As we usher in the 2019-20 school year and welcome our students to campus, we are also excited to add new faculty and staff to our Seven Hills community. Over last spring and summer, we announced these talented individuals who come from a variety of impressive educational and professional backgrounds. A heartfelt welcome—we look forward to an excellent school year together!
Daphna Klugman, Red Barn teacher, has over 17 years of experience serving children in private, public, and non-profit schools and agencies. She has teaching experience at multiple East Bay schools including The Berkeley School, Park Day School, Children’s Community Center, and UC Berkeley Child Development Centers. She also was the assistant program director at Seneca Family of Agencies, where she directed daily operations of their therapeutic state preschool and K-1 non-public school classrooms. Daphna has a master’s in early childhood education from Sarah Lawrence College and looks forward to joining our Reggio-inspired ECE program.
Jennifer Shump, Kindergarten teacher, has taught Kindergarten at the Dubai American Academy in the United Arab Emirates and 1st grade at North Salem Elementary in New Hampshire. After her family’s relocation to California last year, Jennifer got to know Seven Hills as one of our outstanding guest teachers. A few of her specialties include coaching teachers in child development and Reading/Writing Workshop in the primary grades, Google training for teachers, credentialing, differentiated instruction, and working with English language learners. Ms. Shump has a master’s in elementary education from the University of New Hampshire. Her daughter will enter the Red Barn class.
Jamaal Footman, 3rd grade support teacher, has taught for over 10 years at AcademyX Charter School, Orinda Academy, Beacon Day School, and Academy of Alameda in areas including science, technology, diversity, and entrepreneurship. He has a bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach and looks forward to bringing his skill set to 3rd grade.
Gina Puljiz, 4th grade teacher, served two long-term guest teacher assignments last year in Kindergarten and 5th grade. Gina has over 25 years of teaching experience at independent schools. She most recently taught at The Dorris Eaton School for eight years and at Sierra Canyon School in Southern California for 14 years. Gina earned a master’s in education and school counseling from California Lutheran University.
Andrew McManus, 4th grade support teacher, comes to us from Burton Valley Elementary in Lafayette, where he developed effective behavior plans, motivational exercises, and performance assessments while deepening understanding and improving test scores. His proudest accomplishment in his teaching career is building deep rapport with his students. He has a history degree from California State University, Chico.
Kristine Rivera, 5th grade teacher, has nearly 20 years of teaching and leadership experience in the San Ramon Valley and Mt. Diablo Unified School Districts. She taught 5th grade at Monte Verde Elementary and Sycamore Valley Elementary, as well as 6th grade CORE at Charlotte Wood Middle and at Sequoia Middle. Kristine has led a Reading Workshop professional development course for 45 teachers in the Pleasanton Unified School District and also served as a Balanced Literacy Consultant for the Newark Unified School District. She was named her district’s “Teacher of the Year” for the 2017-18 school year. We look forward to welcoming Mrs. Rivera and her daughter, who will enter 6th grade.
Lower School Music
Adrienne Timmons, Lower School music teacher, comes to us from Bentley School in Oakland, where she taught music in grades K-6 for 19 years and integrated a multicultural vocal and instrumental music curriculum, started a composer series in the Lower School, and coordinated two major vocal concerts each year. Ms. Timmons was also a private music teacher at Head-Royce School. Adrienne also brings a wealth of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work. She served as the diversity coordinator at Bentley, is a member of POCIS (People of Color in Independent Schools) and is a facilitator at the NAIS People of Color Conference. Ms. Timmons is a graduate of The San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has two sons joining the 6th grade and Red Barn classes.
Kristine Shargel, Spanish teacher, comes to us from Walnut Creek Intermediate School and is in her 12th year of teaching Spanish. Prior to WCI, she taught Spanish at Miramonte High School. In addition to her coaching role for our Jaguars volleyball team, she knows Seven Hills most deeply as a current parent to her four boys (including one alum) and spouse to Middle School science teacher Matt Shargel. Señora Shargel has a Spanish degree from UC Davis.
Cecilia Figueroa, Spanish teacher, comes to Seven Hills from San Domenico School, where she taught Middle School Spanish since 2016. Prior to San Domenico, she taught Spanish and did K-8 curriculum development work at Cascade Canyon School in Fairfax. A native Spanish speaker, Cecilia has a background that ranges from teaching Spanish in private schools to leading tour groups in her home country of Chile. She holds degrees in education and tourism, and brings to the classroom energetic and innovative approaches, project-based learning, and the integration of diversity and global awareness.
Leanne Mercado, Librarian, was a guest teacher at Seven Hills last year and brings over 30 years of experience both in the classroom and in various libraries and has taught information literacy and digital citizenship in multiple schools. A native of Australia, Leanne and her family moved to the United States from Japan, where her family lived for many years. Having most recently taught at Nishimachi International School in Tokyo, Leanne speaks Japanese, and we look forward to leveraging her experience and skills as she joins Seven Hills (and helps to welcome our Japanese exchange students!). Her daughter will join our 8th grade class.
Barb Jaspar, Development Associate, is the newest member of the Development team. Barb has an impressive background as a technology leader who has managed teams for over 20 years in eCommerce for financial services and retail industries. She most recently worked as a Group Vice President for engineering, shared services, and support at Macys.com. She will focus on strategic development and campaign initiatives including project management, donor relations, communications, foundation relations, and special events. Barb is a current parent to 4th grader and 1st grader.