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 be part of the Star community. She brings with her two decades of teaching experience in elementary school classrooms and holds a Masters’ 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.
Coach Steiv earned his degree while playing basketball at Dominican University. After several years in Southern California working In fashion and entertainment, he returned to the Bay Area and began to pursue his passions of working with youth and sports. With 17+ years of coaching and teaching experience, including working with the Golden State Warriors, USA basketball and coaching HS locally, he steps on campus as “the biggest kid around." Star Wars, biking, concerts and playing basketball keep him busy when not at at Star.
Claire is originally from Burke, Virginia and attended the University of Virginia where she double majored in Psychology and Youth & Social Innovation. She is currently working towards her Education Specialist credential and M.A. in Education at National University. This past year, she was a Special Day Class (SDC) teacher at a high school in San Jose where she taught English and Social Cognition. She is excited to join the Star Academy team and to be part of such a wonderful community. In her free time, Claire enjoys running, yoga, going to concerts, and spending time outdoors with friends.
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.
Over the summer Akasha was the Lead Teacher for a 6-8th grade Special Day class in Marin. Prior to that, she spent two years as an assistant teacher in special education classrooms at Miller Creek Middle School. Akasha is an adventurer who taught English for 2 ½ years in Germany, West Africa, and China. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, loves Math and Science, and looks forward to pursuing her Education Specialist credential in the next school year.
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.
Chris comes to Star with 7 years of experience as a Lead Consultant and Star Trainer at Lindamood-Bell Learning Center. In that time Chris developed individualized curriculum, provided 1:1 instruction in core content areas (reading, writing, math) and administered diagnostic evaluations for students of all ages. She is solidly trained and experienced in the delivery of a host of multi-sensory remedial methodologies including, but not limited to Seeing Stars®, Visualizing/Verbalizing® and LiPS®. Collaborating with teachers, specialists and parents was part of her daily work and as a Lead Consultant Chris mentored other clinicians and provided training, oversight and support to her colleagues as well as to the families of the students she supported. Chris’s arrival is eagerly anticipated by the Star MSLAT team who are thrilled to have such an experienced and delightful colleague joining the team.
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.
Bill has worked in the field of education for fourteen years, primarily as an English literature and composition instructor at the community college level. For the last four years, he has been involved in special education as an ABA therapist and as a life skills instructor for adults on the spectrum and with various learning disabilities. In addition, for the last few years, Bill has worked with young adults in their transition from high school to college, by mentoring them in academics. Bill has earned a master’s degree in English literature from California State University, Northridge. When Bill is not working, he enjoys fishing, boxing, reading and writing books, and taking trips throughout California with his girlfriend.
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.
A Marin County native, Michelle earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Sonoma State University. She went on to continue her studies at Mills College and received her Master of Arts degree in English Literature. Michelle spent more than 5 years working at Lindamood-Bell as a Consultant, Mentor, and IT Liaison. During her time there, Michelle provided instructional plans for her students’ teams, conducted diagnostic assessments, and mentored fellow staff members. She is experienced in all of Lindamood-Bell’s methodologies. Michelle spent some time working for a local nonprofit and as a freelance UX designer, but missed interacting with and supporting students. She is looking forward to returning to the classroom. In her free time, Michelle enjoys reading, writing poetry, and learning new things on a daily basis.
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.
Gemma earned her BA degree in Sociology from Sacramento State University. She worked in the financial sector for 8 years before taking time off to raise her children. Gemma reentered the work force as a caregiver for an elderly woman in Marin. Gemma started at Star Academy as an Aide, she soon realized she had found a wonderful work home, she loves interacting with each and every student, and is happily assisting in the High School. Gemma likes to spend her time hiking with her dog Willow, reading a good book, and can be found at the local pickleball courts most evenings.
Lisa is delighted to join Star Academy. She comes with a B.A. and M.A. in English, along with a single-subject credential. After being home for years with her children as they were growing up, she was happy to segue into teaching, first as a piano teacher and then as a secondary ELA teacher (with a few years in academic administration and non-profit fundraising thrown in). In her "spare time," Lisa loves teaching piano, taking her dog Oliver on walks, reading, traveling, attending theater, live music & movies, and spending time with her two daughters, family and friends.
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!
Alexa joins Star with seven years of lead teaching experience in both private and non-public schools serving students with learning differences. She has taught all subjects in grades 4-7th grade and has worked as a behavior specialist in home, school, and community settings. Alexa holds a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavioral Analysis. She also has training in several LMB programs: VV and On Cloud 9 as well as Orton-Gillingham based reading programs. Alexa is interested in earning her Education Specialist credential and may embark on that adventure in the next school year.
Joseph Trum has been a Special Education Teacher since 2005 - a journey that has taken him through a wide variety of roles and tasks. At Star, he teaches Math, runs the Digital Arts Program, and teaches after school Martial Arts. Outside of teaching, he is a musician, filmmaker, black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a 1500 rated Chess Player, and a devoted father.