Unlike most public schools where Music, Art, Handwork, Foreign Language, and Environmental Education (if imparted at all) are at best extra-curricular programs, they are central to the way each student learns at the Novato Charter School (NCS).
Music | Organic Gardening | Math | Movement | Spanish | Handwork | Special Education
Mr. Blacklock completed a program in music performance, composition and arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies and a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities from San Francisco State University. Besides teaching music, Mr. Blacklock is a composer and a performer. He joined Novato Charter School in 2001.
Organic GardeningPauline Yee
Pauline Yee is the Garden Coordinator. Pauline joined the staff at Novato Charter following three years of weekly volunteering in the school garden as a parent volunteer. Pauline brings a wealth of experience as a naturalist, environmental scientist, and backyard gardener. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and a law degree.
Justin Bayer studied Political Science and Creative Writing at Western Michigan University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. A long-time High School and College Basketball Coach, he was also a Physical Education instructor at Brookside Upper Elementary in San Anselmo. Justin has been our Movement Teacher since 2012.
Born in Colombia, Liliana Castro is currently our Kindergarten through Eighth grade Spanish teacher. Maestra Liliana holds a BA in Journalism and Communications from Universidad de la Sabana in Colombia. She has completed graduate studies in Environmental Management and Social Research Studies from Universidad Bolivariana. She completed her Waldorf Teacher Training in 2014 at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training and has taught in Waldorf schools since 2012.
Kris Vine earned a Master of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at California State University, Chico. After years of working as a career counselor guiding adults through the employment-seeking process, she took time off to raise her children. During this time, she re-discovered her knitting and crocheting skills, learned at age eight from her grandmother. She spent three years working as a handwork helper and is now our handwork teacher.
Caren Gutierrez joined Novato Charter School in the fall of 2018 after fifteen years of working in art museum education at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
Caren has a BA in Art History and History from UC San Diego, an MA in Art History from UC Davis, and an MA in Education and teaching credentials from San Diego State University. She worked for six years as a Special Education teacher for Sacramento City and San Diego Unified School Districts.