Makes the Difference!


Science, Creative Writing, and PE  -Deric McLean

    In Creative Writing, students are challenged to find their own voice by writing about what interests them in an environment that is less assignment driven, and more about personal progress. Students are taught to use any and all tools at their disposal to help them on this quest, from mentor texts to peer feedback, and most importantly: revision. This environment has resulted in students who write passionately with no prodding, because they enjoy it.  When this enthusiasm is combined with a daily lesson, students become more expressive writers with plenty to say!

    Deric has a strong belief that in order to remember anything from science, most students have to get their hands dirty, and they have to make their own discoveries and breakthroughs. Whenever possible,  students are presented with a challenge to overcome and asked to work on a solution with those around them. It is only after they have shared their genius, that they learn about someone else who earned their notoriety by coming to the same conclusions many years ago. Topics are presented thematically, and are pulled from CA State Science Standards.

    After 16 years of soccer coaching, Deric is more than comfortable teaching PE. His curriculum provides a variety of warm-up exercises and games which teach students about their bodies and about how to enjoy athletics. The small class size allows one-on-one instruction for students of all abilities, whether it’s how to do toe-touches, or how to properly perform advanced dribbling techniques. Most importantly, PE is a place where students learn to work as a team and to support each other through a wide variety of team-building challenges and activities.

   Deric McLean is lucky enough to teach all grade levels, K-6, at Santa Cruz Children’s School.  He works full time and ans an intregal part of the school. He teaches Science and PE to everyone, and Creative writing to all but the Kindergartners. He holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University, along with a BA in English from Santa Clara University.

                        Instrumental Music- Lars Johanesson

    Children are introduced to instrumental music in the First or Second Grade. They may choose to stay with the recorder or they may choose another woodwind instrument as they get older. Most children move on to the flute, saxophone, or clarinet. Many students study piano or other instruments out side of class. Each year we have a Spring Concert where young musicians share their work in groups and individually.

    Lars Johanesson teaches and directs our instrumental program. He is helping children develop rhythm, sight-reading, and musicianship. He has had 15 years teaching experience and specializes in silver flute, Irish flute and baroque flute. Lars has studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Royal Conservatory of Hague in Holland.

Spanish- Christy Hertzberg

    Spanish is taught Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. It is taught in a conversational manner and incorporates curriculum that is appropriate for each grade level. Students develop their ear and accent. The small class size insures individual attention and practice. She uses hands on exercises and art to reinforce her lessons.

    Christy Hertzberg has been teaching Spanish in the Santa Cruz Area for over 16 years. She has been encouraging and stretching our students for the last four years.

Art- Julie Munnerlyn

    Children at SCCS experiment with the various art mediums. We do not aim for perfect, we aim for enjoyment of the experience. The children work with found objects (someone's junk is another's treasure) to create amazing art collages, paper mache, sculptures, scarecrows, and paintings. We put together the children's adventurous stories into  fabulous books. We have created beautiful gifts for the animals at our local animal shelter. We incorporate fine art instruction and art history education. Julie and the children are always so thrilled at how incredible their final art pieces are. They just cannot wait to see how far they can go with each project every week!

    Julie Munnerlyn- During her extra hours she has  a home business selling uniquely designed linens. She has degrees in History, Political Science, and City and Regional Planning. But the wonderful world of art is where she has the most fun.


Sewing and Cooking- Nicolette Harris

    Our sewing classes are composed of projects that are fun to design, interesting to sew, and finished in two to three weeks to keep the students’ interest.  Sock monsters, book covers and tote bags are examples of ongoing projects. Focus is on learning straight stitch, blanket stitch, buttons, embroidery and enjoying the satisfaction of creating something without worrying about perfection and mistakes.

    In our weekly cooking classes we use fresh organic ingredients and lots of FUN. The children get to mash, chop, mix, measure, and at the end eat and enjoy their efforts! Recipes cover a range of types of food and cooking skills; vegetable soup, fresh pasta, banana rice pudding, to name a few. 

    Nicolette Harris is an experienced teacher who brings the joy of doing everyday things well to life and to the classroom!


American History- Amy Marlo

    In this class, students will learn about American history from its pre-Columbian past until the 1800s.  We will cover topics related to Native Americans, European exploration, and colonial life.  Students will also learn about important individuals and events that shaped early life in the United States.  Through listening to stories and doing class activities, students will be encouraged to imagine the different places and times that have influenced our common culture.

    Amy Marlo’s educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Studies, with a particular interest in philosophy and art history.  She also has two Master's degrees.  She first earned a Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning and worked as a planner in urban neighborhoods.  Her second Master's is in Social Work and she has worked, most recently, in children's mental health.  She is excited about bringing the humanities into the classroom.

Theater Arts- Zak Bauman

    Theater Arts will allow students to explore all areas of the theater: acting, dance, movement, and creation. With the goal of building confidence, we will work on body awareness and coordination, strong presentational skills, emotional connections, and skilled reading.  Students will work with each other to create and present original movement.  There will be opportunities for students to explore movement and text and how that changes when emotions, feelings, and motivation are added.

    Zak Bauman  began her classical ballet training as a child, but found her true love as a modern dancer, under the guidance of Mel Wong. After obtaining a BA in Literature from UCSC, she moved to New York City and spent 4 years studying with Merce Cunningham and faculty and was a member of The Blanco Dancers.  She returned to Santa Cruz and spent 3 years dancing for the Mel Wong Dance Company before working for several years as a High School English Teacher. Zak has been teaching ballroom dance at the Palomar Ballroom since 1998 and continues dancing as a modern dancer with local choreographer Tandy Beal.

Vocal Music- Camille Chitwood

    Vocal music is taught as an important tool of both self-expression and group interaction.  Through singing, students find their voices and gain confidence, while also understanding the individual’s role in a larger group.  The students sing and explore music of many styles – folk, classical, rock & roll, jazz, and world music are all incorporated into the program, with the important goal of gaining appreciation for music as a whole.  All of the students are also taught solfege from the first day. 

    Younger students are exposed to basic rhythms as they relate to natural speech patterns, learn tunes with two-part harmonies, and participate in beginning improvisation.  The older students are taught complex rhythms and harmonies, songs in foreign languages, diction (utilizing the International Phonetic Alphabet), and simple compositional techniques.  Through this program, the students discover the tools to read and write simple melodies so they may one day compose music of their own.

   Camille Chitwood holds a B.A. in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently finishing her M.A. in conducting under the tutelage of Nicole Paiement.  She is a member of the Music Teacher’s Association of California, music director of the eXperimental Choir, co-director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s Student Staff Ensemble, and assistant conductor for the UCSC Opera Program.  She also teaches music to students of all ages in her private studio.

Publishing- Maryanne Campbell

    As a supplement to the creative writing skills program, the school newspaper is designed to give the children greater understanding in how to communicate their stories in a succint and ordered way. The 5th and 6th grade children take pride in their work and learn how to work to a brief and meet deadlines. They are encouraged to submit feature ideas and learn how to research their stories using the library and internet.

    Maryanne Campbell is responsible for production and design of the School Newspaper and Story Anthology compilations. She has been in publishing for over twenty years first working in print advertising, then magazines and the latter part in books where she worked for Random House in Europe. Today she keeps her hand in by writing for blogs, websites, promotional media, designing presentations and print materials for friends in business.

HOME             ABOUT US                    PHOTO TOUR 



    Hands on learning brings the curriculum alive.  Our teachers  teach to their expertise in areas where they are passionate.

Our co-op teaching positions offers a unique avenue for parent participation .

Enrichment Classes include: