Staff and Administration
Carol Cooper -- Head of School
Carol’s entrance into education was a result of her first full time job after graduating from Oberlin College -- working as a secretary in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Education Department. She loved that she was able to start her day walking through galleries of ancient artifacts, superlative Impressionist paintings and finished off the mad dash to her desk with some peeks into the decorative arts galleries. The position involved a lot of typing of scripts for the docents who took groups of children and adults through the museum. One day, a docent was ill and Carol was asked to fill in since was so familiar with the subject matter due to all that typing. She had so much fun that she decided teaching was for her. A bit of research and some application forms later, and she found herself in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the University of Chicago.
Carol had the luxury of learning how to teach at the University of Chicago Lab School (where John Dewey’s ghost is said to roam the halls) as well as to do graduate work in history. Teaching in a large public high school as well as the lab school shaped her early teaching career and her interest in bringing independent school approaches to public school settings. After teaching stints in Hawaii (the University of Hawaii lab school and a public school in Kaneohe) she returned to Chicago as the mother of two young children. After a year of balancing teaching and mothering, she decided that motherhood would win out for a while. A move to California ensued and that is where her administrative career began. Starting as a PTA President in Mill Valley, she ended up working as a Mill Valley district office administrator, and then obtained her administrative credential and a Masters degree in Educational Administration from UC Berkley.
Carol spent a number of years working at the Marin County Office of Education involved in varied number of positions ranging from organizing teacher professional development in math, science and computers to overseeing vocational education programs. During this time, as she interacted with a large variety of both public and independent schools, a little voice kept whispering, “wouldn’t it be great to create a new school?” Then, as chance would have it, she saw a posting for the Head of School for a brand new school in Sausalito. After a set of remarkable interviews with some really visionary people, she was appointed to be the founding Head of School for Willow Creek Academy. And, the rest, as they say…..is history. To this day, she still says this is the best job ever!
Tara Seekins -- Assistant Head of School
Tara came on board as Willow Creek Academy's Assistant Head of School in August, 2011. She is grateful for the warm welcome she has received from the school community!
After graduating from Smith College and completing a Master's degree in English at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Tara joined Teach for America and taught fourth grade in San Jose for four wonderful years. In 2007, Tara began graduate studies in law and education at UC Berkeley, where she focused on educational equity and civil rights. As a graduate student, Tara taught at San Quentin's Prison University Project, directed the Street Law program at the Alameda County Juvenile Hall, and advocated for low-income families at the East Bay Community Law Center. She was a founding member of the campus-wide Restorative Justice Committee. She received her Master's degree in Education and her administrative credential from UC Berkeley's Principal Leadership Institute in 2010, and she received her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law in 2011.
Tara loves our school's diversity, its emphasis on teaching the whole child through creative and responsive pedagogy, and the unique support it receives from community leaders in Sausalito and Marin City. Tara lives in the Marin Headlands with her husband and their dog, cat, and two chickens.