Faculty & Staff

Starting with our Head of School and Leadership Team, scroll down to browse faculty and staff listed alphabetically. Click on the read more link to hear our staff and teachers answer a few questions about their experiences and inspirations.

Contact Us

Parents can contact faculty and staff directly via Parent Square. For all other inquiries, simply refer to our Contact Page for more information on how to best get in touch.

Leadership Team

Jodi Grass

Head of School

I don’t feel as though I “work” at Oak Grove. I spend my days here out of deep devotion to the philosophy of the school.
Read more »

Director of High School, Russ

Russ Bowen

Director of High School

High School Spanish Teacher

“Oak Grove prepares students for their life ahead by helping students find their voice. Our graduates are able to speak up, express their opinion, ask meaningful questions, and inquire into what piques their curiosity or gives them pause.”
Read more »

Elementary School, Ron

Ron Schindel

Director of Elementary &
Middle School

“What makes an Oak Grove education unique is the relationship/partnership between teachers, students, parents, and administrators.”
Read more »

Laurie, Early Childhood Program

Laurie Cornell

Director of Early Childhood Program
Admissions Associate

An Oak Grove education is one that values the whole child, and nurtures a deep understanding of one’s self and the world they are a part of.
Read more »

Oak Grove School Admissions, Krista

Krista Swanner

Director of Admissions

“In my most recent role as Director of Admissions, I get to share my experiences as a parent of three Oak Grove “lifers,” and as a teacher in both early childhood and upper elementary, and as a member of this unique learning community. It is so exciting to meet people from all over world who are seeking a different approach to education.”
Read more »

Director of Operations, Jacqueline

Jacqueline Valle

Director of Operations & Associate Director of Development

I first came to Oak Grove when my son was an infant to pick up my then five year old brother. During that initial visit, I knew this would be the school for my son (he was enrolled two years later). In just a few years, I was able to put my past development experience to use and work at Oak Grove. My role has expanded and I continue to learn and grow here at school.
Read more »

Warren Petersen

Director of Outreach

“Oak Grove provides students with way more than a functional education; it prepares students to go out into the world prepared for life, inspired, and equipped with an understanding of themselves.”
Read more »


Sandra Torres

Business Manager

805-646-8236 ext.130

Faculty & Staff

(continued in alphabetical order)


Jake Ainsworth

Elementary P.E.
Horticulture Teacher


Jaymie Arquilevich

K-8 Registrar

“I believe in the capacity of our school to create significant change by fostering a deeper, broader exploration of human nature.”
Read more »

Richa, Theater Instructor

Richa Badami

High School Theater Teacher and Coach
School Musical Production Director

Director of Teaching & Learning, Meredy

Meredy Benson Rice

Director of Teaching & Learning

“This school is in my bones. I am deeply committed to the mission of the school and believe that we are involved in the most important work ever – the transformation of the world, one student at a time.”
Read more »

Third Grade teacher, Serra

Serra Benson

Third Grade Teacher

Students are valued for who they are as individuals not by how they can compete with others.
Read more »

Brittany Borowitz

High School Science Teacher
Admissions Associate

Oak Grove is a school where I can not only teach scientific skills and reasoning and instill a passion for the subject matter, but also go camping, coach cross country, cook vegetarian meals for our dorm students, travel to India, go by my first name, walk with students outside, sit in silence, laugh with my coworkers, wear Patagonia to work, and truly be myself.
Read more »

Oliver Cornell

Marketing & Design Associate

A uniquely kind community and curriculum that challenges everyone to ask big questions and look deeper into this human experience.
Read more »

Chrystalla Cruz

Preschool Teacher

It’s undeniable that Oak Grove, with it’s beautiful outdoor spaces for children to explore and create, would be a wonderful setting in which to work. My even greater desire, though, is to be part of a nurturing environment for children and teachers alike where authentic, meaningful learning takes place.
Read more »

Eric Cowen

Group C-1 Associate Teacher

My educational philosophies and practices of both teaching and learning have been fostered and enlightened at Oak Grove. The food rocks as well!
Read more »

Sage, Fifth Grade Teacher

Sage Danch

5th Grade Teacher

I am a former student of Oak Grove. My experience of moving and growing within the confines of the school is still one of the most positive experiences of my life. I am privileged to feel that way. Now as a parent and a teacher, I feel even more privileged to soon watch my own children have their own experience at the school and to play a part in all our other student’s lives who are now walking their own path. Finally, the staff are wonderful, the campus is beautiful and calming. There are many reasons to work at Oak Grove.
Read more »

Angela Daugherty


I was immediately drawn to Oak Grove because of its belief in building a student’s relationship with nature. I am also appreciative to work for a community that provides a safe environment for students to grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally.
Read more »


Carrie DeVaney

Administrative Coordinator to the Head of School
Besant House Parent

I work at Oak Grove because I get to be in a beautiful environment, surrounded by like-minded people working to support children to become aware, open hearted individuals. I can’t think of anything better.
Read more »

First Grade teacher

Christine Elmore

Second Grade Teacher

“…I believe in the philosophy of the school.”
Read more »

Fourth Grade, Louise

Louise Everett

Fourth Grade Teacher

It is a place where everyone can learn and grow.
Read more »

Jaime, IT Coordinator

Jaime Flores

IT Coordinator
Communications Associate

The school offers a space for exploring our relationships with each other and nature through the lens of the perennial principles of the spirit.
Read more »

Alison, High School Ceramics Teacher

Alison Frey Andersson

High School Ceramics Teacher

Working at Oak Grove means being surrounded by good people working together to learn and grow. It’s a special place.
Read more »

Middle School Humanities Teacher, Aaron

Aaron Gardner

Middle School Humanities Teacher

Oak Grove School offers a unique opportunity to think about the distinction between teacher and learner, and ultimately collapse that hierarchy all together. I work in a beautiful environment with a caring community. It’s pretty awesome.
Read more »

Gianni, Second Grade Teacher Aid

Gianni Garubo

Second Grade Assistant Teacher

As a “lifer” at OGS I know firsthand the power and impact the OGS community had on my development and my life, it is my great pleasure to be able to contribute to that community again but now as a faculty member.
Read more »

Roy Grillo

Middle School Art

Is to be an observer of life, to better understand myself and my place in the world and to create deep spiritual connections to myself and those around me. Experiencing moments of soul to soul connection.

Middle School Teacher, Kalli

Kalli Gedwed

Middle School Math & Science Teacher

Students are not always given the answers to the questions they seek answers to. As teachers we guide them in ways to find the answers and let them find their answers for themselves.
Read more »

Kindergarten Teacher, Bettina

Bettina Hohner

Kindergarten Teacher

I found Oak Grove School 14 years ago when I was looking for a school for my daughter Luna. I was looking for a school that would not only focus on the intellectual but also on the social and emotional growth of a child. A school that embraces and sees the whole child and supports and fosters a child’s deep curiosity and joy of learning while appreciating cooperation, diversity, and peaceful communication.
Read more »

High School History teacher

Will Hornblower

High School History Teacher
Parent Education Coordinator

Oak Grove creates a climate of learning that empowers students to take control of their own education. Students thrive on a beautiful campus and with teachers that are compassionate and dedicated to their jobs. As a teacher, I work here because I teach every high school student for four years. This allows me to develop close relationships with my students and to witness their growth in a meaningful way.
Read more »


Adrienne Hoskins

Child Development Specialist
School Writer/Editor

I love that Oak Grove teachers and staff are lifelong learners themselves. We are encouraged to be thoughtful, self-reflective, and to infuse our skills and passions into the life of OGS school days.
Read more »

Spanish Teacher, Eva

Eva Iacomini

Elementary School Spanish Teacher

I was very excited to contribute to Krishnamurti’s school in some way and also very aware of how much and how deep my own learning process here was going to be as a teacher and as a human being.
Read more »

Marga Kasper

Grounds Manager

Just being outside will do the trick.
Read more »

Mary Kelley

6th Grade Classroom Teacher

What makes Oak Grove unique is that it provides the time and space for the immeasurable kind of learning to take place.
Read more »

Dr. Darrell

Middle School STEM & Play-Based Learning Teacher

Preschool Teacher, Emma

Emma Larkan

Preschool Teacher

We help them see that who they are is enough.
Read more »

High School Dance Teacher,Cassidy

Cassidy Linder

High School Dance Teacher

I believe in the mission of the school, and the teachings of Krishnamurti. I also love the ability to pass down my love for dance to the students who have such an open mind.
Read more »


Jeremiah Lyon

Front Office & High School Registrar

I work at Oak Grove because of how much having a supportive, thoughtful, and kind environment means to myself for my own personal growth but also what that provides for children in their growth into becoming adults.
Read more »

Ashton MacSaylor

High School English Teacher
Game Design Teacher

Oak Grove, to me, represents the heart of the idea of “Ojai” that I grew up with. It is a place where all are honored and welcome, a place that values trust and cooperation and rejects fear and competition, a place where I get to watch growing minds flower into their full potential.
Read more »

Joe, Maintenance Team

Joe Manfredi

Maintenance Team

It’s great to take care of the beautiful campus and community.
Read more »

Henry, Chef

Henry Martinez


Henry brings over 12 years of culinary experience to Oak Grove School. Executive Chef, Head Baker, and Sous Chef are just a few roles that Henry has held. Most recently, he helped open Native Pizza Company in Ventura. Henry has also worked at The Cave, Tierra Sur, and Scratch Food Truck.

In Henry’s words: “I am very passionate about California cuisine, farm-to-table meals, and cooking from scratch.”

Read more »

Bridget, first grade teacher

Bridget Matson

First Grade Teacher

Oak Grove is a beautiful campus surrounded by caring adults who nurture the development of the whole child. I want to spend my days, and have my children spend their days, in a place filled with kindness, connection with nature, and possibility.
Read More »


Nina Mecagni

High School Photography & Digital Design

Nina has been a part of the Oak Grove community as a parent, substitute teacher, and graphic artist on a number of school projects. Nina brings her skillful artistry and warm personality to share with our high school students.

Laila, Kindergarten

Laila Muller

Kindergarten Teacher

I like the way that teachers and students can explore and grow together. I also like the emphasis on developing deep personal relationships with one another. At Oak Grove we have the freedom to be flexible and follow the shape of our passions and our students’ interests.
Read more »

Athletic Director, Bo

Bo Qalander

Athletic Director

“The greatest risk is to spend your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”
Read more »

Dass Richardson

Elementary Art Teacher

As a parent at Oak Grove, I have always appreciated the willingness on the teachers’ part to work with me and my husband to support our kids. The school as a whole aims to build bridges and create connections through parent education, family activities, student conferences, and regular communications.
Read more »

Carrie Rubalcava

Preschool Teacher

I work at Oak Grove because I believe in its mission. I strongly believe that play is the work of young children and the learning that happens within that setting is powerful. I am grateful to be at a school where I can support the social emotional growth of children due to our small teacher-to-student ratio. I can also say that I am here because of my co-workers who create an atmosphere of kindness, support, and genuine commitment to the well being and growth of children.
Read more »

Sydney Robertson

High School Registrar
ESL and Resource teacher
Learning Resource Program

“I love being at a school that involves all stages of education and that values educating all members of its community, from toddlers to teens to staff and parents.”
Read more »


Debra Rose

Database Administrator
High School Psychology Teacher

“Working at Oak Grove School gives me the opportunity to use my skills and experience in service to a greater good. I hope I am making a contribution to the education of young people.”
Read more »


Marie Samson

High School Math Teacher

At Oak Grove School, we pay equal attention to the knowledge of academics and of the self. I believe both are essential to create a loving world.
Read more »

Nile, Sous Chef

Nile Sherman

Sous Chef

I work at Oak Grove because its a family, not a job.
Read more »

Woodshop Teacher, Tara

Tara Saylor

Woodworking Teacher

Preschool Teacher, Terra

Terra Solecki

Preschool Teacher

I love working with young children and their families and I appreciate the unique support and experience that I feel families and students receive from Oak Grove school.
Read more »

Dave Solis

Facilities Manager

“Measure twice , cut once.”

Read More »

Eric Sullivan

High School Music Teacher

Its a fun place to be! I believe in Oak Grove’s approach to education and the way we work with students. I also appreciate the creativity and passion of my fellow teachers.
Read more »

Jennifer Thompson

College Counselor

“College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.”
Read more »

Oak Grove Music Chair, Aron

Aron Van Alstine

Chair of the Music Department

I have personal relationships with parents, teachers, administrators, and students. While my role in the school is completely unique, I still feel like I’m part of a team.
Read more »

Robin, High School Creative Writing

Robin York

High School Creative Writing Teacher

At Oak Grove students are taught to think independently, but they’re also encouraged to express their most authentic selves. It takes courage to strip away the masks and feel comfortable enough to live the truth of who we truly are.
Read more »