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OUR FACULTY & STAFF

Our exceptional faculty and staff have been sourced from across the country and have shown excellence in their fields. It takes a special kind of educator with a deep understanding of the gifted mind to support our student population.


A Knox educator is able to challenge each student on an individual ability level and is able to handle being challenged themselves, as our students are out-of-the-box thinkers and bring knowledge with them to school. Our educators lead the school by example and foster the greatness within each child.

 

FACULTY & STAFF

GABRIELLE SMITH

Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Teaching Credential

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.

ALISON BRYANT, M.ED.

Grade 1/2 Lead Teacher
M.Ed.; Teaching Credential

Alison Bryant earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Masters of Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has been teaching for over six years. She has taught third grade in Carpinteria and second and third grades in Northern California. She enjoys developing lessons that challenge her students to apply their learning in the classroom to real world problems. She creates a positive classroom community that helps students reach their full potential.

MEREDITH STOLLER, M.A.

Grade 3/4 Lead Teacher
M.A. Curriculum & Instruction

Meredith Stoller earned her Bachelors in Middle Childhood Education and Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Cincinnati. She taught 8th grade science for six years at Rapid Run Middle School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her teaching philosophy involves project-based learning and challenge-based learning where students apply what they are learning to solve real world problems. She believes students should be given freedom to make multiple attempts and find various ways to show mastery on a topic, all of which helps students develop a growth-mindset. Meredith strives to create a positive, supportive, and encouraging learning environment where students are encouraged and supported to reach their full potential.

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.

EDIE LANPHAR, M.A.

Grade 7/8 Lead Teacher;
Director of Curriculum & Instruction

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.

JIM GRIBBLE, PH.D CANDIDATE, M.EDS, M.A.

STEAM Faculty
M.A. Education, M.Eds
Ph.D Candidate Educational Technology

Jim has 10 years of teaching experience in integrated learning schools including IB trans-disciplinary environmental schools in London and Chicago and a STEAM start-up school in San Francisco founded by the Chief Scientist of Twitter, where he taught Science and Technology. Jim has been invited to conduct research with computer science departments in Oulu and Tampere Finland as well as the University of Chicago. His research includes looking at the relationship between computer coding and the communication of children with autism, designing a video game with and for children with ADHD, designing a facial recognition game for and with children, computer coding robots in pre-K and is currently designing a literacy application for and with children in virtual reality. He also wrote two children’s books.

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.

JESSE JACOB, PSY.D.

Upper School Math Instructor

Jesse developed his passion for education while at UC Berkeley for his undergraduate degree in German. There he was trained and employed by UC Berkeley as a tutor at the Cesar Chavez Learning Center. He studied abroad in Berlin for one year and later taught English in Barcelona.


For over a decade he has been tutoring privately and for a variety of companies in subjects ranging from mathematics to Latin. He has experience tailoring lessons for each one of his students and believes firmly there is no “one size fits all” solution. Jesse holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and believes that quality education is rooted in a profound understanding of both the subject at hand and the individual student. He aims to combine academic rigor with compassion to encourage students to reach for their potential in a grounded manner. Jesse

understands the complexities that come with delving into the world of mathematics and seeks to offer students not only a solid understanding of fundamental concepts but also the skills to explore them with confidence and creativity.

JASON SUMMERS

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.

JOSH KOHANSAMAD

Teaching Assistant

Josh has been in the field of education and counseling for over a decade. After graduating from Chapman University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in leadership studies, Josh moved to rural Japan where he taught ESL to elementary and middle school students for three years. Upon returning to the United States, Josh worked as a counselor at a vocational training facility for at-risk youth. There he provided social and emotional programs and was elected to serve as the crisis management educator for all staff and faculty. Josh is now earning his MA in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University and will soon be seeking licensure as a marriage and family therapist.


Josh believes that the best form of education is one in which students can explore and make mistakes. As a social and emotional learning specialist, Josh leads mindful meditation sessions,

neuroscience lessons, and discussions on thought and emotion regulation. These SEL lessons foster lifelong skills and provide practical tools for students to get the most out of their educational experience.

JONATHAN JONES

Teaching Assistant

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.

ERIKA FEELY

Teaching Assistant

Erika recently moved to Santa Barbara from Boulder, Colorado to pursue her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, in pursuit of her dream to become licensed as a marriage and family therapist.


She is honored to be a part of the Knox School family where authentic education is the primary goal. It’s her intention to help each student bolster their talents and prepare them for the challenges that they will face when they leave our care.

 

ADMINISTRATION

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. 

GREG GOLF

Director of School Operations

Greg Golf began his experience with programs for gifted students when he was accepted into the Academy of Global Studies, a high school program with a focus on instilling international awareness and global responsiveness in its students. Graduating with honors, he moved on to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he fell in love with the Central Coast and earned a B.S. in Business Administration. He worked for three years as Director at Camp Champions, a world-class overnight summer camp in Texas, where he was responsible for daily operations serving 450 children and overseeing 10 managers. During the non-summer months, Greg directed the staffing, human resources, administration, programming, and customer service components of the organization.


Greg’s mission in life is to help children become the best possible versions of themselves so when the Director of School Operations role at Knox arose, it was the perfect opportunity to combine his professional experience, skill set, and passion for youth development to help the world’s future leaders reach their full potential. Greg believes in the power that one moment can have in a child’s upbringing that changes their life for the better indefinitely.

EDIE LANPHAR, M.A.

Director of Curriculum & Instruction;
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.

DAVE MOCHEL, M.A.

Mindfulness Strategies
M.A. Humanistic Education

For 25 years, Dave has been teaching neuroscience, stress-reduction, wellbeing, and leadership at private boarding schools. Most recently, he was the Chair of the Human Development Department at Cate School. Dave graduated with Honors in Biology and Geology from Williams College and has a Masters Degree in Humanistic Education from SUNY, New Paltz. In addition, he completed a clinical internship in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Feeling fulfilled and satisfied depends on our ability to observe our own thoughts and sensations and regulate our behavior. The power of focused attention and practice changes how we experience everything. Dave works with students, faculty, staff, and parents throughout the year to teach us how to train our nervous systems to access calm, confidence, and creativity in response to any circumstance.

 

(805) 222-0107

1525 Santa Barbara St. Santa Barbara CA United States 93101

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