Faculty & Staff 9-12

Aimee Zvinakis

Aimee is a teaching artist. She grew up living in many different countries in Southeast and South Asia. After graduating high school on the Big Island of Hawaii, she moved to California to pursue studio art at UC Santa Cruz. Her pull toward education began as an outdoor educator working with edible gardening programs for …

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James Roberts

James received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Texas at Arlington and his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. His graduate research focused on natural product total synthesis and developing methods to incorporate nitrogen into organic molecules. He strives to increase awareness of global problems and aims …

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Rebecca Figueroa

Rebecca taught college and high school English for three decades before deciding to pursue a master’s degree in Consciousness Studies at the Holmes Institute. In addition to teaching for many years at Oakwood and The Waverly School, she has designed and implemented integrated curriculum, spearheaded writing-across-the-disciplines programs, and advised numerous student clubs and publications. She …

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David Cutler-Kreutz

David brings nine years’ experience managing outdoors programs, guiding, and working as an outdoor educator. Most recently, David managed regional outdoor programming for Big City Mountaineers and worked as a staff trainer and manager for YMCA BOLD/GOLD. David has guided and taught climbing, kayaking, canoeing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing, and outdoor skills to students and adults …

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Calina Ciobanu

Calina comes to Sequoyah after more than a decade of experience in higher education, both as a graduate student and an instructor. She has taught at institutions including Emerson College, the U.S. Naval Academy, and Duke University, where she received her Ph.D. in English. She also holds an A.B. from Harvard and an M.Phil. from …

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Arden Thomas

Arden Thomas has been an educator for more than 20 years, teaching English for ten years at Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia, and English, humanities, and theatre at colleges and universities over another ten years. Arden has a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from Stanford, where she also directed plays and taught dance history, theatre …

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Ben Ede

Ben Ede, originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, earned bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Music from Cal State Los Angeles, and a Master of Arts in teaching from the Longy School of Music. Ben teaches classes in improvisation, music technology, and composition with the LA Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra Program, and is a member of the Jazz …

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Viviana Palacio

Viviana, a multidisciplinary artist, is a member of the 9-12 faculty teaching visual arts. Influenced by being born in Chile to Colombian parents and having grown up across the Americas, her works address ideas about borders, boundaries, and shifting identities. Viviana earned her BFA in Studio Practice and Art Education and her MA in Human …

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Ilan Vaisman

Ilan Vaisman has been traveling the world since he was young. He was born and raised in Colombia, lived in Israel for nine years, had a four-year layover in New York City where he completed his BA in romance languages and economics at NYU. He also lived for four years in Madrid, Spain, where he …

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