Summit Public Schools has a world-class faculty collaborating to achieve our common mission- providing college opportunity and access to every student. Faculty at Summit Public Schools have the remarkable capacity for connecting with young people, have a passion for their subjects, and have a strong level of dedication, respect and compassion for students.
Administration TeamAbbie Ridenour
Abbie is the Executive Director for Summit: Tamalpais. Abbie's passion for education reform began while in undergrad at UCLA as she researched the benefits of diversity in schools and witnessed achievement gaps first-hand. She started her teaching career in East Los Angeles, teaching history in both large comprehensive and small charter high school settings in LAUSD. She joined Summit in 2010 to help launch Everest Public High School, Summit’s second high school in Redwood City, CA. She has since served over six years at Summit both as a history teacher and in school leadership at Everest and Shasta. She loves working at Summit because she shares our commitment to creating empowering school communities that provide college access to all students. Abbie holds both a BA in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Education from UCLA.
Natalia is Summit Tamalpais' Operations Manager. Natalia graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Political Science and has extensive experience in the non-profit education sector since 2008. She is passionate about closing the achievement gap in our lifetime and believes in the power of quality education. She's played key roles in school start-ups and at her school sites. She previously worked for another area charter school network as the Business Operations Manager in the South Bay where she oversaw and managed the day-to-day operations at the school site. She chose to work for Summit because she found an organization that provides quality education and empowers students to reach their educational goals and dreams: college access for all! She looks forward to serving the Tamalpais community.
7th Grade Team
Danielle Scarano is the founding 7th grade science teacher at Summit Tamalpais. Danielle is a graduate from Duke University with a B.S. in Neuroscience. She's been passionate about teaching children for years. She's fostered relationships with students by being involved in various programs that encourage kids to explore math, science, and engineering. At Summit, Danielle aims to create a classroom that functions as a unique haven for students to explore their individuality and creativity. Danielle hopes to work with students, hear what their interests are, and perhaps establish a science club for them to explore these interests further.
Iris Lopez is the Founding 7th grade English Teacher for Summit Tam. She is currently also pursuing her Master's in Education at UC Berkeley. Prior to entering the teaching profession, Iris worked at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Post-baccalaureate Fellow where she supported the research and development of classroom practices aimed at encouraging student motivation and engagement in K-16 classrooms. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University where she focused on similar areas of research. Iris's teaching philosophy is grounded in a belief that a caring environment with high expectations and the right mix of teacher and student-directed learning are critical for students to develop as learners and young people. When she is not in the classroom or busy thinking of ways to improve student learning, Iris will likely be immersed in her book of the month, spending time with friends, or catching up with her family in Texas. She is excited to bring her love of literature, research, and grammar to her middle school students as Summit Tam's 7th grade English teacher.
Tina Wan is the Founding 7th grade Math Teacher for Summit Tam. Tina grew up in San Jose and studied Criminology at UC Irvine. She attended law school at USC and practiced business and commercial litigation for three years in Los Angeles. While she was an attorney, Tina began spending her free time volunteering reading to kids, and in doing so, realized that she had a passion for teaching and education. She decided to become a teacher and attended UCLA as part of the IMPACT Urban Teacher Residency program, where she also received her Master's Degree in Education. She taught fifth grade for two years at a K-12 pilot school in LAUSD, and most recently, taught fourth grade this past year at a public school in SFUSD. Tina is excited to be the founding math teacher at Summit Tam where she hopes to inspire in students a love for math and where she intends to help build a strong and empowered school community.
Thomas Pedroza is the Founding 7th grade History Teacher for Summit Tam. Thomas is a third year teacher originally from Kansas City. He studied Philosophy and Italian Literature at Columbia University and was a part of the men's volleyball team, as well as the creative writing and music performance programs. Thomas is humbled and beyond excited to be joining the Tam community. For him, there is nothing more meaningful than empowering students to learn and think for themselves.
Callia Wolff is the founding Habits,Culture and Community (HCC) Teacher and Athletic Director for Summit Tam. After earning her Master's degree (MEd) in Integrated Learning from Antioch University New England, she spent the last four years co-creating an independent school from the ground up in Sunnyvale, CA. She is very excited to bring all her experiences with building a learning community and nurturing culture to help make Summit Tam a place that students, teachers and families can call home.
Before answering the call to teach and transform the educational landscape, she earned a BFA in film and video production from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Also, after earning her license in massage therapy (LMT) and continuing her studies in Craniosacral therapy, she ran a full time private healing practice. She still practices part-time in the summers. She also loves to dance and spend time in nature.
Alie Bollaidlaw is Summit Tam's Resource Specialist. Alie is coming from Summit:Shasta High School in Daly City. Alie is incredibly excited to be part of the founding team at Summit: Tam and return to the West Contra Costa community. Prior to working at Summit, Alie was an Education Specialist at a middle school in WCCUSD. Alie has a masters degree in Special Education from Loyola Marymount University and a double bachelor's degree from Stanford University in Science, Technology and Society, and Psychology. Alie graduated from high school in the East Bay but grew up in the Washington D.C area. When she is not at school Alie loves to travel and be active and she loves running, hiking, camping, yoga and anything in the great outdoors!
Personalized Learning (PLT) Teacher
We are excited to welcome a new faculty member to the Summit Tamalpais community. Martin Vela-Sanchez is our new Personalized Learning Time (PLT) teacher. He is originally from San Diego, California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelors in Comparative Literature and a Minor in Spanish. During his time at Cal he studied abroad, conducted scholarly research and taught middle and high school courses for the Upward bound and Talent search TRiO programs. He is excited to be a part of this team and looks forward to being a support to all students in their educational journeys. We are thrilled to have him join our faculty.