Gavin Keller, School Director
Gavin Keller has been employed in an administrative role at Journey since 2013. He currently manages all aspects of the school’s operations including faculty, staff, and student relations. Mr. Keller also oversees the curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the daily operation of the school.
Mr. Keller first came to Journey in 2009 as a main class teacher, leading his class through 5th, 6th and 7th grade. Previously, he taught 5th grade for several years at Dapplegray Elementary in Palos Verdes, California. In the interim of the two roles at Journey School, he was employed as an Assistant Director in Student Affairs at University of California, Irvine. Mr. Keller holds an Administrative Services Credential, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Masters Degree in Education and B.A. degrees in Psychology and Communication.
Co-Education Director, Tim Connolly
Prior to his current role as teacher mentor at Journey School, Tim Connolly served as the Administrative Director at Sanderling Waldorf School from 2011-2014. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, where he studied Business Economics; and the Rudolf Steiner College, where he earned his Waldorf Teacher’s Credential. His 20+ years of background in Waldorf education include being a founding parent of the Cedar Springs Waldorf School, serving as the lead teacher at the school and graduating the school’s first 8th grade in 1998. Thereafter he served in various administrative capacities over the years at Rudolf Steiner College, Sacramento Waldorf High School, Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork and Journey School. He has also spent time in Nigeria where he served as a volunteer working with UKAID to support educational initiatives in the northern regions of the country.
Co-Education Director, Patti Connolly
Patti Connolly was inspired by Waldorf education when searching for the best education for her own children. She and her husband, along with a small group of parents and an amazing mentor teacher, Nancy Poer, initiated the Cedar Springs Waldorf School in 1989. Even though Patti already had a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and a Liberal Studies B.A. from California State University, San Francisco, her desire to become a Waldorf teacher led her to pursue a certificate in Waldorf Teacher Education at Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California in 1991-92. Since then, she has been a class teacher (grades 1-8 and grades 1-3), a kindergarten teacher (3 years), a specialty teacher, faculty administrator, evaluator, mentor, and teacher educator.
She began her work as a teacher educator at the Public School Institute at Rudolf Steiner College in 1997 and has since led a number of summer curriculum workshops at Rudolf Steiner College as well as the Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Journey School, and the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training. On an international level, Patti has consulted with a UK-Aid education project in Nigeria, developing and leading primary education and school leadership modules for teachers and teacher trainers for two years.
In addition to Journey School, she has served as mentor, evaluator or adult educator at the following schools: Waldorf School of Orange County, Westside Waldorf School, Davis Waldorf School, Sanderling Waldorf School, Highland Hall Waldorf School, Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork (Colorado), and Cedar Springs Waldorf School.
Dr. Frances Sassin, Administrative Consultant
Dr. Sassin began her professional career as a veterinarian; after becoming a parent, however, she began directing her energy into the field of education. Dr. Sassin was one of the founders of Journey School, and was subsequently employed as the school’s Business and Operations Manager for 2 ½ years. During this time she also served as President of the school’s Council. Dr. Sassin then began doing consulting work in the charter school field and currently works as the Director of Business Services for California Connections Academy Schools. Both her children attended Journey School for grades K to 6, and then Orange County School of the Arts for 7th through 12th grade. Dr. Sassin received her BA degree from UC San Diego and a DVM degree from UC Davis, and continues to provide veterinary services to her community through volunteer activities.
Larry Tamayo, Financial/Business Consultant
Mr. Tamayo works with ExED, a non- profit provider of business services for charter schools in Southern California. He oversees the business operations for San Diego and Orange County charter school clients, which includes supervising finances, payroll, human resources, compliance, and general operations. Prior to leading ExED’s San Diego office, Mr. Tamayo was the School Development Coordinator and a Compliance Analyst in ExED’s Los Angeles office. He previously worked as a program coordinator at the Atlantic Community Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Tamayo earned an M.A. in public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in criminology, law and society at the University of California, Irvine.