Amy Gordon Risz

Sixth and Seventh Grade Learning Specialist

Amy Gordon Risz has had many roles in her 30 years in education, including classroom teacher, learning specialist, middle school assistant principal, literacy coach, and teacher mentor throughout New York City, England, and the Bay Area. She worked at Ecole Bilingue in Berkeley for seven years prior to joining the Black Pine Circle School community in 2016. Amy has an M.S. in special education and school leadership. She is a native New Yorker, and in her personal time enjoys hiking anywhere she can, listening to podcasts while trying new recipes, and exploring the world with her husband and two teenage sons (both BPC alums).




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Why I Work with Children

I love listening to children’s ideas and stories. I love supporting students in identifying their strengths and helping them build on these areas. I love that I am constantly learning from students.

A Favorite Book

Middlesex: I love well-written books with a captivating plot where I am also learning something about another place, culture, or moment in history. This book hit all those marks for me.

Quick Fact

Ziplined in Laos, tended bar in Portugal

Other Faculty for This Grade

Anatoliy Gulimovskiy

Seventh Grade Math Teacher, Math Club / Math Team Coach

Played soccer on a Zambian teacher team

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Andra Marziano

Dean of Upper School Students, Assistant Head of Upper School, Upper School Drama Teacher

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Apollo Papafrangou

Sixth Grade Socratic Seminar Teacher, Upper School Assistant

I’m a published author.

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Brett Hollingshead

Upper School Physical Education Teacher

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Carla Rodea

Upper School Spanish Teacher

I speak several languages.

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Cassie McFall

Upper School Assistant

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Cheryl Sumsion

Fourth-Sixth Grade Music Teacher

Tamed a mechanical bull in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Christine Mytko

Fifth and Seventh Grade Science Teacher

Mad for AR, VR, improv and chickens

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Cloe Monleon

Upper School Spanish Teacher

I’ve traveled to five continents & only learned to speak English in my late 20s.

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Emmeline Hill

Sixth Grade Science Teacher

Herded sheep by motorbike in Australia.

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Gerry Branner

Upper School Physical Education Teacher & Athletic Director

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Jerry Kennedy

Seventh and Eighth Grade Music Teacher, Band Director

Performed music in South Africa during the end of legal apartheid.

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Kathy Henderson

Sixth & Seventh Grade Math Teacher

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Marcelo Vaz

Seventh Grade History Teacher, Upper School Director of Outdoor Education

Rode a camel through the Sahara

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Maria Palmer

Sixth Grade English Teacher, Eighth Grade Creative Writing Teacher

Loves to write or paint

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Nataliya Vdovychenko

Upper School Assistant Teacher

Fluent Russian speaker

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Rebecca Caine

Upper School Art Teacher

I scuba dive!

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Rem Djemilev

BPC String Orchestra Leader

Creates musical arrangements for fun

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Sarah Roggero

Upper School Spanish Teacher

My birthday is April 1st, no joke!

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Stephanie Piper

Seventh Grade English Teacher

Obsessed with the Salem witchcraft trials

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Xiaoyan Xu

Fifth-Eighth Grade Mandarin Teacher

Once ate deep-fried silkworms

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Zina Gulimovskaya

Seventh Grade Math Assistant, Math Team Coach

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