Small school, huge staff.


"The opportunity to teach and work at a school like Holden draws gifted, creative, dedicated, and highly skilled teachers and staff. Without exception, they are lifelong learners who lead rich and fulfilling lives and serve as powerful role models for the students at Holden." - Holden Teacher

Holden Directors

Four Co-Directors collectively run the day-to-day operations at Holden. Each Co-Director also teaches, directly connecting Holden’s administration to the learning environment and enabling the school to work in a way that best meets students’ needs. The Co-Directors regularly consult with our core teachers, counseling Interns, psychological consultants, Student Council, the Board of Trustees, and the student body about issues affecting the school community to ensure that the school is achieving its mission.


Kate graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in English with a focus on education. Kate teaches academic & elective classes and tutoring, supervises the academic teachers and is the CFO of Holden. She is also a certified personal trainer and serves on the educational advisory board of UC theatre concert career pathways. Kate is a founding member of B.O.B., a collective that organizes international punk rock concerts. Kate has been at Holden in various capacities since 1987.


Kristin graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Studio Arts and Sociology. She received her MA in Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies in 1997 and became a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in 2001. Kristin is Holden’s Director of Admissions and has been a Co-Director since 2000. Outside Holden, she spends time with her family.


Abby graduated from Holden in 1993. She holds a BA in Humanities with an emphasis in Education from New College of California and an MA in Special Education from San Francisco State University and a Mild to Moderate Education Specialist Credential. She directs Holden’s Learning Support Program and is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children.


Jennifer earned a BA in Psychology and a MA in Counseling Psychology from Humboldt State University. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and Oregon, and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in California, with a private practice in Berkeley. She is the Clinical Director, Freshperson Advisor and supervises and trains the counselors. She has been at Holden since 2004.

Core Teachers & Transition Counselors

Core teachers teach academics and electives at Holden. Our teachers strive to meet the diverse needs of our students with patience, experience, knowledge, compassion, and flexibility. They are trained to work with a variety of learning styles and emotional blocks to learning. Staff collaborate to create coursework and structure that fully engage students in the process of learning and self-discovery. In addition, teachers also collaborate with the credentialed learning specialist and licensed psychotherapists. 


Rikki is a US Government, Biology, and electives teacher, and one of Holden's Transition Counselors. She has a BA in English Language Arts and Anthropology, a Teaching Credential in Secondary English, and an MA in Education from University of California at Berkeley. Her outside interests include parenting, writing prose and poetry, folklore, gardening, environmental sustainability, health food, and social justice.


Jack teaches Physics and Government / Economics at Holden. He earned BA's in Economics and Neurobiology from UC Berkeley, followed by a JD from UC Hastings College of the Law. After 18 years as a trial attorney, Jack earned teaching certificates from Cal State East Bay in Physical and Biological Sciences, and Economics. Jack is a member of American Physics Teachers.


Katherine teaches math, chemistry, history, and a number of rotating classes. She also acts as Holden’s college transition counselor. She holds a BA from University of Michigan and a MA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. In addition to teaching, she has sung professionally and is a published writer and reviewer.


Ally teaches English Composition, World Studies, Journalism / Yearbook, and a class titled Identity and Diversity in Comics. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Connecticut, with a concentration in Cross Cultural and Ethnic Studies. Her outside interests include comics, video games, reading, and her dog. She is a member of the AmeriCorps Alumni Association and the City Year Alumni Association.


Libby teaches Metaphor and Meaning, Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry, and Spanish at Holden. She earned a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in 2002, followed by an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from Exeter University. Libby has been working with students on academic achievement full time since 2010. She is also the co-founder and producing Artistic Director of Those Women Productions, an independent feminist theater company based in Berkeley.


Ann teaches Social Relations, Philosophy and Ethics, as well as Computer Science at Holden. She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Economics and received her MHS in Family Planning and Reproductive Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Ann also teaches Our Whole Lives sexuality education at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church and facilitates youth programs at the Orinda Community Church.


Kiersten teaches English Fundamentals, U.S. History, and Geometry at Holden. She holds a BA from U.C. Santa Barbara in Psychology and an MA from San Francisco State University in Creative Writing. Kiersten has over 10 years experience teaching all ages and subjects, in both public and private institutions in the Bay Area. In her free time, Kiersten enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading and watching or playing baseball.

Resource, Exploration, and Support Counselors

Skilled counselors volunteer their time and energy at Holden. Our Resource, Exploration, and Support (RES) counselors have graduated from accredited Master’s programs in clinical psychology and are furthering their training under supervision by licensed psychotherapists. Click here to read more about the Resource, Exploration, and Support Program.


Georgiana (Georgie) is a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate at Holden and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. She completed her MA in Somatic Psychology at John F. Kennedy University. She is also a certified yoga instructor and movement coach and is passionate about helping people connect with their bodies.


Chelsie is a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate at Holden. They hold a BA in Sociology from Mills College and have an MA in Counseling Psychology with a focus on Expressive Arts Therapy from the California College of Integral Studies. Their interests include drag, video games, and digital art.


Liz is a Marriage and Family Therapist at Holden. She received her BA in English Literature from San Francisco State University and her MA in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. She loves yoga, making art, listening to music, and getting outdoors.


Nicole is a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate at Holden. She received her BA in English Literature at UC Santa Cruz and completed her MA in Integral Counseling Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies. Her outside interests include hiking, nature, yoga, exercise, travel, reading fantasy/sci-fiction novels, and spending time with her family.


Nora is a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee at Holden. She holds a BS in Neuroscience from Brown University and completed her MA in Counseling Psychology with a focus on Expressive Arts Therapy from the California College of Integral Studies. Her interests include storytelling, rock climbing, music, dancing, reading, and dogs.

Operations Staff

Our administrative staff are essential to keeping our program running smoothly


Mawiyah is Holden's Marketing and Fundraising Manager. She holds a BA in Mass Communication from Cal State East Bay. Her interests include hiking, hip-hop and belly dance, portrait photography, spending time with her kids, and pretending to be a mad scientist by making her own all natural beauty concoctions.


Muhammad joined Holden as our Office Administrator in January 2015. Prior to Holden Muhammad worked in post-secondary education for over a decade. His experience with operations and administration in an educational setting helps contribute to the overall success of our community at Holden.

Part-Time Staff

Our part-time staff  strengthen our program by providing additional support and elective class offerings  


Melissa is a Transition Program Intern and graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. She is a veteran homeschooling parent who guided her oldest through the college admission process, she is currently completing the certificate program in college admissions and career planning through UC Berkeley's extension program and looks forward to supporting students and families in their next steps.


Ryan teaches music at Holden and holds a BA in Cinema and Digital Media from UC Davis. He has toured both nationally and internationally as a drummer and guitarist. When he’s not writing and recording music in his studio, Ryan spends his free time producing videos, skateboarding, and building guitar amplifiers. He has an extensive record collection and is a self-proclaimed “music nerd.”

Holden Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees at Holden High School supports the mission of the school and supports the staff in pursuing that mission. Concretely, the Board is responsible for:  1) Discussing the goals for the year. 2) Reviewing, approving and monitoring the annual budget. 3) Evaluating the heads of school. The Board is comprised of two co-directors, parents of Holden High School alumni, and long-term friends and supporters of the Holden Community.


changing lives since 1969