Charis Denison is a youth advocate and expert in Community Involvement, Human Development, and Ethics. She has built her experience primarily by working with schools and non-profits for the past 21 years. After initially teaching middle and high school English and Creative Writing, Charis began to develop curricula and publish articles related to social justice, ethics, human development, community involvement, and experiential education. She has received national recognition for her work in those fields, as well as for her community-based work with American teens and Tibetan refugees in Central Asia.
Charis currently teaches Human Development in her 9th year at Marin Academy and runs Prajna Consulting. Through Prajna, she works with schools, families, and communities around the issues of Human Development, Social Justice, and Ethics.
Easweh is a senior at Marin Academy, and will be attending University of Southern California following MA. He is a teacher’s assistant for human development, helping freshman and sophomores work through complicated issues surrounding ethics, values, and relationships. He is a present member in our community, both in his role as the co-leader of MA’s poetry slams and as a rapper. Easweh started making music in middle school, but got more serious about pursuing his passion in high school. His music has attracted over 1000 Facebook Fans and widespread international recognition. He has also put on 2 concerts at a popular music club, Slim’s, in the city.
Peter has been a teacher both in and out of the classroom for 20 years. Nearly a decade ago he founded a Center for Teaching and Learning at the Marin Academy high school campus. The focus is an in-house professional development program for teachers who need and want to continue to learn and grow in the art and craft of teaching on a daily basis. Peter has also been a participant on several panels, presented at conferences, and promoted a progressive, evidence-based agenda for the future of education in America.
Since the beginning of his career in education, starting with his own, he has been engaged with questions of educational reform. He says, “The more I read and wrote and studied and thought about education, where it has been and where it is going, the greater the need for transformative change in our system of education seemed. Today, I think the need for positive change in education in this country is imperative.”
He first came to MA thirteen years ago as an English teacher and Journalism Advisor. In 2007 he became the director of Marin Academy’s outdoor program and has been a consistent leader of Vision Quest and outings throughout his time at MA.
Peter graduated Marin Academy in 2004 and went on to graduate the University of California-Santa Cruz with a degree in Asian Islamic history in 2008. In the last 5 years Peter has worked over 100 weeks in the field with youth (ages 12-30). He has worked in India, Nepal, China, Turkey, Tahiti, New Zealand, Fiji and Thailand and many wilderness areas in the western United States. He spends his time either working any where from 2 week to 3 month contracts, enjoying the mobile freedom of his home in his truck, and spending time with his family in the bay area. In leading these trips his main goal on a trip is to create a greater student awareness of themselves, their community and the natural world.
Cora graduated at Marin Academy in 2010. While at MA, she ran the Composting Angels, was a student leader within Eco-Council, and ran Cross Country. She co-lead the first annual Green Festival and planned a 350 Event in October of 2009. After graduating, Cora took a gap year, traveling to Nepal, Kenya, and Argentina. Currently she is a rising junior at UNC-Chapel Hill. She will be majoring in environmental health sciences in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, while minoring in math. She is also the co-president of the Campus Y, UNC's Center for Social Justice. About 2000 students work in the Campus Y on issues ranging from hunger and homelessness in Chapel Hill to public health in Ghana. During Cora’s first year, she was the First-year Member at Large (FMAL) on the Executive Board, and her sophomore year, she was the Director of Development on the Executive Board. As FMAL, she planned a panel titled "Popular Movements Today" during MLK week that brought panelists from the Occupy, immigrants' rights, environmental justice, and the Arab Spring movements. As Director of Development, she ran a workshop series and administered the YFund, a student-run grants program that gives seed funding to social justice initiatives. After college, she hopes to go to graduate school for civil and environmental engineering with the goal of someday working in green building or alternative energy.