Molly Blauvelt is a sculptor who works in clay, wood and mixed media. She also loves to draw and paint. She has over 25 years of experience teaching 2 - 19 year olds, and an occasional adult. Her professional education/training includes a Masters in Art Education from Tufts and the Museum School of Boston, and a B.F.A. from Yale College. Molly's art classes at Dominican's Summer Odyssey Program, during the 6 summers she's taught in the Summer Odyssey program, have always been highly sought after. She returns to Summer Odyssey program for 2012.
Micah Franks is happy to return to the Summer Odyssey teaching staff this year. He brings with him thirteen years of diverse teaching experience. His passion for mathematics is n-dimensional, but his love of beauty, joy, and art is salient, earthbound, and expressive. He’s learned the meaning of life with 7th graders in Los Angeles, and painted tesselations in Berkeley. He’s trained teachers at San Francisco State with exponentially adding pennies, and told stories with Icosahedra in Larkspur. His excitement for working with gifted and talented students is evident in the diverse projects he’s developed for the class, Geometric Art and the Cerbro-Visual Pattern.
Peter Gavin has taught grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 in California and Vermont since 1985. In 1991 – 1992 Peter taught at a primary school in Belfast, Northern Ireland while on a Fulbright Teaching Exchange. Currently he teaches 8th grade English at Kent Middle School, where he has been happily employed since 1996. In 2001 he received a national teaching award from River of Words (riverofwords.org), an organization co-founded by former United States Poet Laureate and 2008 Pulitzer Award Winner for Poetry, Robert Hass. Peter loves being in the classroom, helping to mold life-long learners out of his students. He is a lover of film and believes every good movie starts with a well written and well conceived screenplay. Peter lives in Novato with his lovely wife, a fabulous English Springer Spaniel named Miles and three orange tabbies.
Beth Kraft is a teacher in the Novato Unified School District. She has been a teacher there for 19 years. She also worked for the Exploratorium for 15 years training elementary school teachers in the inquiry approach to science. Beth is curious and creative and tries to bring that to each of her students. She has a love for science, art, and writing. Beth believes that students excel most when the subject matter is integrated and students are motivated by their own deep curiosity. Beth has taught a variety of different classes for the Summer Odyssey Program over the past ten years. Beth and Libby have taught art and science infused courses together for the past four years.
Julie Levinson comes to Dominican’s Summer Odyssey program from the Ross Valley School District where she currently teaches fourth grade. As a Marin native, she attended Glenwood Elementary School, Davidson Middle School, and San Rafael High School. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Sociology and Education and earned her teaching credential and Masters of Arts in Education from UC Davis. As a proud product of Marin County schools, she came to her hometown to give back to her community by helping students achieve their highest academic potential. She is committed to challenging students with creative, innovative and enriching activities.
Frank Marrero began teaching kindergarten in 1978 and presently teaches fifth grade in Pinole, CA. He holds a Master's in the Arts of Teaching, specializing in affective education, which was published in the Journal of Integral Studies. He is the author of Big Philosophy for Little Kids, an acclaimed writing curriculum which uses emotional education as its content. He is the father of two amazing children, Ella 12, and Salem 16, and teaches his own children to hug trees and save the world. He is married to Julia Marrero who has taught in the Summer Odyssey program for 5 years.
Kate Mc Dougall has been in education for 38 years, working for the Novato Unified School District. She has served gifted students since 1992, as a teacher, as GATE coordinator , and as a trainer in gifted education. In 2008, she presented a workshop on project-based learning at the California Association for the Gifted Conference. Kate has taught in the Summer Odyssey program for over ten years, and in the Dominican Single Subject Credential Program for four years. She is certified by the National Boards for Professional Teaching Standards. In 2010, Kate was named Marin County Teacher of the Year, and ranked in the top ten for California Teacher of the Year.
T.C. Moore’s art has been exhibited across the United States in solo and juried exhibitions. She has taught drawing, watercolor, process media and methods at Berkeley City College, UC Berkeley Extension and the University of Oregon. She was also an art parent coordinator at Rooftop and Dixie Elementary Schools. T.C. Moore studied at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland and taught a field studies seminar in Italy’s Veneto region. She earned an MFA in Studio Arts from JFK University in Berkeley, CA and a second Masters degree in Landscape Architecture. She has a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Oregon, and an Associate degree in Interior Design from Mt. Royal College in Canada. Her diverse background along with her passion for teaching will challenge gifted students. T. C Moore is an artist member at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station where her work questions the definitions and boundaries of drawing, painting, sculpture and fiber arts. To learn more, visit her web-site, topazemoore.com.
Ron Pembleton comes to the Summer Odyssey program from Kent Middle School, in Kentfield. He has been teaching middle school physical science for fifteen years. His first year teaching was at Vandenburg Middle School, the west coast rocket base for the U.S. Air Force. Having witnessed several rocket launches on the base, Ron enjoys teaching rocketry to future astronauts and engineers. He has received numerous education innovator grants and awards over the years, including most recently an "A+ for Energy" grant from BP Oil, which allowed Ron and his students to build Rube Goldberg simple machines using solar energy as a power source. He refers to teaching about rocket science as “a real blast”.
Jenny Schmidt has been involved with theater for her entire life. As a college Theater Major she wrote and performed in shows for children with the Magic Circle theater troupe and after college she helped develop the 52nd Street Project which crafted showcase one-act plays for inner-city kids. She worked with the Lincoln Center Institute pairing New York City's public schools with in-service artists and performances. A credentialed teacher, she has taught grades K-3 in Marin, and lives in Fairfax with her husband and two theatrical daughters. As a parent of a GATE student who loves to be in shows, Jenny has an appreciation for the many layers of aptitude required for being in a play and looks forward to creating a rewarding experience for the actors and the audience again this year. "Playing with GATE students to put on a show is gratifying-enthusiasm and great ideas are never in short supply."
Libby Hass Silvestri comes to Dominican's Summer Odyssey as a penguin alum from the credential program with 17 years of teaching experience. She holds two credentials, a single subject in English and a multiple subject credential. Having taught six years in the first and second grades, Silvestri currently teaches fourth grade at Lu Sutton Elementary School in Novato. A Marin native, she attended St. Isabella's School, Marin Catholic High School, Saint Mary's College in Moraga, graduating with a major in English and a minor in Business. She and her husband have three children, and being a GATE parent herself, has provided her with a heightened awareness of GATE student needs and parental perspectives. Her love of music comes in handy both in the classroom and on stage as Libby is a professional vocalist and musician.
Nancy Wilson is currently teaching second grade at Neil Cummins School in Larkspur where she has taught since 1993. Nancy began her teaching career as a math specialist at a private school in San Francisco. Upon moving to the Larkspur School District, she became the school's math mentor and helped develop curriculum for the G.A.T.E. program. She also teaches after-school classes for Math Olympiad. One of the things she loves most about teaching is showing kids how math is so much more than just arithmetic. Her passion for teaching the gifted and talented youth in the Summer Odyssey Program is evident in the diverse selection of classes she’s offered.