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OUR TEAM

Teachers are the heart of our community. As mentors they mirror and model the core values of our school by showing curiosity, critical thinking, intentionality, open dialogue and good humor.  Our teachers seek to recognize and honor the gifts each student brings to the table, as they strive to challenge them to new levels of mastery, and guide them in their journey to be engaged learners, self-advocates, and stewards of their natural environment.

 

OUR HEAD OF SCHOOL

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Wendy Xa

Founding Head of School

Neuroscientist. Nature Enthusiast. Quadrilingual. Mom.

 

After founding Presidio Knolls, the award-winning private Mandarin-immersion school in San Francisco, Wendy had a vision for a pioneering school that could combine language immersion, nature-based education, and social-emotional learning into a unified program. As we enter our fifth year in operations, Terra Marin is the exemplification of this vision.

 

OUR Preschool TEACHERS

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Tianxing Yao
TK Mandarin Preschool
Talented poet. Amusement park enthusiast.

M.A. in Education from University of San Francisco. B.A. in electric engineering from Xi’ an Shiyou University in China. 7 years of teaching experience.                                                                                                  

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Patricia Etchekan

Mandarin Preschool

Quadrilingual. Singer.

B.S. in Preschool Education at Inner Mongolia Normal University and M.A. in Chinese Language & Literature at Inner Mongolia University, China. 4 years of preschool teaching experience. Fluent in Mandarin, French, and English. Proficient in Spanish.

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Shiying Phoebe Sun
Mandarin Preschool 
Creative. Friendly.Traveler.

M.A. in Education from the University of San Francisco. B.A. in both English and Business Administration. 7 years of teaching experience. 

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Suyi (Susan) Liu, Ph.D., M.Ed
Mandarin Preschool 
Forward-thinking and always prepared. Dedicated. 

Ph.D. in Language Studies at De La Salle University, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education at University of Houston, TX.  B.A. in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays State University in KS. B.A. in English at Zhengzhou University. 11 years of experience with PK-4th grade children.

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Yiyan Cheng
Mandarin Preschool 
Loves to cook. Born in Southern China.

Received a Bachelor of Science degree in Childhood Education with a concentration in English at St. John's University. Received a Master of Arts in Teaching Modern Foreign Language with a concentration in Mandarin from Boston University.

OUR ARTS, EARTH eDUCATION, & PE teachers

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Chloe Jean Bermudez
PK-8th Grade Music

R&B musician and composer. Nature enthusiast. Mother of 2.

UC Berkeley graduate & accomplished musician. 5+ years teaching experience in music and the arts.

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Whitney Weber
Art Teacher, Atelierista

Kayaker. D&D player. Renaissance Faire Goer. 

BFA Visual Development & Animation Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Experience with Textile Arts/ Metal Arts • Paper Crafting • Sculpting/ Fabrication Arts • Digital & Traditional Illustration • Stopmotion Animation • Pottery.

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Aidan Gavet
Drama & Safety Director
Actor. Playwright. Director. Music video producer. Hairdo freestyler.

Over 10 years of teaching experience in drama and the arts.

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Alex Michel
Earth Education Director
Tuba player. Fire fighter. Trilingual.
Double Major with B.S. in Environment Science/Society and B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature from UC Berkeley with a minor in Education.
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Alek Cordeiro
PK-8th Grade Physical Education
Growth Mindset, Goal-Oriented.
B.A in Psychology at Sonoma State University. 7 years experience with ages 18 months to 18 years. Will coach skills in soccer, basketball, football, volleyball, and track and field.
 

Our ADMINISTRATORS & Staff

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Shauna Sullivan

Assistant Head of School
Cat & child whisperer. Math wiz, Avid reader and book collector. Proud grandmother.

B.A. and M.A. in Education with a focus in mathematics from SFSU.  20+ years classroom experience. Cat and children whisperer. Just became a grandmother for the 2nd time.

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Johanna Cervantes

Admissions

Marathon runner. Stand up comedian. Super organized.

BA in Environmental Studies and Theology & Religious Studies from USF.  Fluent in English and Spanish. 

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Juan Rebuffo

Marketing

Pop Culture Enthusiast. Designer. East-Coaster turned West Coast.

B.S. in Marketing & Business Entertainment, Music, and Technology from NYU Stern. Jack of all trades, master of some. Fluent in English & Spanish.

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Shruti Dajani
Finance
Financier. Mother of two. Epicure.

Creative, innovative, and a visionary. Born in Africa, lived in Australia, and married in America. 

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Rebecca Lewis
Front Desk/Operations
Lover of her dog, Hermione.Tough Mudderer.

B.S. in Early Child Development from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Previously, 4 years as an administrator at a Veterinary hospital and 13 years as a preschool teacher.

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Chloe Lechuga
SEL Consultant
Ocean lover. Epicure and culinarian.

B.A. in Human Development and Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University. 8 years of teaching experience with at-risk youth. M.A. in Social and Emotional Learning.

 
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Keith Johnstone
Human Resources
Loves dogs, people, and most living things.

B.S. in History at USM. Post-Grad in Educational Psychology with Behavior Modification Emphasis at Georgia State U. 50 Years as a Human Resource Director at Hilton, Sheraton, and Marriott Hotels.

Melody Hitt
Philanthropy
Avid backpacker and have helped identify several species of fungi.

MS in Education from SFSU and BS in Organizational Leadership from California Lutheran University.  Melody brings over 20 years of Contracts and Grant Administration to our school. Being an educator themselves, Melody understands the importance of funding collaboration, and how to meet the needs of the students, faculty, and school.

Michael Pastor
Bus Driver - Marin
Served in the Navy, loving father.

San Francisco native. Punctual, 17 years as a bus driver. Previously, served as a building and property manager.

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Melvin Watson
Bus Driver - San Francisco
Loves bikes, father of four.

Born in Galveston, TX.  Previously operated a bike shop, spent 22 years as a building manager in Presidio, and worked a few years at another K8 school in SF.

Enhui Luo
Custodian
Loves seafood and being a grandfather.

B.A. in Mechanical Engineering at Yingkou University and worked 16 years as a mechanical engineer, designing products that help clear water pollution. Grew up in Yingkou, China, which is near North Korea and is known for its fresh seafood.

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS & ADVISORS

Wendy Xa, Board President
Simona Chongo, Board Member
Levi Leavitt, Board Member
Jen Guittard, Board Member & Advisor
Jane Camblin, Advisor
John Gunnarson, Advisor