Academic and Intervention Specialists
Maya Creedman -- Literacy Specialist
Maya, a local girl, grew up roller skating behind her father’s office on what is now the kindergarten yard. Her career in education began almost 20 years ago as a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at UCLA. After five years of educational research and training teachers, she decided to get her teaching credential and go into the classroom herself. Maya has taught kindergarten through 8th grade, worked as an educational therapist, high school instructional coordinator, teacher coach and curriculum and program developer. As a literacy specialist, Maya feels lucky to spend her days supporting Willow Creek’s amazing staff and geeking out on all things literary. When not curled up with a good book, you can find Maya writing novels for teens, cycling through West Marin, or exploring the outdoors with her husband, two sons and Australian Shepherd.
Patricia Bardoul -- Student Support Specialist
Patricia Bardoul grew up in the Sunset District of San Francisco. She came across the bridge 27 years ago, fell in love with Marin and decided to stay. Patricia received her Bachelors degree from Dominican University in Psychology with a focus on children and their development and socialization. She has worked in different capacities in Education for most of her life. Before coming to the teaching world Patricia worked for many years as a counselor in a safe house working with women and children in difficult situations. This is where she found a passion and love for working with children that needed social and emotional support. Patricia wants all students to feel welcomed and receive tools to help them navigate through their school lives with compassion and empathy so that young people realize their value and power. She believes that Social Justice is important because it promotes and works towards a society that celebrates diversity and equality. This is good for society because it promotes opportunity, growth and social well being. Each student deserves the same exact guidance and love for a more socially just world.
Patricia is a wife, and mother of two teenage sons. She loves staying active, being outdoors, and teaching yoga and mindfulness to children and teens. Her favorite place on earth is at the beach on a sunny day.She is very grateful to be part of the Willow Creek community!
Jasmin Hall -- Student Support Specialist (5-8)I first joined the Willow Creek Academy staff in 2012 as a Student Support Specialist with a desire to assist our students in becoming better critical thinkers and communicators. As of Fall of 2018-2019, I am excited to move into the role of After School Program Director. I am a parent myself with my two sons, Robert and Kernus, who graduated from Willow Creek Academy.I am invested in this school as a part of my community. I want to be supportive to the students and families of Willow Creek Academy through proactive practices of restorative justice, dialoguing, community building, encouragement, and accountability. I believe in the power of self-reflection and I want to teach our students to use it as a tool that helps guide them in making productive choices for themselves and their community.
Aracely Gonzalez -- Primary Intervention Specialist
Aracely Gonzalez grew up watching sunsets over the furrows of strawberry fields in the Salinas Valley. The youngest daughter of four siblings, she quickly learned to value the wisdom that came before her. Her family, surroundings, and school nurtured her curious and creative instincts and founded her commitment to education. Her senior year in high school, she was awarded the Chancellor’s Scholarship, and she moved to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing. While working at Willow Creek Academy in 2003 as a teaching assistant, Aracely decided to return to graduate school at San Francisco State University, where she earned a Masters Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing (Fiction). Her passion for both creative writing and teaching intersected when she was awarded a three-year writing residency from the SF Arts Commission as a WritersCorps teaching artist at public schools and libraries. In 2012, she returned to Willow Creek Academy as a teacher’s assistant and enrolled at San Francisco State University to pursue her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
Aracely’s experience as an educator has shown her that project based learning, real-life field exploration, community involvement, and arts integration have the potential to engage students in curriculum and inspire meaningful academic discovery. She hopes to foster a community in her classroom that reflects the wonders of her own childhood, where students have a peaceful, friendly, and respectful environment in which they can mindfully explore, learn, and create. She encourages self-reflection and critical thinking skills and brings her passion for reading and creative writing into her classroom. She also shares her love of science and the arts. She holds high academic expectations tempered by the belief that mistakes are part of the learning process and serve as opportunities for courage, resilience, and growth. Aracely respects and celebrates the diversity of learners and their backgrounds in her classroom and tries to honor their individuality by observing and adapting to their unique needs and inquiries. Aracely is excited to teach at Willow Creek Academy, where the beautiful campus is abuzz with a diverse, talented, and caring community!
Karima Seghier Salem -- 3rd/4th grade Intervention SpecialistKarima Seghier Salem was born and grew up in Algeria! She is married and has three beautiful kids. She has lived in the Bay Area for over 14 years. Karima earned her Bachelor's degree in fashion design and art, and she is currently working on her California teaching credential. Karima loves to work with kids, especially students with special needs. She speaks four languages: French, Arabic, Algerian dialect, and English. Karima loves cooking and painting, and her favorite sport is soccer.
Jennifer Lawrence -- Math Specialist
Jennifer is excited to be supporting and enriching the math program at Willow Creek Academy! Before relocating to San Francisco in July of 2015, Jennifer spent 13 years teaching in Maryland in grades 1, 2, and 3 and honed her skills in developing and maintaining a learner-centered mathematics environment focusing on creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. As a part-time consultant with the Baltimore County Public Schools Department of Mathematics, she gained experience with curriculum development, professional development, textbook selection, digital resource integration, and development of best practices in the elementary math classroom. She currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Mathematics Curriculum & Instruction, and certifications in grades 1-12 mathematics.
After being named the 2014 Maryland State Finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching, Jennifer was excited to be involved in video project about the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics produced by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She believes that developing a child's love of math at an early age is the key to creating a society of adults who no longer say, “I’ve never been good at math.” Collaborating with talented teachers over the years taught her that forward-thinking teachers ask great questions, responsive teachers never stop learning, memorable teachers connect and build relationships, and innovative teachers embrace and catalyze change. She strives to embody those qualities to help both teachers and students meet with success! Outside of the classroom you’ll find Jennifer catching live music, playing games, cooking, sailing, camping, hiking, playing tennis, and traveling with her husband Josh.
Joel Villalobos -- Student Support Specialist (5-8)Joel Villalobos was born in San Francisco and raised in Richmond, California where his passion for education began. All the support gained through various mentors motivated him to pursue working with students in order to give others the same support he was given all throughout his educational experience. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and majored in Environmental Studies with a minor in Education. Throughout college he worked in various settings with students. Joel worked in summer camp programs with the YMCA and COSMOS, which is a 4-week program that supports gifted students in math and science. Joel has also worked in a more traditional classroom setting in Costanoa High School, a continuation school located in Santa Cruz. There he maintained great student relationships with students who often had behavioral issues with the intention to increase their academic success.
Recently he finished a year working as a Teaching Assistant and Mentor at Tahoma High School in San Jose. He worked closely with 9th and 12th graders in their academics and provided emotional support throughout the day. That experience increased his passion to pursue counseling as it is often undervalued and forgotten. Joel loves to bring humor when working with students as well as encourage students to strive for their best in and outside the classroom. Joel is excited to bring his joy and passion for assisting students to Willow Creek Academy this upcoming year.