The SEL team is comprised of experienced educators who are passionate about making learning about the environment a core part of students’ curriculum. They work closely with SEI, a non-profit, who provides program support. SEI has been building leaders to drive sustainability solutions for 25 years. All SEL Team members believe in and are devoted to youth leadership as a means of transformative change for a more just and sustainable world.
9th Grade Environmental Leadership Seminar, 10th Grade World History, and 12th Grade Internship
Karen Madden is the Lead Teacher for the MarinSEL program. In this role, she teaches three MarinSEL classes, coordinates various aspects of the program, and spearheads the deep collaboration with the other TLHS teachers in the program. She has over 17 years of teaching experience, and while she is new to this role, she is no stranger to the MarinSEL program or the Terra Linda community.
Karen grew up in San Rafael Park and earned her B.S. in Human Development from UC Davis. During the pandemic, Karen went back to school at San Francisco State University, where she earned her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership as well as her Administrative Credential. She finds that the MarinSEL Lead Teacher role is the perfect balance of teaching and leading, and she is thrilled to be a part of the Trojan family.
9th Grade Biology and 11th/12th Grade AP Environmental Science
Sara Frack grew up in Marinwood where she attended Mary E. Silveira Elementary School, Miller Creek Middle School, and Terra Linda High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology Education from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree in English as a Second Language Teaching Methods from City University. Her years of hiking and biking in Marin and traveling on vacations gave her a passion for environmental protection. She chose science education because she felt that she could have the most impact by teaching the next generation about protecting the environment. Ms. Frack and her husband live in Marinwood with their three boys. Sara loves gardening, hiking, walking her dog, caring for her chickens, getting a cup of coffee with a friend, and reading when she gets a chance.
10th Grade English and 10th Grade Environmental Leadership Seminar
Born and raised in Michigan, Brent Lumsden fled the Midwest upon graduating from the University of Michigan. He is now teaching his 18th year of high school English in California where he has taught in the San Bernardino Mountains and parts of Riverside before discovering he actually is NorCal and relocating to Terra Linda High School. He lives in Petaluma now with his two boys, wife, six chickens, and two cats. His family just switched rentals to a four-acre piece of property with a house originally built in the 19th century. Now they have a full graywater system, a growing permaculture style garden, a piano made the 1940’s, and a lifestyle that includes long stays on hammocks and rocking chairs.
9th Grade Physical Education and Health
Chelsy is a local, hailing from Napa. She’s an experienced teacher with 18 years in the field, the past 10 in Auburn. Chelsy joined MarinSEL because she “was interested in a new challenge.” Her love of the outdoors drew her to the program. Chelsy finds the curriculum exciting and enjoys her students immensely. She calls her teaching style assertive, honest, and organized. “I show respect to students, their thoughts, and opinions. My class is structured for students to feel safe and comfortable. I believe in students being themselves.” When she’s not teaching MarinSEL students, Chelsy enjoys being active with her family, including her three children. She loves to hike and dance. And she believes being a mom has given her a tremendous amount of experience in imparting important information to children.
11th Grade Environmental Engineering and Tech Design
Hailing from upstate New York, Ms. Oropallo attended University of Connecticut where she played Division I Women’s Ice Hockey and The College of Saint Rose where she earned her degree in Applied Technology Education. She then earned her Master’s in Education from S.U.N.Y Plattsburgh. Prior to teaching woodshop, photography and construction at Terra Linda High School, Ms. Oropallo taught for the Novato Unified School district and for Arlington Public Schools near Boston. While participating in HGTV’s All-American Handyman series, she was voted Fan Favorite. Ms. Oropallo brings her incredible woodworking and engineering skills to the classroom to create a welcoming atmosphere for students to complete hands-on projects.
Follow Allison Oropallo on Twitter @AllisonOropallo
11th Grade AP U.S. History
Alex Robins holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix. This is his fourth year at Terra Linda High School, having previously taught middle school Humanities in San Francisco. Mr. Robins strives to bring authentic learning experiences and deeper analysis of the “whys” and “hows” of history to his students. By focusing on empathy and equity, the hopes to bring the students a deep sense of connection to the world around them and the people and other species that inhabit the earth currently, as well as those that have come before them. While he has previously taught 10th grade English, World History, and Government at Terra Linda, Mr. Robins currently teaches AP U.S. History, doubling the size of the program and working to create more paths to success for the diverse student population.
Follow Alex Robins on Twitter @RobinsClass