The new school year is right around the corner and we are delighted to welcome so many new faculty to the Dragon family. Read below to learn more about our newest teachers, all of whom are committed to O’Dowd’s mission of building a most just, joyful and sustainable world. Pop into their classrooms this week to say hi and welcome them to our community!
Vinothini Balasubramanian | Science Teacher
Originally from India, Vinothini earned her BS and MS in Chemistry from Bharathidasan University, India, and her Ph.D in Materials Chemistry from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. In the classroom, Vinothini simplifies complex science concepts by keeping students engaged with fun activities. In her free time Vinothini enjoys being with her family.
Danielle Bargas | Math Teacher
Originally from Hayward, Danielle earned her BA in mathematics from Southern New Hampshire University. She says, “My goal is to inspire all students to see that math is not just numbers on the page - math is everywhere” In her free time, Danielle enjoys playing basketball.
Carmen De Jesús | Spanish Teacher
Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Carmen received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State University, Monterey Bay and is a 2023 candidate for her Ed.D. in Learning & Instruction from the University of San Francisco. Carmen strongly believes that languages provide access to know people better, learn about different perspectives, and understand that we have a lot in common as human beings, regardless of our cultural differences.
Erin Donevan | English Teacher
Originally from Dexter, Michigan, Erin received her BA in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing and Music from Kalamazoo College, and her Masters in Effective Teaching from Sposato Graduate School of Education. Erin empowers her students to speak their truth and to deeply listen to the truths of others. She enjoys watching her students become fuller versions of themselves.
Alberto Figueroa | Spanish Teacher
Alberto grew up in Stockton and earned his BA in Spanish Language and Culture from Southern Oregon University, his MA in Teaching from Southern Oregon University, and his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Southern California. In the classroom, Alberto enjoys using project-based learning for students to engage with the many countries and cultures that make up the Spanish-speaking world. In his spare time, Alberto runs the trails at Lake Chabot.
Lauren Kruger | Biology Teacher
Lauren grew up in Bend, Oregon and earned a BS in Zoology from Humboldt State University and a MA in Teaching Secondary Education from Oregon State University - Cascades. Lauren deeply cares about the future of our world and hopes to inspire the next generation of young people to be the best versions of themselves. In the classroom, Lauren leads hands-on learning experiences with scientific inquiry processing.
Emily Lindquist '10 | Religion Teacher
Hailing from Oakland, Emily earned her BA in Biblical & Theological Studies from North Park University and her MA in Counseling Psychology from Saint Mary's College. A believer in spiritual health, Emily often meditates and spends time in nature.
Stephen Loewinsohn | Art Teacher
An Oakland native, Stephen is passionate about visual storytelling and earned his BA in Cinema Production from San Francisco State University. Photography and filmmaking have been life-changing for Stephen, and he looks forward to helping O’Dowd students find new ways to be creative and innovative.
Heather Merovich | History Teacher
Heather grew up in Fairfax and received a BA in Mass Communications/Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. A devoted teacher, Heather believes that studying history helps students become responsible and empathetic citizens. In her personal time, Heather enjoys reading books and hiking.
Aurora Ramos | English Teacher
Originally from Los Angeles, Aurora earned her BA in English from California State University East Bay and her MA in Teaching from University of Southern California. Growing up, Aurora’s teachers made life-lasting impressions on her, and she hopes to do the same for her students. In her personal time, Aurora enjoys watching anime, playing video games, and hiking.
Jane Sadetsky | Chemistry Teacher
Jane is from Walnut Creek and received her BS in Chemistry from University of Puget Sound and her MA in Education from UC Berkeley. She loves that teaching allows her to be creative and form connections with students every day. Outside the classroom, Jane dances on a competitive hip hop team and enjoys weaving and embroidery.