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

Faculty Bios for all grades, TK -  6th for the 2020-21 School Year coming soon!

Rachel Rubinstein, Director of Education

Ms. Rubinstein completed her 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.

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.

Danielle Gilmore, 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.

Daedra Ackerman, Assistant Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Ackerman holds Bachelor of Science Degrees in both Psychology and Exercise Science, graduating magna Cum Laude from Rocky Mountain College in Montana. While in Montana, Daedra worked for three years as a Registered Behavior Technician using Applied Behavior Analysis practices in pediatric clinical settings. Ms. Ackerman has extensive training and experience with children of varying developmental and learning differences and needs. She enjoys traveling, gardening, spending time in nature, and exploring her new home here in the North Bay.

Laura Hamblett, Class Teacher, Grade One

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!

Marigold Birch, Class Teacher, Grades Two and Three, Long-Term Sub

Ms. Birch has taught bilingual creative arts, Spanish, music, and STEM classes to children in Preschool through High School, and has tutored students to prepare for private school entrance exams. Marigold began her studies as a Pre-Med student balanced with an English and Persuasive Speaking emphasis. She has studied cognitive development through movement, lesson planning and curriculum writing, theater and performance arts, and currently pursuing a California Multi-subject Teaching Credential. Marigold studied Art in London as well as Natural Medicine and Art in the Amazon Region of Peru where she taught English and Art in North Peru, reintroducing indigenous processes for textiles, ceramic sculpting and functional art. She is interested in the fiber arts and has managed a high-end natural fiber boutique specializing in fair-trade hand-made textile art from various indigenous locations.

Laura Maher, Skills group Teacher and 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. 

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.

Marigold Birch, Movement / Games / PE Teacher

Ms. Birch is a certified instructor in a science-based cognitive movement method, using developmental movement that supports the nervous system, increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain and respiratory system, and strengthens the body’s core, connectivity and alignment. Marigold has taught dance, yoga, music and theater and was an Instructional Assistant for Anatomical and Physiological Education. Ms. Birch enjoys teaching activities that foster healthy movement of the body and enhance social development, while practicing new skills and having fun!

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.

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 12 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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