The School Newspaper of The Urban School of San Francisco

The Urban Legend

Snapshots of new faculty and staff of the Urban School of San Francisco

Vivian Manning, Staff Writer

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Theodora Carson

Choral accompanist

What did you do before you came to Urban?
I worked as an accompanist at University of Washington

Why did you choose to work at Urban?
 It was a great opportunity to be a choral accompanist at an awesome school!

What is your favorite part of Urban?
The students. The choir is incredibly talented.

What would you be doing if you were not at Urban?
Crying

Favorite food:
Sandwiches

Favorite subject in high school:
English

Least favorite subject:
P.E.

Favorite book:
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

Favorite television show:
“Lost”

Favorite movie:
“Oceans 11”

Describe your high school experience in one word?
A blast

 

Jamieson Bunn

Director of Annual Fund and Campaigns

What did you do before you came to Urban?
I ran the annual fund at San Francisco Day School.

What would you be doing if you were not at Urban?
I would be writing fiction. I have an MFA in fiction and write short stories but I have never published them.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
I like the energy around the 50th anniversary at Urban.

Favorite food:
Egg and cheese breakfast sandwich

Favorite book:
“Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” by Alice Munro

Favorite television show:
“Stranger Things”

Favorite Movie:
The 1995 version of “Pride and Prejudice”

Describe your high school experience in one word?
Nurturing. I had a lot of friends whose parents taught at my school so it felt like a family.

Favorite subject:
English

Least favorite subject:
Calculus

 

Mikaela Dunitz

English Teacher

What did you do before you came to Urban?
I taught at a school in New York.

What would you be doing if you were not at Urban?
Before I got into teaching English, I worked in a restaurant, and taught nutrition.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
The students are fun!

Why did you choose to work at Urban?
Urban is my dream school. I like the creative artistic blend and how Urban de-emphasizes numbers and grades the whole student.

Favorite food:
Chocolate

Favorite movie:
“Wild Tales” or “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Favorite television show:
“The Colbert Report.” I got to see him perform live!

Favorite book:
“One hundred years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez or “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison

Favorite subject:
English

Least favorite subject:
I didn’t really have a least favorite subject but I had an old bore of a teacher in Physics.

Describe your high school experience in one word?
Complex

 

Becky Curry

History Teacher

What did you do before you came to Urban?
I taught in Richmond for a year and before that went to Berkeley Law and taught political science.

Why did you choose to teach at Urban?
It was a great opportunity and I was really impressed by the work that the students were doing. It was very academically rigorous but also a great community.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
The vibe, it is a very unusual mix of energy and zen attitude.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at Urban?
Suing people right now! I would be practicing law.

Favorite food:
Desserts

Favorite television show:
I love political shows like “House of Cards” and “Madam Secretary.”

Favorite book:
“The World According to Garp” by John Irving

In one word, describe your high school experience?
Transformational. I walked into high school as an athlete and walked out a scholar.

Least favorite subject in high school:
Chemistry

Favorite subject in high school:
Satire, an English class

 

Erika Lygren

Digital Communications Associate

What did you do before you came to Urban?
I went to Bennington College.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
The work that students are doing by way of equity and inclusion. I love the Month of Understanding.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at Urban?
Writing applications for film grad school in Canada and fretting.

Favorite food:
French fries and tomato soup

Favorite television show:
I’m very excited for upcoming SNL season, especially Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

In one word, describe your high school experience:
Enough

Least favorite subject:
Math

Favorite subject:
Theater. I acted in a lot of productions.

Christopher Williams

Admissions Associate and Outreach Coordinator

What did you do before you came to Urban?
I was a full time substitute at MetWest, a public high school in Oakland, and worked at Aim High for the past four summers.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
I like the way people interact with each other; it is a very respectful, comfortable environment.

I’m on a great team; every department is very cohesive and effective and I love the personalities that Lauren and Bobby bring.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at Urban?
I would be a high school substitute teacher and coaching basketball.

Favorite food:
I’m a New Yorker, so I need good pizza.

Favorite television show:
Game of Thrones, Bob’s Burgers, or Seinfeld.

Favorite movie:
“Space Jam” or “The Breakfast Club”

Favorite book:
“This is How You Lose Her” by Junot Diaz.

In one word, describe your high school experience:
Hybrid. I went to an all boys Catholic high school. I was a super nerd with broken glasses and also a basketball player. I was a nerd-jock combination.

Least favorite subject:
Religion. It felt irrelevant.

Favorite subject:  Any science class because the teachers were quirky.

 

Anthony So

English teaching fellow and co-advisor of Gender Sexuality Alliance

What did you do before you came to Urban?
I taught at Next Generation Scholars, a non profit in San Rafael that works with low income students, providing a college preparatory program, social services, leadership training, and psychological services.

Why did you choose to teach at Urban?
The English fellowship position was the best fit for me- I wanted a fellowship position because I still wanted to prepare for grad school. I wanted to teach at a school that would allow me to focus more on depth of understanding rather than test scores.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
I like the striving for inclusion. Urban is not completely inclusive, but it is at the forefront of people’s minds.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at Urban?
Writing. I am an aspiring writer as much as an aspiring teacher, so I would be doing editorial work. I write fiction that grapples with paradoxes of being Cambodian American, so funny stories about trauma.

Favorite food:
Cambodian version of pho.

Favorite book:
“Slaughterhouse 5” by Kurt Vonnegut. It was the first book I understood and loved. The way Vonnegut handles trauma from W.W.II resonates with my own experiences hearing about the war and regime my family experienced in Cambodia.

In one word, describe your high school experience?
Bad. I went to an underperforming school in Stockton, California, where the socioeconomic gap between the rich students and the poor students was vast. We had a couple of rich alumni who were only interested in sports, so we had a multi-million football stadium, but at the same time, the school’s academics were so poorly funded that there weren’t enough copies of “The Great Gatsby” for all the students, many of which couldn’t afford to buy their own books.

 

Brooke Steele

Choral Director

What were you doing before Urban?
I was an AP music teacher in Pleasanton.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
The people. The kids, staff, and faculty are great.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at Urban?
Reading, playing fetch with my French bulldog Dobby, or baking.

Least favorite subjectt:
Math

Favorite:
Music

What is your favorite food:
Ramen

Favorite television show:
“Game of Thrones”

Favorite movie:
“Star Wars” or “Indiana Jones”

Favorite book:
“Harry Potter”

Describe your high school experience in one word?
Fascinating. No one really knows what’s going on.

 

Christa Bon Sims

Assistant Director of Stewardship and Special Events

What did you do before you came to Urban?

I was in the hotel industry managing sales and marketing for boutique hotel brands. I wore many hats in the past 8 years – everything from coordinating national sales meetings and special events to developing campaigns and marketing initiatives.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
The students and faculty. I love the conversations around important issues like diversity and inclusivity. I felt welcomed here from my very first day.  

Why Urban?
I had heard so many wonderful things about the work environment and students at Urban. I loved my time working at a charter high school in Arizona years ago and the opportunity to come back to an academic environment and manage special events is the best of both worlds for me.  

Favorite tv show:

I do watch Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN and secretly watch Bravo network shows – “Odd Mom Out” is the best.

Favorite book:
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “Just Kids” by Patti Smith and “Bossypants” by Tina Fey.

Favorite movie:
All-time fave would be “The Wizard of Oz.”  

Describe your high school experience in one word?
Momentous. I attended a parochial college prep school. At first, I was very nervous to go to a school outside of my neighborhood with a reputation of being tough academically. It definitely challenged me to think bigger. I’m forever grateful to my parents for all of the sacrifices they made to send me there.

 

Stacie Munoz

Ed-Tech

What did you do before you came to Urban?
I was a digital learning specialist at boarding school in Baltimore.

Why Urban?
I grew up in LA and wanted to return to California.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at Urban?
I studied film in LA, but I have also always been interested in midwifery.

What is your favorite part of Urban?
The relationships between students and teachers and the mix of casual and academic attitudes.

Favorite food:
Mexican and Korean food

Favorite book:
“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Favorite movie:
“It’s a Wonderful Life”

Favorite tv show:
“Grey’s Anatomy”, “Gilmore Girls”, HGTV, “This is Us”, “Parenthood”

Favorite subject:
Newspaper and art classes in film and design

Least favorite:
Math

Describe your high school experience in one word:
Manageable

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The School Newspaper of The Urban School of San Francisco
Snapshots of new faculty and staff of the Urban School of San Francisco