Serving Preschool Through 8th Grade in the San Francisco East Bay Since 1962

List of 7 items.

  • Kathleen McNamara

    The Head of School at Seven Hills, Kathleen is in her 35th year as an independent school educator. Before arriving at Seven Hills in 2015, she worked in a variety of capacities at four other independent schools: Tuxedo Park School in New York, Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera, California, Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford, New York, and The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York. She began her teaching career at The Masters School, teaching Middle and High School French and English and working as a dorm parent.
    Kathleen demonstrates her commitment to professional development through active participation and speaking engagements at national and regional independent school conferences. She was invited to join the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) board in 2022. Charged by the Seven Hills Board of Trustees to lead the school through its diversity work, Kathleen strives to build community in each successive school year to create a more equitable and inclusive experience for our students and their families, as well as our faculty and staff. Kathleen earned her B.A. in French from Rutgers University and her M.A. in French Literature from New York University. She also holds a Diploma of French Studies from Université François Rabelais in Tours, France. Kathleen and her husband, Jihad, have three adult children: daughter Hannah, son Alex, and nephew Matthew. Away from school, Kathleen enjoys reading memoirs, traveling the globe, and finding things she can knit "reasonably well."

    Please click here to read Kathleen's blog on education and parenting.
  • Jase Turner

    Jase leads Seven Hills’ efforts to carry out the goals set forward in our bold strategic plan, Whole Child, Whole Community, and to embed its priorities into the fabric of our program. He leads Seven Hills’ diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts across admissions, hiring, curriculum, and school policy. Jase also facilitates parent education topics, oversees standardized testing, is a Middle School advisor, spearheads our professional development program for faculty, and works closely with division heads to advance our program aspirations in teaching and learning.

    A Bay Area leader, Jase came to Seven Hills from Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland where he served as Associate Principal for Student Life. He has an M.A. in leadership studies from Saint Mary’s College of California and a B.A. in sociology from Pomona College. From his days as a substitute teacher while playing professional baseball to working in middle and high school as a teacher, advisor, and dean, he is fulfilled by helping students reach their full potential. Away from school, Jase enjoys working out and playing basketball, coaching baseball, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends.
  • Daphna Klugman

    Daphna leads The Seven Hills School’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, overseeing our Reggio-inspired Preschool (Rainbow) and Pre-Kindergarten (Red Barn) programs, licensing needs, and incredible teaching teams. With an extensive background in healing-centered and trauma-informed care, Daphna is committed to building an authentic learning community for adults and children, honoring the richness of diverse experiences and identities and creating safe spaces for risk-taking and learning. Central to her work is cultivating collaborative partnerships with new Seven Hills families and providing attentive reassurance and support as they navigate the complexities of parenting a young child. 

    Beginning as a Seven Hills Red Barn classroom teacher, Daphna has been instrumental in our Reggio-inspired program, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and in developing strong relationships with our broader community. She received her M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Sarah Lawrence College, is an endorsed Advanced Transdisciplinary Mental Health Practitioner in Alameda County, and has had over 20 years of experience serving children in private, public, and non-profit schools and agencies. Away from school, Daphna enjoys dance, wildflower and mushroom hunting, creating dinner out of “everything but the kitchen sink,” singing duets with her husband to their young daughter, and reading too late.
  • Jennifer Arnest

    In her role as Head of Grades K-5, Jennifer focuses on overseeing and refining a dynamic, rich, and relevant academic curriculum and strengthening the social and emotional well-being of students, families, and faculty. Paying attention to communication and relationships is integral to Jennifer’s work as she partners with faculty and administration to support the school's mission, instill a strong sense of purpose, and ensure the highest possible quality of student life. Initially attracted to Seven Hills by the “whole child” and “each child” approach—the commitment to children in mind, body, and spirit—she collaborates closely with faculty and families as we strive to meet all children where they are. She works to guide the team and program so that each child is known and valued in a community that inspires them to be courageous and lifelong learners.

    This is Jennifer’s second year at Seven Hills, following 14 years at San Francisco Friends School. Jennifer and her partner, Martin, have two teenage children and a little bulldog named Olive. Outside of school, you can find Jennifer at a weekend farmers’ market, cooking good food, and spending time in the hills of Oakland with family and friends.
  • Dr. Victor Llanque Zonta

    With years of research-driven educational experience, Victor partners with Middle School students (and their families) in their developmental journey toward high school and mentors faculty and administrative colleagues to lead the program forward. He believes that learning is a social process; through fostering community with Middle School students, he helps students feel important, safe, engaged, and ready to explore ideas and fail freely. He was drawn to Seven Hills’ strong programs, bold whole child philosophy, and mission grounded in equity and service.

    Victor comes from Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT where he served as Associate Head of School (and Director of Global Education before that), overseeing all academic departments in PreK-12th grade. Victor has extensive education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and holds a Ph.D. in International and Comparative Education, M.Ed. in International and Educational Development, and M.A. in Social Studies Education. He also earned a B.A. in Economics from Macalester College. Victor was born and raised in Bolivia and is passionate about instilling a world perspective into education. Victor enjoys spending time with his family and friends in his free time, reading, traveling, and being outdoors.
  • Ryan Gallagher

    Ryan Gallagher joined Seven Hills as the Director of Educational Technology in the Summer of 2023. Ryan has over two decades of leadership experience in the field of educational technology, including working in a variety of independent schools such as The School at Columbia University, a Stanford University-sponsored charter school, and the San Francisco Friends School. His passion for utilizing technology to enhance and improve teaching and learning and his commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment make him a valued member of our educational community.

    Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Ryan earned his bachelor's degree from Stetson University in Florida. He then moved to New York City before moving back out west to the Bay Area. He lives in Oakland with his wife and their two children. Away from school, Ryan enjoys traveling with his family, cooking for his family, and tinkering around the house with some sort of physical or digital tool.
  • Dr. Cyrell Roberson

    As our school counselor, Cyrell provides individual counseling, group counseling, consultation, and resources to teachers and families, and administrative support to the school. Cyrell is available to students, teachers, and parents across all grade levels to help navigate interpersonal and intrapersonal challenges and concerns and behavioral and learning challenges. In addition, Cyrell also teaches Restorative Justice and Conflict Resolution for our 7th graders. Outside of Seven Hills, Cyrell also provides neuropsychological and neuroeducational evaluations and therapy for children and adolescents at Summit Center in Walnut Creek.
    Cyrell earned a Ph.D. in School Psychology at UC Berkeley, where his research focused on the psychosocial development of underserved gifted students. His work has been published in several journals, including the Journal of Advanced Academics and the American Psychological Association. Cyrell has extensive experience in Bay Area K-12 public, independent, and charter schools. His previous professional experience also includes working at Educational Testing Service (ETS) on the Fairness Review, teaching education and psychology courses at UC Berkeley, and interning at The White House, where he worked on education policy and advocacy initiatives of the Executive Office of the President. He earned a B.S. in psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana and an M.A. in education from UC Berkeley. Away from work, Cyrell enjoys live music, visiting art museums, running, and traveling.

Administrative Staff

Please click here to meet our administrative staff, a talented team whose work supports the school's mission.