Summer 2019 Faculty and Staff
Taghi Amundson, Program Assistant
Taghi Amundson grew up in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, and moved to the Richmond during elementary school. He graduated from the San Francisco Friends School in 2014, and The Urban School of San Francisco in 2018. He currently attends Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where he is on the pre-business track with a concentration in Spanish. Taghi has volunteered every summer at Horizons since 2014, and also volunteered at New Traditions Elementary for the past two years. Outside of the classroom, he is an avid movie watcher, baseball player, and music listener. This summer, he is especially excited to see returning students and meet new ones, as well as see the strides students make in reading and math over the course of the program.
Chloe Badger-Harp, Student Wellness Coach/ Program Coordinator
Chloe was born in San Francisco, California. She attends the University of San Francisco where she is working for a Master’s in Urban Education and Social Justice with a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Chloe has a deep appreciation for community centers, as she previously worked at the Jamestown Community Center in San Francisco’s Mission District, supporting after school programs and social support groups. During the school year, she works at Sanchez Elementary School, and is so excited to join Horizon’s for the summer! When Chloe isn’t working, she loves to draw, walk her dog, and take care of her many, many plants!
Ymilul Bates, Reading Specialist
Ymilul Bates was born in Jerusalem and spent many of her childhood years traveling around the world performing theater in the streets with her parents. She currently lives in the East Bay with her son and their dog. She has taught in the San Francisco Unified School District for 21 years. She taught special education at Buena Vista Horace Mann for sixteen years and currently teaches general education Spanish immersion at Leonard Flynn. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Reed College and later earned her bilingual teaching credential at the University of San Francisco and her special education teaching credential from San Francisco State. She enjoys theater and hiking and is passionate about public education and strengthening bonds between communities.
Amelia Bell, Assistant Teacher - 5th Grade
Amelia has been working in bilingual elementary education for four years, with grades 1 through 6 in different capacities. After graduating from Carleton College with a B.A. in Spanish Literature, she moved to Spain, where she taught English as a Foreign Language for two years. After that, she returned home to the Bay Area and worked as an AmeriCorps Site Coordinator with Reading Partners, a volunteer-based literacy program at Flynn Elementary School. There, she managed volunteers to provide 1 on 1 reading support to students to boost literacy skills. Now, she works as a Teaching Associate at the Chinese American International School, and is working towards her M.A. in Education and Teaching Credential with the BATTI program, and is excited to be working with Horizons this summer!
Ashli Duncan, K-3 Reading Specialist
Ashli Duncan is a Bay Area native who graduated from Scripps College with a Bachelor's degree in Dance and Media Studies. She then traveled to Japan and South Korea where she taught English for a year and a half. Afterwards, she returned to the Bay Area to earn her Masters in Teaching Literacy from the University of San Francisco in the San Francisco Teacher Residency program. Ashli currently teaches 2nd grade in the SFUSD. She loves dancing, cooking and is learning to play the ukulele. She is thrilled to be joining the Horizons community this summer!
Daney Espíritu, Assistant Teacher - 1st Grade
Daney was born in Florida, but raised in San Diego where she lived with her mom and two younger brothers. She studied psychology and education at UC Santa Cruz, and is currently working towards her Masters in Urban Education and Social Justice at USF. Daney has been working with kids for the past five years as a camp counselor, teacher's aide, preschool literacy teacher, and after school teacher and hopes to teach kindergarten in the near future! She lives in the East Bay with her dog Willow and her partner Anton. She is passionate about art, music, building community, and learning more about her Pilipino culture. She is so excited to start her first year at Horizons!
Angie gonzalez, Co-Teacher - 4th Grade
Angelica Gonzalez or Angie, was born and raised in Los Angeles. She moved to San Francisco six years ago when she transferred to San Francisco State University from East Los Angeles College. She earned her B.A. in Latina/o Studies and a minor in Race & Resistance Studies in 2015. A native Spanish speaker, Angie has worked as a Teacher’s Assistant since she was 19 years old with students from different ages and backgrounds. Most recently, she works as a fourth grade teaching assistant at San Francisco Friends School and is currently seeking her Master's Degree and Credential through the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI). Angie is excited to join the Horizons’ staff for her third year this summer and is excited for the opportunity to reconnect with the program’s students, families, staff and volunteers. Outside of school, Angie’s hobbies include hiking, listening to podcasts, audiobooks, cooking without measuring, going to concerts and road trips. She currently lives in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood with her partner and pet bearded dragon Rayquaza.
Cristina Kinslow, Lead Teacher - 1st grade
Cristina Kinslow grew up in Chico, California in a bicultural and bilingual family. She attended Cal Poly, in San Luis Obispo. She then earned her teaching credential and masters degree in education from University of San Francisco in the San Francisco Teacher Residency program. Cristina is passionate about education for the whole child.
During her spare time, Cristina enjoys traveling, spending time outside, listening to live music and spending time with her family. Her favorite children’s book is Crisantemo by Kevin Henkes. She even named her cat after the character in the book! Cristina currently lives in San Francisco and teaches 2nd grade in the Spanish Dual Immersion program at Daniel Webster.
Ben Lopez, Co-Teacher - Kindergarten
Ben Lopez is a second year kindergarten Teaching Assistant at San Francisco Friends School and a second year Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI) student who is Responsive Classroom training certified. Ben graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in English (Creative Writing). He lives in San Francisco, on Potrero Hill, with his partner and their two daughters. Ben worked for many years as the caretaker for his grandparents. Before coming to Friends and joining BATTI, Ben was a stay-at-home dad and a part-time bookseller at Christopher's Books. He is an avid reader and Giants fan. Ben is incredibly honored and excited to be working for Horizons.
Jaymie Lynne Santiago, Lead Teacher - 2nd Grade
Ms. Santiago grew up outside of Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Education Studies. After completing her California Credential and earning a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, she began her teaching career. Ms. Santiago has taught for 7 years, teaching Kindergarten and 2nd grade, and currently teaches for SFUSD. Outside of teaching, her passions include reading, hiking, baking, and running. She loves to be outside and explore the world around her. Ms. Santiago is looking forward to an exciting summer at Horizons!
Amalia Medina-Glover, Part-Time Curriculum and Instructional Lead
Amalia Medina-Glover is a primary educator, literacy specialist, and adjunct faculty with USF and SFSU. She received her undergraduate degree in Virginia where she taught for four years, before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area and continuing her teaching career. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Amalia has taught in the primary grades for over ten years. In 2017, Amalia earned a Masters of Arts (language and literacy) degree. In recent years, Amalia has also served as an instructional coach, teacher mentor, and after-school program lead instructor. Amalia's passion lies with culturally relevant pedagogy, curriculum development, and project-based learning. 2019 will be Amalia's fifth year with Horizons, where she has served as the program’s Lead Kindergarten teacher, Reading Specialist, and now part-time as the program's Curriculum and Instructional Lead.
Francisco Morales O’Connor, Lead Teacher - 5th Grade
Francisco was born and raised in Oregon. He double majored at the University of Oregon with a degree in Spanish Literature and Education. After graduating, he moved to California to pursue his passion for Spanish bilingual education, eventually receiving a Master's in Urban Education with a focus on literacy from Loyola Marymount University. Francisco has taught for 3 years in San Francisco's Mission District at Bryant Elementary. Francisco is thrilled to be joining Horizons' teaching staff this summer for the first time! When he's not at school, Francisco enjoys reading historical fiction and volunteering in his community . Even though his heart is in the Pacific Northwest, Francisco loves working in his school community and sees the Mission and San Francisco as his other home. He currently lives in the Glen Park neighborhood.
Isla Murphy, Co-Teacher - 4th Grade
Isla was born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Canada (the home of Anne of Green Gables) and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and 18 month old son, Sebastian. She has worked with kids her whole life, from babysitter to camp counsellor to becoming a teacher in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in Education from Wilfrid Laurier University. She taught K-8 in Ontario before moving to San Francisco in 2017. She has a passion for STEM subjects and loves to make learning fun and hands on. She enjoys traveling, reading lots of books, and is currently learning to play the ukulele. As a new member of the Horizon's team, Isla is looking forward to getting to know all of the Horizon families!
Isaac Pasternack, Co-Teacher - 3rd Grade
Isaac is an East Bay native, raised in Richmond. He returned home from Seattle after graduating from the University of Washington with a B.A. in history and a minor in Jewish studies. His work with children began with trips to help out at his mom’s preschool class at the young age of nine. Before coming to Black Pine Circle School, Isaac worked at Classroom Matters, a tutoring center in Berkeley. Isaac joined the Black Pine Circle School faculty in 2013 as the fourth grade teaching assistant. Isaac is also a member of a community bike workshop, Biketopia. He spends one evening a week there volunteering, teaching folks about repairing and maintaining their bikes. He is currently also a student in the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI), pursuing a master’s in education and a California state teaching credential. In his personal time, he enjoys listening to music, reading, and riding his bike.
Chelsey Paulsen, Assistant Teacher - 2nd Grade
Chelsey was born and raised in San Francisco. She currently works as as a first grade associate teacher at Convent Elementary School and is pursuing her teaching credential and Master’s in Education through the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI). Chelsey graduated from San Diego State with a BA in theatre arts. She is passionate about arts integration and project-based learning. Chelsey is delighted to join the Horizons at SFFS’ team! Outside of the classroom, her hobbies include hiking, acting, dancing and traveling.
Audrey Sachleben, Program Assistant
Audrey grew up in the Richmond District of San Francisco and is a graduate of San Francisco Friends School (2013) and Marin Academy (2017). She is currently a sophomore at Middlebury College in Vermont where she is majoring in Political Science with minors in Education Studies and Spanish. Audrey has worked with students of all ages in tutoring, literacy, and summer camp programs such as the Page One Literacy Project in Vermont and the Crossroads tutoring program in San Rafael, CA. In her free time, Audrey enjoys playing soccer, reading, and spending time outdoors. Audrey has been a student volunteer with the Horizons program for two summers and is thrilled to be joining the staff as a program assistant.
Larissa Santiago, Co-Teacher - Kindergarten
Larissa Santiago graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies, a combined major of three subject areas that included Spanish, Counseling, and Education.
During and after graduating, she spent time as an eighth grade Teacher's Assistant at Innovations Academy, a project based charter school where she would be inspired to pursue her true passion for teaching.
Larissa moved to the Bay Area to enter SFUSD’s Pathways to Teaching program, through which she will earn her Teaching Credential with a Spanish Bilingual Authorization this July. Larissa began teaching fourth grade at Bryant Elementary School this year.
In her free time, Larissa enjoys playing soccer and chasing after her two year old son. She also loves to watch sci-fi movies. She is thrilled to meet Horizons’ students and their families!
Laura Van Slyke, Co-Teacher - 3rd Grade
Laura was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She received her B.A. in 2015 from Arizona State University, where she studied English (Creative Writing) and French. She will graduate from Stanford University this June with her Master's in Education and California teaching credential. She is passionate about inquiry-driven education, project-based learning, blurring the line between the classroom and the community, and the art of asking really good questions. Laura currently is co-teaching Kindergarten in Sunnyvale. She lived in San Francisco for two years before moving to Stanford, working by day in 2nd-grade classrooms at French American International School and by night on the editorial team of Best American Non-required Reading (a project of 826 National). Laura spent 16 months abroad studying French and is currently developing her Spanish; she loves thinking about language and language acquisition. She enjoys making music, being outdoors, and keeping plants alive. She is ecstatic to join the thoughtful, joyful, and creative team of Horizons this summer.