1st Grade Teachers

My big question: How big is the universe? Does it ever end?

My big question: How big is the universe? Does it ever end?

Kristin Smith, Lead Teacher

I am joining the New School SF team with seven years teaching experience in the Bay Area plus three additional years teaching Pre-K. After spending a summer teaching in Kenya in 2008, I felt extremely passionate about education equality, and decided I wanted to be a teacher. I began my formal teaching career through Teach for America in San Jose and have had the privilege of teaching Kindergarten, 3rd, 4th and 5th! I have also spent the past four summers teaching science at Camp Galileo, which is where I discovered my passion for inquiry based learning.

In my free time, I love exploring the bay, hiking with my dog, and traveling the world. I've been to 32 countries on six continents. I like to bring my love of travel into the classroom as well, so don't be surprised if you hear New School students speaking a foreign language or telling stories of different cultures! 


My big question: What can we do to improve our city in one day? A week? A month? A year?

My big question: What can we do to improve our city in one day? A week? A month? A year?

Samantha Snook, Resident Teacher

I am a San Francisco native and a proud product of San Francisco's public schools. I have 15 years combined experience teaching preschool, tutoring K-12th grade, and teaching in an after school program, all in San Francisco.  My degree in Child Development has helped me learn to establish strong foundations in the early years that promote a love of life-long learning. My favorite kinds of learning happen when kids get messy and immersed in a project or investigation that is both interesting on a personal level and challenging. I am excited to be joining the New School team this year as a 1st grade teacher. While I am here I will also be earning my Master's degree through the Bay Area Teach Training Institute. 

In my free time, I enjoy exploring the constantly changing scenery and offerings of San Francisco like eating at new restaurants, perusing farmer's markets, and going to craft fairs. I also love paper crafting handmade greeting cards and vacationing in Hawaii. 


My big question: How many different types of trees grow in San Francisco?

My big question: How many different types of trees grow in San Francisco?

Kelley England, Lead Teacher, Grade Level Chair 

My passion for education dates back as far as I can remember. I received my BA in American Studies with a concentration in Education at Carleton College. In high school and college I volunteered in local schools and enrichment programs. While working in preschool art classes and nature centers, I learned the value of presenting children with opportunities to explore the natural world. After college, I taught at the International School Manila where I worked with students from over 70 countries. After a year in the Philippines I moved to the Bay Area to teach at the Nueva School where I taught kindergarten and then first grade. I have spent the last year working on my Masters in Education at Mills College.  Outside of the classroom you can find me making my own jewelry and walking the hills of San Francisco.


My big question: 

My big question: 

Kylie Garcia, Resident Teacher

My passion for teaching began while I was a swim coach in Los Angeles.  I enjoyed watching my kids thrive as swimmers while having fun in the water. From coaching I learned that kids should develop their skills in a fun and engaging environment, and feel supported to take risks to reach their goals. This belief lead me to the work at the UCLA Lab School for two years where I was introduced to inquiry based learning, and the Development Teacher Education Program at UC Berkeley where I continued to develop my teaching practices around inquiry learning.  Since completing my Master’s and credential coursework at UC Berkeley, I am excited to be joining the New School community where students feel supported in their learning, are nurtured to be problem solvers, independent thinkers, and creators inside and outside the classroom.  I am thrilled to be engaging with students in hands-on investigations, and watching them grow as learners.  As a teacher, I will prioritize recognizing each child’s unique strengths, and help students utilize their skills to make sense of their learning and their community. 

I love outdoor activities such as stand up paddle boarding, swimming, or hiking in the Bay Area on sunny days.  I also enjoy trying new foods, visiting the farmer’s market, and spending quality time with friends and family.  My favorite place to visit is Hawaii! I am so excited to share and gain experiences here at New School!