Maria Palmer

Sixth Grade English Teacher, Eighth Grade Creative Writing Teacher

This is Maria Palmer’s 30th year at BPC. Maria received both her B.A. in English literature and her kindergarten through eighth grade teaching credential, with a specialization in teaching English, from UC Berkeley. Maria has also taken graduate courses in English literature at UCLA and completed the coursework for an M.A. in design at UC Berkeley. She taught sixth grade at both Franklin School in Oakland and Altadena School in Altadena, California. Maria was also on the curatorial staff at the Berkeley Art Museum before joining the Black Pine Circle School faculty in 1993. She is the mother of two grown children, grandmother to four grandchildren, and travels frequently to visit her family in Berlin. Maria enjoys traveling, hiking, jazz, art, and reading.

Teaching Since





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Why I Work with Children

I love thinking, exploring, and learning with the children – they teach me so much!

A Favorite Book

Impossible to answer – but Watership Down and To Kill a Mockingbird are among my all-time favorites.

Quick Fact

Loves to write or paint

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Alyson Mitchell

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Keen on floating houses and mutant Basset Hounds

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Andra Marziano

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

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Carla Rodea

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I speak several languages.

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Carwai Seto

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Loves to travel

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Cheryl Sumsion

Fourth-Sixth Grade Music Teacher

Tamed a mechanical bull in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Emmeline Hill

Sixth Grade Science Teacher and Sixth Grade-Level Coordinator

Herded sheep by motorbike in Australia.

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Gerry Branner

Sixth and Eighth Grade Physical Education Teacher

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Gwen Hornig

Eighth Grade English Teacher

Ask me about the time I had a magical and terrifying stand-off with a bison in the Badlands.

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Jenny Reeves

Jenny Reeves

Upper School Art Teacher

Loves to swim

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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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Jonathan Cohen

Eighth Grade Science Teacher

Apprenticed with a luthier, adept with a paddle

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Kathy Henderson

Sixth & Seventh Grade Math Teacher

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Nataliya Vdovychenko

Upper School Assistant Teacher

Fluent Russian speaker

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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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Torin Coffino

Sixth Grade History Teacher

Played Gaelic Football as a youth, and won a Minors championship in Ireland

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Xiaoyan Xu

Fifth-Eighth Grade Mandarin Teacher

Once ate deep-fried silkworms

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