• Half Moon Bay, California

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Our Mission

Sea Crest School is dedicated to providing the best in innovative education to inspire and empower its learners to engage curiosity, express creativity, act with compassion
and lead with courage.

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  • Welcome to Sea Crest

    Imagine a school where Monday mornings are just as much fun for children as are the weekends. Sea Crest School is an institution where pupils excitedly await the arrival of each school day. The enriching and innovative curriculum integrates arts and technology into core academics and empowers children to engage with each other, their teachers and members of the local community.

    Founded in 1996, Sea Crest is an Independent, K–8 school that is an integral part of the scenic and welcoming San Mateo county coastside community, just minutes from both Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The school serves pupils from Pacifica to Pescadero, and the peninsula including the charming historic town of Half Moon Bay.

    Sea Crest is a place where the childhood traits of curiosity, play and enquiry combine to foster a joyful educational experience, where academic excellence and character-building are equally and greatly valued. Pupils attending our school benefit from the hallmarks of an institution that prides itself on small class sizes allowing each child’s individual needs, academic and social, to be addressed. A solid foundation is built through Socratic debate, hands-on activities, public speaking, experiential trips, a health and wellness programme and the use of innovative technologies. Our creative faculty and staff challenge our pupils to engage curiosity, express creativity, act with compassion and lead with courage.

    Dr. Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise

    Head of School

    2014-15 Academic Calendar
    Click through for more information about Sea Crest

  • Board of Trustees

    The primary responsibility of the Board is to ensure the long-term viability of the school and its mission. It is in place to monitor the financial health of the institution, fundraise, make strategic plans, and select and support the Head of School.

    Sea Crest is subject to state and federal laws governing non-profit organizations, and relies on its Board of Trustees to assure its conformance with those laws. The Board does not get involved in the day-to-day affairs of the school, disciplinary or personnel issues, or admissions decisions—which are the responsibility of the Head of School—unless called upon to serve as a court of appeal.

    Currently there are 19 board members—17 elected trustees in addition to the Parent Association President and Head of School who are ex-officio members of the board. Sixteen are parents of SCS students, and live on the coast from Montara to Half Moon Bay. Nine are women, ten are men. Terms are three years long, and members must be invited back to the board at the end of each term. There are no term limits, but no current board member has served more than two terms.

    Sea Crest is actively seeking trustees from outside the school community. However, as at most independent schools, Sea Crest must also recruit from its parent body. Unless an individual possesses specific professional expertise of which the Board is in immediate need, nominees have typically served on a Board sub-committee for a year or more, and have a proven commitment to Sea Crest and its mission.

    During orientation, trustees are given the NAIS Principles of Good Practice, and parent-trustees are made aware that their role is to ensure the health of Sea Crest for the years beyond the enrollment of their own children. In keeping with the Guiding Principle “We are each others keepers”, any attempt by a trustee to influence the direction of Sea Crest for personal gain at the expense of the school would not be tolerated.

  • Board of Trustees


    • Board of Trustees
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    Amy Ramsey has more than 15 years’ experience in the events industry organizing large-scale corporate events as well as non-profit fundraisers. Prior to becoming a full-time parent in 2002, she worked at Siebel Systems managing Training Operations & Events. The parent of one Sea Crest student, Amy is an active volunteer in the school and with Cub Scouts. She joined the Board in 2011.

    Keith Fukui has an extensive financial background, having been an executive with several large retail banks, including Washington Mutual. He has broad finance experience with expertise in corporate financial planning, accounting and financial reporting. He is a former CPA and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. Keith and his wife Lucy have one child at Sea Crest and one graduate. He joined the Board in 2011.

    Tanya A. Gulesserian is an attorney with over 15 years’ experience representing clients on legal and regulatory issues associated with permitting and approval of large scale industrial, electric utility, residential and commercial projects. Tanya received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned her J.D. at Vermont Law School. Tanya, who joined the board in 2013, is the parent of two Sea Crest students.

    Raised in British Guyana, Dr. Pernambuco-Wise earned her BA from Brown University, having completed her junior year abroad at University of Sussex, UK. Whilst at Brown, she spent summers teaching in Mexico, NY and on a Navajo Indian Reservation in AZ. She taught mathematics at The Agnes Irwin School, PA and studied at the graduate education department at University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Masters Degree in Educational Philosophy from University of Toronto and her Doctorate from Saint Mary’s College of California with her dissertation concentration on the experience of female heads of NAIS schools. She has presented at numerous conferences on topics such as on-line/blended learning, leadership, boarding school life, school transformation and full-service schools. She holds a third degree black belt in judo and was a former National Champion for her homeland. She launched Irwin’s Judo programme, winning the Pennsylvania State Championship in 1988. Having worked at Mid-Pacific Institute in Hawai`i, she danced hula and competed in two Merrie Monarch festivals. She joined Sea Crest in 2013.

    Because even top-notch creative studios can't deliver without rock-solid infrastructure and technical strategy, Jim Bartel has been a core figure at a series of heavy-hitters: Post Effects in Chicago, Western Images in S.F., Pixar Animation Studios, Radium SF-LA, and finally, Bonfire Labs. His solid-state know-how and gigaflop foresight provides not only power, but also direction and velocity. Jim has been the one-man mission control behind the Sea Crest technology infrastructure since 2011, joining the board in 2013. He has one child at Sea Crest.

    Erica G. Courtney is currently President of Courtney Consulting Solutions specializing in helping established companies grow into the government space through strategic business planning, marketing, positioning and training. She has over 20 years’ experience in this sector as a former Army officer and corporate head. Erica holds an Executive M.B.A. from Florida International University, Miami and a B.S. in Communications from the University of Hawaii. She has two children at Sea Crest and joined the board in 2013.

    Barry Franklin is the West Coast Global Banking and Brokerage Regional Manager at FactSet Research Systems, Inc., overseeing industry-specific business-to-business software sales. Mr. Franklin holds a Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. The parent of two Sea Crest students, he joined the board in 2010.

    Pamela Izzo is currently Executive VP of SKS Investments, a San Francisco-based commercial real estate investment and development firm, and has over 20 years’ commercial-property experience. Ms. Izzo holds a B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Southern California School of Journalism and a M.S.B.A. (Finance) degree from California State University, Los Angeles. A volunteer since 2000, and the parent of one current and two graduated Sea Crest students, she joined the Board in 2007.

    Greg Joswiak is Vice President of the Hardware Marketing Group at Apple Computer with primary oversight of marketing the iPhone and iPod. He and his wife, Sue, have two Sea Crest graduates and a daughter in the Sea Crest lower school. He joined the board in 2009. She joined the Board in 2011.

    Laura Leber Kammeyer is Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Genomic Health, Inc., a genomic cancer diagnostics company. She has a long history in strategic communications, specializing in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Laura holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia. The mother of one current Sea Crest student and one graduate, Ms. Leber joined the Sea Crest board in 2010.

    Lynn Marrs is an Account Executive for PolyOne Corporation. She has over 18 years’ experience in sales and marketing, leading both commercial and technical global teams to manage high-value clients. Lynn has a B.S. in Material Science & Engineering with a Polymers Specialty from the University of Florida. She and her husband, Chris, are parents of one current and one future Sea Crest student, and active volunteers for the school. She joined the board in 2013.

    On the board beginning September 2012, Thomas McGuirk is a Managing Director and Partner at HighTower. He is a graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. He and his wife, Melissa, have two Sea Crest students.

    Mike Polacek has over 25 years in the semiconductor industry, most recently as Corporate Officer and Sr. VP at National Semiconductor, leading its new business incubation efforts, corporate strategy, business development and M&A activities. Mike has a computer engineering degree from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Santa Clara University. Mike’s wife Ana was a teacher at Sea Crest from 1999 to 2001 and they have two children who are Sea Crest students. He joined the board in 2012.

    Joining the Sea Crest board in 2013, Ryan Popple is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he focuses on investments in sustainable transportation technology. Prior to that, Ryan was the senior director of finance at Tesla Motors, and has also worked in energy finance with Chevron and ExxonMobil. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from the College of William & Mary, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He has two children at Sea Crest.

    Will Urban is Regional Vice President for Expeditors, a global logistics company, with primary geographic responsibility for managing operations in Northern California, Western Nevada, Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Colorado. He and his wife Jenny have a son and daughter who attend Sea Crest. He joined the board in 2013.

    Julie Walters has practiced environmental law since earning her J.D. at the University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall in 1993. She also has a B.A. from the University of Michigan. In addition to volunteering in various capacities at Sea Crest, Ms. Walters has participated in volunteer activities in a wide variety of non-profit organizations in the area. She is the parent of one Sea Crest student and joined the Board in 2013.

    • Faculty & Staff

      • Administration & Staff
      • >
      • Lower School Faculty
      • >
      • Middle School Faculty
      • Enrichment
      • Athletics
      Dr. Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise, Head of School:
      Raised in British Guyana, Dr. Pernambuco-Wise earned her BA from Brown University, having completed her junior year abroad at University of Sussex, UK. Whilst at Brown, she spent summers teaching in Mexico, NY and on a Navajo Indian Reservation in AZ. She taught mathematics at The Agnes Irwin School, PA and studied at the graduate education department at University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Masters Degree in Educational Philosophy from University of Toronto and her Doctorate from Saint Mary’s College of California with her dissertation concentration on the experience of female heads of NAIS schools. She has presented at numerous conferences on topics such as on-line/blended learning, leadership, boarding school life, school transformation and full-service schools. She holds a third degree black belt in judo and was a former National Champion for her homeland. She launched Irwin’s Judo programme, winning the Pennsylvania State Championship in 1988. Having worked at Mid-Pacific Institute in Hawai`i, she danced hula and competed in two Merrie Monarch festivals. She joined Sea Crest in 2013.

      Michelle Giacotto, Director of Learning and Teaching:
      Part of Sea Crest School since 1998, Michelle began her teaching career in San Bruno and then taught Kindergarten at Sea Crest for three years before starting a family in 2001. She continued to serve the school in part-time positions, including consulting in the area of literacy. In 2007 she began guiding the faculty in school-wide curriculum articulation and teaching methodologies until becoming director of lower school in 2012. Michelle has a B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Hayward, and her multiple subject teaching credential with CLAD emphasis from Notre Dame de Namur.

      Michael Thompson, Director of Advancement:
      Michael has been an educator since attending his first parent/ teacher conference as a kindergartner in Minnesota. After graduating from Carleton College with a degree in political philosophy, he began teaching English in an East Palo Alto middle school. He then went to Keys School in Palo Alto as a teacher, becoming technology director, Assistant Head of School and eventually Head of the new middle school campus. He joined Sea Crest in 2013 after a “thrilling startup ride” at Education Elements. Michael also holds an M.A. in education from Stanford, with a focus on Learning, Design and Technology.

      Kelly Spaeth, Director of Finance and Operations:
      At Sea Crest since early 2009, Kelly became Business Manager in January, 2010. Kelly ran her own accounting business prior to joining Sea Crest. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and her M.B.A. from UC Davis.

      Jim Williams, Student Services Coordinator:
      Jim joined our staff in 2014 as our Student Services Coordinator. Originally from the Adirondacks of New York, he received his BA from University of Southern Maine, majoring in History with a Minor in Biology. He has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, science Department Chair, Dean of Students and boarding school dorm parent, at schools back east and in California. He is an avid cyclist, having coached a women's professional cycling team.

      Assistant to Head of School | Advancement Associate:
      Cathy has worked in the front office since her arrival in 2000. Previously, she worked in the administration at the Wilkinson School in El Granada for 3 years, and as a swim instructor at La Petite Baleen in Half Moon Bay for 5 years. Cathy worked for the late U. S. Congressman Leo J. Ryan as Office Manager, and also as a Case Worker when he served as a California State Assemblyman, for a period of 10 years.

      Janicee Forchini, Director of After-School Programs
      Prior to joining Sea Crest in August 2006, Janicee directed the extended day childcare program at Juana Briones Elementary School in Palo Alto. She has spent her entire professional career in the non-profit world after earning her B.S. in Recreation Administration from San Diego State University.

      Sulema Villalobos, After-School Program:
      Sulema Villalobos, at Sea Crest since August 2008, has spent her entire 16-year professional career working with children. A product of coastside schools herself, Sulema has worked at the Coastside Infant Toddler Center, Holy Family Preschool, Kids-by-the-Sea Preschool, and the Coastside Children’s after-school Program. She did her studies in Early Childhood Education at Cañada College.

      Mary Goulart
      Mary joined the Extended Day Program in 2013. Prior to working at Sea Crest, Mary took parent education courses through the Sequoia Adult School District and participated at Carlmont Parents Nursery School, sitting on the Board as Community Chair. She did her studies in Early Childhood Education through Canada College.

      Lee Ann Tarling, Kindergarten Assistant:
      Lee Ann, at Sea Crest since 2002, is a long-time resident of Half Moon Bay. She assists in the Kindergarten classrooms and at the front desk. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from San Francisco State University. Lee Ann is also the parent of a Sea Crest graduate.

      Sherri Trigueiro, Grades One and Two Assistant.:
      Sherri Trigueiro has twenty years of experience in the field of education. Her first ten years were with our local public school system, Cabrillo Unified School District. During the summer of 2010, she was a volunteer primary school teacher at Arusha Alliance School in Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa. For nearly the past ten years at Sea Crest School, Sherri has been involved in a variety of educational projects such as Before School Director, and our middle school elective Debate instructor, but her primary focus has always been to support first and second grade as their Teaching Assistant.

      Andrew Geller, Facilities Manager | iLab Technician:
      Bio to come

      Emma Samuels, Kindergarten:
      Emma grew up on Stanford Campus and attended Palo Alto High School. After that, she studied Sociology, Spanish, and Education at Grinnell College in Grinnell Iowa, and swam all four years as a college athlete. She earned her teaching credential at Grinnell and then returned to California to her childhood elementary school, Keys School as an alumnus teacher. Following her eight years at Keys, Emma taught at Tahoe Expedition Academy. She joined the Sea Crest team in 2014. Emma is well-versed in Lucy Calkins' Reader's and Writer's Workshop, the Responsive Classroom Approach, Singapore Math, Expeditionary Learning, and Social-Emotional Learning. When she isn't in the classroom, Emma can be found telemark skiing, surfing, doing yoga, reading or listening to NPR.

      Emily Travis, Kindergarten:
      Emily grew up in San Francisco, and attended Lick Wilmerding High School. After Lick, she became a Duck, earning a Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies at the University of Oregon. She studied abroad in Siena, Italy, and learned to cook! Emily returned to San Francisco to earn her teaching credential through the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute at San Francisco State University. She also returned to her childhood elementary school, Live Oak School as an alumnus teacher. Emily taught there for five years, (including two years alongside her own former kindergarten teacher,) before coming to Sea Crest in 2012. She lives in San Francisco and loves exploring its neighborhoods by foot. She is also an avid crafter and NPR listener. (Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is a favorite.)
      Alli Ramseyer, Grade One:
      A native of the East Coast, Alli has taught primary grades for the thirteen years. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2002 with degrees in Elementary Education and Child Development, and completed her Literacy Specialist Masters Degree at Columbia University, in New York City, in 2010. Alli's teaching experiences range from public charter schools in Brooklyn, to small, independent schools in New England. Her passions include children's literature, speech and language development, animals, food, and finding new, fun restaurants. Alli joined Sea Crest in 2012.
      Stephanie Hanepen, Grade One:
      Stephanie taught primary grades for six years in her hometown of Toronto, Canada, before teaching at the Woodland School in Portola Valley for three years. Stephanie earned her B.A. and teaching credential from York University (Toronto) and a further degree in Special Education from the University of Toronto. Stephanie joined the Sea Crest faculty in 2008.

      Kate Dickey, Grade Two:
      Kate Dickey joined the Sea Crest faculty in 2010. With a M.A. in Experiential Education and teaching credential from Prescott College, Kate is passionate about inquiry based learning. Although an east coast native, Kate came to us from Golden, Colorado, where she taught science, first, and second grade in independent schools for 6 years. Prior to teaching in the classroom, Kate worked for the American Youth Foundation for 5 years, leading and then coordinating educational opportunities that inspired participants to discover and develop their personal best, to seek balance in mental, physical, social and spiritual living and to make a positive difference in their communities and in the wider world. Kate has also worked with the Keystone science center, worked to train teachers in Guatemala, and participated as a guest lecturer on “Experiential education in the American school classroom”at a “Transformational Education” conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

      Debra Christian, Grade Two:
      At Sea Crest since 2002, Debra is a veteran teacher who has taught taught every grade level K-5. She has enjoyed co-teaching for the last 11 years and is currently in second grade with Kate Dickey. Debra has had extensive literacy training and especially enjoys teaching writing. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Chico, and a multiple-subject teaching credential.

      Rosalie Simrock, Grade Two:
      Rosalie Simrock has been teaching elementary school since 1990. She started as a bilingual kindergarten teacher in Los Angeles, and was a founding teacher at Fiesta Gardens International School in San Mateo. Ms. Simrock spent nine years as a first grade Spanish immersion teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District, serving as a Master teacher for eight of those years. She has both a multiple subject and bilingual cross-cultural credential. She earned her B.S. in Journalism (French minor) from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.A. in Elementary Education from San Francisco State. She has been at Sea Crest since 2011.

      Kathe Bybee, Grade Three:
      Kathe has spent close to 30 years in education. She was one of the founding teachers at Sea Crest in 1996. Prior to moving to Half Moon Bay, Kathe taught in Colorado, and at the TASIS England Lower School. Kathe is a certified instructor of Discipline with Love and Logic, which she teaches to Sea Crest faculty and parents. She holds a M.Ed. in Computers in Education from Lesley College, a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado and has a teaching credential..

      Jen Guevara, Grade Three:
      Prior to joining Sea Crest in 2001, Jennifer taught at La Honda Elementary School. Jennifer has a B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Fresno, and a multiple subject teaching credential with CLAD emphasis. She has had extensive training in literacy, math and is passionate about learning with her students through hands on, innovative adventures.

      Shelly Sikkema, Grade Four Science/Math:
      Shelly is a National Board certified teacher with over 20 years experience in the classroom. Prior to coming to Sea Crest in 2008, Shelly worked for Aspire Public Schools serving as a lead teacher for many years at Monarch Academy in Oakland, CA. Shelly earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Stanislaus, and her teaching credential from San Francisco State University.

      Lucinda Druck, Grade Four Humanities:
      Lucinda earned her B.A. in History, Spanish Language and Literature from Boston University, an M.A. in History from the University of Massachusetts, and a teaching credential from Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA. She most recently worked as an associate teacher for grades three and four at Nueva School after relocating to the Bay Area from Massachusetts in 2010. Lucinda came to Sea Crest in 2012.

      Anastasia Pickens, Grade Five Science/Math:
      Joining Sea Crest in 2011, Anastasia started her teaching career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia and later taught for three years at an international school in Guinea, West Africa, before bringing her talents to San Francisco. She taught two years in second grade and then taught a 4/5 combination class for seven years at Alvarado Elementary School. Anastasia earned her B.A. in History and Government at Adams State College (CO), her Masters in International Management at the School for International Training (VT), her teaching credential at Sonoma State, and has a National Board Certification.

      Rachel Doboga, Grade Five Humanities:
      Rachel holds her B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary, where she conducted research on 19th century Gothic novels. After a publicity internship at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, she returned to William and Mary to pursue her true passion - teaching. She went on to earn her M.A.Ed. in Secondary English Education with a focus on using literature to explore different cultures, peoples, and perspectives, as well as our own inner lives. She came to Sea Crest in August 2014 after teaching 5th and 6th grade English at the Congressional Schools of Virginia in her home state of Virginia. Rachel is thrilled to be in California with her husband and giant dog!

      Nicole Shiotani, Grade Six Mathmatics
      Nicole joined Sea Crest in August 2014 and comes to us with 14 years of teaching experience. Most recently Nicole taught social studies and math to 5th and 6th graders at The Keys School in Palo Alto and prior to that she was a 4th grade teacher at the Atlanta International School. She earned her B.A. in English from Emory University and her M.Ed. in Multicultural Education from George Mason University.

      Corrinne Lieu, Grade Seven & Eight Mathmatics
      Corrinne Lieu teaches 7th and 8th grade math this year. She is originally from Singapore, where she was educated and trained as a teacher. She began her teaching career there in primary school before moving to attend Monash University in Australia to get a degree in Marketing and Communications. Prior to Sea Crest School, Corrinne worked for 8 years teaching math (K - 8) and serving as a math specialist at Keys School. Joining Corrinne at Sea Crest School is her 6th grade daughter, Danielle and 3rd grader, Mikey.

      Wendy Connolly, History:
      Wendy came to Sea Crest in August 2006 after being a Grade 8 core (English/History) teacher for 13 years at Abbott Middle School in San Mateo. Since 2002, Wendy has also been an education instructor of special methods at Notre Dame de Namur University. She holds her B.A. in Social Ecology from UC Irvine, multiple subject credential from San Francisco State University and currently working towards her Master's in American History from The Gilder Lehrman Institute and Adams University.

      Sheila Woods, Middle School English:
      At Sea Crest since August 2006, Sheila worked for seven years in publishing before entering San Francisco State University to get her teaching credential in English in 1996. She taught at El Camino High School and Westborough Middle School, before teaching full-time at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. Sheila did her undergraduate work in English at St. Mary's College in Moraga.

      Rob Kashima, Science:
      Rob arrived at Sea Crest in 2010 after several years teaching in Menlo Park and Redwood City. Prior to teaching, Rob had an extensive career as a Dietician. He has also been a long-time youth basketball and softball coach. Rob earned a B.S. in Dietetics from UC Davis and his science teaching credential from San Francisco State University.

      Vicente Jurado, Middle School Spanish:
      Vicente Jurado joined us from Spain as our Middle School Spanish teacher in 2014. He has 8 years experience teaching in the UK, Cameroon, Ireland and Spain. He received his BA from the University of Seville and an MA from the University of Cádiz, passing the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certification at Cambridge University.

      Peter Wallis, Art & Design Teacher | iLab Manager:
      Peter is an interdisciplinary artist integrating interests in illustration and printmaking, his approach to trends in New Media and Technology are grounded in an appreciation of traditional art techniques and practices. His BFA study was in Illustration with a double minor in Art History and Drawing from the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. Working at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, he cultivated a connection to graphic novels and uses comics and animation as educational tools. Peter has worked with students of all ages teaching applied design, animation, printmaking, digital arts, and illustration. Peter earned his MFA from Goddard College with a focus in Printmaking, Graphic Novels, and Peace Studies. During his graduate program, he worked on a graphic novel as artist in residence in the Montserrat Mountains of Catalonia, Spain. He has worked as a Visual Art Teacher at the Neshobe School, Middlebury Studio School, Studio Place Arts, Putney School Summer Programs in Vermont, The Vail Mountain School in Colorado, and formerly was the Education Director at the Chaffee Art Center.

      Michael Lederman, Theatre Director:
      Michael had 25 years' experience as a professional actor before coming to Sea Crest in 1999. He has studied at California Institute of the Arts and Lee Strasberg workshop among other acting studios. Michael is the Artistic Director at the Coastal Repertory Theater where he also runs a children’s drama program after school. At Sea Crest, he teaches the K–8 drama classes and as well as directs the annual all-school musical production. In 2010 Michael was the San Mateo County Arts Educator of the Year

      Cathy Bleeker, Music Teacher:
      Miss Bleecker is an National Board Certified Teacher and has over 30 years experience teaching music to all ages of students -- from preschoolers to senior citizens! She has directed choirs, conducted bands and orchestras, and served as director/music director for dozens of musical theatre productions across the country. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Redlands with a double major in music and theatre, a master's degree in conducting from Western Michigan University, and did doctoral studies at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Formerly from the East Bay, Miss Bleecker returned to California to be closer to family members and is thrilled to be a part of the Sea Crest community.

      Michaela O'Connor, Lower School Spanish:
      Michaela’s lifelong passions for learning, adventure, and connecting with others propelled her to study Spanish, Environmental Science and Creative Arts, at Middlebury College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. From there, she went on to live in Valparaiso, Chile, and then began teaching 10th, 11th, and AP Spanish at an independent school in Vail, Colorado. Prior to arriving at Sea Crest, Michaela spent one year leading extended immersive and educational trips through Bolivia and Peru.

      Ellyn Kohrs, Technology Integration Specialist:
      On the faculty since 2003, Ellyn has been involved with Sea Crest since 1997 as a parent and member of the technology committee. Ellyn brings with her 15 years' computer-industry experience. In her 15 years with IBM, Ellyn held a variety of positions including Systems Engineer, Regional Support Staff and Education Manager. She has a B.S. in Mathematics from Calvin College

      Craig Strong, Athletic Director | Summer Programs Director:
      Craig came to Sea Crest in 2009 with 12 years’ experience teaching in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Bucharest (Romania), and Oakland. He spent seven years in a classroom—primarily third grade—before switching to teaching exclusively physical education, and now managing middle school athletics for the past five years. Craig earned his B.A. in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and his multiple subject teaching credential from Bethany University.

      Katie Moore, P.E.Director:
      Katie has been a physical education teacher and coach at Sea Crest since August 2006. Prior to Sea Crest, Katie was head coach of the women's soccer team at the College of Marin and assisted in the softball program at Napa Valley College. She holds both a B.S. and M.S. in Kinesiology at California State, Hayward.

Program Overview

Lower School

The lower school program at Sea Crest is carefully designed to meet the evolving cognitive, social/emotional, and physical needs of our young students. The curriculum is rooted in the belief that children learn best by doing. Thus, experiential, hands-on learning opportunities abound.

Lower School Newsletter

Middle School

Through core classes in history, English, mathematics, science, Spanish, and physical education, students learn valuable study and time-management skills, develop empathy and cooperative learning tools, and participate in leadership, drama and music performances, and visual arts experiences.

Middle School Newsletter


The Sea Crest Athletics department focuses on creating a positive, safe and fun environment, for 5th-8th grade students where risk taking is encouraged and celebrated. Character development is emphasized along with competition. Sea Crest is a member of the Small School Independent League (SSIL)

Sea Crest Athletics Handbook
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  • Admission Overview

    Sea Crest is more than just an independent K–8 school. It is a close-knit community where each student is valued as an individual, and where we strive to acknowledge and celebrate the best in everyone who spends time on our campus—students, faculty, parents, and staff. Students are appreciated, encouraged and challenged within our comprehensive program. We graduate thoughtful scholars who are also conscientious citizens ready to contribute positively in high school and beyond. Therefore, we look for students who have innate curiosities, love of learning, and a desire to better themselves and the communities they inhabit. Our admissions process is designed to ensure a good fit for all involved—student, family, and school.
    Through our website we share important information, including explanations of our curriculum, faculty, and enrichment classes. We can’t, however, include the intangibles that make Sea Crest such a wonderful place to spend nine years—seeing those requires you to spend time on our campus. We encourage you to come visit, attend an information night or open house, and take a tour. The more you learn about us, the more you will appreciate the benefits of the Sea Crest experience. To set up a time to tour Sea Crest or to receive an application, please contact our Admission office at 650 712-9892 x239 or via email at admission@seacrestschool.org

    Sea Crest School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, citizenship, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.

    Click through slideshow for more deatiled admission information below

  • Admission Calendar

    October 6 • Tours and shadow days begin for grades 1–8
    November 15 • Admission Open House 10am - noon
    November 19 • Kindergarten tour at 9 am—please RSVP to admission@seacrestschool.org
    December 3 • Kindergarten tour at 9 am—please RSVP to admission@seacrestschool.org
    December 10 • Middle School Admissions tour at 9 am—please RSVP to admission@seacrestschool.org
    January 8 • Admission Information Evening 7:00pm - 8:30pm
    January 16 • Applications DUE to Sea Crest by 4 pm.
    January 31 • Kindergarten Applicant Assessment Morning, 9–10 am. You may sign up for a screening date upon our receipt of your application.
    Feburary 7• Kindergarten Applicant Assessment Morning, 9–10 am. You may sign up for a screening date upon our receipt of your application.
    Feburary 27 • Tax documentation (tax returns and W-2) due to SSS. See the financial assistance page for more details.
    March 7 • Last day for scheduled 1st–8th grade shadow days.
    March 11 • Admissions and financial aid decisions mailed.
    March 18 • New-student contracts and deposits DUE by 4 pm.

    You may email us at admission@seacrestschool.org or call 650 712-9892 x239 for more information.

  • Kindergarten Admission

    Once an application is submitted, Kindergarten applicants will be invited to campus for two kindergarten-readiness screenings. The first is a 30-minute, one-on-one developmental assessment. The second involves a morning playgroup with a group of other applicants. Developmental readiness is based on measuring cognitive and social maturity, not an academic achievement or intelligence test. Research has shown that children mature at varying paces, and not all children are ready for the same challenges and activities at the same age. Similarly, we cannot rush readiness—it is part of a child’s intrinsic nature. Knowing our program, we recommend that applicants for kindergarten turn 5 years old by September 1. However, chronological age is not the only indicator of developmental readiness. Thus, we might recommend that some children who meet the age cut-off wait a year before beginning our Kindergarten program. In addition to the aforementioned assessments, the Admission Committee will take into consideration an applicant's preschool experience, possibly even observing an applicant in his/her preschool environment in order to get the fullest picture of an applicant.

    Download the necessary applications here:
    Kindergarten Application
    Teacher Recommendation (pre-k–grade 1)

  • Lower School Admission

    Once an application is submitted, students applying for grades 1–5 will spend a full day (8:15 am–3 pm) "shadowing" with a current grade-appropriate Sea Crest student. Prospective students will follow the schedule of the grade they are visiting, and will be assessed by the teachers in core abilities throughout the day. Our goal is to make sure admitted students will find success in our program. In making admissions decisions, the Admission Committee reviews the family application, the student's prior school record, the confidential evaluation from the child’s current teacher(s), and the observations and assessments from the student’s day on campus. At times, to gain a better sense of the student's potential, we may invite a student back for a second shadow day, and/or will contact the student’s current teacher to elaborate on the completed evaluation form.

    Download the necessary application materials:
    Lower School Application
    Principal or Counselor Recommendation
    Teacher Recommendation (pre-k–grade 1)
    Teacher Recommendation (grades 2–8)
    Transcript Release Form

  • Middle School Admission

    Since students approaching, or already in, Middle School are gaining independence and learning the importance of personal responsibility, we expect them to play a significant role in the application process. Therefore, students applying to grades 6–8 are asked to answer short essay questions found on the application, and be an active participant while on campus during the "shadow visit". As with Lower School, Middle School students will also spend a full day on campus with a Middle School student (8:15 - 3:15). Students entering 7th or 8th grades will follow their host's schedule for the day. Students applying to 6th grade will spend a portion of the day in that grade seeing what a middle school day is like and visit a 5th grade classroom and have the opportunity to meet and work with potential classmates. Students will be assessed for both academic and social readiness so that they can find success in Sea Crest’s Middle School.

    Download the necessary applications here:
    Middle School Application
    Principal or Counselor Recommendation
    Teacher Recommendation (grades 2–8)
    Transcript Release Form

  • Tuition and Fees

    Tuition for the 2014–2015 school year has been set at $16,830. For families with multiple students enrolled at Sea Crest, we offer a 10% discount for the second student, 20% for the third student, and 30% for the fourth student.

    In addition, families pay annual program fees that cover costs such as classroom supplies, class pictures, yearbooks, assemblies, field trips, and more. Program fees for grades K–3 are $400, $600 for grades 4–5 and $800 for grades 6–8. To secure a spot in the coming year, families pay a $1,000 per child non-refundable deposit in the spring. Deposits are then subtracted from the tuition balance due. Families receiving financial assistance pay a reduced amount, specified in their enrollment contracts.

    In living up to the vision of its founding families, Sea Crest School is committed to doing everything within its means to make the Sea Crest experience affordable. Tuition costs are determined by our Board of Trustees, who take into account the rising cost of educating a child, economic diversity of student population, and the operational costs—such as competitive faculty compensation—of running a school. Every effort has been made to streamline operations at Sea Crest so that we may offer a tuition that is approximately 30–50% lower than that of comparable independent schools (a typical independent K–5 or K–8 school in the Bay Area runs from $20,000 to $36,750 per year, not including fees).

    We do this by having a lean administrative team, and by relying on parent volunteers to do many of the tasks for which other schools have paid staff. There is no compromise in the quality of faculty or programs.
    Tuition is set lower than the actual cost of a Sea Crest education. Therefore, we also rely on charitable giving to help cover the gap through tax-deductible contributions. We ask that every family contribute at a level appropriate to its means. Click on the link to read more about supporting Sea Crest.
    All families are asked to pay tuition using FACTS, our tuition management company. Returning families are automatically re-enrolled in the FACTS program. NEW families should click on the FACTS link to set up their payment plan.

    We offer three payment schedule options: annual payment paid in one installment, due June 1 bi-annual payments to be paid in two installments, due June 1 and December 1 ten monthly payments, due the first of each month from June through March There is a service fee for families choosing either the bi-annual or monthly payment plans; both include enrollment in the Dewars Tuition Refund Insurance. More information about payment plans and tuition refund insurance will be included with your enrollment contract.

  • Financial Assistance

    The goal of the financial assistance program is to attract and retain qualified students for whom a Sea Crest education would normally be out of reach. We hope that families will not let the cost of tuition deter them from applying to Sea Crest.
    Sea Crest School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and, in keeping with its principles of good practice, works closely with the affiliated School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS) in determining awards. SSS represents more than 2,400 schools across the country to help assess a family’s ability to pay school costs, and promotes objectivity and consistency in financial aid determinations. All award decisions are based entirely on demonstrated need through this process.
    Sea Crest provides financial aid as a grant, which is not expected to be repaid to the school. Grants vary in size depending on need.

    Application Process
    The application process is as follows. The deadlines associated with each of these steps will be outlined in your admissions packet.

    Step One
    Complete the Parents’ Financial Statement (PFS) online at sss.nais.org. Please designate School Code 2131. Returning families can use prior-year log-in information. If applicable, you may also submit an optional letter to the Sea Crest Business Office explaining any unusual circumstances about your financial situation. If you have your own business, you must also complete the Business/Farm Statement. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact the Sea Crest Business Office.

    Step Two—due by February 27
    Submit to SSS: Signed copies of your 2013 and 2014 tax returns, including all schedules and attachments (for example, 1040, 1065, 1120-S, K-1, 1099 and W-2 forms). Form 4506-T EZ, signed and undated. Be sure to enclose the Required Documents Cover Sheet. These documents can be submitted online at sss.nais.org or mailed to SSS by NAIS, P.O. Box 449, Randolph, MA 02368.

    Step Three
    Families will be notified of award decision in mid-March.

    Other Resources
    Families are encouraged to explore financial assistance, as well as student loans, lines of credit, and home equity loans. Sea Crest does its best to meet the financial needs of its families and expects each family to contribute to the school through tax-deductible financial contributions and/or volunteer hours. If you have any questions about Sea Crest’s financial assistance program, please contact our Director of Finance and Operations at 650-712-9892 ext. 210.

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  • Community Overview

    Sea Crest truly is the sum of its parts—faculty and staff, students, parents, extended family and friends, the greater coastside and peninsula—each brings unique dimension and experiences to the strong community that is Sea Crest School.

    From the moment they learn the Guiding Principles in kindergarten to the day they graduate, students are encouraged to find their unique identities as well as to recognize their responsibilities in the bigger picture of good citizenship.

    The sense of interconnectedness starts early. Older "learning buddies" are paired with students in lower grades, classes visit one another to look at projects and celebrate academic achievements, middle school advisories are multi-grade groups in which many issues are discussed, faculty collaborate on curriculum development and everyone is involved in our annual scholarship run, which raises the funds necessary to keep the school accessible to a wide range of families.

    Our service learning program focuses on stewardship of the environment, literacy, and hunger—topics that have worldwide relevance as well as many opportunities to act within our own neighborhoods. Our students reach out to the local senior center and adopt causes that they choose as well, both in and out of school.

  • Community Overview

    Likewise, our families and friends are committed to the community-mindedness of Sea Crest. Many are volunteers not only within our walls, but in the area's many non-profits— including advocacy and support of the local public schools.

    The Sea Crest campus and facilities are available to local groups, and Sea Crest strives to be an asset to the coast. Speakers and classes, open to the public, are held in our learning resource center. Local preschools and seniors are invited to attend our all-school play.

    As in any group, as the individuals change and grow, so does the flavor of the community, but the overwhelming feeling at Sea Crest has always been one of cooperative—and collaborative—team spirit.

    Deep connections are made here.

  • At a Glance

    Head of School • Dr. Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise
    Address/Phone • 901 Arnold Way, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 650 712-9892
    Hours • Before-school care from 7:45, after-school care 2:30–6:00 pm Kindergarten 8:15 am–2:30 pm Lower School 8:15 am–3:00 pm Middle School 8:15 am–3:15 pm
    Mission • Sea Crest School is dedicated to providing the best in innovative education to inspire and empower its learners to engage curiosity, express creativity, act with compassion and lead with courage.
    History • Sea Crest was founded in 1996 by Bob and Joni Williamson, Rick and Diane Mazer, and Ginger Girvin. It has been in its present location since 2001.
    Accreditation and Memberships• California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Independent School Management (ISM) National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) The Heads Network (formerly NAPSG) Educational Directions, Inc. CalWest Educators Placement
    Enrollment • 278 students
    Lunch Program • Hot lunch is delivered by Chefables Monday through Friday. Parents order and pay for meals online. Cost is not included in tuition and fees.
    Tuition • Set at $16,830 for 2014–2015. Fees covering field trips, yearbooks, educational materials and school photos range from $400–$800.

  • Community Overview

    • 24 classrooms
    • science lab
    • innovation lab
    • art room
    • think tank
    • conference areas
    • multi-use gymnasium
    • soccer field and play area
    • music suites
    Guiding Principles
    • I do nothing to harm myself or others.
    • I am responsible for my behavior.
    • I take pride in myself and in my work.
    • I leave it better than I found it.
    • We are each other's keepers.

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

― John Dewey

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Half Moon Bay, Ca
Contact Us
650. 712. 9892