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, as skipping over any of these distinct areas will have consequences as your child moves through his/her 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 2023-24 School Year

Sarah Lay, Transitional Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Lay holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Spanish from Sonoma State University where she also served as a Lab Research Technician and Supplemental Instructor, consulting to create study materials for college level physics course. Ms. Lay is a Naturalist, leading educational environmental courses and camp activities. Sarah has taught Kindergarten as well as Special Education for Grades 4 through 6.

Penny Buchignani, TK Assistant Teacher

Ms. Buchignani studied Early Childhood and Psychology at College of Marin and has been a Preschool Teacher for over 20 years in a variety of settings, large and small schools.

Nettie Faville, Class Teacher, Kindergarten / Grade One

Ms. Faville studied Early Childhood Education at College of Marin and has spent more than 30 years teaching preschool and kindergarten. Beyond the early childhood years, Nettie has extensive experience teaching and developing curriculum for older students that support children in academics, creative arts and social skills. Ms. Faville was the owner and program director of Kinder Nest, a private on-campus aftercare program serving 90 families with children aged kindergarten through fifth grade. As a lifelong educator, she is always contributing to the well-being of children and providing a developmentally appropriate environment that allows each child to succeed.

Monica Gonzalez, Class Teacher, Grade Two

Ms. Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Spanish from UC Santa Barbara, and completing her Master of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. Monica has been a Program Supervisor at Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN), teaching classes in Cooking, Science, Math, Computers, Dance, Reading, Arts, and Life Skills. She has also taught math and language arts skills classes, served as student aide, and substitute teacher.

Catherine Cresalia, Class Teacher, Grade Three

Catherine Cresalia holds a degree from California Polytechnic State University where she majored in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration and raced in the 2010 Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals for Cal Poly! Ms. Cresalia has studied Universal Design for Learning methodology and the Making Math Real curriculum, has worked as a baker, crab boat deckhand and operations officer for food and environmental non-profits before coming to teaching. Catherine is a nature enthusiast, loves to cook and bake, is currently writing a book for highly sensitive children and is learning to play the mandolin.

Rod Septka, Class Teacher, Grade Four and Five

Mr. Septka holds a Bachelor of Arts, Theater Arts from Moorhead State University, a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University, Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing from Mills College, a California Preliminary Administration Credential, and Certificate of Global Competence from Teachers College Columbia University. He was Marin County Teacher of the Year in 2004 and was appointed by Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Education to the Advisory Board of California Global Education Project. Rod has been a public and private school classroom teacher, literacy coach, global education coordinator/coach, school district education leader, and Bay Area Writing Project Teacher Consultant at University of California, Berkeley.

Chris Collins, Music Teacher

Mr. Collins studied music at UC Santa Cruz and College of Marin and has been teaching private guitar, piano, bass, and ukulele lessons for 30 years in the Bay Area, and served as musical director for student vocal workshops. Chris is a touring musician, playing guitar and keyboard for Super Diamond, the Neil Diamond Tribute. His original compositions, recordings and productions have been credited in feature films (David Fincher’s Gone Girl), international ad campaigns (Coca-Cola, IKEA , Adidas) and international recording artists (Journey’s Neal Schon, Talking Heads’ David Byrne “True Stories”) Chris has performed for numerous international live acts such as Neal Schon’s Journey Through Time, Big Brother and The Holding Company and Shana Morrison.

Alan Gulick, Movement / PE Teacher, Track and Field, Cross Country, Ping Pong and Golf Coach

Mr. Gulick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Physical Education) from Sonoma State University, and CBEST Certified California Basic Education Skills Test (Math, English, and Writing), along with a California Youth Soccer Organization National ‘D’ Coaching Certificate, a ITTF Level 1 Certified Coach with the International Table Tennis Federation. Alan has taught PE in grades K-5, facilitated Ropes Course, and coached K-12 soccer, badminton, and table tennis. In addition to coaching and teaching, he has USATT Master Level Rating and worked as a Professional ping pong player putting on exhibition matches, tournaments and for kids or corporate events. Alan lives with his family in a rural setting where he built their home and among the latest sports he enjoys are fishing and dirt bikes.

Rachel Rubinstein, Director of Education; Fine Arts and Practical Arts Teacher.

Ms. Rubinstein holds a Bachelors Degree in Women and Gender studies from the University of Redlands and her Masters 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, Arts and Handwork. 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.

Sylvia Verange, Middle School Humanities and Math Teacher

Ms. Verange holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from University of Oregon, and studied at UCLA and UC Berkeley, before pursuing special studies at the Instituto de Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico while she lived and worked in Central and South America. Sylvia founded Tutoring for Success in 1986 and has been teaching in all subjects from Algebra to Latin to SAT prep for primarily middle and high school students. Ms. Verange was awarded ‘Best Educator in Marin’ in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022!  Sylvia is also an accomplished artist, Verange Arts, presenting solo and group exhibitions since 1991.

In 1984, Sylvia Verange set off on a 500 mile journey across the Himalayas of Nepal. Hiking through the breathtaking scenery, remote mountain villages, and treacherous conditions, Verange’s book Two Breaths, One Step lays out both a historical snapshot of the region, as well as an epic travelogue of a once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Ezequiel Mosella, Ph.D., Middle School Physics and Chemistry Teacher – Guest Professor

Dr. Morsella is a Professor of Neuroscience at San Francisco State University and Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. A theoretician and experimentalist in neuroscience, Ezequiel Morsella received his Ph.D. at Columbia University (2002) and carried out his postdoctoral training (2003 – 2007) at Yale University. Dr. Morsella is the lead author of Oxford Handbook of Human Action. His research has appeared in journals such as Psychological Review, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Neurocase, Consciousness and Cognition, Experimental Brain Research, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. He has served as an editorial reviewer for many journals, including Science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychological Review; Cognition, Emotion, and Journal of Experimental Psychology. Dr. Morsella also writes a neuroscience blog, Consciousness and the Brain. His theory has appeared in Psychological Review and Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Since his pre-college days, he has been focusing on the contrast between the conscious (e.g., urges and voluntary action) and unconscious brain mechanisms in human action control.

Claudia Moutray, Ph.D., Middle School English and Humanities Teacher

Dr. Moutray received her Ph.D. and Masters in Philosophy and Religion from California Institute of Integral Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Oklahoma State University.   Dr. Moutray served as lecturer at Santa Clara University, and continues to be the Aquatics Program Manager at the Boys & Girls Club in San Francisco. Throughout her career Claudia has been an Associate Producer and Editor for ABC News, Content and Video producer for local television, and worked as Administrative Assistant in UCSF Sports medicine clinic.

Susannah Slocum, Middle School Science Teacher

Ms. Slocum holds a Certificate in Financial Technology from UC Berkeley, and a BA in Mathematics from Mills College in Oakland, CA. She also has an Airframe and Powerplant License. Ms. Slocum has served as Head of Math Department & Teacher at the middle and high school level, worked as an aircraft mechanic for emergency helicopter and airplane fleet at Reach Air Medical Services and managed a ground crew at an Arbor and Property management company.

Amelia Harvey, Aftercare Teacher

Ms. Harvey holds a Bachelors in English Literature from Whittier College, and currently serves as Chief Operations Officer of Neighborhood Garden Initiative, a nonprofit providing sustainable gardens for neighborhoods and schools. She has been a Special Education Instructional Assistant and Kindergarten Assistant in the local elementary schools for over 10 years and worked as Lead Outdoor Instructor at summer camps.  

Stephanie Purcell, Admin Support and Library Manager

Ms. Purcell holds a Bachelor Degree in Sociology from Sonoma State University. She has worked as office manager for large tech firms, finance companies and tutoring companies. Stephanie also teaches chess and spin cycling in the community.

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

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