Specialist and Support Team
Omar Rodriguez Diaz, Exploratory Arts Teacher
I have been an arts educator for 7 years and an artist for as long as I remember. I went to a magnet high school for visual arts in Puerto Rico, where I was raised, and completed my master's degree at California Institute of the Arts with a focus on traditional animation. I also have over 10 years of professional dance experience and training. My passion for dance led me to UCLA Lab School where I offered all my talents, teaching visual arts and dance to elementary school students until recently. I believe the arts promote holistic growth at every age.
I love taking dance classes, singing lessons, life drawing, yoga, going to dance and arts shows, and snacking all the time. I look forward to exploring this great walking city and finding a good Puerto Rican food place.
Hannah Caminos, Spanish Teacher
I am so excited to be part of The New School. I am from Venezuela but have lived in San Francisco for 16 years. As an educator for the last 15 years I have developed a strong interest for bilingual education, environmental awareness, children’s rights and cultural diversity. I am passionate about providing children with an education that prepares them for today's world. I believe that by learning a language and its culture, our perspective of the world gets wider and I see language as a communication bridge that connects diverse ethnic groups from all over the world. I think it is essential to raise conscious children to protect the Earth and create vibrant, respectful and dynamic communities in today's global, multicultural and diverse society. I believe the true beauty of humanity lies in our ethnic and cultural diversity and that learning about this diversity prepares children to lead more peaceful lives in their adulthood.
In my free time, I love traveling around the world, meeting new people, camping, hiking, live music, dancing, eating good food and going to the beach.
Matt Hagemann, Physical Education Coach
Bio coming soon!
Nicola Fleischer, Instructional Coach K-2
I grew up here in San Francisco, and am thrilled to be building a new educational institution for my amazing home city. I am energized by the perspective and enthusiasm that my young students bring to learning, and I love the daily surprise of what they can accomplish. I joined New School in 2015 from my 2nd Grade classroom in SFUSD, and am fired up to improve equity in our city's schools. I began my career as a Kindergarten Teacher at a Rocketship charter school in San Jose, where I implemented blended learning models and learned the practices of robust literacy instruction. I graduated from Brown University with a degree in Education History and Policy, and received my credentials through Teach For America.
I love getting up with the sun, making smoothies, and playing with new crochet projects. I like spending my weekends outside, exploring the parks and hills we have in such close reach!
Alli Guilfoil, Instructional Coach 3-4
I began my teaching career 10 years ago as a Special Education Teacher in Oakland. Most recently, I have been working as the Director of Academic Intervention for Seneca's All-In-Partnership Project, overseeing academic intervention programming, supervising and coaching special education teachers and service providers at our partnership schools across the Bay Area. My passion for teaching and learning led me to pursue and complete a Masters in Instructional Leadership from the Reach Institute for School Leadership. I love getting to know individuals, students and educators as learners and doing whatever I can to support their growth and development. I am so excited to dig into this work with the upper elementary team and to grow roots within the New School community!
I live in Oakland with my husband, who is an Assistant Principal at an Oakland high school. When we aren't working we love to spend time with friends, be outside, try new restaurants, and cheer on Bay Area and Wisconsin sports teams. I also love playing music and singing, playing co-ed softball, and taking long walks.
Michelle Prather, Behavior Specialist K-2
I am proud to be a member of the founding team at New School and am excited to be a part of the 1st grade team this year! My role as the K-2 Learning Specialist is to support all staff and students across the 3 tiers of intervention. I have been working in the field of education for over 15 years, helping students of all abilities learn and succeed in their educational environment, focusing on what a child can do, rather than what they cannot. I have taught across the country in an Autism special day class, provided Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) early intervention services, and taught as an inclusion specialist in SFUSD.
When I am not in the classrooms, I am a mom to 2 boys Spencer (6) and Jackson (2). I love to cook, explore new places in the Bay Area, as well as traveling as much as possible.
Megan Hugel, Operations Coordinator
Maritza Sanchez, Director Exploremos
I am thrilled to continue to participate in the evolution of New School as we expand as an organization and as a family. I came to New School seeking new professional challenges and I am eager to work this year in a new role, as the Director of Exploremos. I am eagerly anticipating the challenge of being an intricate part of your children’s after school experience. I love to see the look on the kid's faces when they master something new, and follow the exciting process of divining into their passions. Watching them work together and accomplish goals is the most amazing feeling in the world!
I was raised in Colombia by two of the most hard-working people I know; my parents have taught me if anything is worth doing it is worth doing with esmero and purpose or it isn't worth doing at all. I have lived half of my life in Bogota, Colombia and half of my life here in the Bay Area. I have a 3 year old son, who is embracing a new challenge himself, preschool! When I am not at school, I enjoy to find hidden gems in the gastronomic world that is the Bay Area. I love to go to the beach, spend time with family and just Netflix and chill once everyone's is asleep.
Exploremos Team, After School Program
Maria Elena, Coach