Teachers for the Adult School are professional educators. All state-funded courses and many community interest classes are taught by credentialed teachers. In addition, some of our instructors bring to the classroom their expertise from other professions or occupations.
DeAnne Appleton has been Sewing since she was 9 years old. She says, “They couldn’t keep fabric, needles, and thread away from me!” She constantly expands and refines her skills by taking challenging classes and attending professional conferences. A dress, jacket, and purse ensemble that she designed and made was accepted into the juried Wearable Art Exhibit (more)
Mitra Bahrami teaches ESL, writing, and communication courses to international students and professionals. She has over 30 years of writing, training and production experience in high technology, education and broadcasting, and has been teaching at the Palo Alto Adult School since 2007. Mitra’s teaching focuses on making sure students develop the confidence to take what (more)
Kay Barg began teaching at the Palo Alto Adult School last spring when she taught Business Communications. This fall she taught Fundamentals of Writing II as part of the new Writing Academy. Kay comes to PAAS with over 25 years experience in California public school classrooms where she taught everything from Video Technology to History and English. Kay has (more)
Mary Bazigosis a Palo Alto Adult School credentialed teacher with a Master’s degree in English as a Second Language from San Francisco State University. Her Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley is in Spanish literature. She has been teaching at the Palo Alto Adult School since 2003. As a first generation American with parents who immigrated from (more)
Mireille Belloni, a native of France, has taught and directed French Language Programs in the United States for many years. An alumn of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, she also studied at the Sorbonne and at the University of Kent (U.K.). In the U.S., she has been on the faculty of the University of Michigan, Middlebury (more)
Ferenc Besze was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. His love for art surfaced early on in his childhood when Ferenc filled all his textbooks with drawings to the frustration of his teachers and parents. He started his career decisively influenced by the internationally known Ernő Zórád’s comics. They were an inspiration to him when (more)
Sherri Bohan is a State Board credentialed instructor and has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. In 2016, she will celebrate 20 years as a Palo Alto Adult School instructor! She has been a local landscaper, garden instructor, designer, consultant, licensed contractor and professional horticulturist for over 30 years. A small business owner doing residential landscape (more)
Susan Cole has been teaching ESL at Palo Alto Adult School since 2002, at levels from beginning to advanced. Susan’s goal is to help her students become more confident, effective and enthusiastic communicators in English. She seeks to structure her classes and materials so that students develop and improve in the directions that are most (more)
Liz Crandall has a degree in photography and digital imaging from Foothill College. She taught in the open lab classes at Foothill and has assisted with various photography workshops. Liz has worked in custom photo labs as a film processor, copy photographer, custom printer and in digital production where she has provided graphics, posters and (more)
Matthew Dodder, Palo Alto Adult School’s Intermediate/Advanced Birding instructor since 1999, got his start as a birder at age 14 when he sprinkled birdseed on the snow after a heavy snowstorm and identified his very first Northern Cardinal. He has traveled around the world birding but says that his some of his most enjoyable birding experiences have (more)
Ellen Engelman is a California credentialed teacher, and has been a PAAS Computer Applications instructor since 1998. She is also the PAAS webmaster, maintaining and updating the Adult School website each quarter, and also produces the school catalog content each quarter. Ellen is a member of the PAAS WASC (Western Association of Schools & Colleges) team which (more)
Stefania Filigheddu – Born in Civitavecchia (Rome) and raised in Sardegna, obtained her Masters Degree in Political Science at the University of Pavia with a special focus on Economics and then attended a Master Course on European Economics Programs. She worked 7 years in Milano as a Human Resource Specialist and Human Resources Consulting, then (more)
Judy Gittelsohn has been painting in the Bay Area for over 30 years. Her artistic focus moves from interpreting words and letters, giving them meaning, building a story, to beholding the natural world, featuring plants, planets, landscapes, and abstracts. Her series of paintings are sensitive studies of an idea, forming a language that becomes familiar. (more)
Claude has been involved in woodworking for over 12 years, with interests in furniture design and production, woodturning, marquetry, and almost anything involving wood. A big motivation for teaching woodworking is that teaching is learning: it forces an instructor to dig deeper and figure out how to transmit skills and techniques by interacting with students.
Chris is a professional genealogist who has been teaching Intermediate Genealogy at PAAS since the Spring Semester of 2013. Every student has a unique family so everyone’s research journey and expertise is different. Sharing these journeys and celebrating the successes with a group of enthusiastic genealogists is an important part of the class. All have (more)
Michelle Greenebaum, owner of Together In The Kitchen, is a Nutrition Consultant and Healthy Cooking Instructor. In her popular hands-on cooking classes, Michelle teaches adults, teens, and children how to prepare delicious and easy healthy meals and snacks. As a Nutrition Consultant, Michelle works with clients offering programs such as “Grocery Store Shopping, Label Reading, (more)
Sharon Hampel has enjoyed teaching writing at Palo Alto Adult School for the past several years. Prior to moving to San Francisco, she taught literature and writing at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. Sharon has a Masters in Literature with an emphasis on ESL teaching and a Ph.D. in Literature with (more)
Carrie Harper Hechtman has had a lifelong passion for reading, writing and teaching literature. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco, where she also worked as a teaching assistant, and has led writing workshops for children and adults in the Palo Alto area. She is actively involved in the (more)
Garth Harwood, M.A., M.B.S., is the Director of Education at Hidden Villa, an organic farm and wilderness preserve in Los Altos Hills, where he has trained countless schoolchildren and many adult staff and volunteers in naturalist skills for the past 15 years. An avid birder and compulsive naturalist, he leads occasional Audubon Society bird walks (more)
Ramesh Joshi came to Stanford University in September 1968. Bharati joined him six months later. Both were professional engineers by day, and cooking became their hobby and passion. Ramesh learned cooking from watching his mom cooking. After arriving in the U.S., he needed to start cooking what he was used to eating every day in (more)
My interest in sewing and textiles started in childhood with making clothes for Barbie dolls! To encourage me, my mother let me use a sewing machine at a very young age. Eventually I experimented with car upholstery and then found the niche in furniture upholstery. I discovered the Palo Alto Adult School Upholstery class in (more)
My name is Malika Labidi and I am from France. I studied English and linguistics at the University in Paris where I received a BA as well as my teaching credentials. I have been teaching for more than twenty years at different levels. I have been living in the Bay Area for fifteen years and (more)
I first started as a student in the Upholstery class in 1991. I loved it immediately and began my student teaching after 2 years. About the same time I started my home upholstery and slip covering business. I have been teaching this wonderful class ever since!
Christine R. Layer, owner of Chaos Control® and Life Artistry®, inspires and guides clients in a lifestyle of choice. Since 1991 she has provided consulting, coaching, and motivational workshops on life and work priorities, values-based schedule planning and effective time management. Christine designs creative, customized solutions to streamline office systems that increase productivity and performance. She (more)
Shaowei Liu studied Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco from 1982-85 and graduated with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in commercial art. After several years working on commercial and editorial jobs, she started her long career in the game industry in 1992, 7 years for computer games and 15 years for (more)
Francesca was born and raised in North Eastern Italy. There she completed her studies and lived until 2011 when she moved to the Bay Area with her whole family. She earned a Master’s Degree with Honors in Modern Languages and Literatures from the University of Trieste. Besides maintaining her innate love for Italian regional cuisine, (more)
Brenda Lowen has taught Literacy at PAAS since 1995. Brenda received her B.A. from Antioch College, Ohio 1961 and M.A. from Standford University in 1966.
Leonardo McCord Salazar has taught the Spanish language for 33 years. He holds a B.A. in Spanish and French from U.C. Berkeley and an M.A. in Spanish from UCLA. He is a UC Regents’ Scholar, a Peace Corps Volunteer, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi (the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society), and Alpha Mu (more)
Marcus enjoys teaching woodworking at all levels and has been teaching through Palo Alto Adult School for over a decade. He blends a power tool and hand tool approach to fine furniture building with an emphasis on safety and enjoyment of the craft.
Thanh “Kosen 紅泉” Nguyen was introduced to Ikebana at an early age in Vietnam but only had the opportunity to study this art after she came to the USA. She was born in Vietnam into a family of 12 children. Twice her family left everything behind to escape to South Vietnam and later to America. (more)
Paul Prochaska is a classically-trained musician (CSM & UC Berkeley), but grew up in a “traditional folk music” family.
A second-year Paly teacher by day and an Adult School French teacher by night, I am always excited to discuss English and French language and literature. I have an ever-growing passion for linguistics, having so far taken two quarters of Chinese and one quarter of German through PAAS, and I look forward to sharing that (more)
Jamila Rufaro: A native New Yorker with roots in Jamaica. She can quote from every episode of Seinfeld. Her heroes are Rosa Parks and Lisbeth Salander. Juxtaposition that provokes a smile, or even better a laugh, are her favorite. When I was about eight years old I made paper angels out of notebook paper and (more)
Anjani Sarma is a credentialed adult ESL instructor with a graduate certificate in TESOL. As a second language learner herself, she understands the cultural and linguistic challenges adult learners face in an ESL class. She believes that with lots of meaningful practice in a low stress, fun environment, all adult learners can learn English and (more)
Julie Shanson has a passion for tasty whole foods. She’s been teaching middle school cooking classes since the fall of 2013 with titles like Food Glorious Food and Soup, Salad, Bread and Blogs. She holds a degree from Cornell University, has worked at several tech companies in mentoring and training roles, and has had an (more)
Paulina Shapona studied art in the San Francisco-Oakland area. For many years, Paulina apprenticed with Ugo Graziotti, the master of the Renaissance school in Italy. Paulina traveled to Europe where she lived for some time in the villages along the Adriatic. She drew, painted and sculpted village life where the way of life had not changed (more)
Mollyanne Sherman is a 25 year design and remodeling veteran and owner and lead designer of Mac Design.
Nilou Shokrani has been teaching ESL for ten years and loves it.The feedback she receives from her students makes her feel excited and pleased to teach. She loves to introduce new methods, books and materials to make her classes more exciting and fun. Nilou has a BA in English and a clear credential in teaching English (more)
Jane Silver has an Adult Education Teaching Credential. She obtained a MATESOL from San Jose State University in 2013.
Scott Smithson brings over 40 years of Bay Area birding experience to the classroom. He began identifying birds in hometown Pacifica, after receiving a little blue Golden Guide from his kindergarten teacher. At the age of 9, he met field trip leader Gil West on a Sequoia Audubon outing, and thus began a birder-mentor-friendship that (more)
Zaida Soriano was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico. She learned to cook from her Mom, grandmothers, and aunts. She also learned from other Oaxacan women who brought her into their homes and gave their time to teach her their traditional cooking. Zaida owns The Oaxacan Kitchen Markets, Inc. Her company sell delicious foods native to Oaxaca in seven different Santa Clara (more)
Having asked the question “Why do we not eat our grain foods whole, given all the benefits of improved health and well being? Monica, based on her chemistry background, has studied nutrition, the microbiology of sourdough, and wheat agriculture. As a result she founded the non-profit Whole Grain Connection to promote the sustainable production of (more)
Dana St. George has taught Low Intermediate ESL at Greendell School since 1998 Students learn listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and have lots of conversation practice. She uses use a variety of teaching modalities, with a strong emphasis on practical communication, listening and speaking. Dana has a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota, (more)
Kathleen has a passion for adult education, training, and coaching. She has worked as a personal and business trainer/coach in different fields for more than five years. In 2015 she relocated to the Bay Area, and fell in love with the abundance of different languages and cultures in this area. At the Palo Alto Adult (more)
B.A. Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley; Master of Arts in Teaching, specializing in English; Calif. Community College Teaching Credential; Calif Standard Secondary Teaching Credential. Over 25 years’ experience teaching ESL. Lecturer, English for Foreign Students, Stanford University; Instructor, Workplace English, Stanford University Hospital; Instructor, Studies in American Language, San Jose State University; Instructor, Canada and (more)
Kamal Vilms has been studying and practicing yoga since1977, first in London with Dr. Martin Underwood, whose style of yoga derived from study in Madras with TKV Desikachar. (For those interested in yoga history, both Desikachar and Iyengar learned yoga from Desikachar’s father T Krishnamacharia, who is credited with rekindling interest in hatha yoga in India (more)
Kathy Woveris was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Kathy studied classical piano lessons at The Eggert Academy of Music where she received her Master’s Degree in piano beginning at the age of 10 years old and continued thru high school. Kathy not only loved the piano but also studied French Horn and participated in (more)
I was born and raised speaking and reading both Chinese and English. I was exposed to both Chinese and the Western cultures in a variety of ways. I also traveled extensively throughout China every year. I chose to teach my own language as I have always appreciated and truly loved its beauty. I started to (more)