For weeks, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of students for another year at SGS. We believe there is no better way to help students orient to their new peers and surroundings than by working together towards common goals. During orientation week, the halls are filled with countless examples of teamwork. Fifth graders explore identity together by creating plaster masks. Sixth-graders use power tools to create go-karts—supervised by teachers, of course! Seventh-graders identify personal values and how they relate to the SGS mission. Eighth-graders reconnect through egg-related team challenges and reflections on their values.
As members of the SGS community, you will witness the groundbreaking progress our students make throughout the year, and orientation week is just the beginning! We are so inspired by the powerful moments in the classroom—big and small—and can’t wait to share them with you. The Friday Forum is our way of giving families the opportunity to see transformative education at work. Each week in the Friday Forum, you will see stories about what’s happening at SGS, grade-level highlights and links to blogs, and all school announcements.
To kick off the year, we are excited to introduce you to the new members of the SGS community:
6th Grade: Math and Science, 6th Grade Advisor
Jessica is the new sixth grade math and science teacher at SGS. Throughout her career, Jessica has had the privilege of working for a variety of public schools in Camden, NJ, Newark, NJ, and Denver, CO as a teacher and administrator. She has worked at two Blue Ribbon Schools and has showed significant growth for students each year she has been in the classroom. Prior to taking a sabbatical year, her fourth grade students in Denver showed the second highest growth, as measured by PARCC, of all of the cohorts of 4th graders in Denver Public Schools.
Learning Specialist and 7th Grade Advisor
As a Learning Specialist at SGS, Rebecca will provide academic support through individual and group work with students. She will collaborate with teachers, administrators, parents, and outside resources to help ensure a successful learning experience for all. Rebecca will also serve as a 7th Grade Advisor. Rebecca has recently moved with her family from the New York area where she has lived most of her life. She spent the last two years working at the all-girls’ Kent Place School in New Jersey as the Primary School Learning Specialist. Rebecca also has experience working with middle school students as she served as the Middle School Learning Specialist at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY.
8th Grade: Science & Math, 8th Grade Advisor
Veronica is the 8th grade science and math teacher and one of the 8th grade advisors. She is passionate about interdisciplinary work in the sciences, having studied and conducted research in biology, chemistry, medicine, physics and astronomy. Veronica is starting her first year at SGS after graduating from Skidmore—where she led the emergency medical services agency on her campus—and interning at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. this summer. She looks forward to using her various experiences to inspire and empower SGS students by incorporating the real life applications of science and math into her classes.
Casey supports the work of the SGS development office, including the organization and management of all aspects of the Annual Fund and Luncheon. He brings to the team experience in marketing, business management, and education, and he can talk your ear off about regenerative agriculture and rural revitalization. Find Casey outside the office running, reading, writing, or rustling up good eatings in his kitchen.
5-8th Grade: Art Teacher, 6th Grade Advisor
Our new Visual Arts teacher, Ani Orantes-Seijo, just completed her Masters in Teaching from Seattle University, where she was a Martinez Fellowship recipient. Prior to student-teaching at Madison Middle School in West Seattle, Ani worked at Seattle University School of Law for 14 years. Ani is excited about working at SGS and providing opportunities for students to authentically and joyfully connect with the arts. Ani will teach Visual Arts in 5th-8th grades and be a 6th grade advisor.
Interim Dean of Students
Marianne is the interim Dean of Students at SGS this year. Over her career, Marianne has worked at six Puget Sound independent schools, including Seattle Country Day School and University Prep, where she was the middle school division director. Most recently, she was just down the hill at Hamlin Robinson School where she was assistant head of school. She is also the owner of Book Bag Learning, a leadership development business that supports leaders with coaching and training. Marianne lives with her partner, Denny Russell, and two dogs, Cooper and Rita, in Seattle.