K-8 EXCELLENCE SINCE 1973
2027 7th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710 (map) • 510‑845‑0876

StaffPhotos19-20-8

Faculty

Sasha Johnson

Sixth Grade Math Teacher

Sasha Johnson is returning to Black Pine Circle School after a year teaching at Countryside Day Montessori in Chicago. Many BPC students and community members know her as “Miss J,” having taught history, debate, and technology in the upper school from 2014 to 2018. She also worked closely with BPC’s STEAM program for three years, ran the debate team, and was a faculty advisor for BPC’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance. Ms. Johnson has a B.A. in international studies from DePaul University and a master’s in education and social policy from Northwestern University. She enjoys continuing her educational studies by attending Philosophy of Education Conferences and participating in other professional development opportunities. She also loves the great outdoors, bookstores, photography, and cooking.

Teaching Since

2014

Contact

Email >

Why I Work with Children

I love teaching middle school because I get to work with incredible human beings during their most formative years. I love working with adolescents because I find they often are candid, direct, and unafraid of sharing their observations of the world and their experience in it. Most are willing to share all, if you just listen. They remind me how to embrace the unknown with bravery and grace.

A Favorite Book

Fahrenheit 451. It was the first time that a book made me question the construction and design of human society. As a firefighter’s daughter, I remember my mind imploding: a world where firefighters start fires rather than putting them out? It was learning of Bradbury’s dystopian world that made me examine my own world as well as the worlds of the past. My adolescent mind acquired the ability to critically examine systems and institutions.

Quick Fact

Wanderer in bookstores, swimmer in alpine lakes

Other Faculty for This Grade

Andra Marziano

Dean of Students, Assistant Head of Upper School, Sixth & Eighth Grade Drama Teacher

Full Bio >

Catalina Lacy

Catalina Lacy

Upper School Spanish Teacher

Met the Raramuri, the indigenous Mexican long-distance runners

Full Bio >

Cheryl Sumsion

Cheryl Sumsion

Fourth-Sixth Grade Music Teacher, Choral Program Director

Tamed a mechanical bull in Nashville, Tennessee.

Full Bio >

Chris Chun

Chris Chun

K-8 Academic Dean, Assistant Head of Upper School

Social justice-oriented contortionist

Full Bio >

Cris Mytko

Christine Mytko

K-8 STEAM Coordinator, Sixth Grade Technology Teacher

Mad for AR, VR, improv and chickens

Full Bio >

Gerry Branner

Upper School Physical Education Teacher & Athletic Director

Full Bio >

Gwen Hornig

Gwen Hornig

Sixth Grade Socratic Seminar, Seventh Grade Drama Teacher

Met her spirit animal in South Dakota

Full Bio >

Jenny Reeves

Jenny Reeves

Upper School Art Teacher

Loves to swim

Full Bio >

Josefina Jacquin

Josefina Jacquin

Upper School Spanish Teacher

Keeps up with friends around the world

Full Bio >

Kendra Lubalin

Kendra Lubalin

Sixth Grade Reading and Debate Teacher, Upper School Art Apprentice

Working on a young adult utopian-dystopian novel

Full Bio >

Maria Palmer

Sixth Grade English Teacher

Loves to write or paint

Full Bio >

Mason Hanson

Fifth Grade Science Teacher, Upper School Applied Ecology Teacher, Sixth Grade Associate Science Teacher

Kayak-camped 40 miles around Lake Tahoe

Full Bio >

Megan Hubbard

Sixth Grade Science Teacher

Zamboni driver

Full Bio >

Natasha Vdovychenko

Nataliya Vdovychenko

Upper School Assistant

Fluent Russian speaker

Full Bio >

Rem Djemilev

BPC String Orchestra Leader

Creates musical arrangements for fun

Full Bio >

Stephanie Somersille

Stephanie Somersille

Upper School Math Specialist

Full Bio >

Xiaoyan Xu

Xiaoyan Xu

Upper School Mandarin Teacher

Once ate deep-fried silkworms

Full Bio >

Zina Gulimovskaya

7th and 8th Grade Math Assistant

Full Bio >