Small school, huge staff.

MEET THE VILLAGE

"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 the school achieves its mission.

Kate

Kate teaches academic & elective classes and tutoring, supervises the academic teachers, and is the CFO of Holden. She holds a BA in English focusing on education from SF State University. She is 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.

Kristin

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

Abby graduated from Holden in 1993. She holds a BA in Humanities with an emphasis in Education from New College of California, 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 Council for Exceptional Children member.

Jennifer

Jennifer earned a BA in Psychology and an 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. Jenn is the Clinical Director and Freshperson Advisor, supervising and training 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 work with various learning styles and emotional blocks to learning. Staff collaborate to create coursework and structure that fully engage students in learning and self-discovery. Teachers also collaborate with our credentialed learning specialists and licensed psychotherapists.

Katie

Katherine teaches English, math, and chemistry. 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

Ally teaches Metaphor and Meaning, Ethnic Studies, Algebra, and Genders and Sexuality. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Connecticut. She is a member of the AmeriCorps Alumni Association and the City Year Alumni Association.

Rikki

Rikki teaches English Composition, Biology, American Sign Language, and electives. She is also a transition counselor. She has a BA in English Language Arts and Anthropology, a Teaching Credential in Secondary English, and an MA in Education from the University of California at Berkeley. Her outside interests include environmental sustainability, health food, and social justice.

Ryan

Ryan teaches Government, Economics, and 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. 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.”

Kiersten

Kiersten teaches English Fundamentals, U.S. History, and Geometry. She holds a BA from U.C. Santa Barbara in Psychology and an MA from SF State University in Creative Writing. Kiersten enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her free time, reading and watching or playing baseball.

Noel

Noel teaches Physical Science and Art at Holden. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Her outside interests include music and art.

Libby

Libby teaches World History, Algebra III with Trigonometry, and Spanish. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and an MFA in Staging Shakespeare from Exeter University. She is also the co-founder and producing Artistic Director of Those Women Productions.

Nora

Nora is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at Holden, supervised by the licensed Clinical Director. She holds a BS in Neuroscience from Brown University and an MA in Counseling Psychology, focusing on Expressive Arts Therapy from the California College of Integral Studies. Her interests include rock climbing, music, dancing, reading, and dogs.

Noa

Noa is a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee at Holden, supervised by our clinical director, Jennifer Polse Payne, LMFT, LPCC. She holds a B.A. in English literature from Brandeis University and will be earning an M.S. in clinical psychology from San Francisco State University in the spring. Noa loves crossword puzzles, books cats, and classical music.

Mitsue

Mitsue is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at Holden, supervised by the licensed Clinical Director. She received her BA in Psychology from Cornell University and her MA in Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. She loves experiencing cultures through food, art, language, music, and games

Allison

Allison is a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee at Holden, supervised by our clinical director, Jennifer Polse Payne, LMFT, LPCC. She is currently attending CIIS Integral Psychology program and holds a BA in Integral Studies from CIIS as well. She enjoys Disney, crocheting, cooking, taking care of her cats, sewing, making time for a good cup of tea, and steampunk aesthetics.

Operations Staff

Our administrative staff are essential to keeping our program running smoothly

Dani

Dani

Dani Juni Bruyn, CPCC/ACC, previously has served as the Board's Chairperson and is a Holden alumna circa 1997. Dani is a salon owner and professional Coach and is currently pursuing a BSW with the goal of MSW.

Muhammad

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  

Jack

Jack is a tutor and a substitute teacher 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. He is a member of American Physics Teachers.

Amy

Amy, a Learning Specialist, support students with disabilities. She holds a BA in Liberal Studies with a Multiple Subject Teaching Emphasis from Chapman University and a Mild to Moderate Education Specialist Credential from Saint Mary's College. She is a member of the California Teachers Association. She enjoys nature walks, live music, reading, and traveling.

Ruth

Ruth Kaiser, a Substitute Teacher at Holden, holds a BA in fine art, a multiple subject credential, and a single subject credential in art from UCB. Ruth belongs to HRC, EQCA, DCCC, FieldTeam6, and ACLU and enjoys art, photography, travel, needle crafts, gardening, cooking, and cats.

Taylor

Taylor Lyng, a substitute teacher holds a BA in Psychology from Cal State University, East Bay and is pursuing a graduate degree in counseling. Taylor is the lead instructor of the kids and teens program at Team Santos Jiu Jitsu and has been training in martial arts since he was five years old.

Holden Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees at Holden High School supports the school’s mission and the staff’s pursuit of 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 the school. The Board includes two co-directors, parents of Holden High School alumni, and long-term friends and supporters of the Holden Community.

Rachel

Rachel Hannah Fields has three young adult children who attended Holden as teens. In addition to being devoted to Holden, Rachel works as a licensed clinical psychologist at Kaiser Permanente with children and teens who have eating disorders, she has a small private practice for youth who are trans or gender questioning, and writes fiction.

Paul

Paul Barrie is our current Board Chair. Paul is recognized as Holden's first student in 1969. He is a proud Orinda resident and has enjoyed a 30+ career as a video producer, director, editor, and scriptwriter.

Fredi

Fredi Juni serves as the Board's Treasurer, is mom to Holden alum, Dani. She is a calligrapher and mixed media artist. For nearly 30 years, Fredi was a Social Worker who specialized in improving the adoption program for Alameda County.

Anthony

Anthony Fong has called Orinda home for over 23 years. He works as an Associate General Counsel for a publically traded research laboratory. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley and J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Kristin

Kristin Lamoureux, a Holden Co-Director, graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Studio Arts and Sociology. She received her MA in Counseling Psychology from the 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.

Kate

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 serves on the educational advisory board of UC theatre concert career pathways. Kate has been at Holden in various capacities since 1987.

Joseph

Joseph Meyer is a Holden alumni circa 2003. He works as a Union Rep for Admin Workers throughout the UC system. Joseph also worked in the legal field for over 8 years and as a Labor Union Advocate for over 7 years.

Shaun

Shaun Osburn graduated from Holden in 1997. He works in the online education department for the Academy of Art University. Shaun holds a BA in Communications and an AA in Visual Media. He has recorded and toured in several punk rock bands and views his work with Holden as an extension of his punk rock values.

Testimonials

changing lives since 1969