Our faculty & staff
in alphabetical order
Drawing on his background in Design Thinking, James has built a STEM program at NBA that is an engineering based program designed to cultivate inventiveness and teamwork skills. Prior to NBA, he taught a similar program at Cascade Canyon school in Fairfax. He first taught at Bayside STEM Academy in San Mateo. During his tenure he taught science, programming, robotics, and 3-D printing. James trained in design thinking at Stanford University's "D school" where he developed curriculum for teaching design thinking using technology. James has a BS in life science from Penn State University and holds credentials for teaching biology and chemistry.
5th Grade Head Teacher
Jen joins North Bridge community from Star Academy, where she served for more than thirteen years as a Multisensory Language Arts Specialist, Adaptive Technology Assistant, and Classroom Teacher. She also taught Music/Drama, Yearbook, and Digital Arts. Jen also spearheaded and led a school-wide creative writing and publishing program. Before her tenure at Star Academy, Jen was a Clinician, Consultant, and Associate Clinical Director of Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes Clinic (Marin). When she’s not teaching, singing, dancing, writing, or otherwise creating something, She can be spotted seaside, or searching the sky for eclipses, comets, and meteor showers. She lives in San Francisco with her wife, teenage twins, and two furkids.
Head of School
Annie has led small, private schools for students who learn differently for the past 20+ years. Annie believes strongly in a strengths-based approach to education and that all children learn best with multi-sensory, direct instruction. It is her passion to lead school communities, holding collaboration, authenticity, diversity, and transparency as her highest ideals. Annie holds a BS in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MS in Clinical Psychology from San Francisco State University. When not at school, Annie enjoys spending time with her two children, Ella and Chloe, and her partner, Tara. She loves walking on the beach, looking for sand dollars and sea glass, playing board games and bingo, riding her bike, and building Legos.
Director of Operations
Prior to joining the staff at NBA, Tess served for a decade at The Branson School as Director of the Head’s Office & Board Relations. She has also been an interior decorator; set decorator for Back to the Future: The Ride; project coordinator at Middlebury College; and personal assistant to documentarian Ken Burns.
An eternal optimist with a penchant for humor, Tess has a love of people, nature, and art. She earned a B.A. in Psychology & Communication (with a minor in Theoretical Physics) from Vermont College. In her spare time Tess enjoys being in nature, painting (abstract art), reading, writing, music, exploring and learning new things, and spending time with family and friends. She is the proud mother of two adult children.
Middle School Math Specialist
Having grown up dyslexic, Michelle has a unique perspective to offer our students. With over 20 years of teaching experience in both the private and public sectors, Michelle brings a great deal of creativity and enthusiasm to the math curriculum. She has been trained in Making Math Real and couples this with her Master’s in Special Education to guide students to finding a love for math. She comes to us from Marin Primary & Middle School where she was a learning resource specialist and sixth grade Math teacher.
Peter retired after almost 40 years in the corporate world and loves the change of pace and the sense of community at North Bridge Academy. A native San Franciscan, he and his family have lived in Novato for almost 30 years. During his free time he enjoys home improvement projects, almost anything relating to classic cars from the 60s and 70s, and getting away to Donner Lake.
An artist recognized for his contemplative songwriting and lyrical guitar work, Adam has worked as a professional recording and performing musician for the majority of his life. As a songwriter, Adam draws inspiration from both the world around him and that of a more ethereal plane. Songwriting is an ongoing passion for Adam. He can often be seen testing out a new song at the historic Sweetwater Music Hall.
Since the birth of his son, Kirk has realized a passion for teaching. Both privately and in formal educational settings (The New Village School, North Bridge Academy and Marin Montessori), he has assisted students in developing musical skills and interest. With enthusiasm and positivity he passes on his knowledge of guitar, drums, keyboard, ukulele, voice, recording and songwriting.
Middle School English & Language Arts & Dean of Students
David has worked with middle school students in both public and private schools since 2000. In the classroom, he is passionate about introducing students to a wide variety of texts, helping them develop strong literary analysis and writing skills. In his role as Dean of MS Students, David is committed to helping students build their academic and social confidence, as well as strengthening the NBA community as a whole. He enjoys working to solve conflicts through restorative practices utilizing his training from the Marin County Youth Court. Dave also finds time to coach NBA's basketball team. Outside of the classroom, you can find David on the ice playing hockey, in the kitchen cooking up something delicious, or out seeing live music.
Middle School Art
Daisley is an artist and freelance art writer and editor. She came to NBA through her dyslexic daughter who attended NBA. Throughout her career, she has worked with students at all grades and believes that exposure to and experimentation with a broad range of media, styles, and cultural and historical references enables the development of visual literacy, an active aesthetic consciousness, and a lifelong appreciation for the role of art in everyday life. Daisley holds an MFA in studio art from Claremont Graduate University and a BFA in art history from Vanderbilt University.
Lower School Art
Adele is an art and educational therapist in private practice in Mill Valley. She is a visual artist, poet, and calligrapher with a deep appreciation for image and word. Adele received a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and a MA in Intuition Medicine. She is also a certified herbalist, teacher, and hang gliding instructor. A life long learner, Adele has studied with sculptor, Robert Arneson, the “Father of Funk Art”; painter and author of Creative Revolution, Flora Bowley; calligrapher and choreographer, Jenny Hunter Groat; and poet and author, Naomi Shihab Nye. Outside the classroom, Adele loves to travel, attend house concerts, and cook for friends.
Head Teacher, Grade 4
A former Pastry Chef, Felicia discovered her love of teaching through hosting culinary apprenticeships for San Francisco middle school students. Prior to joining NBA two years ago, Felicia taught multiple grade levels as an Associate Teacher and Lower School Tutor at Marin Country Day School. She earned her Masters in Reading & Literacy Education from CSU Fullerton and is currently completing a post-graduate certificate in Educational Therapy from Holy Names University. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham methodologies as well as Structured Word Inquiry. Felicia brings both compassion and energy into the classroom, cultivating a culture of belonging through the Responsive Classroom approach and guided mindfulness practices. Outside of the classroom, Felicia enjoys spending time with her family, rescuing houseplants, and strolling through the Sunday Farmer's Market.
Learning Specialist in Training
Jeanette has worked in early childhood and special education as a teacher and early intervention specialist in New York, Washington, DC and for the last six years in California public schools. She has an MA in Special Education from The George Washington University and completed post-graduate work in Child Life Studies and Parent Education at Adelphi University and Bank Street College of Education in New York.
Jeanette is a certified child life specialist and has trained in Orton Gillingham and Handwriting Without Tears. She enjoys exploring the bay area, reading, hiking and spending time with her family.
Learning Specialist & Admissions Coordinator
Julia has worked in the field of special education in Marin for the past 11 years, both as a classroom teacher and as a Slingerland Specialist. She is a Slingerland Certified Teacher (SCT) and an International Dyslexia Association Certified Dyslexia Practitioner. Julia is also
trained in Project Read’s Framing Your Thoughts curriculum and Structured Word Inquiry. Since 2012, Julia has owned a private practice in Marin where she tutors students using the
Slingerland Approach. Previously, Julia lived and worked in Washington, D.C, London, France, Belgium and Switzerland and holds an M.A. in both French Studies and International Relations. A former high school French and English as a Second Language teacher, Julia
enjoys teaching using the Slingerland approach due to its focus on the structure of language. When not teaching, Julia enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, and dining out.
Science Teacher, Grades 4 - 8
Christian has been working with students with learning differences since 2007. Previous to joining the North Bridge community he taught at Star Academy for 11 years, primarily in their middle school and high school. There he focused on writing skills, growing self advocacy, transitions and developing a science program centered around community involvement and project based learning. He has a B.A. from UCLA in Political Science and Multiple Subject and Education Specialist credentials from Dominican University of CA. He is also a certified naturalist from the UC California Naturalist program. Christian enjoys exploring the great outdoor opportunities throughout the Bay Area and beyond, playing music with friends and hanging with his wife and 3 year old daughter.
Hannah Grace Porter
Lower School Singerland Teacher
Hannah Grace is a founding teacher at NBA. Prior to joining North Bridge Academy, Hannah Grace taught grade level subjects to students with dyslexia at two renown schools, Charles Armstrong and Jemicy School in Baltimore. Hannah Grace holds a degree in Special Education from the College of Charleston with certification in Learning Differences. Hannah Grace has a breadth of experience working with various Orton-Gillingham methodologies including Slingerland, Wilson, and Projects Read and Write. She also is trained in Making Math Real and Stanford's Mathematics Mindset course. In addition to her teaching expertise, Hannah Grace brings a love of music, the outdoors, ceramics and history to her classroom.
Prior to founding North Bridge Academy in 2015, Karen was involved in board work for non-profits that provided low-income students with educational and financial support. For the majority of her career, Karen was an executive in children’s digital and media companies including DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Jim Henson Productions. Karen began her career in the 1990s as a project manager for several web design start-up companies. Karen holds a Masters in Education from Dominican University and a bachelor's degree in Art History/French from UC Santa Barbara. She lives with her husband and son in San Anselmo. She serves as a Board Trustee for Canal Alliance. She is very fond of mountain biking, traveling, yoga and knitting.
Head Teacher, Grade 2/3
Chrissy received her Teaching Certification from The University of Massachusetts with a BA in Early Childhood Education. She was the Director and Lead Teacher at Shalom Preschool in Carmel Valley, CA and taught at The University Lab School at Georgetown University. Chrissy became interested in working with dyslexic learners when her son was diagnosed several years ago. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham, Structured Literacy and the Slingerland methodology. Chrissy has two children and lives with her family in San Anselmo.
Van Driver, Classroom Support
Jim is a valued part of the Bridge Academy transportation team. He is a retired educator in Marin County with a 30+ year career. Having the depth of experience in the classroom, special education and administration, his skills are valued throughout the school community. Jim and his family live in Novato. In his free time, he enjoys travel, cooking, gardening and especially Lake Tahoe.
Head Learning Specialist
Priya Tjerandsen shares with NBA nearly twenty years of experience working with students with learning differences. She has been a classroom teacher for many of those years as well as a consultant to teachers and families. Priya has also worked with teams that provide assessment and diagnostic work to individuals with a variety of learning challenges. Her areas of expertise range from language-based learning differences (Dyslexia and Dysgraphia) to working with students who have attentional and/ or Executive Functions weaknesses. She is trained in Slingerland and Wilson methodologies as well as Making Math Real. Priya holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education and has worked with students in a classroom setting as well as doing individual and small group work. When not working, Priya enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and traveling.
Theatre Art Teacher
Peggy brings 38 years of teaching experience to the Theater Arts program, both within the classroom setting and as the director of the Student International Alliance program where communication through Theater, Art, Music and Dance was instrumental in building cultural bridges towards peaceful understanding. Also, as part of a Canada Council for the Arts grant, Peggy joined the Caravan Stage Company in Canada, as the Children’s Director, traveling by horse back and covered wagons, to bring the magic, joy and inspiration of live theater to the isolated towns and villages in the “outback”. Peggy holds a BA in linguistics (minor in Theater) from Stanford University and an MA in Special Education from San Francisco State University. In addition to her love of teaching, Peggy enjoys hiking, swimming in the ocean, dancing, making labyrinths, and being with family and friends.