Faculty

Brenda Hodges-Howell

Brenda_web6th Grade: Humanities, 6th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1600
Email: bhodgeshowell@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., English, Seattle Pacific University
M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Washington

Brenda serves as one of the teachers and advisors on the 6th grade team. She is passionate about active learning with others and is interested in creating learning communities that are integrated in their environment and rooted in anti-bias work. Brenda believes that by fostering positive identity and understanding of one’s own culture and the cultures of those around them, students are able to work across difference and gain more confidence and trust in themselves and their peers.

Brenda holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in multicultural education from the University of Washington (2008) and a Bachelor’s in English from Seattle Pacific University (1999). Before coming to SGS, Brenda instructed at IslandWood, a school in the woods on Bainbridge Island, and Seattle Audubon. She also worked for the social justice organization Sojourners in Washington, D.C. where she developed a passion for justice and direct service.

Why I love middle school: The journey into womanhood is tricky! There are constantly new ways of being to figure out, as each girl becomes more fully herself. Middle school is ripe with the potential for anyone to become anything. Our students have such strong voices, passionate beliefs, wild curiosity, and spirited relationships. Moment by moment, students are able to try new things and redefine themselves. This pivotal process is inspiring and keeps me tenaciously seeking to be my most authentic and passionate self as I walk alongside our students.


Christina Tannert

Asset 25th – 6th Grade: Music & Yearbook
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1940
Email: ctannert@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.M., Music Education, Trinity University
M.A.T, Education (Music), Trinity University

Christina teaches ukulele for 5th grade and guitar for 6th grade. She is passionate about musical learning and community building. Christina believes in fostering independence in students through creative teaching and curriculum rooted in musical self expression.

Christina holds a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on vocal music education from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas (2013). Before coming to SGS Christina taught at Doss Elementary and Conspirare Youth Choir in Austin, Texas. She also works at Ballard/Shoreline Academy of Music and Dance and is a contributing author to Music Memory, a music history curriculum used in schools throughout the U.S.

Why I love middle school: I had a great middle school experience with fantastic mentors who continue to inspire me in my teaching. Middle school is powerful time for finding a voice and I love being a part of these transformative years in students’ lives!


Cody Hagler

5th Grade: Humanities + Math
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1500
Email: chagler@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., History, Western Washington University
M.A., Masters in Teaching Secondary Education, Western Washington University
Educational Specialist degree, PK-12 school administration, University of South Dakota

After meeting the students and staff in 2014, Cody said he felt as though he returned home at SGS. The previous four years, he had been teaching, coaching, and leading at schools here in the United States and in Bangkok, Thailand. He received a B.A. in History, M.B.A. coursework, and Masters in Teaching at Western Washington University. Recently, he added an Educational Specialist degree in PK-12 school administration from the University of South Dakota. He is a hiker, soccer player, gardener, lover of learning, reader, writer, and science-fanatic.

Why I love middle school: Middle school is adventurous, challenging, and inspiring. Students and teachers take part in journeys of discovering new ways of learning, experiencing, and interacting with the natural world, our Seattle community, and our SGS family. We recognize that we grow at different speeds and in different directions. Alongside these changes, all our girls learn to take risks as collaborative catalysts, creating a community of joy, compassion, and creativity. I love middle school!


Elizabeth Rowan

Elizabeth

6th-8th Grade: Spanish
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1935
Email: erowan@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., Humanities for Teaching; minors in Spanish and Business Administration from Seattle University

Elizabeth was born and raised in Seattle where she attended both Ballard High School and Seattle University. She was awarded a Fulbright grant in Madrid, Spain where she lived and taught English for three years. Elizabeth loves traveling, reading, and getting lost in nature.

Why I love middle school: I love middle school because it’s an incredible time to try out different things, build great friendships, and discover new passions.


Hannah McHugh

Hannah_web5th-8th Grade: Adventure + Wellness, 8th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1930
Email: hmchugh@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.S., Secondary Health Education and Physical Education, Northern Arizona University

Hannah is the Adventure & Wellness instructor for all grades and an 8th grade advisor. She also coordinates the Snow Bus and coaches throughout the year. She has a Bachelors of Art in Secondary Health Education with a Physical Education emphasis from Northern Arizona University. She has a teaching certificate for Washington state as well.

Why I love middle school: Middle school is an adventure. We face challenges, explore curiosities, build relationships, and more. At SGS it is a time to learn about who you are, who you want to be, and the impact you want to have on the world. It’s incredibly rewarding to play a role in such a pivotal part of a person’s life. Plus, middle schoolers at SGS are so much fun!


Jessica Majerus

jessica website6th Grade: Math and Science, 6th Grade Advisor 
Phone: (206) 709-2228,
Email: jmajerus@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A in Anthropology and Political Science from Wellesley College

Jessica graduated from Wellesley College in 2003 magna cum laude.  Since then, she 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.
Why I love middle school: I love middle school because it’s a time when girls and gender diverse students can either learn that they deserve to take up space in the world or learn to shrink.  I love helping kids discover their power and place in the world as leaders and agents of change.

Lydia Valentine

Lydia

7th + 8th Grade: Language Arts, 7th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext.1720
Email: lvalentine@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., Psychology, Johns Hopkins University
M.F.A candidate in Writing, Goddard College (graduation date, February 2019)
Trained Reading Specialist, ARK Institute of Learning, Summer 2017

Lydia Valentine has been teaching English and creative writing  and advising in independent schools since 1999, though she took time off in the 2016-17 school year to dedicate her time to being a student and writer.  Her efforts were recently rewarded when she was named Alternate for the role of 2017-2019 Tacoma Poet Laureate and the Our Little Roses Poetry 2017 Fellow.

Lydia believes that knowing how to problem-solve, think critically, and communicate ideas convincingly are skills that serve students no matter what the subject matter or task is, no matter their age, so it is essential to help students to develop in these areas, as is preparing them to be conscientious and respectful global citizens.

In addition to being an educator, Lydia is a poet, playwright, activist, and mom who lives in Tacoma where she has a happy home full of people, pets, books, and laughter.

Why I love Middle School:  I fell in love with working with Middle School students when I began working with the Summerbridge Program while in college.  Their energy and curiosity are contagious and invigorating. Middle Schoolers are beginning to develop their own ideas about the world, what they want it to be, who they are, and who they want to be, and it is a privilege to be a part of guiding that process. Exposing them to texts and resources that offer viewpoints beyond the often homogenous make-up of their peer groups is a way to help prevent the misunderstandings, ignorance, and disdain for the “other” that can occur in isolation. This exposure can lead to them having informed appreciation about other cultures, informed concern regarding contemporary issues, and deciding the contours of their own value systems.


Luzviminda Uzuri “Lulu” Carpenter

Lulu

5th-8th Grade: Teaching Artist, Performance and Media Arts, 8th Grade Advisor 
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1970
Email: lcarpenter@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., English & Minor, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Washington State University
M.A., American Studies, Washington State University
Owner, Uzuri* Consulting & Productions

Luzviminda Uzuri “Lulu” Carpenter (aka Ms. Lulu) is the 5th-8th Grade Performance & Media Arts Teacher, 8th Grade Production Teacher, and 8th Grade Advisor. She is a performance artist, radio host, producer, promoter, consultant, and community organizer and came to SGS as a cultural worker & cultural strategist who utilizes art and education to prevent violence with youth, young adults, and other marginalized communities.  Currently, she is working on a storytelling project and educational institute with Alphabet Alliance of Color (AAoC) which she found in 2017 and supports the allyship among communities of color that identify as Queer and Trans and serves on the Teacher Advisory Board at MoPop Museum.  She integrates the ideas of somatics (body), voice, art, performance, radio, and media justice through building curriculum and practices to empower students to take ownership and (re)create their image through photography and video. She has worked and performed for over 14 years in Seattle with community organizations, such as Ladies First Project of Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), VoicesRising, Asian Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center (now APIChaya), Pinay sa Seattle (now GABRIELA-Seattle).  She was an ambassador for OnTheBoards (OTB), to make connections between community, social justice, and innovative art and performances.  Ms. Lulu has also served as a Commissioner and Co-Chair of the City of Seattle LGBT Commission and worked as a consultant at organizations such as Roots Young Adult Shelter when she was not performing on stage, on radio, or in a middle school classroom.

Some examples of her local productions and promotions are Hollow Earth Radio (HER) with #LuluNation + Crew, Climbing PoeTree’s “Hurricane Season” (2008),OuterSpaces Tour: Power in the Margins (2012), Annual Women Who Rock Community & (Un) Conference (2011-2015), Complex Movements (2014-2015), Cultural Congress: Arts & Social Change Symposium (2013-2015), HaaayFest (2012-2014), and other one-act plays and featured poetry performances.  Some examples of media include: PechaKucha Seattle: #BlackLivesMatter “Examining Identity in the 21st Century,” KCTS9 “Speaking History: StoryCorps Visits Seattle,” Women Who Rock Community Archives, World Radio Day, and working on Low Power FM (LPFM) community radios in the Central District & Seattle (Articles: Stranger & Seattle Times).

Why I love Middle School? Middle school is the place where new empowered images of self can be created to counter what the world and media tells people what gender, race, and all socially constructed identities mean. I believe in every generation’s ability to develop new innovative solutions through art and media.


Marcele Augustine

Headshot circles-03Director of Academic Technology, 6th Grade Advisor 

Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1710
Email: maugustine@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., Literature and Writing, University of San Diego

Marcele teaches Computer Science to grades 5-8 and coordinates Seattle Girls’ School commitment to integrating STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art, and Math) across the disciplines. Marcele has 20+ years of experience teaching elementary school age children computer science and STEM (+ART) in private and public schools in New York City. Marcele most recently worked at The Spence School, a K-12 all-girls’ school in Manhattan for 14 years.

In the Lower School division, she designed integrated approaches to learning that encourage students to think more broadly about real-world problems and develop student driven projects that foster innovation and creativity.


Shannon O’Malley

Shannon_web7th Grade: Math and Science, 7th Grade Advisor 
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1630
Email: somalley@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., Anthropology, University of Washington

Shannon has been teaching in Seattle since 2010. They started their teaching career through the Resident Teacher program at University Child Development School and continued working there for two additional years. Shannon then supported a math classroom at Hazel Wolf before finding SGS in the spring of 2013. In addition to teaching, Shannon has been coaching Ultimate frisbee since they were 16, this is what sparked their interest in working with youth. Shannon has coached beginner through national level teams throughout their coaching career. At SGS, Shannon supports the cross country team, snow bus, and the Ultimate frisbee team as well as hosts Math Cafe and is an Alphabet affinity co-leader.
Why I love middle school: I love the energy and dedication shown by middle school students, they know their current passions and are curious to find more. For me, middle school was when I started to truly search and find myself. I am excited to be a part of their exploration on to new adventures and help guide them when needed.

Veronica Mierzejewski

veronica website8th Grade: Science and Math, 8th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1810
Email: vmierzejewski@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A., Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry, Skidmore College

Veronica is the 8th grade science and math teacher and one of the 8th grade advisors. She is passionate toward 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 moving from her hometown of Philadelphia. Prior to her arrival in Seattle, she graduated from Skidmore College, where she led the emergency medical services agency on her campus and researched the large-scale structure of the universe with her astrophysics research team. Upon graduating, she interned at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she worked in the Mars Exploration Program. Veronica strives to inspire and empower SGS students by infusing passion, curiosity, fun, and personal growth into her science and math lessons. Outside of school, Veronica loves writing, exploring the city, and pen-palling with her friends on the East Coast.

Why I love middle school: From personal experience, I learned how much I value leadership, personal growth, community building, collaboration, and social justice somewhat late in the game–in my 20s! I think that ideally, middle school is the prime time for students to learn what their values are: it’s a time when students begin to forge their identities and establish goals for who they want to be as they grow up. When we give students the resources and support they need to discover their values during these formative years, I believe they’ll enter the world beyond with more confidence to chase their dreams!


Wendy Ewbank

7th + 8th Grade: Social Studies + Global Studies, 7th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1750
Email: wewbank@seattlegirlsschool.org

B.A.S., Radio/TV/Film and Dance, University of Maryland
M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Washington

Wendy teaches 7th grade social studies and 8th grade global studies. She is also an advisor, facilitator of our SGS Student Council and faculty lead on a 7th grade trip to Washington, DC. She is the faculty adviser for IMPUHWE (which means compassion in Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda).  This student-led group believes in Inspiring and Motivating Powerful Undiscovered Women with Education. We hold fundraisers, educate the community about the need to educate girls everywhere, discuss current barriers to full empowerment and communicate with students overseas. Wendy holds B.A.s in film and dance from the University of Maryland and a Masters in Education from the University of Washington, specializing in curriculum and instruction in social studies.

Why I love middle school: Middle school students are fun loving, spirited and willing to take risks. They are just figuring out who they are as individuals and appreciate being asked how they think and feel about real world issues. They love any opportunity to include drama (as do I) and are not as likely as high school students to have fixed ideas about their identities. They make me laugh and they challenge me to be a better person.