Marc Bainbridge holds a Bachelor’s Degree from University of California at Berkeley where he majored in English. He received his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University. Marc holds a Multiple Subjects K-12 credential, an Education Specialist credential and credentials in Secondary English, Educational Administration and English Language Learner certification (CLAD). Over the past thirty years, Marc has been a middle and high school teacher, a principal and an administrator in several communities in the Bay Area including Albany, San Francisco and San Bruno, CA. He is the proud and doting father of two daughters in their twenties, and is an avid boater, fisherman, diver and skier. When he isn’t teaching, Marc enjoys being far out on the ocean pursuing his fascination for marine biology in his beloved trawler.
Steve joined Star Academy in the spring of 2015. He has been working in the field of education for over 25 years, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. Steve lives in Oakland, with his wife Kate and daughters Olivia and Eliza; his oldest daughter, Alice lives in San Francisco. Outside of Star Academy, Steve likes to mountain bike, hike and ski and spend time with his family, including his many pets.
Athena is thrilled to join the Star community. She brings with her two decades of teaching experience in elementary school classrooms and holds a Master's degree from Bank Street Graduate School of Education in New York City. Athena loves teaching children and watching them thrive by taking risks in their learning. When Athena isn’t in the classroom, she volunteers as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind, travels and practices yoga.
A graduate of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, with a degree in Special Education, Kathy enjoyed a 40-year career as a Special Education teacher in San Francisco. She then discovered the perfect “retirement” opportunity at Star where she has spent the past 7 years as an assistant and Making Math Real specialist. She never tires helping students succeed while improving their self-confidence. Kathy adores her three grandchildren who keep her very busy on weekends along with her Portuguese Water Dog pup.
Leah earned her BA in special and elementary education from Eastern University. She has worked in the special education field for 10 years and has had the opportunity to teach students of all grade levels with mild to severe disabilities. Leah has a strong behavioral background and has previous experience writing and implementing behavior plans, teaching social skills, and working with students in emotional support classrooms. She discovered her love for working with special education students as a teenager volunteering in a life skills classroom. Leah likes to spend her time reading a good book with a cup of coffee, hiking, shopping, and finding new ways to improve her teaching and classroom.
Molly holds a Single Subject English teaching credential and has ten years of experience working in SPED, most recently at Tam Valley Elementary. Molly has also volunteered with the Canal Alliance University Prep (UP!) program tutoring students in the program to help them graduate from high school and prepare for college. She regularly takes teachers’ courses with the Bay Area Writing Project, and spent a summer supporting the Bay Area Writing Project Summer Young Writers’ Camp. In her free time she loves to spend time with family and friends, hike, write and garden.
Alexis is originally from outside of Philadelphia, PA and holds a B.S. in Art Education and a B.A. in Drawing and Painting from the Pennsylvania State University. She also holds minors in Spanish and Art History. Alexis received her M. F. A. in Drawing and Painting from the California College of the Arts in 2006. She started teaching in 2003 and has been teaching at Star since 2009. Alexis has exhibited her paintings in the Bay Area as well as Michigan and Pennsylvania. Aside from her painting practice, Alexis enjoys traveling, cooking and reading.
Tamara is a highly qualified teacher credentialed in both general education and special education. She has been working with students with learning differences for the past 12 years as a classroom teacher, intervention specialist, tutor and learning specialist. Tamara has worked in a variety of school settings including public and private schools and has experience in many of the methodologies currently used by Star including Making Math Real, Orton-Gillingham, Social Cognition and various LindaMood-Bell programs. Though she thoroughly enjoyed her most recent job as a Learning Specialist, she is eager to put her two credentials to use and lead a classroom community with the opportunity to teach all of the subjects. Tamara is an expert at differentiating instruction to meet the needs of her students and has been described as a creative, passionate and highly collaborative colleague. She considers the social/emotional and developmental needs of the students to be among the top priorities in creating successful, confident and happy learners.
Erin earned her Masters of Education and her Education Specialist credential in 2012. After graduation she worked in a variety of public school settings until 2016. From 2016-18 Erin worked for Matrix, the parent advocacy organization, as a parent advisor guiding families of children with special needs access to the systems that serve them. As part of her work she conducted workshops on various topics including assessment, collaboration and the IEP process. As much as she enjoyed that work Erin missed being with the students and in 2018 she returned to a middle school classroom in Marin.
Lenny Gucciardi brings a background of technology and finance to his work as an educator, having worked for such companies as Tandem Computers and Wells Fargo Bank. He has a BS in mathematics from Villanova University and an MBA from UC Berkeley. Lenny has single subject teacher credentials in both math and social science. He has taught high school for the past fifteen years in San Francisco and Marin. His last position was teaching and leading backcountry trips in an experiential learning program at an alternative high school. Lenny has hiked all 2650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Justin holds a B.A. in Multicultural studies from Sonoma state University. Justin has over 15 years experience working in the classroom as well as a being a PE teacher in Marin schools. Justin has also been a coach for several sports, but mostly baseball as he served as the head coach at Marin Academy School for almost 10 years, as well as coaching on the youth level. Justin has coached basketball, cross country and dodgeball at Star Academy.
Stephanie has completed five years at Lindamood-Bell® Learning Processes® supporting struggling students with Dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, cognitive impairment and other learning differences. She has taught reading, writing and math in both individual and group settings. Stephanie has utilized her degrees in Psychology and Communications by supporting her students in building independence with challenging emotional/social interactions. She comes from the world of banking and finance, but switched to Education in seek of a more fulfilling experience. She considers this choice one of the best she has ever made.
Martin comes to Star with four years of experience as an Assistant Teacher in a non-public school setting. In his capacity as an Assistant Teacher he was responsible for implementing specialized support services for special education students with learning, emotional and behavioral challenges. He enjoys leading physical activities with the students and utilizing positive behavior incentive strategies. He comes highly recommended for his work in supporting both the teacher and students in creating a positive, orderly and supportive learning environment.
Jennifer has been working at Star Academy since 2016. She holds degrees from Santa Barbara City College and Sonoma State University. After college, she spent two years volunteering in Sonoma County for Americorps, leading a literacy program and after school program for elementary school students. She spent several years working at a school for children on the autism spectrum and has worked with a broad range of learners throughout her career, from the preschool to community college levels. She enjoys backpacking, photography, spending time with family, practicing and teaching yoga.
Jeff Sullivan is a son, father, friend, husband, teacher, student of life, and a host of many other nouns, roles, and responsibilities. He grew up in Arcadia, California, a suburb in Los Angeles County, and attended Loyola Marymount University where he double majored in English Literature and Philosophy. His love of education compelled him to earn a single subject teaching credential in Language Arts (Azusa Pacific University), a Masters in Education (APU), and an Education Specialist credential (Dominican University). He is in his second year at STAR Academy and first as a head high school teacher; Jeff is honored to work in such a supportive and positive school community!