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. There, 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.
5th Grade: Humanities, 5th Grade Advisor, 5th/6th Grade Learning Support
B.A., English Literature, Miami University
M.A., Creative Writing, Miami University
EdS, Special Education and Teaching, Seattle University
Ph.D. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Lisa comes to SGS as a life-long learner and brings a wide range of middle-school, high-school, and college teaching experience in literature, film, and creative and research writing. Having toyed with pursuing an MFA in Fine Art Photography, a scholarship to the University of Glasgow, Scotland, to study Literature ultimately drove the decision to pursue academia over art (and yes, Lisa does, on occasion look back!). While living in the United Kingdom, Lisa enjoyed the opportunity to teach at both the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh before committing to online teaching for WA State colleges. She returned to Seattle with her husband, daughter, and son in 2013. While an alternative life for Lisa looks like owning a vineyard/becoming a vintner or running a small bakery/café serving only cookies, cake, and tea/coffee, Lisa is very excited to join SGS co-teaching 5th Grade and offering learning support to 5th and 6th graders.
Why I love middle school: Questions, so very many questions! For me, it’s all about the questions and curiosity that encourages and drives joyful learning. I also appreciate and deeply value the opportunity to work with enthusiastic young people who often, like me, embrace the curiosity and creativity which fuels deep passions, encourages a keen wit and mischievous sense of humor, and makes one open to change.
Aya Chiong Bisbee
B.A., Ethnic Studies, Brown University
Aya comes to SGS after having worked at schools and youth programs in Rhode Island and New York. She enjoys learning with and from young people and values building relationships with the students she works with. Aya is passionate about supporting young people to find power in their voices and create the futures they dream of. She is excited to be returning to Seattle, where she was born and raised, and joining the SGS community as a Teacher Assistant. In her spare time, Aya enjoys being outdoors, making art, cooking, and sharing a meal with loved ones.
Why I love middle school: Middle schoolers are eager to make the world a better place and I am inspired by their passion, creativity, and openness to new ideas. In middle school, young people are constantly learning about themselves, the world around them, and who they want to be in the world. I love getting to be an ally and support to middle schoolers along this incredible journey of self-discovery!
5th-8th Grade: Teaching Artist, Performance and Media Arts, 8th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1970
B.A., English & Minor, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Washington State University
M.A., American Studies, Washington State University
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 founded 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.
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.
7th-8th Grade: Mathematics, 7th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1810
B.M. Voice Performance, Indiana University
Kara taught high school mathematics in Indiana before coming to SGS in 2020. She loves deeply engaging students and fostering an intuitive understanding of mathematics. In addition to math, Kara has taught courses on environmental racism, history of US immigration, and other social justice issues. Outside of teaching, Kara trains as a classical singer, having graduated from the Jacobs’ School of Music. For fun, she loves hiking, cooking, baking, and playing board games.
Why I love middle school: Middle school math is a pivotal time in academic development. What children learn in these years can be passed by or can be delved into, a new world explored, connections made between seemingly different areas. Growing up through middle school is the same journey. New emotions and roadblocks can be ignored and fester in the face of novelty and challenge, or they can be unpacked. Students needn’t be afraid of mental math, or of Algebra, or even of themselves and their emotions. I want to help students love themselves and the mathematical world they live in.
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.
7th-8th Grade: Language Arts, 7th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1725
B.A. Theatre, Smith College
M.A. Self-Designed, Lesley University
Liz grew up in Pennsylvania, a quick bus ride away from New York City, where she first woke up to the life-giving force of literature and the arts. In her college and early teaching years, she was inspired by the work of Maxine Greene and the “wideawakeness” arts and humanities can spark in every person, and this has become a touchstone during her 20 years of classroom teaching. Most recently, she taught English and theatre at Dana Hall School in Massachusetts and was a director, costume designer, educator, and writer in the Boston theatre scene. Liz believes in the strength of young people and in a strong cup of coffee. She loves the outdoors, animals, local food, singing, and listening to music and podcasts.
Why I love middle school: These threshold years of self-discovery and growth are a true privilege to witness. I love seeing students learn how to be both a good friend and a good collaborator in the classroom, and I enjoy being there for the many “Aha!” moments that occur in these years. These years are made easier with a healthy sense of humor, and I enjoy cultivating a classroom where laughter is welcome and figurative scraped knees are a badge of honor.
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!
5th Grade: Humanities + Mathematics, 5th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1510
B.A., International Relations and Education, Mount Holyoke College
M.Ed., Montessori Education, Loyola University, Maryland
Ariel brings a passion for supporting the development of children and adolescents through being creative in her teaching and working in partnership with her students. Ariel earned a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Morocco and then spent two years teaching second grade in an international school. After pursuing her Montessori Elementary training and Masters in Education, Ariel spent three years teaching a class of Upper Elementary students here in Seattle. Ariel enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors with her students by leading hiking and camping trips. She has also enjoyed being involved in the performing arts. In her spare time, Ariel dances ballet, skis, practices yoga, and explores the hiking trails around Seattle.
Why I love middle school: Middle school is a transformative time in a young person’s development. Middle schoolers learn so much about themselves, as well as begin to think about their role in the wider world and what they want their impact to be. I feel privileged to be a guide for young people as they transition into adolescence; to support their growth and ideas, to push them beyond their comfort zones, and to be an ally who encourages confidence in the power of their voice.
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!
6th Grade: Math + Science, 6th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1630
B.A., Anthropology, University of Washington
5th-8th Grade: Visual Arts, 7th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1730
Ani recently 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.
7th-8th Grade: Science, 8th Grade Advisor
Phone: 206.709.2228 ext. 1635
B.A., Education, Western Washington University
M.A., Education, Lesley University
Prior to SGS, Steph worked as a middle and elementary school science teacher in the Seattle and Highline school districts. She also worked as the K-5 Science Curriculum Specialist for Seattle, and was a leader at the district level around race and equity education and curriculum development. Steph also spent seven summers in the San Juan Islands teaching middle school students marine mammalogy, oceanography, and kayaking. She also is a certified yoga instructor. Steph has three adopted children and spends her time reading, doing art in her backyard art shed, exploring, snowboarding/skiing and doing as many activities as she can in salt water.
Why I love middle school: I love teaching middle school because it can be a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is a time of exploring self, relationships, interests and what possibilities lie presently and in the future. I am passionate about guiding and supporting young people during their journey of developing their voice, advocacy for self and the others and resiliency.
6th-8th Grade: Spanish, 8th Grade Advisor
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-6th Grade: Music + Yearbook, Technology Instructional Coach, 6th Grade Advisor
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1940
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!
5-8th Grade: Learning Specialist
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext.1720
B.A., Psychology, Johns Hopkins University
M.F.A., Writing, Goddard College
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 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.