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Weil Preparatory School Faculty

The success of our Boarding School is due to our amazing faculty and staff who embody our institutional values of respect, trust, tolerance, passion,   excellence and fun. We work hard to spark intellectual curiosity, and develop critical and independent thinking. We foster peer support and teamwork as our student-athletes strive for excellence on and off the court. Without exception, our Weil graduates arrive at college ready to succeed at the most demanding institutions in America.

The success of our Boarding School is due to our amazing faculty and staff who embody our institutional values of respect, trust, tolerance, passion,   excellence and fun. We work hard to spark intellectual curiosity, and develop critical and independent thinking. We foster peer support and teamwork as our student-athletes strive for excellence on and off the court. Without exception, our Weil graduates arrive at college ready to succeed at the most demanding institutions in America.

Varre Cummins

Weil School Principal

Varre Cummins is the principal teacher at Weil College Preparatory School where he teaches Mathematics, Physics and Video/Film Production. Varre completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Physics, a Standard Secondary Credential and Master of Arts degree in Educational Curriculum and Instruction from Chapman College. In addition, he has a Master of Divinity degree from San Anselmo Seminary.

He taught at Hueneme High School in Oxnard, CA, for 40 years, taught AP Physics, Statistics and Calculus on-line for 12 years and served as an Associate Pastor for 17 years. He has a background in computer programming, Video Production and Vocal music.

He has served on and chaired more than 20 accreditation visits for with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and provided Educational Management Consulting services for numerous public and private schools. His educational philosophy is that every student needs to explore the depth and width of his/her potential and be challenged to always explore beyond her/his comfort zone.

Natalie Mayer

Math & Science Teacher

Natalie Mayer is originally from Ventura, California. She attended the University of California Davis, earning a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences. While attending Davis, Natalie worked in a local health care clinic, sold local produce at farmer’s markets, and completed two education internships assisting in schools in the Davis area.

After graduating, Natalie worked for a non-profit, supporting middle-school aged girls from underprivileged communities in the Santa Barbara area. There, she taught environmental science and facilitated leadership activities to encourage young girls to pursue higher-education and careers in STEM.

Credentials: BA in Biological Sciences from UC Davis

Emily Oakland

Multiple Subjects Teacher

Emily Oakland was born and raised in Ojai, California. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles where she majored a B.A. in English and Comparative Literary Studies. She is currently working on her M.Ed. with a focus in School Leadership through the University of San Diego.

She has been a member of the Weil teaching faculty since Fall 2016 and teaches Earth Science, World Geography, Algebra 1 and English 2. Within the classroom, she works to cultivate each student as empathetic, critical-thinking and academically focused individuals who contribute positively to the classroom community. She believes that learning is a lifelong process and hopes to instill a love of learning within her students.

Patrick Praetorius

History & Social Science Teacher

Patrick Praetorius is the history/social science teacher for Weil Prep. Patrick studied a wide range of disciplines at Whittier College, where he received his undergraduate degree in English. After that, he earned his master’s degree in education and teaching credential from The Claremont Graduate University. He has taught in public and private schools in the Southern California area since 1988.

Patrick says, “In my mind, education is the key to a successful, rewarding, and happy life. I believe that learning never stops for the individual. I take personal satisfaction from knowing that I am helping the Weil students to reach their goals. If by being their teacher I have helped them learn how to learn, and develop a love for learning, I feel very gratified. History and social studies are a passion for me, and I am excited to share in the learning exploration of these topics with the Weil students!”

When he is not teaching, Patrick enjoys attending lectures, concerts, and the theater. He also has a passion for communing with nature in such ways as hiking and cycling and camping with his family.

Sandra Stub

Language Arts Teacher

Sandi Stub has been teaching English Literature at Weil College Preparatory School since 2012. She began her teaching career in 1988 at an elementary school near Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Over half of her students did not speak English. This led her to develop a classroom setting that covered an array of course work with the goal for students to acquire the English language in the process. After teaching there for three years Sandi moved to San Francisco and was hired by Burlingame Middle School as the Director of ELL (English Language Learning). Her classroom was made up of students from all over the world: sixteen different countries speaking thirteen different languages. After her first year she was voted by the students as the Teacher who Assigns the Most Homework, however, ironically, students also voted her to receive the Favorite Teacher Award. This reflects Sandi's dedication to instill that a strong work ethic has a myriad of positive results.

Sandi transitioned soon thereafter to teach English Literature and has not turned back ever since. "There is so much that lies within a book. The literary timeline is based upon historical events and ideologies that enhances not only students' knowledge, but helps them to formulate their own look on life."

Sandi earned her Bachelor's degree in Sociology at the University of California Santa Barbara. She attained her multiple subject credential at San Diego State University, her CLAD (Cross-cultural, Language and Academic Development) Certificate while working in Los Angeles, and a second teaching credential and Master's degree in Mild to Moderate Special Education at San Francisco State University.

Sandi enjoys being active outside of the classroom. Gardening, hiking, and engaging in a variety of art projects are part of her daily routine.

Ana Garcia

Math & Science Teacher and Assistant Residential Director

Ana Garcia is a Mexico native from Tepatitlán de Morelos. A small Mexican suburb near Guadalajara. She then relocated to Guadalajara to begin her college studies. Ana received her undergraduate degree in Nanotechnology Engineering from a private college called ITESO (Institute of Technological and Higher Education Studies of Occident). During her college years, Ana had the opportunity to collaborate in different research groups for material science research and innovation. The most important ones were in applied physics at the Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education working on a project involving nanomaterial fabrication using specialized lasers. And then she was accepted into a summer internship program at the University of California, Riverside, where she could participate and contribute to a large research project called Window to the Brain, where she was in charge of research on zinc oxide nanoparticle synthesis with specialized laser applied as a thin film on zirconia ceramic for skull implant. With all her research experience, Ana had the chance to contribute and disclose her research in different symposiums around the American Continent, including the US.

After graduation, Ana had the chance to get a teaching position in a private school as a science teacher for Jr. High Education back in Guadalajara, where she spent two years teaching in the English language and learning how to educate and transmit her passion for science to young students. Ana never had previous experience teaching, but this was the perfect opportunity to get involved with young students, and teach others the importance of science and how we can use it as a tool to improve our society.

Tiffany Richards

Computer Science Teacher

Tiffany Richards is a Connecticut native who teaches Computer Science at Weil from the east coast. She earned her BSEd in Technology and Engineering Education from Central Connecticut State University in 2016 and completed her MEd in STEM Leadership at the American College of Education in 2020. Tiffany has taught a variety of courses including architecture, robotics, electronics, engineering, mechanical drafting, CADD, transportation, construction, and digital design. Aside from her love of technology and teaching, Tiffany is an avid animal lover who raises a small herd of dairy goats at her home in Connecticut and enjoys thinking up and trying new designs for her handmade goat milk soaps.

Jeanette Espinoza

Admissions Director

Jeanette Espinoza is from Ojai, Ca. She attended Nordhoff High School where she was a multi-sport student-athlete. She studied at UCLA and earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Applied Developmental Psychology. In her junior and senior years, she interned at The UCLA Krieger Center for Early Child Care & Education and at The Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention, where she discovered her passion for working with children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Life events brought her back to Ojai after graduating from UCLA in 2005, and has been at Weil since.

Jeanette lives in Ojai with her husband, 3 cats, and 1 dog. Even though they love the Ojai lifestyle, they very much enjoy traveling and discovering new places.

Ben Irie

Dean of Students

Ben serves as the Dean of Students at Weil Academy. Originally from Cleveland, OH, Ben studied music and musicology at Kenyon College and Indiana University. With over thirteen years of experience in boarding school education, Ben joined the Weil team in 2010 after stints at Olney Friends School (OH), Andrews Osborne Academy (OH), and The Bolles School (FL), where he served in various capacities as a teacher and student affairs administrator.

What Ben loves most about Weil is working with a student body that values hard work on and off the court and that supports each other on a daily basis. In his free time, Ben enjoys cooking, eating Zankou Chicken, and exploring the hiking trails of Southern California and the Central Coast with his wife and two children, Henry and Beecher.

 

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