Learning Specialist/EF Coach I.P. Education Specialist
Born and raised in Altadena, CA as the son of two music teachers, I grew up not only with a love of the arts but also a strong fascination with science (due in part to my childhood hero, Bill Nye). However, it wasn't until a year after finishing my undergraduate studies at Oberlin College, with a double major in Mathematics & Psychology, that I finally caught the teaching bug myself, working for a year at an after-school program in Arcadia. With a newfound enthusiasm for education, I spent the next three and a half years teaching Middle and Upper School Math, Science, and SAT/ACT Test Prep at Fusion Academy in Pasadena; the following three years, I taught Upper School Math at Westmark School, a private school in Encino that primarily specializes in serving students with dyslexia, ADHD, ASD, processing disorders, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and difficulties with executive functioning. After seven years of teaching full-time in private education, I am now in my final stretch at Cal State University Northridge, pursuing a dual credential in Special Education and Secondary Math instruction, excited to make a difference in bringing more equitable educational access to all students, including kids with disabilities and other learning differences. My central drive as an educator and learning specialist is to motivate students to think critically; to be curious, to question; and also to discover a deep sense of joy in learning so that they will continue to seek knowledge and teach themselves about the world around them. I also believe strongly in differentiation throughout the learning process, and seek to play off of the individuality of each student; in doing so, this allows me to approach lessons from multiple perspectives. Specifically when it comes to mathematical concepts, I teach a multitude of ways to problem-solve and arrive at various solutions. Further, I believe in utilizing research-based, multi-modal differentiation strategies aimed towards language-based learning disorders and executive functioning difficulties. While I aim to demonstrate traditional methods and highlight their value, I also encourage students to expand upon their own individual thought processes, learning styles, and modes of communication to foster innovation and personal growth.
Outside of work and school, I pursue multiple varied hobbies, though most often can be found with a musical instrument in my hands; as an avid multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer, I am involved with multiple projects, including as a solo recording artist and as the guitar/keyboard player of my current band, The Skariginals. I also spend my free time practicing sleight of hand and close-up magic. A self-proclaimed geek with diverse interests, I am always happy to talk about obscure albums, philosophy and/or big bang cosmology, my love of stand-up comedy, or the often torturous and ill-fated life of being an LA Dodger fan.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with you and support the academic growth and success of your learner!