6th Grade: Humanities
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1600
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 also participates as the SGS Rock Climbing coach, co-facilitator of White Allies Affinity Group, and Community Meeting Coordinator.
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.
Director of Academic Technology
5th + 8th Grade: Science
6th + 7th Grade: Technology
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1710
B.S., Zoology, University of Florida
M.S., Science Education, City University of New York – Lehman College
Carly teaches a combination of science, engineering, and statistics in the 7th and 8th grades. Carly came to SGS via New York City public schools and Lakeside School. In addition to teaching, Carly also coordinates SGS’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) efforts and serves as co-chair of the Curriculum Council. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Florida and a Masters in Science Teaching from the City University of New York. When not teaching Carly can be found searching out adventure in its many different forms, fixing up a new-to-her sailboat, and spoiling her two furry children. In addition to teaching science, Carly serves as our STEAM Coordinator. Additionally, she serves on the SGS Curriculum Council.
Why I love middle school: Middle schoolers are a goofy and awkward bunch — and I love them for that. I also appreciate middle school kids for their willingness to laugh, their natural curiosity, and their exuberance for all things science. I especially like teaching science to middle school girls because I can provide them with opportunities for traditionally “un-girly” experiences like (safely) setting things on fire, using power tools, and engrossing themselves in an array of slimy and stinky stuff. In a single-gender middle school science classroom, the girls have to be the ones to take all of the chances because there are no boys to defer to like they often do in mixed-gender classrooms. Not at SGS!
5th + 6th Grade: Music, Teaching Artist
7th Grade: Visual Art, Teaching Artist
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1730
B.A., Creative Writing, Louisiana State University
M.F.A., Fiction, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Christopher is a Teaching Artist at SGS working in the realm of music, filmmaking, prose and visual art. Prior to teaching at SGS, Christopher has taught creative classes to youth, high school, college-level and adults for six years, on both the East and West coasts and abroad. Christopher (or CW, as he goes by in the art world) has been a recording artist for the past 13 years and currently leads the experimental pop band Wall of Ears (wallofears.com). He has toured extensively throughout the USA and the UK and released albums on Tooth and Nail, Broken Circles and his own label, Brainthaw Records. Christopher holds a degree in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Massachusetts Amherst. In his free time, he explores the history of sound and language and cinema, swims with his dog and his partner at the beach, listens to records, and performs in many different contexts. Both his fiction and his video work have been published widely.
Why I love middle school: Middle school students are extremely open-minded and have the capacity to engage with the higher-level abstract ideas that are pivotal in the realm of creativity. It is extremely important to nurture our girl’s imaginative qualities as their thoughts will shape our collective future. I aim to empower the girls to create in their own voices, both musically and artistically, so they can express their singular nature and continue to channel their brilliance into adulthood.
5th Grade: Humanities + Math
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1500
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, science-fanatic, and husband.
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!
8th Grade: Math + Science
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1810
B.A., Biology, Whitman College
M.A., Education, Seattle Pacific University
Ms. D serves as an 8th grade teacher. In her role as part of the 8th grade team, she teaches math, science, Social Justice and Cultural Understanding (SJCU), video production, and is an advisor. She is also the Math Coordinator working with the math department to communicate the program’s math goals and lead the math team’s professional development. She is also one of the co-leaders of the multiracial affinity group and has coached basketball.
Ms. D holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Whitman College and a Masters in Education from Seattle Pacific University, with endorsements in elementary education and middle school math and science. Prior to SGS, Ms. D was a resident teacher at Lakeside School and University Child Development School. She was a member of the Whitman In China Program after graduating from Whitman and taught English for a year at Shantou University in China. She has taught in local programs in Seattle such as Rainier Scholars, LEEP Summer Program (Lakeside School), and at the Pacific Science Center.
Why I love middle school: I love teaching middle school because the students are learning who they are and how to be independent. They are curious, energetic, awkward, and funny and make me laugh on a daily basis. I see how much they grow and become comfortable, confident women throughout their years here.
6th-8th Grade: Spanish
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1935
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.
5th-8th Grade: Adventure + Wellness
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1930
B.S., Secondary Health Education and Physical Education, Northern Arizona University
Hannah is the Adventure & Wellness Instructor. 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 as CrossFit Level One and CrossFit Kids certifications.
Why I love middle school: To me, middle school feels like the beginning of a kid’s life as a global citizen and life long learner. It’s incredibly rewarding to play a role in such a pivotal part of a person’s life. Middle schoolers at SGS are so much fun!
5th, 6th, and 8th Grade: Teaching Artist, Visual Art
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1950
B.A., Studio Art, Lynchburg College
M.A., Studio Art, Western Carolina University
M.F.A., Painting, Boston University
Kyle is one of the Resident Artists at SGS. He is a practicing artist, working primarily in the medium of oil painting from his Ballard studio (www.kylecookart.com). He holds a Bachelor Degree in Arts from Lynchburg College, VA, a Master in Arts from Western Carolina University, NC, and a Master in Fine Arts from Boston University. He has taught art and design courses at the college level and to adults prior to his tenure at SGS. In addition to art, he loves to fly-fish, cook, hike, garden, play guitar, and spend time with his wife and daughters.
Why I love middle school: Middle schoolers are a perfect mix of playful, childlike goofiness with brilliant sophistication and curiosity. I love how we can be silly and joyful but still dig in to complex ideas and issues. In addition, as the Art Teacher, I am fortunate to work with the students from year to year and witness their incredible growth into strong, independent individuals.
7th + 8th Grade: Language Arts
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext.1720
B.A., Psychology, Johns Hopkins University
M.F.A candidate in Writing, Goddard College (graduation date, summer 2018)
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
5th-8th Grade: Teaching Artist, Performance Studies
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1970
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 8th Grade Language Arts, Social Justice, and Production Teacher along with being the 5th-8th Grade Performance Studies Teacher & Resident Artist. She is a performance artist, producer, promoter, consultant, and community organizer and comes to SGS as a cultural worker & cultural strategist who utilizes art and education to prevent violence with youth, young adults, and other marginalized communities. 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. She has worked and performed for over 11 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 is also a Commissioner with the City of Seattle LGBT Commission and worked as a consultant at organizations such as Roots Young Adult Shelter when she is 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 if given tools and permission to push outside of boxes.
6th + 7th Grade: Science
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1640
B.S. Biology, Duke University
M.S. in Science Education, U.C. Berkeley
Phelana taught science at various schools in California, Texas, and Saudi Arabia before joining SGS in 2014. She received her B.S. in Biology from Duke University and her M.A. in Science Education from U.C. Berkeley. Outside of school, Phelana loves to spend time outdoors with her two daughters. She also enjoys reading, volleyball, good food, and traveling around the world.
Why I love middle school: In middle school, girls learn so much about themselves. It is a fun, but challenging journey. I love helping students cultivate their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. It’s also very important for girls to have strong allies and role models through the tougher parts of adolescence, and I love to support girls through their joyous moments and their uphill climbs.
6th + 7th Grade: Math
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1630
B.A. Anthropology, University of Washington
Shannon O’Malley is a 6th grade teacher and advisor at SGS. Shannon teaches math and reading workshop and coaches the Ultimate Frisbee team in the spring. Shannon received an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Washington in 2010. In addition to teaching at SGS, Shannon is a dedicated Ultimate Frisbee player for the team, Seattle Riot, which travels across the world to compete in National and World Championships.
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.
7th + 8th Grade: Social Studies + Global Studies
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1750
B.A.s Radio/TV/Film and Dance, University of Maryland
M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Washington
Wendy teaches on the 7th grade team with a primary emphasis on social studies. She is also an advisor, facilitator of our SGS Student Council and faculty lead on a 7th grade trip to Washington, DC. She has been the faculty advisor for our Richard’s Rwanda/IMPUHWE chapter since founder Jessica Markowitz was in the 7th grade (2008). 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.