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A Message from the Head of School


A Message from the Head of School

From the Head of School

Great schools start and thrive with visionary people, and the founders of The Episcopal School of Los Angeles have established a school “for students and families who embrace the opportunity to shape a culture and lead the way forward.”

Generosity, integrity, curiosity, and courage inform everything we do here, both inside and outside the classroom. Teaching combines tradition with innovation and  reflects high academic standards. Classrooms are highly active. We look for motivated students from all backgrounds who will engage enthusiastically with the learning process and be prepared to grapple with difficult questions that affect our world both locally and globally. And we expect not just thought and discussion, but action too, as we learn to contribute through community involvement and service projects, and in how we treat and influence those around us.

When ESLA graduates go on to college and life beyond, we intend them to be equipped not just with academic skills, knowledge, and a thirst for learning, but also with the soul necessary to lead and inspire in the twenty-first century. Everything we do is with this mission in mind.

The moment I first stepped through ESLA’s door myself, I sensed the school’s unique niche among Los Angeles independent schools. ESLA walks the walk of intellectual pursuit and character development within a diverse community that is more representative of our city’s vibrant population than any other.

ESLA exudes rigor and soul, and I suspect you will sense that exciting educational combination when you come visit too. I look forward to meeting you.

Peter McCormack
Head of School


School Leadership

School Leadership


Peter McCormack

head of school

Peter McCormack is Head of School. He comes to ESLA from Rolling Hills Preparatory School in San Pedro, where he served as Head of School for 25 years. In addition to leading RHP (and teaching physics, robotics, theater, and coaching soccer as needed from time-to-time), Peter led the Renaissance School, a unique “school within a school” serving bright students with learning differences. Prior to RHP, Peter served Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hills, Massachusetts, as Director of Admissions, Dean of Students, and Science Department Chair.  Previously, Peter taught physics at the American School of Paris, and served as Science Department Chair at the Town School in New York City. He holds a Master in Educational Leadership from Oxford University, and a BS in physics from York University.

Peter’s passion in education is for classrooms that engage students through outreach to all learning styles. He loves lessons that include plenty of student interaction, collaboration, and physical movement, and a variety of methods to develop and assess understanding. 

A former soccer and rugby player, Peter also enjoys music, the theater, and travel, especially to France. He lives in Palos Verdes with his wife Mary Todd, a retired English teacher, and Beau, the world’s calmest Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  


Megan Hollaway

Head, Religion and Ethics Department

The Rev. Megan Hollaway is Chaplain and Head of the Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy Department. She has over fifteen years of experience working directly with young people in a variety of settings. Ordained in 2007, she served as Associate Rector for three years at Grace Church, Kilmarnock, Virginia. While there, she also served on the board of the local Boys and Girls Club, started a monthly community dinner at an apartment complex for elderly and low-income residents, and organized urban immersion trips for young people to learn about revitalizing American cities and empowering people in need.

Megan received her Master of Divinity from Yale University in 2007. Before divinity school, she worked as a clinical social worker for three years in public mental health and private practice, specializing in trauma and family therapy. Megan received her Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2000 and did her clinical internship in hospice. For four years, she lived and worked at Richmond Hill, an ecumenical and interracial religious community committed to healing the city of Richmond around issues of race, jurisdiction, and economics. In 2005, she studied at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite University, a graduate-level program in conflict transformation.

Megan was raised on a military base outside of Washington, DC. She currently lives in Atwater Village with her husband, James Ponsoldt, who is a filmmaker; their son, John; their daughter, Alice; and their two cats.


Kristen Johnson

Chief operations Officer

Kristen Johnson is Chief Operations Officer. She received her BA in Political Science and Legal Studies from Northwestern University and her JD from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. While at Northwestern University, Kristen’s academic focus was alternative retribution and the juvenile justice system. Her studies culminated in a thesis examining the accessibility of the process of sealing and expungement of criminal records in Cook County, Illinois.

Following her undergraduate studies, Kristen worked at a Chicago-based immigration law firm where she primarily managed employment-based immigration petitions and asylum applications. She then moved to Los Angeles with her husband Jay. At UCLA School of Law, she was a member of the mock trial competition team, participated in moot court, and was a staff member of Women’s Law Journal.

Upper School


Jason Brooks

Head of upper school

Jason Brooks is Head of Upper School and a member of the Languages Department. Prior to ESLA, Jason led the World Languages Department at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School in New York. In addition to his administrative duties, he taught Mandarin Chinese, French, and Spanish. Before his time in Brooklyn, Jason worked at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he designed comprehensive language curricula.

He is a 2003 graduate of Trinity University, where he played lacrosse and ran track. He holds a master degree in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from Zhejiang University, China, and a Master of Education in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

In addition to a passion for learning anything new, Jason is an avid CrossFitter, podcast listener, and fan of gospel music.


Amanda Valenzuela

Upper School Coordinator
head, languages department

Amanda Valenzuela is Upper School Coordinator and Head of the Languages Department. A native of Southern California, she completed her undergraduate studies at California State University, Fullerton in Spanish Linguistics and Literature, and her graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned an MA in Spanish and advanced to PhD candidacy in Hispanic Languages and Literatures.

As a school leader, she credits the NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI) for building her capacity to support equitable and inclusive educational practices at ESLA. During the 2019-2020 school year, Amanda is teaching Global Citizenship Through the Lens of Recent Spanish Cinema and AP Spanish Language and Culture. Amanda is also a 2019-2020 Leadership and Design Fellow (L+D) and a contributor to California World Language Project (CWLP) & the California Global Education Project.

Amanda loves surfing, hiking, motorcycles, and storytelling.

Middle School


Laura Spencer

Interim Head of Middle School

Laura Spencer is Interim Head of Middle School and a member of the English Department. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, she received her MS in Childhood Education with a focus in Middle Childhood Education from Canisius College, a Jesuit university, where she also completed her undergraduate work in political science, urban studies, and English.

Laura has spent her professional career studying and teaching in public, Catholic, charter, and independent schools. Passionate about middle-level education, Laura works with our teachers to meet the developmental needs of young adolescents. Trained in using resources from organizations such as Teaching Tolerance and Facing History and Ourselves, Laura embraces the school’s social justice-oriented mission, seeking ways to incorporate anti-bias education and social-emotional wellness in standards-aligned curriculum across subject areas, as well as in everyday social interactions. Laura works to plan and facilitate hands-on and experiential learning experiences for our middle school students through programming like ESLA’s Lab Days, and finds great joy in exploring coming-of-age literature in her eighth grade English classes.    

Outside of school, Laura can be found enjoying time at Disneyland with her husband, or watching Turner Classic Movies with her two dogs.


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Janie Hannon


Janie Hannon is Registrar and a member of the History Department.

Janie was born in Florence, Italy on May 12, 1820. During the Crimean War, she and a team of nurses improved the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital, reducing the death count by two-thirds. Her writings sparked worldwide health care reform.

In 1860 she established St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. She died August 13, 1910, in London. Also, she flat-out loves to run.


Will Litton

Director of admissions, outreach, and communications

Will Litton is Director of Admissions, Outreach, and Communications. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Graduate Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine, where he received the Strauss Fellowship. He also holds a BA with Honors in Literary Arts from Brown University, where he received the Weston Prize for Fiction.

Before joining ESLA, he served as Head Writer and Communications Strategist in the Office of Enrollment and Student Advancement at the University of Chicago.

In 2007 Will received a grant to study the effects of development interventions on public health in Haiti; in 2008 he conducted field research in the jungle of Chitwan National Park, Nepal, focused on informal financial institutions and development discourse; and in 2009 he cofounded the literary magazine Wag’s Revue, where he served as Fiction Editor and Marketing and Publicity Manager for several years. From 2009 to 2012 he studied and performed on a house team at the iO Theater in Chicago, Illinois.

He taught rhetoric and creative writing for several years at UC Irvine, and has experience teaching English literature at the Governor’s School of North Carolina.


Emily Nuckols

development officer

Emily Nuckols is Development and Community Engagement Officer. She is a born-and-raised Angeleno and holds a BA in History from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied the effects of cultural institutions on the creation of a Los Angeles identity during the 1960s.  

Prior to ESLA, she worked in sales for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

She currently resides in Santa Monica (yes, the West Side) and enjoys spending her time going to local museums, the opera, and of course, Dodger games.


Walter Thorne

director of facilities
associate chaplain

Walter Thorne is Director of Facilities, Associate Chaplain, and a member of the Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy Department. He also teaches a course in economics.

Walter holds a BA in economics and religious studies from the University of Virginia and received a Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2014. He is currently discerning a call to ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.

His academic interests include behavioral economics, biblical studies, Christian history, and eastern orthodox theology. Walter grew up in Washington, DC where he graduated from St. Albans School in 2007.


Mark Zalin

director of athletics and physical education
director of safety and security

Mark Zalin is Director of Athletics and Physical Education and Director of Safety and Security. He received his BA from The University of California, Santa Barbara and his MA from California State University. He added lifetime teaching credentials in Health and Physical Education from UCSB.

Mark brings a wealth of instructional, coaching and athletic administrative experience at the primary, secondary, collegiate, and national-team level. During his 11-year tenure at Harvard Westlake, he was a California Interscholastic Federation Championship coach. He moved on to the The University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Collegiate National Championship coach. He was asked by Stanford Head coach and 1992 and 1996 Head Olympic Coach, Fred Sturm, to join the USA Volleyball Elite Development staff, working at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs as well as USA Team Headquarters in Southern California. He enjoyed national and international travel and was part of an Olympic medal-winning staff at The Games of the XXV Olympiad. When his time and schedule permits, he still works at camps and clinics for the national team. When the World Cup Soccer Games came to the USA in 1994, Mark served in an administrative capacity with the USA, Bulgarian, and Swiss teams.

Mark has served the California Interscholastic Federation as a league president, member of the Board of Managers, Athletic Directors Advisory committee, and Site Director for CIF Championship playoffs. For his efforts, he was awarded the Inaugural CIF Steve Stearns Sportsmanship Award.

Mark and his wife Steph Steele have two children, Mack and Anjelica.


Steph Zalin

Administrative coordinator

Steph Zalin is Administrative Coordinator. No stranger to Hollywood, Steph grew up as a child actress in a variety of commercial, television, and film roles. When she married Mark Zalin, she began a new career—while raising their two children, Mack and Anjelica—working in independent schools. She has served as a director of summer programs, a class advisor, and has run a residential dorm and taught drama.  

Steph has also had a wonderful career as a designer for both residential and landscape projects and is a certified master gardener.

She is delighted to be at ESLA and work daily with the faculty, staff, and student body.


Department Heads

Department Heads


Jenn Quinly

Head, English department

Jenn Quinly is Head of the English Department and a member of the History Department. She completed her BA in Liberal Studies at California State University, Los Angeles with a focus in gender studies and modern literature. When she saw the landscape of schools shifting toward technology and information access, she began studies at San Jose State University, where she earned a Master of Library and Information Science. Most recently, Jenn has earned her Master of Education at Loyola Marymount University as a member of the CAST program in LMU’s School of Education. 

A native of the San Gabriel Valley, Jenn has spent most of her career teaching middle school in and around the city of Los Angeles. Outside of teaching and her own educational pursuits, Jenn enjoys comic books, hunting for old 45s in overstuffed record bins, and exploring Los Angeles with her husband and their two pups. 

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Jane McCarron

head, visual and performing arts department

Jane McCarron is Head of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. She holds a BA in Dramatic Literature and Studio Art from Wheaton College. Jane’s undergraduate career culminated in an interdisciplinary art thesis exploring the impact of childhood trauma on the art-making process.

Jane is a professional actress and vocalist as well as a working artist. She has been directing Youth Theatre since 2007, and has written, directed, and produced over thirty-five plays with various student groups.

Jane focusses on utilizing theatre as a means for social change and is interested in how technology impacts the definition of art and performance.

Jess McIntosh

head, history department

Jess McIntosh is Head of the History Department. This is his third year at ESLA and his ninth year as a professional educator. Prior to ESLA he taught history in a variety of institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley; Columbia University; Bard High School Early College; New Orleans’ Isidore Newman School; and San Quentin Prison.

His current dedication to working with adolescents stems not only from the joys of introducing teenagers to the complexities of historical thinking, but also from a desire to work with the “whole student.” Ideally, he hopes to prepare ESLA students both for success with future, more specialized historical study and for a lifetime of ethical and compassionate engagement with others.

Jesse earned his BA with High Honors in Art History from Wesleyan University in 2005, received an MA in History from UC Berkeley in 2009, and advanced to candidacy at UC Berkeley in 2010, with a specialization in intellectual history and the history of political philosophy.


Bill Thill

Head, Mathematics Department

Bill Thill is Head of the Mathematics Department. Bill has worked extensively on the national level to support top-quality mathematics education for all students. Before coming to ESLA, Bill was part of the Mathematics Department at Harvard-Westlake for eighteen years. During his tenure, he created and taught courses in Mathematics, AP Statistics, AP Computer Science, mathematical problem-solving, and sports analytics. Bill also conducts professional development for Math for America-Los Angeles and the Park City Mathematics Institute.

Bill earned an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Trinity University in 1994, and a Masters’ Degree With Distinction in Secondary Mathematics Education from CSUN in 2008. He is a National Board Certified teacher, and was named a finalist for the Presidential Award in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2011.   

Bill is thrilled to be joining the ESLA community, and lives in West Hollywood, California with his husband. When Bill is not working, he enjoys hosting get-togethers, playing games with friends, art, comedy, and the gym. 





Erin Bagley

visual and performing arts department

Erin Bagley is a member of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. Erin received her BA in Art History from Bard College in 2008. A Los Angeles native, Erin spent many years living in New York City, working in arts administration and studio management for a painter and sculptor.

Since returning to Los Angeles in 2011, Erin has worked as a freelance product designer, production manager, and fabricator for artists and designers. She has volunteered her time at the Natural History Museum and the Velaslavasay Panorama, an exhibition hall, theatre, and garden in Los Angeles dedicated to unique visual experiences.

Prior to joining ESLA, Erin spent the last three years designing and leading workshops for Crafting Community, a company devoted to cultivating creativity as a tool for people of all ages through immersive, interactive art projects. She would often oversee fifteen to twenty workshops at a time, which required fluency in a variety of skills including leather working, fabric dyeing, macramé and weaving.

Erin is excited to bring her breadth of art-making and problem-solving skills to develop and support young artists at ESLA. When she is not teaching, Erin is working on her own textile-based work and visiting galleries around Los Angeles.


Bill Bonk

Visual and Performing Arts Department

Bill Bonk is a member of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. Growing up in Los Angeles, Bill was a guitar and piano instructor for 10 years. As a songwriter and recording artist, he signed with Geffen Records and released one album with his band, The Brothers Figaro. For the next 12 years, he circled the globe as a multi-instrumentalist touring sideman with John Prine, Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs, Richard Thompson, Randy Newman, Lisa Loeb, and Grant Lee Buffalo—taking the stage at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and many iconic L.A. venues, including The Wiltern, Pantages, and the Hollywood Bowl. 

Bill has performed live on The Tonight Show (three times), Late Night with David Letterman, Austin City Limits and numerous European and Australian programs. His musicianship has graced Titanic and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, and tracks from his two solo albums can be heard on Alias, Joan of Arcadia, Dawson's Creek, Party of Five, 21 Jump Street and Felicity. More recently, at Wonderland Elementary School, Bill was Music Director for five seasons of Theatre Guild and co-taught the school’s bluegrass ensemble.

Residing in Laurel Canyon with his wife Deborah, Bill has another career as a website designer, is an avid home chef, and is raising two daughters who attend ESLA. Mr. Bonk is excited to bring his many years of real-world music experience to ESLA’s innovative performing arts program.  


Frances Cameron

Science department

Frances Cameron is a member of the Science Department. Her teaching background spans both the sciences and humanities, including computer literacy and English Language Development. She also worked as an Instructional Coach, specializing in classroom structures, classroom management, and curriculum development.

Frances graduated from Biola University, where she studied English and Religion as part of the Torrey Honors Program. She went on to earn a Masters in Teaching at The University of Southern California.

Frances lives in Hollywood with her screenwriter husband Peter, and their dog Shona. Outside of school, Frances can be found teaching environmental science at Taking the Reins in Atwater. Her other interests include native California plants, baking, reading, and knitting. She is also on the hunt for the best scone in LA.


Brian Collins

Science department

Brian Collins is a member of the Science Department. He received a BA in Environmental Studies and Environmental Science from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Brian also attended North Carolina Central University after completing his undergraduate degree as part of the NC TEACH program, which served to train and place teachers in underserved schools in and around Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Brian has a background in several educational disciplines, including classroom teaching, outdoor education, training and development, and curriculum design. In his time as an educator, Brian has worked with a broad range of students with diverse backgrounds. Beginning in 2008, Brian worked for the Los Angeles County Outdoor Science School. This was an experiential educational program where all lessons were taught outside in the mountains and on the beaches of Southern California. Additionally, Brian has taught at a private boarding school and a private parochial school.

Brian is excited to be part of ESLA. He is excited to be part of a place that puts equal value on all things, academically, socially, and formatively as that pertains to the larger community. In his spare time, he enjoys music and visual art as well as traveling, cooking, and outdoor activities.


Ilyana Contreras

English department

Ilyana Contreras is a member of the English Department. Prior to joining ESLA, Ilyana spent her time teaching in New York City public schools where she worked as the English team leader, instructional coach, and AP coordinator at the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women. There she worked diligently to promote equity and to empower her students.

She received her BS in English Education from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. Most recently, she completed a two-year fellowship at Stanford University working on issues OF cultural relevancy in the classroom. In 2015 she received a separate fellowship through Fund For Teachers to travel through South Africa and Malawi in order to study gender and socioeconomic issues in both countries.


Lucas Fukunaga

Science department

Lucas Fukunaga is a member of the Science Department. He received a BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of California, Irvine.

Lucas taught physics for three years at a charter school in South L.A., and served for one year as a substitute in chemistry, math, and college prep classes. He enjoys teaching the sciences through labs, demonstrations, and hands-on experimentation, encouraging students to better understand natural phenomena through collaborative processes.

Lucas has a dog named Oscar and a cat named Leon. During his free time, he enjoys playing video games, watching anime, and eating unhealthy vegan food.


Manny Garcia

Languages Department

Manny Garcia is a member of the Languages Department. He holds a BA in Spanish and English with a teaching certification from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He has been teaching Spanish for over 15 years! He thoroughly enjoys the language and is passionate about imparting the knowledge of culture, tradition, and creativity that is found in the Spanish language, especially since he has native roots from his parents in Northern Mexico.

Before joining ESLA, Manny had been working for Kallpachay Spanish Immersion Company, helping train, oversee and hire staff using the Spanish immersion approach. He has also worked for such schools as The Beverly Hills Lingual Institute, Environmental Charter School, and California Language School, among others.

Outside of work, Manny is working on his very own fashion brand, LIBERTAD COLLECTIVE, founded in 2012. It is a brand that reflects a fashion-forward streetwear aesthetic, specializing in apparel that tells a story and carries a message of advocacy, offering a fresh, innovative, contemporary, and socially conscious style. A portion of proceeds go toward charitable organizations that are in line with our mission and values and promote human flourishing.


Arielle Gereboff

Science Department

Arielle Gereboff is a member of the Science Department. She holds a Clear California multiple subjects’ teaching credential with CLAD certification, a Jewish Day School teaching certificate, two BA degrees from UCSB, and an MA from IU. She has had seventeen years of teaching experiences, including formal and informal education in grades K–12, and she taught French at the university level while pursuing a PhD in French Linguistics. She most recently taught math and Judaic Studies at the Middle School and High School levels at an independent school in San Diego. 

Arielle is a graduate of a performing arts High School where she majored in music and minored in drama, and was a competitive gymnast. She has lived and studied abroad for extended periods of time, and dabbles in the fine arts. She is also passionate about integrating technology into the classroom and has not only taught using blended, flipped, and virtual teaching approaches, but has also presented at conferences about the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Arielle is very involved in her synagogue, serving as the social action committee chair and the director of children’s prayer services. She is especially excited about ESLA’s emphasis on diversity. She believes that diversity is very important to a school because it creates empathy, understanding, and allows for a variety of opinions that resemble the world at large.


Nivedita Godavarthi

Science department

Nivedita Godavarthi is a member of the Science Department. She holds a BS in Computer Science and a Masters in Computer Applications from the University of Madras, as well as a single subject teaching credential in math from the University of La Verne. She has been teaching math and computer science in private schools for four years and before that taught middle and high school math in public and charter schools for three years. She worked as a software engineer from 2003 to 2009.

Nivedita loves reading, gardening, and traveling. You can often find her sitting in her garden reading Indian literature, traveling, and creating memories with her daughter.


Polly Grant

Learning specialist

Polly Grant is the Learning Specialist. She holds a Doctorate degree in Educational and Child Psychology from University College London. She has been working in the field of education since 2008, first as a teacher and then as an educational psychologist at public schools in London.  

Prior to this Polly had a career in international development where she had the opportunity to live and work in various places including India, Cambodia, and Kosovo. She managed grant programs which focused on a range of issues such as combatting human trafficking and strengthening democratic institutions. 

At sunrise everyday, Polly can be found on her yoga mat, practicing ashtanga yoga. After 15 years of this she’s still not sure where it's going but continues to be inspired by the questions (and sometimes, answers) that the practice brings.


Vanessa Hoffman

Languages Department

Vanessa Hoffman is a member of the Languages Department. She holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Oregon, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS). For a year between those two degrees, she worked as an English-speaking teaching assistant at a primary school in rural Spain, where she found her love of education while being immersed in the Spanish culture and language.

Before joining ESLA, Vanessa taught Spanish to students from kindergarten to high school at both a private and a public charter school. She also remained involved with a project she started while earning her masters, which developed curricula for and implemented world language teacher-training workshops on the Central Plateau of Haiti. Vanessa is also passionate about fair assessment practices for students of world languages, and has attended various meetings as a subject-matter expert to support the development of the California Spanish Assessment.

Outside of work, Vanessa can usually be found running, reading, cooking, and exploring somewhere new every chance she gets.


Martha Mauricio

Physical education, health, and nutrition department

Martha Mauricio is a member of the Physical Education, Health, and Nutrition Department. She received a BS in Physical Education from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. After graduating she followed her passion for cycling and the outdoors and moved to Los Angeles. She began her teaching career at The Country School, a Pre-K through eighth-grade private school in Valley Village. She taught physical education and coached after-school sports for three years.

After the Country School, she worked for a grant-funded program through Providence Hospital, training LAUSD classroom teachers to improve physical education and nutrition for grades K through five.

In her spare time, Martha loves exploring LA’s beaches, mountains, and valleys on her bicycle.


Gabe Yoon-Milner

history department

Gabe Yoon-Milner is a member of the History Department. He received a BA in History from Vassar College in 2004 and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013, where his research focused on historical memory and popular culture in the turn-of-the-century United States. Since graduating, he has taught courses in US History, African American History, US Urban History, and US popular culture at colleges around the Bay Area. 

When not teaching, writing, and reading about the “old, weird America,” he likes seeking it out—in wax museums, public art, miniature golf courses, and state capitol buildings.


Jamie Neilson

english department

Jamie Neilson is a member of the English Department. He has over thirty years of experience in education, primarily in independent schools. After earning his BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, he found his way to Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and Literature in 1987. Returning to the Philadelphia area, he taught English at Delaware County Community College and Drexel University. 

In 1990, Jamie was hired to teach English at the Shipley School, where he would make his professional home for the next fifteen years. During that time, in addition to working as an English instructor, Jamie taught US history, developed an interdisciplinary course in American studies, served as a grade-level dean and dean of students, and ultimately filled the role of Assistant Head of Upper School.

In 2005, Jamie completed an EdD in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. That same year, he was appointed Director of Upper School at Polytechnic School in Pasadena. He served in this capacity at Poly for eight years, deciding in the spring of 2014 to return to teaching.


William Pearson

Associate Facilities Coordinator
english department

William Pearson is Associate Facilities Coordinator and a member of the English Department. He graduated with a BA in English and a minor in Philosophy from Sewanee: The University of the South. His senior honors thesis focused on hope in Dante’s Divine Comedy.

He enjoys studying poetry, English and Irish literature, and the philosophy of Wittgenstein. William fully indulged his inner Anglophile by studying abroad at St. John’s College at Oxford, and hopes he can return some day for graduate work.

Outside of academics, William plays rugby, loves the outdoors, and is an avid sports fan. 

Hunter Perrin

Visual and Performing Arts Department

Hunter Perrin is a member of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000 and went on to the Yale School of Music in 2002, where he was awarded the Eliot Fisk Award for Outstanding Guitarist. He then went to work as a studio musician, film composer, and educator in New York. He taught at several conservatories and composed music for films that won awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, and Avignon Film Festival. 

After he moved to Los Angeles in 2006, he became a founding member of the experimental Episcopalian mission community known as Thad’s, where he continues to serve as Music Director. 

From 2007 to 2011 he was a member of John Fogerty’s band. He toured the world and played on several of Fogerty’s records, including the Grammy-nominated Revival. Since 2012, he has enjoyed touring Scandinavia with the Swedish band Karavan and focusing on work with his Texas band Thunderado. When not playing guitar, he enjoys cooking spicy food, playing cards with his wife Minnow, and hiking with their dog Wolfy.


Michelle Pound

mathematics department

Michelle Pound is a member of the Math Department. She is from Boston and has lived in Los Angeles for seven years. She attended the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where she received a BA in Mathematics and an MA in Teaching. This is her tenth year teaching middle school math.

Outside of school, Michelle likes to watch sports, work out at F45, do triathlons, salsa dance, and play with her dog, Penny.


Alyssa Puga

mathematics department

Alyssa Puga is a member of the Mathematics Department. She earned her BS in Biomedical Science at the University of London, Royal Holloway. Her final year of undergraduate studies was spent researching the potential use of social amoebas in early testing of cancer treatments, for which she won the Driver Prize for Outstanding Research. She then went on to earn her teaching credential through California State University, Los Angeles.

After spending two years teaching independent studies at the high school level, Alyssa found her niche teaching middle schoolers math and science in the Bay Area. She loves teaching middle school students because of their unique spirit and excitement for learning.

Alyssa spends her free time traveling and hanging out with her dog, and is looking forward to exploring more of Los Angeles.


Leah Rogstad

Languages Department

Leah Rogstad is a member of the Languages Department. While studying at the University of Vermont, Leah explored the complex relations between the US and various Latin American countries, and she now loves bringing that learning to her students in the Spanish classroom. A Vermont native, Leah earned her BA in Global Studies with a minor in Spanish before driving across the country to California to pursue her teaching career. During university, she spent three semesters in Mexico, where she studied social anthropology and delved into Son Jarocho, a type of Mexican folk music. Through her time traveling and almost two years of living abroad, she has taught at a Spanish-immersion camp for high school students, taught English in Peru, led several trips in Latin America, and walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago across Spain. In her spare moments, she spends much of her time training for marathons, drawing and painting, hiking mountains, and learning French and Portuguese. Leah loves watching students gain confidence and develop deeper empathy through learning a new language, and she can't wait to share the joy of Spanish with students at ESLA.

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Timothy Seamans

Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy department

Timothy Seamans is an Associate Chaplain and a member of the Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy Department. He has worked in education for over a decade, and has taught preschoolers up through seniors. Timothy began his career teaching high school English in Chicago, before going on to receive his theological education at Yale, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and Chicago Theological Seminary. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Atlanta, where he served as a chaplain at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Before coming to ESLA, Timothy was a chaplain, teacher, and Director of Service Learning at Episcopal High School, a boarding school in Alexandria, Virginia. He has coached basketball, soccer, football, and cross country, and served as an advisor and dorm parent.

Timothy is an active member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools and is deeply committed to the intersection of spirituality, education, and justice. Along with school chaplaincy, Timothy is involved in the Episcopal Church’s wider ministry of racial healing and reconciliation.

Born in Oklahoma and raised in Michigan, Timothy currently lives in Westwood with his wife, Marissa, who is a professor at UCLA; their daughter, Nico; and their dog, Walter Benjamin (who’s named after one of Timothy’s intellectual heroes). In his free time, Timothy can be found exploring LA by way of food, going to church, or researching for his doctoral program at Virginia Theological Seminary. His first book, Common Prayer for Children and Families (co-authored with Jenifer Gamber), will be published by Church Publishing in early 2020.


Stephen Smith

director of technology

Stephen Smith is Director of Technology. He received his BA from James Madison University. After graduating, he moved to Shenzhen, China, where he taught English at the Shenzhen Institute of Information Technology while pursuing a career as a professional soccer player.

Stephen left China to become a member of the Oakland Teaching Fellowship program, which ultimately led to him working as a resource specialist in the Oakland Unified School District for the following nine years. During that time, he earned his Multiple Subject and permanent Education Specialist teaching credentials, doubled the size of the resource program at Roots International Academy, worked part-time as a executive functioning coach for students with mild learning differences, played soccer semi-professionally, had two solo art shows, and freelanced his graphic, website, and furniture design skills.

In his spare time, Stephen enjoys making traditional and digital art, playing soccer, and going on adventures with his French bulldog.

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Nicole Stanton

English department

Nicole Stanton is a member of the English Department and faculty advisor to the ESLA literary publication, The Lillian.

She received her BA from Wesleyan University in the College of Letters and Hispanic Literature and Cultures in 2015, where she completed an honors thesis that explores the role of performance in subverting cultural and historical narratives. She is working towards her Masters in English at the Bread Loaf School of English. She reads novels without abandon and is working on a collection of poetry. 


Amy Stout

Mathematics Department

Amy Stout is a member of the Mathematics Department. She received her PhD in mathematics from UC San Diego in 2012 and earned a bachelor's in mathematics from SUNY, Stony Brook and a bachelor's in politics, with a minor in women's studies from NYU. Prior to coming to ESLA, Amy taught grades ten through twelve at Polytechnic School where she was the math club faculty advisor and organized various math competitions. She also spent three years teaching math at the University of San Diego before moving back to the Los Angeles area, where she grew up. Amy is always looking for ways to get kids excited about math. She loves talking about math, so she is particularly happy when students feel comfortable using her office hours to either get help or discuss a problem they have been thinking about on their own. Watching students gain confidence in their math abilities is the most exciting part of teaching, and Amy fosters a classroom environment in which students build courage and feel comfortable taking risks.


Teresita de la Torre

Visual and performing arts department

Teresita de la Torre is a member of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. She has taught drawing and painting courses within K-8 school settings, community colleges, and universities, and has also developed and led community arts education workshops for youth and families in California, Texas, and Mexico.  

As an artist, Teresita has performed and exhibited work across Southern California, Texas, Georgia, Tijuana, Taiwan, and Berlin in spaces like Grand Central Art Center, East Int’l (ESXLA), Museum of Design Atlanta, Torrance Art Museum, Dallas Latino Cultural Center, The Mexican Consulate of Los Angeles, and the LACMA/Charles White Elementary School Gallery. 

Teresita was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and migrated with her family at a young age to Laredo, Texas. She holds a BFA from Texas A&M International University, and a Master of Fine Arts from California State University, Fullerton. 

She is excited to join ESLA, and looks forward to developing an art and social justice course at the school. Outside of teaching and art-making, Teresita enjoys spending time with her family, going to art openings, and traveling.


Rebecca Williams

Physical education, health, and nutrition

Rebecca Williams is a member of the Physical Education, Health, and Nutrition Department. She earned a BA in Drama at the University of California, Irvine. Rebecca has been training in martial arts for over 15 years and is the head instructor of a traditional Karate school in Burbank, CA. In addition to competing at the collegiate and national level in Karate, she also trains in Boxing, Aikido, and MMA. She has instructed and managed corporate wellness for companies across the country.

In addition to martial arts and wellness, Rebecca loves screenwriting and filmmaking.


Join Our Team

Join Our Team

Employment at ESLA

What we are looking for

The Episcopal School of Los Angeles employs teachers, administrators, coaches, and support staff with unshakable commitment to student success.

Ideal candidates for employment at ESLA demonstrate (depending on the position):

  • An abiding passion and deep knowledge of working with a diverse student body,

  • Experience designing innovative curricula in their discipline,

  • Ability to leverage technology to enhance student achievements,

  • Expertise in differentiating instruction for a heterogeneous study body,

  • Demonstrated success in the classroom with different adolescent needs across grades 6-12.

The ideal candidate is passionate about his or her field of expertise, and interested in contributing to the culture of a school that values social justice, academic rigor, and the joy of community. He/she desires to learn from and grow with students and colleagues.

Current openings are reported below. Applications, closely following the instructions within each job posting, should be sent by email to No phone calls please.

Open Positions:

There are currently no positions posted.