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Our faculty and staff combine passion, dedication, and flexibility with the wisdom of many years spent teaching children to achieve their fullest potential.

Pictured above: Our in-person professional development training with our teachers, two weeks prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year (masked and ready to inspire).

Head of School


Wendy Xa

Founding Head of School

Neuroscientist. Nature Enthusiast. Quadrilingual. Mom.


After founding Presidio Knolls, the award-winning private Mandarin-immersion school in San Francisco, Wendy had a vision for a pioneering school that could combine language immersion, nature-based education, and social-emotional learning into a unified program. With four years of operation under its belt, Terra Marin is the exemplification of this vision.


“I created my first school, Presidio Knolls, to be the school I wanted for my own two children. It was incredible to watch it become everything I dreamed of. Then, over ten years working with hundreds of students and teachers, I learned how to create something even better. That’s what Terra Marin is.”



Tianxing Yao
TK Mandarin Preschool
Talented poet. Amusement park enthusiast.

M.A. in Education from the University of San Francisco. B.A. in Electrical Engineering from Xi’ an Shiyou University in China. 7 years of teaching experience.                                                                                                  

Patricia Etchekan
Mandarin Preschool

Singer. Quadrilingual.

B.S. in Preschool Education at Inner Mongolia Normal University and M.A. in Chinese Language & Literature at Inner Mongolia University, China. 4 years of preschool teaching experience. Fluent in Mandarin, French, and English. Proficient in Spanish.

Shiying Phoebe Sun
Mandarin Preschool
Creative. Friendly.Traveler.

M.A. in Education from the University of San Francisco. B.A. in both English and Business Administration. 7 years of teaching experience. 

our Lower School TEACHERS

(in order by grade)

Riva Zippin
Kindergarten & 1st Grade 
Contagious laughter. Doting aunt. Ms. Frizzle Dress-Alike.

B.A. from UC Berkeley. 15 years of teaching experience. Multi-subject accredited elementary teacher. 

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Molly Becher
1st & 2nd Grade

Creative. Friendly. Adventurous.

B.A. in Liberal Arts from Cal State Chico. Multi-subject accredited elementary teacher.  Grew up in Marin County, feels "very blessed to live in such a lovely place."

Andy Trapp
3rd & 4th Grade
Skier. Mountain biker. Rock band drummer.

B.A. from the University of Michigan. Multi-subject accredited elementary teacher.  13 years of teaching experience. Father of three.


(in alphabetical order)

Mike Burkett
5th-8th Grade Science 

Permaculture gardening enthusiast. Proud owner of Charlie the Science Dog. Father. Renaissance man.

Over 15 years of teaching experience in the sciences. 

Michael Field
5th-7th Grade Math 
Ultimate frisbee, hiking, and gardening. Cook. Slam Poet. Guitarist.     

B.A. in Mathematics & Philosophy from Brown University. 10 years teaching experience. Meditation teacher. 

Lesley Fisher
7th-8th English, High School Counselor

Backpacking enthusiast. Dancing fool.

Over 15 years of teaching experience in Humanities. Mother of 2 daughters in high school.

Chloe Lechuga
7th-8th Grade English/Humanities,
SEL Consultant

Ocean lover. SoCal soul with a NorCal heart. Food lover and cooking enthusiast. Smashed penny collector.

B.A. in Human Development and Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University. 8 years of teaching experience with at-risk youth. Pursuing a Masters in Social Emotional Learning. 

Agustin Olmedo
5th-8th Grade Math

Bilingual. Father of a baby girl.

B.A. in Mathematics from SFSU.  First of his extended family to graduate college and wants to help others to do the same. 

Israel Palacio

PK-8th Grade Spanish 

Cat and dog lover, passionate about math and philosophy.

B. A. in Spanish Literature from San Francisco State University. Born and raised in Mexico City; moved in 2015 to the Bay Area.

Stephen Riave

5th-6th Grade English, 5th-7th Grade Humanities 
3-time principal and middle school English teacher. Wordsmith. Nature Enthusiast. 

B.A. from UC Santa Cruz. M.A in Educational Administration from SFSU. Multi-subject credential. 

OUR MUSIC, DRAMA, EARTH eDUCATION, world language & ART teachers
(in alphabetical order)

Chloe Jean Bermudez
PK-8th Grade Music 

R&B musician and composer. Nature enthusiast. Mother of 2 two.

UC Berkeley graduate & accomplished musician. 5+ years teaching experience in music and the arts.

Jake Chamberlain
Art Teacher PK-8th Grade

Filmmaker. Artist. Outdoors enthusiast.

M.F.A. in Documentary Filmmaking from Stanford University. Grew up in Eagle River, Alaska exploring the great outdoors and shooting films with friends. 

Aidan Gavet
Drama & Safety Director 

Actor. Playwright. Director. Music video producer. Hairdo freestyler.

Over 10 years teaching experience in drama and the arts.

Emili Herrera
K-8th Grade Spanish 
Hardworking. Fearless. Enthusiastic.

Teacher with 5 years experience. Loving daughter, and friend.

J. Alex Michel

Earth Education Director
Tuba player. Fire fighter. Trilingual.

Double Major with B.S. in Environment Science/Society and B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature from UC Berkeley with a minor in Education.

Shanshan Wu

K-8th Grade Mandarin
Passionate chef. Epicure. Avid volunteer. Mother.

B.A. from Shenyang University, China. 5 years of experience teaching Mandarin to all ages. Volunteer at orphanages and senior citizen homes.



Shauna Sullivan

Assistant Head of School
Cat & child whisperer. Math wiz, Avid reader and book collector. Proud grandmother.

B.A. and M.A. in Education with a focus in mathematics from SFSU.  20+ years classroom experience. Cat and children whisperer. Just became a grandmother for the 2nd time.

Chloe Lechuga
SEL Consultant, 7-8 English/Humanities

Ocean lover. Epicure and culinarian.

B.A. in Human Development and Early Childhood Education from Sonoma State University. 8 years of teaching experience with at-risk youth. Pursuing a Masters in Social Emotional Learning.

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Juan Rebuffo
Marketing Manager
Pop Culture Enthusiast. Designer. East-Coaster turned West Coast.

B.S. in Marketing & Business Entertainment, Music, and Technology from NYU Stern. Jack of all trades, master of some. Fluent in English & Spanish.

Shruti Dattani
Finance Manager

Financier. Mother of two. Epicure.

Shruti is creative, innovative, and a visionary. She was born in Africa, lived in Australia, and married in America. 

Johanna Cervantes 
Operations Manager
Marathon runner & standup comedian.

BA in Environmental Studies and Theology & Religious Studies from USF.  Fluent in English and Spanish. 

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Rebecca Lewis 
Operations Manager/Front Desk
Loves her dog, Hermione.Tough Mudderer.

B.S. in Early Child Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Previously, 4 years as an administrator at a Veterinary hospital and 13 years as a preschool teacher. 

Board & Advisors


Wendy Xa, Board President
Simona Chongo, Board Member
Levi Leavitt, Board Member
Jen Guittard, Board Member & Advisor
Jane Camblin, Advisor
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