Michele launched her teaching career as a bilingual teacher in Watsonville, California, before moving to the Santa Cruz Mountains, where she taught first grade for 12 years. She also served as a member of the school’s leadership team and as a liaison to bilingual families. An OVS alum, Michele moved back to her hometown of Ojai in 2007 to work as a Spanish, Learning Skills, and ESL teacher at the Upper Campus. In 2012, she returned to the elementary classroom as a fifth grade teacher and elementary division coordinator. Michele lives at the Upper Campus with her husband, Craig, and their boys, Connor and Gavin, both OVS graduates who are now in college.
Favorite lesson to teach
I love teaching the kids about colonial times. In one project, they research a colonial-era trade, then they make a shop and dress up and do a little colonial fair. I also love the “Morning at the Museum” project, where they take on the persona of a character from the American Revolution.
One thing students don’t know about me
I have two big goals coming up — I want to get certified in SCUBA diving, and I would really like to go hang gliding.
Most memorable OVS camping experience
A few years ago, we went to Leo Carrillo State Park. It was the most perfect low tide, with every sea creature you could ever want to see, just waiting to be found. And it was perfect weather, too. As we sat around the campfire playing guitar, the full moon was rising, and I just thought, “I am doing this as a job! This is what I get paid to do!”
Favorite place at the Lower Campus
I love the woodshop. I also love my classroom, and I love the stables — that’s where I learned how to ride, when I was in 3rd grade!
Changes since you went to OVS
Well, not much has changed, but a lot has changed. And I’m really proud of that! While the school has traditions, they’re always looking ahead to try new things. This has never been an old-fashioned school — it’s always been innovative, and forward-thinking and creative.