Simon Gaughan


Simon Gaughan

Third Grade Assistant Teacher

Simon Gaughan graduated from Wesleyan University in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. During his time there, he conducted research on the effects of parental incarceration on children and also taught sex education workshops to high school students. After college, he spent a year at the Brandeis School of San Francisco as their fourth grade resident teacher. This experience confirmed for Simon his passion for education and that he is meant to work with children. This led him to Black Pine Circle School where he is excited to be back in the classroom, and also to begin pursuing a teaching credential and master’s in education while at BPC. Simon has a love for play-based and hands-on learning, and he centers his teaching around the idea that students learn best when they are happy and comfortable. Simon grew up moving around frequently (over 22 times!) and has lived in Texas, Wyoming, Miami, Chicago, Southern California, and more. In his personal time, he enjoys swimming in the ocean, playing pickleball with friends, cooking for his housemates, and learning new instruments.

Teaching Since



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Why I Work with Children

Working with kids brings out my most authentic self. Their curiosity, energy, and goofy senses of humor are contagious, and they’re constantly pushing me to take new perspectives and empathize more deeply. I love watching students develop an excitement around learning, and it feels very fulfilling to be able to foster that.

A Favorite Book

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Quick Fact

Trying to re-learn Spanish

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Aïda attended the same elementary school as opera tenor Josep Carreras.

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Dina Weinshelbaum

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Toured with the Western Opera Theater for eight years

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Kim Livingston

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Started clowning at age 9

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Michael Feferman

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Has developed a secret pizza sauce

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Nicole Lockwood

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Apprenticed at the National Theater of Croatia

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Owen Roberts

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Was a college volleyball coach

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Rachel Durling

Rachel Durling

First-Third Grade Violin Teacher

Played at the Grammys

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Rem Djemilev

BPC String Orchestra Leader

Creates musical arrangements for fun

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Romina Ronquillo

Second Grade Head Teacher, Lower School Assistant Teacher Coordinator

Mad for dancing

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Tess Leverenz

Tess Leverenz

Third Grade Head Teacher

Took three and a half months to bike across the country with my husband

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