Brenda joins the Science Department after twelve years as a classroom teacher. Brenda taught 4th and 5th grade in San Jose and in Oakland at Think College Now, where she was a founding teacher and a Lead Science Teacher. In 2009 she launched a school-wide science program to ensure that all students received equitable access to science education. She has taught every FOSS module in every grade K-5, including a special day class. Brenda has led professional development and written science curriculum for OUSD and local outdoor education programs.
Brenda holds a B.A. in Political Science and English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Monterey Bay. It's her passion for creating equitable educational opportunities for students and extensive professional development opportunities for teachers that have turned Brenda into a "science person." Brenda is currently leading the elementary science team.
Sonnie taught 5th grade at Webster Academy/ East Oakland Pride Elementary for seven years, serving as Lead Science Teacher and a member of the Instructional Leadership Team among other roles. She is especially interested in culturally-responsive teaching, project-based and service learning, hands-on science instruction, and outdoor education.
Sonnie holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from California State University, Hayward and an M.S. in Education, Curriculum Option from California State University, East Bay. Additionally, she has a Reading Specialist Certification, a Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential, and a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science through the Foundational-Level General Science program at CSUEB.
Maryam has eleven years of experience as a classroom teacher and two years as an instructional coach. Part of her teaching experience was in Mexico, where Maryam learned to develop highly localized science-based curriculum to teach Biology and Ecology. Later as a bilingual 3rd grade teacher at Esperanza Elementary in Oakland, Maryam held many leadership roles including serving as Lead Science Teacher and as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team for 5 years. For the past two years she has led professional development in her role as Dual Language Instructional Coach at Esperanza, emphasizing the integration of content with language development. Maryam has also written science curriculum for OUSD and led professional development focused on language and literacy strategies.
Maryam holds a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University with a BCLAD emphasis. She is especially interested in developing teachers' science content knowledge and expanding their teaching strategies for developing language and literacy through science, with a particular emphasis on English Language Learners.
Ricky is the Stock Clerk at the SMART Center. He supports the elementary FOSS curriculum by refurbishing the kits, delivering them to school sites, raising live organisms, and managing materials.
After attending Grambling University, he joined the United States Marine Corps from 1975 to 1980. He then moved with his family to Oakland and worked on the Oakland Army Base as a Hazardous Material Certifier. When the Base closed in 1999, he started working in OUSD.
Herberta was a classroom teacher for nine years. She began her teaching career in Oakland at Frick Middle School. She later moved to Hayward to teach biology at Hayward High. She returned to 7th and 8th grade science at Ochoa Middle and Winton Middle. Her leadership experiences include science department chair, facilitator of professional learning communities, as well as creator and presenter of both curriculum and professional developments for staff.
Herberta holds a B.S. in Marina Biology, M.A. in Education and a CLAD Credential in Biological Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Additionally, she has an Administrative Credential from California State University, East Bay.
Before joining the OUSD Science Department, Claudio served as the Director of the Bay Area Science Project (BASP) at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS). Claudio has led numerous professional development programs throughout the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Texas. He has designed and implemented K – 8 professional development programs that focus on developing teachers' science content knowledge and expanding their teaching strategies, with particular emphasis on English Language Learners.
Claudio has also worked for 10 years as a bilingual K–5 teacher and a science coach in the District, 11 years as a science researcher at the School of Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco, and 9 years in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Minnesota.
In addition to coaching elementary teachers in science instruction, Laura has developed and led numerous workshops and classes for teachers focusing on the FOSS curriculum, strategies for developing language and literacy through science, managing hands-on science investigations, watershed awareness, climate change, and outdoor education.
Laura has taught science in both urban and rural schools and was previously a fifth grade teacher in Oakland. She has also worked as a service learning specialist, a curriculum writer, and an education consultant for non-profit organizations. Laura is a doctoral student in Education at Mills College. She holds a B.A. in sociology, an M.A. in Teaching, a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Biological Sciences, and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
David Avery has worked with Oakland Unified School District for 5 years. Prior to joining the science team, he worked for Teaching and Learning Department and Alliance Academy Middle School in several different capacities. Before his time with OUSD, David served the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona. David is passionate about helping others succeed and enjoys playing his part in helping Oakland Unified School District students achieve.