Seventh Grade History Teacher, Upper School Director of Outdoor Education
Born in Berkeley, Marcelo Vaz grew up with many friends who attended Black Pine Circle School and always loved what he heard about the school. He entered teaching with a desire for a more socially just society, seeing education and awareness as a first step towards achieving such ends. Marcelo graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in community studies and then earned his M.A. from Columbia University’s Teachers College, with a focus on teaching social studies. Before coming to BPC, he spent 10 years teaching at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, where he was also the director of service learning. Marcelo also coaches the BPC soccer team and supports BPC’s Climate Club. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast, spending much of his personal time mountain biking and backpacking. Music has also been an important focus in his life, and he has played saxophone and percussion with many local California bands across a wide range of genres. Marcelo joined the Black Pine Circle School faculty in 2018.
Why I Work with Children
I care about this world and the future of humanity. I know it’s cliche, but our children are our future, and I believe deeply in the importance of this work.
A Favorite Book
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. While this book was written for younger readers, it is one of my all-time favorites. Two of my students once came up to me and said, “Marcelo, you are Stargirl! You should read this.” And, so I did. Well, I tell you, I wish was Stargirl! She is a free spirit, not caught up in judgements and what other people think of her. While I am honored these students saw something of Stargirl in me, truly, Stargirl is who I hope to be!
Rode a camel through the Sahara