Meet the Faculty

Our Faculty

Caulbridge School recognizes the pressing need to build a strong foundation that naturally supports child development and learning. We work balance a child’s sensory-motor, social-emotional and academic development because to skip over any of these distinct areas will have consequences as your child moves through their school years.

Our faculty team has extensive training and expertise in:

  • Neuroscience and Neurobiology of How Children Learn
  • Healthy Child Development
  • Sensory Motor and Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Learning Styles and Differences
  • Academic Assessment and Remediation
  • Developmental Movement
  • Environmental Sciences and Nature-Based Education
  • Social-Emotional Development
  • Mindfulness Practices

Meet our Faculty team for the 2020-21 School Year

Rachel Rubinstein, Director of Education

Ms. Rubinstein holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Women and Gender studies from the University of Redlands and her Master’s Degree in Humanities at Dominican University of California where her culminating project was the development of curriculum for adolescent girls coming of age. Rachel has been a TK/Kindergarten teacher, Grades One and Two class teacher and taught Music, Art and Spanish for Grades One through Six. She also created Girls Time, a class for middle school girls. Rachel has completed extensive professional development training in Making Math Real, SIPPS Language Arts, Being a Reader, Being a Writer, Curriculum Development and Student Assessments, and is a trained Mindfulness Educator. Ms. Rubinstein is a birth doula and certified yoga teacher and founder of Rise Parenting - A resource for parents: before kids, during pregnancy, and through the elementary years. Rachel enjoys travel, yoga, camping and rock climbing.

Danielle Gilmore, Transitional Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Gilmore received her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Music Education and Master’s in Theoretical Studies from the New England Conservatory, intending to teach music theory at the college level. While pursuing her Master’s she took a summer job at a preschool and found her true passion in early childhood. Danielle has taught Middle School music, and for the past five years has been a Preschool and Kindergarten teacher. Ms. Gilmore brings a wealth of experience using experiential learning, natural based learning and developmental based play. Danielle is an avid gardener and loves building new child-friendly outdoor spaces.

Laura Maher, Transitional Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Ms. Maher holds a Master’s Degree in Integral Psychology and under-graduate degrees Business Administration, Humanities and Early Childhood Education. After twenty plus years as a Financial Controller and HR Director, Laura shifted her focus to work with young children, primarily in preschool settings, receiving her Program Director and Site Supervisor credentials for Early Childhood Education. Ms. Maher also has extensive training and certifications in specialty areas such as Mindfulness, Sand play, Music and Expressive Arts. She enjoys traveling, gardening, spending time in nature, and is a gourmet cook. 

Nori Rupp, Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Rupp has a degree in Communications and Cultural Organizations from VJRKTF College in Hungary where she grew up. Nori worked as an Au Pair and child care provider, as well as held various administrative roles, and assisted in the classrooms at her local school district. Here at Caulbridge, she has been the Assistant Kindergarten Teacher as well as Math and Language Arts skills groups for Kindergarten, Grades One and Two and this year serves as Kindergarten Teacher and continues to teach Math and Language Arts skills class for Kindergarten and the Grades. Ms. Rupp is creative when developing student activities and is known for her engaging class projects that support the thematic units being taught.

Paula Strand, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Ms. Strand holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry and Physics secondary education from the University of Minnesota and has taught high school chemistry, physics and biology. She worked as a substitute teacher while she traveled the United States with her Naval Aviator husband and their children. Paula has been a life-long community leader and volunteer. She served on several Boards in her church, youth organizations and Redwood High School Foundation. She has been a Scout leader, Hall Middle School, Grad Night committee, and was Volunteer of the Year at Redwood High School in 2018. Paula enjoys hiking, reading, piano and adult community education classes

Maddie Brown, Class Teacher, Grade One

Ms. Brown recently completed her California Teaching Credential coursework requirements and has previously worked as an instructional assistant for students with diverse learning styles. Maddie is the owner and lead teacher of Ventures Outdoor Education and has developed a variety of classes including nature art, wilderness skills, movement, communication, geocaching, botany and geography. She has also taken groups of students on backpacking trips and personal challenge adventures. Ms. Brown taught outdoor kindergarten as a Tinkergarten Leader; she taught Martial Arts in a preschool setting as well as worked as Youth Program Manager and private lessons instructor in a Karate Academy. Maddie is an avid nature lover, always exploring new trails and ecosystems.

Clare Traub, Class Teacher. Grade Two

Ms. Traub studied at both Oxford and Exeter Universities in England, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and French with an emphasis on child development and language learning. She then completed several years of intensive training in embodied learning, somatic education, and art therapy at the Tamalpa Institute. Clare has been a Kindergarten teacher, Mindfulness teacher and Independent Study teacher where she incorporated learning strategies tailored to each student. Fostering a child’s academic, sensory motor and social emotional learning has been a focused priority while teaching in a variety of settings throughout her career.  Clare enjoys nature, hikes and time with her family.  

Laura Hamblett, Faculty Chair and Class Teacher, Grade Three

Ms. Hamblett holds a K-12 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Dominican University, and Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in both Spanish and History with an emphasis in Latin American Studies. Laura has taught in preschool, kindergarten and the elementary grades for about 15 years, along with serving as an aid for students with learning challenges and special needs within an inclusive classroom. Ms. Hamblett was nominated by the parent community at Reed School District for the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Education Award, citing her exceptional classroom demeanor and relationship to the students. Laura and her family live in a rural setting where they enjoy 16 pets, including fish, dogs, rabbits, and the word is they are adopting more!

Announcing soon, Class Teacher. Grade Four

Announcing soon, Class Teacher. Grade Five

Sarah Thacher, Class Teacher, Grade Six

Ms. Thacher holds a Master’s Degree in Natural Science Education and University of Wyoming and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from New York University. Sarah taught PreK through undergraduate students at the Teton Science School in Wyoming; She developed and co-taught undergraduate academic field courses on Restoration Ecology (3 credits) and Human-Land Relationships (15 credits). Ms. Thacher created and tested a garden-based science curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. She is a UC Certified Naturalist and Wilderness First Responder. In her early career, Sarah worked as a farmer, learning many aspects of organic farming and can even drive a tractor. Having grown up in Northern Marin, Sarah is familiar with the ecosystems of the area and eager to discover our expansive nature campus with creeks and trails to explore and restore.

Tess Rubinstein, Art Teacher

Ms. Rubinstein is a multidisciplinary artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Pacific Northwest Collage of Art with a focus in illustration and printmaking; and at University of Vermont had an emphasis on Environmental Studies. As a freelance artist, her clients include UCSF Medical Center, Corporate Accountability, Oregon Humanities and Wildcraft Studio School, as well as several solo art exhibitions. Tess has taught textile arts, design and processes of printing to graduate and undergraduate students. Ms. Rubinstein has been an Artist in Residence at Google, KALA Art Institute and now, the first Artist in Residence at Caulbridge School. Growing up on Mt. Tam, Tess appreciates the hiking and beautiful nature of this area.

Danielle Gilmore, Gardening Teacher

Ms. Gilmore has experience in developing a school garden and edible gardens where children love to eat what they grow, even Kale. She loves to cook with students and help them understand where their food comes from. Danielle enjoys teaching the essentials of gardening, plant cycles and preparing the soil. Ms. Gilmore has been instrumental in the creation of outdoor play areas that engage a child’s imagination.

Announcing soon, Movement / Games / PE Teacher

Kelsie Pombo, Wilderness Day Teacher

Ms. Pombo grew up on a farm in the San Joaquin River Delta, climbing trees, catching frogs, and tending to sheep and goats. She studied biology at Stanford University, where she had the opportunity to live and study in the Peruvian Amazon, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Monterey Bay. After college, Kelsie served in the Peace Corps in a rural community in Panama, where she supported environmental education, youth and women’s empowerment, and sexual health education. Later, Kelsie worked for the San Joaquin County Office of Education and started the MEANDER field studies program and local SLEWS program. She is a certified Permaculture Designer and California naturalist. Kelsie is a second-year participant in the Weaving Earth Immersion program. On Wilderness Days, Ms. Pombo teaches animal tracking, primitive skills, plant identification, habitats restoration, fire building, knife safety, and wilderness crafts. Ms. Pombo is the perfect guide for our students as they spend the entire day each month exploring the natural world, learning new skills, having fun and gaining confidence in their abilities.

Candice McGee, Aftercare Teacher

Ms. McGee has enjoyed a professional career at San Jose State University’s Martin Luther King Jr Library for fifteen years where she managed the operation of the exhibition galleries. Candice was responsible for coordinating space for over 1,000 events a year in galleries that are booked out for three years. Prior to that she was a teaching assistant at a preschool in the Bay Area. Recently semi-retired, Candice moved to Marin to be near her new grandson.

Derek Rubinstein, Psy.D., School Psychologist

Bringing over 14 years of education and training in the mental health field, Dr. Rubinstein has been dedicated to learning the most effective approaches for helping children, adolescents, and families get the support they need to overcome challenges and thrive. Dr. Rubinstein received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, a holistic practice-focused program that combines the latest scientific research with the world’s great wisdom traditions. He has worked as an autism clinician and researcher, a therapist at San Rafael High School, and has provided therapy and psycho-educational assessments at three community mental health clinics in San Francisco. Dr. Rubinstein has also published research on the development and implementation of school-based social clubs for kids on the autism spectrum, animal-assisted group therapy for adults, and his doctoral thesis was on the benefits of learning and practicing mindfulness for adolescents. Outside his role as a psychologist, Dr. Rubinstein has worked as a youth mentor, camp counselor, and has been an active volunteer in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s family program. He also enjoys photography and being in the great outdoors rock climbing, camping, hiking, and skiing.

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Contact Info

One St. Vincent Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
Phone: (415) 481-1243

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