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Faculty and Staff Directory

Orinda Academy's experienced faculty and staff are dedicated to helping OA students thrive inside and outside of the classroom. With a 7:1 student-teacher ratio, OA teachers are able to form deep connections with all of their students. Core class sizes range from 5–13 students, allowing teachers to take a personal approach to each student’s learning.



Teachers at OA stand by you. They don't just throw you out there, they actually give you the help you need."
Olivia Tompkins

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Sarah Aguilar


Sarah has a BA in mathematics from UC Berkeley, a minor in education, and a special education teaching credential. She has been teaching and tutoring since 2011 in both traditional classroom and 1:1 settings. Sarah is passionate about finding creative solutions to help students with learning differences. 

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Eric Baskett


Eric has a degree in physics from UC Berkeley, and has taught and tutored high school students in math and science, specializing in geometry, algebra, calculus, chemistry and physics. He has a deep interest in math and science and enjoys sharing his love for both subjects with his students. 

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Juvenal Bermudez

Director of Maintenance 

Juvenal has been Director of Maintenance since 2016. He brings a wide array of skills to his position and is the orchestrator behind many of our most innovative facilities solutions. OA is a family affair for Juvenal - his wife helps keep our school clean and pristine. 

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Andrew Blair

Coyote Coast Counselor

Andrew has a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and an MA in Counseling Psychology from Prescott College. Andrew draws upon his 10+ years of experience working with young people to help young people manage stress, develop healthy lifestyles, and create an environment in which the client feels empowered to achieve his or her goals.

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Chris Booth

Social Studies, Physical Education

Chris holds a master’s degree in education, a clear credential in social science, and a BS in business administration. He incorporates a variety of teaching strategies in his lesson plans to meet the wide range of his students’ needs.

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Gina Corsiglia

Interim Director of Admissions

Gina started her career in education as an aide at her mother's preschool just before becoming a mom herself. In 2014, she returned to education as an instructional aide. Several years later, she moved to the registrar position at Stanley Middle School and then to the registrar position at Campolindo High School. Gina enjoys spending time with her family and friends.  

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Vicky Guarracino


Vicky has a BA in education with an emphasis on science and math from Long Island University/Southampton College. She brings over fifteen years of teaching experience and has organized educational adventure trips to the Galapagos, Costa Rica, and Baja. Vicky has also coached girls softball and basketball.


Kelly Handler

Yearbook & Student Events Coordinator

Kelly is a 2017 alum of OA, and in 2021, she graduated from Mills College. She has since worked at Village Music School and continues to teach with Townhall Theatre as well as doing private language arts tutoring and acting coaching. Kelly loved her time as an OA student and is very excited to be back in a faculty position. When she's not working, you can find her learning guitar or visiting friends.

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Peter Hicks


Peter’s career in independent schools includes serving as Director of Studies for King’s College in Florida and House Manager for the Meritas Family of Schools in Florida and Manhattan. After college, Peter spent his time teaching literature as well as performing music with his band, Inside Switch.

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Earl Holly

Dean of Students

Since 2013, Earl has worked in education in various capacities. Ranging from Student Mentor to Special Education Teacher. He finds tremendous joy in supporting students' social and emotional wellbeing and seeing them flourish in and outside of the school environment. Earl is passionate about helping young people recognize their potential and supporting them in reaching their life dreams.  He holds a communication degree from UC Davis.

Trini Huerta

School Communications & Admin Assistant

Trini joined Orinda Academy after working six years at Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito as office manager and student health coordinator and assistant director of extended programs and summer camp. She has an A.S. in business administration from Contra Costa College, and in her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Estela, and two Beagle dogs, Milo and Snoopy.

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Danielle Jaynes

Faculty Instructional Coach & Learning Specialist

Danielle supports teaching and learning and teaches a 9th-grade study skills class. She crafts learning plans and provides support to students and teachers on neurodiversity. Danielle works one-on-one with students to support their reading, writing, math, and executive functioning skills.

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Jean Karavidas

Registrar, College & Career Advisor

Jean received her BS from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She later went to pursue a Master's Certificate in College Advising and Career Counseling from UC Berkeley Extension. Jean maintains her own independent College Advising Practice, and works at a small school in Oakland as a College Advisor, Registrar, and Scheduler.  Jean has toured more than 400 Colleges and Universities in the United States and Canada. 

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Dena Marie


Dena joined OA after teaching Spanish coursework at Head-Royce School for six years. Previously, she taught Spanish at UC Berkeley for ten years, where she completed a master’s degree and doctoral coursework in Spanish. Her language curriculum engages students through multimodalities that gamify learning, significantly lowering stress around learning a language.

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Susan Neylan

Business Manager

Susan earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal State Hayward and has extensive experience in the nonprofit business world. Susan has expertise in accounting, budgeting, human resources, and tax preparation. 

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Erin O’Donnell

American Sign Language

Erin is from Santa Cruz, California, and graduated from CSU Northridge with a bachelor’s degree in child development, but didn’t find her professional passion until she started teaching and tutoring American Sign Language. Erin has been teaching all levels of American Sign Language for over 12 years.

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Jeff Quittman

Social Studies

Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in history and liberal studies, and a master’s degree in history from SF State University. Jeff’s classes are marked by a broadly humanistic approach to the ideas, events, peoples, and extraordinary individuals that have shaped the world in which we live.

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Nancy Rowland

Head of School

Nancy joins OA in 2022 as our third head of school. Nancy spent twenty-eight years at the Lab School in Washington, D.C. where she advanced through various leadership roles. He strong support for DEI initiatives, admissions and celebrating a strong community are matching values that we are excited to experience.

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Katherine Saxby


Katherine holds a master’s degree in English from Texas A&M University, a bachelor’s degree in French and English from Stephen F. Austin State University, and a lifetime secondary teaching credential from Texas. She strives to encourage originality and clarity of communication.

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Molly Smart

Music, Sociology

Molly has a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from UC Berkeley. She received a bachelor’s degree in music composition and Asian studies from Amherst college. Prior to joining OA, Molly taught undergraduate level music theory courses at UC Berkeley.

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Megan Tvedt

Physics, Chemistry, Statistics

Megan has BS degrees in chemistry and math from University of Oregon, and an MS in physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. She likes connecting math concepts with real-world experiences and loves being able to use OA’s small class size to respond to the needs of each student.

Steven Yu Headshot

Steven Yu

Art, Photography

Steven is an illustrator specializing in storyboarding, graphic design, and comic book creation. He has published his own works as well as worked in advertising and film, providing him with the experience of practicing art from commercial and personal perspectives. He has also taught traditional art in studios and classrooms.