AdministrationTara Seekins -- Head of SchoolTara came on board as Willow Creek Academy's Assistant Head of School in 2011 and became the Head of School in 2016. She 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 grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Everyone in her family works in public schools: her dad is a maintenance worker, her mom is a paraprofessional, and her sister teaches special education! Tara graduated from Smith College with a degree in English and Classics. After 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 addition to her administrative credential, she holds elementary and secondary teaching credentials as well as National Board Certification in English Language Development.
As a graduate student at UC Berkeley, 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, and she interned at the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. She earned her Master's degree from Berkeley's Graduate School of Education and her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law. She continues to support new school administrators as an assistant instructor of Law and Policy at Cal's Principal Leadership Institute.
Tara is grateful to live in the Marin Headlands with her husband and their dog, cat, and two chickens. She loves traveling, cooking, reading, and hiking our amazing local trails.Kristine Duran -- Assistant Head of SchoolKristine is delighted to be moving into the role of Assistant Head of School! She is a graduate of the Masters in Education and administrative credential program at San Francisco State University, and she looks forward to a new phase of her career at Willow Creek.After obtaining her credential, Kristine moved to California City (in the Mojave Desert) and taught First grade. A year later, she moved to Sonoma County and entered a Reading and Language Master’s program at Sonoma State. A short time later, Kristine was happy to find a job as an assistant teacher in the K/1 class at Willow Creek, and a year later found herself teaching the the school's second First grade class. Kristine loves teaching First grade and is constantly amazed at the insights that these brilliant children have. She believes in hands-on learning and arts integration (including art, drama and music).Emily Darawish grew up in Northern California, Louisiana, and Alaska, and eventually settled in the Bay Area after earning a Spanish-Bilingual Teaching Credential from San Diego State University. Emily has a BA in Spanish/Cross-Cultural Studies from Whitworth University and Masters in Education from Dominican University. She began her career teaching in southern San Diego County, then worked in the San Francisco Unified School District for three years before coming to Willow Creek Academy to teach third grade in 2006.Katie Monsma -- After School Program DirectorKatie has worked with the After School program at Willow Creek since moving to California two years ago, and is excited to be moving into the role of Director this year. She has a Masters in Environmental Education, and, prior to coming to Willow Creek, she lived and worked in Olympic National Park. Katie is currently working towards a Maker Educator Certificate from Sonoma State, and she enjoys teaching STEM lessons with students in after school.Outside of After School, Katie volunteers as the Ombudsman for her husband's US Coast Guard unit, essentially acting as the liaison between the command and families, disseminating information, and being a point of contact. She was recently recognized as the 2017 Ombudsman of the Year for the district of CA, NV, UT, and AZ for her efforts during an unusual deployment season for the unit. In her free time, Katie enjoys practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu several times a week, spending time with her husband and dog, and reading.