I believe in the potential of young people and want schools to be places to empower and support them in making positive change in their communities.”

Kayla’s Story

Teaching Discipline


Why Biology

“I want ALL my students to be successful in STEM to increase their future opportunities and to advocate for their own health and that of their environments.”

Professional Experience

Kayla began teaching full time in the fall of 2012. She first taught middle school math and science at an arts integration school, where she gained experience in project-based learning and making thinking visible. While at this school, Kayla also helped to de-track the math classes in grades six through eight. In the fall of 2015, she has began teaching ninth-/tenth-grade biology and advisory at San Francisco International High School, a small public school for recent immigrants, with another Knowles Fellow (Nicholas Chan). Kayla loves thinking about complex instruction with the members of her school’s observation club and collaborating with other teachers on how to best teach English and content to their motivated and resilient students. With financial support in the form of two Leadership Grants from Knowles, Kayla helped start equity-based inquiry groups for the entire staff at her school.  She is passionate about improving results for least-served students.


Kayla enjoys trail running, making soups and baked goods, reading, and traveling by biking and camping.

Academic Background

  • Stanford University (Master of Teaching in Science Education)
  • Brown University (Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology)