hooked" ever since. Although I am far from the world's most adept angler, I find that there is something innately therapeutic about time spent exploring a wild river or pristine mountain stream. One of Crane's values tells us to "Find Joy in the Pursuit," and this principle is particularly apt for fly-fishing. More often than not, even the most precise cast goes unrewarded, but occasionally, persistence and fate will coalesce to create a moment of pure magic.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS?
The basketball courts! There's always something fun happening on the courts during recess and, as an added bonus, they also provide the perfect vantage point to observe many of the other wonderful locales that dot our campus.

WHAT IS A FAVORITE BOOK TO RECOMMEND TO STUDENTS YOU TEACH?
Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson 

MY MOTTO
"Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future." Paolo Freire

Patty Denver

Controller
pdenver@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x117

EDUCATION
BA Business Administration, California State University San Marcos

JOINED CRANE
2018

MY JOY
I enjoy watching most sports and spend a lot of my time watching my two sons play.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Daily assembly

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The soccer fields.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
The Staffulty here are amazing. Everyone is putting in incredible energy and work to make Crane the great place it is. Crane does a great job in hiring people that seem to truly enjoy their jobs. It’s also a pleasure to work in such a beautiful environment.

2020-21-DichardKristi-rigor

Lower School Learning Specialist
kdichard@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x128
 
EDUCATION
BS Special & Secondary Education, Seton Hall University
MA Education, Antioch University
 
JOINED CRANE
2020

MY JOY
I love to go on adventures each summer with my three children. These can be one day little adventures or road trips around California. We just love having time together without distractions. 
 
MY MOTTO
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. -Wayne Gretzky
 
WHY I CAME TO CRANE
I chose Crane because of the emphasis on community. I love that so many of Crane's traditions are tied to coming together as a group to explore and learn. 
 
BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
 
BEST TEACHING MOMENT
I love when I have introduced a student to a new book and they devour the entire series. It is my most favorite part about teaching. I especially love when a reluctant reader is suddenly carrying a book around without even realizing it because they got hooked on the series. 
 
FUNNIEST CLASSROOM MEMORY
We built paper mache mountains as part of a thematic unit on landforms and communities. We let our class pet, a leopard gecko, crawl on the mountains to get out of the tank for a bit. He crawled into one of the cracks and we couldn't find him. Three weeks later when we finally tore down the mountains, there he was happy as can be crawling inside the mountains. He became a legend of survival in the class.

2020-21-DichardKristi-joy
Megan Donahue

School Psychologist
mdonahue@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x100

EDUCATION
BS Communication Sciences & Disorders, MA Learning Disabilities, Northwestern University; MS Counseling Psychology, PhD Clinical, Counseling, & School Psychology- Clinical Emphasis,  University of California, Santa Barbara 

JOINED CRANE
2020

MY JOY
Cooking for friends and family is a great joy that has been passed down from generations.  I benefit from a mix of structure (aka recipe) and creativity (aka adding lots of things not on the recipe) and generally create something delicious even I could not re-create exactly.
 
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Crane is about community, compassion, kindness, and allowing each student to be seen, understood and supported to reach their full potential.  As a psychologist, this aspect of the community and culture resonates immensely and brought me back to the school-based setting from private practice.  There is truly something so palpable and powerful in supporting students’ development and work collaboratively to see them thrive!
 
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
I love to look up to the sky from the canopy of Talia’s tree by the 5th grade classrooms.  This view IMMEDIATELY prompts mindfulness and puts everything on pause. 
 
BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
"The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse" by Charlie Mackesy.  I’ll happily lend my copy -- come visit my office in the Oak Tree Quad.  Come by at snack, lunch, recess! 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Continued learning and professional development is one of the best parts of my job!  This fall I completed a 2-day zoom program from the Yale Child Study Center designed to support interventions specifically for the parents of anxious children called SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions by Dr. Eli Lebowitz; https://www.spacetreatment.net).  I’m hopeful it will be a great resource for our families at Crane! 

2020-21-EliasAndrea-rigor

Spanish Teacher
aelias@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x102
 
EDUCATION
BS International Business, Fairfield University; MA Education, New York University (NYU)
 
JOINED CRANE
2020

MY JOY
My lovely rambunctious two children, family, good friends, community, music, horseback riding and the great outdoors
 
MY MOTTO
Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures!  
 
WHY I CAME TO CRANE 
The amazing reputation that the Crane community has for creating a strong sense of community, opportunities for professional development and the ability to collaborate and educate our local children and leaders of tomorrow.  
 
BOOK RECOMMENDATION
When I was a child, my favorite series was called The Saddle Club.  I read every one the moment it was released and loved going on horseback riding adventures through its characters.  
 
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The big redwood tree.  It smells amazing and provides a magical space for contemplation.

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Teaching Fellow
ieubanks@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x353

EDUCATION
BA Anthropology and Sociology, Lafayette College

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
My favorite place in the world is the beach. I love to lounge on the sand and soak up the sun and then jump into the water and float around until the waves overtake me.

WHAT IMPRESSES YOU THE MOST ABOUT CRANE?
I love Crane's commitment to community. I've never seen anything quite like Crane's school-wide Assemblies and Spotlight performances, and I just love that all the grades get to come together and interact.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS?
My favorite spot on campus is the soccer field because it's always the most sunny there and you can see the students running around and having fun.

WHAT IF YOUR FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION?
I love that Crane gives students both a morning and an afternoon recess because it allows them to get their energy our while also emphasizing the importance of being active and outdoors.

Alexis Fischer

Upper School Spanish Teacher & Seventh Grade Dean
afischer@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x312

EDUCATION
BA Anthropology and Spanish, University of Colorado Boulder; MEd, California Lutheran University

JOINED CRANE
2002

MY JOY

Gluten-free baking is my current joy and challenge. My daughter has Celiac disease, so I'm determined to replicate all the things that are hard to find in a gluten-free version like croissants and donuts, so she can enjoy them too. Gluten-free baking is a lot of trial and error; however, it's wonderful and delicious when I can get it right. 

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The view from Talia's tree.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
We have many endearing traditions at Crane where we acknowledge the individual. The highlight of our focus on the whole child takes place at Eighth Grade Graduation. Faculty recite aloud a vignette they have written about every student. Often funny, and always touching, the vignettes reveal the student’s academic and athletic passions, personal accomplishments, and what makes them special. It’s beautiful to see the close relationships students form with their teachers.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS:
The Runaway Radish by Janice Levy

MY MOTTO
Learning languages opens doors that can change people's lives by bringing people and cultures together.

Megan Flannery '99

First Grade Teacher
mflannery@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x313

EDUCATION
BA Elementary Education and Sociology, Vanderbilt University

JOINED CRANE
2009

MY JOY
I love to bake, and in my free time I decorate specialty cakes. From birthday cakes to wedding cakes, I enjoy cake decorating as a creative outlet.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
My favorite Crane tradition is the Kindergarten Graduation. I love watching our youngest students take the stage with confidence to recite a poem. It is a sweet, long-standing tradition that brings parents, teachers, and students together to celebrate a year of immense growth!

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I am most impressed by the multi-age learning and shared experiences that Crane students have with students from different grade levels. Students of all ages can be found playing together at recess, working on projects in the classroom, and supporting one another on the stage during our all school assembly. It creates a unique sense of community and camaraderie amongst the student body.

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
I attended Crane as a student for nine years, which is where my desire to become a teacher was born. When I returned to Crane as a teacher, I was excited to work side-by-side with some of the very people who had taught me.

Courtney Fleming

First Grade Co-Teacher
cfleming@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x324

EDUCATION
BA in Education and Sociology/Anthropology, Principia College;
MA in Education, Antioch University

JOINED CRANE
2012

MY JOY
My daughters make me the happiest. Their smiles, affection, and love for one another fills me to the brim. My other joy is the Pacific Northwest, where I was born and raised. I love going back to visit my family and cheer on my favorite Seattle sports teams! 

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
The Thanksgiving Feast! I love when the whole school gets together to express gratitude and sit with our Crane "Families" over a yummy meal!

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
I may be a little bias, but I think the first grade classroom is pretty amazing. The natural, warm light that we get in the mornings and the great big windows that look out at the fields and picnic tables is hard to beat. I love teaching in this space.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Besides the incredible campus and facilities, this place is filled with teachers and staff who love to make learning fun and experiential. I really enjoy the camaraderie that we all have.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal - a great read aloud and picture book!

Peter Glynn

Lower School Math Specialist 
pglynn@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x326

EDUCATION
BS and MS Mathematical Sciences, University of California Santa Barbara

JOINED CRANE
2008

MY JOY
I love to explore places that are less travelled.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Friday spotlight in assembly

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The fields.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I am constantly impressed by the quality of our faculty. They are very kind, hard-working, and innovative teachers. At Crane I am given the freedom to be creative with my curriculum, which allows me to meet the needs of students at all points in their development of math skills. We also have a beautiful campus, thanks both to our location and to the work of our wonderful maintenance staff.

MY MOTTO
Work hard, be positive, fix your mistakes, and keep moving forward!

Martin Gonzalez

Facilities Manager
mgonzalez@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x107

EDUCATION
Journeyman Carpenter, Electrical, and Welding

JOINED CRANE
2018

MY JOY
I enjoy going to baseball games.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The redwood tree underneath the canopy.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Crane is a community based school that focuses on parent and staff involvement, which is positively reflected in the students. What impresses me about Crane is the respectful interaction amongst the staff and students. It's an environment that helps everyone grow and contribute to our community.

Erin Guerra '88

Director of Admissions
eguerra@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x106

EDUCATION
BA Creative Writing, Sarah Lawrence College

JOINED CRANE
2013

MY JOY
My daughter brings me so much happiness. She is the third generation of my family to attend Crane. It is a true gift to see Crane through her eyes.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Daily assembly is a vital moment of each Crane day where the community comes together and shares a common experience. The students enter Cate Hall with a boundless and noisy energy and then magically in an instant the audience becomes silent with a singular focus on the stage in anticipation of the next moment, which could be a student performing, a teacher speaking about their personal interests, a parent speaker, or an entire class sharing their work with the school.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Having been a student here, I thought I knew a lot about the school, but now as an employee I have real appreciation for the intentionality of Crane's program. It is thoughtful, authentic, creative, rigorous, and yet it comes across as organic, effortless, and full of joy. Crane has a core concept of cherishing childhood and nurturing the love of learning in an increasingly complicated and confusing world. I consider it a privilege to introduce families to our school.

MY MOTTO
"When you know better, you do better." --Maya Angelou

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Teaching Fellow
thannah@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x342

EDUCATION
BA Government and Legal Studies / Education, Bowdoin College 

JOINED CRANE
2021

MY JOY
Before I could properly form words, I would walk a (beloved) deflated balloon around my childhood neighborhood in lieu of the dog I dreamed of having. Once I learned to speak, I confidently formed full sentences outlining the many benefits of dog ownership to my parents. This last year, two decades worth of argumentation proved persuasive. My dog Gus is goofy, wonderful, and incredibly loved. We do everything together, including doing our part to help Crane reach the school’s one million page summer reading goal!

MY MOTTO
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye. 

Listening is a superpower that helps us better understand the world around us and the people in it. It is endlessly valuable to remember that there is something to be learned from each and every person that we meet, if only we can find the time and care to pay attention. Attending to diverse perspectives and experiences cultivates a more compassionate, interconnected world! 

MY FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The fireplace room in the Brittingham Family Library. Reading is always transportive, but the quiet atmosphere and cozy design of the space makes it especially easy to get lost in a good book. 
 
BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR STUDENTS
Howl’s Moving Castle written by Diana Wynne Jones

Chandler Hartnett

Fourth Grade Teacher and Safety Committee Chair
chartnett@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x347

EDUCATION
BA Sociology and Education, Colorado College;
MA of Education, University of San Diego

JOINED CRANE
2019

MY JOY
I love being and playing outside! You can often find me riding my bike around town or hiking and exploring the many beautiful trails in Santa Barbara!

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Assembly - It is such a great way to create and reaffirm community at Crane. It is always a pleasure to see the many inspiring talents of our Crane students and Staffulty.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The Forts! What a fun place to play at recess!

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko. It is the story of an epic adventure through the Grand Canyon and is an entertaining, inspiring, and beautiful story of adventure, triumph, and failure in the pursuit of glory and conservation.

MY MOTTO
"Dare to be Great"

2021-22-StaffultyHeadshot-NicoleHawesRigor.jpg

Health Consultant
nhawes@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x123

EDUCATION
Associate's Degree Nursing, Ventura College
Bachelor’s Degree Nursing, University of Phoenix

JOINED CRANE
2021

MY JOY 
Snow skiing is a huge passion of mine. I love the beautiful scenery, the bright colors of the skiers' clothing, the clean and fresh smelling air, the wind in my face as I glide down the mountain and especially interacting with people from all over the world whose faces are as glowing as mine! 

MY MOTTO
This too shall pass. Think positively and trust yourself. When a situation arises that feels insurmountable try taking a deep breath and reminding yourself how capable you are. Reflect on another tough situation that you were able to work through. Focus on success. 

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I love how engaged in learning the Staffulty members at Crane are, both inside and outside of the classroom. Watching students' faces light up with new and exciting knowledge is pure joy for me.
 
MY FAVORITE SPOT AT CRANE
Sitting in the Oak Tree Quad is always a wonderful place to be whether during assemblies or while eating lunch. The wind whistles through the trees. Butterflies flitter about. The occasional squirrel comes sauntering by. It’s peaceful there.
 

2021-22 Nicole Hawes Joy
2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB)
mholmes@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x219

EDUCATION
BA in International Political Science and Geology, City University of New York (CUNY)
MSeD in Museum and Elementary Education, Bank Street College of Education 

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY  
The ocean. Walking by it, sitting near it. It brings peace and clarity to my everyday. When I am happy, sad, or confused, walking along the beach helps me find my center.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS?
Under the redwood tree. I lovingly call it my secret garden. The first time I walked in with students, I was amazed at the quiet and beauty, but more importantly, how cool it was to lie down and look up into the tree. It reminds me of being a little girl and lying under the Christmas tree to look up at the lights.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION
Life Doesn't Frighten Me, poem by Maya Angelou and paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat

MY MOTTO
Don't forget to PLAY.
 

2021-22HughesA-rigor

Upper School Math Teacher and Eighth Grade Dean
ahughes@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x317
 
EDUCATION
BS Journalism and CLAD Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo; MA Education, Leadership and Social Justice, Antioch University
 
JOINED CRANE
2020

MY JOY
There is nothing that warms my heart (or stomach) more than sitting down around a large table, to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends. Preparing fresh made fettuccine, and having bolognese sauce simmering on the stove all day, is a labor of love that brings me great joy.
 
BEST TEACHING MOMENT
I love when students who have graduated come back to visit me! It is so much fun to hear how high school or college is going and to see how much they have grown up.  I take it as the highest compliment when they take time over their holidays or days off to come back and see me.  
 
BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
The Circuit by Francisco Jiménez
 
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
I attended a workshop at Stanford with math-guru and Stanford math professor, Jo Boaler.  We spent two full days picking her brain and putting her research-based ideas into practice.  I was able to collaborate with math teachers from all over the country and came home excited and inspired.
 
MY MOTTO
Be kind. Smile often. Figure out what brings you joy and do it! 

2020-21Headshot-HuglinRidgeGretel-rigor

Upper School Art Teacher
ghuglinridge@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x300

EDUCATION
BFA, Cooper Union School of Art; MFA, University of California Santa Barbara

JOINED CRANE
2002

MY JOY
Boy, do I love a great quilt! Yes, I have a great appreciation for quilting and, in particular, the work of Bisa Butler. Her contemporary quilts transform the incredible craft into art!

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
I had a twelve-year-old boy enter my class in September and tell me he wasn't an artist. But just six months later, he walked out the door of the art studio as my "teaching assistant," because he felt he could confidently share his knowledge of art with his classmates.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Crane takes art seriously. The culture of educating the whole child means that I never have to justify why my subject is important.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Crane provides many opportunities to faculty to continue their learning. I have attended Oxbow School of Art for Painting, workshops in France for ceramics and Plein Air painting, and National Art Association conferences. During my year-long sabbatical, I was a visiting artist at The Green School in Bali.

MY MOTTO
There's no mistakes, it's just all good underpainting.

Joel Jamison

Maintenance 
jjamison@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x311

EDUCATION
BA Horticulture, California Polytechnic State University

JOINED CRANE
1995

MY JOY
I love playing music.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Daily assembly.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
Cate Hall - I play the drums for many of our Crane Theater productions and assemblies.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I have a background in landscaping and playing music, so I was excited to come to a place where I could work outdoors, help with the music program, and be around kids and teachers. I love my job at Crane!

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Director of Technology
bkerr@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x124

EDUCATION
BS Applied Geophysics, UCLA
MS Geophysics, Stanford University

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
I love baseball, both playing it and going to games with my wife and kids. I’m also a huge data geek and love tinkering with new ways students can observe and analyze the world around them. 

WHAT IMPRESSES YOU THE MOST ABOUT CRANE?
Crane is an incredibly warm and kind community. Every day our dedicated Staffulty inspire students to learn with joy, purpose, and curiosity.

MY MOTTO
“We can be knowledgeable with other peoples' knowledge, but we can’t be wise with other peoples' wisdom.” - David Brooks

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS?
Under the redwood tree. 

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Development Officer
jjenks@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x121

EDUCATION
BA in Business Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara
MPA, University of Washington, Evans School of Public Affairs
Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy, University of Washington, Evans School of Public Affairs

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
Thus far, I have been to 23 countries on five continents. My five favorite countries: Italy, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Costa Rica.

WHAT IMPRESSES YOU THE MOST ABOUT CRANE?
What impresses me most is that the essence of Crane is the same today as it was when I was  a student here. As I walk around the school today, I see improvements everywhere, such as more buildings, new technology, and enhanced instruction, but it still feels like the same nurturing, caring, and safe community to me now as it did so many years ago.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORK AT CRANE?
The opportunity to apply my nonprofit administration and development skills to an amazing school with incredible leadership.

MY MOTTO
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Konrad Kono

Music Teacher
kkono@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x323

EDUCATION
BM, University of California, Santa Barbara

JOINED CRANE
2007

MY JOY
As all of my students know, I love the music of the 80's, especially rock!

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Thanksgiving Feast

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
For me, the most satisfying moment is watching one of my students find the courage to perform onstage. Students are expected to participate in all kinds of public speaking and performance at Crane, and for some students it can start as a real challenge. With support from the adults and students around them, each student grows in their confidence and ability in singing, acting, and public speaking over the course of their time at Crane.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
Cate Hall

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
The wonderful teachers and beautiful green campus.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Orff Schulwerk workshops in San Francisco

Rhoda Lauten

Development Officer
rlauten@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x112

EDUCATION
BS Textiles, University of California, Davis

JOINED CRANE
2011

MY JOY
My kids live too far away and I miss them. Therefore, I take them with me everywhere.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The Development Office. Right out my window, I have a view of the mountains and blue sky.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I am proud to work at a school that offers such a rich pedagogy for its students. The quality of instruction here, and the thoughtfulness Crane’s teachers put in to both the content and the delivery of our curriculum, is inspiring. I am honored to work with my colleagues in development to raise the funds needed to support Crane’s mission and dreams.

Tray London

Lower School Art Teacher
tlondon@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x337

EDUCATION
BS Studio Art and Art Education, Teacher Certification, Skidmore College

JOINED CRANE
2016

MY JOY
I love being active and being outside. Hiking through the backcountry with everything I need on my back (including my watercolor toolkit, of course!) is one of my most favorite things to do.  

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
One of my most favorite times of year is when the fifth graders start to bring their independent art projects and presentations (i@pp) to life. The studio comes truly alive when it is full of artists deeply engaged in the creative process.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The Lower School Art Studio.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
We have a wonderful community of adults and children. My colleagues are talented, professional, passionate, kind, funny, supportive, and a joy to work with every day. We share a core belief that creativity is a crucial component of a young person’s education. And our Staffulty demonstrate this belief in their own lives – we have many amazing musicians, craftspeople, and artists on our staff.

MY MOTTO
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." --Scott Adams.

Lee Lopez

Second Grade Teacher
llopez@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x328

EDUCATION
BA English Literature, University of California Santa Barbara; Multiple Subject Credential, CLAD Certified

JOINED CRANE
2019

MY JOY
I love to sing! Singing has always been an artistic outlet for me. I have sung in various bands, I sing in the car, and in the classroom, too! It is a harmonious (and sometimes a humorous) way to offer students instructions during transition times.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Daily assembly - the entire school community coming together every single day sets an unparalleled tone of community, support, and togetherness that I look forward to every day!

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
Experiential Learning!
I hear. I forget.
I see. I remember.
I do. I understand -- Chinese Proverb

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
In the first few weeks of school when my students tell me all the ways to be kind to others at school!

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
It's OK to be Different by Todd Part

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The kindergarten resting swings. It's my favorite spot because the swings provide a calming, rocking motion for kindergarteners if they need a rest in the day.

Sarah Lopez

Technology Specialist & Laptop Coordinator
slopez@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x318

EDUCATION
BA Behavioral & Social Sciences, Indiana University; MA Technology Integration, K-12, Walden University

JOINED CRANE
2013

MY JOY
On the weekends, I love to work with tools and make things.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
Oak Tree Quad

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
There are so many opportunities for students to be on stage or alone in front of the spotlight in Cate Hall. Students announce, entertain, inform, and encourage the Crane community, and through these opportunities students gain confidence when standing up in front of an audience. It’s something unique to our school.

MY MOTTO
Try it; take the responsible risk!

Elizabeth Mangus

Registrar & Receptionist
emangus@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x101

JOINED CRANE
2018

MY JOY
My joy is working in my patio garden. I shower my plants with love and watch them grow - just like our children.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Spring Study Week

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I am impressed with how Staffulty consistently encourages one another to grow and to enrich our knowledge of teaching and caring for young people. I love being part of a school that acknowledges not only the academic and athletic development of its students, but also the social and emotional growth of each child.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS:
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Technical Theater Supervisor
jmitchell@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x355

EDUCATION
AS Show Production and Touring
BS Entertainment Business

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
I love production work in al forms and sharing my skills with the next generation. My favorite things in the world are mini golf, bowling, volunteering, video games and, of course, my dragon.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT ON THE CRANE CAMPUS?
The Oak Tree Quad! Whether gathering for an Assembly, putting on a show, or just meeting for lunch, the Oak Tree Quad is a wonderful, versatile, and welcoming location.

WHAT IMPRESSES YOU THE MOST ABOUT CRANE?
The open and welcoming attitude of all of the Staffulty! Every single staff member I have met has been helpful, kind, and amazing to work with.

MY MOTTO
Attitude equates to altitude.

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Upper School Learning Specialist
cneufeldt@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x356

EDUCATION
BA, Smith College
M.Ed, Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential and CLAD Certifications, UCSB

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
I love all aspects of gardening! From planting vegetables to building planter boxes to pruning trees to feeding the worms in my compost bin, I enthusiastically do it all! I took a gap year before college to work on several different family farms in New Zealand and learn more about small-scale agriculture. These days, I'm most interested in the ways we can use native plants to welcome more birds, lizards, and other fellow "locals" to our gardens.

WHAT IMPRESSES YOU THE MOST ABOUT CRANE?
Students are really seen and known at Crane - not just by their own teachers and friends, but by the whole community. I'm moved by the many ways that Staffulty go out of their way to get to know kids beyond grades and academics. There is a commitment to honoring each person's unique strengths at Crane, and a culture of warmth and playfulness that makes it a really wonderful place to work.

MY MOTTO
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

Karen Ohrn

Second Grade Teacher & Fellowship Program Co-Director
kohrn@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x329

EDUCATION
BA Psychology, North Park University; MAT, MST Credential, National Louis University

JOINED CRANE
2004

MY JOY
I enjoy solving puzzles of all kinds! I especially love chatting with friends and family and working on a jigsaw puzzle or crossword puzzle together. I find working on puzzles to be a great way to relax and keep my mind active!

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
A student, who was having a hard time reading, came running up to me and exclaimed, "I just finished the book!" He was so excited to have read his first book on his own. He had the biggest smile on his face. I knew he was on his way to becoming a life-long reader.

FUNNIEST CLASSROOM MEMORY
One day I accidentally told my class to sit on their desks. I meant to tell them to sit down at their seats, but I said “sit on your desks” instead. I was up at the board with my back turned to them and when I turned around the whole class was sitting on top of their desks. We all had a big laugh!

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Crane’s culture emphasizes inquiry and experiential learning. Drawing students in and giving them the opportunity to explore concepts is what makes teaching so exciting. Before it was a school, the Crane property was a lemon orchard. I think it is fitting that Crane is built on land that was growing fruit because our school is a wonderful place to grow.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Key to the Treasure by Peggy Parish

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Engineering Teacher
jpagano@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x341

EDUCATION
BA Early Childhood Education, Antioch University Santa Barbara
M.Ed Learning and Technology, Western Governors University

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
I love making homemade hard ciders. It's the perfect combination of science and creativity that allows all of my passions to come together. Since we live in a region with many diverse fruits, I try to incorporate unique flavors into my ciders like zapotes, passion fruit, and lychee.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO TEACH AT CRANE?
What most attracted me to Crane was the school's dedication to engineering and design. Not only do I get to teach in the amazing Design and Engineering Center, but I also feel the support of students, families, and Staffulty which makes my job super fun and enriching to everyone.

SHARE YOUR FUNNIEST CLASSROOM MOMENT?
Eighth grade students were working on a unit about sound, music, and rhythm. What better way to experience these concepts than by playing "Just Dance!" As my class practiced the moves to Britney Spears' latest hit, the Head of School walked in with a campus visitor.

MY MOTTO
Be 10% braver.
Sometimes the hardest part of trying something scary is just getting started. That extra 10% is usually the right push to get you going

Fabiana Pecanha

Accounts Manager
fpecanha@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x120

EDUCATION
BA Business Administration, Hotel Management Certificate 2008, Accounting Certificate 2015

JOINED CRANE
2018

MY JOY
I love camping. It is always an adventure.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Hot Lunch on Mondays and Fridays.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
Cate Hall

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
All Staffulty are busy with work, teaching and duties, but still happy to be here. Crane is a joy-filled environment. It has a very special feeling of community.

Kristen Peralta '96

Director of Marketing & Communications
kperalta@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x130

EDUCATION
BA Spanish, Bates College

JOINED CRANE
2015

MY JOY
Weaving is special to me because it is a relaxing activity that reminds me of my time living in Chile. It also represents my love for learning and the importance of finding balance in life, particularly between hectic daily life and moments of creative expression.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Eighth Grade Public Speaking series. When I was a young Crane student, I anxiously awaited the big eighth graders' speeches in assembly each week. When it was my turn to speak in front of the school, I remember carefully preparing for the big event, nervously presenting, and then the joy and relief I felt afterward. I remember how easy class presentations felt for me in high school and college because I had already experienced speaking in front of an even larger audience. Now back at Crane I have returned to being a spectator of eighth grade speeches, and I am even more impressed with the students' topic choices, preparation, and delivery. They are always teaching me something new.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I am most impressed by the school's dedication to fostering creative expression. The teachers and staff go out of their way to find opportunities, whether teaching or otherwise, for students to constantly learn in a fun, creative, and safe environment.

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Garden Educator
wrobins@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x346

EDUCATION
BA Aquatic Biology & Geography, UCSB
Nature Based Early Childhood Education Certificate, Antioch University SB

JOINED CRANE
2021

MY FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
No surprise, it is the garden.  It is such a peaceful place that has great views of the campus, cooling breezes through the oak trees, excellent birdwatching and lots of potential for growing beautiful flowers and delicious food.

MY FAVORITE TEACHING MOMENTS
I enjoy watching students lovingly create small bug habitats and nurture the creatures they collect. They get so excited finding beetles, roly-polies and worms, and they make such sweet little homes for the bugs. I also love every time when we harvest, prepare and consume freshly grown food. 

WHAT IMPRESSES ME ABOUT CRANE
The learning spaces blend in beautifully with the environment all around the Crane campus. There is intentional space for exploration, creativity, and passion throughout the school and grounds.

Suzanne Rossi

Lower School Physical Education Teacher 
srossi@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x334

EDUCATION
BS Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; MA Special Education, Teaching Credential, California Lutheran University

JOINED CRANE
1995

MY JOY
My chef’s hat is a treasured keepsake from a very memorable dinner in Florence, celebrating my daughter Lauren’s birthday. I love my family and sharing meals together.

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
Teaching new skills is always my highlight as the surprised look appears on the face of a kindergartener who puts jump-roping together for the first time.

FUNNIEST CLASSROOM MEMORY
I get to work every day out on the beautiful and sunny fields at Crane. My funniest moment is when I realize one of my students has quietly sat directly behind me, using me for shade!

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
One of the things I love about Crane is our Educator in Residence Program, where the school brings a professional to campus for a number of meetings with staff and faculty to allow us to focus on a particular issue. The year we focused on mindfulness was by far the most impactful for me, both professionally and personally.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Inch and Miles-The Journey to Success by John Wooden

MY MOTTO
Don’t forget the word "YET" when learning new skills.

2020-21-SantosIzabela-rigor

Upper School Math Teacher
isantos@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x339
 
EDUCATION
BS Physics, University of Nevada, Reno; MS Physics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
 
JOINED CRANE
2020

MY JOY
Having been born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I love going to the beach. In Rio, life happens at the beach. There’s everything: from volleyball to fresh coconut water (cut open right in front of you) and if you’re not prepared, don’t worry because vendors even walk by selling sunglasses! I just love relaxing on the sand and listening to the waves. I get the same feeling when I listen to Brazilian music like Tropicália, Bossa Nova, Samba, or MPB (Música Popular Brasileira).
 
MY MOTTO
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.” –Eckhart Tolle
 
WHY I CAME TO CRANE
I knew a couple of experienced teachers here whom I admired and respected as well as the administrative team. The community is supportive, generous, positive and professional—I wanted to be a part of it! I appreciate the attention to rigor and joy, the celebration and focus on each member of the community in assemblies, and the traditions like Monday/Friday hot lunches that form a welcoming environment.
 
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The grounds are beautifully maintained. My favorite at the moment is the side patio outside the upper school math classrooms—it’s a hidden gem, but then there are so many on campus!
 
BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Learning How to Learn: A Guide for Kids and Teens by Barbara Oakley, Alistair McConville, and Terrence Sejnowski. This book is based on one of the most popular courses of all time on Coursera (taken by more than 2 million students in more than 150 countries.)

2020-21-SantosIzabela-joy
2020-21SchmidtMark-rigor

Director of Finance and Operations
mschmidt@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x104

EDUCATION
BA, Williams College; MBA, Harvard University

JOINED CRANE
2020

MY JOY
Our golden retrievers.

MY MOTTO
"Just keep swimming"

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
The people.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The garden.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Always!
 

2020-21SchmidtMark-joy
Peggy Smith

Head of Upper School
psmith@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x114

EDUCATION
BA German and Comparative World Literature, Lake Forest College; MAT English, Brown University; EdD Educational Leadership, University of California Los Angeles

MY JOY
From following NFL games each week in the fall to cheering on Crane's co-ed flag football team in the spring, I love watching football. Although I haven't ever played the sport myself, perhaps there's a senior league out there that I can participate in once I retire from teaching!

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Field Day is my favorite. Our field is filled with kids and adults playing and enjoying time together, under a sunny blue sky. The tug-of-war mirrors the push and pull of the school year and signals the start of summer vacation.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The corner of the green top -- I can simultaneously watch games on all three courts and both fields from there. It’s wonderful to see all of our students engaging in athletics.

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
When my son became a kindergarten student here, I beheld the merriment and wonder he experienced each day at school. Crane is a joyful place to be a student, a parent, and a member of our staff. I love that our students are exposed to such a beautiful education here!

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
The dictionary

MY MOTTO
Participate, participate, participate!

Andrea Soto

Kindergarten Teacher
asoto@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x330

EDUCATION
BA, MST and CLAD Credentials, St. Mary’s College of California

JOINED CRANE
2011

MY JOY
This is my dog Chloe. She’s snuggly and stubborn, silly and loud… just like her Mama! We like to explore together on hikes and beach walks. We also like to cheer for the Cate Rams together at football and baseball games. I chose her to represent my joy because in a roundabout way, I have Crane to thank for bringing her into my life. I began dog sitting for a few different Crane families which eventually led me to connecting with and rescuing Chloe. Thank you, Crane!
 

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Anytime we can gather as a whole group is great. From regular assemblies to (what I call) our gratitude gathering where we all share a fancy lunch together in November. My very favorite, though, has to be Gama Lunch. The Gama Family has served and supported Crane school for many many years and the hours and effort they put into making lunch for the school is special. A homemade taco lunch made with love? Perfection!
 

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO TEACH AT CRANE?
I discovered Crane after meeting a handful of family friends who are all Crane alum. I knew I needed to learn more about the school that played a role in shaping them into such awesome friends.
 

SHARE YOUR FUNNIEST CLASSROOM MOMENT
Just one?! Impossible. The greatest joy of teaching Kindergarten is that there is laughter every day. It’s age appropriate for Kindergartners to be innocent, honest, and unfiltered and I LOVE that. 
 

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Upper School English Teacher
ktannous@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x325

EDUCATION
BA History, Middle Eastern Studies, Plan II, University of Texas at Austin
MS Education, Language Education, Indiana University, Bloomington

JOINED CRANE
2021

MY JOY 
I have always loved to unwind by pottering around the kitchen, but the pandemic took my love of baking to the next level. Before I knew it, I was making my own baguettes, pita bread, and showstopper cakes. Cookies, however, will always be my favorite baked good. Is there really anything better than the perfect cookie? Currently, a dear friend and I are working our way through Sarah Kieffer’s 100 Cookies. Our goal is to bake them all. It’s a phenomenal cookbook, and I can’t recommend it enough. (The Neapolitan cookies pictured here are recipe number 70). We only have 64 more recipes to go!  

MY FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
My favorite spot at Crane is the library. Stocked with current and classic reads, it’s selection never disappoints. The spirit of the library, however, is what makes it truly magical to me. Students exploring personal interests, building master creations with legos, pouring over a jigsaw puzzle, meeting with their peers to talk origami or Harry Potter—the library has something for everyone, and it feels like the lifeblood of Crane. 

MY ADVICE FOR STUDENTS
As a huge fan of Ted Lasso, if I could give my students one piece of advice, I’d borrow it from Ted: “Be curious, not judgmental.” I find curiosity to be one of the most important qualities in a human. Constantly looking to learn more and understand things from different perspectives will lead to a life of much depth and fulfillment. 
 
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I am so grateful to be a part of the Crane Staffulty. Every day, I am in awe of their spirit of teamwork, curiosity, and overwhelming professionalism. Crane is a truly special place. 

Elizabeth Teare

Upper School English Teacher 
eteare@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x335

EDUCATION
BA, MPhil, and PhD, English Language and Literature, Yale

JOINED CRANE
2009

MY JOY
I have been knitting since I was a child, when my great aunt taught me. I love all kinds of needlework, but knitting is my favorite. I love making things that are both beautiful and useful.

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
Every time an eighth grader walks off the Cate Hall stage after delivering their speech to the whole school, I share their surge of joy.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
Teachers at Crane really get to know all of their students. We are committed to figuring out what works for each individual, and to understanding and appreciating each students’ talents and interests.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
I appreciate Crane’s commitment to its teachers and to their teaching skills. I have gone on research trips to the American South and to England, attended two summer Institutes at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and participated in Responsive Classroom training. It’s a pleasure to bring back my new knowledge and ideas from these experiences and incorporate that learning in my curriculum.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
Anything by Jason Reynolds

MY MOTTO
"A bad first draft is a good start."

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Kindergarten Teacher
btrac@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x359

EDUCATION
BA in English, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
M.Ed and multiple-subject teaching credential, UCSB

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
One of my absolute favorite things to do is to go out to the desert, specifically Joshua Tree. I love waking up early for a desert sunrise with all of the pinks, yellows and oranges. My daughters have been climbing on the rocks since they were itty-bitty. It's so fun to watch their confidence grow as they climb higher each time. I'm holding a painting of Joshua Tree that my daughter, Sophie, did when she was in first grade! It's a great example of the rocks they like to climb. We also like finding our way through different slots in between the rocks, especially at Arch Rock. It's always an adventure!

WHAT IMPRESSES YOU THE MOST ABOUT CRANE?
The Staffulty impresses me the most! Everyone has such varied interests, hobbies, and talents. I'm really looking forward to being a part of this community and learning from everyone in both big and small ways.

MY MOTTO
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets you free. 

2020-21-StaffultyHeadshot-AijanSavannnah-rigor_

Teaching Fellow
cvilla@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x360

EDUCATION
BA Psychology, University of Redlands

JOINED CRANE
2022

MY JOY
I chose to share my love of traveling in my "joy" photo because my adventures have shaped a lot of the way I see the world. I love to explore and learn from people who live and learn differently from myself.

WHAT IMPRESSES ME THE MOST ABOUT CRANE?
What impresses me the most about Crane is everyone's commitment to welcoming and celebrating each other.

WHAT IS A FAVORITE BOOK TO RECOMMEND TO STUDENTS YOU TEACH?
I Am One: A Book of Action, by Susan Verde. The story encourages us to raise our voices with purpose, extend our hands with intention, and take the first step to start something beautiful.

MY MOTTO
"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." Malcolm X
I hope all students carry this message with them as they prepare to be our future leaders.

Joel Weiss

Head of School
jweiss@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x102

EDUCATION
BA, Swarthmore College; MEd, Harvard Graduate School of Education

JOINED CRANE
2000

MY JOY
Recently I have taken up blacksmithing. Working with my hands and making useful things has always been a passion of mine.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Milk & Cookies with the Head of School! On many Fridays I have a different grade join me in my office for a snack and to read books together. It’s a wonderful way for me to get to know every student at our school.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
There is so much about Crane that brings a smile to my face. Our students are getting a powerful education, grappling with important concepts in small class settings, learning to speak up for themselves and for others, participating and pushing themselves; at the same time, the environment is fun and kid-centered. Our Staffulty model creativity, kindness, and hard work. It’s no wonder our graduates go on to be successful in high school and beyond.

WHY I CAME TO CRANE
My educational philosophy has always centered on the idea of teaching the whole child, of fostering the head, the heart, and the hands of every student. From my first visit to Crane twenty years ago, I saw that same philosophy infused in everything happening on campus. Working alongside such extraordinary staff, parents, and board members towards a common goal has been more gratifying than words can say. Each morning as I walk across the Crane fields to work, I feel honored and lucky to be part of this community.

Debbie Williams

Director of Development
dwilliams@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x105

EDUCATION
BA History, Teaching Credential, University of California Santa Barbara

JOINED CRANE
1976

MY JOY
I LOVE to bake . . . some people read or watch TV at night; I like to bake and I like to bake specifically items that I can then turn around and give to others.

MY FAVORITE CRANE TRADITION
Daily assembly

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The Olive Tree Quad.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
The essence of Crane is our feeling of community. Seeing our alumni and past parents gather together demonstrates the depth of that feeling and its far-reaching affects in our lives. As parents and as teachers at Crane, we share the most formative and important years of a child’s life together, and work as team to help each child grow into an independent, confident, and capable young person.

MY MOTTO
Don't ever rest on your laurels; there is always room for improvement!

Terri Willis

Athletics Director & Upper School Physical Education Teacher 
twillis@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x343

EDUCATION
BS Health, Physical Fitness, and Education, California Polytechnic State University

JOINED CRANE
2001

MY JOY
Art has always been a hobby of mine. I like to draw, paint, use pastels, and build furniture.

BEST TEACHING MOMENT
I love when we have been working on a specific skill in PE and a student finally figures it out and is able to perform the skill with mastery. It is the most satisfying moment for a teacher to see a student achieve their goal.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
We do so many fun things in a year! Crane is a beautiful school with great people to work with.

MY MOTTO
Do what you love, and love what you do!

Adam Yates

Upper School Science Teacher & Fellowship Program Co-Director
ayates@craneschool.org
(805) 969-7732 x302

EDUCATION
BS Biology, Humboldt State University
Master of Arts in Teaching, Lewis and Clark College

JOINED CRANE
2019

MY JOY
I love sailing! Growing up here in Southern California has made me fall in love with the ocean. I have been staring at the Channel Islands off our coast since I was a kid, always wanting to explore them. Being on the water in the sailboat is really fun and being able to explore places like our local islands makes it that much sweeter.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CRANE
I love the joyful spirit of Crane. It was obvious to me on the first day that I set foot on the campus that this was a vibrant and exciting community to be a part of.

FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS
The garden! It is such a great place to explore and it is rich in opportunities to get your hands dirty and come face to face with the different aspects of science that we explore.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION FOR MY STUDENTS
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.

MY FAVORITE TEACHING MOMENT
I love to learn new things with my students by engaging in authentic scientific investigations. This year my students and I will study the water quality of our local creek next to campus using chemical analysis. We will use the knowledge we learn in class and apply it to the exploration of the health of our creek. What we find will undoubtedly lead us into deeper thought about water and our local environment.