FACULTY & STAFF
EDIE LANPHAR, M.A.
Grade 7/8 Lead Teacher
Edie Lanphar is a passionate and dedicated educator with a background in psychology and education. Throughout her extensive career, she has focused on improving the lives and educational experiences of all children while acutely aware of the needs of gifted and talented children. Specifically, she has been a teacher from PK through 12th grade, a lecturer at a University, an author, a researcher, a School Principal, and a Director of Curriculum.
In her role of over 10 years as Director of Curriculum, Ms. Lanphar created a K-8 Reggio Emilia (student-centered) program, focusing on social-emotional learning and inquiry-based curriculum. She went on to extend that program to include a full 4-year high school where she helped administer a constructivist and progressive project-based curriculum across the disciplines. She has also presented locally, nationally, and internationally for many years. She has a gifted and talented child of her own so intimately understands what helps them to thrive.
KIMBERLY WAGNER, M.ED., M.A.,
GIFTED EDUCATION CERTIFICATION
Grade 5/6 Lead Teacher
M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction; M.A. Teacher Leadership; Gifted Education Certification
Ms. Wagner has enjoyed the past 26 years teaching middle school in various states across the country, and recently volunteered as an ESL teacher for a year in the Marshall Islands. She is a firm believer in guiding students to develop their higher-order thinking skills and problem-solving techniques, and also assisting them in becoming creative and autonomous learners.
Fine Art & Ceramics Instructor
Art, SBCC; Early Childhood Education
Mr. Summers is a full-time Senior Teaching Artist at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA). He plans, implements, and facilitates fine arts curriculum inspired by the museum’s collections and exhibits. He teachs as an Early Education Specialist, working as a Pre-K teacher, and designing Outdoor Classroom environments within childcare facilities.
Teaching Assistant & Administration Assistant
Born in Sundsvall, Sweden, Wilma recently earned her degree in the States in Economics. She brings a positive as well as playful attitude to the Knox School family.
LIGGY CHIEN, M.A.T.
Advanced Math Instructor
B.A. Mathematical Science; M.A.T. Math Education
Ms. Chien taught mathematics for ten years at New Trier High School near Chicago. She moved to Santa Barbara when her husband joined the faculty of UC Santa Barbara and has taught mathematics at Anacapa School.
I simply love interacting with and being around people. When I started working with clients one on one, training large and small groups of people in physical fitness, it brought out a new passion. A passion for working with others by identifying each individual’s needs and being able to support their learning and growth. I started training kids from the Police Athletic League (PAL) to give them a positive outlet and environment after school. I really enjoyed working with younger children and decided to pursue it further, returning to school for early childhood education.
It’s truly an honor and a privilege to be given the opportunity to work with such bright young children and I take pride in what I do and I want to give each individual my very best. I strive to be an example outside and inside of the classroom, not just by my words but by my actions.
GABRIELLE SMITH, M.ED.
Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Gabrielle was born and raised in Santa Barbara County and attended San Diego State University where she earned her teaching credential. Prior to joining the Knox School, she had been teaching for 30 years in both San Diego and Riverside Counties in grades 2, 1, Kindergarten, and Transitional Kindergarten.
CARLY PREGADIO, M.ED.
Grade 1/2 Lead Teacher
M.Ed.; Teaching Credential
Carly earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Global and International Studies as well as her Masters of Education Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
For the past three years, she has taught third and fourth grade in Belmont, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys creating hands-on lessons to deepen student learning. She creates a positive and nurturing classroom community that celebrates the individuality of each student and focuses on social-emotional learning and growth as well as academic and intellectual growth.
Ms. Kemp will be teaching the 1st/2nd grade next year. Her use of project-based learning and her secure and easy-going style will be a wonderful addition to the team!
ANGELA TANNER, PH.D.
Founder & Director
Ph.D. Cognitive Neuroscience
Angela Tanner was born and raised in southern California, attending Montessori in the early years and then Viewpoint School in Calabasas, California from 3rd through 12th grade, graduating with full Honors as Valedictorian. She went on to UCLA to study Psychology and Business, again graduating with College Honors, magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa. Before returning to graduate school, she interned at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawai'i, conducting behavioral research studying cognition and communication in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. She returned to UCLA for her doctorate to explore the use of functional brain mapping techniques (specifically functional MRI) to examine the functional and structural topography of the cognitive processes of learning & memory.
The journey that led her to the opening of this school began as a very personal one, born of the frustrations and heartbreak of advocating for her own children. Angela’s experiences have fueled in her an enduring passion for creating an educational environment that honors both the intellectual, academic needs of gifted students, as well as the equally important, and often overlooked, social and emotional needs of this unique population.
KARI VAN BEBBER RAMIREZ, M.S., P.P.S, L.M.F.T.
Head of School
M.S. P.P.S, L.M.F.T
It is my pleasure and honor to be part of the Knox School family and a program where thinking outside of the box is celebrated! I am committed and dedicated to supporting the continued development of the children and further fostering a positive, engaging, and supportive learning environment. I moved to Santa Barbara from Hillsborough, CA, where, I worked as an elementary school counselor for 9 years. In addition to my 4 years of teaching elementary school, my decade of experience with gifted children as a school counselor solidified in me a deep commitment to the growth of these children.
My desire is for children to find joy daily and know each day is a new opportunity for self-discovery. I want them to feel loved, supported, and a sense of belonging and purpose in their daily learning environment, regardless of the academic or social-emotional challenges they might be facing.
Kids should be able to just be kids, and they need us to provide them with this opportunity. Education needs to be filled with heart and soul. My mission is always to fill the heart. I aim to support and guide our families, faculty, and staff in the tandem pursuit of inspiring and cherishing our students.
SHAYNA GARDINER, M.A.
Director of Operations
Shayna brings a broad business background to the Director of Operations position, having many years of experience working within the fields of strategy, human resources, and marketing.
She earned her M.A. degree in Psychology and has additional training and experience in Life Coaching. This has given her a depth of insight into the varied aspects involved in mental and emotional well-being and the achievement of personal aspirations. She knows first-hand the array of elements involved in raising gifted and talented children, and she is a sensitive support to the Knox family. She is committed to being a positive factor in the lives of the people she encounters.
Shayna has recently returned to the Santa Barbara area, where she lived while growing up, and she enjoys the many wonderful activities available.
ELLEN HONECK, PhD.
Director of Curriculum & Instruction
Ellen earned her doctoral degree in the area of curriculum and instruction with a concentration in gifted education from the University of Denver, specifically focusing on the social-emotional aspects of curriculum and instruction. She has served as the Associate Director of the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education and an Administrator at the Ricks Center for Gifted Children, both located at the University of Denver. She has also served as Dean of the Gifted and Talented Academy at Laurel Springs School working also as a Gifted Education Consultant. Dr. Honeck has been the Chair of the National Association for Gifted Children's Special Schools and Programs Network and a manager in the Denver public School's Gifted and Talented Department. Dr. Honeck is an active leader in many state and national gifted education organizations. Dr. Honeck has presented at numerous gifted conferences at the state level, as well as nationally and internationally (and will be presenting with Dr. Tanner at the upcoming NAGC conference in Denver in November). Her presentations and publication topics include integrated curricula, identification of gifted students, instructional strategies for gifted learners, psychological aspects of gifted learners, and creative and critical thinking strategies.