Mary Ann McQueen grew up in Seattle, Washington and attended Santa Clara University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in history and, later, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Loyola Marymount University. Ms. McQueen has extensive experience working in TK-12th grade schools where she has served as a school leader and instructor. Those schools include Marymount High School, Westwood, St. Mark School in Venice, and Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco. Ms. McQueen has also held many volunteer positions at her sons’ elementary school including chairing the school’s three-day festival and auction as well as the parent association. These roles have helped deepen Ms. McQueen’s understanding of parent perspectives and how to develop cohesive parent organizations that support the school and that build community.
Serving as an instructional leader Ms. McQueen has led efforts to improve and innovate school programs, implement comprehensive curricular endeavors, build school enrollment, and revitalize school facilities. All the while, focusing on the importance of cultivating a vibrant, student and growth-focused school culture where members have fun and build relationships has been a priority for Ms. McQueen.
Core values include service to others, collaboration, community partnerships, ongoing professional growth, and a deep passion for the outdoors, family, literature, and history. One of Ms. McQueen’s favorite projects as a school leader involved working with parent volunteers and a parent architect to implement a water reclamation system that resulted in capturing all rainwater year-round. Part of this project involved partnering with TreePeople to plant 33 trees and shrubs on the school grounds.
Ms. McQueen currently serves on the school board of two elementary schools and has recently assisted schools in developing sustainability systems to reduce waste and better align those schools with their mission to care for the school environment and support students in becoming more conscious of their role in that process.
Ms. McQueen and her husband, Murray have raised two sons and have lived in the Los Angeles area for many years where they have deep roots and a love of the city, and opportunities to build community over time.
Lily Hubbard was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, California. After moving to Boston to receive her Bachelor of Science for Elementary Education from Boston University, she moved back to Los Angeles where she received a Master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction with a focus on Reading Intervention and Dyslexia from Concordia University.
Ms. Hubbard has a passion for teaching and loves to bring art and creativity into the classroom to promote differentiated learning opportunities for every child. She believes that engagement is key in the learning experience and works to create a classroom environment where students have the tools and desire to think critically, ask questions, and pursue knowledge. With experience from kindergarten to fourth grade, Ms. Hubbard uses her hands-on understanding of the learning progression across grades to guide her younger learners in developing higher level thinking skills and connect them with content and challenges to come, all while having a great deal of fun!
Beyond the classroom, Ms. Hubbard can be found reading at the beach, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, or snowboarding in the mountains!
Kristin Penn grew up in the Los Angeles area and feels deeply connected to the city of LA. Mrs. Penn has a BA in Psychology and Child Development and extensive background with the social emotional development of young children. Mrs. Penn earned a teaching credential, and a masters degree in education and began teaching at Crossroads School in Santa Monica. After six years at Crossroads, she took a break to raise her son and then came back to the classroom to teach both kindergarten and first grade at Saint Mark school in Venice CA.
Mrs. Penn takes a developmental approach to learning and believes in the importance of differentiation through workshop-based curriculum including Cognitive Guided Instruction, and Readers and Writer’s Workshop. She enjoys bringing learning to life with real world experiences through project based learning. She believes that a teacher does not simply tell students what they need to know but rather, learning should be experiential, child-centered and socially mindful. Her goal is to foster a love of learning in each and every student that she teaches. She strives to make her classroom full of joy, collaboration, and passion.
Caitlin Maher was born and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University receiving a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Elementary Education. After attending LMU, she was accepted into Teach for America Denver, where she earned her Colorado Teaching Credential in Elementary Education and Special Education. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Colorado, Denver. Ms. Maher spearheaded the Special Education Department at Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside in Denver and fell in love with teaching.
Ms. Maher’s passion for education was instilled at a young age as a first generation American and college student and it continues to be the ultimate driving force in her life. She has been teaching for nine years and is motivated by reaching the unique needs of each student in the classroom. Having a background in special education, Ms. Maher prioritizes managing data, using it to inform instruction, and building a strong rapport with all individuals in the classroom. She believes that the teacher is merely a facilitator in the classroom and that in order for students to fully grasp the content they need to do the heavy lifting of the lesson. She has experience teaching Kindergarten through seventh grade. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Maher loves being outside, skiing, running, or camping!
While, Caroline Paulson no longer works at Sycamore Community School, she remains a proud supporter. We are grateful for her efforts as a Founder and teacher.