I believe that the transition to kindergarten is one of the most formative experiences in a child's life, at least it was for me! In fact, I still maintain relationships with many of my friends from kindergarten! I am thrilled to be at AoA in its beginning years and am happy to work with the youngest in our community.
I have a BA in Spanish Literary Studies, a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a MA in Early Childhood Education. I grew up here in the Bay Area, and have traveled much of the world and lived many other places but am excited to be back home. At this point in my teaching career I have taught all ages between 2.5 and 18 years old! In my free time I enjoy cooking and doing almost anything outside.
I am one of the kindergarten teachers and am a founding teacher at The Academy of Alameda. I am a recent graduate (2015) from UC Berkeley’s Developmental Teacher Education program, where I obtained my Master’s degree in Elementary Education as well as my Multiple Subject teaching credential. I received my my Bachelors in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in Elementary Education in 2014.
My educational philosophy is geared towards social justice and activism. I believe that each student should be given the opportunity to be their best and to access their education at a place that meets them where they are. One of the most important lessons that I teach in kindergarten is that different students have different needs and we work to meet students where they are. My goal in my teaching practice is to give each child the equity in their education that they deserve. I also believe in and practice culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy.
Having lived in the Bay Area for the last 17 years, I have come to appreciate the fact that being outdoors is never more than a stones throw away. Whether that is in the hills of Oakland, the shoreline in Alameda, or the steep ravines of Marin, I enjoy being outside when not in school. I am also an avid and enthusiastic crossword puzzler, spending much of the week working on the NY Times Sunday Crossword with my husband - who is also a teacher!
FIRST GRADE TEACHERS
1st Grade Teacher
I am very excited to have joined The Academy of Alameda community as a first grade teacher! I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and attended Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) where I earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ceramics (2013). While in school I worked for the School of Art, mentoring first year Fine Arts students. I was also the Education Programs Assistant at the Kennedy Museum for three years, giving tours and teaching visual arts workshops with students from preschool to college age.
I moved to California after graduating to join a nonprofit literacy organization, located in Oakland. In that position I provided literacy intervention to struggling second grade readers, as well as facilitating an after school literacy program for those students. I earned a teaching credential in the year following and taught in San Pablo. I have taught fifth grade and first grade before joining The Academy of Alameda. In 2016, I completed a Masters Degree in Urban Education with a concentration in Literacy. My master’s work focused on the use of student reading data and the positive and negative effects it has on Students of Color.
Growing up, I was a student who struggled to focus in class and very much struggled with reading. I feel passionate about the work that I get to do in the classroom every day with students and about the visual arts and preforming arts, and I work hard at finding ways to incorporate them into our curriculum.
1st Grade Teacher
I am excited to join the Academy of Alameda Elementary School as a member of the founding team, initially as a curriculum developer and then as a teacher in the fall. As a new school, we have the incredible opportunity to shape and build a community
that is supportive, engaging, and fosters a genuine love of learning.
Prior to moving to California in 2013, I taught a first grade English Language Learners classroom at a startup charter school in Phoenix, Arizona. While teaching, I earned my Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University.
For the past two years, I have been coaching new instructors and managing a literacy and social emotional intervention program in Oakland. I am extremely passionate about early education and am thrilled to step back into the classroom to teach our youngest and newest AoA learners. It’s going to be a fantastic year!
In my free time, I love being outside, reading, drinking coffee (Philz is my absolute favorite!), taking trips to new places and exploring the Bay Area, and doing any and everything food-related.
SECOND GRADE TEACHERS
Second Grade Teacher
Hello! My name is Shanel Hudson and I am one of the 2nd grade teachers at The Academy of Alameda. My passion for social justice is what drives me and motivates me to be the best teacher I can be, everyday. I was born and raised in South Los Angeles and attended UCLA as an undergrad. Two years ago, I decided to make the Bay Area my home after being accepted into Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education in order to pursue my MA in Education and a teaching credential. I have teaching experience with kindergarten, but teaching second grade at AoA has made me realize that this grade is my calling! I look forward to seeing our first graduating class of 5th graders in the near future and the many more to come after that!
Second Grade Teacher
I am excited to have joined the Academy of Alameda this year as a 2nd grade teacher! I grew up in the Bay Area and earned a BA in Studio Art (with an emphasis in photography and painting) from Humboldt State University, an MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and my CA Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and my MA in Curriculum and Instruction from University of the Pacific through the BATTI program. I spent the last 3 years working with 4th and 5th grade students before teaching 2nd grade at AoA. I am very passionate about teaching science and literacy with our students, helping them use the tools of critical thinking and empathy to explore and experience the world around them. In my free time I like to spend time with my husband and our cat, read, knit, make art of all forms (photography, ceramics, and painting) and going outside.