Teaching Foundations (Southern California)

Jul 30, 2024—Aug 02, 2024


St. Margaret’s Episcopal School | San Juan Capistrano, CA

Cost Early Bird Pricing for Members (Available until July 2): $2,780 members; $2,345 group-rate 3+; $4,360 non-members

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Teaching Foundations

SESSION 1: July 30, 2024 | 9:00am - 4:00pm

SESSION 2: July 31, 2024 | 9:00am - 4:00pm

SESSION 3: August 1, 2024 | 9:00am - 4:00pm

SESSION 4: August 2, 2024 | 9:00am - 12:00pm


This program is designed to support the growth and success of all teachers, particularly those in their early years at independent schools by focusing on foundational areas of teaching. The landscape of education continues to change dramatically presenting us with new opportunities and challenges. Teachers must be nimble and responsive to their students, ready for new forms of teaching and learning, and able to adapt their practice and curriculum. At the same time, teachers are called to model steadiness and self-awareness that promote their own well-being and safeguard the social-emotional needs of their students.

Sessions are organized around the following topics: the landscape of teaching and learning and its intersection with school culture; identity and relationship building; lesson design, curriculum, and pedagogy; and reflecting values in the classroom.

Led by teachers, administrators, and guest presenters with diverse experiences and perspectives, this respected program provides participants with personalized attention and specific instruction that is adaptable for all grade levels. Emphasis is placed on using inclusive practices for unit design and equitable classroom management, as well as navigating school culture, deepening cultural competencies, and engaging confidently as a teacher leader. Even seasoned teachers find useful tools and benefit from the opportunity to work with top educators in a supportive, inclusive atmosphere.


Natalie Babcock, CATDC Facilitator

Natalie Babcock is an elementary school educator at The Center for Early Education (CEE) in West Hollywood, California. After cutting her teeth in the Early Childhood sector, Natalie earned her Masters Degree and Teaching Credential from Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI), in Oakland, California. In 2018, Natalie moved back home to her native Los Angeles and worked in LAUSD as a fifth grade teacher. Today, Natalie calls CEE home and is proud to be in her fourth year at The Center, currently working in the Upper Elementary Division. She has contributed essays to the Los Angeles Times and hosts a Children’s storytelling podcast called Small Tales.


Victor Cota serves as the Director of Equity and Inclusion at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, CA. A native of Orange County, Victor attended the University of Southern California and earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religion. In 2007, he moved to Houston, TX, as a member of Teach for America. At Houston’s YES Prep Public Schools, he began his career as a middle school math teacher and then served as a middle school principal. In 2012, Victor earned his MBA from Rice University and his principal certification through the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program. In 2015, Victor moved back to southern California and became the director of Breakthrough SJC, a community-based organization that serves students from historically underrepresented backgrounds as they shape their paths to college graduation. In 2018, he became the inaugural Director of Equity and Inclusion at St. Margaret’s as the school community looked to solidify and deepen its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Kelly Kuolt is in her third year as the Instructional Coach at The Pegasus School in Huntington Beach, CA. Prior to Pegasus, Kelly spent seven years at Carlthorp School in Santa Monica, ultimately serving as their Director of Service Learning after teaching both P.E. and 6th grade. Outside of her independent school experience, Kelly spent two years teaching at a public elementary school in rural New Hampshire, as well as a year teaching English to PK-12 at a Catholic school in Santiago, Chile. Kelly earned a B.A. in Public Relations from Gonzaga University, an M.A. and K–6 Teaching Credential from Pepperdine University, and her Differentiated Curriculum for Gifted Students certificate from the University of Southern California. She has a passion for gifted education and believes in providing students with the opportunity to learn about and find solutions to societal challenges in creative ways. She is also an active voice for building inclusive, equitable school communities and is currently working with teachers to incorporate the Learning for Justice Social Justice standards into the Pegasus curriculum.


Taryn Marshall is Lower and Upper School History Instructor at Marlborough School, Los Angeles. Since earning her M. Ed. at UCLA’s School of Education, she has been a founding history teacher for a girls’ public charter middle school in Los Angeles valley, and then transitioned to Marlborough in 2020. In her current position at Marlborough, she teaches a 7th grade Civics and Citizenship course, an interdisciplinary 10th grade American Studies History course, and advises multiple groups of 12th grade students in Honors Research in Social Sciences and Capstone internship program. Taryn’s interest lies in the intersectionality of gender equity, as can be reflected in her experiences such as earning her B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from a women’s college, and working with a feminist non-profit for high school students in Newark, NJ. Her current interest is thinking about how to center teacher and students’ authentic selves for joy and learning in the classroom.

Alexander Wenderoff, CATDC Facilitator

Alexander Wenderoff is The Director of the New Teacher Academy at The Center for Early Education (CEE) in West Hollywood. After studying Art History and World Religions at McGill University in Montreal, he followed the paths of both his parents into education. He spent 16 years in the classroom in a myriad of settings: public schools in Washington, DC while serving as a member of the DC Teaching Fellows, parochial school in San Francisco, public school in Oakland, CA, public charter schools in New York City and ultimately landing at CEE. During his time teaching in New York he earned his Master's from Relay Graduate School of Education. Having seen firsthand the shortcomings of alternative certification programs such as DC Teaching Fellows have in preparing new teachers, Alexander developed The New Teacher Academy. This is a three year teacher residency program in which those new to education gain invaluable firsthand experience, going from a member of the instructional support team to a fully credentialed teacher ready to lead their own classroom.


Mariama Richards, Guest Speaker, Head of School, Crossroads School

Mariama Richards ​currently ​serves as the Head of School at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences after becoming the Associate Head of School in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mariama has worked on issues of educational equity for the past 24 years in schools. She began her educational career as a humanities teacher in Washington DC Public Schools and then went on to Direct Summerbridge New Haven at the Hopkins School. After leaving Hopkins, Mariama became the Co-Director of Diversity at Georgetown Day School. During this 10 year tenure she co-founded the Equity Collaborative, a national program charged with supporting educators with bringing diversity initiatives into their schools. Mariama went on to become the Director of Progressive and Multicultural Education at Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Before joining the Crossroads School team, Mariama served as the Assistant Head of School for Academic Program at Friends Central School in Pennsylvania.


CATDC partners with member schools to host our in-person programs, providing educators the opportunity to learn with peers in diverse settings. We are thrilled to partner with St. Margaret's Episcopal School on this Summer Institute, welcoming the larger independent school community on their campus for four days of learning and collaboration.

Cancellation Policy

Life happens. We understand that there will be times when you cannot attend a workshop that you have registered and paid for. We strive to be as helpful and flexible as possible when things out of your control happen. Please visit our FAQ page for detailed information about our cancellation policy and answers to frequently asked questions about enrollment and membership.