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 2021-22 School Year

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, Transitional Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Strand holds a Bachelor 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.

Declan Santoyo, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Mr. Santoyo is continuing toward his Master’s Degree, majoring in Psychology. Declan has worked as a music teaching assistant and ESL English teaching assistant. He is fluent in Spanish, an avid user and troubleshooter with computers, and enjoys guitar, ukulele, piano, singing, drawing, music and animals.

Nettie Faville, Class Teacher, 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.

Elena Parmenter, Class Teacher, Grade Two

Ms. Parmenter received her Biological Composite Teaching Credential from Brigham Young University then received additional training in the Making Math Real curriculum. Elena has been a Middle and High School Science and Health teacher, Homeschool teacher and Wildlife educator where she handled snakes, large lizards, roaches and insects while teaching the proper care when encountering wildlife in their natural habitats. Ms. Parmenter has taught in a variety of settings including public, private, homeschool, camps and life science museum courses. She has also been a Cub Scout Den Leader, and Teen Girls Youth Group Leader and Confidence Course Leader. Elena enjoys nature hikes, travel and time with her family.

Haley Echevarria, Class Teacher, Grades Two / Three Combined Class

Ms. Echevarria holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Elementary Education from Texas A&M University, along with her English as a Second Language Supplemental Certification. Haley has taught grades 1 through 4 in public school environments, as well as served as the Cohort Lead/Historian for Mexico Global Outreach, and the Curriculum Director/Vice President of Aggies Read at Texas A&M. Ms. Echevarria has recently moved to the North Bay where she enjoys the beautiful weather, nature and the plentiful cultural offerings in the area.

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.

Laura Hamblett, Grades Faculty Chair and Class Teacher, Grade Four

Ms. Hamblett holds a K-12 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Dominican University, and Bachelor 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!

Jessica Becker, Class Teacher, Grade Five

Ms. Becker holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and a Master of Arts degree in both Teaching, and Library and Information Sciences. She holds a single subject credential in Biology, and Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development. Jessica presented at The Future of Media in Children’s Education at Stanford, has worked as middle school librarian and STEM technology teacher in elementary and middle school grades. She has been a Middle School Science teacher, as well as curriculum design inclusive of all learners. Jessica enjoys gardening, travel, time in nature, art projects, playing board games and building Legos with her children.

Gabrielle Greenfield, Art Teacher and Wilderness Day Teacher

Ms. Greenfield holds Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Plant Science from the University of Maryland-College Park. Gabrielle is also an experienced Playwright, Naturalist and Environmental Educator, Storyteller and Puppeteer, and certified in Wilderness First Aid. She has been a beekeeper apprentice and farmer/educator, and currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Puppetry Guild. Ms. Greenfield has taught both fine arts and practical arts, along with Language Arts to elementary students of all ages. In her free time, Gabrielle enjoys nature and arts of all kinds!

Michael Rennie, Music Teacher, Ensemble and Choral Director

Mr. Rennie was born in Cape Town, South Africa, holds a Bachelor of Arts and Multimedia diploma, and has had a dynamic career as a performer, composer, producer and educator. Michael was on the string faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Connecticut School of Music as well as directed an international non-profit, Musicians for World Harmony. He worked directly with the Leadership and Capacity Development Team at the United Nations, developing and seeking funding for music healing projects in various African countries. As a commercial composer, Michael produced and composed music for various music production studios in NY, Toronto, Los Angeles, and South Africa. He also spent more than a decade touring and recording with his bands, Sons of Trout and Mikanic. They were signed to Gallo Records (Warner Music) and released several albums. Currently Mike plays fiddle with two great local Marin bands and enjoys living on the warmer side of Marin with his wife and their two children.

Doug Miller-Fleig, Gardening and Ecoliteracy Teacher

Mr. Miller-Fleig holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has extensive training in Acupuncture and Herbology, Permaculture design and maintenance, Organic and Biodynamic farming. Doug has taught all areas of farm life including gardening, cooking farm produce, making cheese, fermenting vegetables and tending the animals. He has facilitated an art therapy program and tutored children with intellectual and physical disabilities in New York; has been a farmer in a cultural exchange program in Turkey; taught outdoor education and science in New England and developed a Permaculture for Kids Program here in the North Bay. In addition to teaching, Doug consults in bioremediation and mycoremediation, orchard care and backyard livestock and gardens. Mr. Miller-Fleig and his family enjoy all things nature.

Jeni Harrison, Movement / PE Teacher

Ms. Harrison holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management from Southern New Hampshire University, graduating with honors: Cum Laude. Jeni has taught elementary and middle school PE, as well as led camps and coached youth and adult sports teams. She has served as Head Coach of community youth soccer, Regional Team Leader for the U.S. Youth Soccer-Olympic Development Program, State Team Administrator for the Cal North-Olympic Development Program, and coached Marin Woman’s Soccer League and Golden Gate Women’s Soccer League.

Lucas Degiulio, Ceramics, Practical Arts, and Movement / PE Teacher

Mr. Degiulio holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Lucas has taught art, environmental sciences, games/movement for children in Kindergarten through Middle School. He has served as a travel guide and lead expeditions to national parks, historical sites, organic farms and natural landmarks through the country. In addition to teaching studio art, Mr. Degiulio is an accomplished artist himself, winning the Headlands Center for the Arts 2017-18 Tournesol Award which recognizes one local painter each year in the Bay Area. Lucas enjoys backpacking, hiking, nature, and the arts.

Joe Pestana, Practical Arts, Woodworking Teacher

Mr. Pestana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Holistic Education from Goddard College and is a Literacy Specialist, Mindfulness Teacher and certified Naturalist. Joe has taught reading in grades K through 5, along with wilderness skills, earth education and music to elementary students along with coached skiing to teens in high mountain environments. Mr. Pestana enjoys woodworking, printmaking, wildcrafting, and time in nature.

Stephanie Romano, Middle School Math and Science Teacher

Ms. Romano holds a Bachelor of Science from Portland State University with a double major in Geology, Earth Sciences and Physics. Stephanie is also a certified Wilderness First Responder, Restorative Justice Facilitator, certified Yoga Teacher and Naturalist ll. She has brought the Next Generation Science Standards to outdoor education, while facilitating community building with students. Ms. Romano has taught all grades, K through 12 in various nature and classroom settings. Stephanie enjoys cooking, nature, music and long solo hikes.

Krista Manrique, Middle School Language Arts Teacher

Ms. Manrique holds a Master’s in Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of North Carolina, and a Stegner Fellow in Fiction Writing at Stanford University. While a Professor at Stanford, Krista led creative writing workshops in Fiction and Autobiographical Writing, Intensive Craft Study and Fairy Tales Across Time and Cultures. She has taught in elementary, high school, college and adult education settings, including courses to cultivate creative thinking, original thought and self-critique of work.

An accomplished writer, Ms. Manrique has short stories published in Tin House Magazine, Lost, and The Cellar Door.

Middle School Humanities Teacher – Coming Soon

Reily Urban, School Librarian

Ms. Urban holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Design Institute of San Diego, and has worked in the design, communications, marketing and event production in the business world before coming to education through children’s literature. At Book Passages, the Bay Area Independent Bookstores, Reily worked with parents and volunteers to host book fairs in the local schools. In addition to revitalizing a local public school library, Ms. Urban taught weekly library classes using Reader’s Workshop, along with teaching researching skills with a special emphasis on the Dewey Decimal system. When not in the children’s library Reily enjoys time with her family and reading grown up books!

Maddie Brown, Wilderness Day & Camp Director

Ms. Brown taught First Grade here at Caulbridge School before shifting to the role of Wilderness Day Teacher and Camp Director. Maddie 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.

Derek Rubinstein, Psy.D., School Psychologist

Bringing over 16 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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